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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 20 MARCH 2019 VOL 45 NO 44

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 20th  March, 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

LIAISON AND COORDINATION COMMITTEE MEETING

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I would like to inform the House that the Chairperson of the Liaison and Coordination (LCC) Hon. T. Togarepi has convened a meeting of the LCC.  The meeting will be held tomorrow, 21st March, 2019 in the Senate Chamber at 1000 hours.  All Members of the LCC are expected to attend.

TENURE OF THE PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I also wish to inform the House that the tenure of the Privileges Committee to investigate the allegations of soliciting for a bribe by some Members of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development has been extended to the 9th May, 2019.

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I would like to recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of students and teachers from Acturus High School in Mashonaland East Province.  You are most welcome! – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          HON. CHOMBO:  I rise on a point of privilege in terms of Section 68 (d) Mr Speaker Sir.  Cyclone Idai left a lot of damage and one of the damages was on the Companiado de pipineline Mozambique-Zimbabwe CPMZ control room at Beira which affected the pumping of fuel and natural gas to Ferruka Oil Refinery in Mutare.  I therefore request the Minister of Energy and Power Development to give us a Ministerial Statement of the contigent plans he has in place to ensure that we have permanent fuel supply.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Would you not rather ask a question since today is question time?  I would rather you ask a question accordingly.

          HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker, I have risen to request the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services to give this House a Ministerial Statement on a Matter of National Concern around the conduct of ZBC in respect of the following:  On 13th March 2019, around 20:27 hrs ZBC ran a story on the upsurge of child rape cases in Tsholotsho.  In that story they named perpetrators and secondly, the victims of those acts.  Hon. Speaker, this is not only against journalist ethics but it also is against the law.  In other words it is criminal.  It goes against the CP&E Act Sections 195, 196 and 197.  I therefore request the Hon. Minister to present a Ministerial Statement on this.  It would help this House if that statement could also in turn name that reporter and the producer of the bulletin on the day.   The other question to address is what is the end game?  We should see heads rolling.

          The second part of that Ministerial Statement - I request that it should concentrate (these are two separate statements) on matters that we keep reading about concerning the National Broadcaster again.  The question of unpaid royalties, unpaid pensions and benefits, pirating of content and also of interest to the Women’s Caucus in this House, the issue that came out concerning female interns who complained of sexual harassment but got fired instead. – [Hon. Members: Hear hear.] -  They got fired - ironically by a Human Resources Manager who is female.  What happened here and what is going to happen to the perpetrators?  I request  that the statement cover all the above issues.  Also, the question of nepotism and cronyism at ZBC is another vice.  You do not need to be competent to work for the Broadcaster but you just need to be connected.  I thank you Hon. Speaker.

          +HON. PHUTI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker. I stood up to add my voice on what happened in Manicaland.  I realise that a lot of property was damaged, life was lost and we also lost our resources.  I am talking on my own behalf here Mr. Speaker Sir.  I also realise that this is something that we have to talk about in this House as a nation.  It is my request through your Chair, Mr. Speaker Sir, if you would allow people to work properly or to resuscitate the Transport and infrastructural Development Committee.  Bridges have been washed away and roads have been destroyed because that is what is causing people to lose their lives.  I think it would be proper if that Committee could also visit that area representing Parliament so that Parliament can be seen to be concerned about this.  I thank you. 

          +THE HON. SPEAKER:  Your request Hon. Phuti, is something that is beyond us because the Standing Rules and Orders Committee has come up with two groups that will represent Parliament.  From the two groups, one group will go to Manicaland and the other one to Masvingo.  This is what is going to happen on Monday.

We will be representing Parliament on its own and we also thought of sending Committees to those areas, then we decided that the Committee that is representing the whole Parliament will be those who will be going to represent Parliament to express their condolences, and to also make their contributions on behalf of the entire Parliament.  I thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Mr. Speaker, can you repeat in English for the benefit of those who do not understand Ndebele.

          +THE HON. SPEAKER:  You all heard and I thank you. You heard the question and you heard my response and that is nation building.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. MADIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care and if he is not in, I will direct it to the Leader of the House.  What is Government’s policy on hospital targeted funds?  Who is entitled to receive targeted funds housed in the Ministry of Health and Child Care?  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The question that the Hon. Member asked is very specific, pertaining to the selection criteria of funds that are given to specific hospitals and how they are used.  Perhaps, if the Hon. Member can put that in writing so that she can get a comprehensive response that will help her, it would make a lot of sense.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  And also give some examples of the hospitals that are in question.

HON. KABOZO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What is the Government policy with regards to the early distribution of inputs to farmers under Command Agriculture?  As I speak Mr. Speaker Sir, most farmers did not receive their inputs timeously at the critical stage of the season, hence there is an outcry from these farmers for the Government to timeously distribute inputs to farmers under this programme.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Members, can you desist from interrupting an Hon. Member asking a question.  It is not within your purview to make comments on the question.  Leave it up to the Chair.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): Thank you and good afternoon Mr. Speaker.  Government’s position is that inputs must be distributed early and on time to allow farmers to make informed decisions.  If inputs are distributed late, it will seriously inconvenience farmers.  So Mr. Speaker, the position is that inputs must be distributed early before the onset of the season.  Thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The question is that, I had a farmers’ meeting to just review the Command Agriculture.   For the 15 000 hectares allocated to Chegutu District, only 3% of the inputs and fertilizers was distributed and 18% of the fuel. So the Hon. Minister must tell us whether or not they adequately funded farmers in terms of the existing contract?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for that specific question that is specific to his constituency – [HON. MLISWA: That is not my constituency.] – I kindly ask the Hon. Member to farvour the Ministry …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, that was an example. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. KARORO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the programme was adequately funded and that is why I am saying, it is specific to the Hon. Member’s constituency – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  We will investigate as to why his constituency did not receive the inputs as per requirement.  I thank you. – [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir.  Is it my hearing that the Hon. Minister said that Command Agriculture was adequately funded?  Is that him saying that it was adequately funded?

          HON. KARORO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to make it clear to the Hon. Members that Government allocated various inputs to specific companies, individuals and private sector.  As such, according to our records, all the inputs that we have requested the private players to supply have been met. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, the Leader of Government Business would like to clarify. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Minister was correct in so far as the Presidential Input Scheme is concerned – that one is funded by Government.  The policy position is that inputs must be distributed well before the rainy season starts but logistical and financial challenges may have delayed the distribution to certain sectors.

          As to the Command Agriculture programme, that one is funded by the private sector.  The Government merely facilitates the programme to go on and coordinates but it is private sector funded and that also experienced its own logistical problems that are beyond Government because there was no funding.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  When Hon. Members ask questions in the House, they want honest answers with clarity.  The responses by the Leader of Government Business and the Hon. Deputy Minister are totally contrasting.

          The Hon. Deputy Minister was asked by Hon. Temba Mliswa whether Command Agriculture was adequately funded and he said that it was adequately funded.  He misled this House and we are demanding an apology from the Hon. Deputy Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, because we are not here to play – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hatina kuuya kuzotamba pano!  We are not here to play uchiti revera nhema iwewe!  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You come here to lie to us, you think that we are here to play? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, alright, you have made your point.

          HON. SIKHALA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Let me put it across that in terms of Section 107 of the Constitution, subsection (2) says, ‘Every Vice President, Minister and Deputy Minister must attend Parliament and parliamentary committees in order to answer questions concerning matters for which he or she is collectively or individually responsible.’

          Now, I want to underline the last part where - Hon. Wadyajena; where I recognised the Hon. Leader of Government Business,  I was exercising the provision of the Constitution, Section 107 (2).  On the realisation that the Hon. Deputy Minister is still learning his ropes – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          Order, order, now learning does not end and that is why we have the Leader of Government Business to assist in putting the record straight.  So, I will not ask the Hon. Deputy Minister to withdraw anything because the issue has been corrected. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order, Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order!

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I think that the Hon. Minister did not lie.  When the question was put to him, he said that it now pertains to a specific area.  I indicated that Command Agriculture is private sector funded.  So what the Hon. Minister wanted to do was to verify because what Government was given is the hectrage that the private sector is funding in so far as Command Agriculture is concerned.

          So the example that was given by Hon. Mliswa now pertains to a specific area and he was giving statistics.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – The Hon. Deputy Minister was now saying that perhaps – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – he would then need – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  time to go and verify if indeed the private sector did not extend to the extent that they had agreed with Government – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –– but you then ruled that he was supposed to respond to it and that is why he answered.  I thank you.

          HON. MAJAYA:  My question is directed to the Leader of the House. Government made a commitment to ensure that sanitary wear is accessible to the poor women and girls.  Can you explain why ZIMRA is still charging duty on sanitary pads?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I acknowledge what the Hon. Member has asked and requested.  I will follow up and request the Minister of Finance if that has not been regularised to be regularised.  I thank you.

          Hon. Mushoriwa having wanted to raise a point of order.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no, today is Question Time, I want time spend on questions.

          HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.  What is Government policy regarding the use of duo-spacial technology in aiding mineral exploration, industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Zimbabwe has established the Zimbabwe National geospatial and Space Agency using the Research Act.  This has enabled us to start the use of space and geospatial technologies in the development and industrialisation of Zimbabwe.  The main issue is that we have started with seven programmes for the national geospatial and space agents.  One of those projects has already been funded to the tune of $800 000 at this moment and is increasing; on the use of geospatial technology in mineral exploration in Zimbabwe.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I just have this diary of mine written Zimbabwe National Geospatial Agency, which basically means we are on the move and we are actually at 40% in doing this project under the geospatial agency.  First, looking for lithium that is the first project, that is already funded and in progress, we call it Programme number seven.  I thank you.

          +HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Minister, the Bulawayo – Nkayi Road; I notice there is something happening there but when is this road going to be completed?  Secondly, what distance are they covering per month?

          Hon. Mathe having approached Hon. Sikhala and pointed a finger at him.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! First thing, Hon. Mathe we point at each other through debate not physically. 

          HON. MATHE: I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Sikhala, the Hon. Member has apologised.

          HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I did not even take her death threat against me seriously.  I thought she was joking.  She threatened me with death but she does not have the capacity - [ Laughter.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Do not tempt the Chair to send someone out.  Can you behave?  I was going to say to the Hon. Member again that question is not on policy, it could be a question that can be asked in writing and the Hon. Minister concerned, I am sure will be able to answer the question.  May I again remind Hon. Members that Questions Without Notice relate to general policy of Government, please!

          HON. S. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care and in absentia, to the Leader of the House, Hon. Ziyambi.  What is Government policy on men living with prostate cancer?  Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, can you ask questions that relate to general policy.  This one should have been specifically on health as such and it should have been couched as Government policy in managing the cancer epidemic; not a specific type of cancer.  Chief whips in your caucuses, can you please advice accordingly.

          HON. MURAMBIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  What is Government policy regarding the upgrading of satellite schools in resettlement areas?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me thank the Hon. Member for asking that question which almost is repeated every week. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  Do not waste your time.  The question was asked last week.  Members must attend.

          *HON. CHIPATO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans.  Are there any plans to assist war collaborators and detainees? I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Members, please attend Question Time.  Hon. Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans was asked again that question and he indicated that Government was working on a revised proposed law that will cater for the veterans of the struggle.

          HON. SIKHALA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  What is your Ministry doing in de-criminalising the law that criminalises people living with HIV and AIDS?  A lot of effort has been done to lobby your office to repeal those laws that stigmatize people who are living with HIV and AIDS.  How far has your Ministry gone to repeal that law? 

          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 which has been a subject of debate within the health …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, at the back they cannot hear you.  Imagine you are at a rally – [Laughter.]  

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which came out during the Health Committee deliberations. Indeed, when this legislation came into effect, the thinking then was that we need to control the spread of HIV by criminalizing those who transmit it to partners willingly.  However, the global thinking now is that the law stigmatizes people living with HIV and AIDS.  Studies have shown that it does not produce the intended results that it was intended to achieve.  What the Ministry is going to do is to repeal that section from the law and ensure that we keep up to speed with modern trends in the world.  I thank you. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Honestly Hon. Gonese, you want a supplementary on such a cut and dried answer?

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker. I think what critical Mr. Speaker Sir is the issue of the time frame, because it is an issue which has been under debate for quite a long time.  I do appreciate the Hon. Minister’s answer, but what is lacking in that answer is the implementation matrix.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is your supplementary question? 

          HON. GONESE:  My supplementary question is Hon. Minister, can you give us an indication of the time frames on the implementation matrix of bringing that legislation to repeal the criminalization of the transmission of HIV infection. I think it is important for the nation to know. 

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I have acknowledged that I am going to do that.  We are looking at perhaps introducing that amendment through the Marriages Bill that is due to come; that is the fastest way to do it. 

