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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 19 JUNE 2019 VOL 45 NO 63

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

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

DEATH OF HON. OBEDINGWA MGUNI

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.   Hon. Members, it is with profound sorrow that I have to inform this august House of the death of Hon. Obedingwa Mguni, Member of Parliament for Mangwe Constituency who died last night, Tuesday, 18th June, 2019. I invite all Hon. Members to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Member.

          All Hon. Members observed a minute of silence.

           We shall advise on the funeral arrangements once the family has so decided.  We will inform you accordingly and make the necessary arrangements.

ICT LITERACY TRAINING SESSION

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I wish to remind the House that there will be half day ICT literacy training sessions for Members of Parliament.  The sessions will be held at TelOne Learning Centre, near Harare Show Grounds, in Belvedere from 17th June, (they have already started) to the 12 July 2019. The training will be conducted in groups of 40 Members over a period of three days.  Officers from the Information Technology Department will be stationed at the Members’ Dining Hall every sitting day from Tuesday 18th (yesterday) to Thursday 20th June, 2019 for registration purposes. 

Further to that, Hon. Members are advised that those who registered for Group 2 are starting tomorrow on Thursday, 20th June, 2019. 

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of students and teachers from Seke 1 High School, Chitungwiza.  You are most welcome. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER (Speaking)…  You are all most welcome.

          +HON. PHUTI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to inform the House of a sad event which has befallen us as a nation, as the august House and the Mangwe Constituency in Matabeleland South after losing an Hon. Member of this House, Hon. Obedingwa Mguni.  It is really sad Mr. Speaker Sir that this comes after the House has just lost another Member.  The painful part is that no one can attest and say that he observed Hon. Mguni’s illness. 

          Hon. Mguni was a unifier, he did not choose anyone but he was a respectable and Honourable Member of this House.  The most important thing Hon. Speaker Sir is that he represented Members of this House, especially looking at the welfare of Hon. Members of Parliament.  I would implore the House that we recognise, respect and honour Hon. Members of this august House.  I would like to say that his sweat, his work and everything that he has done for this nation always benefits people. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we know that he has been representing his constituents and we know his position. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would request that all his benefits be given to the family.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          +THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Phuti.  I hope Hon. Phuti that we will sit down and discuss about the late Hon. Member of this august House.  I believe that his dues are going to be examined by the Committee which represents Hon. Members of Parliament, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. 

          HON. MUSHORIWA:  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Yesterday, at around Twenty-three Minutes to Six, Order Number 6 was interrupted due to the absence of a quorum.  Accordingly Mr. Speaker Sir, in line with Standing order No. 73, I move that it be reinstated on the Order Paper. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  The item will be reinstated accordingly.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  If there is anything that has taken place, I think we should look at it before we forget.  The issue of Hon. Mguni is very painful but there is a thing that we did not understand clearly.  I think that we should be notified.  A Member of Parliament is someone one who is respectable.  I was asking and it should be known what happened when Hon. Mguni started not feeling well in this House and his journey from the House to the clinic then to the hospital.  Because what if I am hearing if it is true, it is that when we left this House, it looks like Hon. Mguni had passed on and none of us knew.

So I think Mr. Speaker, our lives here - there are many of us and I think our clinic should be well resourced so that life is saved.  I am not very happy about how we are treated when we are ill here at Parliament.  When we are transported from here to the hospital, I think that there should be an investigation on the illness of Hon. Mguni and the time of his death to the time when he was ferried to the funeral parlour.  Who was there with him?  I think that it is not good that we should die like that.  We might have challenges as a nation, but a Member of Parliament is very important and should be treated with respect.   Hon. Mguni was a Deputy Chief Whip and he was also on the Government side.  So, it is very important that we should have known before we left this place.  I therefore say that there be an investigation into the death of Hon. Mguni. Thank you. 

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Madzimure.  We are going to make a follow up on the issue with the Sister-in-Charge in the clinic.

*HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I also want to talk about the death of Hon. Mguni who was one of us.  He was a very good person who worked well with other people. He was not concerned with a lot of things, we respected him but God has his own way of doing things by taking him under these circumstances.  We are all pained and we could not speak about him in this House.  What really pains me is that in this independent Zimbabwe, people are still dying of diabetes, it is very painful.

          The situation in our hospitals shows that we still have a long way to go.  I think it is much acceptable for one to die of other ailments than diabetes. There are other diseases which are preventable, so we are pleading with our leaders that they should put priorities on these diseases.  Many of us in this august House are not well.  Anyone in this House is at risk, and maybe I am the one next.  So our hospitals should be well resourced to attend to such chronic diseases as diabetes. For Hon. Mguni who was once a Deputy Minister of Home passing on in the manner that he did warrants investigations.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Perhaps, some Members did not follow what Hon. Phuti said in Ndebele.  He actually moved a motion on the death of Hon. Mguni, so we shall debate that motion accordingly. 

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The following Hon. Ministers tendered their apologies:-  Hon. S.P Moyo, Foreign Affairs; Hon. K. Kazembe, Ministry of ICT and Courier Services; Hon. C. Matema, Home Affairs, Culture and Heritage; Hon. S. Nzenza, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Hon. Chitando.  These Hon. Members are away on – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Order! Hon. Minister Shiri, please, your place is this side (right side).    Those who are not Hon. Ministers, in terms of protocol do not occupy this front seat. So if you could please excuse us accordingly. 

          Furthermore, the following Ministers have tendered their apologies; Hon. Nyoni, Hon. Coventry, Hon. Mutsvangwa, Hon. J. Moyo, Hon. Mhlanga, the Vice President, Hon.  Mohadi and the Vice President Hon. Rtd. General Dr. Chiwenga

          *HON. MADZIMURE: I have got a point of order emanating from your ruling which I want to remind you.  This House asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to table before this House forensic reports that they have received.   As regards the Minister of Transport, this is now the third week and as regards the Minister of Labour, she had promised last week but nothing has been tabled.  May you remind the Hon. Ministers to respect the House? 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much for the reminder.  In fact, the Hon. Minister of Transport should be tabling his voluminous report tomorrow.  We are in the process of printing it, it is a huge report and I hope you will be able to read it.  Hon. Minister Nzenza is out of the country but she is keeping her promise to table her own report accordingly.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. NGWENYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and in his absence, the Leader of the House.  What is Government policy on the maintenance and security of those mines under ZMDC which are presently closed?  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Mr. Speaker Sir, ZMDC mines were at one point put on tender but the tender was withdrawn due to other activities which are happening.  There were creditors who were going on the ground to attach properties of the said mines.  As a result, there is an inter-ministerial team which was set so that they can come up with modalities on how best to conduct the tenders and see that the mines are operational.  I think by end of July, the inter-ministerial team would have come up with a way forward which will enable the mines to be operational.  I thank you.

          HON. NGWENYA: Is the Hon. Minister aware that properties at these mines are being stolen?

          HON. KAMBAMURA: We were not aware of that but we will engage the parastatal leadership so that they can see how best we can protect those assets which are being looted.

          HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, with your indulgence, could you allow me to check on the ZMDC portfolio that the Minister has just been speaking to. Does it include the Shabanie–Mashava Mines? If it does, could the Minister explain how ZMDC came to possess these mines? Thank you.

          HON. KAMBAMURA: I think this is a specific question with regards to Shabanie-Mashava Mines. Can the Hon. Member please bring the question in writing so that we can respond accordingly?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The question is that are the Shabanie Mines part of ZMDC? Are they part of the group?

          HON. KAMBAMURA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Shabanie–Mashava Mines are under reconstruction.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: So they are not?

          HON. KAMBAMURA: Yes.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.

          HON. NDEBELE: On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker ...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no you cannot ask. The clarity is so clear that it does not need clarity – [Laughter] –

HON. NDEBELE: No, Hon. Speaker, your indulgence please. So what the Deputy has just said...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, can I indulge you. The Hon. Deputy Minister said those mines are under reconstruction – [HON. NDEBELE: That is where I am going.] – No, if you have to proceed on the matter, can you write a specific question so that it is answered in detail.

HON. NHARI: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. Hon. Minister, what is the current situation regarding the supply of ARVs in the country. Are we in a safe zone?

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): With regards to ARVs, we are in a safe zone. I do not want people to panic unnecessarily. The issue which was of concern  was that of the costs and that has since been addressed. On the first line of treatment, we have got adequate supplies up to the end of the first quarter next year. For the second line treatment, up to the end of this year but like I said, everything is under control.

HON. SHAVA: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. What is the policy of Government? Recently you attended World Health Assembly in Geneva. What do we stand to benefit as a country from resolutions made at the 2019 WHA.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): Yes, I did attend the World Health Assembly. Zimbabwe was the outgoing Chair of the World Health Assembly and we had the opportunity to interact with the rest of the world. All the Ministers of health from all over the world were in attendance. This is a useful forum for all the ministers and countries so that we can be able to share experiences in health. We can be able to work out the requirements for each and every nation and be able to share the experience coming from the Director General’s Office, and the policy which will be prevailing for a particular period.

Like for instance, the current Director General’s main thrust is on primary health care which is exactly what we are also doing here in Zimbabwe. Primary health care is of essence and we will be presenting a request to the Clerk of Parliament where we want all Members of Parliament to map up all the various clinics in their areas. The ones that are complete and those that are not yet completed which they would have started through their own Constituency Development Funds. I realised that there are quite a few clinics which are outstanding and we want to help in finishing them off as part of this primary health care initiative. That is one of the major lessons that we learnt at WHA. 

At the same time, the issue of how we can be able to access medicines and that of selling Zimbabwe as a safe destination for carrying out health care business. We had a lot of companies which participated at side events that want to come and partner with the healthcare system here in Zimbabwe. So, it was a useful forum, very educational, economic support and we had as much information coming out from other countries where we also learnt and are now able to practice here in Zimbabwe.

The issue of medicines which I mentioned Mr. Speaker Sir, we are now very familiar with the fact that if we want to improve our medicine supply chain, we must work directly with the Indians. Eighty percent of our the medicines come from India. At the same time we also learnt about how we could benefit by working as an African or Southern Africa group to bring medicines into Southern Africa by buying in bulk. This will make sure that it will be cheaper on arrival and at the same time the issue regarding special active pharmaceutical ingredients.

You know, the Indians are also buying from China these active ingredients; so we can also buy them from China. For the benefit of our manufacturers, it will be much cheaper because currently, they are just buying raw materials and those raw materials cost a lot of money because they have to be mixed but if we buy the active pharmaceutical ingredients, we will be saving a lot of money and currency. It was a big lesson and it is a meeting which is worthy attending each and every year. I thank you.

HON. J. CHIDAKWA: I would like to thank the Minister for his explanation but my supplementary is that I would like the Minister to explain to the House how much did that trip cost considering that we have nurses and doctors who have highlighted that they are going to down their tools next week?  Thank you. 

The Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care having stood up to respond.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, please take your seat.  Order.  This is not a House of jokes.  Number 1, a question on expenditure does not arise and number two, it is not a policy issue.  Please, let us concentrate on policy matters as the initial questioner did.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is that, the Hon. Minister of Health has confirmed the disfunctionality of Government systems, particularly his Ministry regarding the gathering of information about the state of affairs in areas which they preside over where he said that Hon. Members of Parliament will then avail information regarding the status of clinics and other health institutions in their areas.  Is it true then that they do not have adequate systems to monitor the health institutions within our constituencies?  Thank you.

HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, when I brought that point forward, it was to enhance the need for us to be able to assist each other.  The whole country has to move along with the primary health care initiative which is for the benefit of our constituencies.  I am emphasising it for the purposes of us being able to coordinate together.  There is no way that is better than discussing it with Hon. Members themselves directly.  We have our PMDs, they have access to that information and I am further re-emphasising it that it is for our benefit.  It is for the benefit of the communities that we serve, that we all have fully functional clinics and availability and easily accessible clinics.  That is the whole purpose.  I thank you Mr. Chairman.

HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  Is the Hon. Minister aware that some local authorities are stopping Members of Parliament from contributing towards the construction of clinics in their constituencies arguing that the funds for devolution will be applied towards constructing or completion of those projects at the clinics?  That is stalling progress and it looks like the CDF funds held are losing value in the banks when local authorities are stopping Members of Parliament from contributing towards construction of those clinics.  Can the Minister comment on that?  Thank you.

HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is rather a long question but the answer is that, this is the very reason why I am imploring to all our Members of Parliament to work with us so that we can be able to fulfil this objective.  The Hon. Member is failing to fulfil the objective because there is not adequate coordination, which is what I am calling for.  I would like to work with the Hon. Member of Parliament so that we are able to establish a thorough and fully functional clinic just as we like to happen in all the other constituencies.  I thank you.

HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Mines.  What is Government policy in regard to employment benefits of employees at mines that have closed.  These employees have been made redundant and also the provision of water and sanitation at the compounds where these mines have closed because there is no water and toilets are not functioning.  It is a high-risk area.  What is the policy in regard to areas where employees have been made redundant and settlements at the mines are no longer serviced?  Thank you very much.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the question on the employees’ remuneration falls under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.  If employees did not receive their remuneration, they need to approach the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare where they will seek assistance.  On the issue of water in the mining compounds which were deserted by the said employers, if ever there are specific mines that have such cases, we need to know which ones so that we can address the issue accordingly.  Thank you.

