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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 21 NOVEMBER 2018 VOL 45 NO 20

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 21st November, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that there will be a Ground Breaking and laying of the Foundation Stone Ceremony for the New Parliament Building at the site in Mt Hampden on 30th November, 2018 at 1000 hours.  All Members are invited to attend. 

LIGHTING CEREMONY IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that all Members of Parliament are invited to a Lighting Ceremony in Commemoration of the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence on Monday, 26th November, 2018 at 1830 hours, at Parliament Building along Nelson Mandela Avenue.  The event is being organised by Parliament in partnership with the Netherlands Embassy and is held annually, from 25 November to 10 December. 

An Hon. Member having presented a notice of motion

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Did that motion come through the office of the Speaker?  May you approach the Chair? Hon. Members, all motions must come through my office.  That motion, its content, is a matter that the administration of Parliament is seized with.   The process that is being suggested of revamping the Standing Orders is in progress.  So, how can you work at cross purposes with the administration of Parliament?  That is not permissible. 

*HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of privilege according to Section 68.  The price of goods is increasing and I have noticed that the origins of all these price hikes is emanating from Parliament.   Parliament is selling the soft drink coca cola for a $1 and yet Delta did not increase anything.  In the hotels also where Members of Parliament are staying, those same coca cola drinks are being sold at $4 yet again Delta did not increase the price of its products.   I lay the blame squarely on the administration of Parliament especially those who are in the administration of welfare of Parliamentarians. 

As Members of Parliament, we talk to the public and they are complaining of price hikes of these food stuffs.  Again, here at our Members’ Dining we are buying sadza for $3 and coca cola for $4.  As Parliament, we are the perpetrators of the increase of these prices.  I am begging you Mr. Speaker; let us protect the Members of Parliament.  If the providers of canteen services at Parliament are not satisfied with the amount that they are getting and therefore feel they should increase prices so that the Members of Parliament suffer, do away with them.  It is either that we provide our own food or we get alternative service providers.  I thank.

*THE HON. SPEAKER: When we want to discuss issues of welfare of Members of Parliament we do that in the Speaker’s Office.  Those issues are purely administrative; therefore if you have queries, come to the Speaker’s office and address all these issues under the Committee of Standing Rules and Orders.  So Hon. Chinotimba, there is this Committee and they know how best to do with those issues.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I have misdirected my query but it is a reflection of the public which is suffering from  the astronomic rises of the prices of goods and services. I thank you

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: Some of you are applauding Hon. Chinotimba for his contribution.  We need to read our Standing Rules and Orders because if you bring that as a motion, it would be rejected because that problem is affecting every Zimbabwean. The issue should be brought to the Welfare Committee and through the Speaker’s office.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APOLOGIES FROM MINISTERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have apologies from Hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Prof. Ncube, Hon. Karoro, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Lands Water and Climate Change, Hon. Shiri, Minister of Agriculture Lands, Water and Climate Change, Hon. Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Hon. S. B. Moyo and also Hon. Mupfumira, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          The Hon. Speaker having recognised Hon. R. Mpofu sitting at the back called her to sit next to Hon. Nguluvhe on the first bench and stated that this is where she should sit the whole of the Ninth Parliament. 

*HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans. What is Government policy regarding the war collaborators and ex-detainees who may have passed on that they be accorded a heroes burial?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA):  I thank the Hon. Member for the question. There is a Committee which sits to determine the level of heroes’ status of an individual who would have passed on. Let me emphasise that this Committee is not part of the Ministry of Defence and War Collaborators but when there has been a thorough inspection of an individual’s life and it shows that the individual worked hard during the war of liberation and participated in a recognised way, that person will be accorded a heroes status at a particular level.  The people are vetted and then given the correct level status according to the category which is due to such an individual.  We know we have not yet started working on that exercise. At times we may have an opinion that somebody has been accorded that status whereas others have not. This is done on an ad-hoc basis.  I am saying this because people have been wondering as to where these people are vetted and hence accorded that particular heroes status.  Let me emphasise that this board does not belong to the Ministry of Defence and War Collaborators. 

*HON. MUSABAYANA: My supplementary question is - when we have those individuals who would have passed on and are accorded heroes status, do we have any systems put in place to give a State assisted funeral for such individuals?

*HON. MATEMADANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As I stated before, the Committee responsible for vetting and according the heroes status is not part of the Ministry Defence and War Veterans. We may have to go and investigate so that we know who determines and what they have to look at.  The Committee responsible for vetting is within the Ministry yet the Committee which then accords the heroes status is not within the Ministry.  The war collaborators issue has not yet been discussed to ascertain their heroes status.

*HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister for the response.  We want to look at the vetting of the war collaborators.  This issue has being going on for quite a long time and we feel it must be concluded.  War collaborators are dying without being recognised.  Let us expedite the vetting and make a determination whilst the war collaborators are still living. 

*HON. MATEMADANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The main aim of the Ministry regarding the vetting of the war collaborators as far as the Minister is concerned could have been done long back.  We all know that legally when fighters of the war of liberation were vetted, this did not only include these war fighters but it also included collaborators and other members who played non-combatant duties in the vetting of these people.  Therefore, let us all work together so that we make a thorough notification and description of a person who should be given a heroes status and the category.  As far as we are concerned, the vetting of the war collaborators should be expeditiously undertaken because we feel it has been an imbalance for quite a long time.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question to the Minister of Defence is – I understand that he said his office is not responsible for the vetting process of war collaborators but we know those collaborators are there.  I am one of the war collaborators and we have identity cards which we were given. When there is a function, war collaborators are invited. They have been used all along in these occasions.  Now because there are these privileges, they are now excluded. 

          We are now in the new dispensation yet we are still discriminating war collaborators; you are delaying this process so that we do not benefit.  Why do you want to leave us out?  What we know is that most of the collaborators are now dead; even war veterans, many of them are dead.  Why are you delaying the process?  I am asking you Minister, please explain - why are you are dilly-dallying on the issue of vetting these war collaborators.  Whenever we talk about these war collaborators, people start apportioning blame yet during the tenure of the previous Minister they were friends. They were talking together about many issues but when things are bad, they apportion blame.

