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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 MAY 2016 VOL 42 NO 60

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 18th May, 2016

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

CODE OF ETHICS AND ASSET DECLARATION REGISTER FOR MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that the Code of Ethics for Members of Parliament that was approved by the Sixth Parliament and the Draft Asset Declaration Register approved by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders on the 21st of April, 2016 have been placed in Honourable Members’ pigeon holes. Members are requested to consider and submit their views and recommendations on the Asset Declaration Register for consideration by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.     Submissions should be made through Counsel to Parliament’s office by Tuesday, 31st of May, 2016.

CHANGES TO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Honourable P. Dutiro has been nominated to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Honourable Chimwamurombe will serve on the Portfolio Committees on Higher and Tertiary Education and Industry and Commerce.

THE HON. SPEAKER’S RULING

REMINDER OF RULING ON UNSUBSTANTIATED UTTERANCES

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Yesterday, the 17th of May 2016, during the debate on Human Trafficking, Honourable Maridadi alleged that he had evidence of some Members of Parliament that were complicit in the abuse of women. He however, could not produce the evidence at the material time and promised to submit it today. Previously, the Chair has ruled in this august House directing Honourable Members to desist from making unsubstantiated “allegations against other Members and Officers of Parliament or members of the public except by way of a substantive and clearly formulated motion”.

          In his contribution to the debate, Honourable Maridadi alleged that he was in possession of evidence imputing that some Honourable Members are accomplices to the recruitment of Zimbabwean women to Kuwait to work as slaves and promoting the abuse of women. He further alleged that an unnamed Member of Parliament owns a Night Club called the Private Lounge which is along Harare Street which promotes stripping of women to provide pleasure to patrons most of whom are men. When confronted to submit the names, Hon. Maridadi promised to avail the names to the Hon. Speaker today.

          As a result, the Chair has noted with grave concern the persistence by some Honourable Members of Parliament to willfully disregard and defy lawful rulings made by the Chair in respect of adherence to peremptory constitutional provisions. By way of a reminder, and this being the last warning to the Members concerned and others, the Chair is again ruling as follows:

          The Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08] which guarantees the privileges of Members of Parliament, including freedom of speech is subject to the provisions of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. More specifically, Section 61(5) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that freedom of expression and freedom of the media exclude:

(a)     incitement to violence;

(b)     advocacy of hatred or hate speech;

(c)     malicious injury to a person’s reputation or dignity; or

(d)     malicious or unwarranted breach of a person’s right to privacy.

          Accordingly and as aptly specified in section 119 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,

Parliament must protect this Constitution and promote democratic governance in Zimbabwe”.

          Where Members make any allegations against any other Member or Members, that is relevant to the debate on the floor, they must immediately table the evidence to substantiate their claims. Any Member of Parliament who fails to observe this and other previous rulings may be liable for censure in this House or be charged with contempt.  The previous rulings of the Chair clearly stated that “no Member shall be allowed to make unsubstantiated allegations against other Members or members of the public except by way of a substantive and clearly formulated motion”.

          The ruling of the Chair does not amount to limiting the freedom of speech of Members of Parliament or gagging them. Any Member of Parliament wishing to engage in objective and constructive debate on an improper conduct of any other Member of Parliament should do so by way of a clearly substantiated separate motion accompanied with verifiable evidence in support of such a motion before the Chair can clear it.  The Chair’s ruling provided for a procedure to be followed in conducting debate in this House should one raise factual allegations on any other Member of Parliament or a member of the public. This is an honourable august House where spurious allegations calculated to unjustly injure the dignity of others shall not be admitted under the guise of freedom of expression.

          Therefore, pursuant to provisions of Standing Order 110(1) of the National Assembly:

“Any member who disregards the authority of the Chair or persistently and willfully disrupts the business of the House commits an offence for which he or she may be suspended from the service of the House”

          The Chair wishes to emphatically state that all decisions and orders made by the Chair are binding on all Members of the National Assembly and have full force of law until such a time when they are amended, annulled or rescinded either by the Chair or a competent authority in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

          In line with well documented parliamentary procedures meant to ensure the orderly flow of business, it is the duty of the Speaker to interpret rules impartially, to maintain order, and to defend the rights and privileges of Members, including the right to freedom of speech, subject to the law as well as the right of every person’s protection under the Constitution as stated in section 61(5) of the Constitution.

          Consequently, all Members of Parliament must comply with the ruling which the Chair made in this House previously, failure of which serious consequences will follow.

HON. CHAMISA:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am not so sure, Hon. Speaker that we are relying on the correct sections of the Constitution, particularly on this one.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Are you debating the Speaker’s Ruling?

HON. CHAMISA:  I have no duty to debate the Speaker’s Ruling but…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are out of order.  Please sit down.  Can you sit down?

HON. CHAMISA:  But Hon. Speaker, you are not going to have a situation like this.  We are not students.  We are your Members of Parliament.  We have a duty.  When you raise something that…– [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]- 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!

HON. CHAMISA:  Your conduct Hon. Speaker Sir, has to be consistent with our Constitution…– [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order. Order!  Can you please remove him.

HON. CHAMISA:  It has to be consistent with our Constitution.  We cannot have that…– [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You disobeyed my order…

HON. CHAMISA:  No I am not disobeying.  You do not say things.  We are not students.  You have said something and constitutionally it is wrong.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Listen, I said you can go to court.

HON. CHAMISA:  No.  We do not go to court.  This is Parliament.  It has its own jurisdictions…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I will remove you out of Parliament.

HON. CHAMISA:  No, Hon. Speaker Sir.  I will not accept this.  If you want, do whatever you can – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-    

          ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. DR. KEREKE:  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Agriculture.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the harvesting period is now for farmers, both communal and large scale.  We want to find out from the Hon. Minister the updated food security situation in terms of maize grain as well as policies in place for the ongoing 2016 winter wheat programme.  Also, if the Hon. Minister could elaborate the procedure for accessing the food relief, the link between the  Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services and the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.  Thank you.

           THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for raising the question on the updated situation in terms of grain harvesting.  Mr. Speaker, I wish to confirm that indeed maize harvesting has started across the country.  However, I want to indicate that the harvest is not to the levels that we can consider stopping the maize measures in terms of imports that have been put in place.  The estimated imports still stand at the same levels as announced.  So, all the activities relating to maize coming into the country are continuing.  That is one major point. 

          The other one is on maize that is being delivered to the Grain Marketing Board.  I am happy to indicate that currently the levels of deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board are substantial to the point that we are also able to use what is being harvested to mitigate drought in certain parts of the country.  To date already, the Grain Marketing Board has taken delivery of 16 000 metric tonnes in the current season.  I have also directed the Grain Marketing Board to take the maize at 13.5% moisture content where we normally take the grain at 12.5% moisture content. The prices obviously will be adjusted according to the moisture content levels.  We have done this in order to facilitate the early deliveries of maize to the Grain Marketing Board.  In terms of payment for the maize delivered, I am happy to also indicate to the House that the farmers are being paid as they deliver their grain to the Grain Marketing Board.

