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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 21 FEBRUARY 2017 VOL 43 NO 38

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 21st February, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

HON. MAZIWISA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  My point of order is in respect of Standing Order No. 68 (d), a point of privilege.  Mr. Speaker we are what we are today, all of us, united in our diversities as black, white people – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker, let me go straight to the point.  We are here as Members of Parliament of this country – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

Hon. Members having stood up.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  Hon. Members, please resume your seats. 

HON. MAZIWISA:  We are here because of President Robert Mugabe...

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, please resume your seat.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, when you say you have got a point of order, let it be a point of order.

          HON. MAZIWISA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, it is a point of privilege.   Today as Members of Parliament, we are who we are in large part if not inclusively because of a man, President Robert Mugabe – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- who is celebrating his birthday today.  We want to sing, we want to celebrate President Mugabe’s birthday - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - congratulate and sing happy birthday to President Robert Mugabe – [HON. MEMBERS: Haivhiyiwe, haichekwi, takapinda ne Vote, we will not allow that.] -

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order, take your seats.  Both sides please, when I call for order, respect the Chair. Hon. Member, the matter is not provided for in our Standing Orders, it can only proceed with unanimous concurrence of the whole House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Hon. Members, the Speaker has made a ruling.

          HON. MLILO:  I have a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

          HON. MLILO:  I do not have a point of order but I have a point of privilege.  If you give me an opportunity to air it out I would appreciate it.  My point of privilege is, we need to appreciate where we are going – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Order Hon. Members!  Without an exception, when I say order, I need order maintained in this House.  Hon. Mlilo, I have already made a ruling and you stand up again repeating the same thing.  Resume your seat. 

          HON. NYAMUPINGA:  On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Members, we do not want to take this House as a circus.  When the Speaker has made a ruling, it must be respected. 

          HON. NYAMUPINGA:  Mr. Speaker, it is a different issue altogether.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I have heard someone singing there.  Who is singing?  Hon. Members to my left, who was singing – [HON. MEMBERS:  Ngaabude!] -  Order, order!  Your point of privilege should not be the same as the one I have just ruled on. 

          HON. NYAMUPINGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  On a point of privilege, I want to acknowledge and celebrate the life of a woman who has not only stood out advancing the women’s rights but also advanced the education of women and men of Zimbabwe, Professor Kurasha – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -  Mr. Speaker Sir, we all know that Professor Kurasha was the champion who started the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), which we have all benefited from.  I am also a beneficiary of ZOU. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order.  I did not allow you to debate.  I said you should be brief.

          HON. NYAMUPINGA:  That is the brief that I am giving.  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am talking of a woman who advanced the education of women and men of this country – [AN HON. MEMBER:  It is now a motion.] – No, it is not a motion.  I was just saying one statement.  Thank you.

          HON. MAZIVISA:  Mr. Speaker, with your assistance, I just want to get the difference between a congratulatory and a condolence message – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Can you take your seat.  Order, order.

          *HON. MAHOKA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  My question is, the Hon. Member has posed a question and you have not given us a ruling on the difference between the two issues.  So, we want the meaning and we want to celebrate the life of the President in this House – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER:    Hon. Mutseyami, may you leave the House please – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order in the House, Hon. Members to my right!  Hon. Mupfumi, when I am talking, please respect the Chair.  Order, order.  Hon. Mahoka, when the Chair has made a ruling, that ruling must be respected.  On Professor Kurasha’s issue, it is about someone informing the House that she is now late.  On the other motion, I asked him to submit a motion where everyone can debate because it can take the whole month or the whole week for people to debate.

HON. GUZAH:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker. 

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

HON. GUZAH:  My point of order Mr. Speaker, was with regards to Hon. Mutseyami who has now left the House.

  THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Is he in the House now – [HON. MEMBERS:  Where is he?  He is not even here.  You are out of order.] – You are not the spokesperson.  I can also see with my eyes, he is not here.

SECOND READING

NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS COMMISSION BILL [H.B. 6, 2016]

First Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the National Competitiveness Commission Bill.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. CHAMISA: I am not so sure if what the Hon. Minister has indicated is quite consistent with our expectation as a House because the last time we had the Minister on the floor, he had indicated that he was going to consider the submissions we had made. We were under the impression that...

          HON. HOLDER: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. HOLDER: Gara pasi Chamisa nditaure point of order. My point of order is that Hon. Chamisa is mentioning what the Hon. Minister is supposed to be doing but the debate was adjourned. Saka toda kucontinya debate iroro.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, you are out of order Hon. Holder.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I move that the debate on motion on the Second Reading of the National Competitiveness Commission Bill (H.B. 6, 2016) which was adjourned on the 16th February, to today, be further adjourned to the second March, 2017. Thank you.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 2nd March, 2017.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

SOCIAL DIALOGUE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS AND LABOUR

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. You recall that last week on Wednesday, Hon. Mpariwa asked me a specific question on the Social Dialogue Discussions and the TNF. I had responded that there was a motion which was supposed to be reinstated on the Order Paper and I would give an adequate response to that motion. The mover of that motion, Hon. Hlongwane has since been appointed Minister in Government and the seconder of that motion Hon. Dr. J. Gumbo has also been appointed a Government Minister.

          So, in the absence of somebody who moved that motion, I am persuaded to submit a ministerial statement in response to those issues. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to acknowledge the mover of the motion, Hon. Hlongwane and seconded by Dr. Gumbo. That motion was enthusiastically debated by Hon. Chikwinya, Hon. Tarusenga, Hon. Cross and Hon. Matangira. The motion is a clarion call on Government to initiate a Social Dialogue Discussion between Government, Business and Labour and for my Ministry to activate the TNF comprising the said parties.

          As we respond to this motion and the attendant debate, we are encouraged that all contributors rose above partisan politics and spoke to putting economic interest of the nation first and above all. We concur with Hon. Cross that as our economy grows; it lifts everybody, those in opposition and those in Government. We again agree that our potential as a people, economy and as a nation is enormous as it is important to highlight that Government, Business and Labour might on face value appear to be coming from diametrically opposed fundamentals, economic growth and prosperity can only be achieved through funding goal congruency in this tripartite agreement.

          They are difficult issues but these difficult issues have to be tackled head on. There are issues of lack of trust and diminished confidence in each other. It is imperative that this divide be reduced. We agree with the House that the key to prosperity is found in consultation, consensus and agreement, as has been submitted in debating this motion. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is therefore both heartening and welcome to respond to shared values, common purpose and a shared vision.

          Hon. Members spoke a lot about a social dialogue platform and/or establishing a social dialogue framework. It is refreshing to reflect that the Government, Business and Labour representatives have since 1998, established the TNF as a means to pursue dialogue on socio economic issues with a national outlook.  Although unlegislated, the TNF has managed to bring together the tripartite partners to discuss pertinent issues affecting the country. In the early years of its existence, the TNF began discussions on what has now come to be called the Kadoma Declaration towards a shared national, economic and social vision which was concluded in 2009, and launched at the highest level by His Excellency, the President Cde. R. G. Mugabe on the 26th February, 2010.

          The TNF has made several attempts to conclude a social contract through adoption of various protocols aimed at enhancing economic growth. On the first of June, 2007, the TNF adopted the following protocols; the first one was on prices and income stabilisation, restoration of production viability and the last one was on mobilisation, pricing and management of foreign currency. Mr. Speaker Sir, given the economic hardships and mistrust among the tripartite partners prevailing at that time, the implementation of the protocols could not take off.

          The TNF later renewed its commitment to the dialogue process in 2009. The Kadoma Declaration seeks to address the country risk factor given the negative perception that investors and the international community have on Zimbabwe.  In achieving its objective, the Declaration outlines the roles and responsibilities of each of the tripartite partners.  

The Declaration identifies areas in need of intervention and spells out the action that should be taken. Issues such as delay in policy implementation, corruption, unsustainable micro-economic fundamentals and bad country image are highlighted.  The implementation of the Kadoma Declaration was designed to be complemented by specific protocols that I have already mentioned.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, with regards to the implementation of the Declaration, to date it has been disseminated through publicity campaigns in five provinces which are; Harare, Bulawayo, Manicaland (Mutare), Midlands (Gweru) and Mashonaland West Province (Chinhoyi).  Whilst a lot of progress has been made in the following areas;

a)    strengthening of the institutions of governance,

b)   empowerment of indigenisation,

c)    depoliticisation of the workplace,

d)   stability in the micro-economic fundamentals, and

e)    eliminating election related violence

Other areas are still outstanding such as; contradictory policies statements, corruption and use of informatory language and demonisation and these I insist, have to be addressed.

 Mr. Speaker Sir, having due regard to the foregoing, my Ministry has convened consultative meetings with the Tripartite partners with a view to conclude a social contract.  The Government team of the TNF met on the 2nd of December, 2016 and finalised its submissions which was then discussed by the parties on the 9th of December, 2016.  All parties have agreed to work together towards achieving this collective goal.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is envisaged that the social contract will address fiscal and monitory policy implementation.  Prices and incomes stabilisation, sectorial productivity enhancement in areas such agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism, among others.  The following issues were discussed and agreed as possible ways of stabilising the economy and should be actively pursued and these include:

1.    Promotion of investment;

2.    diaspora engagement;

3.    implementation of Sustainable Development Goals,

4.     implementation of Special Economic Zones;

5.     import substitution through implementation of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 on control of goods, that is, the open general import licence;

6.     decrease in local tariff and utility costs which make locally manufactured products expensive.  The aim is to ensure that locally manufactured goods are affordable while also being of good quality;

7.    addressing low productivity levels,  high cost of money, that is interests rates; corruption and the high Government wage bill and parastatal reform;

8.    the need to expedite the implementation of principles of the ease-of-doing business in order to attract investors and lastly;

9.     the need for regaining trust from other clusters is also underscored.