HON. TSUNGA:  The Hon. Minister has clearly stated that we must give examples of such mines and I will give one specific example of such mines.  I will give one specific example in Mutasa South Constituency which is Metallon Gold Redwing Mine.  It is shut down and employees have gone for 15 months without salary.  There does not appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel.  If anything, there is darkness at the end of the tunnel.  Can the Minister investigate and address the plight of these workers.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Member.  I think the Hon. Deputy Minister was very clear.  All labour issues relating to unpaid salaries must be directed to the Ministry of Labour and it is your responsibility if that mine falls under your constituency to approach the Minister of Labour accordingly.  Thank you.

HON. MATHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Education.  Considering the good pass rate, what is the Government policy on child and book ratio in our schools?

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Our policy is to make sure that the child to book ratio is 1:1.  We have been making all efforts to make sure that every child has books for all the learning areas– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you listen please?

HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  For the competence based curriculum, we started distributing books since 2017, and we continue to distribute books to today.  We have almost completed those grades and forms that are now on the new curriculum.  We have been a little bit slow with grade five but the acquisition of the books has already been done.  Our publishers are already printing the books for grade five and we are going to have 1:1 ratio for that grade as well.  Next year we will go to grade six and then grade seven which are going to be rolled out for the new curriculum. 

HON. KASHIRI:  What is the pupil to teacher ratio in the schools?  We have seen as much as 76 pupils per class.  Please clarify that for us.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Your question is on teacher pupil ratio?

HON. KASHIRI:  Yes.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  What has that got to do with textbook ratio? – [Laughter.] -  It does not follow.  It is a new question.

HON. KASHIRI:  Hon. Speaker, thank you very much for your interjection but the ratio will give us an indication versus the answer that we got from the Minister.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, no, no.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Minister, do you have a policy that bars Members of Parliament from contributing to textbooks like I did in the Norton constituencies to schools?

HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  The existence of contributions by Hon. Member to the schools, especially with relevant textbooks and other equipment as well as their contributions to the building of schools or classroom blocks, libraries and other things is music to my ears.  It says we as the leaders of this nation and as members of this august House, understand that education is the most important tool to eradicate underdevelopment and bring our country to full development.  I encourage every Member of this august House who has resources and they are willing to contribute them to schools in their constituencies to do so very gladly.  If they have any problems they should approach the Ministry and we can help them.

HON. MARKHAM:  The Minister has said that the Ministry is striving for 1:1 ratio, which I agree and we are talking about from grade six and seven - that we have virtually achieved.  That is what I was led to understand.  Most schools in my constituency have one book per class.  This means that either my constituency is not under his jurisdiction or he is misleading the House.

HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Hon. Speaker, a few weeks ago when this very issue was raised about the availability of textbooks, I invited the Portfolio Committee on Education to check the availability of textbooks for those grades and forms that are now on the competence based curriculum to verify what the Ministry has been saying that we have been distributing books since 2017 to cover especially all the schools up to about 6 000 of them that we have deemed to be unable to provide teaching  and learning materials to the learners. That invitation still stands Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Markham, perhaps you could give details to the Hon. Minister so that he can follow up on your issue.

HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Speaker, Government has invested heavily in ICTs.  Can the Hon. Minister share with us the linkage between textbook availability in soft copy format with the infrastructure that has been invested heavily by the Government with regards to bridging the gap and achieving a 1:1 textbook ratio between pupils and teaching material?

HON. PROF. MAVIMA: This is a very important issue Hon. Speaker – the issue of ICTs in our schools.  The Hon. Member has indicated that we have invested heavily in ICTs but I am not happy.  We still have a digital divide, especially between the urban areas and the rural areas.  Most of our schools in the rural areas do not as yet have the computerisation we want them to have.  We are working, but slowly to provide ICTs in all schools.  I have indicated that my vision is to say that before this term of Parliament is over, and assuming that I am still the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education – [Laughter.] -  we would want to have 100% computerisation of our schools. This will then allow us to distribute textbooks in digital formatting. 

We are also working on issues related to licensing, because that will be very important to ensure that our publishers are well compensated for when we do the digital distribution of textbooks, but this is an important issue.  The Ministry is working on it but it will be dependent on the rolling out of the computerisation process. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. KABOZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development and in his absence, I will direct my question to his Deputy or the Leader of the House. What is Government policy measure in place to deal with some of those unscrupulous fuel service station owners who refuse to accept swipe or eco-cash as payment from the public? I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Do I hear that the same question was asked last week? – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes, even in the ministerial statement.] - So, if it was covered under Ministerial Statement, why should it arise now? Can you lower your whispers please?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member and indicate that we are still using a multi-currency regime even though we are encouraging that our service stations or anyone who is trading to use the RTGS$, but the current situation is that traders are not allowed to refuse the RTGS$, the swipe, eco-cash or any mode of payment as that is the legal regime that still subsists at the moment. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Let us not ask supplementary questions for the sake of it. We are entertaining new questions.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Leader of Government business. There has been an admitted increase in the support of equipment, training services and gadgets towards security services. We have seen new uniforms being acquired, new equipment and increased deployment in our societies ahead of support to economic sectors like health, teachers’ welfare, civil servants welfare and even general economic support. What is informing the Government in supporting the security services ahead of social services?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): The position is that the budget was presented in this august House and the estimates of expenditure were laid on the table and the Hon. Member was here and approved those expenses. So I am actually surprised that he is indicating that there is an expenditure that did not have oversight when it was produced in this august House. I thank you.

          Hon. Chikwinya having stood up to make a supplementary question

          THE HON. SPEAKER: There is no supplementary for such a clear answer. Order, order! Unless if the Hon. Member was saying there was some crisscrossing of votes, then we would understand that, but that matter was not brought before this House. Please can you sit down, your question was very clear, as clear as water.

          HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. What is Government policy regarding the building and completion of Government Hospitals in our provinces for example Bindura Provincial Hospital?

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Although the question might be a bit vague, I already gave an answer previously. However, our policy is that we work in line with PSIP and that is exactly what we are doing. I thank you.

          HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. May the Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Rtd. Air Chief Marshal Shiri apprise this august House of policy changes in the Command Agriculture programme? Of particular concern is the justification on why the Ministry rescinded the 2018/2019 Command Agriculture farming contracts and replacing the same with contracts with new price terms which range from 22% to above 100%? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am not aware of those changes. The Hon. Member is at liberty to visit my office and give me the details or allow me a chance to go and inquire and I can come back with an exact answer. As far as I am concerned, there have not been any variations. Thank you.

          HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Leader of the House. We have seen the people who lost their goods during the disturbances in January being compensated, but we also have got people who lost their lives. Is the Government also going to compensate the people who lost their lives during the disturbances because all of the them were just caught in the cross-fire? So, are they also going to be compensated?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question and a slight correction.  Business people that had their businesses destroyed were offered a loan facility.  So, it is not compensation but they were offered a soft loan so that they can rebuild their businesses and start operating again.  As for those that lost their lives, the inquests are still being done; we are seized with the matter and it will be dealt with accordingly.  I thank you.

          HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker. Supplementary... 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: What is supplementary that is not clear.  People are being helped and it is a loan facility.  Those who lost their lives, some inquest is taking place.  So, what is the supplementary all about? 

          HON. HAMAUSWA: With your indulgence Hon. Speaker, I think possibly from the answers that we get from the Hon. Ministers, there are some important issues that are emerging. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Will you ask your supplementary question please?

          HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is that we would want the Hon. Minister to furnish the House with the criteria that is going to be used to give the soft loan to those businesses that were affected or to explain how the loan facility is going to operate.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, do I have to call on you? No!  Order, order please.  A loan is a contract between the lender and the one being given a loan.  The terms are determined through negotiations.  We cannot debate that as a policy here. 

          *HON. SEWERA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce and in his absence, I will direct it to the Leader of the House.  My question is - yes people are aware that the Government is aware of the price hikes.  We want to know where we are and people want to know when that will come to an end.  Thank you Mr. Speaker. 

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I want to thank you Mr. Speaker for the question that has been asked with the concern of when will the prices stabilise.  Yes, prices are going up.  Some just wake up changing their prices but the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development and Industry and Commerce are engaging those who sell that they should come in agreement because price hikes are not good.  Allow me Mr. Speaker, to say that option of price controls that we once used does not work.  So what we are going to do is that when we are engaging the retailers, we agreed that we should come up with people’s shops there will be competition with those hiking prices so that if they have bread and we also have our cheap bread, theirs will rot. Thank you Mr. Speaker. 

          *HON. MURAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I was thinking that the Minister answered well but the big issue is that of fuel.  How is possible that we will have shops selling goods at cheaper prices when price of fuel is going up, which is the major cause of price hikes?  I do not think it is a question of people agreeing to hike their prices but it is because of the fuel prices.  How are you going to curb that because you will be forced to increase prices because of the fuel price hikes? 

          *HON. ZIYAMBI:  I want to thank you Mr. Speaker for the question that has been asked by the Hon. Member.  Yes, the fuel prices have gone up in the last week but, fuel is not the only thing that determines prices.  There are a lot of things that are taken into consideration when prices are being hiked.  That is why I said that right now, the Government is concerned about policy but when it comes to prices, all people who have shops and tuck shops are buying goods and putting their own mark-ups.  We have learnt that we cannot impose price controls.  If we open up the market, many people come to buy and those who want to hike their prices, their ggods will rot because people will rush to buy for cheap things. 

          As a county, if we have more production and shops of silo industries putting mealie meal on the market, it means that those who want to do profiteering will not get customers to buy their goods.  Thank you Mr. Speaker. 

          *HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is in respect of mitigation of the price escalation to do with any update on the policy of people’s shops.  Thank you. 

          *HON. MAVENYENGWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is - what is the Government doing regarding these price increases, particularly in the border lying areas. I would like to suggest that Government allows the importation of goods. 

          * HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker for the question that was raised by the Hon. Member.  Yes, these are measures that we encourage the Zimbabwean populace to engage in.  I am saying this because we have a lot of unscrupulous business people who take advantage of consumers.  Therefore, I would like to encourage those who can afford to go ahead and import their own commodities.  I thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: The Minister concedes that prices have gone up.  So, what would be the Minister’s response to the salaries which are not going up?  How do you reconcile the two?

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The question is in two parts as it relates to Government employees and also the private sector.  Government is in the process of negotiating with a view of ensuring that we offer an increase to the civil servants.  As to the private sector, indeed it is worrisome that prices are going up but the employers are not giving their employees a corresponding salary increase which is an issue of great concern.  The majority of the workers; goods are going up but their salaries are stagnant.  As for the Government, we are in the process of negotiating so that we try to find a salary structure that will ensure that we cushion the civil service.

          HON. C. MOYO: thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Leader of Government business.  I have realised that a new Ministry called Implementation and Monitoring was created.  What is the Government policy with regards to creation of new ministries? 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The question does not arise because there is no such Ministry.   All ministries are recorded in the Hansard, so check the Hansard.

          HON. SHONGEDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question has already been asked.

          HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development.   What is Government policy in aiding the development, harmonisation and standardisation of the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework Programme that meets regional and international standards?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  I wish to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question which is at the basis of Zimbabwe’s Human Skills Development Platform.  After having assessed that our qualifications in Zimbabwe, whether they are diplomas, certificates, degrees, were not having any basis in terms of benchmarking across the universities and so forth, we embarked on the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework.  What it does is asking every certificate, diploma, degree, to tell us what bodies of skill and what bodies of knowledge the students will have after they finish. 

          It used not to be a requirement in this country but now it is a requirement.  We actually set up Statutory Instrument 132 for Higher Education, 133 for Primary and Secondary, 137 for the Manpower Development Act to make sure that the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework is a policy which is codified.  For every degree, if it is civil engineering for example at the University of Zimbabwe, at Chinhoyi University or NUST, this degree should have 70 to 80% overlap so that we know a civil engineering degree in Zimbabwe should be of this minimum.  Twenty to 30% is left for institutional specialisation, so this is what the Zimbabwe National Qualification Framework is saying in terms of horizontal comparability of our qualifications. 

          The other one is about vertical mobility of our students.  If you are going to university, it is either that you are coming from advanced level, polytechnic or teacher’s college.  Our Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework has to recognise what we call prior learning.  In previous years, a student who would be going to the university from a polytechnic was being treated as a person who is coming from advanced level.   When you are coming from polytechnic, for example you were doing civil engineering and you are going to university for a degree, the university has to recognise that you are not from advanced level, so they have to exempt you of certain courses – it is now a must.  

          In terms of benchmarking, we are benchmarking our qualifications on the international platform.  First of all, we are registering our qualifications to the SADC Qualification Framework.  We are also doing the same and benchmarking with the best universities and best colleges in the world.  Our policy is to make sure that Zimbabwe’s education is competitive in terms of skills knowledge.  As you are aware, our literacy rate is 94% but our skills levels are at 38%.  So, our qualifications framework is going to bring these together.  I thank you.

          HON. MADZIMURE: We appreciate the explanation that was given by the Hon. Minister.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that; Minister, are you saying our qualifications were previously not benchmarked against other qualifications in the region or the world?