To this effect, already Treasury has released US$3.5 million plus US$1 million, making a total of current releases to the Grain Marketing Board to US$4.5 million.  The farmers are being paid as directed.  This is also to enable the farmers who are harvesting maize to be able to start the winter preparation.  Specifically on the winter preparations, we are going to support the farmers through this method of grain deliveries and paying those farmers to the extent that we anticipate that 25 000 hectares will be planted to wheat. 

*HON. CHIBAYA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Leader of the House who is also the Vice President of the nation, Hon. Mnangagwa.  Is it Government policy that different political parties are allowed to use school buses [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Chief whips from ZANU PF and MDC T approached the Chair. 

          HON. KHUPE:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to advise the House that we have had a discussion on the proceedings and we have come up with a way forward on what needs to be done.  We have agreed that we will have a meeting with the Speaker so that we clarify the issues that Hon. Chamisa was raising.  Myself, the Chief Whip and the Speaker will have a meeting on this issue.  Meanwhile, for the progress of this Parliament and for the sake of our Parliament, Hon. Chamisa will come back into the House so that we proceed – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  

          *THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  With respect Hon. Speaker, Hon. Chibaya asked a question.  He is my brother and should not interfere.  He asked whether it was Government policy to decide whether or not they can hire buses that they bought with their own money.  It is up to the owners of the school to decide what to do with their bus.  There is no policy that they should hire out or not their bus.   These institutions can do whatever they want because these are their buses which they bought using parents funds.  So they can do whatever they want.

          *HON. CHIBAYA:  My supplementary question to the question I asked is because we have had complaints throughout the country.  I appreciate your response Leader of the House, Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa. 

          The reason why I asked that question is because I have heard complaints from schools throughout the country.  I heard that ZANU PF is saying that all school buses should be used to ferry people during the million-man march, that is my question.

          *HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA: Mr. Speaker, I heard that schools all over the country went to Hon. Chibaya to complain, maybe they are waiting for this to happen.      I do not know what position he holds for all schools to approach and complain to him.

          There are also schools from where we come from but we have not heard of such complaints, but they have only gone to complain to Hon. Chibaya.  Parents contributed to buy those school buses and if they have any complaints, they should direct their complaints to the relevant authorities and not just direct them to anyone.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, Order, after some consultation with the Leader of Government business in the House, Vice President Mnangagwa and Leader of the Opposition, we have come to some conclusion which we have asked Hon. Chamisa to state, then I will indicate what must follow.

          HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I just want to start by saying that once there is intervention of the Office of Vice President of the country and also the Leader of the Opposition, my leader, I stand guided because we know that anarchy is the rule of every man but democracy is rule of rules.  It is in that context that I wish to abide by the wisdom and guidance of the elders because that is what builds the nation.

          I must say to you that the altercation was unnecessary, unfortunate and regrettable Hon. Speaker Sir.  I hope that this is something that is not going to repeat itself and I commit that I am dedicated and committed as your citizen and a citizen of Zimbabwe to make sure that our rules are respected, orders of Parliament are respected but also democracy is respected.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, Hear.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: After Honourable Chamisa had explained himself, I from the Chair direct that any Member who is not in agreement with the ruling of the Speaker in terms of a certain section of my ruling which says “the rulings that have taken place will stand until annulled or rescinded either by the Chair or a competent authority in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe”. In other words, any Member who disagrees with the ruling can appeal to the Constitutional Court –[MDC-T HON MEMBERS: Hmmmm] – Yes, Order, we have had in other jurisdictions where the ruling of the Speaker was ruled against by the Constitutional Court. It is not something new and the Speaker or Chair will abide by the ruling of the Constitutional Court.

          So, it is not the end of the chapter at all. The Speaker can be wrong at times and the Constitutional Court can rule accordingly and that ruling will be accepted.

          *HON. CHIBAYA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Vice President

Honourable Mnangagwa, the answer that he gave me that if complaints are only coming to Hon Chibaya then they cannot be rectified. My question  is that I was elected in Mkoba Constituency to represent the people and to bring people’s concern to this House and bring them forth to Government for it to give me an answer. So, if he says that the complaints that are brought to him cannot be rectified, to whom am I supposed to direct my questions?

          HON. E. MNANGAGWA: I am happy with the explanation that he has given me because earlier on he had said the whole country but now he has said Mkoba Constituency and I agree with him. I answered and said the Government cannot give directives to schools. Government cannot tell schools to whom they cannot hire out their buses. It is up to the school to do whatever it wants to do. It is their bus from their community and it is the people in Mkoba who know that we bought a bus and they know that we will use our bus in this manner or that manner.

          If only you had explained that this was a question from Mkoba but when you said the whole country then I said it is a problem if the whole country is now coming to you.

          Hon. Murai and Hon. Sithole having put the Zimbabwean flag around their necks.

 *HON. ZIYAMBI: On a point of order. My point of order is that there are two Honourable Members on the opposite side who have put the national flag around their necks. Is this what is now permitted in this House to wear flags around the necks and shoulders or they are trying to belittle this country.

           

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, this is a Zimbabwean flag, just put it down. Just place it down. I said place the Zimbabwean flag down. We have to treat it with some respect.

          *HON. GONESE: On a point of privilege. I notice there are some Honourable Members who are also wearing their flags. I notice Honourable Langa has a pin with a Zimbabwean flag and there is an Honourable Member over there, he has a pin that has a Zimbabwean flag. Where is the difference because they are also flags? What is the difference between those on this side and those on the other side? Where is the difference with those wearing flags over their shoulders and those with flags on their jackets? Could you just explain to me where the difference is?

          Hon Murai and Hon. Sithole left the Chamber with Zimbabwean flags around their necks.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Honestly, a flag that is hanging in cloth is different from a flag that is a pin. Totally different. Honourable Gonese you can also put on that pin without any problems but the full flag of Zimbabwe carries national respect.

          +HON. J. TSHUMA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. My question is a follow up to a question that I asked in this very House in February when we were talking about the assistance that Government can give to people suffering in urban areas. My question is that we are now in May and people in Bulawayo are starving and no food aid has been distributed. We were told in this House that they were also going to get food aid. I just want to know from the Minister what is causing the delay to take this food aid to the people in urban centres?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Yes, the programme that the Hon. Member is alluding to has been tabled.  It is the programme which we call Public Assistance.  It is the modalities of that programme which is being discussed and needs to be tabled at this point in time.  But yes, I will hasten to also say that when we now start the Food for Work Programme, clearly, areas in the urban settlements will be considered under that programme and we hope the constituency you refer to will be covered.  I thank you.