          HON. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  What is the Government policy regarding transfer, redeployment or assignment of judicial officers?  Here I am referring to magistrates or prosecutors within your Ministry from the background that we have heard that some magistrates have been transferred for passing judgements, especially recently regarding the cases of public violence where they have acquitted some people and they have been transferred to some remote areas.  I think you are quite aware of the example of the senior prosecutor who was actually transferred to a rural magistrates court.  My question actually is, do we have a particular policy on that?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You have made your point.  The question is clear. 

          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.  The question that he is asking pertains to operational issues and he is making reference to independent commissions, the Judicial Service Commission, the NPA, they have their operational mandate and they enjoy their independence from the Ministry.  So, I would not be competent to comment on the specific operational procedures of an independent committee, it is outside the purview of policy direction that is given by the Ministry.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          HON. SIKHALA: On a point of order!

          Hon. Sikhala having pointed at the Hon. Speaker

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Sikhala when you want to make your point of order you do not point at the Chair – [Laughter] - can you withdraw your finger.

HON. SIKHALA: Withdrawn, Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Secondly, when the Hon. Minister has given a reply, you do not ask for a point of order, you ask for a supplementary question. 

HON. SIKHALA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Minister must understand that the Judicial Service Commission falls under the administration of his Ministry.  So, issues concerning the Judicial Service Commission; we cannot call the Chief Justice to come and answer pertinent question concerning that department. It is a department falling under his purview, we want an answer on the policy of Government vis a vis the issue of transfer of magistrates.  He cannot skive or run away from it.  Tell us, it falls under your Ministry and under your purview – [Laughter.]

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Sikhala for clearly explaining it that the Chief Justice cannot come here and answer.  I have indicated that the general policy is that Independent Commissions are allowed to operate independently and I said it is not a general policy issue pertaining to the Ministry.  Pursuant to what Hon. Sikhala has said, if the Hon. Member can put it in writing so that those issues that are specific to the operational issues within the Judiciary and NPA will be addressed by them to say that according to our regulations that we have, this is how we do it and then I will be able to furnish them with an answer.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The clarity is unnecessary, Hon. Sikhala will put the question in writing and the Hon. Minister has agreed to give a detailed response accordingly.

HON. SAIZI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  What is the Government policy regarding the use of corporal punishment in schools.  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  There is an Education Amendment Bill which is already before Parliament.  Within that Bill, Government is moving to remove corporal punishment in our schools and that Bill is already before Parliament.

HON. PHULU: I would like to ask the Hon. Minister whether over and above, this Bill which is coming and which we would also appreciate; is it Government policy to put in place a programme to educate or re-orient our teachers and parents in terms of disciplinary issues, because they simply may not know how to operate in an environment where there is no corporal punishment given that it has been there for so long?  I thank you.

HON. PROF MAVIMA: Yes, the Ministry is currently seized with coming up with alternative ways in which we can maintain discipline within our schools, without necessarily resorting to corporal punishment.  So, indeed we are working on alternatives.  Thank you.

HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for alerting the House that there is an Education Amendment Bill that is being brought before Parliament.  We have not yet seen it in our pigeon holes.  However, I would like to ask the Minister whether he has comprehensively put the required demands by the public for example, schools falling under Missions which have been constructed by missionaries want now to exert their independence. They want to extricate themselves from Government control, is he going to put it in that Bill, that Mission schools must now be independent from Government control?

THE HON. SPEAKER: unfortunately, that question does not arise.

HON. A. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality.  In the context of the Government’s thrust on devolution what is the Government policy on decentralizing the issuing of fishing licence permits to Rural District Councils or ZIMPARKS Provincial Offices.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, ROURISM AND HOSPITALITY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  May I ask the Hon. Member to put it in writing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, I think the questioner was not satisfied.  Can you elaborate?

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  What I am saying is that the Bill has not yet come to Parliament.  It is still in the process of being made and we are receiving submissions. We are still receiving submissions about the devolution – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order.  Hon. Minister, can you wind up your response?

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  We are still receiving submissions, hence my request that he puts it in writing so that it may be included in the devolution process – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.  With all due respect, we have managed to keep quiet so that business continues after we had been advised that five Ministers are managing Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani.  But now Mr. Speaker, the responsibility of appointing Ministers lies with the President of this country.  If we manage with this level of quality bearing in mind what we are going through as a country – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, it must be put on record that we are working as parliamentarians for the good of the nation under a new dispensation and we expect all the best from the dispensation that is happening in this country. 

I beg and plead to have the best from the quality of Ministers.  We do not want drama here.  We are not here for comedy.  This is serious Government business – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We cannot allow this. No!   Mr. Speaker, you must raise our complaint to the attention of His Excellency so that this thing will be addressed as a matter of urgency for the good of this country.  We need quality.  We need the best for this country to have better results.  Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order, order!  Hon. Members, you must appreciate Section 3 of the Constitution in terms of separation of powers.  There is no way Parliament can instruct or appeal to His Excellency on how he constitutes the Cabinet.  There is separation of powers and I cannot be seen to be a messenger in an – [Laughter.] -  yes, I cannot be a messenger in that context unfortunately.

Hon. Leader of Government business, do you want to say something?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Yes, thank you Mr. Speaker.  The Hon. Minister was correct that the devolution process – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – needs legislation to give effect to it and before that has happened and is finalised, there is no way she can answer over a policy that is non-existent.  What we are seized with at the moment is to the Minister of Local Government is busy putting in place legislation that will ensure that we give effect to that process.  I do not see issues of competence or otherwise arising on a matter that we are still deliberating on to ensure that once that Bill comes here, we have clear guidelines as to how it is going to happen –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] 

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of clarification Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  There is no point of clarification.  Please sit down. The matter is very clear. If you go to Chapter 14 of the Constitution, it says an Act of Parliament must be in place and the responsibility of putting that Act of Parliament does not only lie with the Executive.  We, Members of Parliament should demand that Act so that the devolution process can take off.  It is our joint responsibility.  As the Leader of Government business has explained, there is no law at the moment that creates coordination between Central Government and provincial councils, metropolitan councils and local authorities in the spirit of devolution. 

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I would not want to belabour that point, I have ruled.  I have ruled.  Section 149 of the Constitution is very clear.  Through your representative roles, you can expedite the speedy tabling of that Act in terms of Section 149.

HON. CHIKWINYA: May you allow me to address you Mr. Speaker. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  On the same issue?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  It is my plea because you are ...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  On the same issue?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Hon. Speaker, you are belabouring on a point that was not asked about and I wanted to draw you back to the original question. You are belabouring on an example when you said the spirit of devolution.  The issue was about licencing and the Hon. Member is simply speaking…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order!  The Chair is still correct – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] 

HON. GONESE:  If you can hear me out.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Please, can you take your seat?

HON. GONESE:  There is an issue which I am begging your indulgence. – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I said please take your seat.  Order, the question as understood by the Chair was specifically on devolution – [HON. MEMBERS:  No, no!] – Can I explain?  Do not have perceptions.  The Hon. Member wanted to know Government’s policy on the issue of giving power to the lower tiers of Government so that they can issue licences at that level.

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker, if you could hear me.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are not the questioner.  As long as the questioner is happy with my explanation  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker, I am also a representative. On a point of privilege.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order!

HON. GONESE:  On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  No, I am saying no.

HON. S. S. KHUMALO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to ask the Minister of Energy and Power Development about the policy on putting electricity on installations where overhead power lines have been put and the dropping lines for – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  Mr. Speaker Sir, I need your protection.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Again, I am afraid that is an operational question.  It is technical and not a policy issue.

HON. GOZHO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  Why does the Minister not religiously give pre-planting prices to the nation to allow farmers to allocate their land properly? – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Unfortunately, we do not set the prices as a Ministry, the prices are set by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me this opportunity to pose my question to the Leader of the House.  My question is - what does the law say as regards new investors that are opening up companies that had closed down as well as new companies because once they have invested their monies, when they do their operations they are not in a position to repatriate their capital expenditure since they would have borrowed from banks in their homelands.  The foreign currency is not there in the banks.  They are supposed to repatriate the United States dollars but the United States dollars are now being found on the black market.  Investors are put in a dilemma with monies that they have invested and are unable to repatriate.  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question which is very pertinent regarding investors that come into this country and would have brought their capital into our country.  Government is in the process of coming up with a Bill called the Zimbabwe Investments Development Agency Bill where issues such as capital that would have been invested in Zimbabwe is explained, how they are going to be allowed to repatriate   that money.  The Bill was gazetted and is going to be brought before this House.  We will have a time to debate the clauses relating to the provisions that deal with the issue of investor freedom to be able to repatriate their investments.  I thank you.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  From the Minister’s response, I have come up with a supplementary question because currently I am in a difficult position with investors that have come.  Yes, Mr. Speaker Sir, he has spoken about a Bill that is forthcoming but what are we going to do with investors that are already in the country?  I could not sit in this House yesterday as I had Chinese nationals who approached me concerning this issue. 

When we approached some Ministers, their response was that they would get their monies through the banks, but at the moment, it is not very clear. That is why I am asking the Minister when this Bill is going to come because people are already suffering.  Their monies cannot be repatriated, they are locked in.  When is this Bill going to be forthcoming?  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, I hope you got the question.  What happens now when the investors want to repatriate.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would want to thank the Hon. Member for his supplementary question.  In the meantime, as the Bill is being processed, the Government has come up with a Committee that deals with such issues which is led by Prof. Mbizo, who is in the Office of the President and Cabinet.  He knows how best investors’ capital is going to be protected.  If you have such individuals, please take them there to Prof. Mbizo and he is going to allay their fears in as far as assuring them that Government does not want investors to suffer in terms of repatriation of their investment - [Laughter.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I thought the answer was clear.

          *HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House. What is lacking in this country? Is it the rule of law which needs to be brought through the Bill or what is missing is the foreign currency?  What the member has made reference to is that there is no foreign currency in the banks.  Is the Bill going to give the Government a chance to print US dollars?  If the Bill is going to be used in a country where there is no foreign currency, then it will not help us achieve anything.  What is lacking is the foreign currency, where is this money going to be found as you come up with this Bill?  I thank you.

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question which gives me an opportunity to clarify because the procedure that he has taken is wrong.  The investors that come into this country bring in foreign currency; they work on produce that will earn them foreign currency.  It is that foreign currency which they will have earned which now requires a method of repatriating it to their country so that it becomes easier.  The people that are coming in here are not coming to invest in produce that will not produce foreign currency.  There is no such thing Hon. Speaker. There is no investor who comes in to invest using US dollars and set up a shop where they do not get such value. 

          HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. I hope that colleague Members of Parliament can learn to ask policy question after I have asked – [Laughter.] - My question to the Hon. Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs pertains to the incarcerated prisoners.  Has Government policy shifted on the conjugal rights of prisoners for example the former Member of Parliament Dr. Kereke is alleged to have impregnated his wife while in prison and you also are implicated for having facilitated that.  Can you respond? I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, can you please listen to the answer please.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The answer that I have to give is, we now have a Prisons and Correctional Services Department which is a constitutional board that is in the Constitution.  We are shifting away from a scenario where a prisoner is a condemned individual.  We are moving towards incarceration, rehabilitation of offenders, correct them and integrate them into society.  The mentality that society had before was once you are incarcerated, you are condemned.  That is the thinking that Hon. Mliswa has - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – Pertaining to whether conjugal rights were allowed in prisons or not, I am not in a position to answer because that becomes too specific.  The thinking that the crafters of the Constitution have is, we need to open up more open prisons where prisoners can even be allowed to visit their homes if they are not dangerous prisoners.  We need to come up with community correctional centers and impart skills to our prisoners so that once we incarcerate them, we rehabilitate, we reintegrate them into society.  I thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, it is important that the Minister

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Supplementary question please.

          HON. T. MLISWA: But the question on conjugal rights must be extended to everyone if the rehabilitation is there.  My question is, has the policy shifted, for example one prisoner that I mentioned, so why has it not been given to everyone as a right?  This is the fundamental issue and the reason why I say if it is being done on a selective process; it is now implicating the Minister because they are saying that he was given an opportunity to have conjugal rights.  Why cannot all incarcerated prisoners be given the same rights?  That is the question - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - [HON. MEMBERS:  Munotorera Gumbura vakadzi vake muchipa Kereke.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, at the back there.   Yes, this can be an exciting time, Question Time, but I want the Hon. Minister to explain further, I think that you indicate the rights of prisoners in an open prison as opposed to a closed prison, I think that will clarify issues.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Before I explain, I do not expect Hon. Members to come to Parliament and be animated; explain things that have facts.  When an Hon. Member comes to this august House and allege that I facilitated, I call upon you Hon. Speaker for him to furnish that proof that I facilitated that.  It is a very grave allegation that – [HON. SIKHALA: He said alleged, you are a lawyer you know it.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: You do not come into this august House and you say allegations against an individual.  It is parliamentary procedure and he goes on to say that I am implicated.  Again, Hon. Speaker, I am saying it is a serious thing...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa, can you withdraw the question of ‘implicated’ because you have no evidence at the moment that you have put forward.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of selective application of the law leads to the aspect of corruption where senior people involved - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Allow me to explain Mr. Speaker Sir.  It is important that the Minister either says I am not part of it because it is said that it was done from the Ministry officials for Dr. Kereke to be given that.  Orders were from the top, from the Minister’s office. It is either he says I am not part of it or I am part of it because it is a selective process of one individual yet we have got thousands of prisoners. What was the reason of giving one prisoner that right against many?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. If the question goes that far, I think I would ask Hon. Mliswa to put it in writing and put all the facts accordingly so that the Hon. Minister can respond. Thank you.