          Please Minister, we need you to vet these war collaborators so that they can also benefit as these are true fighters of the liberation struggle.  They contributed a lot and should equally get the benefit awarded to other freedom fighters.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Where is your question?

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: I asked my question, you do not understand me.  I will repeat myself. My question is - the war collaborators were given identity cards saying that they had been vetted but Minister, you are telling this august House that they are not yet vetted and are still to be vetted, what is going on?

          *HON. MATEMADANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to respond to the Hon. Member’s question. I am so glad to hear that he is one of the war collaborators, this is why he was so emotional that he failed to express himself eloquently.  Hon. Member, this issue has taken a  long time for people to be vetted because whenever the issue is raised, emotions rise. I explained the rules and regulations regarding the vetting of these war collaborators. He went further and informed this august House that the war collaborators were vetted and given identity cards.  We are not aware of that, so he should be in a position to inform us as to who vetted these collaborators because in the past the rules and regulations were not referring to war collaborators.

          We know there were some corrupt activities which were going on where some of these people were clandestinely vetted but this did not come to us.  As far as we are concerned, there is need to align laws on the benefits of the collaborators.  War veterans know that they worked together with collaborators and shared the trenches.  As far as I know, they will never fight because they are one and the same.  The Minister is a war veteran and I, the Deputy Minister am also a war veteran. We need to sit down and talk about these issues so that we can chat a way forward for these war collaborators.  I thank you.

          +HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport.  Hon. Minister, there is a road which link Bulawayo and Maphisa, what is Government policy regarding the construction of that road?  It has been on the planning side but has never been repaired and reconstructed.  This road is used by tourists who visit Matopos Game Park.  The road is very narrow and has a lot of caves, yet it is so busy.  What is Government policy regarding such a busy road?

          *THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRACTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MATIZA):  I understood the question but I cannot respond in Ndebele.  The Hon. Member asked about the polict towards construction of the road from Bulawayo to Maphisa.  I thank the Hon. Member for this question because the second Republic of Zimbabwe is scruitinising all those major roads and smaller roads which need to be rehabilitated and constructed.  We are now looking at the capacity of Zimbabwe to construct its own roads in terms of human capital and financial resources. This shows that Zimbabwe has the capacity judging from its highly qualified working personnel locally and in the diaspora where they are exercising their knowledge. 

          We know that in its ambitious road map, the Beitbridge road has been divided into segments which will be awarded to different organisations so that they can construct this road.  We believe that as Zimbabweans, we have the capacity to construct our own roads.  I am glad that local banks have also come forward to finance the projects.  We hope that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, will issue a statement tomorrow in that regard. I thank you.

          HON. DZUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. In Zimbabwe, we have a huge number of mission hospitals funded either by the Catholic Church or the Western Community. Most of these hospitals are located in the rural areas and as Government we rely much on these hospitals. What is the policy of the Ministry in the event that these mission hospitals cease to operate? Are there any concrete measures to ensure that the health of the people is entirely secured?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Dzuma, that question was asked last week. I do not know whether you were not here and the Hon. Minister answered it in-depth that there must be good relationship and support from Government of mission hospitals throughout the country. So, read your Hansard Hon. Member.

          HON. DZUMA. Noted Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of SMEs and in her absence, the question goes to the Leader of the House...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Tekeshe, you do not tell me that the Minister is absent. It is not your duty, leave it to me the Speaker of the National Assembly. When you are elected Speaker in the next Parliament, that is when you will be taking out these responses.

          *HON. TEKESHE: We notice that in Zimbabwe people rely on vending because of the high unemployment rate. We realise that these vendors are running cat and mouse battles with the poloice throughout the day and even at night. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Mr. Speaker, please protect me from my fellow Members who are verbally abusing me. We know that vending is a way of living and yet there is a cat and mouse game between them, the authorities and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. May you please craft a law to protect these vendors?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, again you are asked to read the Hansard. The issue of vendors is in a motion that is being moved by Hon. Mutseyami. So, we cannot discuss that and we have to wait for the motion to be debated.

          HON. E. MASUKU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. What is Government policy regarding the recruitment and deployment of teachers in rural schools to teach infant classes using the language that is not known to the infants, for example Tonga teacher teaching Ndebele or Ndebele teacher teaching Kalanga?

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question but, I am afraid I am not able to answer it right now. I would like to liaise with my counterparts, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education so that I can give an informed response to the Hon. Member’s question.

          HON. S. S. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question goes to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water Climate and Rural Resettlement. My question is about policy of Government in relation to establishment of irrigation schemes in the rural districts of Zimbabwe? Thank you Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Khumalo. The Hon. Minister is not here. I am not sure if the Acting Leader can respond on irrigation policy for rural economies?

          THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS RESETTLEMENT (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, AND WATER CLIMATE AND RURAL (RTD. CHIEF AIR MARSHALL SHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Let me thank the Hon. Member who has asked a very pertinent question regarding the policy on irrigation as it relates to developments within districts. It is Government policy that there should be a dam within each respective district within Zimbabwe. This is in recognition of the challenges of climate change. So, Government’s policy is that we need to mitigate so that we do not rely on the rainfall patterns where sometimes we get erratic rainfall. In that case, last year during a budget presentation, it was very clear and Government demonstrated that we now have this irrigation programme as a policy thrust and resources were set aside to make sure that every year in every district, 200 hectares are put under irrigation. I am hoping that with the new budget, it will find that accommodation and resources are going to be put in place specifically for that programme. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          HON. S. S. KHUMALO: My supplementary is that Tsholotsho rural district does not have a dam with the capacity to irrigate the size of land mentioned by the Hon. Minister of  Defence and I want to know whether there are plans in place whether or not such a dam is going to be put in that district, Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, the Chair happens to know that there is Gareya Dam in Tsholotsho and also that the Hon. Acting Leader of Government Business has indicated that the Budget should be addressing those issues in terms of improving irrigation systems in the rural areas.  So your supplementary does not arise.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  When we opened business for the day, the benches on the opposite side were all empty because they had a meeting with their President yet they are being given privilege to pose questions before us. – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Chinotimba, that is not a point of order.  Thank you.  Honourable, your name again sorry?