*HON. SARUWAKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister on the Food for Work Programme.  Some of these people who are suffering from hunger are over 70 years old and even up to 92 years old.  The other vulnerable are the sick, the disabled and orphans who are unable to provide manual labour.  How are those going to be catered for since they are supposed to work in order for them to get the food?  How are they going to benefit?

HON. MATANGAIDZE:  In settlements that I spoke about, where we have the Public Assistance Programme, are different from the rural settlements where we have the harmonised social case transfer.  So, that is why I specifically addressed the Public Assistance Programme which applies to the urban settlements. 

When you look at these programmes where you have labour prejudiced households which the Hon. Member is referring to, where they cannot offer labour, those are the people who are on our records for the initial assistance, but in instances where you find that the household, although they are food deficient but can offer labour, they will go on the Food for Work Programme that I spoke about.

HON. KHUMALO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  I come from Matabeleland North, a province where almost a lot of schools still have temporary teachers.  Recognising that last term we had a short school term, we expected that this term our schools would enroll teachers urgently at the beginning of the term.

We are having serious problems with our schools where a number of schools have not recruited these temporary teachers because a lot of qualified teachers do not want to go to our rural schools.  So, my question to the Minister is, what is Government policy on the recruitment of teachers, particularly during the year, second and third terms.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MATANGAIDZE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  That question, I think is misdirected at this point.  It should be for the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  They deal with the recruitment.  Once the teachers have been recruited, they then come under our purview, into our portfolio.  Can I suggest that the question be answered by the relevant Minister.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker and especially for the words ‘if I can assist’.  At the onset of the second term we expect that we receive an establishment control figure from our sister Ministry, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  That establishment figure is what then guides us into the recruitment process because without that, we cannot recruit any teacher into the system.  Happily, at the end of last week, the Public Service Commission which falls under the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services has issued the establishment control for us, so it means going forward now, my Ministry is able to identify teachers for allocation to specific schools, but the delay is really not an area of my Ministry.

The second part of the question, whether temporary teachers should be deployed where qualified teachers do not desire to go and work.  Ordinarily, of course we expect that qualified teachers are in front of the learners.  Only in areas of exceptional difficulty, where the presence of qualified teachers is impossible, can we proceed to recruit non-teaching person to assist.  The phenomenon of temporary teachers is a matter that we have now gotten to a point, at the junior school level, where we have now sufficient teachers to teach in our system, but at the infant school level and some of the specialised disciplines at A’ Level, that is where we still have some gaps.  Otherwise, at the junior school level, we should have qualified teachers in front of our children.  Thank you.

HON. KHUMALO:  Hon. Speaker, if you phone Matabeleland North regional office today, you will discover that even those teachers who are supposed to teach the ECDs have been stopped and we expect that an ECD teacher should be conversant in the language that is spoken in Matabeleland.  Is that a new policy that even qualified teachers who cannot speak that language, in this term, are supposed to be deployed in our schools?  Thank you.

HON. DR. DOKORA:  I have responded to a similar question on the floor of this House before and I have set out that it is preferable to have a qualified teacher in front of the young people even if they do not necessarily communicate in the indigenous language of that group of young people.  That was the rationale of my Ministry sending a group of 322 teachers to undertake courses in Nambia, Chitonga, in Venda, in Chichangani, so that they learn the language as they teach because they already have the pedagogy, they are preferable to a straightforward young person coming with an O’ level certificate and saying they are teaching.  We will be destroying the future of those young people.  Thank you.

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate.  The issue of quail birds is now problematic to quail bird farmers.  I know the President once touched on the issue.  The market is not functioning properly after the Hon. Minister went on TV and said that she had banned quail bird farming.  She also said that people were saying quail bird eggs were treating a lot of diseases but a lot of people were surviving on quail birds, including the elderly in the rural areas.  Now it is problematic because those farmers are no longer benefitting.  Thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  I would like to thank the Hon. MP who asked this question, Hon. Zwizwai.  I am happy that the issue of quail birds has united the whole country.  People were really happy about what I said; especially if you go on Facebook, you will see that people were really happy with what the Minister spoke about on the issue of quail birds.  Let me just mention that there are two types of quail birds.  Those that are tamed fall under Dr. Made’s Ministry and people can sell those.  It is obvious those who want to import can do so and we are happy that people should go into business. 

My Ministry deals with the wild ones.  There are some people who are now going into our parks and being bitten by snakes and lions because they also want to be part of the quail bird farmers.  Some of them have been arrested by rangers while some were almost shot.  I am talking about the wild quail birds.  These cannot be domesticated.  You cannot keep them and give them food but they just have to fend for themselves or they will die.  People were now going into the bush to hunt those birds and that is why we stopped them.  We do not want the birds to be extinct.  If we do get a report we will bring it forward.  People should continue their business with the tamed quail birds.  Thank you.

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I respect the response given by the Minister, but the problem is that still it is not clear how people should go about their business, especially those who are keeping quail birds all over the country in Chikombedzi, Binga and some other places.  There are eggs that can be found in the bush and those from tamed birds.  What should they do with their eggs because we have not heard of anyone who has been arrested or that a docket that has been opened?  What should we do then?  What I would like to hear from the Minister is whether those who are keeping their quail birds in their backyards continue selling quail birds or not?  [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection] This is very sensitive and we want to hear the answer.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, I have an appeal to Hon. Members.  Let us listen to what the Minister is saying.  If you are saying you do not want an answer, I do not think we can understand each other properly.

*HON. MUCHINGURI:  I am putting the question back to him.  We have wild fruits in the forest like mazhanje but I have never seen anyone taking that wild fruit to plant it at his own home.  We also have buffaloes and other animals that live in the forest but we have not heard anyone who took them home to tame them.  These wild birds have to be examined first by the department of wild life.  So people should understand that because they can get diseases from them.  That is why we stopped them because we still have to examine them to see if there are any diseases or not.  Those who are keeping them in their backyards here in the locations, I said they are free to continue - but people hear what they want to hear. 

HON. ZVIZVAI:  I have a supplementary question to the Minister.  In Kwekwe and Gweru, there are people who were keeping their quail birds and there are people who were arrested.  Had the police been told that these are the wild ones and these are the tamed ones and how do they know the difference between the two?

HON. MUCHINGURI:  I would like to thank Hon. Zvizvai for his question.  We have not heard of cases that there are people who were arrested, if there are, we are very sorry about that, we would like to get information and investigate.