Mr. Speaker Sir, in light of the work of the TNF, its membership has made substantive progress in coming up with a draft TNF Bill to legislate the work of the TNF.  The Draft Bill which will be presented in this august House, seeks to enhance accountability within the TNF.  With your permission, I will now take the House through the guideline principles envisaged in the TNF Bill:

a)    parties to the TNF – the proposed TNF Act shall define the parties to social dialogue and provide for the tripartite membership of Government, organise business and organise labour at the TNF.  Other stakeholders maybe co-opted into specific TNF deliberations whenever issues that require their expertise are under consideration;

b)   group autonomy and tripartite participation.- Mr. Speaker Sir, the proposed TNF Act shall provide for the manner of representation of parties at the TNF with appointees freely and independently chosen by the respective tripartite constituencies.  The Act will bind specified  members to participate in good faith in the work of the forum at appointed times and in a prescribed manner;

c)    equality of parties and mutual ownership of social dialogue process -  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is our intention that the proposed Act will provide for the equality of the parties through participation of the tripartite constituencies in equal members within the TNF structures.  This would foster stakeholder commitment and mutual ownership to the social dialogue process;

d)   subordination of sectoral interest to national interests -  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is of utmost importance that parties to the TNF should put national interest ahead of sectoral interest.  In this regard, the TNF Act shall provide for the observance by parties of fundamental principles that guide the social dialogue process for it to be meaningful, sustainable and effective.  The fundamental principles include the subordination of sectoral interests to national interests as well as the exercise of mutual respect and accountability to one another;

e)    the TNF structures – the proposed Act shall identify the co-structures of the forum and prescribe the functions of each level, thereby establishing a clear chain of command to facilitate accountability, coordination and efficiency.  The proposed Act shall outline the structures of the TNF.  Presently the main TNF is the supreme policy and decision making arm of the forum which is supported by three policy clusters that are divided into social, economic and labour market policy issues.  These policy clusters are supported by a technical committee which does all the technical work of the TNF and is representative of the TNF stakeholders.  The secretarial work is backstocked by a TNF secretariat;

f)     working methods of the TNF – the proposed TNF Act shall provide for the working methods on how issues should be tabled for discussion and the manner in which agreed positions will be referred to Cabinet for approval and implementation as legally binding on the parties.  The agenda of the TNF is to be set by a tripartite agenda setting Committee;

g)    chairing and co-chairing of TNF meetings – Mr. Speaker Sir, the tripartite constituents have agreed that the TNF shall be chaired by Government in line with the practice of the International Labour Organisation at its international labour conferences and governing body sessions.  The TNF Act shall provide for the duties of the TNF’s chairperson and co-chairpersons drawn from the social partners to convene and preside over deliberations and to implement the TNF’s decisions.  The proposed Act would also provide for the coordination of the role of the chairperson and co-chairpersons which would enhance the implementation and monitoring of agreements;

h)   interface between the TNF and other stakeholders – the TNF Act shall provide for the  convening of periodic consultative sessions for purposes of wider participation and consultation with various stakeholders that include the academia and development institutions among others;

independent secretariat – Mr. speaker Sir, the TNF will be supported by an independent secretariat, the roles and function of which shall be provided for in the Act.  The manner of appointment of the secretariat’s executive authority shall also be provided for in the Act.  The TNF should be supported by an independent secretariat that is able to backstock the social dialogue process with greater efficiency.  This arrangement would enable the TNF to have meetings at regular intervals on dates fixed in advance.  This regularity of meeting enhances the continued relevance of the TNF to deal with issues of importance from time to time.

      FUNDING MECHANISM FOR THE TNF

Finally Mr. Speaker Sir, the TNF shall be funded within the National Budget.  The mandate of TNF to discuss issues of national importance requires that Government sufficiently caters for the operations of the TNF.  The TNF can also receive supplementary funding from development partners and others.  I hope that that adequately responds to the Hon. Member’s question.  I thank you.

     HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Let me thank the Hon. Deputy Minister for bringing the Ministerial Statement in terms of what I sought to find out from the Ministry on what the delay was in terms of bringing the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill to Parliament.  Let me hasten to say, I was like - should I call for a point of order?  I later thought of respecting the Minister.  Why am I saying that, exactly where he has gone in terms of laying out the Bill, the introduction and so on, is exactly where I left the Bill in 2013 when I left the Ministry.

     The reason for me having asked that question last week was because I know the preparatory work that I had done in the Ministry.  What he has alluded to, if he were to bring the Bill even tomorrow, people would be worried for he has already brought the Bill into Parliament.  Really my question was, what is the hold up because the apparatus, set up and everything were already there when I left the Ministry. 

     He mentioned about the popularisation and publicity of the Kadoma Declaration and five provinces have been reached out, where are the remaining?  What is the hold up in terms of popularisation because when we had actually established in 2010 and launched the Kadoma Declaration publicly, with the support of development partners? Indeed he had alluded to say it will be supported by development partners.  That is the nature of the TNF, Government has no capacity whatsoever to fund the TNF or to do any activity without the support of the development partners. 

May I find it from the Minister, where are we getting it wrong in terms of covering the whole batch of provinces so that we at least will be talking of the Minister bringing the Bill to Parliament.  We can deliberate, and then we pass the Bill and get the apparatus going.  It is worrying Hon. Speaker, that four years have gone past and the Bill is still on the shelf gathering dust and the Minister is coming with a Ministerial Statement without even mentioning that maybe when we come back after the break, they will be able to bring the Bill to Parliament.  Thank you Mr. Speaker. 

HON. T. KHUMALO: My question to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services is were you already presenting the Bill that has not come to Parliament or you were just informing  us that it is there.

       THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Hon. Member, it was a Ministerial Statement which was clear and you are posing a question whether that was a Bill presentation.

HON. CHAMISA: My question of clarification from Hon. Deputy Minister is to do with the issue for commitment.  He said there is a realisation in terms of the Kadoma Declaration, that there are issues that are outstanding, issues to do with corruption and inconsistencies of policy.  Is there any timeframe as to the programme of action within Government to deal with those outstanding issues because they are very important, not just in terms of the TNF framework, but in terms of ease of doing business.

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  On Hon. Khumalo’s intervention, what I am submitting in this House are the principles which will be governing the crafting of the Bill.  When you take them to Cabinet, you take them through as principles.  So, I gave you an outline of the salient features of the Bill as it will be coming through.  Mr. Speaker Sir, if Hon. Members would go through my submission they will see that the principles I presented today are indeed different from the principles that, with due respect, Hon. Mpariwa submitted to Cabinet in 2013.

On the issue that Hon. Mpariwa brought up, the main issues which came through was for us to table a timeframe on when the Bill will be submitted into Parliament.  It is our wish and fervent hope that by the third quarter, that Bill should be through Parliament for discussion.  On the issue that Hon. Chamisa raises on corruption and related issues, Hon. Chamisa will appreciate that those issues interface other Ministries as we run through the ease of doing business.  There is the need for a combined answer from an Inter-Ministerial taskforce to completely address the timeframes and when that can be achieved.  Thank you.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

   THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 2 to 16 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 17 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE, HOME AFFAIRS AND SECURITY SERVICES ON SERVICE DELIVERY BY THE REGISTRAR GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT

HON. A. MNANGAGWA: I move the motion standing in my name that the House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services Delivery by the Registrar-General’s Department.

Hon. Mukwangwariwa having seconded the motion instead of Hon. Chimanikire

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: On a point of order.  The Hon. Member seconded but according to the Order Paper I am supposed to second and I am present.  I do not have a spokesperson in Parliament.  I second.

HON. A. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

          1.0 Introduction

1.1 The Registrar General’s Department is the sole authority that provides vital civil registration and travel documents to ensure that all citizens are properly registered. In pursuit of its mandate, the Department is guided by the following Acts of Parliament:

·       The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013

·       Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 4:01]

·       Births and Death Registration Act [Chapter 5:02]

·       Burial and Cremation Act [Chapter 5:03]

·       African Marriages Act [Chapter 5:07]

·       Marriages Act [Chapter  5:11]

·       National Registration Act [Chapter 10:17]

Brands Act [Chapter 19:03]

1.2 In conducting its enquiry, the Committee visited Mashonaland West, Midlands, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North Provinces. Your Committee would like to thank the Ministry officials at the various Provinces for their cooperation.

1.3 The objectives of the enquiry were to receive firsthand information from the clients of the Registrar General’s Department and to ascertain customer satisfaction on the services rendered. Furthermore, the objectives of the enquiry were to get an appreciation of the challenges encountered during the service delivery by the Department and to make recommendations which the Committee deemed fit.2.0 Methodology

2.1 As part of its oversight function your Committee applied the following methodology to get an appreciation and assessment of service delivery within the Registrar General’s Department:-        

Ø Approached the Provincial offices for a briefing, outlining the objectives of the Committee.

Ø Visited identified centres of the Registrar General’s Department 

Ø The Committee  also gathered information through the following means;

       i.            Observation method – at the service centres;

    ii.            Interaction with clients on how they were served;

 iii.            Interviews with officials on the quality of service given and feedback by customers on their satisfaction of such services;

 iv.            Conducted surveys  on   accessibility by clients of primary documents;

    v.            Checking on the appropriateness of infrastructure at places visited; and

 vi.            At the end of each day the Committee would hold meetings to deliberate on observations.

3.0   Core Functions of the Registrar General’s Department

3.1   In the administration of the Acts under its purview, the Department provides the following:-

a) services relating to registration of births, deaths, national identity documents, passports, citizenship, brands and marriages;

b) the production and issuance of travel documents.