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA: We talk about codification of our frameworks.  Our frameworks were not codified.  That is why I said, we codified our framework according to Statutory Instrument 132, 133 and 137.  What we are basically saying is; Zimbabwe’s education system has to be unified and transparent within itself so that there is no dibula wathibula inside and can be trusted from outside.  So, the issue of codification is for the reason of making sure that what you read is what you get and not just what you hear.  We do not want to hear things but to see and read things codified.  So, this is what we are doing to our higher and tertiary education system.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  What I want to hear from the Hon. Minister relating to qualifications of degrees and diplomas obtained from outside the country.  I am alive to the fact that if you obtain a law degree in South Africa, when you come back home and intend to practice, you have to go through a conversion first.  As it relates to other qualifications from other institutions outside our borders, is there an institution or place that has been set up in order to equate the degrees which are offered by our local institutions?

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  We have what we call Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) when it comes to universities.  We also have the Zimbabwe Higher Education Examination Council when it comes to tertiary institutions.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, these organisations are actually subscribed to the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework which makes us be able to compare our qualifications transparently with other international degrees or certificate awarding bodies.  So, yes, we do and yes, we have this.  It has become much easy with the Zimbabwe National Qualification Framework.  We are now doing a digital system, where all qualifications are going to be lodged into what we call Higher Education, Information Management System for the purpose of making comparisons easier.  I thank you.

          HON. MURAI: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary question is; you have said it well Hon. Minister, that is fantastic, things to do with codification and so on.  I want to know if you have any plan regarding the employment of these people from higher education and all those who have earned their degrees?  What plan do you have as a Ministry?  Thank you very much.

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  I wish to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question.  Jobs do not fall from the sky, they are created from the brain.  All industries that you see on earth today were either thought by an entrepreneur who was educated at a polytechnic or at home or a university.  The purpose of educating people is for them to create jobs for the unfortunate.  Now, what we have done with our education system; when in the Second Republic, we studied our education system and how it was churning out graduates who were unemployed or unemployable.  We then said; no, education has three terms of reference, which was teaching, research and workshops, which we call community engagement. 

In this model of education, we actually see that it was a colonial type of education.  I am not blaming that, it was designed specifically for a worker because you would teach research and go to a workshop.  Now, what we have done with our education system is to convert it from this 3.0 education system to 5.0 education system.  What do we mean?  We added in our qualifications framework; innovation and industrialisation and our bodies of skill and knowledge are going to make sure that we are going to have a new breed of graduates and approach to education that will lead to the industrialisation and modernisation of this country.  We are always saying, jobs do not fall from the sky, they come from education, so we are making our education be able to create jobs.  If you go to Microsoft, you will discover that all these people are doing jobs from education.  Let me give you an example – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has spinned 4000 companies which in 1994 have an annual output of US$104 billion.  So, this question of saying; ‘I want a job’, from who? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – We are saying, we are producing jobs from the education.  We have an answer from it.  At this moment, we are creating industrial parks, universities are producing industrial parks.  On Monday this week, we released $3million to Chinhoyi University of Technology to expand its industrial park which we developed last year and have an annual output revenue of US$140 million from artificial insemination.  This is evidence that is on the ground and I actually encourage the Hon. Member to go to Chinhoyi. I can actually facilitate the transport to see what we are doing to create jobs from knowledge, not from imagination.  At the same time, on Monday, we released US$3 million to the University of Zimbabwe to start an industrial parking in the University of Zimbabwe farm. That is job creation.  I thank you. 

          HON. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  Minister, sometime in 2014, we had a Bill tabled in this Parliament, which lapsed because of time factor.  The Bill is about the Biological and Toxin Weapons Crime Bill. From then, it has been quiet, what is the position?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Indeed, I am aware of the Bill and we have a very huge backlog in terms of the Bills that have to come to Parliament and it is one of those Bills that will come perhaps in the next Session.  I thank you.

          HON. D. SIBANDA: Minister, my supplementary may be to buttress this one is that this Bill is important for us and our environment.  I will be pleased if you tell us exactly when you are going to bring this Bill into Parliament because it is of paramount importance.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I responded to say that in the next Session that starts September.

          *HON. MAKONI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. Considering that we are approaching the next agricultural season, what is the Government position regarding the provision of fertilisers and other inputs?

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for raising the question.  We are busy preparing for the winter cropping.  Now we are engaging those who are going to fund the provision of inputs and a Government department is busy preparing for the next agricultural season and the provision of these inputs.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. G. BANDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question is, since we are talking of preparation, last season we had a drought and most of the dams have got no water; is there any plan from Government for cloud seeding so that at least we increase the intensity of rainfall?  I thank you.

          HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Yes, we are very much aware that most of the dams have no water or they have got very little water which may not get us into summer.  We are also busy preparing to ensure that we put in place the logistics required for cloud seeding but much as we may put the logistics in place, cloud seeding depends on availability of some conducive environment within the atmosphere.  We may have the aircrafts, the chemicals for cloud seeding but if we do not have enough moisture in the atmosphere, it might make no sense to carry out cloud seeding but nevertheless, we are prepared and we are putting the necessary logistics in place.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question to the Minister, is whilst we are preparing for the summer crop, in the lowveld, Chiredzi where I come from, there are no seeds to do winter crop production.  There are no seeds to plant maize in winter. The seed houses are not releasing any seed at all.  They are speculating and holding back and not releasing seed.  Any comment Minister, thank you.

          HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  We have been encouraging the planting of winter maize to supplement the depleted stocks of maize.  We expect all stakeholders to play a positive role towards the attainment of that objective.  If seed houses are not cooperative we will be more than prepared to engage them so that we all sing from the same hymn.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. MAYIHLOME: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Since the Hon. Minister has talked about drought, can he kindly advise this House what measures are in place to protect the livestock sector particularly in the dry regions of Matabeleland?

          HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  We are very much alive to the existence of a desperate situation in the dry areas of the country, in particular the Matabeleland provinces, Masvingo and Southern parts of Manicaland.  We have been engaging some cooperating partners who have indicated some willingness to help us harvest hay from those regions where we received reasonable rains so that we can supply the hay to the drought prone areas.  We are also very much aware that the water situation there is getting desperate. We are shall be sending few borehole drilling companies who are readily available to go and help salvage the situation.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

         HON. MASUKU: My question goes to the Minister of Health and Child Care. We have seen an increase in drug and substance abuse by young people and people’s stress levels are going high, resulting in many other health challenges. What is the Government policy on mental health?

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): The policy of Government in as far as mental health is concerned is that anyone who is mentally retarded must be well looked after. Facilities must be put in place where we have to look after these candidates. Mental illness is a condition which is common here in Zimbabwe and the Hon. Member specifically relates to alcohol and substance abuse. As a Ministry, we are looking into this and taking this matter very seriously. We want to establish rehabilitation centres so that we can be able to look after those who have these problems.

HON. CHOMBO: Hon. Minister, you said you have a policy on mental health. There has been an outcry on drugs for those who are mentally challenged. On procurement of drugs, do you have a special policy on drug procurement for the retarded?

HON. CHINYANGANYA: Point of correction Madam Speaker, I think we need to have respect for people with mental challenges. We cannot call them mentally retarded, with all due respect. I thank you.

HON. CHOMBO: I think I erred there. Thank you, for the mentally challenged?

HON. DR. O. MOYO: Yes, we do have a policy. Whenever we do purchases of medicines, the drugs for the mentally challenged are also included as essential drugs. So we do include that at each and every round when we have to replenish our supplies of medicines. Thank you.

HON. NDEBELE: There is a notable disconnect in that those living with HIV do not have to pay hospital fees, whereas the mentally challenged - all the time they visit a clinic or hospital, they are required to pay such fees. My question to the Minister, is there a policy consideration to do away with such fees for the mentally challenged?

HON. DR. O. MOYO: Madam Speaker, the issue of no payment relates to maternity cases, over 65s, under fives and the mentally challenged. They are not to pay. If they are paying, you should report it to us and then we can correct that institution which is charging. I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: I want to thank the Minister for the well-rounded response. Those that are differently abled mentally fall under the bracket of those that are differently abled physically or otherwise. My question therefore relates to Government policy as it relates to equipment that is used by those that are differently abled, in particular as it relates to importation. Aware that we have 15% that are differently abled mentally or otherwise challenged and only one percent of that sector can afford to buy anything in terms of equipment for their use in their challenges, what is it that Government has as a policy in relation to duty free importation of equipment used by those that are differently abled mentally?

HON. DR. O. MOYO: Once again, the issue relating to duty, we have a facility. If they are to approach our offices, we are in a position to apply the duty free certificates. So, it is possible.

*HON. TEKESHE: My question to the Minister of Finance, however in his absence I will direct the question to the Leader of the House. Hon. Minister, people are now poverty stricken because of Government policies. The fluctuations that are happening in the economy and inflation are affecting people. My question is, what is Government policy regarding those who have lost their monies through inflation?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, if I was listening attentively to what the Hon. Member was saying, there is no specific question because he said that people are now poverty stricken as a result of Government policy. Now, what is the Government policy? My conclusion is that there is no question, Madam Speaker.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, what is the purpose of your supplementary if there is no question.

*HON. TEKESHE: My question is what happens in a situation where people’s investment or monies are lost due to inconsistencies in Government policies? How are the people going to be compensated - that does not have to do with market forces but it has to do with policy inconsistencies and unclear Government policies. 

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  Madam Speaker, I answered and said that there is no question.  The Hon. Member is saying that there are inconsistent policies, then further on says what is the policy concerning the policy inconsistencies.  Since he understands economics, I think he should write down the specific policies and the inconsistencies that are found in those particular policies.  I would like to ask Madam Speaker Ma’am that the Hon. Member goes and puts it in writing that such a specific policy has resulted in this and that.  After writing his questions, then Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube, the Minister of Finance will come and respond to those questions. 

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, with your indulgence, having consulted, I move that Questions With Notice be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of. 

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTEROF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I move that Orders of the Day No. 1 to 38 be stood over until Order of the Day No. 39 has been disposed of. 

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL (H. B. 1, 2019)

Thirty-Ninth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Education Amendment Bill (H. B. 1, 2019).

Question again proposed.

HON. C. MOYO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Thank you for affording me this opportunity so that I can add my voice on the important Bill, which is the Education Amendment Bill.  I will concentrate on Clause 15, more specifically on Section 68 (d) (1), no pupil shall be excluded from school for non-payment of fees or on the basis of pregnancy.  I do not have much problem on the first part that is no pupil shall be excluded from school for non-payment of fees.  However, I have a problem with the second part, that is on the basis of pregnancy.  Why Madam Speaker?  Our schools must not be turned to be maternity homes.  There is no need for those who would have failed on their choice to look for a boyfriend to proceed with schoolwork.  A rotten apple spoils the barrel.  I want to say, it will not be good for other pupils as well and the Bill is very clear to say, no pupil.  So, when a person is impregnated, she ceases to be a pupil or a student, she becomes a mother. 

Mind you Madam Speaker, there are complications associated with a person on her first pregnancy.  The issues like BP, stress, untimely or early labour pains.  Surely, we must separate those who want to proceed with their schoolwork and those who have chosen to be mothers.  It must be a clear amendment to say, those who would have chosen to have boyfriends, I will reiterate, must be separated from those who want to proceed with their schoolwork because of the peer pressure.  After all, if you happen to have that pregnancy maybe at Form 1, if you are not punished and proceeded with schoolwork, it means when you are now at Form 3 or Form 4 level, you again repeat the same mistake.  Surely, we must separate those who want to do their schoolwork properly without any disturbances, without being close to the bad behaviour that will be exhibited by those who would have been impregnated by other people.   I totally disagree.  Those who chose to have boyfriends and those who choseto be mothers must be separated from pupils.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to add my voice with regards to the issues of pregnancy but coming from different angle.  My suggestion is that there is need for a comprehensive re-entry policy, in line with what is happening in other jurisdictions.  Where the Ministry or the Government policy will not focus only on those who would have been affected by pregnancies, but those who would also be affected by other various factors.  We know some of the teenagers might be arrested, so there is need for a re-entry policy or regulations that would allow those who would have been affected by pregnancies to come back and finish their education.  I think this would be important to help a number of girl children within our society as well as boys who are also being affected.  Currently, there is no clear re-entry policy in Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  I rise to thank the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education as well as this august House for their contributions to the Education Amendment Bill.  The work that was done by the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education was comprehensive beyond measure.  It was very inclusive in terms of seeking the inputs of stakeholders across this beautiful nation.  It was also comprehensive in terms of reaching out geographically to stakeholders.

I also want to thank this august House for dedicating an entire session of Parliament to the debate on this very important Bill which touches on the lives of almost everyone because this relates to the future of this country.  I would like to also indicate that there has been refreshing coordination between the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.  We essentially have accepted the report that they produced and the amendments that they have offered but I want to speak specifically on a number of issues, just as a matter of clarification and bring this august House up to speed. 

There is an issue of the funding of education which if not addressed, would really make the essential contribution of this Bill especially towards State funded education impossible to execute.  Whilst we realise the concerns of this august House, especially related to the inclusion of an education fund as part of this Amendment Bill, I would like to suggest that we deal with this issue as a separate matter so that we can bring a separate Bill to deal with the issue of funding. We have already started talking with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development towards establishing such a vehicle so that we can bring meaning to State funded education. 