          *HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Madam President.  There was a question of the difference between wild ones and the tamed ones, so that people might know. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Was that a point of order?

          *HON. GONESE:  It was a point of order Mr. Speaker because she had not answered the question fully, she had answered part of the question.   

          * HON. MUCHINGURI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think I had already answered that wild quail birds, I said those are wild. If they are served with food, they do not eat, they are subdued because they are used to eat from the wild.  This is what I was talking about that those wild ones, they cannot be fed.  Maybe you can also assist us by trying to locate these people so that we can investigate about those whom you said were arrested.  So, those from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development can assist by telling us whether those are the termed quail birds or they are the wild ones, because the wild ones cannot be fed, they will not eat. 

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms Standing Order Number 64.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have received a Non-Adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Special Economic Zones Bill, (H.B. 15A, 2016). 

 

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

INCREASE OF BOREHOLES AND RESUSCITATION OF EXISTING DAMS IN HWANGE WEST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON B. MPOFU asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to explain plans in place to increase the number of boreholes and resuscitation of the existing dams which no longer hold water due to siltation in Hwange West Constituency.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Mpofu for the question.  Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate administers a Water Fund which is financed by levies from raw water users.  The Fund is taking time to accumulate substantial resources owing to reduced agricultural water use and refusal to pay by some farmers.  However, when adequate funds become available in the Water Fund, needy areas in the country requiring boreholes such as the Hwange West Constituency will be considered for allocation of funds to drill boreholes by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate. 

The Hon. Member may also recall that Government through a Belarus facility negotiated by Government will purchase several rigs which will sink boreholes throughout the country.   In addition, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate will continue submitting PSIP bids for funding of rural water supply projects including for Hwange West Constituency.

On the drying up of dams, mainly small dams that are dotted across the country due to siltation, this is an issue which the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate is seized with.  The Ministry through ZINWA is looking into the feasibility of de-silting these dams which have silted up.  Each of the seven catchments has been tasked to do a mapping exercise of silted dams to be de-silted in the catchment this year.  It is important to note that financial resources are required to execute such a programme and at the moment the Ministry is mobilising the required resources.  However, Hon. Members are also encouraged to mobilise communities and development partners in their respective areas to also complement Government efforts in de-silting the dams.

Madam Speaker, a Committee has been set by Government in ZINWA to address drought mitigation issues.  The Committee shall attend to emergency issues if funds are available under the anticipated US$1.5 billion drought mitigation fund.  This Committee will look into the drying up of dams and come up with the appropriate action to mitigate on the silting of dams. 

The Ministry together with other relevant departments like EMA, AREX and local authorities, is carrying out awareness campaigns to educate communities on the need to protect our dams from siltation through:

  • Good agricultural practices which, among other things include avoidance of stream bank cultivation. At this juncture, I wish to thank Government for putting in place an inter-ministerial committee to come up with a master plan which addresses the issue of proper land-use.
  • Rampant deforestation especially in the dam basins and
  • Settlements on wetlands.

REVENUE COLLECTED BY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AGENCY SINCE 2013

  1. HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to:
  2. State the total revenue that has been collected by the Environment Management Agency since 2013.
  3. State how much of the funds have been used to improve the environment in Zimbabwe.

HON. MUCHINGURI: I want to thank Hon. Watson for the question.

          Madam Speaker, the Environmental Management Agency collected a total of US$41 754 289 from 2013 to 2015. 

          EMA expenditure major operational activities are as follows:

          Operational Activity

Total Budget Expenditure 2013-2015

% Budget Expenditure

 

US$

 

Awareness raising environmental commemorations such as World Wetlands Day, Africa Environment Day, National Fire Week, World Environment Day, Clean up Zimbabwe Campaign. 

360 000

3.5

Awareness raising radio and TV programmes and advertisements such as our Environment and Green World on SFM, World Cry on Star FM, Zvakatikomberedza on Radio Zimbabwe, Mamas Moments on Power FM, Mai Chisamba Show, Green Studio TV programme and Built it TV programme.

240 000

2.3

Print media and adverts in the Herald, Chronicle and Mirror Masvingo.

45 000

0.4

Production of publicity material such as bill boards, posters, booklets, brochures, flyers, stickers and diaries.

200 000

1.9

Environmental competitions such as schools debates, school projects and Tavatose / Sisonke art Exhibition.

225 000

2.2

Environmental projects with communities on wetland utilisation and protection, community livelihoods, ecosystems restoration, waste management and small grains promotion projects.  Over 18 000 households implementing 659 community projects benefited from this support.

337 068

3.2

Stakeholder capacity building and training including Rural District Councils.

152 760

1.5

Environmental grants to local authorities.

172 000

1.7

Environmental law enforcement activities such as compliance inspections, audits and laboratory capitalisation, as well as monitoring of the transportation and use of hazardous substances.

11 496 744

27.5

Maintenance – buildings and vehicles.

2 756 498

6.6

Environmental awareness, training and capacity building of stakeholders.

10 376 074

24.9

Acquisition of office space for head office, provincial and district levels to create space for non-parastatal government departments and ministries.  The Agency was given notices to vacate government buildings at provincial, district and head office levels.

7 626 440

18.3

Total

41 754 289

 

 

HON. B. TSHUMA:  Thank you very much.  Hon. Minister, I hear you on the millions that you have spent, mostly on administrative issues to do with workshops to capacitate stakeholders, advertising and such other expenditure.  If I may give an example, from a constituency where there are many Chinese and indigenous mining companies that have actually savaged the environment, what I would want to find out is, how much of that budget goes to the actual business of rehabilitating the environment, if there is any?

HON. MUCHINGURI:  Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for his important question.  I want to state that this is a new question which is coming up.  I would request that he puts it in writing.  Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I think the Minister would not be able to come up with the amount that you need right now. 

HON. B. TSHUMA:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  I take it for granted that what she has presented here is the whole spectrum of the budget.  Therefore, what I want is an extract of the money that they have there.  What component has gone to the actual business of rehabilitating the environment without her bringing new figures?  From the budget that she has there, how much has gone to the actual business?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Can that be calculated now?

HON. TSHUMA:  Yes, it can be extracted from the paper that she has.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Maybe if we can give her a chance to calculate, but we want to proceed with other questions.  Hon. Minister, you can bring the calculations next week.

PLANS TO CURB HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT IN BULILIMA WEST

  1. HON. NLEYA asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to state the Ministry’s plans to curb the human – wildlife conflict, specifically with elephants in Bulilima West, in view of the fact that an electric fence that borders the community was stolen and not yet repaired.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  Madam Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Nleya for the question requiring me to state my Ministry’s plans to curb the human – wildlife conflict, specifically with elephants in Bulilima West, in view of the fact that an electric fence that borders the community was stolen and not yet repaired.