          As part of its service provision, the Department sets out standards that it adheres to. These standards relate to the time taken to process the documents which varies from 1 to 20 working days depending on the circumstances except for travel documents which may take up to 4 weeks to process.

3.2 Other standards set by the Department relate to issuing of birth certificates and burial orders within one working day. An application for a death certificate takes three working days while the issuance of a duplicate takes five working days. The issuance of duplicate death certificates through mail received from Provinces and Districts takes up to twenty working days.

3.3 The Department also issues brand certificates, marriages certificates, citizenship certificates, national identity documents, travel documents and provides mobile registration. Application and processing of certificates over the counter at the Central Registry takes up to fourteen working days. Application and processing of livestock brand certificates through mail at Provinces takes twenty working days.

 

Proceedings of the Committee

4.0     Mashonaland West Province

4.1 Your Committee visited the Provincial Registrar General’s office in Mashonaland West where it received evidence on the activities of the Department. In his briefing, the Provincial Registrar, Mr. Wilbert Chirenda informed the Committee that the Province had seven administrative districts comprising Chinhoyi, Hurungwe, Kariba, Zvimba, Chegutu, Mhondoro-Ngezi and Sanyati. Apart from the main district offices the Province has 18 sub-offices, some of which are located at the hospitals. For example, Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital accommodates the Registrar General’s office for purposes of issuing burial orders. Karoi and Kariba districts have sub-offices.  Zvimba does not have a hospital sub-office but utilises the ones at Banket and Mutorashanga Mine. Chegutu has two sub-offices in Norton and Mhondoro-Mubaira. There is no sub-office in the town of Chegutu. Mhondoro-Ngezi is still a new sub-office in the Province. Sanyati district office which was formerly Kadoma has two sub-offices, one at Chakari Mine and the other one at Sanyati Arda office.

4.2 The Province has not conducted any outreach programmes since 2013 despite the fact that the majority of the poor people are in the communal areas and require services. Mr Chirenda said, “We used to go out each year for about 3 months taking our services to these people.  Our nearest offices are sub-offices which are about 60km away from the people.”

All the seven main offices are computerised and all data is transmitted to the production centre via satellite. The Department attributed its computerisation success to the retention fund. However, the main challenge was the inadequacy of office space and accommodation due to lack of funding. For example, eleven officers were operating from a small office, obviously creating long queues.

4.3 The Department had inadequate fuel to cater for visits to sub- offices. Some sub-offices, like Sanyati, were said to be 120km from the District Offices making it difficult to visit and monitor service delivery by staff in outlying areas on a regular basis. There was also need for adequate human and material resources as a way of improving service delivery in places like Hurungwe where a lot of people had no access to primary documents.

4.4 In the course of its enquiry on service delivery, Hon. Members of the Committee had the opportunity to interview some of the clients at the Provincial Registry in Chinhoyi. Your Committee was informed of some of the challenges encountered. For example, one old woman aged 64 from Chakari who wanted to apply for a passport was advised that her metallic identity card had numbers that were not visible hence she had to apply for a polythene identity card from her district of origin in Sanyati. Such a situation created inconveniences and unnecessary costs to the client. Further to that, some clients were made to stay in the queues for long hours without receiving any service. A case in point was that of a young man who was number twenty one in the queue for birth certificates but was still not served three hours after his arrival at the offices.

In response to the Committee’s observation, the Provincial Registrar attributed the delay to lack of computers at the sub-offices and electricity outages. Mr Kazingizi, the District Registrar for Sanyati in support of the sentiments by the Provincial Registrar stated that some clients were shunning green copies of identity cards issued at the district offices, in favour of the plastic cards which were only issued at the provincial offices.

4.5 Your Committee was further informed that among challenges encountered were situations where clients failed to bring their biological parents when they wanted to register for their primary documents. In such cases, clients were asked to go back to their original homes and bring their village heads as was the case of an 18 year old from Manicaland who was requested to do so by the officials. 

4.6 In terms of service delivery, your Committee observed that at the passport offices, long queues were a thing of the past. The officials were managing to serve their clients as and when they came. Sub-offices were very helpful in the provision of service to the public. In Mhondoro-Mubaira, people were said to be getting computerised birth certificates as the Department had moved away from the manual system. In terms of costs, there had been saving measures as evidenced by situations where clients were now paying once for a computerised birth certificate.

4.7 Computerisation had assisted a lot compared to the past.  Suffice to say whenever an individual lost his/ her passport and did not know the identity card number, they could approach the offices with their correct names in their correct order and information would be retrieved from the computer in no time at all to the client.

4.8 Your Committee also visited the half completed Sanyati District Registry whose construction commenced in 2004. It was quite disturbing to your Committee to note that the uncompleted building was already getting dilapidated before it could be utilised by the Department.  The challenges bedeviling the completion of the new offices were cited as inadequate resources.  Expectations were that once completed, the new offices would go a long way towards enhancing service delivery to the public.

          5.0 Kwekwe Registry Office

5.1 Your Committee received a briefing on the state of service delivery in the Midlands Province from Ms. Agnes Gambura, the Provincial Registrar. The province has eight districts, namely, Mvuma, Gweru, Shurugwi, Mberengwa, Gokwe North and South, Zvishavane and Kwekwe. Passport applications are centralised at the provincial office. However, all district offices issue births, deaths, identity cards, marriages, citizenship and livestock brand registrations.

5.2 The introduction of sub-offices had managed to alleviate pressure to the members of the public as they could access service delivery in their areas. However, the sub-offices were still not enough. Some clients walk long distances before they could access services. At times, the Department had to resort to mobile registration. However, due to financial constraints, the Department had not been able to carry out its activities of registration. The last massive registration was carried out prior to the general elections in 2013. That was when the Department had to go village by village to meet the people. At the time of your Committee’s visit, the Provincial Registrar, Agnes Gambura, said that only limited   outreach visits were being conducted, to selected areas, owing to financial constraints.  At least one visit a month per selected area was considered sufficient. Your Committee further received evidence from the Provincial Registrar that sometimes children were attending school without birth certificates. However, your Committee took cognizance that in most rural schools, authorities did not chase away pupils for not having birth certificates.

5.3 The real challenge for the Department was lack of office space and accommodation. The situation was further exacerbated by the fact that the Department’s records were highly active as they were required from time to time. Further to that, officers had to share desks in their offices as the Department could not afford decent office accommodation.  An ideal situation would have been the one where each officer had a self-contained office with all the requisite facilities.  More offices were required if ever service delivery was to be enhanced. To this end, each local authority needed to have its own fully fledged offices.

The Kwekwe district alone had three local authorities with sub-offices in Zibagwe and Kwekwe rural areas. There were also five other offices which include Loreto Mission Hospital, St Joseph’s Malisa Empress Mine, Zhombe and Silobela which issue all  vital primary documents. The one in Zhombe at the DDF offices is also a replica of the main office. The other one at Loreto Hospital does not issue IDs. It only issues burial orders, birth and death certificates. At the Kwekwe office, the Department issues passport forms for onward processing at the provincial office. Your Committee was informed that all clients are served and cleared on time at the Kwekwe District Registry.

5.4 In response to a question on whether educational awareness programmes were being conducted to clients, the Provincial Registrar indicated that their officers team up with the police whenever they conduct exercises on anti-stock theft campaigns to educate the members of the public. Further to that, members of the public gave feedback to the Department on the quality of service that they received.

5.5 She further alluded to the fact that they assisted all clients who came to their offices with complaints. However, there were some clients who sought services of touts. In her briefing, the Provincial Registrar said, “we have also noticed that there are touts who visit our offices every day with a view to cash in on the clients. I have also noticed sometimes members of the general public do not want to be assisted by our officials instead preferring to be assisted by touts.”

On being questioned whether the police had been informed of the presence of the touts at the offices who could possibly have been working in cahoots with members of staff, the Provincial Registrar informed your Committee that investigations had been done and they had managed to identify the culprits.

5.6 Some clients were said to have been coming to the offices to apply for primary documents without satisfying the requisite conditions. Such cases were prevalent among aliens who were claiming that they had no relatives to testify for them. It was therefore imperative on the part of the Department to ensure that clients were properly registered.

6.0 Zhombe Sub-office

6.1 Your Committee paid an unannounced visit to Zhombe Sub-office where the officials disclosed that the main challenge facing the office was that most clients expected to get computerised birth certificates. However, the office was still issuing manual birth certificates as they did not have computers. Mr Jongwe informed your Committee that, “…..you find that we give someone a manual birth certificate today and then tomorrow they are at the district office to apply for a computerised birth certificate. That is the same with national identity cards. We are still issuing that green waiting pass. You give someone a green waiting pass today, tomorrow they are at the district office, they want plastic identity cards”.

The situation was further compounded by lack of office space. The Sub-offices were being rented from District Development Fund (DDF) and had no electricity. On being asked whether they had the service charter anywhere in their Sub-office, the officials indicated that they had none. Consequently, the assumption was that clients were not aware of the existence of a service charter within the Department of the Registrar General.

6.2 Your Committee further observed that there were no queues at the Zhombe Sub-Office, a situation attributed to the fact that the Sub-office in the district had been the first one to have been opened. Consequently, the Department had more time to serve clients. The other reason given by officials was that clients in this area could easily access Kwekwe where they could get computerised birth certificate and plastic IDs. Some of them did not even bother visiting Zhombe Sub-Offices.

6.3 Your Committee also observed that there were no challenges of touts in the rural areas. However, the challenge faced was that of lack of discretion on the part of the officials in dealing with cases of birth registration. A case in point was that of a student who had to meet the ‘O’ level registration deadline the following day but did not have a birth certificate.  In terms of cause 11 of the Birth and Death Registration Act, the responsibility for giving notice of the birth or still birth of a child provides as follows:

         c) The headman appointed in terms of Section 8 of the Chiefs and Headmen Act [Chapter 29:01] for the community in which the birth or still birth occurred, where he had knowledge of such birth or still birth.