          An Hon. member having stood up to make a supplementary question. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you sit down please, can you sit down! Please sit down, otherwise I will order you out. The Hon. Mliswa has agreed to put the question in writing with the details so that the Hon. Minister can respond accordingly.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Speaker, when Hon. Mliswa puts the question in writing, can he favour us with names of people who alleged that it came from the Minister. It is only fair that way. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

          Hon. Gonese having stood up to ask a supplementary question.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order Hon. Gonese. Order! Can you sit down, that small issue is too big. We have concluded with the questioner and he will provide the details accordingly and so no debate on that one.

          HON. DZUMA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.  If he is not present, I will direct the question to the Leader of the House. What is Government policy on Members of Parliament who go out of the country calling on the renewal of sanctions? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order at the back there, can we hear the Hon. Minister.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question pertaining to sanctions which is a human rights issue. It has ravaged the country and I think while we do not have a specific policy regarding that, I think it is high time that we come up with a policy to deal with that issue –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          An Hon. member having stood up on a point of order.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister has said there is no policy, why do you want - order, order! The Hon. Minister said there is no policy and that is enough.

          HON. MLAMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. What is Government policy concerning the mushrooming of unregistered colleges? I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCAITON, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Our policy is that all our colleges at tertiary level and universities must be properly registered in the interest of implementing the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework and in the spirit of implementing Education 5.0 that is meant for the modernisation and industrialisation of this country – [HON. SIKHALA:  Inaudible interjection.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Sikhala, can you allow the Minister to speak and if you have a supplementary question, you can ask him. Order, order, Hon. Member next to Hon. Zhou.

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Our policy when it comes to Higher and Tertiary Education is to make sure that our colleges, tertiary as well as universities are properly registered and properly monitored. We have done the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework with Statutory Instrument 132 of 2018, Statutory Instrument 133 of 2018 and Statutory Instrument 137 of 2018 to make sure that our higher and tertiary education results into goods and services that our higher and tertiary education meets our Modernisation and Industrialisation Agenda and that our higher and tertiary education meets Education 5.0 that is meant for the industrialisation and modernisation of this country. In this regard, any college and university that is not properly registered will be closed.  It is in the interest of Higher and Tertiary Education because the state of any economy is normally a reflection of the state of its higher and tertiary education system.  In this case therefore, it means, any college that goes wayward outside of the framework that we set, will be closed.  If there is any report of such a specific case, my Ministry’s doors are open so that we can easily go and close and deal with that.  I thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: From the response by the Hon. Minister, we are left with a condition where we need more clarification or definition, especially on the point of ‘properly monitored.’  We do not have a framework of how they define ‘properly monitored.’  I will give an example Madam Speaker; we have State universities – I am sure the Ministry is fully capable of monitoring the same.  We have properly registered universities like the Defence University, how do you interface with the Defence University which is not under your auspices, is properly registered but you do not have control over it?  That goes on to the other mushrooming universities which the Hon. Member spoke about before.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I thank you Hon. Member for such a question.  I want to assure the Hon. Member that we control every university.  We might not give it money, but we control what they teach.  When it comes to universities, they are controlled under the ZIMCHE Act, including the said university which is the Defence University.  We gave it a Charter and we have the authority to maintain or withdraw that Charter.  Private is about the administration which is their responsible authority but content is controlled by one authority, which is ZIMCHE. 

When it comes to colleges, they are controlled under the Manpower Planning and Development Act.  We have put Statutory Instrument 140 of 2018 to make sure that we have got a HEXCO Board, which is now being instituted this month and is going to be monitoring all the colleges.  If there are any problems of which there can be, that is why the law is there, so that when it is reported, it is rectified.  I can assure you Madam Speaker and the Hon. Member that we are in control.  I thank you.

HON. MUKAPIKO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  What is Government’s policy regarding pension funds which are being deducted from employees’ salaries but not remitted to relevant accounts for employees benefit?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Thank you for a very important question.  It is not Government policy for companies to collect pension deductions and fail to submit them to the pensions office.  I think if there are any companies that you know that are not submitting pensions to the pensions authorities, it is very important for us to indicate and let us know so that we deal with them.  It is illegal for people not to submit pensions. 

HON. MATSUNGA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  My supplementary question is premised on the widely held view that our pensioners in this country are being condemned to destitution because of the meager pay outs that they are getting.  My question is whether there is any compensatory policy framework for pensions whose value has been eroded because of the switch-over from Zimbabwean dollar to US$.  Is there a compensatory framework to that effect so that our pensioners receive a decent payout every month?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think that question is a new one altogether, it cannot be a supplementary question to the one asked before.

*HON. CHIKUNI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House.  What is the Government policy regarding police officers if they find a corpse in the bush – [Laughter.]

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question on what Government policy is regarding police officers who would have found a corpse.  When police officers see a dead person, they will take the corpse to the mortuary.  They look for a pathologist, who examines the corpse to find out the cause of death as they conduct an inquest.  I do not know what else the Hon. Member might want to know but if the relatives of the deceased are known, they are duly informed.  I thank you.

*HON. CHIKUNI: I want to know if it ends there.  Can you elaborate more?

*HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me say that once the police have found a corpse, they take the dead body to the hospital and to the mortuary, because a dead body is supposed to have an inquest held and a post mortem to establish the cause of the death so that they have the evidence to use during inquest.  There is need for them to produce a post mortem report.  Thereafter, once the relatives of the deceased have been identified, they are given the corpse for burial.  Thereafter, other cases are held inquiring into the cause of death after that person would have been buried.  I thank you.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PAYMENT OF RETRENCHMENT PACKAGES FOR FORMER ZISCO STEEL EMPLOYEES

2.    HON. MUKAPIKO asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare when payment of retrenchment packages and pension funds for ZISCO Steel former employees will be resolved.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The matter between ZISCO Steel Limited and Charles Malunga and Benedict Moyo and 1 718 others followed a dispute resolution process and has been resolved by the Labour Court through a judgement issued on the 19th July 2018 – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.  May the Minister be heard in silence?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  The court made a judgement against the employer and it specified the terms and conditions of payment for the parties.  In the judgement, the court highlighted that the employees were to be paid in each single month their net salary of two months in addition to their owed current salary per individual.

Since the judgement was issued, ZISCO Steel has been complying with the terms and conditions stipulated by the court.  Since the court handed down the judgement there has been no complaint of non-payment of owed monies registered either at the employment council for the engineering sector or my ministry therefore we presume the employer is complying with the order.  If there is any breach, the employees can enforce the judgement.

Madam Speaker, regarding pension funds, let me emphasise that these are not governed under the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01].  Hon. Members, pension fund fall under the Insurance Pension Commission (IPEC) which is under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. 

*HON. MUKAPIKO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have heard your response Hon. Minister but the issue at hand is that these employees were retrenched.  After their retrenchment, they were supposed to have received their full benefits in time since this has taken a long time, had these workers been paid their dues before the inflation, they would have come up with something tangible. What is Government going to do?  Is it going to factor the inflationary tendencies because that time the bond rate and US dollar was 1:1?

*HON. MATUKE:  I would want to thank the Hon. Member for bringing into issue factors such as inflation but the question that was posed by the Hon. Member was as to whether these employees are being paid and it is the question that we have answered Madam Speaker.  The issue of inflation is another issue which has to do with our economy.  I do not believe that the issue of inflation could be directed to the Ministry of Labour but once they raise complaints with our Ministry, we can look into that.  Whether they are going to be paid or not, it is a court decision.  I thank you.

*HON. MUKAPIKO:  Thank you.  The retrenchment package has not yet been paid.  What is being paid is the backlog or back pay.  I heard as if you said it was being paid.

*HON. MATUKE:  Madam Speaker, I have explained in my response.  I am saying, if nothing has been paid as of now, it can be looked into.  I responded to the question specifically based on your written question.  If there is anything required further, it will be looked into.  I am further stating that the judgement of the court is being followed.  We cannot deviate from the court’s decision by interpreting it differently as a Ministry.  The case came before the court, the court came up with a judgement and we are bound by that judgement.  Once the employees are unhappy with what they are supposed to receive, they can go back to the court and appeal against that court’s decision.  As far as we are concerned, the court ruled in favour of workers.  If there is anything amiss, they can go back to the court and plead with the same court to come up with a different view all together.  Thank you.

LETTERS OF ASSISTANCE FOR THE DISABLED PEOPLE

4.  HON. P. MASUKU asked the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare to explain why people with permanent disability are required to renew the letters of assistance annually instead of being issued with open ended letters in terms of time frame.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  In terms of the Social Welfare Assistance Act, a person with disability undergoes the first initial assessment regarding their eligibility to basic assistance.  They undergo a means test for issues they would need assistance on, for instance education.  The reason why these assessments are subject to renewal is that there may be changed circumstances for the better or worse.  There is need to keep on reviewing because at times, somebody can be rated 50% but when he goes for another assessment, he will be either 40% or 70%.  As such, a continuous assessment assists the Government in identifying the most vulnerable and need for assistance. 

HON. MASUKU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am not fully answered.  The question is dealing with permanent disability.  It is not talking about some improvement that can happen to a disabled person or deterioration.  It is talking about permanent disability.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. MATUKE:  Madam Speaker, permanent disability on a living person can at times be worse than the condition seen on the last assessment.  So, it is not like someone has a permanent disability.  That is why it is important to make that review almost on an annual basis.

          HON. CHINYANGANYA:  My supplementary question is, if the situation worsens, does that change the disability aspect of the person?  The fact remains that the person is permanently disabled and that is different from being partially disabled.

          HON. MATUKE:  I hear your question but I think what I am saying is, in terms of Government policy the condition of an individual when disabled is not fixed.  Let me give you an example where somebody does not have legs and at the next assessment you find he/she does not have arms.  So in terms of percentages and care, that assessment is very important because it gives the current condition of the individual.

          HON. NDEBELE:  Madam Speaker, I have noticed that disabled excludes those people that live with mental problems.  I just want to check with the Minister if at all there is consideration that they are also assisted so that they do not pay at hospitals.  I see a disconnect wherein...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is a new question Hon Ndebele. 

          HON. NDEBELE:  How is it a new question?  It is disability.  We possibly need to defer that to the desk.  It is not.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is a new question Hon Ndebele.  Please take your seat.

GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN THE VANA/ABANTWANA PROJECT

5.  HON. MKANDLA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain the role of Government in the Vana/Abantwana Project and to state its function.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): The project was

initiated and funded by USAID to effectively reach children at risk of HIV/AIDS and those infected and affected with Specialist Children Protection Services.  The role of Government was to implement the project through the Department of Social Welfare, which project ran from 2012 to 2018.  The Vana/Abantwana Project also supported the development of a strategic plan for the Department of Social Welfare.  The process laid the foundation for all programmes for social development. 

The project also provided both technical and financial support in redesigning our Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM).  Today, we are proud to have a more relevant and sustainable BEAM framework, thanks to the project.  In addition, it assisted in the reviewing of Social Work schools’ curriculum to suit emerging trends and needs of our social services workforce.  The project further assisted in strengthening the statutory workforce by providing skills and upgrading 75 Social Welfare staff.  The 75 attained certificates and diplomas in social work.  By the end of the project, we had reached over 600 000 children with crucial protection, health and education services among others which are commendable.

RESETTLING OF FARMERS MOVED FROM GREENBUSH FARM

7.  HON. CHOMBO asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture,

 Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement when farmers who were moved from Greenbush farm in Raffingora will be resettled.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Hon.  Member, you are requested to provide the correct official name of the farm as Greenbush farm does not appear in our database of acquired farms.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

EXPORT INCENTIVES FOR TEA AND COFFEE EXPORTERS IN HONDE VALLEY

8.  HON. MADIWA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture,

Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement whether small scale tea and coffee exporters in Honde Valley in Manicaland Province have export incentives and if so, to state mechanisms in place for farmers to access such incentives.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE,

WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  To date, the export incentive caters for all exporters

who export agricultural and non-agricultural commodities.  The system is working well with organised farmers like in the tobacco sector.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

WHEAT PRODUCED IN ZIMBABWE

9.  HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture,

Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to confirm whether the wheat produced in Zimbabwe is suitable for the production of bread.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE,

WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  The milling industry requires two types of wheat

to manufacture flour for bread making.  The main one is soft wheat, which constitutes between 90% to 92% of wheat used for bread making and hard wheat which is also known as gristing wheat which constitutes between 8%-10%.  Under local conditions, it is more advantageous to produce the soft than hard wheat.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

QUANTITY OF WHEAT PRODUCED LAST SEASON

10.  HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture,

Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to:

a.    state the quantity of wheat produced in the last season and whether     all payments to farmers are up to date. 

b.      confirm whether the country had ever produced enough wheat to

          meet the national requirements.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Hon. Member, the first question; last season the country produced 160 660 metric tonnes of wheat.  Payments to farmers are up to date except for the price adjustments to wheat deliveries as the producer price has been increased from $500 per metric tonne, to $621.50 per metric tonne. 