The area that constitute Bulilima West covers both Dombodema and Maitengwe hunting concessions under Bulilima RDC and shares the boundary with Botswana, Hwange National Park and Tsholotsho RDC.  There was a 46km boundary electric fence, which was donated by USAID from the Botswana boundary fence to Manzanyama River where Bulilima West shares the boundary with Tsholotsho RDC.

Madam Speaker, the electric fence being referred to covered the whole area of Maitengwe Concession, which is a habitat for wildlife.  In the area protected by the fence, there was no human wildlife conflict cases reported up to 2006 when the fence was destroyed by the local communities.

The Bulilima RDC and the local leadership have carried out consultations in the last two weeks and resolved that a feasibility study on reconstruction of the fence be conducted.  The RDC is to commission the study which will address all socio-economic and environmental aspects of such a fence. 

The district has four CAMPFIRE game scouts who assist with problem animal control in the area.  Ideally, there should be at least ten game scouts to adequately cover the area but funds have been limiting.

The RDC was allocated 14 elephants, six buffalos, two lions and two leopards among other species for the 2016 hunting season.  Additionally, the district has allocated a further ten elephants as a supplementary quarter and this should help towards funding of the feasibility study, while additional funding is being sought for the repair of the fence.

In 2015, the district generated $68.995.00 from hunting, of which $53.000.00, which is 77% was from elephant.  Fifty percent of the total income was paid directly to communities and used for the purchase of their equipment.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority will continue to support CAMPFIRE in attending to reports of problem elephants and carryout awareness campaigns in the area.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. B. TSHUMA:  My constituency borders the famous Hwange National Park.  Villagers are from time to time terrorized by elephants.  There are actual records of human beings eaten as late as December last year.  Their crops are also eaten by elephants.  Beyond the fence and the game scouts that you spoke of in your response, are there any other measures that you are taking to reduce human – wildlife conflicts in such situations?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members, I appeal to you to lower your whispers.  Those who are at the back would like to hear the questions and the Ministers’ responses.

HON. MUCHINGURI:  Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank Hon. Nleya once again for his …

          HON. B. TSHUMA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker, I am not Hon. Nleya but Hon. Brain Tshuma please.

          HON. MUCHINGURI:  I would like to thank Hon. Tshuma for that supplementary question.  The issue of human and wildlife conflict is a concern for my Ministry.  It arises from a situation where sometimes there are no fences erected surrounding these wildlife areas but also an appreciation that people must always see value when they live with wild animals.  These are dangerous animals and in that situation, as we have serious El Nino problems and drought, these animals tend to stray into areas where they will be looking for food and water.

          The Ministry is trying to mobilise resources to be able to sink boreholes within the national parks so that we keep these wild animals, as much as possible, in the wild so that they do not continuously harass people.  Sometimes we have also resorted to killing some of these deadly animals because they become a nuisance once they taste the blood of human beings and livestock.  We are frantically trying, as much as possible, to also train game rangers within these areas so that they are able to protect themselves.

          Lastly, I wish to state that national parks is also putting in place a system which will allow these villagers access to communication systems so that they are able to alert our game rangers who will respond with speed.  I thank you.

          HON. SANSOLE:  Related to the question that was asked by Hon. Nleya and the subsequent supplementary question, what is the role of CAMPFIRE funds in the control of these problem animals?

          Further to Hon. Nleya’s question where he mentioned an electric fence, could a similar arrangement be made around Hwange National Parks or the areas surrounding Hwange National Park to erect similar electric fences in those areas, particularly for the control of elephants and lions?

          HON. MUCHINGURI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me also thank Hon. Sansole for his question.  He wants to know whether CAMPFIRE funds are being used to intervene in areas where there are these serious challenges of human and wildlife conflicts.

          I want to state that CAMPFIRE programmes are designed to assist the people that live with these wild animals.  They have their own committees because they are an authority unto themselves.  CAMPFIRE programmes, National Parks, private conservancies and also the Forestry Commission are wildlife authorities, so we have four authorities.  What happens within the CAMPFIRE programme is, they have Rural District Councils (RDCs), chiefs and villagers who constitute themselves into a committee.  We do not have any jurisdiction over how they use their resources.

          I know that through Cabinet, they were able to make a very strong decision that 55% of the funds that are generated should accrue to the communities and the rest will be used by RDCs to build their own capacity to assist these communities.  We normally encourage the CAMPFIRE committees to recruit their own game rangers using these resources to make sure that they have adequate security.  I thank you.

UPDATE ON WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH) PROGRAMME

  1. HON. MASHANGE asked the Minister of Environment, Water

and Climate to update the House on the headway that the Ministry has made through the Water Sanitation and Hygiene  (WASH) programme to address water and sanitation issues.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  The Rural Wash project is being implemented in 33 low WASH access and cholera prone districts of Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Midlands and Mashonaland West provinces.  The project ends this June and has delivered the following:

  • provision of access to improved sources of drinking water to 1 726 000 people in the 33 districts through the construction of 1 660 new boreholes and also rehabilitation of 8 200 existing water points including 32 piped water schemes;
  • supported communities in the construction of 10 000+ household latrines, these are blare latrines in schools and clinics in the 33 districts;
  • we reached out to 1 272 000 people with hygiene promotion messages to adopt healthier behaviour, especially hand washing with soap at critical times and;
  • we also put in place the provision of sanitation facilities for the girl child, this is sanitary wear and hand washing facilities in 1 660 schools.

Having met these targets, we have just had a review meeting with UNICEF and the donors. We agreed to a low cost extension of the project to September to allow for further discussions and document preparation with a view to have a second phase of the project to cover the three outstanding provinces of Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central where Hon. Mashange comes from.  I am sure our donors will see reason in covering the whole country as the drought and all the other effects of climate change are felt throughout the country.

          In conclusion, I also want to say, our 33 districts together with the lead WASH ministries, namely Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Ministry of Health and Child Care, DDF and indeed my Ministry, each got a vehicle and computers to support WASH coordination and monitoring systems.  I thank you.

          HON. B. TSHUMA:  In my constituency, I have come across road shows that are done by people on the WASH project.  I am very happy to hear that they are out to sink boreholes and supply safe drinking water to citizens.

          In my constituency, which is in Matabeleland North, where you said it is also covered and I have met them there. There is a village that has no water and they have to drive long distances to get water in other villages. What are my chances of approaching this WASH programme and getting a borehole and water piped to these people and how long can that take if I am to pursue that option?

          HON. MUCHINGURI: Once again let me thank the Honourable Member for that very important question.  Apparently, I did not bring exactly the location of these boreholes but I would want to advise the Honourable Member that if he has critical requests, please do not hesitate to approach my office because water is life to us and we consider our services very critical.