We have also accepted the definitions of basic education. We had defined it as ECD to Grade 7 and we accept that it should be actually ECD to Form 4 so that our definition of basic education is not limited to primary education but also include secondary school up to form 4.  We agree to that.

There is an issue that has generated a lot of interest among the Hon. Members and this is the issue of exclusion on account of pregnancy.  The fundamental basis of the inclusion of this issue is premised on Section 75 of the Constitution which speaks against discrimination.  Current practice in our education system has it that if two form four learners have an affair and end up impregnating each other – the male student can continue with his education but the female student cannot.  Section 75 of our Constitution bans discrimination on the basis of gender or sex and it is the basis upon which this item was included in our Bill. 

It is also on the basis of international practice and trends.  We seem to be lonely as far as that is concerned.  I was in Sweden at a meeting of the Board of Global Partnership of Education which brings together donor countries as well as developing countries.  The trend internationally is to make sure that the girl child is not discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy.  I concede that the specific re-entry arrangements have to be done but those can be done as a Statutory Instrument, we cannot remove this provision within our amendment Bill.

A lot of parliamentarians have insisted on the issue of corporal punishment but if we had not added that provision, our Bill would be ultra vires Section 53 of the Constitution.   Therefore according to our home grown Constitution, Section 53 of 2013 and not the Lancaster House Constitution,  it indicates that we cannot have inhuman treatment of anyone in this country.  It is upon the basis of this provision of our Constitution that we have removed corporal punishment within our schools. Indeed, the Ministry is seized with the development of alternative means of discipline away from corporal punishment. There are issues related to the use of mother tongue in infant education and deployment of relevant teachers who can also transmit the culture very thoroughly. This is provided for within this Bill and the Ministry has already taken actions as we speak to ensure that mother tongue teachers are deployed especially for infant education which is ECD to Grade 2. So, that we are in agreement.

          The issue of disability, the debate solely highlighted issues around inclusive and integrated education. Whilst we strive as a Ministry to make sure that we have made provisions for the accommodation of differently able people within our schools system, we also realised that we cannot have comprehensive planning for every disability that could be there. What we have emphasised is that the basics should be there, that is including physical infrastructure, the availability of ramps, appropriate ablutions and the availability of support systems especially for teachers, but we have also made sure that on a case by case basis when resources are required, we should make them available to support the specific disability and make sure that we have inclusive education.

          So, Madam Speaker, I would like again to thank the contributions that were made by this august House. I would also like to thank the Portfolio Committee for their contributions and as a Ministry, we are accepting all the amendments that the Portfolio Committee suggested and we want to indicate, like I said that the matter of the funding of education is a matter that we should treat separately. We have already started that process and as I am saying, we cannot have the vision that we have for effective quality accessible education without a funding model for education.  We need to move as quickly as possible to make sure that we have a funding arrangement. Madam Speaker, I now move that the Bill be read a second time. Thank you.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee: Thursday, 20th June, 2019.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Allow me to present to you my statement on the African Elephant. Zimbabwe has a proud history of successful elephant conservation, and is one of the key elephant range states and home to the second largest remaining elephant population in the world. Of the world population of about 500,000 elephants, approximately 83,000 from the last national aerial survey done in 2014 (against the ecological carrying capacity of 55 000) are found in Zimbabwe. Botswana has a population of 130 000 elephants, being the highest in the world.

          Zimbabwe’s major elephant range which is the basis for all national surveys is 67,898 square kilometres covering approximately 17% of the country’s total land area. The major elephant range comprises of South East Lowveld (10,409 square kilometres), Sebungwe region (15, 527 square kilometres), North West Matabeleland (24,959 square kilometres) and Zambezi Valley (17, 003 square kilometres).

          In the early 1990s, the elephant population in Zimbabwe was estimated to be about 4,000. By 1980, the population had increased to an estimate of 46,426 elephants. The population continued to increase and in 1993, it was 58,185; in 2001, it was 88,123. A twenty fold increase in elephant populations was observed from the early 1900 to 2001. The increase was noted despite attempts to limit elephant population growth between 1960 and 1989 through culling exercises in tsetse control areas and State protected areas.

          The increase in elephant population in the country is attributed to the robust management practices. Zimbabwe subscribes to the principle of sustainable utilisation of all wildlife resources including elephants. The principle of sustainable utilisation and tourist ploughing back revenues generated from utilisation back into conservation.

          Sport hunting is the principal form of wildlife utilisation whereby off takes are adaptively managed and monitored through a participatory and science based process. This process allows for sustainable off takes and rigorous resource monitoring programmes that allow recruitment within a population to ensure the continued survival of the species in the world.

          The highly economic value conferred to the elephant through consumptive utilisation has also resulted in increased tolerance by local communities.

The African elephant and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora - CITES:

The African elephant has been the subject of much discussion in international fora such as the CITES. The conditions for trade in elephants and their parts and derivatives have been the subject of often acrimonious debate within the onerous conditions being placed upon those countries whose elephant populations are currently on Appendix II such as Zimbabwe.

          Within the CITES framework, species listed in Appendix I are not allowed to be traded for commercial purposes; while Appendix II allows for regulated trade. With regards to elephants, four countries are listed in Appendix II (with annotation specifics/conditions) - these being Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Key to note therefore is that under CITES, the African elephant is Split Listed under Appendix I and Appendix II. Populations in East, West and Central Africa and some parts of Southern Africa are in Appendix I, whilst the populations of our four countries are in Appendix II.

          A moratorium on international trade on elephants has been in place since 2009 until 2018. Meanwhile, ivory stocks held by the countries whose populations are in Appendix II have continued to grow. This has placed an undue burden on such countries to secure these valuable resource without necessarily benefiting anything to plough back into the conservation of the same species. Zimbabwe is currently holding ivory stock worth about US$300m. Any efforts by Southern African Elephant Range States to manage their populations is subjected to constant negative media glare with much of this coverage ignoring the plight of the rural communities who bear the brunt of living with such dangerous wildlife species.

          It is however, appreciated that the African elephant population has declined at continental level, with East, West and Central Africa accounting for most losses whilst in Southern Africa, most populations are either stable or increasing. There is serious concern about the recent upsurge in the illegal offtake of elephants on much of the African continent. While overally, poaching has not had the same impact in Southern Africa as in other regions, it has severely affected some populations. The challenges of poaching, notwithstanding, elephants in Southern Africa continue to be found outside protected areas with vast swathes of elephant range found in unprotected areas.

          Major challenges to Africa elephant conservation include trade restrictions that have adversely affected sustainable utilisation of elephants at local levels. As such, local communities suffer Human Elephant Conflict as they adopt alternative land use options such as crops, agriculture, which conflict with elephant conservation in the range areas as elephants destroy crops, compete for forage with livestock and threaten their livelihoods and food security.

          The search for a lasting solution to challenges posed by elephants is one of the most significant conservation challenges facing many Governments in the Southern African region, the home to the largest number of elephants in the world. About 75% of the African elephant populations are found within the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontiner Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).

          Zimbabwe, along with partner counties of the KAZA TFCA supports inclusive and robust elephant population management following the dictates of our National Elephant Management Plan and the African Elephant Action Plan and sustainable use of our natural resources including elephants. The Ministers approved the KAZA TFCA Elephant Planning Framework as a strategy for harmonising the management of KAZA TFCA elephants as a contiguous population. We are in the process of developing a similar framework for the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GL TFCA).

          We will continue to champion the development of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) with partner countries in the region to ensure ecological connectivity necessary for the survival of elephants, recognising the movement of corridors and transboundary dispersal areas. As a conservation champion, we will continue to honour our obligations for the development of transboundary conservation initiatives such as the Kavango Zambezi TFCA (Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe), the Great Limpopo TFCA (Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe), the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA (Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe), Chimanimani TFCA (Mozambique and Zimbabwe), Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools (Zimbabwe and Zambia), ZIMOZA (Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

          We also remain grateful to the Peace Parks Foundation, Frankfurt Zoological Society, European Union, the German Government through KfW and GiZ and several other conservation partners working with us in these initiatives that are contributing to elephant range expansion for the pivotal role they are playing and supporting us to realise the shared vision. In such multiple land use areas, partnerships are key to secure elephant movement corridors straddling across boundaries creating more habitat for growing populations of our elephants and other key wide-ranging species that are usual targets for illegal trade and trafficking by criminal syndicates.         It is also important to note that meaningful programmes that are meant to promote the conservation of biodiversity must sustain and have a positive impact on the standard of living of these rural communities through improved economic opportunities, species management and community livelihoods.

          Furthermore, there is need to prioritise provision of support for sound elephant management practices, in particular to programmes such as human wildlife conflict management; community base natural resource management; strengthening law enforcement and combating cross-border wildlife crime; among other priorities for elephant range states in Southern Africa.

          At COP18, Zimbabwe submitted a proposal for the revision of Annotation 2 pertaining to proposing to open up trade in ivory from its stockpile and at the same time the African Elephant Coalition Group is proposing to up the list of elephants in Appendix I. Zimbabwe is going to defend its current listing in Appendix II and at the same time push for the opening up of trade in elephant ivory. Zimbabwe is lobbying other countries that support the principle of sustainable utilisation for support at the upcoming CITES COP18.

          KASANE ELEPHANT SUMMIT

          The summit whose theme was “towards a common vision for management of our elephants” focused on the management of the shared KAZA elephant population was held from 2nd to 7th May 2019. The specific objectives of the summit were to raise awareness on the current status of the African elephant in the Southern African region; exchange of ideas on human-elephant conflict, illegal and legal trade, and reach agreement on concrete interventions to address the challenges posed.

          We reflected on the status of the African elephants in the KAZA TFCA and noted that while overall numbers have declined, it is evident from available data that countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe have large populations. Namibia and Zambia populations are increasing while Angola has a small population.

          We further noted that even as numbers continue to grow, human elephant conflict is escalating in much of the elephant range due to competition for limited resources and the effects of climate change. The conflict is aggravated by inadequate local level participatory land use planning and conflicting land use policies. It was also recognised that communities are often not adequately empowered to deal with this conflict.

          We also noted with concern, the recent upsurge in illegal offtake of elephants on much of the African continent.  If this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, it will pose a very real threat to the survival of this iconic species in much of its range.

          We also acknowledged that the African elephant has been the subject of much discussion in international fora such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of fauna and flora (CITES).  The conditions for trade in elephants and their parts and derivatives have been the subject of often acrimonious debate with onerous conditions being placed upon those countries whose elephant populations are currently on Appendix II.  Efforts by Southern African elephant range  states to sustainably manage their populations are subjected to constant media scrutiny which often does not take into consideration the aspirations of the KAZA range States.  We had a general understanding that communities deserve to derive benefits from the sustainable utilisation of natural resources including elephants, particularly since they are the ones who bear the brunt of living side by side with these elephants.  In reaching agreement on the specific actions to be taken to manage the KAZA elephants, we recognised the principle of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of the respective partner States, acknowledged the variable state of readiness of KAZA partner States to adopt all resolutions and noted the uneven distribution and abundance of elephants across the KAZA landscape.  We further resolved to:-

·       Conduct transboundary coordinated and synchronized KAZA wide

aerial surveys of elephant (and other wildlife populations) according to standardised methodologies to allow comparability across the KAZA landscape;

·       harmonise management of elephants as much as possible while

taking into account national peculiarities and priorities;

·       provide for integrated land use planning and harmonisation of land

use policies at KAZA level;

·       provide incentives for communities to continue tolerating and co-

existing with elephants;

·       ensure that the management of elephants is adaptive;

·       standardise approached to stockpile management;

·       improve regional collaboration on wildlife crime through

implementation of the Southern African Development Community Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching Strategy;

·       Engage transit and destination countries to address issues of

demand reduction for illegal ivory;

·       Effectively engage the international community on matters related

to elephant conservation and management including lobbying for support for the proposals submitted by KAZA member States to CITES CoP 18.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe is going to host a Wildlife Economy

Summit from the 23rd to 25th June, 2019 in Victoria Falls.  This summit is going to present a platform for Zimbabwe to showcase its wildlife conservation successes, share its principle of sustainable conservation and at the same time highlight and share Zimbabwe’s position on elephant management as we prepare for CITES CoP 18.  Wildlife Economy drives rural development and prosperity through the sustainable utilisation of wildlife resources, the socio-economic benefits of wildlife tourism and other diverse services offered by the conservation industry including the taxidermy players who are involved in processing of wildlife products or resources into secondary products that are consumed and traded domestically and internationally.

          Its outputs are linked to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP, 2018-2020) for Zimbabwe and the vision of making Zimbabwe a middle-income economy by 2030.  It is further linked to Government’s biodiversity targets under the National Biodiversity Action Plan and contributes to the attainment of a number of sustainable development goals.  Since Zimbabwe is endowed with abundant and diverse wildlife resources, there is a great opportunity to grow the wildlife economy.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, with these submissions, allow me to invite Hon. Members and colleagues in wildlife prone areas to make use of my Ministry’s presence to educate and empower them on human wildlife conflict.  My Ministry is empowering communities to benefit from their flora and fauna.  Thank you for this opportunity Mr. Speaker, to present my paper to this august House.