          HON. F. NCUBE: Francisca Ncube! – [HON. CHIKWINYA: From Matabeleland North, yes!] – Yes.

          +HON. F. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir,…

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Chikwinya can you withdraw that statement?

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  I withdraw but she is from Matabeleland North.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you withdraw your statement?

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  I withdraw Mr. Speaker.

          +HON. F. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, is it Government policy to allow the public to purchase goods conditionally given a certain benchmark that if you do not buy for so much then you have to pay a certain level of price for the goods, particularly Mazowe drink and cooking oil?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Modi, the question is, is it Government policy to allow the public to purchase goods conditionally given a certain benchmark if you do not buy for so much then you have to pay a certain level of price for the goods, particularly Mazowe drink?       

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MODI):  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.  It is not allowed, it is illegal – that is called conditional buying.  It is not allowed as customers should be able to buy freely whatever they want to buy – [AN HON. MEMBER:  What are you doing about it?] -  We have laws and you can report to the police if anybody is doing that. – [HON MEMBERS: Mr. Speaker, supplementary!] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The answer is straight forward that it is not Government policy – if there are such happenings, report to the police or to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ).  No need for supplementary.

          HON. T. MOYO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.  What policies have been put in place by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development to ameliorate the welfare of Zimbabwean students who are studying abroad particularly in South Africa, Algeria, China and so forth with regard to financing of their stipends?  I thank you.

           THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My ministry does not superintend or is not yet superintending over scholarships for outside.  So basically I cannot answer that question adequately.  I thank you.

          HON. P. ZHOU:  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Deputy Minister Madiro.  What is Government policy on protecting women from being harassed, abused and threatened to death by burning, for example the Khupe incident? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, this is the second time Hon. Zhou you ask misdirected questions and this session you ask questions on policy not relative to some individual.  I hope that you will not repeat it again.

          HON. E. NCUBE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development but in his absence, I will re-direct it to the Leader of the House.  What is Government’s policy with regards to re-fencing of all national highways in order to avoid road carnages which are caused by stray animals?  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, this question was asked previously and the Hon. Minister indicated that they will revamp the fencing of our highways.  So we cannot be repeating those questions. 

          HON. MAGO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  *What is Government policy on cars that go to South Africa and when they drive back they are asked to pay road access fees?   

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you Hon. Member for your question.  The money that the Hon. Member is talking about - road access, is for crossing the Beitbridge border post.  When you cross, you will be paying tollgate fees as others. 

          HON. SIWELA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House. What is the Government policy on duty payment of a second hand vehicle involving a third party or a clearing agent?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am not sure I got what she wanted to ask, but if I got it correctly, she is saying - what is the policy as regards an agent who is representing…

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Leader of the House, we refer to Hon. Members not by the pronoun she or he. 

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am not sure what the Hon. Member is referring to.  If I got it correctly, the Hon. Member wants to know the policy regarding an agent who is representing an individual.  A clearing agent is given authority by an individual to represent him, so the policy on duty will remain the same that you have to pay duty for the vehicle that you are bringing in.  What is happening is that somebody is representing you as opposed to you presenting yourself to the clearing agent.  I thank you.

          HON. SIWELA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We are having a challenge in Beitbridge.  They are being denied access to clear the vehicle no matter whether they have an affidavit from the owner which authorizes the agent to clear the vehicle. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  That becomes a very specific issue and you are better advised that you put it under written questions with those specific details so that the responsible Minister can answer accordingly. 

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you.  The agents are recognised by Government officials as alluded to by the Minister.  Is there any statute that governs their conduct, especially with regards to the fees just the same as lawyers represent clients in a court of law and they are actually governed by certain statutory provisions?

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member. Indeed they are governed but I do not have the actual statutory instrument off head, but they are governed and they even have accounts with ZIMRA. 

          *HON. SEWERA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement but I think the Minister of Defence can help me since she was in that Ministry.  In my constituency, Murewa West there are so many deep wells in schools and clinics but because of climate change, there is no water in the deep wells.  I want to find out what the Government is doing about installing boreholes in those areas so that there will not be any problems of water in schools and clinics?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The answer is we have the department of DDF that deals with those issues.  If they are notified that there is a need in this particular area, they will go and ensure that water is availed.  We also have ZINWA so if Hon. Members have requests, if they approach DDF and ZINWA, they will try as much as possible to assist.  I thank you. 

          HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question concerns the Government policy with regards to mitigating the effects of climate change.  The Hon. Member highlighted that it is due to issues to do with climate change that the deep wells are now getting dry.  What is the Government’s comprehensive policy towards ensuring that we have measures to protect the nation and the farmers against effects of climate change?

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question.  Within the policy of Government, we are moving towards supporting agriculture by ensuring that we have equipment that will allow us to irrigate most of our farms.  So, we are going to have more boreholes and dams constructed.  So the answer that I gave was to the effect that he was saying the wells are drying up and I said if there is an immediate need then Government will ensure that boreholes are drilled, but progressively as we move forward, we want to ensure that for us to be self-sufficient in terms of food security we need to have irrigated land as opposed to relying on the rain season. Thank you.

HON. MAMOMBE: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and probably the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. My question is on the issue of corruption to say what is the Government policy pertaining to corruption. I am concerned in that most of the countries that we see there is a threat of peace and security in them, and this is caused by the corruption that we see in the countries. So, I want to know what the Government is doing to make sure that they deal with all the corrupt elements that we see in this country. I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): I want to appreciate the Hon. Member for a very important question. I think that question is important because of the impact of corruption to the national well-being. I want to state it categorically that corruption is a serious crime and though it is difficult to pin down corrupt elements, it is important that everyone who has evidence on corrupt elements report those to the police and action will be taken. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MADZIMURE: Hon. Minister, can you explain why we have got a lot of arrests …

THE HON. SPEAKER: You address the Chair.