SKILLED ASSESSMENT EXERCISE FOR WORKERS WITHOUT 5 O’ LEVELS BY TELONE

  1. Hon Chimanikire asked the Minister of Information, Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services to state:

          (a)     whether Telone has carried out a skilled assessment exercise for workers who did not have 5 Ordinary Level subjects and explain the correlation between 5 Ordinary Levels and a skilled worker.

          (b)     whether Telone has carried out on – the – job training for

employees in order to appraise them on new technological changes

          (c)     who would pay for the Ordinary Level non – technical

 studies undertaken by the employees as in – service academic training.

          (d)     whether the exercise does not negate the ZIMASSET and

STEM principles of skills training acquisition.

          (e)     whether the exercise that was carried out by Telone Management was not abrogation of the original contract of employment and victimisation of workers;

          (f)  Whether Telone offers skills in – service training since it has a technical college.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MLAMBO):  TelOne has carried out a skills assessment exercise for the workers who do not have 5 Ordinary levels.  In total, there are six hundred and thirty eight (638) employees who do not have 5 O’ level qualifications with the majority of them being in technical departments.  While a lot of them have acquired basic technical skills through experience of interacting with the TelOne’s old technology such as analogue switches, the new trends in the industry owing to rapid technological changes require upskilling.  This upskilling is digital and IP based and thus requires ordinary level qualifications as a bridge to the relevant training through the TelOne Centre for Learning or other institutions.

          Globally and locally, trends are that voice business is on the decline while this market now requires internet and data services.  These services require a certain level of intellect as opposed to fixed voice services of the past which required extensive manual work (installing wires upon poles and digging).  This requires a high level of skills and it was noted that employees in technical department who have not completed five O’ levels were struggling to adapt to the new technologies.

This is not the first time this issue has been noticed. In 2005, the company approached employees without requisite qualifications to start upgrading themselves, starting with the basic ‘O’ level qualifications. In 2014 and 2015, the company conducted a skills assessment and this is where the statistics were established.

TelOne further benchmarked its human capital against that of other telecommunications operators such as Econet, Liquid and NetOne, who are leading in the market share for voice and broadband services. Below are the findings of the comparisons:

Telecommunications Sector Qualifications Analysis in Zimbabwe

Qualifications

TelOne

%

Econet

%

Liquid

%

NetOne

%

Less than 5 O’ levels

       638

29.9

       0

 

     0

   0

    17

 3.8

5 O’ levels

       377

18

     58

  5

     6

   3

   17

3.8

A’ Level

         12

  1

     40

  3

     0

   0

     1

0.2

Certificate

       451

21

   100

  9

   60

 30

   47

10.4

Diploma

      465

22

   356

31

     0

   0

 131

29.0

Degree

      131

 6

   514

44

 112

 56

 198

43.8

Masters

       46

 2

     84

  7

  20

 60

   37

8.2

Chartered Accountants

         2

0.1

     11

  1

    2

   1

    4

0.9

Total

2, 122

100

1,163

100

200

100

452

100

 

In view of the above findings, it is incumbent on TelOne employees to embrace personal development for them to become relevant in the fast paced Information and Communication Technology Sector.

On the second part, 15 telecommunications workers with five O’ levels are now leading work parties as a result of the “on-job training” with the other 150 being given the responsibility to do installations and network repairs. Avondale and Highlands Exchanges are examples of successful on the job training programmes. However, those with five O’ levels exposed to the “on the job training” have been lacking basic understanding of commercial and business management principles and are really struggling.

On the third question, employees are given loans which are payable in six months under the company’s benevolent loan facility to try and upgrade their skills so that they continue on the job and assist TelOne in the end.

The fourth question on whether the exercise does not negate the ZIM ASSET and STEM principles of skills training acquisition, the exercise promotes both the ZIM ASSET and STEM principles in that ZIM ASSET talks of employment creations and TelOne took a conscious decision to preserve jobs for the concerned employees and at the same time encourage and gave them time to acquire science and technical skills at Ordinary Level and through TelOne Centre for Learning since 2005 which is in Belvedere.

To answer the fifth question, no, the exercise is a personal and skills development programme and does not in any way interfere with the rights and entitlement enshrined both in the employment contract and the Labour Act. TelOne is not the first employer to take this route and at Government level, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education now requires lecturers teaching at universities to be holders of doctorate degrees in their areas of expertise. Similarly, teachers who do not have mathematics at O’ level were being required to get that qualification.

With the high level of skills that are now in the country, TelOne cannot compete effectively in the market with low skills base that employees in TelOne have.

On the last question from that Honourable, yes, TelOne offers in-service technical training through short courses up to Diploma in Telecommunications level. Six hundred and forty (640) employees have undergone in-service training in areas such as Fibre Technology, Internet Protocol (non-technical), Internet Protocol Master class, Fibre to the Home (FTTH) – (technical), FTTH – (non-technical), Rigging just to mention a few. All these courses would require students to have a minimum of 5 ‘O’ levels inclusive of English and Mathematics or Science subjects. TelOne currently has 43 students who are studying towards a certificate in telecommunications and 10 towards a diploma.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Hon. Minister, while I appreciate that you gave the statistics of manpower levels in Econet, Liquid and TelOne, you then pointed out that TelOne has the lowest level of qualified technical personnel. Can you confirm or deny that all the personnel that are now working for Econet and Liquid were from TelOne, and is it not because of the income base that was uncompetitive that then workers left TelOne and joined Econet and Liquid. I thank you.

HON. MLAMBO: It is a combination of factors. Firstly, I said we are coming from a historical perspective where TelOne, NetOne and ZIMPOST if you remember, were members of PTC before the unbundling.  So, this unbundling carried with it all employees. As the sector diversified and other network operators were created and to compete with the market, they offered lucrative packages to employees. Naturally, employees migrated to those new ones while as the legacy telecom companies coming out of PTC continued with old ways. These are the things that TelOne, NetOne and ZIMPOST are looking at through their programmes to revitalise themselves which are subjects of Portfolio Committees, which the CEOs have been attending to try and turn around these telecoms by offering what is also lucrative and attract highly qualified employees while they continue with these and try to train them.  So, it is a combination of factors. I thank you.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: With all due respect Hon. Minister, there could be a combination of factors but you will notice from my manner of questioning that there was a deliberate policy by management to allow workers to leave TelOne and NetOne because of uncompetitive salaries. Is it, therefore, necessary for management to relook at their salary levels? The so-called competition you are talking about is not only about technology, it is about remuneration to those that are providing the services. Is that not correct?