 Efforts to reason out with the officials were futile despite the fact that there was a letter from the traditional leadership and the headmaster supporting some of the requirements required. The situation was so critical as failure to get a birth certificate meant that the student could not write her “O” level examinations.

Your Committee is cognizant of the fact that supporting letters from the traditional leadership have some credence and feels that the student should have been registered on the strength of the supporting letters. However, the officials would have none of it as they preferred referring all matters to the District Office. Such a situation compromises service delivery and needs to be attended to by the Registrar General’s Department through the exercise of due diligence.

7.0 Bulawayo Provincial Registry Office

7.1 Your Committee held interviews at the Bulawayo Provincial Headquarters which covers the urban area of Bulawayo. The Provincial Office also serves as a District Office. There are five sub-offices in the Province of Bulawayo namely Nketa, Emakhandeni, Pumula, Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH). Shortage of office space was said to be the major challenge at the Bulawayo Provincial Offices. At the time of your Committee’s visit, the staff establishment was 29 including that of Matabeleland North Province which operated from the same premises.

The provision of services was said to be good by the Provincial Registrar General, Mrs. Jane Peters. Your Committee observed that there were no long queues. However, the clients interviewed by your Committee complained of the attitude displayed by some officials whom they said were usually rude to them.

 

7.2 The Provincial Office had decisively dealt with the challenge of touts with the assistance of the police. Further to that, an efficient passport collection system had been devised by Bulawayo Province in partnership with its sister Province of Matabeleland South. Accommodation at sub-offices was a major concern as the Department had to rely on the one provided by Department of Public Works and National Housing for its computerised department.

7.3 On service provision, Mrs. Peters informed your Committee that the Department conducted educational programmes occasionally where they sensitised members of the public on birth and death registration requirements.

Mrs. Peters bemoaned the absence of a mobile registration exercise owing to limited financial resources due to economic hardships. She alluded to the fact that some people were financially incapacitated to come to the Provincial Offices. A case in point was that of residents at Elsberry Farm which was said to be 15km away. She said that it would have been good if they could conduct mobile registration annually at such places as a way of enhancing service delivery.

8.0 Matabeleland North Provincial Office

8.1 Matabeleland North Province has seven districts, namely Hwange, Binga, Bubi, Lupane, Tsholotsho, Nkayi and Umguza. Hwange district is the only one with an urban set up as it accommodates Hwange town and Victoria Falls. The other six rural districts have 22 sub-offices divided as follows: Hwange 4, Binga 5, Bubi 2, Lupane 3, Tsholotsho 3, Nkayi 3, and Umguza 2. Due to the arid nature of the region, sources of income for registration of documents are hard to come by.

8.2 The province has a staff establishment of 215 posts. Out of these 162 posts are occupied.  53 posts are vacant. The majority of these vacant posts are at sub-office level and therefore operations at that level are compromised by inadequate manpower. In terms of achievements of the Province, your Committee was informed that the opening up of sub-offices had reduced the travelling distance by clients to access services despite their geographical location. However, the distances between sub-offices was still a cause for concern. Sometimes there is a distance of up to 80km between sub-offices. All the district offices are computerised in terms of their operations except Bubi District Registry which is currently not on the Zimbabwe Population Registration System (ZPRS). In his overview, the Acting Provincial Registrar, Mr Willard Saenda revealed that major challenges were acute shortage of office and residential accommodation and long distances travelled to access service delivery in most of the district.

8.3 Your Committee was further informed that Lupane District Office which was completed in 2013 was only occupied on 14 March 2016. The delay in moving to the new building was attributed to the contractor who had left outstanding bills.  As a result, service providers such as ZINWA and ZESA could not connect water and electricity supplies until the beginning of March. At the time of your Committee’s visit, the Information Technology (IT) section was working on the installation of a computer for the District Registrar.  The provincial staff of 32 was still operating from Bulawayo because there was no residential accommodation in Lupane.  The Department had even approached the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, but to no avail on the issue of accommodation.

8.4 Your Committee was further informed that Matabeleland North Province was not issuing passports. As a result, revenue inflows were not that much compared to other Provinces.

The Province also had a unique challenge in that its clientele worked in neighbouring countries resulting in them seeking services at certain times of the year when they came back into the country.

8.5 The Acting Provincial Registrar informed your Committee that there were also uncompleted Public Sector Investment Projects (PSIPs) such as buildings at the District Offices. For example, Nkayi District Registry Office, which was 80% complete, was being vandalised and this was a serious cause for concern. Service delivery could be enhanced if traditional mobile registration exercises were conducted and this would go a long way towards providing services to clients.

 

8.6 Your Committee further received evidence to the fact that a lot of children who had attained the age of 16 in the Province and required primary documents, did not have resources to go to the nearest registration points.  Although the national identity cards were issued for free, it was not everybody who came forward to get them due to lack of awareness.

8.7 The Province is also affected by a bad road network which reduces the life span of vehicles. It was commendable to hear that the traditional leadership also played a role in the issuing of primary documents in Matabeleland North as they are part of the system as provided in the statutes, for example, in the surrounding areas of Lupane.

9.0 Lupane District Registry Office

9.1 Your Committee visited Lupane District Registry Offices in Matabeleland North which is divided into two constituencies. There are two sub-offices in each constituency. Most of the clients are from the rural areas. The opening of the Lupane Registry office had brought relief to the clients who had previously travelled long distances to access service delivery. At the time of your Committee’s visit, the offices had only been operating for a month.

9.2 The major challenges experienced were the frequent breakdown of their vehicle and shortage of staff and residential accommodation. The furthest distance travelled by clients to access service was 104km away, that is, Dandanda area.

10.0 Binga District Registry Office

10.1 Your Committee also visited Binga District Registry Office. The district is one of the most densely populated in Matabeleland North Province with a population of 140 000 people according to the 2012 Census. Binga has one main office and five sub-offices. These are situated at the district hospital, Siabuwa is about 120km from the Binga centre, Kariangwe about 100km to the south east, Tinde is 100km away, and Lusulu is about 150km away. All the sub-offices are to the eastern side of the main office because of the border with Zambia to the north and Lake Kariba to the west.

 

10.2 The staff compliment is 22 out of an establishment of 30. The people in this district depend on fishing because the terrain is not conducive to farming as most of the land is covered by mountains and water on the western side. They face challenges when it comes to accessing registration centres because of the bad road network.  There is only one surfaced road in the district. The rest is gravel road meandering in rocky terrain. In other areas like Chunga, the roads are impassable because of rocks. The area needs good servicing of roads so that clients can access service delivery.

10.3 The district provides births registration, death registration and national IDs. The four sub-offices issue green waiting passes. The plastic IDs are issued at the main office. The hospital sub-office only covers the registration of births and deaths. The District also issues passport forms at the main office, livestock brand application forms, and accepts marriage certificates that would have been processed by marriage officers. These are the major services offered to the public.

 

10.4 Generally, the offices are in a poor state and not conducive for service delivery. All sub-offices are rented from different Ministries. Staff accommodation is inadequate. The new offices   in Binga were yet to be completed.  However, your Committee noted with concern that more than three hundred bags of cement had been left to dry up within the premises of the District Registry despite the fact that a half completed structure needed so much of that cement for its completion.

The completion of the structure would have provided the much needed office accommodation. There is definitely need for more offices to be built so that clients can travel short distances to access services.  The introduction of mobile registration would go a long way towards enhancing services offered by the Department. There is also need for a four wheel drive vehicle for use on the rugged terrain so that officers can access all the sub-stations in reasonable time with ease.

10.5 Overally, your Committee was satisfied with the quality of service delivery by the Registrar General’s Department in the Binga District. Constant supervision was however curtailed by the type of vehicle used but every fortnight, sub-offices were visited to monitor service delivery.  In view of the diverse languages spoken in the district, all 21 members of staff were conversant in Tonga, the dominant language and other languages. The Department also ensured that, where the staff was doubtful of the correct spelling of names, they would request clients to write down their names as a way of averting errors in the names on their birth certificates. Although the shortage of manpower was a cause for concern, whenever the need arose maybe due to illnesses or other factors, members of staff from other offices in the sub-offices would be moved to fill up the gap that would have arisen in particular sub-stations. Sensitisation on documents required for registration was always done to the community whenever the Zimbabwe Republic Police conducted its own campaigns.

11.0 Observations

11.1 Your Committee noted the following observations:-

a)    In the execution of its mandate, the Registrar General’s offices are open from 0745 hours to 1645 hours, five days a week from Monday to Friday. However, the offices are not accessible to the public for the processing of documents internally after 3 p.m. at the Central Registry and Provincial Offices. In districts and sub-offices countrywide, offices are closed to the public at 4 p.m. However, Provincial, District and sub-offices are open during weekends and public holidays for purposes of issuing burial orders and this is commendable as the public is not denied of this essential service.

b)   The core values of the Organisation were not being shared among the staff resulting in negative attitude and poor service delivery to the clients. This impacted negatively on service delivery.

c)    Some of the officers had an attitude problem at leadership level, that is, the Provincial Registrar in Kwekwe.  In Chinhoyi they displayed lack of preparedness in dealing with matters relating to the Committee’s visit. Certain requirements were not explained to the clients and conditions set were perceived stringent much to the detriment of service delivery particularly in Mashonaland West and Midlands Provinces.

d)   It appeared Mashonaland West Province was receiving more resources than other Provinces as evidenced by the number of cars bought using the retention fund and other fringe benefits.

e)    Provinces such as Bulawayo and Matabeleland North were in a state of preparedness for the Committee’s visit and showed signs of good service delivery to their clients, a situation which should be emulated by other Provinces as a yardstick.

f)     The visit by the Committee was the first ever on service delivery to the Department, hence the observation that customer care in some Provinces is none existent and the service charter is not owned by the Department in some of the places visited, that is Zhombe. Officials could not articulate what was on the service charter.

g)    There is inadequate office accommodation in Kadoma and yet there is an uncompleted and abandoned structure which could, when completed and utilised, enhance the quality of service delivery by the Department.

h)   Although there are procedures, there was also lack of uniformity on procedures on issuance of primary documents particularly for those born in urban centres, rural areas and on farms.

i)      The Provincial Registrar informed your Committee that there were four cases of corruption that had been detected in the Midlands Province. Some offenders had been charged and others were still waiting for finalisation of their cases.

j)      Mobile registration has not been conducted since 2013.