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me congratulate the Minister for giving us that well researched presentation. My issues are just issues of clarification.  The first one is clarification on what arrangements have been made for us to get a different result when we go to CoP 18 around the issue of elephant management; given that we know that most of the time, the western world would have organised itself in such a way that we lose out as Africa in terms of pushing the benefits that we may be pushing for in terms of management?  What advocacy/things have we done within the African context beyond just the meeting that you will be having in Victoria Falls?  Are we definitely sure that all the other African countries are going to be on board when we push for the change on policy on elephant management?

          My second question is a question that I think was raised in the House and you briefly answered it.  I was hoping that you would go into more detail around this.  Where can we get the resources to support compensation of persons who are hurt during the human and wildlife conflict, particularly in Matabeleland in the Victoria Falls area? We are losing families and homes and when that happens, people do not have any place for compensation. 

I heard you, last time, talking about the need to create a framework but surely, should we not be levying some of these places like the hunting concessions that you have so that this particular resource is there to provide compensation?  I do not think that we can continue having all these people losing lives and going to hospital without having a compensation fund.  I think that a compensation fund is critical and urgent, given the kind of problems that we are facing.  I think that it would also show the western world the fact that we do not just want to sell these things but that we actually have a huge problem that is talking to our own livelihood and the loss of lives.  I thank you.

HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I must also thank the Hon. Minister for her fairly well detailed presentation. Quite a few questions arise from her presentation.  Firstly, the statement did not address, in my view, the issue of baby elephants that we read are being hunted down, captured and exported for captivity rather than released into the wild and to me, that is a violation of the rights of the baby elephants.

My second concern relates to the huge stockpile of elephant tusks or ivory.  My question is, why have we had such a huge stockpile and what has stopped us from exporting, because there certainly could be underlying reasons, more than what we can be able to read on the surface.  What is the explanation and perhaps it is that underlying reason that we must address if we are not addressing it already?

Tied to that, Mr. Speaker Sir is, what has happened to the carcasses of the huge stockpile of ivory from where they were removed or cut off from the elephants?  What has happened to the carcasses?  What returns has Government or the Department of National Parks had from the carcasses?  How do we propose to address the issue of Zimbabwe being allowed to freely trade in elephant and elephant products? I think we could be doing certain things wrong that infringe certain international conventions that we must address as a country.  So, the Minister must elaborate and let us know whether we are compliant in terms of international treaties and conventions governing the trade in elephants and elephant products.

The decline in population of elephants elsewhere as compared to the increase in population of the same species in Zimbabwe, is it because we are doing certain things right or it is because, again, of the restrictions in exporting elephants and elephant products? 

So all said and done, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want the Minister to be clear about the whole issue around trade of elephants and what are the prohibition factors in the trade of elephants and more specifically the exportation of live baby elephants to the Far East for captivity.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to propose some solutions to certain questions that she has brought up.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, the chance is for you to ask questions and raise areas of clarification.

HON. NDUNA:  I am going to seek clarity – [Laughter.] - Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir.  On issues to do with wildlife and human conflict, it is a question that we asked the last time and I am alive to the fact that she has answered in a manner that says they are looking at also getting a fund to have compensation in that direction.  Is it possible for there to be established an insurance oriented portfolio on those that have been given hunting quotas or those that are coming in to kill our wild animals for trophies and game as hunting quotas?

Secondly, Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You address Mr. Speaker.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I will continue to address you and concentrate on you, irrespective of some diversions that Delilah is trying– [Laughter.] – you know what happened to Samson, Mr. Speaker Sir.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am also touched by the fact that Zimbabwe is going to defend our position on listing on Appendix 2 as opposed to going up to Appendix 1.  I want to know from the Hon. Minister who is also supporting us in that bid in order that we dispose of our tusks that we are endowed with and also that we dispose of our elephants as opposed to keeping them in a place where they can no longer be contained?  We are cognisant that there are those that are in support of our cause and are aware that the relations in the Second Republic with Botswana have thawed now and are coming alive.

Thirdly, I need to know exactly who it is that heads CITES.  I am alive to the issue that mugoni wepwere ndiye asinayo.  We cannot be led by those who do not have elephants themselves and hope to teach us about our elephant population.  Given that scenario, is it possible to skewer the issue of leadership at CITES in favour of those that are endowed with these animal populations, otherwise we are being led by the blind, Mr. Speaker Sir.  So, my question to her is how possible is it to rehabilitate and to reconstruct that leadership in order that we have it in our favour? Certainly it is unfair to be told what to do with your child by somebody who has no child bearing values and characteristics, Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Allow me to thank all the Hon. Members for the very valuable contributions, questions and comments.  I would like to start with Hon. Misihairabwi - what arrangements had been made to ensure we get a favourable response and what we have done to ensure that the other people understand our plight.

I must say we have done a lot of engaging and reengaging.  We have had advocacy teams going to lobby to various fora, to various nations.  We have been lobbying as SADC because as we are saying, most of the elephants or wild life is in southern Africa and more importantly in CAZA.  We have also, like the last speaker said, had a thaw of relationships between Botswana and Zimbabwe.  We seem to be talking along the same wavelength and in the whole CAZA group we have a common position.

We are engaging AU and as a way of making sure that our position is heard, this conference which is there next week, it is an AU/UN summit, but it is in Zimbabwe, in CAZA and we believe our engaging and talking to them has enabled them to at least understand and say let us go to CAZA, let us go to southern Africa - to Zimbabwe, to understand what is happening.  So the engagement is an ongoing process.  Perhaps one of our weaknesses has been that we have not told our story internationally in very concrete details, in scientific ways and this is what we are engaging in and this is what we have agreed on as CAZA that we need even our surveys, counting has to be scientific.  If we are going to get rid of some of the wildlife, it has to be done scientifically.  We are also lobbying the other people to understand our position because a lot of people do not understand that when they say there is a reduction in wildlife, in particular elephants in Africa, they are just talking globally Africa, not realizing that Southern Africa hosts 75% of the world’s wildlife, in particular elephants.

          Like the previous speaker said, somebody is talking to us trying to lecture to us about our children when maybe they do not have any children.  So, what we are saying is we do not want to be radical, we are engaging and persuading especially the forthcoming Summit, there are various international speakers.  So far we have over 30 countries in Africa, America, Europe et cetera that are coming to present papers and we also have our own experts from CAZA, Zimbabwean renowned experts on wild life who are going to present our case as CAZA and as Zimbabwe.  So it is an ongoing process, we have also started engaging some overseas publication in particular in the UK to make them understand our story which has not been clearly understood. So it is not an overnight event, it is a process and I believe the relationships which have cultured in the last year or so have been very positive.  They have seen even the British wanting to support us. At the forthcoming Summit,  the Environment Minister was going to come but he became a candidate for the Prime Minister-ship in the United Kingdom.  They have sent a senior Cabinet Secretary who is coming to participate at this coming summit and they have pledged to support CAZA in particular, and then the U.N itself and A.U.

          Unfortunately, some of our African countries who have no capacity in looking after their wildlife - some of them, I do not know for whatever reason, do not seem to understand.  You come up with a common position, and overnight they just change.  So the African Union as AU does not have one position, that is our challenge. As SADC PF and as CAZA, we are clear because we are the host to 75% of the population.  So, we need support from all over even when we talk to our own media here which is why we made the effort to say we must come and explain to our own legislators so that if they are attacked or if they have to talk and comment at least they talk from an informed position.

          The second question was where can we get resources to support persons hurt?  I remember a few weeks ago when I promised I would come with a paper, the issue was raised, and I said we are in the process - we have noted the concerns and we are in the process of coming up with a policy of how to compensate people who have been affected, whether it is crops, livelihoods or even lives.  We welcome the suggestion even of a levying opportunity, so we will take into consideration what has been said and we have started the process as a Ministry since I came here and the question or comment was raised.

          I want to thank the member who talked about the baby elephants being exported for captivity. I think I said last time when it was a direct question that no baby elephants were exported.  Whatever export has to be done it has to be scientifically done and we must ensure where they are coming from and where they are going, we are going to follow.  As I have said we have had a moratorium for almost 10 years.  We have not been exporting wild life and the moratorium expired in December 2018.  We are now waiting for CITES so that we can go and explain our case that yes, we have 83 000 when our capacity is around 50 000, what do we do with the extra?  There is the issue of climate change or even water we have to create water for the wild life at the moment.  

          If you were to visit some of the areas where there is human, wild life conflict, your understanding of the whole issue or your position will be different. I went to Gonarezhou last week just to understand what is happening there.  Just looking at the map and how people are affected by wild life.  If anybody from outside, especially those people who are against our disposal of excess wildlife, it will be a different story.  We have people living with lions and elephants and they devastate and destroy crops.  So these are some of the issues which we need to bring forward for the attention of other people so that they understand why we are saying we need 55, that is what we can look after properly.   

          You talked about the huge ivory stock, we want to sell that ivory stock but at the moment because of the moratorium, there has been accumulation for a long time and they are all there.  We are trying to persuade so that we can get some benefit to plough back into the communities.  We hope at the forthcoming CITES, we will be able to first of all make sure that we remain in category 2, appendix 2 which means we will be allowed to sell because there are people who are even advocating that all elephants must be in category 1.  If we are in appendix 1, that is a disaster for us as a nation and as a region because we have all the wild life.

          The issue of the huge stockpile - that is what I am saying, we are doing our best.  We came to a position where they were even offering to say we will take the ivory and burn and give you some money.  Following on what happened in Kenya where by burnt the ivory, we understand they never got the money.  So we are saying we will keep our ivory until we are in a situation where we are allowed to sell the ivory which we have and we are saying $300 million and the we will lose some value because we are talking about something which is biological which can decompose and we will lose the value.  We are saying at the moment our present value is $300 million which we badly need as a country.

          There was a comment or issue on why we have an increasing number of wildlife while the other countries it is on the decline. I think we must applaud and congratulate ourselves for the good conservation programmes which we have – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – they are not migrating, we have good conservation methods and if you have an opportunity or visiting some of our areas with a lot of wild life, I am talking about the Mana Pools and Gonarezhou, you really appreciate what is going on, especially with the backing which we are getting from some of the international supporters like the Frankfurt Zoological Society to see what is happening to the communities in the areas which are infested with the wild life.  So I believe we are doing a good thing and also the fact that they have wanted to come to Zimbabwe to have the first ever Wild Life Summit, I think it is a plus for us and we can all only pray that the preparations and the meetings are going to go very smoothly and the outcomes will assist us in making sure that we remain in Appendix 2.  At the moment, we are working with others as members of the UN family.  We do not want to be fighting with them because an alternative – if we were to be forced to Appendix 1, we might end up saying we want to reserve, which means we are not going to be part of that family.  At the moment, we are trying to lure them to make them understand what we are going through so that we remain in category 2 and be able to get rid of some elephants. 

          Within KAZA, Angola does not have many elephants because of the devastation caused by the war.  They have a lot of landmines.  We are saying we could allow some to go to Angola but firstly, we need to make sure that they demine so that our wildlife will be safe if they go there.  This is one of the things we are trying to do, to push some to Angola and Zambia where they have less stocks.  However, Zimbabwe and Botswana have a crisis at the moment.  We are on good terms with Botswana and are seeing a common purpose, and we will continue to engage.  On Sunday just before the meeting, the KAZA Ministers will be meeting to make sure that we strengthen our position.  There will be attempts to divide and rule us, but for now we are saying no, we must work together as a team and I think we will succeed in getting positive results from this coming meeting.

          Hon. Nduna talked about insurance oriented portfolio.  We are saying we will consider that as we come up with a policy on how to compensate those affected by living with wildlife.  CITES is international, we are part of the UN family.  There are certain treaties which we have signed and we will try our best to abide by the principles but we do not want to be compromising Zimbabwe as a nation.  We will look for a last resort only if we fail, but for now we are trying to accommodate others. 

Yes, we have also noticed one big issue. CITES is talking about animals, communities living with wildlife and yet we are not allowed to bring those communities or traditional leaders who will come to talk because they live with the people in Gonarezhou, Hurungwe and wherever.  So, we are fighting to have these people given a platform to speak at such events.  I am happy to report that for the forthcoming meeting, we have been allowed to have our community leaders and traditional leaders to have a say and present some papers at the forthcoming meeting next week.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Minister for the presentation.  The Minister asked for a suggestion; in the debate about pollution Hon. Minister, the Western world is saying, do not pollute. However, there has been an agreement that if you do not want us to pollute, pay for the carbon emissions as carbon credit.  There is a Carbon Credit Fund – I am just following on what Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga was saying.  Where do we get the money for compensation?  Is it not possible to pin down these guys and say; if you want us to conserve the animals, pay for the disaster that they are causing. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – They must compensate the people who are dying and the environment that is being destroyed by the animals.  Maybe it is another line that you could pursue.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am from an area with elephants.  My question is; how accurate are these figures, the count? When did they last have an accurate count?  We used to go to Hwange National Park, from halfway up to Hwange, there used to be billboards labeled ‘do not drive beyond 60km/hr.’  This was because you would bump into a head of elephants but these days you rarely see an elephant.  If you see elephants, they will be near the camps, further inland. I do not believe the elephants are as many as they used to be unless they have migrated to other countries.  I really want to understand - what is the basis and where are you getting those accurate figures?  We used to see airplanes flying and counting unless you have new methods now which are more accurate than what used to be done.