HON. MADZIMURE: Okay, thank you. Mr. Speaker Sir, can the Hon. Minister explain to this House why we have a lot of arrests but very little, if any, zero convictions?

HON. MADIRO: The question is very important. However, the question of conviction is a matter for another Ministry, it is not the responsibility of Home Affairs to convict the accused or suspects. I think that will be a matter for another Ministry. Thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE: Supplementary Mr. Speaker, I want clarification from the Minister.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Clarification? – [HON. MADZIMURE: Yes, to his last response.] – I think the Hon. Minister has answered very adequately. You need to redirect your question to the relevant Minister – [HON. MADAZIMURE: His officers do the investigations. So, it is them who are failing.] – No, prosecution and conviction does not with the Minister of Home Affairs.

HON. GARWE: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Mr. Speaker, we are experiencing fuel queues in all the service stations in towns or cities. If the Minister could give us an update of what is going on with respect to fuel availability now that we are approaching the festive season.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question. We have got enough fuel in the country at the moment in our reserves but the issue is about payment. Our tanks are full of fuel. To offload that fuel we have to make some payments and that is what is causing this temporary setback, but be assured that we have got enough fuel for the festive season even this farming season that is just commencing. That is the assurance that you can get from the Ministry of Energy. Thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Gumbo, the substantive Minister of Energy said they had found a supplier of fuel for the next 12 months. They struck a deal and surely, the Hon. Deputy Minister is correct to say that the fuel is in the country. So, why is the question of money arising when the Hon. Minister, Joram Gumbo said they had been advanced fuel for the next 12 months to the tune of a certain amount which was stated here in Parliament. 

HON. MUDYIWA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question.   Yes, we have got a supplier who is supplying us fuel but I think these are just temporary setbacks.  I also think that there are very few service stations where there are these queues and they are not as pronounced per se.  However, we have got enough fuel in the country to see us through this festive season.       HON. SHIRICHENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I am excited my Minister has just come in.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. What is the Government policy on upgrading the primary care nurses who were trained 13 years ago but are not allowed to upgrade themselves on health issues?  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am still panting, I have just walked in.  The question from the Hon. Member is a very valid one. We have always said education must not stop at one level and that is what we are also saying for primary care nurses.  Just a bit of a background; the primary care nurses normally came in as a result of not meeting the appropriate requirements that the registered general nurses require, which is less than two sittings.  So, that is a cadre who normally has more than two sittings, three sittings and four sittings even.  So, at the time when this was introduced as a course, it was very relevant for us to be able to cater for the district hospitals and that remains the main issue.  You would find that there are primary care nurses who go on and improve themselves; they even re-sit the examination so that they get the subjects in either one sitting or in two sittings and then they get the chance to upgrade themselves to the registered general nurse status. 

          So, there is that requirement and that is the way it is because of the number of candidates who qualify to be able to train as registered general nurses.  At the same time, as you all know, there are loads and loads of registered general nurses who are roaming the streets and we are trying to fight and make sure that they are all employed.  So, it will bring in another burden if we were going to take the primary health care nurses immediately and try and push them towards the registered general nurse training.  I thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of students and teachers from Nyabata Secondary School from Masvingo South Constituency.  You are welcome! – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          HON. GABBUZA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  The question is about the deployment of teachers in the rural areas.  Traditionally, they were deployed from their district offices but now teachers are being deployed from a central point in Harare causing problems to those in the district not being taken up.  What has necessitated the Ministry to centralise the deployment of teachers to Harare instead of their district offices where they are needed?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): The policy is that we have to deploy teachers where they are needed, but your question is very specific that they have centralised the administrative aspect of the deployment of teachers.  So, perhaps if you can put it in writing so that they can respond adequately why it has been centralised.

          HON. GABBUZA: The Hon. Minister responsible is back. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): May you then repeat the question for the benefit of the Minister who was not in?

          HON. GABBUZA: Traditionally, they were deployed from their district offices but now teachers are being deployed from a central point in Harare causing a problem of those in the districts not being taken up.  What has necessitated the Ministry to centralise the deployment of teachers to Harare instead of their district offices where they are needed?

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): I am not aware that this practice is going on but however, I shall enquire from the Public Service Commission and also from my colleague here, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, then I will give an informed answer.  I thank you.

          *HON. KARUMAZONDO: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. What is Government policy with regards to hospitals homesteads and schools that would have been stricken by hailstorm?  For instance, in my constituency Maramba-Pfungwe we had a hailstorm. I thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. MHLANGA): Thank you Hon. Speaker and I also want to thank the Hon. Member for his question. I want to explain the departments that we have in our Ministry; the Civil Department which starts from the administrative districts from all the districts; we channel resources there but what is needed is that leadership should let us know so that we will be able to activate the civil protection.  We have the resources as a Ministry at the moment.  I thank you.

          +HON. S. K. MGUNI: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  What is Government policy regarding the construction of the infrastructure, especially regarding the payment of service providers of the contractors who will have constructed the particular road?

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MATIZA): I am not sure whether I got the question right but I think it is about payment of contractors by local authorities, by the Department of Works, by DDF, there is a process that is done. They are paid after a certificate has been issued, and that certificate is honoured after a certain guided period. I thank you.

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

          HON. CHIKWINYA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Questions Without Notice be extended by 15 minutes.

          HON. MUSHORIWA: I second. 

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question goes to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.  What is Government policy in terms of protecting property for small to medium entrepreneurs with regards to their infrastructures and their wares in view of the sprouting incidences of fire which has recently happened?  Is there any policy to protect the property with regard to fire emergency?

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question.  The Government policy on protecting SME property is very clear. We teach our SMEs to do the protection themselves, by making sure they have insurance policies and make sure that the work space is clean and secure. However, it is very regrettable that the work space is crowded and all the fires that are taking place are really regrettable. Government is very concerned about it and we hope that whoever is doing it will really be sensitive enough not to cause so much pain to other people.  I thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. One of the key functions of the Ministry as alluded to in our Bulawayo Pre-budget workshop was that they monitor the performance of these small to medium entrepreneurs.  Now, if you visit these locations they have mixed goods. You will find glue, clothes, furniture, things which are easily combustible in the event of a fire outbreak. What policy position or what tools are you giving to these players so that at least they are aware to separate such wares in terms of minimising  fire in the event of a fire emergency? 