12.0 Recommendations

In view of the observations and other incidental matters made by your Committee, the following are recommended:-

       i.            More than thirty percent of the resources drawn from the Retention Fund should be channeled towards service delivery, for example the mobile registration exercise, by not later than 31st December, 2016.

    ii.            There is need to complete all uncompleted structures in Districts such as Nkayi, Binga and Sanyati within the stipulated budget year, that is, 31st December, 2016

 iii.            There is need to recognise and respect the authority of Traditional leadership as required in the issuance of primary documents all the times.

 iv.            There is need for the Ministry to sensitise and educate the public on the need to acquire primary documents by not later than the end of December, 2016.

    v.            More provision of material and human resources in all Provinces is vital as a way of enhancing service delivery at all times.

 vi.            There is need for refresher courses and training in customer care for officers so that quality service may be provided by the Department in its Provinces by 31st December, 2016.

vii.            There is need to embark on mobile registration programmes so as to reduce the distance  travelled by clients as a way of improving service delivery  by not later than 31st December, 2016.

viii.            Adequate sub-offices should be opened in the Provinces so that clients can benefit from services that are given by the Department by not later than 31st December, 2016.

 ix.            There is need to speed up the computerisation exercise before 31st December, 2016, as has been the case at Provincial Offices.

13.0 Conclusion

Your Committee noted that if the Department had been adequately resourced in the area of office accommodation, such a situation would have assisted in reducing the time spend serving clients. In view of the fact that the visit on service delivery monitoring was the first of its kind, it enabled your Committee to get an appreciation of the challenges and first-hand information on how clients are served by the Department using the Retention Fund. It is therefore your Committee’s fervent hope that the Ministry would consider this report and take remedial measures where necessary as a way of enhancing its service delivery to the people.  I thank you.

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I rise to second the Report on the visit by your Committee to the Registrar General’s offices in selected parts of the country.  Mr. Speaker, the importance of the Registrar General’s office cannot be overemphasised.  They provide birth certificates, Identity Documents, as well as, death certificates when we die.  So, from birth to death, they keep the records of all Zimbabweans and all citizens for that matter.

          As indicated in this report Mr. Speaker, the visit was one of its kind, where for the first time, your Committee was monitoring service delivery.  The manner in which we conducted these visits is, they were unannounced in most parts of the areas which we visited.  We could get there and inter-mingle with the clients who had come to receive service from the various offices.  We were able to interview those clients and during meetings where we got briefings from the officers in the various areas, we were able to interrogate these officers based on facts gathered on the ground through the interviews that we were having with the public.  

          However Mr. Speaker, of major concern was outstanding projects of office accommodation. For example, in Kadoma, trees had actually germinated and had turned what was supposed to be verandas into a forest.  You could get a tree that could be as high as ten metres but growing where there was supposed to be a veranda of an office.  Nothing is being done by officers that are in those areas and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has actually abandoned the construction.  Further to that Mr. Speaker, we had ceilings falling off some of these buildings from the inside.  We also have tiles that are also falling off from roofs.  It is as if there is no one who is responsible, firstly for the construction and secondly for the abandonment of those projects.  Sadly, despite our recommendations in our last budget that was presented in this House, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has not been provided with funds to complete such buildings. 

          The worst scenario was in Binga Mr. Speaker.  When we got to Binga, we saw over 200 bags of cement that have been abandoned in the open and had been washed away by the rain and no one was taking responsibility.  The contractor has abandoned the project and at the end of the day, the Government lost a substantial amount of money for no good reason.  There is no construction of the new building that has taken place.  This case needs investigation; whether it is criminal or absolute negligence on the part of the contractor. 

          Finally Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that certain rules that apply in the Registrar General’s office need to be amended.  For example, one may be looking for a birth certificate and they are told to go and get three witnesses.  These witnesses could be far apart from the one who wants to collect their birth certificate.  If you live in Harare, you are supposed to go and collect three witnesses from Binga. It is almost near impossible.  Our recommendation is that any recommendations that come from the local chiefs should be respected.  There is a tendency to say even if a local chief has recommended that this child was born in this village, they will always refuse to take the written documentation in order to support the birth of a child.  Some of the rules Mr. Speaker need amendment.  However, I would like to thank my colleagues who are in the Committee.  We had a very successful tour and I am sure that our recommendations will be implemented as we will be making a follow up in the near future.  Thank you.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the mover of the motion.  I want to thank the Committee on Defence and Home Affairs for this noble motion.  Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief and straight to the point.  There are a few issues that come to mind that identity documents are an important tag reflective of an individual’s identity, history, heritage and nationality.   Without these Mr. Speaker, people are just moving like zombies; they have no identity, history and heritage. 

          Mr. Speaker, I had a rally on 11th February in Chegutu where there were over 15 000 people – [Laughter.] -  I had another one on 18th February, where there were more than 10 000 people.  Of all these people Mr. Speaker Sir, 9% of them are without registration and a third of those people are children. A third of any population are children under the age of five who do not have birth certificates.  Mr. Speaker Sir, what I said to them is that, as I debate in Parliament, I would want for you, one day, to be aligned to the Constitution because a nation is measured by the way it upholds its Constitution.  The Constitution enjoins us and implores us to take care of registration of our children, of our keith and kin of our population.

Mr. Speaker Sir, under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNHCR), of which Zimbabwe is also a signatory, every child has a right to a nationality.  On Section 19 (1) that I would want to deal with verbatim goes as follows:  It says, “the State must adopt policies and measures to ensure that in matters relating to children, the best interests of children concerned are paramount”.  In 19 (2) it says, “the State must adopt reasonable policies and measures within the limits and resources available to it to ensure that children enjoy family parental care, appropriation care and when removed from a family environment”. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, when we speak of a child, we also speak of their identity and their birth certificate.  Under the Birth and Death Registration Act [5: 02], it is mandatory to register the birth of a child within six weeks of their birth and this responsibility is placed on parents.  Mr. Speaker Sir, where I come from in Chegutu West, there are clinics and hospitals that are more than 40 km apart and a lot of these births are being done in the comfort of their homes where there is no nyamukuta or midwives and doctors and nurses.  What this means is that there can never be any birth registration because there is no one to take care of the birth registration.  There is no birth registration officer whereas the Constitution and the Act mandates us to register a birth within 42 days. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am aware and conscious that over 50 thousand child-headed families in Zimbabwe and over 1.3 million orphans are a good number of whom might not have been registered by their parents resident in Zimbabwe.  I therefore implore, we cannot force the Executive to do what we want.  We can only nag them into action.  I therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, by the powers vested in me as the Member of Parliament for Chegutu West Constituency, make a clarion call that there be a moratorium for those children that have never been registered for birth.   There be a six months grace period for them to be registered so that they have identity documents in the future, so that they can have birth certificates and go to school. 

Where I come from, there is no child who is disenfranchisised or who is hindered from going to school because there is no birth certificate at primary school level.  I have implored on parents to go with them to every primary education institution and enrol them in that primary institution so that they cannot fall behind in their education.  I have also implored the headmasters in those regions to take care of those children and to make payment plans with the parents, irrespective that the child have a birth certificate or not.  However, this comes to an end at Grade 7 level when they leave for secondary schools that are outside my constituency.  Those headmasters therefore require that the child has a birth certificate Mr. Speaker. 

It is in this regard that I now ask the Executive to make sure that these children are registered and are given birth certificates without any further delay; aware that Mr. Speaker Sir, that we are already two months into the opening of schools and those children that have left Grade 7 are now going to Form 1 where they are being prohibited from entering into class because they do not have birth certificates.  This is now out of my constituency and I cannot speak for other constituencies whereas in my constituency, no child gets to be hindered going to school because there is no birth certificate. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, because of this urgent matter, I request a policy position Mr. Speaker Sir, requiring that there be mobile registration entities that are going to register these children, whether or not their parents have been found.  Some of them have no parents and some of them have parents that have no identity documents themselves.  Some of them have parents that have identity documents that are written and inscribed alienship whereas they cannot register their children because of the alienship tag.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I bring this issue because it is in the public domain and what arena and what podium I have as a Member of Parliament is this arena.  I now make a clarion call that where there are children that have not been registered at birth, in Ward 25 of Chegutu West Constituency, in Ward 24, in Ward 10 where Councillor Chikazhi comes from, that all these children be registered without any further delay.  That all those adults that do not have birth registration certificates, that do not have identity cards be given a moratorium of six months and be given an opportunity to be registered without any compensation and any form of payment.