There has been a danger of the people who are supposed to be looking after elephants, the wardeners; they are killing the elephants using cyanide.  I had an incident where I arrested some poachers and two days later they were released after a directive from Harare to do so.  What are you doing about the threat that is posed on these animals by the people who are supposed to be looking after elephants?  We have one or two indigenous hunters who will kill one elephant or one buffalo but there are these serious gangsters, influential people killing elephants using cyanide and nothing is happening to them.  We have never heard about the person who killed ‘Cecil the Lion.’  It just disappeared after a small article in the newspapers.  Thereafter, the big chefs just disappeared with that crime.  Are these not the things that are making CITES to be so strict on us?

Lastly, we have stockpiles of ivory; these are dead elephants and not live.  Why are they not allowing us to sell them because we are not killing new ones?  These are tusks from old elephants which died long back but the world is saying, ‘do not sell.’  It is not coming out clear to me the good reasons that they are giving for not allowing us.  If the Minister could clarify exactly what their good reasons are in their argument.  Are there some things that they are worried about which we are not doing properly as a country?  Why are they not open to us so that we see exactly what their concerns are?  I thank you.

HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  May I take this opportunity to thank the Hon. Minister for the Ministerial Statement.  The issue of human wildlife conflict is quite topical and pertinent.  I am sure that it is an issue that I raised last week on Wednesday and the Minister responded to the issue. 

I will turn to the Summit from 23 to 25 June in Victoria Falls.  I think that Summit is very important, it presents the Government of Zimbabwe with an opportunity to justify and substantiate why it is imperative for us to sell ivory.  It is very crucial for us as a country to present our facts right so that we are able to convince CITES and the outside world that it is important and necessary for us to engage in trading in ivory. 

I think it is also necessary for the Hon. Minister to identify a few Hon. Members in this House, especially those who come from areas where wildlife or elephants are kept.  Maybe the Minister can identify three or four Hon. Members who can make presentations at that Summit.  I got impressed when she mentioned that community leaders like chiefs, kings or traditional leaders will be invited to make some presentations.  I think it is also prudent to identify three or five legislators who can make Power Point presentations at that Summit so as to convince the international world that the elephant population in Zimbabwe has grown dramatically to an extent that grazing land is becoming smaller and smaller. 

According to the statistics we got from the Hon. Minister, in 1993 we had a population of 58185; in 2001, it was 88 123 and that is enough proof that the carrying capacity is shrinking.  That gives us an opportunity and ample chance for us to trade because we have embraced good conservation practices.  I think that is very important. 

Then I will seek clarification on an issue that you raised - incentives to communities so that they can tolerate wildlife, whereby communities can derive some benefits.  May be you may want to clarify that issue, what are the incentives that you are likely to give to communities who live with those elephants?  I will go to the numbers game, I think the numbers game is very important depending on which side you are mentioning the statistics.  The issue of stockpile of ivory worth US$300 million, I have read that the stockpile is around US$600 million.  May be it was grossly exaggerated; I am not so sure but you may want to clarify that issue. 

          I will turn to the issue of law of competitive advantage. What are the advantages of us remaining in CITES, assuming we have done everything and then CITES remains adamant and has not allowed us to trade in ivory yet the market is there.  There is abundant market, it is actually there but because we are a member of CITES, what are the benefits of us belonging to CITES?  If we are saying we are using the law of competitive advantage, what are the advantages? If we pull out of CITES, suppose we have tried not to justify, used all the tricks so that we are allowed to sell ivory, what are the benefits.  I think I see more benefits if we pull out of CITES then we are allowed to trade in ivory.  I will also need a comment on that.

          Finally, the issue of our borders that are porous. In this case, the issue of our airspace - it is very important. We are not doing anything to guard our airspace.  The other time I was in Kariba and I got information that there was a lot of poaching taking place and those people are using small aircrafts to smuggle ivory and other precious metals.  We should do something to guard our airspace so that those small aircrafts cannot just come and are involved in contraband trade or illegally exporting our products.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Order, order Hon. Members.  May I remind Hon. Members not to repeat questions that have been asked by other Members?  This opportunity is for you to ask questions and seek some areas of clarification that you might have, not to debate.

          HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My issue is around the issue of compensation, it has been raised before but it seems to be bordering around fatal cases.  I need clarification if there is going to be a framework that looks at restitution where there is economic loss because a lot of our farmers who live around the game parks are losing their crops due to baboons, wild pigs and many other animals.  So in your framework, are you going to include restitution for such cases?

          Then in terms of international law or the CITES Guidelines, does it prohibit commercialising the elephant industry where a nation creates value chains around the animal for its hide, tusk or meat or use it as transport on draught power so that you can actually try and sweat the resources.  In case the COP 20 submissions that are taking place fail to go through, do we have plan B that is an alternative to exit strategy where we say, if this does not happen or if any one of our submissions is not taken on board, what is that we are going to do to be able to sustain the elephant head that we have?

          Finally, do we have a strategy as a whole nation to try and maximise on the conference that we are going to have?  I am talking of ratcheting pressure when you are going to present; I am talking of may be working around a petition of 10 million signatures to present during the CITES so that we ratchet enough pressure.  I thank you.

          HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Imagine a single bed with 10 people, you can never fit on that.  We have got more than enough elephants at this point in time.  Hon. Minister, go and tell them that Zimbabweans want to make sure that we have sustainable number of elephants.  Personally, I have worked in the national park. I have worked with elephants, I know the human-animal conflict that exists; elephants can be very dangerous.  If you look at the statistics, 200 people have been killed by elephants over the past five years. So we need a balance Mr. Speaker Sir. In this balance, what are we saying…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member, like I rightly said, you are now debating.  Can you put across your question or point of clarification?

          HON. S.BANDA: My point of clarifications are that instead of us selling live elephants, can we not lease them say to other countries where there may have space?  There may be places where our elephants can go and dwell with the environment because at times you can send elephants elsewhere and they may not be able to survive in such conditions since they may be different from source.  So is it not possible for us to lease, I think that will be the first clarification. 

          On beneficiation, even the ivory that we have at the moment, can we not beneficiate so that we do not take it out as pure ivory but as other added products?  Thank you very much.

          HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for furnishing us with the presentation.  Mr. Speaker Sir, what is the Government or the Ministry doing to make sure that the communities that are living with these animals benefit from tourism?  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to once again thank the Hon. Members for the questions, comments and views on the subject being debated.  I think on the accuracy of figures, in my report I said the last area census was done in 2014 and it is done every five years.  We are now in the process of having the next one.  The last one five years ago was at 83 000 but looking at the number of conflicts happening between humans and the wildlife the number is on the increase, denoting that there is definitely an increase in the number of elephants that we have in Zimbabwe. We are quite confident that the count we have is quite accurate and we do not do it on ourselves.  We have some other technical partners who are interested and who have a passion for wildlife.

There was an issue of the wardens looking after the wildlife that maybe they are the poachers. The incidence of poaching in Zimbabwe has gone down drastically. There are a lot of projects at the moment, both funded by National Parks and other interested people, conservationist. I would just wish you would have an opportunity to visit some of the areas to see the tremendous work being done by people who are interested in wildlife. If you go to the Zambezi – Chirundu Valley, you will be amazed. The number of game rangers has increased and although our own which we passed here is very minimum, there are a lot of interested people who are putting some money into training rangers making sure that we have the resources to track and police what is happening out there.

We have support from various organisations giving us motor vehicles and making us electronic as far as tracking poachers is concerned. If we talk of Kariba for instance, you find that most of the poachers are not from Zimbabwe but they are coming from across the river. We are doing our best, first of all engaging our colleagues in Zimbabwe but at the same time increasing our patrols along the river so that we reduce the incidences of poaching.

Some of the poachers are international gangsters coming into Zimbabwe and we have done a lot as far as making sure that we resource and train our rangers. We are confident that as National Parks, Ministry, a country and Government, we are trying our best to make sure that we try and manage. We are training rangers from all areas empowering the locals. For instance, if we are talking about Kanyemba, we have said the rangers coming from Kanyemba must be local residents. We are training youths from there that we are given by the local leadership.

We are doing the same in Gonarezhou. My visit to Gonarezhou last week was a real eye opener, understanding the issue of poaching and what National Parks is doing empowering the locals. I have seen the locals being trained in hospitality, building lodges along the river, getting the locals to come and run those and getting the resources, ingredients or equipment coming from the locals. That is empowering them.

We have come up with programmes – I know we have one in Tsholotsho, a pilot programme which we are doing. We are saying our wildlife people from outside like tourists might misunderstand why we have wildlife here. They might think it is for them to come and view and go away, forgetting that there are people who live with the wildlife. What we are saying, for instance, the project which we have started as a Ministry in Tsholotsho, we are helping them build lodges and viewing platforms so that tourists come in and the money will go to the community to assist them in building bridges, schools or whatever; employing locals so that they are part of the benefits because they have to be our frontline anti-poachers. The locals must be our frontline because they will understand that if we kill the animals, it means the income is gone. So, there is a lot of cooperation which is going on between the locals who live with the wildlife.

We also have other interested funders, like I said, the Frankfurt Zoological Society, WWF who assist us. We are looking at ways of demarcating certain areas where it is really intense so that we keep the wildlife away from people through fencing, but again, some of our own people come and cut the fence which we are using to protect them especially along the Save Conservancy. People just destroy it and we are uping our game and making sure that my Ministry works very closely with the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement because some of the issues, people might go in and resettle themselves in an area which is designated for wildlife, getting themselves into danger. So, we need to work together.

I was just telling my colleagues after my visit to Gonarezhou that we need to go together; my Ministry, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Lands and Immigration because there are certain areas like in the Thuli area where we are thinking at getting some more border controls. First of all, we can get income by getting our tourists coming through legally but leaving it like that, we get porous borders. Where we have the Kruger National Park in one of our Transfrontier areas, we are saying if Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Transport can make sure that they facilitate connectivity. We will be able to get all those people going to Kruger National Park coming to our own Gonarezhou.

Those are some of the things we are doing to develop and assist the villagers. Schools have been built through some of these projects which we have for the locals, training young girls in baking even the bread we were talking about here and empowering them into real life changing projects. These are some of the things we are doing with our communities so that they also benefit and become the first frontline anti-poaching agents.

We have also talked about identifying members present for the summit. That is a very welcome suggestion. Already, we have sent invites. As it is a UN – AU Summit, we will need representation from the Foreign Affairs Portfolio Committee but more importantly the Environment and Tourism Portfolio Committee. We have already sent requests for at least four people from that Committee to come and participate. I think we have no issue at all getting people who are going to add value if they can come.

Yes, the programme is out but since it is happening in Zimbabwe, I am sure we can convince and persuade so that we have our speakers as well who have real contributions to make. There are plenary sessions where people can just come in, debate or give points, whatever points you have to whoever is going to represent. Like I said, there are people who are going to represent communities. So, you are most welcome and we have no issue as a Ministry to get more representation to make sure that our story is heard loud and clear.

Somebody asked who leads CITES? It is made up of members, unfortunately as SADC, we only have sixteen votes and we are talking about 191 member countries. It means as SADC, now we are persuading those people who are neutral, favourable and who understand us but at the moment we are confrontational. There are benefits of belonging to an international family but there are also disadvantages. At the moment, we are not yet thinking of moving away from CITES but remember, when I made my representation, I said we are in Category Two but there are some people who are saying we must move to Category One. That will be a non-starter for us to go to Category One. We might be left with no choice but at the moment we are engaging and re-engaging and we want to use this forum to make people really understand what we are talking about.

Let us not be mistaken and think the issue of ivory is just a Zimbabwean issue. No, it is the whole region and the most affected are Zimbabwe and Botswana because we have the largest herd of elephants. So, it is not just us who have stockpiles. They have stockpiles even in Botswana and the other countries. The US$300 I am talking about are just elephants. If we include rhino horns, it comes to US$600 million at stake at the moment. So, we need to engage and we are not allowed to sell the elephants themselves or the derivative products from them, otherwise we would sell.

Sometimes if you think about it emotionally, you would say if it were my own, I would say zvakwana and do what I want with my animals but the problem also is some of the people who are able to buy our elephants are members of CITES. We need to persuade and make sure that they also support us because some of people who buy our elephants or ivory are members of CITES.  We need to persuade them that it in their interest to make sure that we remain in appendix two.  I think we are making some progress.  We are not in a fighting mode yet.  Yes, intellectually yet, but not to say we are leaving CITES at the moment.  We have to look at the benefits of belonging to that family.  It is not a very even playing field.  We seem to be more disadvantaged and the reason is it is in Africa and it is in Southern Africa where that concentration is.  People in North Africa might not even know what we are talking about or even be passionate because they do not have anyone who is living with the wildlife.

When I talked earlier on compensation policy Mr. Speaker Sir, I did say, we are looking at a policy of compensation for crops, property, humans and any other livelihoods that would have been destroyed.  We are taking cognisant of the fact that it does not mean just killing people, destroying the animals, destroying their crops, destroying their property.  I have seen it happening and you wonder how people stay.  It is good for us to go together to some of these areas.  I am challenging you, let us go and learn because I have learnt a lot just by visiting not being in the office.  Going out to the people talking to them to say how they live and what goes on and understand.  As a Ministry, we are open.  People who want to come with us because we go out we do not sit in the office. 