HON. NYONI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Hon. Member’s questions are very pertinent. It is indeed our responsibility to make sure that the SMEs are clustered so that they are grouped geographically. We group them according to their commodity and according to the sector. However, Mr. Speaker Sir, there is not enough space for us to do that and I think there is an ongoing dialogue with the Ministry of Local Government who are responsible for issuing space before we do the clustering.  I thank you.

HON. MATHE: My question is directed to the Leader of the House, what is Government policy regarding command livestock where women farmers are requested to produce stock cards which they do not have as they are registered under their husband’s name?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question, where she stipulates that the family has got a stock card registered in one of the spouses.  The policy of Government is - we want to empower households and so; if we have a household where a card belongs to one spouse, it is the policy of Government to consider that household as one.   Where a household is headed by a woman and there is no man, we do not have a policy of discriminating against women. We very much want them to participate in our programmes of Command Agriculture.  I thank you.

HON. MATHE: Mr. Speaker Sir, some people have no husbands, no cattle, no stock card and nothing else but they want to start command livestock, what do they do?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member. The question now is very specific to the effect that the Hon. Member is saying if you do not have a stock card you are not considered for command livestock. The policy is that we want to empower our people so that they can venture into livestock production but I would request the Hon. Member to put that question in writing and state where there are incidences of our people being denied to get into the programme of livestock production because they do not have stock cards so that we can request the relevant Ministry to correct it and ensure that they be considered. I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I would request the Hon. Member to put that question in writing where there are incidences of our people being denied to get into the programmes of livestock production because they do not have stock cards, so that we can request the relevant Ministry to correct and ensure that they be considered.  I thank you.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to my learned brother, the Leader of Government Business.  I want to refer him to Section 13 (4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe 2013, which provides that the State must ensure that local communities benefit from the resources in their areas.  I want to find out what policy Government has put in place to ensure that this provision of the Constitution is brought to life?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Sibanda for the question. I want to preface the answer by saying that the Hon. Minister of Local Government has been passionate about devolution and he has addressed these issues to say, if you go further, the Constitution actually speaks about the need to set aside a certain percentage for local authorities, particularly to ensure that those areas that are under developed are given resources.

          As we bring forward in the House a Bill to deal with Provincial Councils, and cognisant that the Minister of Finance is also dealing with that issue; progressively, we will be addressing those issues to ensure that those disadvantaged communities where resources are, benefit from the resources that are there.  I thank you.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I believe that the Hon. Minister, whilst he attempted to answer my question, I do not think that devolution on its own deals with that issue that I am speaking about.  Let me give you an example of Victoria Falls that has got rainforest where almost everyone comes to see but all the monies go to Harare.  Let us talk about Binga or Kariba which has got a lake where there is fishing that is taking place but permits for fishing are given to people from far away.  Devolution on its own cannot deal with that.  This is an issue of policy of ensuring that local resources benefit local people, not devolution.  What policy has Government put in place to ensure that local resources benefit local people?  Thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I believe what I have said is sufficient, if we bring forward that Bill and we do the measures that we are going to do, that issue will be addressed.  I thank you.

          HON. MUSANHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Mutsvangwa.  What is Government policy in terms of areas where there is no signal and services are not provided, if someone opts to subscribe on a DSTV, you insist on buying a licence.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Sorry Hon. Musanhi, that question was asked last week.

          HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. In the absence of the Minister, I will direct my question to the Leader of Government Business.  What is Government policy concerning the reclamation of pits that would have been dug by artisanal miners because they are a danger to the people and animals in general?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which is very important, where artisanal miners are digging pits everywhere and they are dangerous to both animals and human beings.  The Government policy is that the Ministry of Environment has to ensure that the environment is preserved.  It is the mandate of officers in that Ministry to ensure that they go round and ensure that where those pits are, they identify the relevant people who have been mining there.  They should be brought to book to ensure that they do not cause that environmental harm.  I thank you. 

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

DEATH AND INJURIES IN KWEKWE DISTRICT

1.    HON. CHIKWINYA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and

 Cultural Heritage to provide statistics on:

(a)               number of deaths and injuries recorded in Kwekwe

 District involving the use of machetes and any other convictions made;

(b)            to state whether there are plans to register machetes as

 weapons whose possession attract deterrent sentences.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question.  The use of machetes by some criminal elements in Kwekwe District has indeed claimed some lives whilst other people sustained some injuries.  The specific statistics for deaths and injuries for the period extending from 1st January, 2017 to 12th November, 2018 are as follows:- a total of 14 people lost their lives as a result of machete attacks by some criminals and 101 people sustained various degrees of injury.  A total of seven accused persons were arrested in connection with these heinous crimes.  The cases are before the court of law and since the cases involve loss of lives, they normally take long to finalise.

The House may want to know some of the causes that contribute to this unnecessary loss of life.  The use of machetes is normally associated with artisanal miners who clash over mining claims, transactional disputes, thefts of gold and clashes between members of different syndicates or cartels. This is also exacerbated by the militant attitude of the general populace who habitually abuse alcohol and drugs during mining escapades. Be that as it may, I wish to point out that the ZRP as an institution mandated to guarantee that law and order prevails all the time has since come up with the robust strategies to ensure that cases of machete attacks do not continue to occur in the districts. Some of these strategies include:-

-          An increase in police visibility through patrols at mining hot spots,

-         Issuance of prohibition orders,

-         Banning the carrying of these weapons in terms of the POSA Chapter 11.17,

-         Engagement of the Ministry of Mines in resolving mining claim disputes. In some cases, there is double allocation of claims which worsen the situation,

-         Involvement of community leaders and other stakeholders in creating awareness in the public of the need to conduct their business in a peaceful environment.