          On the second question, the answer is as follows; our national wheat requirement has increased from between 300 000 metric tonnes in the 1990s to 400 000 metric tonnes currently.  In 1989, 325 000 metric tonnes was produced from 56 000 hectares.  In 1990, the country produced 300 000 metric tonnes from 50 000 hectares.  This was enough to meet the country’s need for soft wheat.  However, we still had to import the hard wheat which we do not produce in our country.  Thank you Madam Speaker. 

STATUS OF GWAYI/SHANGANI DAM

          11.  HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to update the House on the status of the Gwayi/Shangani Dam considering the serious water challenges facing the Bulawayo City and to advise on its potential water supply. 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you again to the Hon. Member for that question.  The Gwayi/Shangani Dam is under construction and it is currently at 36% completion.  Foundation excavations are complete and so far 16 300 m³ of concrete has been placed against a total of 250 000 m³  The dam wall is at an average of three metres above the original riverbed level and on completion, it will be 72 metres higher.  All works at the dam wall were temporarily suspended in November 2018 as per construction schedule to allow the passage of 2018/2019 floods over the placed concrete.  The river is expected to dry soon in April and works will resume immediately. 

          The Ministry had a target to complete the dam by December 2019 but foreign currency is required for the importation of some essential materials and equipment.  In the 2019 National Budget, the project was allocated $35 million against a requirement of $73 million.  The Gwayi-Shangani Dam has a net capacity of 634 270 000 m³, which is 1.8 times the total net capacity of the five existing dams supplying Bulawayo currently.  It has a 4% yield of 160 600 000 m³, which is 3.3 times the total 4% yield of the existing dams supplying Bulawayo currently.  It is envisaged that the water will be conveyed from the dam to Bulawayo City by a pipeline with a series of booster pump stations along the pipeline.

          It is also proposed that the dam yield will be eventually augmented by water pumped from the Zambezi River through a separate pipeline to Bulawayo.  The two pipelines will meet at Kennedy and follow the railway line for 122 km up to Cowdry Park in Bulawayo where a water treatment plant and storage reservoirs will be constructed.  The Gwayi-Shangani scheme and the Zambezi River scheme combined are called the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP).  The Gwayi-Shangani dam is therefore, a component of the NMZWP.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

          HON. WATSON: Thank you Hon. Deputy Minister for your reply.  I do not know if you will be able to answer this but, how long after the completion of the dam is it likely that the supply of water will get to Bulawayo.  Thank you. 

          HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon. Member for the question.  Hon. Member, unfortunately I am not an expert in the field but my assumption is that it should be immediate given the fact that water should be flowing if the dam is complete.  Thank you. 

NUMBER OF FUNCTIONAL PUMPS AT NYAMANDLOVU ACQUIFER

          12.  HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to update the House on the number of functional pumps at Nyamandlovu Aquifer and ZINWA’s plans to repair the non-functional ones.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to answer the question in four parts.  Firstly, the Nyamandlovu borehole status, secondly on the operational boreholes, thirdly, the rehabilitation programme and lastly outstanding boreholes. 

          With regards to the status of the boreholes, the total number of boreholes in Nyamandlovu area is 66.  The total number of operational boreholes are 24; the total number of boreholes targetted for repairs are nine; the total number of boreholes which can be repaired but need funding are 18 and total number of boreholes which cannot be used are 15. 

          With regards to operational boreholes, currently a total of 24 boreholes are operational and supplying water to both farmers and Bulawayo City Council.  Pumping is mostly affected by power outages unfortunately.  With regards to rehabilitation, a total of nine boreholes are targetted for repairs at a cost of $266 635.17.  Requisitions of the required materials were raised and the tender for the supply of the pumps was done.  All the boreholes targetted for rehabilitation were fished out and purchase of pumping equipment is awaited.  Works will commence as soon as the pumps are supplied.

          Lastly, with regards to outstanding boreholes, out of the 66 boreholes, around 15 boreholes are no longer usable because some of them have collapsed and others have dried up.  With availability of funds, an additional of 18 boreholes can be repaired and also there is urgent need to attend to leaking pump mains.  Thank you Hon. Speaker. 

STATUS OF MTSHABEZI TO NCEMA PIPELINE

          13.  HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to update the House on the status of the Mtshabezi to Ncema pipeline. 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The Mtshabezi pipeline project commenced in March 2010, completed in February, 2013 and was subsequently commissioned.  The project was meant to supply water to the City of Bulawayo and pumping to the City of Bulawayo is being done as and when required. 

The Mtshabezi pipeline transfers water from Mtshabezi dam to Umzingwane dam where it is then pumped to Ncema Treatment Works through the existing pumping system.  During the construction of Mtshabezi pipeline, seven off-take points were put in place to cater for the surrounding communities by providing raw water for irrigation purposes. 

          Three of the seven off-takes have been connected to the community and the community is utilising the water for irrigation and domestic purposes.  However, additional financial resources amounting to US$180 000 is required to implement the four outstanding off-takes for the project and the private-public partnership model had been proposed to complete the off-takes.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. MAYIHLOME: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Could the Hon. Minister please explain when the uptakes for portable water along that pipeline will be completed because only three were provided but the other communities have no access to portable water? Only raw water passes through to provide people who are 90 km or 100 km away and water passes at their doorsteps.  When are the other uptakes going to be completed?  Thank you.

          HON. KARORO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question.  Madam Speaker, like I indicated that additional financial resources amounting to $180 000 is required, once we get this amount, I want to assure the Hon. Member that we will be able to complete within the shortest possible time.  Thank you.

POLICY OF COTTON FARMING

14.  HON. CHIKOMBA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to state Government policy on cotton farming. 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): Thank you Madam Speaker.  Cotton is regulated through the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA).  Cotton companies are licenced by AMA to participate in both the production and marketing of seed cotton.  The current policy allows cotton contractors to supply inputs to farmers and buy cotton seed after harvest.  Cotton is the mainstay of over 300 000 smallholder farmers in the Midlands, Lowveld and the Zambezi Valley.  The cotton sector is on a rebound and growth trajectory after experiencing low production a few years ago.  The input scheme introduced by Government to cotton growers has resulted in production increasing during the last two seasons.

Over 90% of cotton grown in Zimbabwe is grown under contract through input funding arrangements by various ginners and merchants.  A countrywide network of over 200 common input distribution points and common buying points is used to disburse inputs to farmers and buy cotton seed respectively.  Contractors supply production inputs (seed, fertilizers and chemicals) to contracted farmers as well as extension services.  During marketing, buyers are required to buy from their contracted farmers.  I thank you.

          HON. MAMOMBE:  My supplementary question to the Hon. Deputy Minister is that I want to understand in terms of the cotton farming because I understand you are not making enough production of cotton.  As a Government or Ministry, what are you doing to implement the genetically modified cotton? 

          I understand that as a country, we do not allow GMOs but as a Ministry, because we know that if we do a genetically modified cotton, we can actually produce the quantity of cotton that we require as a country.  So as a Ministry, what are you doing to lobby so that we can also start the genetically modified cotton?  I thank you.

          HON. KARORO:  Thank you Madam Speaker, this question, I recall was asked in this House and was well responded to.  Unfortunately, the Hon. Member who posed the question was not in the House.

          It is our mandate as parliamentarians to come up with a law that will allow the production of GMOs in the country.  Currently, the policy states that we cannot grow GMOs.  I thank you.

DELAYS IN REVERSING ACQUISITION OF BLACK-OWNED BENVILLE FARM

16.  HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to explain the delays in reversing the acquisition of a black owned Benville Farm, Dorcas Kopje Deed of Transfer 1878/94 under Dumezweni Dube which was erroneously gazetted on 22/6/2001 Vol. LXXIXV, Number and to state whether the affected farmer will be compensated for vandalised infrastructure and potential income lost.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The land reform exercise had the sole purpose to reverse the colonial land imbalances and it should be noted that it is against Government policy to acquire indigenously owned land.  Benville Farm was erroneously gazetted and subsequently endorsed within the confines of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe. 

At the moment there is no provision for delisting of gazetted farms in the Constitution. As such, the Ministry’s legal department together with the Attorney General’s Office are working on the legal framework to delist erroneously gazetted farms.

          In the event that the farm was settled and vandalised, my Ministry will come up with a valuation report and consider fair compensation.  I thank you.

RESUSCITATION OF MACHENA IRRIGATION SCHEME

18.  HON. GUMBWANDA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to sate whether there are plans to resuscitate Machena Irrigation Scheme in Ward 31, Zaka East Constituency.    

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Machena Irrigation Scheme in Ward 31 of Zaka East Constituency is not functional due to insufficient water supply throughout the year.  Water abstraction point for irrigation is located at the tail-end of Manjirenje Dam which dries up quickly.  Transformer substation and pumps are also broken down.  As such, the Ministry is planning to relocate pumps to a new site for adequate all-year round pumping on Manjirenje Dam. 

The pumps and transformer substation are expected to be rehabilitated through support under the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme during the planning horizon of 2019/20.  I thank you.

DISTRIBUTION OF TOURISM GRANTS IN THE MATOPO HILLS AREA

102.  HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Environment,

Tourism and Hospitality Industry to explain the system used when distributing tourism grants in the Matopo Hills area and to further elaborate on how each of the three district councils in Matopo District Council benefit from royalties and annual allocations given by UNESCO for the Matopo world heritage site?

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM

(HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Mayihlome. The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry through the National Parks and Wild Life Management Authority, has not received any royalties and annual allocations from UNESCO for the Matopo world heritage site.

          This may be the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage through the National Museums and Monuments.  The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry only administers a fund whose trustee is the Minister.  The purpose of this fund are none other than for levies, fees and other monies paid under the Act; any monies that may be payable to the Zimbabwe Tourism Fund from monies appropriated for the purpose by an Act of Parliament; any monies that the Zimbabwe Tourism Fund may obtain with the approval of the Minister and the Minister responsible for Finance and Economic Development by way of donations, loans or other financial assistance.  I thank you.

REPAIR OF THE FENCE SURROUNDING THE HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

103.  HON. S. S. KHUMALO asked the Minister of 

Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry when the dilapidated fence surrounding the Hwange National Park will be repaired to reduce human and wildlife conflict?

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM

(HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Khumalo for the question.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, Hwange National Park was never fenced.  There were veterinary fences on the southern boundary between Hwange National Park and Tsholotsho communal area which are now dilapidated.  The fences were meant to separate the buffalos from cattle to curb the spread of diseases such as foot and mouth disease.

          Human/wildlife conflict is an issue in areas surrounding Hwange National Park and efforts are being made to control the problem.  Our approach to the problem animals is to first protect the humans and minimize losses.  The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority conducts awareness campaigns in the communal areas to conscientise locals of the best practices to minimise human and wildlife interactions and what to do in case this happens.  Villagers have been given contact details of relevant Parks, RDC and CAMPFIRE officials to contact when faced with such problems.  I thank you.

          *HON. KARENYI:  My supplementary question is that in Mutare West, we recently had people being mauled by lions a few months ago.  What plans does Government have in place to safeguard the lives of humans especially those who are around the vicinity so that they are not killed by wild animals?  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question.

          The issue of human and wildlife conflict is prevalent in other areas.  The incident that occurred in the Chimanimani or Chipinge area is because some people will not have fenced their private conservancies to protect themselves from wild animals.  We are looking for donations or money to ensure that we protect humans from wildlife conflict.  We are quite alive to that fact which actually occurred and are in the process of ensuring that we put up a fence so as to protect the inhabitants who are living next to these wild animals.  I thank you.

*HON. MUSANHI:  Thank you Madam Speaker. My

supplementary question to the Hon. Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry is that  natural resources such as flora and fauna should be helping the entire country but at the moment, this is in the hands of a few.  What is your Ministry doing to ensure that there is equitable distribution of these resources to the people who were oppressed?  I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: This a new question, it requires to be written, so you may not raise it as a supplementary question.