The compensation and economic loss is covered for.  On Exit Plan, we do not have an exit plan yet because we are not intending to exit.  We are going to fight and with our supporters and as a region we will do our best to influence the decisions.  The issue of leasing is something really innovating.  It is an innovation.  We have never considered leasing but as I said, we would want to send some of them within the region into our transfrontiers but as I said, Angola would be able to take a lot.  There is huge land mass in Angola but the land mines are everywhere.  We are trying to negotiate with people who are interested in wild life to ensure that there is clearance of the landmines so that we can send some of our wildlife to places like Angola.  Angola is part of our Kaza.  They are very willing and doing all their best to make sure we send some.

 The issue of just sending them or leasing them – even within Zimbabwe, you cannot just transport or move elephants or animals from one area to another just like that.  You have to study and see how they are going to adapt.  It is all scientific.  You cannot just say let me take the elephants and send them wherever.  We have translocated some to the Zambezi Valley, we have translocated some even to the neighbouring countries but we have to make sure that we follow up that they have adapted well.  Otherwise, you might think you are solving a problem, yet it is even worse.  The animals are going to die anywhere.  A lot of research is being done out there in the areas like Malilangwe Trust.  There is a lot happening there even genetically modified, getting the good breeds from somewhere making sure that we plant the good ones into the areas which have poorer animals.  Those are some of the initiatives we are doing.  As a Ministry, we have said, as one of our 100 days’ targets, we are going to re-launch the campfire project so that more communities throughout the country benefit from living with wildlife. 

On Value Addition, although the ivory has been sitting there, we are not allowed to touch it or to sell.  They will come and take count to make sure that we are not selling.  This is how strict it is.  It is like slavery in a way that you cannot but they are there.  They will come to count to make sure you do not take them.  We have been complying and I think CITES is just a few months away.  We will be patient and see that we try to lobby.   It is about lobbying and being part of the international world.  I think gradually over the year, we are in the global arena and we want to participate and make sure that both the wildlife are conserved and the people living with them have their livelihoods improved and we reduce the wildlife human conflict.  I think I have covered the questions.  Thank you Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.  May you lower your voices Hon. Members?

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

ILLEGAL SETTLERS IN RESETTLEMENT AREAS

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (RTD. CHIEF AIRMAL SHIRI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing me to give a Statement on illegal settlers in resettlement areas.  By way of background, the Government of Zimbabwe implemented the Land Reform Programme since independence in 1980 in order to decongest communal areas, afford indigenous persons access to enough land for livelihood sustenance as well as create a class of indigenous commercial farmers. 

The programme was implemented in three distinct phases.  Phase 1 stretched from 1980 to 19197 where 71 thousand households were resettled.  The inception phase of phase 2 which took place from 198 to June 2000 where 4 697 households were resettled and the fast track phase of phase 2 which started from July 2000 to present where 169 347 families were settled under models A1 and A2.  Mr. Speaker Sir, land for resettlement was taken from large-scale commercial farming areas, thus Zimbabwe being an agro-based economy, production should happen in resettlement areas.  For clarification purpose of the 15.5 million hectares under the large-scale commercial farming areas in 1980 at independence, 12.7 million hectares is now under resettlement.

Objectives of the Land Reform Programme – it might be prudent to remind ourselves of the objectives of the Land Reform Programme.  So of the objectives were to de-congest the overpopulated and or over-stocked wards and villages for the benefit of landless people under Model A1.  To indigenise the large scale commercial farming sector through Model A2 commercial settlement schemes.  To reduce the extent and intensity of poverty among rural families and farm workers by providing them with adequate land for agricultural use; to increase the contribution of the agricultural sector to DGP and foreign currency earnings and to promote environmentally sustainable utilisation of land through agriculture and eco-tourism.  To develop and integrate small-scale farmers into the mainstream of commercial agriculture and to create conditions for sustainable economic, political and social stability.  This presentation seeks to remind us of the need to fulfil these objectives and highlight how illegal settlements hamper their achievement. While a full assessment of the impact of resettlement on communal areas has not been carried out yet, indications are that indeed, most communal areas have been decongested and forests are now regenerating as a result of the relief induced by the resettlement programme.

          The creation of indigenous commercial farmers has been realised as evidenced by the number of indigenous farmers growing crops like tobacco and soya beans as well as livestock.

          It is however in the resettlement areas that population pressure is now evident mainly due to the proliferation of illegal settlements.  This problem is eminent in old resettlement schemes and Mode A1 villagised settlements. There are also illegal settlements in some catchment areas, Model A2 farms, unallocated state land, state forests and some privately owned farms.

We now look at planned farm carrying capacity -Model A1 and old resettlement scheme farms were planned according to carrying capacity, that is the number of households each farm can sustain for residential cropping, woodlot and grazing requirements.  According to the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme Revised Phase II policy document of April 2001, the recommended household entitlements by agro ecological region are as follows:

Region 1    -        12 hectares per household for areas like Chipinge

Region 2    -        15-20 hectares per household for areas like Mazowe and Goromonzi.

Region 3    -        30 hectares per household for areas like Shamva and Kwekwe.

Region 4    -        50 hectares per household for areas like the Somabula and Bulawayo

Region 5    -        70 hectares per household for areas like Matabeleland South around Zhobe dam.

          However, most farms were planned using lower hectarages entitlements per family than the recommended ones, thereby reducing the viability options for the resettled families.

          Illegal settlements therefore further reduce land entitlement per household, thus further reducing viability in these resettlement areas.

          The target area for illegal settlements is grazing area which is communally owned by the resettled farmers.  While in some cases the effect of illegal settlements in grazing areas has not immediately constrained the resettled families.  In other cases however, villagers have had to source for grazing elsewhere, including in adjacent Model A2 farms.  Such practices inconvenience Model A2 farmers as some lose their crops and fences as a result. 

          The depletion of grazing areas may discourage resettled farmers from keeping livestock. Livestock production is a key component for the success of the agriculture sector, including the cropping aspect as it provides draught power and manure. Livestock also contributes to food security and nutrition through milk and meat products at household level.  Livestock also is key as a source of income for most rural families as most children are sent to school by selling livestock.  We have not even spoken of the cultural value of livestock to us as vanhu/abantu.

          It is therefore important to protect and preserve the planned carrying capacities of farms in resettlement areas in order to defend the objectives of the Land Reform Programme.

          Defining Illegal Settler

An illegal settler is a person occupying state land without any legal document in the form of a permit, offer letter or lease and/or holding a fraudulent document issued by an unauthorised person/s.

          For the avoidance of doubt, those that occupied farms during the period 2000 to 2004 and are settled in an orderly manner are not classified as illegal settlers under this exercise as they await regularisation – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -

          Categories of Illegal Settlers

Illegal settlers can be children or relatives of legally settled families, former farm workers or ordinary people who occupy grazing land or undesignated land.

Illegal settlers may have been allocated land by village heads, Committees of Seven, traditional leaders, political activists, Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement staff, some members of land committees, rogue self-proclaimed invasion leaders or other Government officials outside of the respective land committees and without complying with laid down land allocation procedures.  There are also illegal settlers who just settled themselves.  In most cases, these illegal settlers have shadow leadership they report to and get protection.  The shadow leadership links the illegal settlers with local political leaders.

Consequences of Illegal Settlers

The main problem caused by illegal settlers is to cause legally settled households to become unviable on their allocated land.  As a result, legally settled farmers fail to productively use their land.  There is evidence that illegal settlements have caused deforestation, overgrazing, land degradation and siltation of water bodies.  The possibility of becoming a desert are high if illegal settlements are not addressed.  All these have an effect on climate change as well as reduce the irrigation capacity of the nation.  Irrigation is the cornerstone upon which crop farming should be based in the face of unpredictable weather patterns in recent seasons.

There are reports from Government Agents such as Forestry Commission, ZINWA and EMA indicating that state forests are in danger from illegal settlers and major water bodies such as Lake Mutirikwi, Lake Chivero and Lake Kariba are in danger of siltation.

Cause to Remove Illegal Settlers

Previous audits have revealed that small scale farmers (old resettlement and Model A1) are the most productive group of farmers. 

However, this productive group is now under threat from the illegal settlements.  The objective of the Land Reform Programme to decongest communal areas may have been achieved, but will count for nothing as long as the resettlement areas become more congested than the communal areas. 

It is therefore compelling that illegal settlements be addressed as a matter of urgency in order to protect the legally settled farmers and avoid turning resettlement areas into deserts. The essence of the land Reform Programme, the single most effective empowerment programme will be lost if illegal settlements are not dealt with immediately. Dealing with illegal settlements is also a strong statement against corruption as most of the illegal settlers paid some people to be settled where they are.

          Addressing Demand for land, Government is aware of the high demand for land by citizens and is committed to assist as many of the applicants as is possible to get land. Steps taken so far include repossessing abandoned and/or unoccupied subdivisions; downsizing farms exceeding maximum farm sizes as per Statutory Instrument 288 of 2000 and repossessing land from beneficiaries with multiple farms.

          However, it is important to note that given the size of the country (finite), it is not possible for every land applicant to get land. As such, as a nation, we should support those allocated land to be productive and feed into industry to open up opportunities for others to participate in the economy.

          Having said the above, I hope we are all alive to the fact that the War of Liberation was to a great extend about access to land. This means Government is committed to ensuring that all those people who are genuinely in need of land shall be accommodated one way or the other.

          HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I seek clarification on few issues. The first one concerns the manner in which illegal settlers are being removed from their areas. We have witnessed horrific incidents, especially in the Chemagora area where homes, granaries and people’s homes were destroyed. Such draconian tactics cannot be allowed to continue because we notice that people are being inhumanly ill-treated and being abused by those people who were sent to evict those people. So, we are calling upon Government to ensure that a human face is applied when people are being evicted. Instead of using maximum force, it is important that the Government should consider giving enough time to those people to move from wherever they are. Thank you.

          *HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Minister is saying there are some people who resettled themselves in those areas and we have some people who are confused because they are settled in those areas and it seems official because they were given documents which make them legal settlers in that area. At times people do not understand why they are being chucked out of those areas because they were given documents by officers in the rightful offices of resettlement. When you remove them violently, they have nowhere to go and they do not even know where they can seek for recourse. I thank you Madam Speaker.

          *HON. TSUNGA: I thank you Madam Speaker. I have a few questions. My first is on the notices of seven days that are given to these settlers. I am saying how can a Government which has people at heart give them a notice of seven days to vacate those areas? Some of those people involved in these eviction situations are the elderly who do not even know where they can go and seek refuge. Therefore, I am calling upon the State to increase the notice instead of the mere seven days.

          The second request is that we have people who have settled in some areas for quite a long time and they even have their roots in those areas where they have the traditional leaders who were in that area and it is verifiable that those people before settlers used to stay in that area. Why should they be evicted?

          I will turn to the third effect by saying by evicting them, we are protecting the people who were officially settled in those areas so that they can take up their areas which they were given. In this case, we are talking of internally displaced people, like what happened in Chimanimani and Chipinge where people were displaced because of cyclone Idai. Whenever we are evicting people, let us also think of the welfare of people we are evicting, the place where they are going to be settled. Do they have facilities such as schools, clinics and shopping centres?  I think Government has to be serious in these areas. People should be evicted when they have areas where they can be settled.

          My last contribution is that the Minister talked about productivity in these areas where they are being evicted and he is saying there is a certain category of people who are officially settled and they are doing very well. My belief is that if we were to carry out some thorough research, we would notice that these people who are being evicted are very good farmers who are creating a bumper harvest and they are even busier and more productive than these officially settled people, and I am saying let us sympathise with them.

          We also have a situation where we have the officials in Government who are removing these settlers and when they have removed the so called illegal settlers, the officials or relatives of these officials settle instead.  There is unfairness in the land distribution and these are the people who are being settled in those areas where people have been evicted. Let us look carefully into this situation. Thank you.

          HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Hon. Minister Shiri for your presentation. I have basic questions that I need to ask. My first question refers to illegal farmers that invade mining pegged areas. How does the Ministry intend to address the situation where illegal farmers invade pegged areas for mining? There is an issue of double allocation of land. When there is double allocation, what happens is that one becomes an illegal settler – how is that addressed from your Ministry?

          Thirdly, there is also the principle of use or lose it that is being applied in the Ministry of Mines that if you do not use land or the peg, the Ministry is going to take the land away and allocate it to somebody that can use it. How is your Ministry looking at that? Thank you.

          *HON. KWARAMBA: The Hon. Minister talked about multiple ownership of farms and land audit was carried out and the question is what are you going to do to those people with such multiple farms? Why do you not take some of these farms and settle these people who are being evicted so that they are not evicted into the cold?

          *HON. SHUMBAMHINI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution. I want to talk about people who are in the Mutoko South Constituency. These are people who were settled long back and as a result, they were not given permits to settle in those areas. These people have documents which were signed by former resettlement officers during that time. May you please clarify on whether they are going to face eviction because they have old documents or they are covered?

          My second question is that we have two offices allocating land - the District Administrator is allocating giving offer letters and council is also allocating land. Who should be the official office to distribute land?