          The second question is whether there are plans to register machetes as weapons whose possession attract deterrent sentences. I wish to point out that machetes by their nature are regarded as dangerous weapons, especially when used during the subsistence of a running prohibition order in terms of the Public Order and Security Act. The illegal use of these dangerous weapons during this period attracts deterrent sentences by our courts of law. May I highlight that it is within the purview of this august House to promulgate laws that permanently outlaw the possession of machetes to prevent loss of lives. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have received a special request from the Hon. Minister of Defence regarding Question Number 26. She has got some special assignments that she would want to go and attend to. Can I go to Question Number 26? The Hon. Member is not in the House.

VEHICLE FOR ESIGODINI POLICE STATION

2.      HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to –

          (a)     Explain why Esigodini Police Station operates without                      a single vehicle; and

          (b)     State the measures that the Ministry has in place to                              redress the situation.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERIGATE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr.  Speaker Sir. With regards the transport situation at Esigodini Police Station. I wish to point out that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is a creature of Section 219 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which reposes the following functions:

(a)             Detecting, investigating and preventing crimes,

(b)            Preserving the internal security of Zimbabwe,

(c)             Protecting and securing the lives and property of the people,

(d)            Maintaining law and order,

(e)             Upholding the Constitution of Zimbabwe and enforcing the law without fear or favour,

Resultantly, it is within this mandate that the Zimbabwe Republic Police, like any contemporary law enforcement agents, needs to be highly mobile in order to prevent crime through motorised patrols and also swiftly respond to scenes of crime. Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to advise the Hon. Member that Esigodini Police Station has one police vehicle registration number ZRP 093R, a Ford Ranger pick-up truck issued on 15 May, 2012. The vehicles broke down on the 17th of March, 2018 and has since been repaired. It has been back on the road since the 5th of October, 2018.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to point out that it is not ideal to have one vehicle at a station as challenges such as breakdowns; wear and tear among others necessitates the need for more than one vehicle to be allocated to a police station. 

The Hon. Member asked the second question and the response is that the situation obtaining in the Zimbabwe Republic Police is quite worrisome as several stations, just like Esigodini Police Station, either have one vehicle or are operating without any vehicles at all. In some instances, one vehicle is being shared by more than three stations in a police district. Most of the police vehicles have outlived their lifespan, hence constantly breaking down. Further, besides the unavailability of spares due to limited funding, it has also become uneconomic to repair some of the vehicles.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish thus to advise the Hon. Member that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage is currently seized with the matter of resourcing police stations and representations have been made with Government to address the transport situation in the Police station as this is affecting service delivery.

I am pleased to advise that Government is in the process of acquiring vehicles for the police and we are expecting delivery of the first batch of vehicles very soon. We further expect to allocate one vehicle for each station including Esigodini Police Station and obviously, the neediest stations will be prioritised in the distribution of the vehicles.

Mr. Speaker Sir, when distributing police vehicles, considerations take into account variables such as crime patterns, the size of policing areas, geographic location, among others. Given resource constraints, Government was unable to avail many vehicles hence, most police stations have one vehicle each. But like I said, the situation is set to improve soon once the vehicles being procured by Government are delivered. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. How does a Minister comment on the fact that in a police station, the Officer Commanding is prioritised and you would find that at his house there are four or five vehicles parked and the police station has no vehicle? Why do they have this kind of prioritisation?

HON. MADIRO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I have outlined the Government policy and if there are any situations as alluded by the Hon. Member, it will be our pleasure to get those details so that we will be able to attend to those situations. I thank you.

HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What temporary arrangements could be made in view of the scarcity of this important resource with regards to deaths of people at their homes whether it is suicide or otherwise. Some people are taking as long as four hours before they are transported to the nearest mortuary because there are no vehicles? Thank you.

           HON. MADIRO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Hon. Member’s question is very pertinent. It is not the wish of the Government through the police service to have people taking so long in being attended to in terms of crime scenes.  Again, I want to underline that it is purely because of the scarce resources and the situation is going to improve with more resources being allocated to the police force.  I thank you.

          HON. J. CHIDAKWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to find out from the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  The police vehicles are not insured, they say that the insurance is with the driver.  We tried to insure one in Marondera for Marondera Rural District Council, the CCC tried to insure that vehicle and failed.  We were going to insure those vehicles under the police name but we were caught up in bureaucracy and the vehicle was not insured.  Can you relax some of these conditions so that vehicles, at least, are insured in case of accidents?  I thank you.

          HON. MADIRO:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, it is very much appreciated that the Hon. Member and community in various places in the country want to assist the police force – that is very much appreciated.  However, the police vehicles are Government property and there are specific regulations that guide how such assistance can be accepted.  Until those regulations are amended, we have to follow as they are at the moment.

          It requires that whoever wants to assist will present an offer that and the accounting officer will respond and make sure that everything is within the Government system.  I thank you.

REVIEW OF MONTHLY PENSION PAY-OUTS

13.  HON. CHIBAYA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare when the Ministry will review the monthly pension payments?

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare remains committed to enhancing social security mechanisms, including for pensioners.  It is noteworthy Mr. Speaker Sir that Hon. Members have asked about the pension reviews, especially in the current macro-economic environment.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, pension benefits are indexed to salaries of serving members.  Whenever salaries and allowances for pensionable emoluments of serving members are reviewed, pensions are reviewed by the same percentage.  The ratio of monthly pension to pensionable emoluments for serving members in the pensioner’s grade at retirement is maintained.  For that reason, pensions are reviewed simultaneously with the review for serving members. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, let me also emphasise that the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) recently carried out actuarial evaluations to ascertain the feasibility of pensions increase.  I shall be updating this House in due course on my recommendations.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry also remains committed to ensuring the well-being of our pensioners.  Thank you. 

BREAKDOWN OF THE ANNUAL TOTAL COST OF

DISTRIBUTING FOOD TO VULNERABLE GROUPS

          14.  HON. MAYILOME asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to:

a)    Give a breakdown of the annual total cost of distributing food to vulnerable groups around the country;

b)   Explain whether the Ministry has ever considered issuing non-transferrable coupons or social security grants to vulnerable people and

c)    Explain whether it is not prudent to issue non-transferrable coupons to rural areas instead of distributing food physically. 