HON. MLAMBO: Once again thank you very much. The table I did not go through or perhaps it is the next question. The Hon. Member asked another question, perhaps you can wait until we get to the question which you raised which gives statistics on basic salaries and other allowances. You will realise that in fact, TelOne had to introduce those allowances to try and attract highly qualified employees. So, there was no deliberate policy to let people migrate from TelOne so as to cause the collapse of the institution. No, they are in fact doing the opposite and to some extent, overly doing so. Thank you very much.

IMPOSITION OF STAFF COSTS CONTAINMENT DECISIONS BY TELONE

  1. HON. CHIMANIKIRE asked the Minister of Information,

Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services to state:

(a)  Why the TelOne Chief Executive Officer imposed staff costs containment decisions without negotiation between the workers’ union and management in view of the fact that salaries were agreed to through a collective bargaining process between the union and management

(b)  Whether the nonpayment of 2015 bonuses was not a breach of the contract of employment for TelOne employees.

(c)  Whether non leave accrual was not also a breach of contract of employment and conditions of service for TelOne since there was an agreement that was reached between the union and management.

(d)  Whether the decisions made were approved by the Minister in view of the fact that the decision only affected subordinate employees and not the management.

(e)  The policy measures the Ministry would take to remedy the actions that violated the Labour Act. 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION,

COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY POSTAL AND COURIER

SERVICES (HON. MLAMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker, it is in

fact Question 42 because 41 is the one which we have just gone through.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is that so?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MLAMBO): No, I stand corrected Madam Speaker. On the first question, the 15% salary cut with the freezing of the 2015 bonus and leave accruals were not unilateral decisions by management.  Management and employees collectively agreed on the 15% basic salary cut amongst other cost cutting initiatives as a strategy to address the staff costs to income ratio.  The TelOne staff cost to income ratio was at 38% as of June 2015 against a shareholder prescription of 30%.  TelOne management and staff (Works Council) looked at different scenarios, including terminating 320 employees to reduce staff costs in order to comply with the 30% threshold.  The TelOne Works Council, made up of management and Trade Union Members agreed on the following as special measures to avoid retrenchment:

  1. A 15% basic salary cut across the board;
  2. Freezing of 2015 bonuses;
  • Freezing of accrual of leave days for the period August to December, 2015 and
  1. Freezing of occasional leave days.

In compliance with Section 25(5) and Section 25(6) of the Labour Act, the Works Council reached an agreement signed on 31 August, 2015.

          Management has now come up with a productivity linked remuneration model, which encourages productivity for the employees to get back the 15% cut.  The model starts with entry-level revenue of US$11.6 million and collections of US$7.5 million for the employees to get 5%.  The model has been termed, ‘One team, one target, one bonus.’  This allows the employees to get back the 15% whilst at the same time remaining on the 30% staff costs to income threshold.  Please find attached the Managing Director’s circular on the ‘One team, one target, one bonus’ initiative.

          TelOne management paid an incentive of 5% of basic salary across the board in April, 2016 as a result of improved revenue and collections.  Management is encouraged by employees’ positive reaction to these incentive schemes as performance on the ground is visibly changing for the better.

          Management also needs to highlight that, despite the 15% basic salary cut, TelOne has remained competitive in offering attractive remuneration for non-skilled and skilled workers up to supervisory level.  Below is industry remuneration comparison for the lowest paid employees as of January, 2016.

Description

TelOne

Econet

Liquid

NetOne

Basic Salary

427

640

600

750

Transport Allowance

56

0

50

0

Pension Contribution

96.01

56

45

168.75

Medical Aid

172.2

0

35

148.8

NSSA

23.04

24

35.4

24.5

Group Life Cover

13.59

17.8

19.12

22.17

Group Accident Cover

0.64

3.2

0.9

0

Zimdef Levy

9.11

13.53

9.12

11.14

School Fees

64.01

0

0

0

STD Levy

4.78

7.71

2.75

5.63

Total

866.38

762.24

797.29

1130.99

 

Question b and c were answered by this table and what remains is the fourth question.  The Minister was consulted before the decision was implemented.  Furthermore, the decision affected all employees including the Managing Director and all members of senior management.

On the fifth question, the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services has no say on issues to do with labour but would refer the affected to the relevant authorities.  The Ministry does not micromanage the process of management but gives guidelines here and there so that it leaves the board and management to run their institutions.  This is for the reason that we can come back and criticize him.  If we micromanage their management, then we will have no mandate and power to criticize them when they fail, they will say it is your problem.  I thank you.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I raised an issue of suspension of leave accrual, which is a very clear abrogation on a contract of employment.  Madam Speaker, there is no employee who does not accrue leave.  There may be financial difficulties in a workplace but that is not legal.  Fortunately, for the Hon. Minister, I have got documentary evidence to prove that there were no negotiations between the union and management.  However, there was a written offer which was a take it or leave it, do you agree or not?  If the Minister is not informed, I think he should be informed through his board that this was a unilateral action that was taken. 

I did not ask the Ministry to micromanage, but it should manage through its appointed board in which its Permanent Secretary is also a member.  It is not micromanaging but he is present in decision-making that was taken by TelOne management.  As a result, I would like to put it on Hansard record that; there was a dictatorial attitude that was adopted by management.  Letters were written, suspending leave accrual, letters were written indicating that if you do not have five ‘O’-Levels in two years’ time, you should therefore agree to be removed from the employment register of that particular company.  I would like to say it on record that I shall provide the Ministry with the documents that prove otherwise, that the responses given to this House are not correct.  I thank you.

HON. B. MLAMBO: Allow me to correct a few distortions.  Firstly, the Permanent Secretary, Engineer Kundishora is not a member of TelOne.  It is the Principal Director who is a member, consistent with the guidelines which are there.  Secondly, I personally had a number of meetings with the unions, when they appealed to us over this matter.  I personally ensured that…

The Hon. Minister having been addressing the Gallery.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I think you have to address the Chair, not to do a one on one with the Hon. Member.

HON. B. MLAMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was saying the other thing I wanted the House to be aware of is that, I personally had a number of consultative meetings with the Telecommunications Union.  I advised them of the need to protect the employees by making sure that TelOne is viable and are required to take very difficult conditions and decisions.  I advised that they negotiate positively with the management of TelOne for that to be achieved.  That was done as a consultative process.  It might be that the councils did not agree that consultations and negotiations were done.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

RESTORATION OF EFFICIENCY IN THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICE BY HARARE CITY COUNCIL

  1. HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain the measures taken by the Ministry to restore efficiency of the public transport service of Harare City Council to similar standards that were set by the Harare United Passenger Company of the 1980s?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Honourable Member for asking the question. However, it may please this august House to note that the ZIM ASSET strategy is set to introduce mass bus transport system on all our urban roads with the intention to reduce the current dominance on the urban public transport sector by para-transit modes in terms of kombis. So far, efforts to implement the strategy have been through the following:-

Capitalising ZUPCO

The sum of $25 million ZUPCO-India Exim Bank bus loan deal, which is currently under negotiations is one step towards the implementation of the strategy by building capacity in ZUPCO. The deal will enable ZUPCO to procure 290 buses from ASHOK (Pvt) Ltd. 145 of this number will ply intra-city routes. ZUPCO has already sent a team of experts to India to inspect the bus specifications. The introduction of high capacity buses in urban routes is expected to drive out para-transit modes without legislating. That action will naturally reduce the number of kombis and illegal operators in the form of Mushika-shika on our roads and is expected to have a significant impact on urban traffic congestion.