          When I look into my constituency, we have noticed that people have encroached into school areas where schools have very little land. When you are addressing this, please look into the area whereby some of the land has been misused.

          HON GABBUZA: When we look at farm sizes, we have no problem with somebody who is in Region 1 or 2 but somebody who is in Region 4 is entitled to 75ha but got less. When they rationalize, what will the Minister do about the neighbours because I will need more land but what happens to the next?

          In line with multiple ownership; is the Minister confirming that now they are done with land audit because you cannot be reallocating and at the same time looking for more people with many farms? Is the land audit complete so that they now know how many people have more than one farm?

          *HON. SHAVA: My policy question is - we have people who were settled from 2002 to 2006. They settled in this land which was State land and they were promised that there was going to be an official allocation and pegging. What we noticed is that when the land was officially allocated, these people who were the first settlers were evicted whilst new people had come into those areas. We noticed that some of these old settlers have now been removed from those areas. They have been taken to other areas. We have 15 women who have been imprisoned and we are pleading with the Ministry to take care of these people who were the first settlers to take care of the State land and allocate them land instead of allocating people who are coming from urban areas or other areas.

          We also have people who were allocated land given offer letters and surprisingly despite producing these offer letters these people are being evicted from their officially settled areas. Please assist them.

          HON. NDIWENI: I want to thank the Hon Minister for his elaborate presentation. My point of clarification that I seek is the way we are trying to solve illegal settlements. It looks like we are using the ‘one size fits all’ when we are trying to solve this problem. There are instances where we feel there should be ground visits to go down to the place, see how these people were resettled and then find a solution to the problem. For example, there is an area where people were settled and they were looking forward to the area being pegged and part of it was pegged but then money ran out supposedly for pegging the whole area. Half the population has pegged homesteads and they are settled illegally and the other half has to move their illegal settlers. There are instances like that where I feel if officials come down to the ground they might realise that those people do not need to be evicted. I thank you.

          HON. O. SIBANDA: Thank you also Hon. Minister for a wonderful presentation. My question to the Minister is that I come from a rural and farming set up. In the rural set up, you find that people have been reallocated stands all over the area. There are no grazing lands and as such, rivers and dams have silted. The water capacity in the dams is no longer viable for irrigation. We have lost two irrigation schemes because of that. What are you going to do with these people who were given stands at the river banks and wetlands? Are you going to remove these people and resettle them somewhere?

          In the rural set up, there are homes that have been abandoned because of people who have opted to go to the farming areas and they do not want to occupy those stands anymore.  They refuse to have other people resettled there or to take over those stands. In my constituency, all the farming areas have been occupied by people coming from outside the constituency at the expense of these people who can be allocated land in the farming areas.

          HON. MARKHAM: I have three questions for the Minister. The first one is - could he clarify the policy on sub-leasing of farms – farms that have been allocated to two people and then sub-leased out and the people are not necessarily even resident in this country.

          My second question is a rather complicated one. I am hoping the Minister can help us and this pertains to peri urban area. These are farms right on the edge of urban areas and in some cases cutting into urban areas which have been acquired for agricultural purposes and then have ended up going into residential areas with no planning. There are numerous areas like this. The second complication on the same question comes on farms that were in urban areas which were acquired and have documents of acquiring them but they are actually in urban areas. These farms were taken over and just built on. In my constituency alone, there are five totaling 800 ha.

          My last question is on fraudulent documents. That runs across the country and is very difficult to sort out because most people do not know who can and who cannot sign or issue documents. What I would request is that the Minister considers a special office to look at documents that people have conflicting interest on. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI: The first issue raised was to do with the manner in which illegal settlers were evicted and there was an appeal that people be evicted in a humane manner. As much as possible, that is what we try to do and the people who are involved in evictions are an inter-ministerial team made up of our security forces and Ministry of Lands. Yes, we have received some allegations and counter allegations like the case cited of Chemagora where the Hon. Member alleges that houses were burnt down by those who were evicting illegal settlers. The security forces are alleging that influenced by some politicians, some illegal settlers torched their homes so that they could portray the image that it was the security forces that did that.  So that is a very contested position but nevertheless whatever the case, illegal settlers have to be evicted in a humane manner – that is agreed.  Our security forces are very much aware of that and we will always remind them of that need.

          I would also want to appeal to some politicians not to influence their people in such a manner that we end up creating confusion.

          The second question that was raised - how do you deal with those who were misled by officials into believing that they were being properly resettled?  Well, being misled does not really mean that the person was officially settled.  We have land committees at district, provincial and national levels and anyone who was not resettled by those committees was improperly settled.  So we categorise such people as illegal settlers.  We will then have to establish whether or not they are genuinely in need of land and if we so establish then we will have to find them some land for resettlement – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          Seven day eviction notices are too short – we have been calling upon illegal settlers to move out of the land that they are occupying several times over.  When we issue final eviction notices, at least we allow ourselves about three months before moving in.  So it is not like a seven day notice is given today then after seven days people are being evicted.  We try to be as reasonable as possible.  We will allow them, if they have crops to harvest to harvest their crops.  They are allowed to appeal and present their cases especially if they need a bit of time to prepare for their departure – that can be considered.

          *There was a question that - what of those people who have been staying at a place for quite some time and even have traditional leaders in those areas?  We are saying that if you are illegal, you are illegal regardless of your having stayed in that area for a long time.  So we are compelled to ensure that we correct the situation otherwise the damage that will be visited on the environment would be very unacceptable.  We stand to suffer irreparable damage in the long run and if we turn our country into a desert – turning it back into viable land may not be that easy.

          Why not protect internally displaced people?  Are they being moved to areas with social facilities such as schools and hospitals?  These people did not drop from heaven or mars but came from somewhere.  They can always return to where they came from if they are considered not to be genuinely in need of land.

          Are the people being evicted not being productive and contributing to the economy?  Surely, some of them are productive and contributing to the economy but that again does not remove the fact that they are illegal settlers.  Some of them are producing yes, but producing on wetlands and that is not sustainable.  We have to remove and find them somewhere else to be resettled otherwise we will damage the environment.

          *Others are alleging that chefs are being settled where people have been evicted.  Well, we need proof to that effect.  If there is evidence then we will definitely deal with it but in as far as we understand nothing of the sort is happening – it is just casual talk, more like bar talk yekungotaurawo kungoti it would have been better had they said they had proof to that effect and obviously, we would have taken corrective measures and that would not be allowed definitely.  We have leaders at community level and we expect them to raise alarm should such anomalies be perpetuated.

          On the issue of illegal settlers who invade mining claims – what happens to those who invade mining claims?  Well, I think that there is a law but firstly, illegal settlers are illegal settlers wherever they are – be it on mining claims or farming areas.  They remain illegal settlers.  More-so with mining claims, I understand that mining has precedence over agriculture.  So wherever the illegal settlers are they just have to be evicted.  Those who are genuinely in need of land will have to be resettled elsewhere.

          Then there was the issue to do with double allocations.  Yes, we have cases of double allocations but we have been establishing who was issued with an offer letter first or settled on the farm first.  Then the person is allowed to continue farming and the offer letter of the one who came later is withdrawn and prioritized.  When it comes to resettlement, we will try and get that person another piece of land.

          Why not adapt the ‘use it or lose it’ policy?  Yes, in my statement I said that those who are genuinely in need of land shall be resettled on the farms that we shall be downsizing, underutilised or unproductive farms – is the land that we shall be targeting for resettlement.  So yes, the policy is already being implemented.

          Then after the results of the land audit, why not take land from multiple farm owners and allocate it to illegal settlers?  Yes, we have got some multiple farm owners but they seem not to be as many as we would want to believe.  It would appear there are no cases where you will find farm A being owned by Shiri, farms B and C again by Shiri – people could have used proxies and it is very difficult to establish that an individual is a proxy because in their own right those individuals qualify to be resettled.  Nevertheless, if there is any evidence which points to the existence of multiple farm ownership, we are more than prepared to move in and take corrective action.

There are some old resettlement offer letters which were signed by Ministry officials as opposed to the new practices where the Minister himself does the signing.  We recognise that.  I remember in the first phase of resettlement, probably the documents were being signed by officials, but there is a cutoff date and we will always respect those documents.

In Mutoko, the DA, council officials are allocating land.  That is where we start having problems, Madam Speaker.  These council officials are not supposed to be issuing land and we already have got evidence here of people who are illegally parceling out land, creating this problem now which will eventually lead to evictions of illegal settlers.  So those council officials will have to be dissuaded from undertaking those illegal activities.  If we can prove that, obviously the law will take its own course.  Mine is not empty talk, I mean it.

What will happen to those in regions 4 and 5 who have already been allocated less than 75 hectares when we are saying a family is supposed to be allocated 75 hectares – I even highlighted it in my document that in most cases, families were allocated land whose size is below the recommended farm size.  So, we will have to live with that.  The land is not expanding and we hope the people will make the best out of whatever pieces of land they have and learn not to exceed the carrying capacity of those pieces of land.  We have got our Agritex officers throughout the country who are available to give advice on how best the land can be utilised.

In some cases, those who occupied land in 2002 are being removed in favour of new settlers, not as a result of Ministry action.  We have got cases whereby some people take their cases to the courts and a determination is made by the courts.  We are bound by the laws of this country and if a court gives a ruling, we respect that ruling.  If for whatever reason we think we desperately need that piece of land, then we can again restart the whole acquisition process to ensure that the land properly becomes State land.

In Muzvezve, some people with offer letters are being evicted.  It is not supposed to be the case since they have got offer letters.  They are supposed to remain on the land.  Unless if they were settled on wet lands, then obviously, they will have to be removed and land has to be found where they can be resettled, but also we have witnessed some people who have got fake offer letters.  We have got some codes on the offer letters which are very difficult to discern and some people try to reproduce the offer letters and if they miss that code, we can always pick it up.  Those will be the fake documents and we cannot respect them, but we try to explain to the people that the documents are fake.  Yes, we have had allegations of people who have been selling offer letters and most of those so called offer letters are the fake ones because the ones from the Ministry are strictly controlled and it is very difficult for one to access the official offer letter document.  However, as community leaders, if you come across such cases of concern, you can always raise them with my office and we can look into the issues.

We seem to be using a one size fits all approach.  Why not visit areas to establish the facts of what exactly will have transpired.  The people who carry out the evictions are the district and provincial officials and they know exactly what is happening in their areas.  It is not like the identification of the so called illegal settlers starts from Ministry head office.  It is information which actually comes from the people on the ground.  So, the only time when we maybe expected to visit an area is when there is a dispute in terms of interpretation of facts, then obviously, Ministry head office gets involved.  Otherwise in most cases, we will be dealing with straight forward cases and I am convinced the information we have relied on was genuine but if there are any cases which need to be relooked at, we are more than prepared to listen to any appeals.

In my area, people have been left with no grazing land and all the rivers have been silted.  This is a result of overstocking, people resettling themselves in grazing areas, river bank cultivation and poor conservation practices.  All that leads to siltation of rivers and that is what we are trying to correct by evicting illegal settlers.

As to what will happen to affected irrigation schemes, we shall try our level best to resuscitate those schemes because they are of value to the community.  Once resources are available, we move in and we work on those schemes, but it is retarding progress because we expect that with each allocation of resources, we should be progressing, we should be building more facilities; but if we continue going backwards to resuscitate that which we would have constructed and it is damaged due to deliberate human action, then it becomes self induced retardation and it appears we will be determined to run away from civilisation.  We want to remain where we were yesterday all the time, which would be quite the wrong thing altogether.  So, we would want to encourage Members to look after the facilities and infrastructure under their charge and also practice the best farming methods so that we do not damage the environment.

In some constituencies, all farming areas have been occupied by outsiders or people not from that area – I am not sure whether these are illegal settlers or people not from that area.  I am not sure whether these are illegal settlers or people who were properly settled.  Yes, people in Zimbabwe can settle wherever they want, we are all one family and I believe if these people were properly settled, the leadership in those communities, that is the district level and provincial level, knew exactly what they were doing. 

          If there are illegal settlers, I think the issue of being outsiders really does not come into play.  Illegal settlers are illegal settlers whether they are from the vicinity or they are from thousands of kilometers away, they remain illegal settlers. 

          On subleasing of farms; if you have got a farm and you have got proper documentation, that is an offer letter or a 99 year lease.  What we are interested in as Government is to make sure that the land is being fully utilised, it is being productive.  As to the arrangement on the farm of who exactly is tilling the land, that is not much of our business.  Previously, we used to discourage subletting of farms but with the new dispensation, we have said farming is a business.  Let the farmers make business decisions.  If they want to till the land with partners, if they want joint ventures, it is up to the farmers but we encourage the farmers to have whatever agreements they enter into endorsed by the Ministry so that the Ministry will help to ensure that the interest of both parties are adequately protected.

          Peri-urban farms which ended up being turned into residential areas without any planning; this issue is being investigated.  We have got a Land Commission which is being headed by a High Court Judge and they are looking into these issues.  I suggest we await the findings of that Commission which I think the people involved are competent enough to come up with appropriate recommendations.  I want to thank you very much Madam Speaker.

          It being Five Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA) interrupted the business under consideration in terms of Standing Order Number 51 (1) (b).

 

 

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 19 JUNE 2019 VOL 45 NO 63