After this period of six months grace period has passed, only then can the Executive only call on them to pay $10 or $20 to renounce their alienship tag.  Mr. Speaker Sir, these people used to be registered in Zimbabwe and they used to having a voting right.  Now they are IDPs – internally displaced people.  One came and said to me, he is 85 years old and does not know Malawi or Zambia but he is being told that in Zimbabwe he cannot vote.  In Zimbabwe, he cannot be removed on the tag that he is registered on, that is alienship.  I call now that all these people be registered without any impediments being put on a list that is said to be of citizens.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I will take you to Section 35 of the Constitution that says, “persons are Zimbabwean citizens by birth, descent or by registration.  (2), all Zimbabwean citizens are equal and entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizens and are equal subjects of duties and obligations of citizens”.  I say so Mr. Speaker Sir because (3) says, “all Zimbabwean citizens are entitled to the following rights and benefits in addition to any other granted to them by law (a) to the protection by the State whenever, wherever they may be”. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, these are citizens and where does it also call on us to embed these people?  It says in Section 38 (2) of the Constitution, “any person who has been continuously and lawfully resident in Zimbabwe for at least 10 years, whether before or after the effective date, and who satisfies the conditions prescribed by an Act of Parliament is entitled on application to be registered as a Zimbabwean citizen”. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have 85, 36 and 45 year olds. These people have been born in Zimbabwe and they are entitled by the power of the supreme law of the land to be registered as citizens of Zimbabwe. It boggles one’s mind that we cannot make a law which we are not upholding.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I implore right now in the same vein of consequential alignment of laws, to also align our Acts and laws in order to make sure that everybody who has unfairly been called an alien, is enjoined as embodied into the Zimbabwean citizenry as a citizen, aware that the Act, Section 38 (2) empowers them to be aware also that Section 38 (3) empowers them to be. I ask also the Executive to take appropriate measures to ensure that every child in Zimbabwe, whether by birth or descent is granted a birth certificate and other identity documents issued by the State.

          Secondly, a six month grace period is given for all those who on one reason or the other are not registered to do so in particular, those that come from Chegutu West Constituency. Mobile registration units are established without any impediments and delay in all the country’s districts that we heard the Chairperson of the Committee on Defence and Home Affairs allude to in Mashonaland West, where she speaks of seven administration districts which also touch on Chegutu District. Without delay, mobile registration units should be deployed particularly in rural areas where the majority of the population has gone to and are aware and cognisant of the agrarian reform programme of 2000.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, also in the same vein, to raise awareness on the importance of registering children at birth and the adverse effects of not doing so, let the State play its part. The MPs and the Executive should take cognisant of the fact that I stand here today, implore and ask fervently, effectively, and vociferously for them to make sure that they do not cause an internally displaced people that then cause people without a nation that houses Zimbabweans that have been unfairly marginalised. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

*THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MANICALAND PROVINCE (HON. CHIMENE: I would like to thank you for granting me this motion. I was touched by the report that we have received especially on the issue of the children who are no longer proceeding with their education for want of birth certificates. Hon. Speaker Sir, in the report that has been presented in this august House, I would like to touch on what I have knowledge of. If the Hon. Member was not on the phone, I was going to make reference to Binga. He was going to assist me because he was going to second that I was talking about what is Binga.

I stayed in Binga and I am one of Binga’s residences. The places that have been mentioned in Binga have touched me. I witnessed these incidences. Children did not have access to documents, the same applied also to the elders. For a child to go to school after a birth certificate had been acquired was impossible because the mother and the father did not have birth certificates. The same would apply to the grandfather. I was disturbed by that experience and I felt touched. The Committee did very well in producing this report and highlighting these issues.

The places in Binga are too far away from each other and their roads are not tar macadamised. These are gravel roads and all the people would come to Binga Centre to acquire birth certificates. They would call at the centre without the necessary documents and they are told to bring people who are grandparents or someone who is ten years older. If you want to acquire a birth certificate for a 60 year old, you had to bring in a 70 year old person.

I have reason to commend the Committee for a job well-done. If only the Ministry could understand this. There are children in this age that came to my offices. They passed their Grade 7 examinations, but they do not have birth certificates, the same applied to their mothers. I wrote a letter asking that they assist this person and there were a number of requirements that the Registrar-General’s office gives.  A number of people that are required as witnesses and the people cannot afford the busfare.  If it were possible, we should take this report seriously and there should practical solutions to this report to show the good work that was done by the Committee. 

I call upon the responsible officers and authorities to take the work of Parliament seriously.  It should not be just an exercise that ends with the publication of the Hansard day in and day out, because a lot of work is being done by this Parliament, but it is dying out there.  The Members are reporting and we urge the other arms of Government to perform their tasks so that we do not just become a talk-shop.  The effects of not doing work by other arms of Government will have repercussions to the Member of Parliament and it will be detrimental to him or her in 2018.  My duty as a Member of Parliament is to raise the issues for my constituents. 

The Ministry concerned should decentalise its offices and reach them at the grassroots.  Mobile registration should not only come towards election time to facilitate voter registration but it should be a normal exercise to have mobile vehicles coming to give services to the people.  In three months, the mobile registration should do it once every term and they should go to places that are accessible to the people. We urge the Ministry mainly as regards children whose parents are deceased and they are without proper documents. 

We are ruining the children’s future because they do not have such documentation.  We are killing a generation because that lineage will never have documents and it is women who bear the brunt of these problems because children become the father’s children once they have all the adequate documentation.  The child has no sufficient documentation as they are the mother’s children because the father is never bothered by such issues. Women are the ones who predominantly frequent the offices and the husbands just produces registration and say, go and acquire a birth certificate when the father himself does not have a birth certificate. We may end up with a country full of people without documentation.

I agree with the previous speaker on the issue of aliens – when did they become alien when they were born in Zimbabwe?  That matter should be corrected because, if the great grandfather is the alien it is only him who is an alien and the child was born in Zimbabwe and is a Zimbabwean by birth.  Such people should be given the same rights as Zimbabwean citizens.  I rose because I was touched by the report because I once lived in Binga.  I had to support the people of Binga and the Committee utterances in Chitonga, unfortunately I cannot interpret Nambya.

HON. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  This is a very important report.  It is important because it speaks to the basic necessities of our people.  I recently had an opportunity to visit people in the rural areas in – Midlands, Matabeland, Masvingo, Manicaland and there is one common message there.  People are asking for proper registration documents and identity or identification documents.  It is a national chorus and our nation cannot be found wanting in terms of what this Constitution demands or requires. 

In terms of Section 35, there are duties and rights but there are also benefits that are supposed to be enjoyed by citizens.  These rights that are supposed to be benefitted by citizens are encapsulated in the Constitution.  Some of them which are very important are in Section 35 as has already been articulated but key of them is to make sure that citizens have all the documents as provided for by the State.  There is not issue of cost or payment but it is just an obligation which the State is supposed to discharge to its citizens.  We are supposed to have birth certificates, identity documents issues by the State.  Now, you will find that citizens in this country have not been accorded certain fundumental rights and it is an omission on the part of us as Government and as a State to say that in terms of what is supposed to be given to people:

1)   Citizenship is a right,

2)   Registration of that citizenship is a right,

3)   There are privileges that are supposed to be enjoyed by virtue of being a citizen, because there is only one country where we are called a citizen. 

When you go to South Africa, certain things are automatically withdrawn or subtracted.  Once you are in South Africa, you cannot demonstrate to say I want something because you are not a citizen.  Once you are in South Africa, you cannot ask for a passport as a matter of right because you are not a citizen.  Once you go to South Africa, you cannot ask to vote as a Zimbabwean in South Africa because you are not a citizen.  Once you go to South Africa, you cannot ask to say, I need to be given certain protection by the State because you are not a citizen.  So, because people are citizens, they have to be entitled to certain citizenship rights, including the right to vote and to participate in political processes, social processes and economic processes. 

Hon. Speaker, I have just taken this stand to make five key recommendations as a way forward and as a way of enriching the report that has already been tabled before Parliament; which is a very rich report and I think that we must thank the Committee for an extensive amount of work that was put into this.  I realise that if our Parliament is going to continue to do work in this regard, this is not about parties but this is about our nation and what is good for our citizens. We have a duty as oversight leaders to come and present reports and work that captures the aspirations of our people. 

These are my five suggestions - First of all, we need root and branch reform at the Registry office.  We need fundamental reform at the Registry office.  It is not just reform at systems level for operations, but, it is also reform even at the very top.  Mr. Mudede has been there, he has done a good job but we must also begin to think about reform, post - Mr. Mudede, so that… – [AN HON. MEMBER: He is an advocate.] –

          He is an advocate, but he should be an advocate at home – [HON. MEMBERS: Laughter.] – So that we allow reform in a fundamental way and manner at that Registry Office.  There is serious reform – reform that would entail making sure that we change systems, we de-centralise our registration.  People should not just come to Harare for simple things like birth certificates.  Let us have people in Thsolothso getting their birth certificates in Thsolotsho.  Let us de-centralise birth certificates in Binga.  We cannot Hararerise everything.  Let us de-Hararerise everything so that it is there in Matabeleland or Manicaland – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – 

          It is cheaper that way, let us have our birth certificates in Buhera, everything cannot be in Harare. Let us go to Mpopoma, Thsolothso, so that people are able to – [AN HON. MEMBER: Let us go to Zvimba.] –

In Zvimba, they have had enough. – [HON. MEMBERS: Laughter.] –  Let us go to all the provinces and make sure that documents are ubiquitous, and registration is ubiquitous.  The surest way of doing that is what has already been suggested by Hon. Nduna and Hon. Chimene.  Let us make sure that we computerise our systems – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          Let us digitalise our systems.  Let us go on the e-Government platform.  Once we go on the e-Government platform, we are simply going to have automatic registration upon birth.  Once you have given birth today or birth is given to a child, let us register them there and there automatically, so that they are part of what is online.  Let us have online, immediate and automatic registration.  We should know at the end of the day how many children have been born in Zimbabwe today on a daily basis and they must be registered at a touch of a button.