          HON. DZUMA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to ask the Minister why do we not follow the same approach for fencing the Hwange National Park, that they are suggesting for the private conservancies; is there any particular reason why that national park; because it is the biggest, why is that national park not fenced in order to minimise the contact between humans and animals?

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member.  I think in my earlier response I said that it is not policy to fence the national parks but with the resettlements which we have, we have situations where people have been resettled very close to conservancies and the particular one you are talking about, part of it is not national parks.  This is why we are saying where it is very close we are doing our best to make sure that it is minimised. Although it might be a private conservancy, we are trying to make sure that we protect the humans from wildlife conflict.

          On the other hand as well, what we are doing as Ministry is to make sure that the locals who live with animals also benefit from the wildlife which is adjacent to them.  So, we have started programmes which will ensure that the ordinary people are empowered. An example is in Tsholotsho - we have started a project whereby we are saying we assist the locals to develop tourism sites like maybe a platform where people can view from; lodges - but the benefit goes to the local community. 

What it also does is, the local community becomes anti-poachers because they know that if the animals are destroyed they will not benefit from the proceeds of whatever we are doing with the wild animals.  This is something which we are starting; we are trying even in the Save Conservancy where we have had a lot of issues, we want to make sure people are protected but they must also benefit from the wildlife.

          HON. GABBUZA: Madam Speaker, can I seek for one clarification.  I think the Minister must come out very clean on this question.  When it is a conservancy, the policy is to fence and when it is national park there is no policy to fence; is she telling this House that animals in the national park have no threat to human beings living near the national park because that was the original question.  Tsholotsho is not fenced away from the Hwange National Park because there is no such policy, but human beings are under threat.

          HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member.  I think I was very clear, we have no policy of fencing because our wildlife is supposed to be in its normal habitat but in the case that there is a threat, like I said, because of the resettlement some people are now very close. Some are even within the national parks and where we have such incidents, we will try to facilitate making sure that the ordinary people are protected.  It does not matter – I am not saying it is just the private conservancies, I am thinking also even of Gonarezhou where people were resettled inside or very close to the national park.  We do our best to make sure that they co-exist and one way is to fence just to protect where there is that.  Also, we will be accused of restricting the animals from moving freely; but where there is danger we try to protect human life and it is both for private conservancies and the national parks. However, the issue which was raised was regarding a private conservancy and we said we would assist where there is an issue.  Thank you.

IMPACT OF BATOKA HYDRO POWER PROJECT ON ECOSYSTEM AND TOURIST ARRIVALS IN VICTORIA FALLS

111.   HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to explain the impact of the Batoka Hydro Electric Power Project on:

(a)                 Ecosystem of the gorge below Victoria Falls; and

(b)            The tourist arrivals and earnings necessitated by cessation of White Water Rafting as a tourist activity in Victoria Falls.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Madam Speaker, the proposed hydro electric power project is to be implemented by the Zambia and Zimbabwe governments in order to supply power to the two countries.  The project will however have negative impact on the environment if no appropriate mitigation measures are put in place.  The waters from Victoria Falls fall through the Batoka gorge.  The gorge attracts large numbers of tourists because it is one of the most popular stretches for white water rafting, contributing to the economy and the area.

Madam Speaker, the huge hydro-power dam would create a large reservoir that could negatively impact Victoria Falls which is internationally recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  The Victoria Falls was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989 according to World Protection Status.  The project has the potential to reduce the river based tourism, drown habitat for rare and endangered bad species, destroy vegetation, negatively affecting wildlife habitat; thus displacing wildlife. 

The gorge is a habit for a number of rare bad species and the proposed investment might have major impact on bad species such as the taita falcon and black eagle which constitute some of the rest breeding birds in Africa and are listed as critically endangered species.  If the Batoka Dam project goes ahead, it will mean damning of the Zambezi River, some 65 km downstream of Victoria Falls.  The water would back up to approximately 5 km from the falls.  This will not affect the falls themselves but would affect the White Rafting product in the gorge downstream.  The down tail water is expected to flood a number of rapids which are currently used for tourism purposes by both Zimbabwe and Zambia during low flows.  This will be mitigated by operating the dam at a lower level that will allow rapids 9 and 10 to be exposed during the low flow season when rafting takes place.  Madam Speaker, the land that was previously available for normal ecosystem processes and functions will be taken up by the project, the station and settlements.  The building operators introduce hydrological changes as water flow is altered.  This has the potential to affect aquatic life and its breeding. Water pollution might also result from the construction process as waste materials find their way into the river. This might also increase health risks to workers and the surrounding community.

          Let me take this opportunity Madam Speaker to let the House be aware that the Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Power Project is currently under way.  This process will help mitigate the negative impacts of these proposed noble investments in the energy sector. I thank you.

          HON. WATSON:  Could the Hon. Minister re-assure us that in considering the environment and the environmental impact that she will encourage her colleagues in the Executive to think seriously about the alternatives to Batoka Gorge, of which there is - in order to save the environment of Zimbabwe.  It seems to me our environment is consistently being sacrificed, needlessly and heedlessly. Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Watson.  Your sentiments are really acknowledged and appreciated. As I have said, we are in the process of conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment and this will lead to recommendations to Government.  We are serious on issues affecting our environment.  We are all aware of how the environment and climate change affects our lives.  So, we will be recommending to Central Government the issues and the impacts of us going that way and of course, alternative routes will be considered.  I thank you. 

          HON. MUSANHI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Maybe to assist on the question of Hon. Watson, it would help maybe if the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry could ascertain the revenue that is being generated by rafting, compared to the generation of electricity. 

CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING CAPTURED WHITE RHINOS

112.  HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to explain: 

(a) the circumstances surrounding the ten white rhinos allegedly captured during the month of August 2018 in Lake Kyle in Masvingo, Lake Chivero in Mashonalalnd East and the Matopos National Parks, reportedly translocated to Boma’s in Hwange National Park’s Mtshibi Camp for quarantine and then translocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) in September 2018;

(b)  whether all the documentation for the translocation of these rhinos was in order and to confirm whether they are secure and why  there was secrecy in the process of capturing and transporting them; and

(c)  whether one rhino was shot in Hwange National Park and if so, what happened to the rhino’s horn.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  I would like to thank Hon. Watson for the questions.  Madam Speaker, the Government of Zimbabwe donated 10 white rhinos to the DRC.  The transaction was a donation for a regional conservation enhancement programme.  The translocation was done adhering to local and international wildlife translocation protocols, particularly the International Union Conservation of Nature, rhino pre-translocation guidelines and African Rhino Conservation Plan. 

The translocation was done for the following reasons:

         i.            To contribute to African Rhino Range States, African Rhino Conservation Plan through expanding the rhino range area.  Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Kenya are the main white rhino range countries in the world with 98% of the world’s white rhinos.  Zimbabwe as one of the major rhino range states and in line with the African Rhino Range States, African Rhino Conservation Plan translocated the rhinos in an effort to expand the regional rhino range area.  The expansion of national and regional rhino range areas is one of the goals of the African Rhino Conservation Plan.  The exercise is a deliberate effort to enhance the security and genetic proliferation of the species at a regional level;

Evidence of Zimbabwe’s rhino conservation successes

Zimbabwe is one of the important rhino range countries in the world and has seen steady population growth of both white and black rhinos.  In the recent past, Zimbabwe has been instrumental in restocking of new and rehabilitated former range areas such as the Okavango Delta of Botswana.  Eight black rhinos were sent to the Okavango Delta in 2016 as part of the 20 country to country rhino donation to Botswana.  The regional restocking exercise done by Zimbabwe is important in showing the goodwill and rhino conservation success story synonymous with the country. 

Poaching and security status of rhinos in the DRC

The Government of Zimbabwe is aware that the DRC lost its northern white rhino population to extinction, largely as a result of poaching.  However, for this exercise a management and scientific assessment of the security and law enforcement status and potential biological proliferation of the rhinos was done to inform the translocation requirements.  Since the northern white rhino went extinct in the DRC, there are no fears of gene dilution with the rhinos intended to be translocated from Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe’s rhinos are southern white rhinos.  The security and law enforcement status of the receiving property was assessed, based on the local and international standard pre-translocation requirements.  The Zimbabwean Government was satisfied that the pre and post translocation conditions in DRC met the requisite standards for a successful re-establishment of rhinos in that country. 

Sources of the Rhinos

The ten rhinos are being translocated from three different sources; Lake Chivero, Kyle Recreational Parks and Matopo National Park.  Rhinos at Lake Chivero and Kyle have reached near ecological carrying capacity and the translocation is in line with the national rhino management strategy.  The national rhino management strategy emphasises on the need to identify secure ranges both locally and regionally for increased proliferation of the species. 

(b)  Madam Speaker, all the necessary documentation required for the translocation for the rhinos was in order and due processes were followed before translocation was done.  The documentation includes feasibility assessment of the area to which the rhinos were going.  This includes the security status of the receiving property and the habitat suitability of the area, that is vegetation and landscape suitable for the rhinos.  The assessments proved that the area was suitable. 

The translocation also adhered to the dictates of national, regional and international protocols on wildlife, trade and movement.  Specifically, the translocation satisfied the conditions stipulated under the convention on international trade on endangered species, flora and fauna, (CITES), where no commercial transaction should be done on endangered species.

With regards to the safety of rhinos, my Ministry would like to confirm that the animals are safe and secure and we are getting constant updates from DRC on the conditions of the rhinos.  I would also like to assure the nation that there was no secrecy in the translocation of the rhinos.  This is not the first time Zimbabwe Parks and Wild Life Management Authority has been involved in translocation of animals and information about the movements has been availed through a public notice as and when necessary.  Similarly with the translocation of the rhinos, radio and television publicity were given.  I thank you.

HON. WATSON: Part C of my question on whether one rhino was shot in Matopos, I did not hear what the Minister actually answered and where did the rhino-horn go? I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I will have to confirm and ask to defer that portion. I will come back with the answer.

HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is - do we have enough white rhino population to such an extent that we can afford to donate?  I understand that we have black rhino species.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: I want to thank the Hon. Member.  I think earlier on, I said for Lake Kyle and Chivero, the number of rhinos was almost up to saturation of that area. We have an agreement that the country which I talked about - we assist each other in making sure that there is proliferation of the rhinos.  I would want to say we have adequate rhinos and we can also participate in making sure that the rhinos are also included in the other countries surrounding us.  Our rhinos are not at stake at the moment.  All the necessary protocols have been taken so that I reassure that we are not going to run short of the white rhino. I thank you.

HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Minister for that; you mentioned that we have a saturation of the white rhinos, I would also want to understand and also for the benefit of the Hon. Members here. What do you mean by saturation? What criteria did you use to certify that we have enough white rhinos, following up on the Hon. Member’s question?  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  The number of animals to habitate in an area is defined according to certain standards.  As far as ecologists are concerned and as far as Lake Chivero and Lake Kyle are concerned, it is a limited area, it is not as vast as other national parks, so the number of white rhinos relative to that particular area are almost reaching saturation, hence when we have to assist sisters in the region, a decision was taken to donate rhinos from an area where we are almost reaching saturation.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

HON. MGUNI: I stand here to move that we extend Questions with Notice so that the two Ministers in the House can finalise their questions.

HON. T. MLISWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

HON. T. MLISWA: We are talking about rhinos white and black; what is the population? The elephant in the room is the population; you are saying they are many.   I am a cattle farmer, I know that for one cattle you need four hectares; what has got us to say we have too many we must dispose of some?  What is the cost of one rhino if we have to sell it to China?  Why do we have to donate when we can raise money? So, what is the population of the rhinos, white and black in the country for us to say they are enough?

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to defer the question so that I can give you the facts.

SPORTING DISCIPLINES FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED BY THE MINISTRY

141.  HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to inform the House on sporting disciplines that are financially supported by the Ministry when representing Zimbabwe in international competitions and to confirm whether the young Zimbabwean swimmers who are due to represent Zimbabwe in Durban, South Africa on March 19, Budapest on August 19 and in Tunis on September 19 are supported by the Ministry.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI): The Government, through the Ministry of Sport, annually sets aside funds aimed at supporting national teams and in this budget year, the Ministry has a budget allocation of 1 million dollars for national teams which is far below the submitted proposal of 15 million dollars.  Nevertheless, the disbursement and distribution of these funds are not done randomly but are inclined to governance and compliance procedures as well as a systematic application process.  The Ministry is aware that requests from National Sport Associations (NSAs) vary depending on nature of competition, destination, duration of event and contingent size.  To that end, NSAs are required to submit their budget request through the SRC for each particular event reflecting the following:-

i) Declaration of grant from hosting international federation,

ii) Declaration of funds in the reserves of the NSA to fund the event (from revenue collections or fund raising activities).

iii) Specific amount requested from Government and breakdown for intended use.

Following such a submission, the Sports and Recreation Commission evaluates the submissions and recommends to Government the amount payable to National Sport Associations based on their submissions.