Private Sector involvement through Public Private Partnerships

  • Speaker Sir, a private company called A1 Metro Buses, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Harare and is currently having a trial run for the Harare-Mabvuku route.
  • City of Harare is in the process of constructing holding bays so as to decongest the Central Business District. One has so far been built on Coventry Road in the Kopje Area and is now functional. This holding bay caters for kombis which use Copacabana rank. Three more such bays are on the cards.
  • Introduction of shuttling services so as to get rid of illegal pirate taxis. So far 30 shuttle buses have been licenced to service Harare Central Business District.

Mr. Speaker Sir, these are some of the measures the Ministry together with the City of Harare are taking to restore efficiency of public transport service with the hope of surpassing the then standards that were set by the Harare United Passenger Bus Company of the 1980s.

POLICY REGARDING REGISTRATION OF COMPANIES

  1. HON MANGWENDE asked the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development to inform the House what Government Policy is towards the registration process of companies by the Ministry.

          THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI): This question was answered by the Honourable Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development as is appearing in the Hansard, Vol. 42, Number 36 of Wednesday, 17th February, 2016.

 

FUNDING OF CO-OPERATIVES IN GOKWE-KANA CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. O. NCUBE asked the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development to state when the following cooperatives in Gokwe-Kana Constituency will be funded:
  2. Manoti Cooperative;
  3. Njanje Cooperative
  4. Marirangwe Cooperative;
  5. Msala Cooperative
  6. Marapira Cooperative; and
  7. Mkoka Cooperative.

THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. NYONI): The basic principle underpinning cooperatives as a business model is that members pull their resources together for the purpose of achieving a common goal.  This nurtures a deep sense of ownership in the membership which in Zimbabwean context is in line with the policy of empowerment and indigenisation.

It is in this spirit that the Ministry does not fund cooperatives.  However, cooperatives themselves being legal entities can source funds from institutions such as banks and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporations.

The Ministry also sources funds for cooperatives in the specific areas especially in the fishing, savings and credit sectors from development partners.  This funding is not obligatory and is disbursed as and when it is available.

PROGRESS ON FORMALISATION OF THE SME SECTOR

  1. HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development to state the progress that has been made in formalising the SMEs sector and harnessing its contribution into the mainstream economy.

  THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. NYONI): The Ministry has encouraged SMEs to go into formal structures.  For example, in Harare, local authorities partnered with development partners provided formal decent structures at the corner of Fourth Street and Jason Moyo Avenue.  The Ministry has encouraged the registration of SMEs under the Public Business Corporation (PBC) which requires less stringent registration conditions. 

The Ministry has encouraged SMEs to form associations, (for example the Small and Medium Enterprises Association).  The Association in turn encourages its members to register or to licence under the relevant authority.

          As we speak, the Ministry, with the assistance of the World Bank, has held consultative workshops in Mutare, Masvingo, Bulawayo and later in Harare to get views of SMEs on formalising and then we will produce a formalisation strategy to implement the ILO 2015 Resolution on formalising the informal economy.  The strategy will recommend incentives for formaling the SMEs businesses and this should trickle down to revenue in the mainstream economy that is, the GDP.

STATUS ON THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATIONALISATION OF THE SME INCUBATION CENTRE

  1. HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development to give an update on the status of the establishment and operationalisation of the SME Incubation Centre.

THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI):  The Ministry received two batches of equipment from India in 2015, the first batch of five containers was received in March 2015 and the second batch in May 2015.  Operationalisation of the Incubation Centre gained momentum during the past year, with all 25 sets of machinery received from India.

The department of Public Works was engaged to start construction works on site.  However, work stopped towards the end of the year as the project ran out of money.

I am happy to report that Treasury has pledged $338 000 so that construction work can resume.  However, cash support has been inconsistent.

We are projecting that the construction will be completed by end of December 2016.

PROGRESS REGARDING CAPITALISATION OF THE SME BANK (SMEDCO)

  1. HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development to state the progress that has been made by Government in capitalising the SME Bank (SMEDCO) as envisaged in the 2016 National Budget.

THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI): 

Capitalising the SME Bank

The Ministry approved the business plan for the micro-Finance Bank which will be submitted to RBZ by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SMEDCO) as part of submissions for a bank licence.

The process of selecting Board of Directors is currently underway.  In an effort to mobilise capital requirements for the bank, the Ministry has been engaging a number of investors to take up equity in the bank as well as assist in the raising of funds.

SMEDCO has identified partners who will assist them in raising capital for the SME Bank.  Documentation has gone through the Attorney General’s Office regarding the memorandum of Agreement with the partners.  The partners are expected to raise the initial $10 million dollars by July 2016.

ASSISTANCE TO LOWER GWERU COMMUNITIES ON TRANSPORTATION OF FRUITS

  1. HON. MADUBEKO asked the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development to state the plans that are in place to assist communities in Lower Gweru with transportation or caring of fruits in view of the fact that they are losing a lot of fruits due to transportation challenges.

THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI):  The Ministry provides a variety of capacity building programmes to promote market access for MSMEs including those in rural communities.  Such programmes include:

  • Training, especially on marketing and other business management skills.
  • Facilitating market access through linkages.
  • Food processing and value addition.

To assist rural communities involved in fruit and vegetable farming, the Ministry is also promoting value addition of fruits and vegetables so that farmers do not lose value of their produce in the event that they have failed to take their produce to the market while it is still fresh.  This is done through drying, making tomato puree and pulp from fruits.  As I speak, there is a course going on for the Mbare vendor market owners.

In particular, to communities in Lower Gweru, there is a cooperative at Maboleni Business Centre called Gifted Hands which is preserving fruits and vegetables through canning and drying.

The Ministry is also widening the scope of value addition through holding value addition technologies expo in districts where technologies to add value to agro-produce are exhibited.  The Ministry would be glad to send experts and our officials to train the former Gweru Community.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA’S OFFICE (HON. C. C. SIBANDA), the House adjourned at Quarter to Five o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 MAY 2016 VOL 42 NO 60