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministry received a total of $2 million from Treasury for grain distribution modalities during 2018.  Out of the $2 million, the total amount disbursed so far is $1.880.000.  Also note that there was $500.000 that my Ministry received in January 2018, which was for December, 2017.

HON. MATARANYIKA:  On a point of order Hon. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. KHUMALO):  What is your point of order?

HON. MATARANYIKA:  I think the House does not have a quorum any more. 

[Bells rung.]

[Quorum formed.]

          HON. GABBUZA:  I have a point of order because on Question 14, the Hon. Minister only answered part (a) but the questions are supposed to go up to part (c).

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member is quite right; I did not answer the full question.  On part (b), my Ministry administers the Older Persons Act (Chapter 17:11), which provides for old age pensions as of now.  The Ministry gives administrative and per capita grants to old people who are in registered Old People’s Homes.  The per capita is pegged at $15 per month per inmate while the administrative grant is a once off payment calculated based on the carrying capacity of each registered home multiplied by $15.  Per capita grants are paid upon submission of grant claim forms from the Older People’s Homes. 

          On part (c), on whether it is not prudent to issue non-transferrable coupons to rural areas instead of distributing food physically, Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministry targets the most vulnerable of the society.  This includes the elderly, the chronically ill, persons with disabilities, orphans, vulnerable children among others.  As such, the challenge with issuing coupons to these groups in rural areas is that most of them are vulnerable, thus they own very little or have no resources at all to allow them to travel and redeem the non-transferrable coupons.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

TRANSPORTERS CHARGES

          15.   HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to justify the logic by transporters to charge $1.50 per person per bag regardless of distance covered to distribution centres and explain the measures put in place to shorten the distance that the beneficiaries have to walk especially in Umzingwane. 

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, with regards to the distance that is supposed to be travelled by beneficiaries, it is my Ministry’s policy that no one should walk more than five kilometres to access both cash in kind or any kind of food distribution.

          It is the prerogative of the District Committees to request for or establish more distribution points as a way of minimising distances that beneficiaries travel.  I would like to emphasise that the charges of $1.50 per person per bag has not been sanctioned by the Ministry.  Where there are monetary shortfalls, the District Drought Relief Committees have recommended that not more than a dollar should be paid for those who could afford.  Thank you.

STANDARD TOLLGATE INFRASTRUCTURE IN TRIANGLE

50.  HON. MUSIKAVANHU asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to state when standard toll gate

infrastructure will be put up at the tollgates in Triangle.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MATIZA):

Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The refurbishment of all non-standard tollgate infrastructures

countrywide has been considered in the 2019 annual budget for the

Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. For the current year 2018, only five tollgates were being considered in Gwanda, Mt Darwin, Chivhu and Masvingo areas. The five tollgates - Mupfurudzi, Magamba, Lothan, Triangle and Collen Bawn are operational. Operational issues to be addressed include canopy lighting and extensions, power and permanent sanitation, signage, office partitions inclusive of strong rooms and concrete jersey barriers. Current challenges are that Magamba has no transformer located nearby for power. Mupfurudzi and Magamba have no readily available water source and expected completion of outstanding issues is first quarter of 2019. I thank you.

          HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Whilst one appreciates that the upgrading of these tollgates is within the budget, I would request that something be done with respect to the ablution facilities. It does not augur well for those tollgates to be relying on portable ablution facilities from Nyaradzo when we are saying Zimbabwe is open for business.

          HON. ENG. MATIZA: I would like to take note of the comments by the Hon. Member. We will address the issues.

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE CHIMOYO-KAREZO BRIDGE AND SURFACING OF THE MUZARABANI-CHADEREKA ROAD

          51.   HON. SODA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to outline the Ministry’s plan for the re – construction of the  Chimoyo – Karezo bridge across Hoya River and the surfacing of the Muzarabani – Chadereka road.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MATIZA): Chimoyo-Karezo road falls under District Development Fund (DDF) which is within the Office of the President. Muzarabani-Chadereka road falls under Muzarabani Rural District Council (MRDC) which falls under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. Both DDF and Muzarabani Rural District Council are road authorities with their own annual budgets for road maintenance. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development through ZINARA will only avail funds for the projects once the relevant road authorities include the projects in their budgets and request for funding.  Thank you.

Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER, in terms of Standing Order No.64.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ALLOCATION OF VEHICLES TO RAFFINGORA ZRP

          7.   HON. CHOMBO asked  the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage when Raffingora Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in Mashonaland West Province will be allocated  motor vehicles to ease attending to crime scenes.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question. I wish to point out that the inadequacy of vehicles in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is indeed a cause for concern for my ministry and of course the Government.  However, Government is seized with this matter and as soon as funds are available, the allocation of adequate transport fleet for the ZRP will be top most in my ministry’s priority list.  I want to assure the Hon. Member that Raffingora Police Station will be considered for allocation of a motor vehicle as soon as vehicles for the organization are acquired.  I thank you.

REVIEW OF PENSION PAY-OUTS

11.  HON. G. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to state when pension payouts will be reviewed upwards in view of the high costs of living?

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare remains committed to enhancing social security mechanisms, including for pensioners.  It is noteworthy Mr. Speaker Sir that Hon. Members have asked about the pension reviews, especially in the current macro-economic environment.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, pension benefits are indexed to salaries of serving members.  Whenever salaries and allowances of pensionable emoluments of serving members are reviewed, pensions are reviewed by the same percentage.  The ration on monthly pension to pensionable emoluments for members serving in the pensioner’s grade at retirement is maintained.  For that reason, pensions are reviewed simultaneously with the review for serving members.  This means that the next pension review will coincide with the next review of serving members’ entitlements.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, let me also emphasize that the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), recently carried out an actuarial evaluation to ascertain the feasibility of a pension increase. The ministry remains committed to ensuring the well-being of our pensioners.

DISBURSEMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE GRANTS TO CHILDREN OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

          12.  HON. B. DUBE asked the Minister  of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House  as to when the ministry would begin disbursing social welfare grants for children of people with disabilities in order to cater for their school fees?