When it comes to the issue of governance and compliance procedures that I have mentioned, it is essential to note that in the evaluation processes by the Sports and Recreation on the eligibility of an association to get funding from Government, compliance to governance statutes plays a major role.  NSAs are expected to conform to laid down governance protocols for them to qualify for funding by Government.  Such vices have been put in place to put checks and balances in the usage of public funds under the guise of national duty.  The following are compliance requirements that an NSA has to pass for them to qualify for funding by Government:

a.     Submission of audited financials.

b.    Submission of annual membership.

c.     Payment of annual levies.

d.    Chairman’s report on activities of the NSA.

e.     Submission of annual general meeting minutes.

f.      Submission of annual calendar of events.

g.     Annual projected budget.

Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member in her inquiry submitted a calendar of events for the junior swimming team – the earliest event was supposed to be on the 19th March 2019 and the last event being on the 19th September 2019.  In that context of the aforementioned events and dates, the Ministry would like to categorically state that it has not received any funding request from the association in question for the cited events.  As such, the Ministry was not and will not be able to process any funding for junior swimmers if such a process has not been advised.

Let me make it clear Hon. Speaker that Part (b) of the Hon. Member’s question was specifically for the swimming competitions that I have mentioned above and in Zimbabwe, the registered association for swimming is known as the Zimbabwe Aquatic Union.  That is why I have elaborated that we have not received a funding request from the National Aquatic Union with regards to the swimming competition that the Hon. Member has cited but as a Ministry, we are also saying that if they want Government funding, they should apply for the funding through the procedures that I have outlined – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Is it not too late?] -  No, it is not too late because besides the 19th March event, there is also another event that has been cited which is going to be held in September. 

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Part a) of the question was not answered which speaks to the sporting disciplines that are financially supported by the Ministry; I expect the answer to outlay the disciplines by their names or categories.

HON. SIMBANEGAVI:  I responded like that because my understanding of the question was that the Hon. Member was asking on how our sporting disciplines are qualified to be financed by Government. But, with regards to the supplementary question from the Hon. Member, I ask for your indulgence Hon. Speaker to be able to bring the list of registered associations that we have under the Sports and Recreation Commission next week. 

HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, first of all, we must ask the Minister if there is money at all.  Do not hoodwink us.  How much money were you allocated by the fiscus?  - [AN HON. MEMBER:  One million.] – One million is what you were allocated and what can one million do to all the associations?  Clearly, there is no breakdown that the Hon. Minister can bring.  I know you are an honest and young Minister to say there is no money or that the money is inadequate rather than to promise this House that you will come with a list of the associations that were funded.  It is time for you to then lobby Members of Parliament to raise more money because we do the budget.  There is no money which has ever gone to funding of any association.  The money that is passed by this august House for the budget is for administration. The same as for the primary education sector, there is no money that goes into capitalisation.  All the money is to pay the teachers. 

It would be a welcome development if you tell us that there is money available for the development of sport and the question on why sport is not being developed at the end of the day.  Some of us have been in sport for a long time to understand that there is money which comes from international organisations.  FIFA gives ZIFA money.  Cricket, rugby, tennis and golf are given money.  You must also tell us the funding that is coming from the international organisations which we are affiliated to because we have never been given a figure of how much cricket, rugby, soccer or tennis get or what the Olympics Committee gets.  All these sports are funded internationally. 

As an august House, we want to know before we even recommend for a surplus budget for them – how much are they getting.  This is where you will see that there is a high level of corruption because that money comes in foreign currency. When we talk of foreign currency, these associations are selling it on the black market and they are going one to one...

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  May you allow the Minister to respond please?

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I am just finishing.  So I thought it is important Hon. Minister, for this august House to be informed of the monies that have been given to the various associations.  I thank you.

HON. SIMBANEGAVI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  As I indicated when I initially started speaking, the Ministry initially requested for $ 15 million to be able to adequately fund the National Sporting Associations, but from the budget we were only allocated $1million.  So, I agree with the Hon. Member that the National Sporting Associations budget was under budgeted for and as a Ministry, we are actually going to be facing a lot of challenges. 

I also want to agree with the Hon. Member that National Sporting Associations have got to be up to date in terms of their own remission when it comes to the funds that they get from the international federations.  That is why I said as a Ministry, before we fund from the small $1 million that we have, before we even try to share it among the registered National Sporting Associations, we want a declaration of grants from the hosting International Federations.  For example, if ZIFA is going to come to the Ministry to ask for more money, for transport money or for accommodation money, we also want to know how much they have also received from FIFA.  That will make it much easier for us to ensure that ZIFA is also accountable as a National Sporting Association.  So, I quite agree with what Hon. Mliswa is saying.

Hon. Speaker, as a Ministry, we have no problem bringing to Parliament lists of the declarations from the National Sporting Associations of how much each association receives from the International Federation.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN CHIMANIMANI WEST CONSTITUENCY

1.  HON. KARENYI asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain why the following elderly people in Ward 3 in Chimanimani West Constituency were barred from benefitting from a food distribution exercise conducted on 3rd September, 2018:

(a)      Ms Celia Murau;

(b)            Ms Ruth Murima;

(c)      Ms Sonia Chikwindi;

(d)            Ms Dorcas Choba;

(e)      Ms Elizabeth Serimani;

(f)       Mr Ephraim Takaerwa;

(g)Mr Danis Zenda;

(h)            Mr Jonathan Zenda;

(i)       Mr Furora Zenda, and

(j)       Mr Forden Mwasaka.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  In August 2018, some Presidential inputs were to be distributed in Chakohwa Ward (Chimanimani West Constituency).  There were disturbances at the distribution points as some beneficiaries were fighting due to political differences, with one group citing that the inputs were being distributed on partisan grounds.  Due to fear that violence may ensure, food distribution was postponed to the 24th of October 2018.  All the 10 beneficiaries received their allocations for both September and October 2018.

As such, due to fear that the ward would resort to violence at the food mitigation exercise, the Chimanimani District Drought Relief Committee, chaired by the District Administrator decided to postpone the distribution of grain in the ward for the month of September 2018.  Acting Chief Mutambara for the area was tasked to resolve the issue which he duly did.  According to the Social Welfare officers in the district, a police report was filed on the matter.

The drought relief committee then decided to double allocate the grain in October 2018 which was duly done on 24th October 2018.  In that sense, there was no grain distribution in Chakohwa Ward 3.  Chakohwa usually receives 500 bags (25 mt) per month and in October 2018, the ward received 1 000 bags (50 mt) and this was covering both September and October 2018.  Therefore, kindly note that all the 10 beneficiaries that were highlighted by Hon. Karenyi were duly awarded their monthly allocations for both September and October 2018.

REVIEW OF NSSA PENSION PAY-OUTS

3.  HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare to state measures being taken to review NSSA pensions pay-outs in view of the high cost of living.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  The NSSA Act, Chapter 17:04 of 1989, Section 26 requires the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare to appoint an Actuary to:

a.      “review and evaluate actuarially every scheme, including the rates of contributions payable thereunder-

i)                   At least once every three years, in respect of long term benefits; and

ii)               At least once every year, in respect of short-term benefits”.

The authority also undertakes ad-hoc actuarial valuations for the purpose of reviewing benefits levels and contribution rates should it become necessary to do so owing to economic developments.

To this end, pension increases are effected based on recommendations from the Actuary following a valuation of the fund.  Actuarial valuations of the NSSA schemes were conducted at the end of 2018.  As a Ministry, we received the submissions made for consideration of review of the benefits levels based on recommendations from the actuary.  In terms of the law, we are currently reviewing the benefits in consultations with the Minister responsible for Finance.  The process is currently underway.  Hon. Members, the finalisation of these processes and consultations with line Ministries will therefore establish a firm ground to implement the reviews in line with the actuarial valuations which I have made reference to.  These measures will enhance social security benefits in general and in particular within the context of our obtaining macro-economic environment. 

DELAYS IN COMPLETION OF THE MUTANGI IRRIGATION SCHEME

          15.  HON. KARIKOGA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to explain the delays in completion of the Mutangi Irrigation Scheme in Ward 24 in Gokwe Mapfugautsi Constituency.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  The delay on completion of Mutange is a result of a contractor who was awarded a contract and did not deliver citing increase in prices.  However, the Ministry hopes to complete this scheme this year after procuring the required pipes.

IRRIGATION SCHEME IN MBERENGWA EAST

          17.  HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to state whether the Ministry has plans to establish an irrigation scheme in Mberengwa East in order to derive economic benefits from Ngezi River?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The Ministry is implementing the National Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Programme that targets 200 ha per district per year.  In that regard, Mberengwa East Constituency will be covered under this programme in 2019.  Investigations and feasibility studies for irrigation development utilising Ngezi River will be undertaken during the course of the year.  I thank you.

LIST OF YOUTH TRAINING CENTRES

101. HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to give a breakdown of Youth Training Centres in different provinces around Zimbabwe.

THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY):  Hon. Members, as part of its youth development and entrepreneurship skills development programme, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation currently administers 72 Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) of which 51 are fully established while 21 are still to be developed on vacant land that has been allocated by local authorities.  In addition, the Ministry has 10 established National Youth Service (NYS) centres of which three are on vacant land.  These training institutions are distributed in all the provinces of the country.  The aim is to have at least one Vocational Training Centre in each province.

The distribution of VTCs and NYS Centres by province is as follows:

ANNEXTURE 1

DISTRIBUTION OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES BY PROVINCE

Province

Established VTCs

Sites

Total Number of VTCs

Matabeleland North

1

5

6

 

Matabeleland South

5

1

6

 

Bulawayo

3

-

3

 

Harare

2

-

2

 

Manicaland

8

2

10

 

Masvingo

3

3

6

 

Midlands

8

2

10

 

Mashonaland East

7

4

11

 

Mashonaland Central

6

4

10

 

Mashonaland West

8

-

8

 

Totals

51

21

72

 

               

 

ANNEXTURE 2

DISTRIBUTION OF NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE TRAINING CENTRES BY PROVINCE

Province

Established Centres

Sites

Total Number of Centres

Matabeleland North

1

1

2

Matabeleland South

1

-

1

Bulawayo

-

-

0

Harare

-

-

0

Manicaland

1

1

2

Masvingo

1

-

1

Midlands

1

-

1

Mashonaland East

1

-

1

Mashonaland Central

1

-

1

Mashonaland West

-

1

1

Totals

7

3

10

 

ANNEXTURE  3

LIST OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND NYS CENTRES BY PROVINCE

 

Province

 

District

 

Name of VTC

 

Status

 

Remarks

 

Matabeleland North

Umguza

Umguza

Established

Operational (Provincial Centre)

 

Nkayi

Sivomo

New site

Under construction

 

Hwange

Kamativi

Established National Youth Service Centre

Operational

 

Lupane

Lupane

New site

Vacant land

 

Tsholotsho

Tsholotsho

New site

Vacant land

 

Binga

Binga

New site

Vacant land

 

Bubi

Bubi

New site

Vacant land

 

Umguza

Ndabazinduna

National Youth Service new site

Vacant land

 

Umguza

Ndabazinduna

Established

Currently being used as ZRP training

Matabeleland South

Insiza

Phangani

Established

Operational (Provincial centre)

 

Umzingwane

Esigodini

Established

Operational

 

Gwanda

Guyu

Established National Youth Service centre

Operational

 

Gwanda

Guyu

Established

Shared property with National Youth Service

 

Gwanda

Thuli

New Site

Vacant land

 

Beitbridge

Beitbridge

Established

operational

 

Mangwe

Avoca

Established

Operational

Bulawayo

Tshabalala

Lobengula

Established

Operational

 

Mzilikazi

Jairos Jiri

Established

Operational

Harare

Ruwa- Epworth

Ruwa

Established

Operational (Provincial Centre)

 

Seke

Chitungwiza

Established

Operational

Manicaland

Mutasa

Magamba

Established

Operational (Provincial Centre

 

Mutare

Mutare Urban

Established

Operational

 

Chimanimani

Nyanyadzi

Established

Operational

 

Mutare

Marange

Established

Operational

 

Chipinge

Chipinge

Established

Operational

 

Mutasa

Kukwanisa

Established

Operational

 

Nyanga

Herbert Chitepo

Established

Converted former refugee camp

 

Mutare

Vumba

Established National Youth Service Centre

Operational

 

Buhera

Buhera

Established

Operational

 

 

Nyanga

Charamba

National Youth Service new site

Vacant land

 

Mutare

Burma Valley

New site

Converted Farm Structures

 

Makoni

Makoni

New site

Adopted former country club

Masvingo

Masvingo

Mushagashe

Established

Operational (Provincial centre)

 

Masvingo

Masvingo Urban

Established

Operational

 

Gutu

Gutu

Established

Operational

 

Bikita

Ferry

New site

Adopted Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union Trainig Centre

 

Chiredzi

Chiredzi

New site

Vacant land

 