          Once you are registered by birth, you are also supposed to be given a social security number, a passport number and you are also supposed to be given a driver’s licence number which is activated upon your ability to then drive but you are already given your number.  All the key numbers are supposed to be given at birth.  When you die, it then has to be automatic that you have died.  You do not have people who are on the voters’ roll or who are on some roll who are dead.  It has to be computerised.  In fact, once that has happened-it has to be automatically registered.

          We need to move into what is called Evidence Based Government or Data Based Government.  A Data Based Government, you do not need a census.  A census is a sign of being so backward.  You do not need to do a national census because you have your records all the time at the central statistical office.  That is what we need.  We can easily do this; I had offered my services for free of charge when I was Minister of ICT.  Unfortunately, the Inclusive Government was too short a period.  If we could extent that to make sure that I do my work and ensure that we go on a Data Based Government. – [Laughter.] –

          Mr. Speaker Sir, there can never any national progress without your knowledge of the people you have.  You should know how many are finishing Grade Seven, Form Four or Form Six; how many are retiring or refusing to retire, you should know that.  That should be part of the national data base, so that you know who are stubborn and who are not - in terms of the national roll.

          What is critical is for us to have national progress, let us move to put what is called a national citizens’ register.  A national citizens’ register is going to have citizens by profile, citizens in terms of gender, skills and citizens also in terms of location and areas of origin.  That is very important because it then helps National and Central Government in terms of planning for national progress and national development.  We do not end there, we should move on to the next issue of residence rolls.  We should know the residents in Bulawayo, Harare, Victoria Falls, Kwekwe; we should also know the residents in Amaveni, maiguru.  That is what we should have to make sure that there is a proper national citizens’ roll.  Right now we do not know who is a citizen and who is not in terms of the central roll.  If it is computerised, you do not need to do much.  This is a very simple thing, you will simply have to get your server, there is no iCloud and simply move on that platform.

          We also need to launch a free registration of citizens nationwide, for a period of time.  Maybe six months - we have to fund that.  As a nation we must be able to fund that to enable our people to be on the national roll not just the voters’ roll.  Let us allow people who do not have identity documents to come forward and have those documents because it is their right.  It is a God-given right; it is Constitution given right and it is a national given right.  So, let us make sure that we move with speed and this is what we must suggest to the Ministry that is in charge, to go on this.  This is a progressive thing.  Let us register our people.

          I also feel that as we register our people, we must also be able to say no single citizen is supposed to queue for a passport.  We must be online, there should be no queues at the National Registry Office.  We do not need queues, they undermine the dignity of citizens.  Let citizens have access to their documents online, it is delivered to you.  Even in the rural areas, once you are able to de-centralise your information kiosks, they will not queue but to go to those centres in Mahuwe or Tsholotsho so that they are able to access their documents.  It is possible, we can do it.  It has been done in Rwanda. We can even do far much better, we are more educated than people in Rwanda.  We are more educated than most of the people in Africa, so we will be able to do that.

          Last but not least, is the issue of voter registration.  If you look at the Constitution, Section 69, it is a right for a person to be on the voters’ roll.  It is only that the Government has not been taken to court.  If a person were to take Government to court – you are not supposed to register to be a voter.  You are supposed to at the age of 18, once you attain the age of 18, it automatically transfers you to be a voter.  All you need to do is just to go and confirm where you want to vote but it is an automatic voter registration process – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – 

          We are archaic, we waste a lot of time, energy and resources on things that are not supposed to be wasting our time.  This is supposed to be done in terms of  the Constitution, Section 69 (3), it is supposed to be done as of right.  The Constitution demands that you be registered, you just need to take the Government to court for not exercising their right.  You do not need to do anything as a citizen.  What is supposed to be done is the citizen being given the privilege of citizenship. 

          Hon. Speaker, having said that, I think this is a very good report.  We need to give it all the support.  Let us raise the level of our citizens.  Let us show that we are educated people.  God has given us a very important gift – the gift of education.  This is because we were putting Jesus Christ first, now with what Minister Dokora is trying to do, we are going to reverse all those gains because we are taking away Jesus Christ out of education – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – 

The reason why we are able to say we are the best educated people is because we had education on Christian values and God blessed us for that.  Now, this thing of removing our Jesus Christ, we are also going to empty our education of the glitter and glamour.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          +HON. JOSEPH TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity.  I will speak in the vernacular so that people of my Constituency will understand what we are talking about here. We are here to represent them.  Firstly Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Committee that brought this issue here.  This is a very important issue.  Like all those who have already spoken before me, it is very important.  It is right that everyone should have all the documents that have been mentioned.

What surprises me is that our Ministry is still dwelling on the rules that were put in place by the whites long ago, by our colonizers – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – because they are saying if you want a birth certificate, you need to bring three people and you also need to bring a lot of other things, which is what was being done by whites in order to oppress the blacks.  Why should we continue doing that as blacks?  We are failing if we continue doing that. 

     The reason why I am saying that Mr. Speaker is that, if you look at the people in urban areas, just like in the rural areas, they say that the chief can write a note which can be used as evidence that this person was born in that area.  Even in urban areas, the same thing can be done.  Those people who were brought here in Parliament should also be given that right to write a note.  I am a Member of Parliament and I should be able to write a note bearing witness to a child in Minyela so that he can also go and obtain a birth certificate.  We should not be wasting time, making people to commute to and from.

I came here to Parliament and took the oath that I will abide by the laws of Zimbabwe and if I write a note that a child should be given a birth certificate, that document should be taken as authentic because I did not come here to lie.  Some Hon. Members have already spoken before me, Hon. Nduna and Hon. Minister Chimene.  This is a very painful thing for people to be moved round and round.  Hon. Chamisa, who is Mr. Tsvangirai’s deputy, also spoke about a very important issue.  He spoke about the issue of ICT, which is very important.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I think about a month and some days ago, a certain lady approached me, she lives in Minyela but originally comes from Rusape.  When she tried to obtain a birth certificate, she was told to go to Rusape, but she does not know anyone in Rusape.  She was born in Bulawayo and grew up there.  So, she approached me and said, “Hon. Member of Parliament, where exactly should I go in Rusape, who do I approach because I do not know anyone?”  It is because we have failed to install computers, they could just have clicked on to the computer and all the information could have appeared from there.  There is no need for that lady to go to Rusape.  We have fibre cables and people should get information whilst they are in Bulawayo or elsewhere and this would make life easier for everyone.  As people’s representatives, we should make life easier for them. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to concur with what was said by other Hon. Members.  When we leave this place, the Minister of Home Affairs should come and give us answers through a Ministerial Statement.  All those children who do not have birth certificates should be given those documents freely.  It should happen instantly like a rat-killer which kills rats instantly.  If we do that, it shows that we are really representing the people. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, today is the 21st, it is the President’s Birth Day.  Let us declare that everyone should just obtain those documents.  They should not be asked questions.  Let us give those documents freely because it is their right.  It was our mistake; we should carry the burden and issue those documents freely.  For that reason Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you for affording me this opportunity to speak about this very important issue.  Lastly, I would like to ask all the Hon. Members here to say Happy Birthday to our President, Hon. R. G. Mugabe who is celebrating his Birthday today – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – I am saying Happy Birthday to the President today because we have been talking about birth certificates.  We wish him many more.  I would like to sing for him. [Singing happy birthday to you] – Long Live Gushungo!  Siyabonga.

HON. CROSS: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I gather this afternoon, that the issue of birth certificates is the live issue.  I would like to widen the debate a little bit and talk about the general functions of the Registrar General. I think this report is excellent, timely and deserves our full support. I would like to raise the issue of the application forms that are needed for the various applications attending to these different documents that people require.  I have noticed through recent experience that often, these forms are only available for a fee.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe any application form for a national identity document should be absolutely free and readily available.   People do not have to queue for an application form.  You should be able to acquire your application forms online through the internet.

Secondly, when you go through these different procedures to obtain any of these documents like a passport or birth certificate, there is no indication as to what the procedure is.  We need a system which will provide information to people who visit the Registrar’s Office at the gate or inside the office, at the reception on the procedure.  They should be given a note which indicates to them the procedure they have to follow.

Thirdly is the question of signage.  Going to any Registrar General’s Office is a nightmare because you do not see any signs.  You are not told where to go.  You find yourself queuing in a queue and you do not know what it is for and nobody tells you.  There is a desperate need for signage at all Registrar Generals’ offices.

The fourth issue Mr. Speaker Sir, is the question of birth certificates.  I just want to highlight to Hon. Members that at least a third of Zimbabwean young people today do not have birth certificates.  I am told in my district, it is 37%, which is 2.5 million Zimbabweans without the requisite documents, essential for life.  Mr. Speaker Sir, this is not a small issue, this is a national issue.  I hope that when the Hon. Minister comes to respond to this report -  I hope you will push him to come quickly – this is one issue that we will make sure that it is attended to immediately because it is not difficult.

On the question of national identity cards, obviously Mr. Speaker, this should be awarded to the child after birth along with the birth certificate.  There should be no question of him or her having to wait after other procedures.  That procedure should follow automatically.  When they apply for a passport, it should be automatically given to them with the appropriate numbers, in addition to the national identity card.

I, through personal experience, have got five grandchildren.  These grandchildren are reaching the age now where they will require IDs and passports and I can tell you, going to the Registrar General’s Office is a nightmare.  It takes days.  You have to queue for days, after that you cannot even get attended to in 24 or 12 hours.  This simply is not acceptable because these are basic rights. 

There is a question of dealing with national registration for Voters’ Roll.  The question of the digital link – Mr. Speaker, we have a national registration for citizens.  It is digital and it is fully biometrical.  It shows you your picture, your signature and your fingerprints.  It is one of the most modern basic citizenship registries in the world.  That is an instrument that we need to use for the other functions of Government.  I agree with Hon. Chamisa that virtual rights are to be automatic as 2018, you go to voting and you should be eligible to vote.