Chiredzi

Chikwerengwe

Established National Youth Service Centre

Operational

 

Chivi

Mhandamabwe

New site

Under construction

Midlands

Kwekwe

Kaguvi

Established

Operational (Provincial Centre)

 

Gokwe

Gokwe

Established

Operational

 

Gokwe South

Nyamuroro

Established

Operational

 

Gweru

Gweru Urban

Established

Operational

 

Gweru

Sukamini

New Site

Under construction

 

Silobela

Kwekwe

New Site

Vacant land

 

Zvishavane

Zvishavane

Established

Operational

 

Shurugwi

Shurugwi

Established

Operational

 

Zvishavane

Dadaya

Established National Youth Service Centre

Operational

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mberengwa

Mt. Belingwe

Established

Under construction

 

Chirumanzu

Mvuma

Established

Operational

Mashonaland East

Marondera

Mt. View

Established

Operational (Provincial Centre)

 

Mutoko

Tabudirira

Established

Operational

 

Uzumba-Maramba Pfungwe

Nhakiwa

Established

Operational

 

Mudzi

Mudzi

Established

Operational

 

Chikomba

Earnest Kadungure

Established

Converted Farm structures

 

Mrewa

Mrewa

New site

Vacant land

 

Chikomba

Nyahoni

Established

Operational

 

Marondera

Igava

Established National Youth Service Centre

Converted Farm Structure

 

Seke

Seke

New site

Vacant land

 

Goromonzi

Goromonzi

New site

Vacant land

 

Wedza

Wedza

New  site

Vacant land

 

Marondera

Marondera

Established

Operational

Mashonaland

Central

Mt. Darwin

Chaminuka

Established

Operational (Provincial centre)

 

Mt. Darwin

Mt. Darwin

Established

Operational

 

Rushinga

Mazowe Bridge

Established

Operational

 

Muzarabani

Chawarura

Established

Operational

 

Mazowe

Dzimwe

Established

Operational

 

Bindura

Bindura Urban

Established

Under construction

 

Shamva

Shamva

New Site

Converted Farm Structures

 

Guruve

Guruve

New Site

Converted Farm Structures

 

Mt. Darwin

Mangare

New Site

Adopted disused structures

 

Mbire

Mbire

New Site

Vacant land

 

Mt. Darwin

Border Gezi

National Youth Service new site

Vacant land

Mashonaland West

Mhondoro-Ngezi

Mashayamombe

Established

Operational (Provincial centre)

 

Zvimba

Mt. Hampden

Established

Operational

 

Karoi

Magunje

Established

Operational

 

Makonde

Chinhoyi

Established

Operational

 

Chegutu

Kadoma

Established

Under construction

 

Zvimba

Murombedzi

Established

Operational

 

Zvimba

Norton

Established

Under construction

 

Zvimba

Robert Mugabe

National Youth Service new site

Vacant land

 

Mhondoro-Ngezi

Mhondoro-Ngezi

Established

Operational

 

FENCING OF SAVE CONSERVANCY

104.  HON. MADHUKU asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and hospitality Industry to inform the House when the Save Valley Conservancy will be fenced off thereby bringing to an end the prolonged human wildlife conflict?

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  Allow me to start by thanking the Hon. Member for the question.  The Save Valley Conservancy and the whole of the South East Lowveld is an important landscape for Zimbabwe which need to be carefully planned for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.

          The Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) was formed in the 19901 when it changed its land –use from cattle ranching to wildlife based economy.  A price Waterhouse land use study had confirmed that a wildlife based economy had a considerable and ecological advantage over domestic livestock.  The resultant was the successful rehabilitation of 3 500 square km of degraded land and the creation of a viable tourism industry, which was recognised globally as  major environmental and tourism success.

          However, during the Fast Track Land Reform Programme almost all the 27 farms that originally made up the conservancy were legally and illegally settled.  The original form of the 27 wildlife farms has since changed.  Most of the prime wildlife areas and infrastructure such game fencing was destroyed to pave way for charcoal production, crop and livestock farming.  The game fences which separated communities and their livestock from wildlife were destroyed causing animal to stray into communal areas.  The situation was further worsened by the resettlement of communities into the conservancy which houses all the big five animals like elephants and lions.

          The decimation of infrastructure and the encroachment of neighbouring communities into the conservancy has increased conflict between wildlife, farmers and communities.  There is increased conflicts especially on the Eastern boundary where communities are requesting access to water from a portion of the Save river which was originally enclosed in the conservancy for game water supply.

          Furthermore, the increasing population pressure has worsened competition for scarce resources whilst accelerating their degradation.  Environmental degradation in the conservancy is heavily impacting on ecosystem services and further undermines the livelihood of communities and biodiversity.  This prompted Government in 2007 to handover all wildlife to my Ministry for management.  Government realised and appreciated the need to protect all wildlife and forestry properties from continued occupation.  This handover was followed by a Cabinet decision in 2014 which to the effect that;

1.    all the BIPPA covered and privately acquired indigenous properties, ARDA and RDC owned properties be respected.

2.    the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority manages gazetted properties in the Save Valley Conservancy working with communities using the CAMPFIRE mode.

3.    all twenty-five year leases issued to groups of indigenous wildlife farmers in the Save Valley Conservancy be withdrawn;

4.    that all former non BIPPA White farmers be moved out of the gazetted farms and

5.    that in the running of the conservancy, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority should, where necessary tap into outside expertise already existing in that sector.

Following this Cabinet decision in 2014, the status of land

 occupation in the Save Valley Conservancy falls under either Government through ZimParks and ARDA or private sector ownership.  Our Government’s position on Save Valley is very clear.  We need to reorganise settlements in the conservancy so as to create new wildlife corridors and separate communities from wildlife.

          This planning however requires huge financial investment which we have secured through funding from the European Union (EU).  The EU through FAQ will work with our Ministry and other key Ministries to come up with a new Save Valley Development Plan.  The rational is that the sustainable use of natural resources such as wildlife, indigenous plants, forests and non-timber forest products can improve significantly the livelihood of small scale farmers.  The FAQ is completing the initial inception phase which will pave way for implementation of projects such as game fencing irrigation et cetera.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, on its part Government needs to address issues such as compensation for BIPPA farms which were settled especially in the Southern part of the Conservancy and the re-organisation of settlements. It is therefore of paramount importance that all stakeholders work together to address challenges bedeviling the conservancy.  I thank you.

CONTROL OF WILD ANIMALS

105.  HON. NYAMUDEZA asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to explain to the House –

(a)     the measures being taken to control encroachment of wild animals such as elephants, lions and buffaloes into rural areas  along the Sabi river;

(b)     whether there are any plans to compensate people who have lost their livestock and crops as a result of such wild animals during the past 10 years?

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Madam Speaker, my response to question 104 covers the issues which were raised by Hon. Nyamudeza as the area in question is near Save Valley Conservancy.  However, in addition to my response to question 104, Parks has been deploying Rangers to assist with controlling problem animals in the area.  Furthermore, we are relocating excess wildlife from the conservancy to other areas which have less animals such as Sebungwe region in the Western parts of the country.  the relocation re meant to restock some areas whilst reducing over abundance of certain species in some areas.

          As I indicated, the major challenge is that communities settled in wildlife areas and many households are fast encroaching into wildlife corridors.  In this kind of situation conflict is inevitable.  The only long term solution is to separate communities and wildlife areas through game fencing and this is the route we will be taking once we complete the planning process. 

          With regards to the second part of the question, we have not been able to fully compensate for the loss of life and property due to wild animal mainly due to budgetary constraints.  We have however tried to assist especially the families of the deceased during burials in any way we can.  The major challenge is that compensation is complex and has been tried in some countries but has failed. Our hope is that the implementation of the revamped CAMPFIRE framework will address this issue so that we come up with the best model.  Our view is that the long term solution is to strengthen community benefits as well as separating communities from wildlife corridors through fencing. I thank you.

OUTBREAK OF VELD FIRES

106.   HON. NYAMUDEZA asked the Minister of Environment,

 Tourism and Hospitality Industry to inform the House what measures the Ministry put in place to control outbreak of veldfires?

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. MUPFUMIRA):  I would like t thank Hon. Nyamudeza for the pertinent question.  Madam Speaker, veldfires are negatively affecting the economy, lives and livelihood options of our country.  to date, a total of 1 286 875.37 hectares of land have been burnt from 1 676 fire incidences.  To this end my Ministry has come up with community based measures to control the outbreak of veldfires through stakeholder engagement, environmental awareness campaigns, education, training and planning among other initiatives.  Furthermore, we have supported communities to engage in income generating projects while protecting the environment from veldfires.  The project include, bee keeping (Apiculture), Hay baling and thatch grass combing.  Communities are selling hay, thatch grass and honey in the process realising alternative sources of income from these initiatives.

          An average of 1 000 000 hectares of land are burnt by veldfires every year.  The bulk of veldfires are experienced in the A1 and A2 resettlement areas.  The absence of effective fire suppression measures in farming areas has seen the rapid spread of veldfires.  Veldfires are particularly rampant in farms with minimal or no farming activity as well as areas with huge biomass such Hurungwe, Makonde, Insiza and Zvimba districts.

          Traditional leaders have been instrumental in fighting veldfires in communal areas over the years as a result, veldfires destruction is minimal in these areas.  In light of the above mentioned issues, it is my recommendation that as Government we should carry out the following:

1.    Come up with a position towards prioritisation of environmental management among other national priorities.  The absence of environmental courts underrates environment related offence and hence their importance to the general populace.

2.    Enforce measures to ensure that adequate fire suppression measures are put in place in A1 and A2 resettlement areas.

3.    Position A1 and A2 resettlement areas under the management of traditional leaders.

4.    Continued engagement of communities, stakeholders and schools on veldfires management.

5.    Support of community projects aimed at reducing biomass.

Madam Speaker, my Ministry through Environmental

Management Agency (EMA), Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Forestry Commission and Allied Timbers will continue with awareness programmes through print and electronic media, community and stakeholder meetings, development and implementation of local level veldfires management plants, establishment and capacity building of firefighting committees and the engagement of traditional leaders in both law enforcement and community mobilisation in veld firefighting.

          The issue of veldfires involves various Ministries as espoused in the National Veldfires Strategy of 2007 and these Ministries are Members of the National Fire Committee.  I call upon my colleagues to also play their part in veldfires management.  Fireguards construction should be carried out in all farms from April each year up to the end of July coupled with rigorous fire awareness campaigns throughout the year.  Lastly, I urge all Members of this august House, working with your constituency members to have adequate fire suppression measures to protect your properties from veldfires.

          Furthermore, last year my Ministry tabled proposed amendments to the Forestry Act [Chapter 19:05], before this august House but the Bill lapsed before it could be debated due to the changes in Government.  The process of resubmission through Cabinet has since begun.  The Bill seeks to introduce minimum mandatory sentences for fire related offence, with the hope that this deter would be offenders.  It is also proposed that an interdisciplinary framework be introduced where my Ministry will continue to work with all stakeholders in the fight against veldfires, in particular, our traditional leaders.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

REFORESTATION MEASURES ON THE NATIONAL TREE PLANTING DAY

          107.   HON. NYAMUDEZA asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to inform the House reforestation measures being taken by the Ministry and the number of trees which will be planted on the National Tree Planting Day scheduled for 1 December, 2018.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, before I talk about reforestation measures, allow me to give a brief background about the status of our forests and the threats they are facing.  Zimbabwe’s forest and woodland resources, when combined, cover approximately 53 per cent of the total land area.  Most of the country’s forests and woodlands (67 per cent), covering 10 million hectares, are now mainly confined to mountain slopes and riverbanks, with 43 per cent in communal lands and 24 per cent in resettlement and commercial areas.  Just less than one quarter (24 per cent) of the area under woodland and forest is situated in National Parks, Safari Areas, Sanctuaries and Botanical Reserves.  About 33 per cent of the forests are in gazetted and protected areas.  There are also small areas of moist forests and plantations of exotic commercial species covering about 89 000 hectares.  The status of these resources varies with land tenure category. 

          The productivity of the Forestry Sector has declined significantly because of over-exploitation and degradation of the indigenous forests.  The national rate of deforestation accelerated from 100 000 hectares per year in the 1990s to 327 000 hectares per year between 2 000 and 2010.  This resulted in the reduction of carbon stocks, for example the carbon stock in miombo living forest biomass for Zimbabwe decreased from 697 in 1990, to 594 in 2000; 543 in 2005 and 492 in 2010. 