On the question of passport applications, in elsewhere, the world, you make your application for passports online and there is no delay.  When my son, who was born in Zimbabwe and has lived here his whole life, he is now 50 years old, when he applied to the Registrar General’s Office some years ago for a passport, he had so much trouble in getting a passport so much that he gave up.  My great grandfather was a missionary from Island.  He found out where he came from and sent a fax to the Irish Immigration Department claiming citizenship of Island on the basis of my great grandfather, six generations ago.  He received response immediately by fax and he was issued a passport which arrived by mail, three weeks later. 

Mr. Speaker, a passport is a right.  Nobody should be denied a passport if they are born in Zimbabwe, that is the simple reality.  All the nonsense that we go through at the Registrar General’s office has to be done away with.  The last thing that I want to mention is the point that Hon. Chimanikire raised, the condition of the Registrar’s Offices.  I do not know what we are paying in terms of fees, for we pay a lot of money for passports and we pay a lot of money for other services.  What are they using that money for?  I looked at the Ministry of Home Affairs’ figures in the Budget for this year, there is over $200 million in that Budget which are funds accruing to the Ministry from the services it provides. 

Mr. Speaker, there is no reason why they cannot spend some of that money on fixing their buildings.  The buildings are disgraceful.  The conditions under which Ministry staff works is absolutely unacceptable.  I want to suggest that we make this a priority issue.  It is not a question of is no money because the money is there.  Take these fines that the police are collecting, you will not see a single police station in Zimbabwe today that is not painted.  You will not see a single police station with the fences that are not fixed.  You go into a police station, sometimes you even see flowers on the table.  That is the work that we want these non-statutory funds to be put to.  There is no reason why the Registrar General’s Offices cannot be treated in the same way.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. MAHOKA:  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on the report tabled by Hon. Auxillia Mnangagwa.  The Committee did a good job.  I was quite hurt by the fact that people now pay money for birth certificates, passports and for identity documents.  The amount that is required for payment of passports is excessive.  The stationery used is purchased by Government funds and they can make thousands of passports per day using the machinery that they have.  The fees are exorbitant and if you want a same-day service passport, you pay through the nose.  Our communal dwellers cannot afford to pay that amount.  Passports are not meant for the working class only.   Communal dwellers or people in the rural areas should also afford to acquire passports.

Passport fees  should be reduced and this Ministry should decentralise its activities to district level so that our people donot travel for more than 200 km to acquire a single passport, unless if you want to say that people that are in urban centres are the ones who should access these passports.  Communal dwellers in our constituencies cannot afford to come to Harare, a distance of 200 km.  They sleep at the passport office and they require food.  They end up acquiring the passport at around $500 because they will be suffering. 

Firstly, the passport fees are exorbitant, they should be reduced and secondly, there should be decentralisation of these services.  In this august House, we pass the Budget and if people do not pay for IDs, it would mean that the said Ministry cannot function properly.  There should be Budget allocation for activities.  They are now robbing our people because we give them insufficient funding through the allocation of the Budget.  There should be free acquisition of passports, birth certificates and identity cards.  We do not have money in Zimbabwe but we should not make our people suffer because we want to raise funds. When we are talking of jobs, we say people should be self-reliant and they must be paying for services.

Everyone born in Zimbabwe and even those born outside Zimbabwe, once they reach 18 years of age, they should get their birth certificates and identity cards for free.  It is their constitutional right.  It is an offence for the Government to fail to provide a citizen with the relevant documents.  The Constitution should be followed to the later.  I believe we are not following the Constitution Mr. Speaker because in the Constitution, there is no requirement for a witness such as a grandfather or someone who is older than you or two elderly persons or two men for you to acquire a birth certificate.  It is said it is a right for a citizen to have a birth certificate.  The Constitution says that anyone who knows whose child is is the mother.  Grandfathers’ surnames are now being used and we have problems when a child who has the same totem with the grandfather inherits the chieftainship and gives us problems. 

Acquiring a birth certificate should be easy.  It should not be difficult for the woman to acquire a birth certificate for the child. People’s lives should be exercised. The Constitution did not come up as a result of us only. People gathered and there was an outreach. If people were aware that the Constitution was not going to be followed, the people were not going to talk about it, and they were saying Parliament should talk about that issue. Our offices should grant our citizens their rights, not only should these rights be granted, they should be seen to have been granted documentation to enable them to go alone to acquire an identity document when they become of age.

          There are a lot of requirements that are required for one to acquire a birth certificate. The system should be made easy specifically for those that are in the communal lands. Those that are in urban centres easily reach the centres where they are acquired. The people in the communal lands cannot acquire a single dollar. The ones in towns can run around, chased by the police as they raise money. The children never applied to be born. The father and the mother brought this child because of their love. So, the child should get their right.

          We thank the Committee for their investigation. It is important to us as a country. The Committee’s report should not just be treated lightly. The Committee used Government funds for its outreach or field visits. We therefore urge the relevant Ministry to look into this law and that we should have this law. Let us follow this Constitution so that our lives become easier.

I believe by so doing, we will achieve something. The motion is said to be moved by the birthday. We have already started and we are saying congratulations Gushungo for your birthday. We wish you many more years. Reach 120 years ruling this country of Zimbabwe. Parliament of Zimbabwe says congratulations. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for allowing me to contribute to this motion. My colleagues have done justice to this motion. They have contributed almost all the important things. I will just try to dwell on one or two things. In the spirit of my colleagues on the other side that are celebrating a birthday, it is an indicator of the importance of the motion that has been raised by the Committee that we need birth records. We need records that identifies people because it is on the strength of those records that today, people are aware that someone is celebrating 93 years of age.

The importance of age can be gleaned from the performances. I was looking at Hon. Chamisa as he was debating. I am sure he celebrated his 38th or 39th birthday a few weeks ago. I try to compare his performance with what I saw yesterday on national television. Hon. Speaker, I have got nothing else, but to conclude that age is not only in numbers, it also reflects on the performance of an individual. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- 

So this is the importance that we get from the need of having a proper registration that takes place in the country because a ninety something year old person no longer has the capacity to perform...

 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Sibanda. I think it is important that you need to stick to the topic. Do not dilute the flow.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I am speaking to the motion that speaks about the need for the Registrar’s Department to be well equipped and in the same process, I am simply identifying that it is the national identification documents that tells us someone’s age. I simply went further to distinguish. I did not go outside the motion. I am simply explaining myself. Hon. Speaker, the other important thing that has not been indicated in the debate by my colleagues on this motion is the notoriety that exists in the department of registration.

I was listening carefully to the recommendations that were given. Some of the recommendations are that, we need to go e-governance. We need to go into e-registration but however, no one really asked themselves why we have got such a key department that has not gone digital. If you ask me Hon. Speaker, the notoriety lies in the fact that this is the only Government department that is headed by a person who is over pensionable age. It is the only one. It is the only department that I know of which is headed by someone who is close to eighty something years, when Government laws say that at 60/65 years, someone should retire. I think that is the notoriety that you can see in this department and the reason why it is not performing well. It is not performing well because it is being led by an aged person. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order in the House.

Hon. Munengami having stood up.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order vaMunengami. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order, in the House Hon. Members. Hon. Holder, order in the House.

*HON. MAHOKA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

*HON. MAHOKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My point of order is

that we cannot discuss about Mr. Mudede because he is not a Member of this House. Secondly, we should not talk about the President because he is not an employee. He is the President of this country and he should be respected. We cannot fool around with the President like what they are doing. This Hon. Member is very young and should respect the President. Had this country not been fought for, all the privileges that we enjoy should not have been available to us.

          Hon. Munengami having stood up again.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Munengami, order in the House.

          *HON. MAHOKA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

*HON. MAHOKA: Mr. Speaker, there is no quorum in this august House. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          Bells rung.

           HON. J. TSHUMA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  There is no need for bells to be rung because there is no motion for a quorum.  Where is the Member who actually called for the quorum then, let us continue with the debate - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

          *THE ACTING SPEAKER: That is the procedure when someone calls for a quorum.

          Notice having been taken that there being present fewer than 70 Members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not being present, THE ACTING SPEAKER adjourned the House without question put at Four Minutes to Five O’clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 56.

NOTE:  The following Members were present when the House adjourned: Hon. Beremauro, G.; Hon. Chamisa, N.; Hon. Chapfika, D.; Hon. Chibaya, A.; Hon. Chikomba L.; Hon. Chikuni, E.; Hon. Chitembwe, V.J.; Hon. Cross, E.G.; Hon. Dziva, T.M.; Hon. Gabbuza J.G.; Hon. Hungwa, G.; Hon. Kaundikiza, M.; Hon. Khumalo, M.; Hon. Khupe, T.; Hon. Mahiya, M.; Hon. Majaya, B.; Hon. Mangami, D.; Hon. Maondera, W.; Hon. Mashange W.; Hon. Matambanadzo, M.; Hon. Matimba, K.M.; Hon. Matsunga, S.; Hon. Mhona, F.T.; Hon. Mnangagwa, A.; Hon. Munengami, F.; Hon. Ndlovu, M.S.; Hon. Ndlovu, N.; Hon. Nduna, D.; Hon. Nyere, D.; Hon.  Phiri, F.P.; Hon. Runzirwayi, J.M.; Hon. Rungani, A.; Hon. Sansole, T.W.; Hon. Sibanda, Dubeko P.; Hon. Sindi, C.; Hon. Toffa, J.; Hon. Tshuma, J.; Hon. Uta, K.; Hon. Zhou, P.; Hon. Zvidzai, S.

 

 

 

National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 21 FEBRUARY 2017 VOL 43 NO 38