          The country’s current forest cover is under constant threat from heavy deforestation being caused by a number of drivers, chief among which is Agriculture, Tobacco curing, fuel wood energy, human resettlements, illegal mining activities and wild fires.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, whilst agriculture is the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy and a source of livelihoods for the majority of the population, the bulk of which lives in rural areas, more forests and woodlands are being converted to agricultural land for cropping and pasture than to any other land use.  The opening up of forests for agricultural expansion is a major cause of loss of forests and a driver of environmental and climate change in Zimbabwe.  The situation is made worse by the fact that more than 80 per cent of those growers are smallholder farmers who rely heavily on wood for curing tobacco especially indigenous trees.  Approximately 20 per cent of deforestation is attributable to tobacco production activities.   The FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 edition listed Zimbabwe as being among 10 countries that recorded the largest forest cover loss between 1990 and 2010, that is 330 000 hectares per annum.

          Furthermore, a large proportion of Zimbabwe’s population depends on fuel wood as a major source of household energy with 96 per cent using it for cooking and heating.  In addition, load-shedding in urban areas caused by the country’s power deficit has also led urban people to turn to firewood as a substitute for electricity.  As a result the country has experienced a gradual loss of indigenous trees that take a long time to reach maturity. 

          Coupled with this is the increase in illegal mining activities especially in commercial timber plantations.  Pine plantations in the Manicaland province have been affected by this menace for a while resulting in the loss of over 10 000 hectares of plantations.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, there has also been an unprecedented expansion of cities, small towns and growth points in Zimbabwe’s urban areas and settlement in rural areas.  Large scale infrastructural developments and settlements involve land clearing that contributes to habitat fragmentation, deforestation and land degradation.  Areas such as the scenic Shurugwi which used to be home to some of the pristine natural forests in Zimbabwe is almost bare paving way for mining and settlements.

          Wild fires are also destroying our forests.  An average of 900 000 hectares of forests and rangelands are damaged by wild fires each year with the hectares affected increasing from 0.9 million hectares to 1.3 million hectares between 2009 and 2012.  The long term effects of wild fires include reduced biodiversity and forests; increased soil erosion and decreased infiltration of rainfall that contributes to reduced water availability.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, in view of the deforestation drivers mentioned above; the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry has put together a reforestation programme to redress the situation.

          A target of 15 million trees has been planned for this season which begins with the National Tree Planting Day launch by His Excellency, the President on the 1st Saturday of December, through to the end of the rain season.  Every Zimbabwean is encouraged to plant his/her own tree – under the theme “Fruit trees for food security and nutrition”.  The aim is to plant over 100 000 improved fruit trees such as mangoes, oranges, avocados and many other species to complement food security in the household and income for the family.  After five to eight years, farmers will be able to export the fruits to countries like China, USA and Europe.

          Meanwhile, for the National Tree Planting Day itself, 168 venues have been identified throughout the country.  Dignitaries will be drawn from local leadership that includes Ministers, Members of Parliament, Ministers of State of different provinces, traditional leaders, councilors, provincial administrators, district administrators, church leaders, school heads and other local communities.  We expect to plant about 3 million trees in the month of December alone.  Tobacco farmers are encouraged to plant more woodlots to replace the trees lost through tobacco curing.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency the President will lead the nation in planting trees either on the 1st of December or on the 5th of December. This tree planting ceremony will be accompanied by a thorough clean-up campaign in Harare and every citizen will be encouraged to plant trees and clean up their areas.  The tree of the year is an indigenous fruit tree called Mushuma – in Shona, Imdlauzo in Ndebele and jackal berry or Africa Ebony in English. 

ASSISTANCE TO LOCAL COMMUNITY BASED WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES

108. HON. MADHUKU asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to inform the House what measures the Ministry is taking to assist local community based wildlife management programmes and conservancies to realise financial gains?

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND

 HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Madam

 Speaker, Zimbabwe has four main wildlife landscapes which are North West Matabeleland, Sebungwe, Mid Zambezi Valley and South Eastern Low Veld.  There are also other smaller and fragmented landscapes which hold critical populations f mega species such as the Shangani, Tuli Circle and Muzarabani Wilderness.  In all these landscapes, there are different land-use regimes which include protected areas, parks estates, communal lands and commercial farmlands.  These areas are largely in drier parts of the country (natural farming regions 4 and 5) to which over the years crop production have become economically unproductive.  This has been exacerbated by the more erratic rainfall patterns which are pointing to climate change that we have been experiencing in the past 20 or more years.

However, the landscapes are a home to health populations of wildlife which include elephants, lions, buffaloes, leopards, rhinos among others.  Comparative studies and reality shows that in these drier areas wildlife is a high probability of crop failure and poor selection of livestock production systems which might eventually lead into over grazing and land degradation, wildlife production does well and returns are significantly high per unit area.  Hunting of a single elephant can have returns of over $50 000 per ward.

Madam Speaker, with these permutations in mind and considering that communities living in areas adjacent to wildlife protected areas will always be facing the possibility of confronting the challenge of conflicts with the animals, economic models which encourage co-existence have been developed for these areas.  Firstly, there is the Communal Areas Management Program for indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) which is premised on a principle of management of natural resources at local level and benefits accruing thereof retained by the communities.  Under CAMPFIRE, the Government has given an Appropriate Authority status to the Rural District Council (RDCs as a way of developing power to local levels and have communities administer the management of their own resources.  A total of 8 districts out of 12 have active CAMPFIRE programs.  The CAMPFIRE model has inspired many countries such as Namibia and Zambia who are now also implementing the same concept for management of resources in their areas.

The Ministry is therefore motivated by the existing traditional and formal governance structures in most of our local communities that communities are able to manage the resources on their own.  In this regard, the Ministry has taken a drive to establish community wildlife conservancies.  The community wildlife conservancies are aimed at striking a balance on the need to conserve the wildlife resources and for the communities to benefit from the venture.

My Ministry is currently working on two-six year project under Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funding mechanism; the GEF 5 project on the enhancement of Hwange-Sanyati Biological Corridor and the GEF 6 project implemented by UNDP and partners in Zambezi Valley for strengthening biodiversity and ecosystems management in that region.  The GEF 5 project has already established a community conservancy in Sidinda of Hwange District.  A total of 100 buffaloes have so far been translocated to the conservancy and other species such zebra, sable, impala and eland are lined up for release intro the area.

The GEF 6 project in Zambezi Valley, which was rolled out in September this year is assisting in the establishment of 6 community conservancies in Hurungwe, Mbire and Muzarabani.  The establishment of these conservancies is currently at scoping stage where the Ministry  is getting baseline details to ensure that  once established all operational parameters are considered.  It is envisaged that after the project funding, mechanisms for the community wildlife conservancy sustainability will have been established.  The project will ensure that the following deliveries are attained before its end:

·       There would be significant wildlife populations in the conservancies

·       Local communities will be adequately trained and capacitated to manage the conservancies

·       Relevant economic models will be developed which ensures a balance between conservation and livelihood enhancement.

The project have funding for conservancy management activities

such as graders, tractors, law enforcement vehicles, radio communication among other necessary equipment.  The equipment is being bought as per our drafted work plans for the areas and will be availed as soon as possible in the areas.

          As it stand, my Ministry through ZimParks have already started training of  community wildlife game scouts in law enforcement and monitoring of illegal activities in their areas.  We have so far trained representatives from Mbire, Hurungwe, Muzarabani and plan to extend to Binga, Hwange and Tsholotsho RDCs.

          My Ministry has also recognised that some of the current wildlife management policies and regulations are prohibitive for the communities to utilise wildlife resources.  For example, communities in Kanyemba were expected to pay $800 for commercial fishing permit in Zambezi River. As a result, the communities were failing to pay such high fees.  Only one permit was in existence and had last paid in 2014.  As such, the permit holders were also in debt and were denied access to the resource.  The Ministry intervened and reduced the permit fees from $800 to $15 with each permit having a group of 10 people.  We have so far given 10 permits for starters.  This means we now have 100 local communities involved in the fisheries industry in the area.

          We have also engaged in a countrywide fisheries programme with the aim of improving the livelihoods of the local communities through increased access to food fish, play a significant role in the fisheries industry and thus improve local economies.  We want to take advantage of the 10 000 small and large dams that exist across the country for enhancement of fisheries production.

          We have managed to stock 45 dams with more than 2 million fish fingerlings in all provinces, assisted in the construction and stocking of 300 ponds with 500 000 fish fingerlings and 62 cages in 8 dams.  Some of the dams with cages are Osborne in Manicaland, Zhove in Beitbridge and Exchange in Midlands among others.  A total of 1 200 people from local communities have been trained in aquaculture production.  It is our hope that the Ministry would reach out to 1 200 000 people and 250 000 families through this programme.

CURBING OF VELD FIRES

109.  HON. P. MASUKU asked the Minister of Environment Tourism and Hospitality Industry to explain measures in place to curb veldfires that are destroying natural vegetation and property as well as causing loss of animals and human life throughout the country?

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. P. Masuku for asking that question.  Veldfires are an emerging challenge facing Zimbabwe as they destroy over a million of veld hectares each year, damaging the environment, life and property. Though the veldfire scourge affects every province, the severity of veldfires varies in space depending with the type and amount of veld available as well as land use.  Annually, since 2010, fires have burnt over 1 000 000 hectares of land in Zimbabwe destroying property, wildlife, livestock and human life.  This is of great concern to all stakeholders and more so to the Government as it impacts negatively affecting the land reform and agrarian programmes. 

          Having noted the unpleasant trends of fires in the country particularly in resettlement areas, my Ministry, in collaboration with other relevant sector Ministries and other stakeholders, have put in place measures to reduce fire incidences and total burnt area.  The target is to reduce annual total burnt area by 10% through implementation of the following measures:

1.0.        Fire Management Planning

The overall strategy that has been put in place is the development of an inclusive National Veld Fire Strategy and Action Plan of 2006.  The plan is reviewed and updated each year just before the fire season starts when stakeholders prepare for the national fire week launch in the first week of May.  From the national action plan, stakeholders develop their own plans guided by national targets for implementation at all administrative levels, these are provincial, district, ward and village levels.  The national plan is also shared with the Command Agriculture programme structures for further mainstreaming of fire management by farmers.

Veld fire management involves in part the land preparation for pre-suppression measures such as fire guards and biomass reduction through hay baling, thatch grass harvesting and allowing intensive grazing on areas with tall and robust grass.  The other component is the human system management that includes fire fighters, monitoring mechanisms and leadership.  It is important that as a nation, we invest more in veld fire pre-suppressive land preparations and fire suppression mechanisms to curb this ailing problem.

2.0 Establishment of fire suppression measures

          State entities that include ZIMPARKS, Forestry Commission and Allied Timbers work closely with local communities of fire management activities in and around their areas of jurisdiction. These entities embark on activities for fire suppression through early burning in protected areas to reduce biomass.  With support from the Environmental Management Agency, farmers are also technically and financially supported in the establishment of pre-suppression and suppression measures which include fire guard demonstration projects, hay bailing projects, thatch grass cutting and combing projects among other livelihood initiatives.

          Madam President, all wildlife properties in the country including Parks and Estates, Forests lands,  Rural District Councils and private are mandated by law to erect 9m-wide perimeter fireguards to safeguard the wild animals and their habitat.  Further to that, the State institutions responsible for wild animals and forests have fire management plans in place for each protected areas, be it under the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Forestry Commission, Allied Timbers and Rural District Councils.

          The fire management plans cater for the erection of fireguards in each wildlife area, be they on the perimeter or the interior of the protected area with each area having a trained dedicated fire-fighting team to promptly deal with any veld fires.  The Government institutions monitor private conservancies on compliance to law in as far as fireguard construction is concerned.

          3.0 Fire Monitoring

          My Ministry has put in place a robust national fire monitoring system through establishment of a satellite supported fire station at the Environmental Management Agency Head Office.  The real time monitoring system allows for quick detection and communication of fires to affected communities and support structures like established firefighting teams, Fire Brigade and Civil Protection Department. This fire station is aided by pre-fire season prediction mapping through estimation of the available biomass by end of March early April of each year.

          4.0   Fire Awareness Programme

          The Ministry in collaboration with its stakeholders undertakes intensive fire management awareness campaigns starting with the national fire week in May annually.  These are sustained throughout the fire season.  In addition to these measures, we conduct trainings on fire-fighting through Environment Management Agency, the Forestry Commission and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and undertake fire awareness campaigns around the country.  The fireguards construction is carried out from April each year up to end of July while the fire awareness campaigns are held throughout the year.

          5.   Law Enforcement

          The Ministry uses the available legal instruments to issue orders before the fire season begins for putting in place suppression measures such as fire guards.  In case of fire incidences, offenders are prosecuted.  It should however be noted that due to the difficulty in nature of the offence, some offenders are not accounted for as communities do not reveal them.

          In concluding my response, I urge all Parliamentarians to spearhead the fire management awareness campaigns.  My Ministry is open to provide each Member of Parliament with constituency fire trends statistics to aid in planning with communities.

On the motion of HON. MGUNI seconded by HON. T. KHUMALO, the House adjourned at Twenty-two Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

Last modified on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 20:06
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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 20 MARCH 2019 VOL 45 NO 44