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare under the Department of Disabled Persons Affairs administers the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17.01) and the Social Welfare Assistance Act (Chapter 17:06) meant to cater for the needs of  persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups respectively.  Persons with disabilities in institutions registered under the Private Voluntary Organizations (PVO) Act (Chapter 17.05) are assisted by the Government through the disbursement of grants as follows;

          Administration grants

          Administrative grants are once off payments made to non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) offering services to persons with disabilities to assist in their daily administrative operations.  The grants are paid out on a yearly basis.  As at 30th September, 2018 a total of $61 215.00 was disbursed to 35 organisations.

          Per capita

          Government also supports persons with disabilities in institutions with per capita grants to cater for the upkeep of inmates in the institution.  The institution is paid $15.00 per inmate per month.  As at 30th September, 2018 a total of $30 502.00 was paid to 11 institutions.

          Allow me to say that strides have been made to ensure that vulnerable children fully enjoy their right to education through the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) which is a social intervention programme that was established as a social safety net that would ensure access to education for vulnerable children.  There is 10% provision of BEAM funds that is set aside officially to cater for school fees for children with disabilities.  In addition, the Department pays vocational training fees for students with disabilities in various training centers.  To date, a total of $179 773 128.00 has been paid to 128 students.  I thank you.

ACCESS TO BASIC SOCIAL SERVICES FOR THE OLD AGED

          16.  HON. G. K. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on measures being taken to ensure that the old age access basic social services free of charge.

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare facilitates access to health, food, income, education and burial services to vulnerable groups who include the elderly and their dependants.  The Ministry has put in place policies and programmes to ensure that vulnerable people can access services without contributing anything.  Currently, the Ministry is implementing the following policies and programmes targeting vulnerable groups:

v Assisted Medical Treatment Order (AMTO) to facilitate access to health and treatment at Government referral and selected mission hospitals;

v Free food under the Food Drought Mitigation Programme;

v Social cash transfers under the Harmonized Social Cash Transfer Programme (HSCT) and Public Assistance Monthly Maintenance Allowances to provide income to ultra poor households who are mainly headed by the elderly;

v Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) for educational assistance to vulnerable children, some of whom are taken care by the elderly;

v Pauper burial services for those who are destitute and have no relatives to bury them;

v Institutional care for those unfortunate elderly who have no shelter.

COMPENSATION TO PENSIONERS

          17.  HON. MADZIMURE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare when the people who lost their pensions due to the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar in 2009 will be compensated.

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  The Commission of Inquiry into the conversion of insurance and pension values from the Zimbabwe dollar to the United States dollar recommended that pensioners and insured persons should be compensated for the lost values based on an appropriate conversion rate.  However, the report did not state the appropriate rate to be applied on compensating the affected persons.  The Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) was then assigned to come up with appropriate conversion rate and are still working on it.  Affected people will be compensated as soon as the appropriate conversion rate is stipulated. 

          Short term benefits (once off payments) beneficiaries who received $25 retirement and $10 survivors’ grants respectively are currently being compensated based on Statutory Instrument 60 of 2011.  Statutory Instrument 60 of 2011 stipulates US$150 as insurable earnings for all Zimbabwe dollar contributions, a figure that was not available in 2009 at cross over to multi-currency.  In that respect, the payouts are being adjusted based on one’s actual contribution period.  These beneficiaries are currently receiving their adjusted payouts from NSSA.

PROTECTION OF PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS

          18.   HON. MADZIMURE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain measures being taken by Government to protect pension contributions being eroded by inflation because of uncertainty surrounding bond notes.

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, NSSA’s policy is to invest more in real assets, which preserve value.  These include properties, listed and unlisted equities.  Of late, NSSA has been allowed to invest offshore in United States dollars of which it has invested $20 million with Afreximbank.

          Its money market investments are restricted to short term to cover immediate needs, which include pension payouts and administration expenses.  Real assets at $1.1 billion constitute 69% of NSSA’s total investments.  $243 million (16%) of NSSA’s assets are in Treasury bills, which earn an average interest rate of 6.25% with maturities ranging from 3 to 10 years.  NSSA’s total investment assets amount to $1.6 billion. 

SOCIAL PROTECTION BENEFITS FOR THE ELDERLY

20.   HON. C. MOYO asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain Government policy regarding social protection benefits for the elderly.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  My Ministry has the mandate to provide social protection to the vulnerable groups including the elderly.  While there have been calls for universal pensions for the elderly, currently a number of social protection programmes that are being implemented by the Ministry are means tested, implying that potential beneficiaries must undergo income and aged based assessments before they are enrolled to receive assistance.  For the elderly, the Ministry is guided by provisions under the Older Persons Act Chapter 17:11 which was gazetted in 2017 as well as the Social Welfare Assistance Act (1988).  Social protection for the elderly and other vulnerable groups is thus treated as a right enshrined in the Constitution of the country.

The elderly who would have contributed to NSSA in terms of the NSSA Act Chapter 17:04 are entitled to retirement benefits when they get to retirement age.  The fund provides members with pension pay-outs on attaining the stipulated retirement age.

55 years     -        early retirement

60 years     -        normal retirement

65 years     -        late retirement

PAYMENT OF 2017/2018 BEAM ALLOCATION

21. HON. CHOMBO asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to state:

a) when the 2017/2018 BEAM allocation will be paid considering that the 2015/2016 allocation was paid on 5th October 2018; and

b) whether there are plans to review the BEAM allocation per school per term.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): BEAM has been receiving limited allocations from the Treasury and disbursements were erratic for the past four years.  In this regard, BEAM is still paying in arrears. The 2017/2018 BEAM arrears will be paid upon release of more funds from the Treasury.

The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has plans to review the BEAM allocation per school per term.  However, this will only be achieved upon reviewing upwards BEAM budget allocation from the Treasury.

DISABLED PEOPLE ALLOWANCES

22.   HON MUGIDHO asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain why the allowances to people with disability were stopped and when payments will resume.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  These allowances have not stopped.  However, the Ministry has adopted the harmonised cash transfer system which will see beneficiaries receiving these allowances by way of cash transfer.  Further, in those districts where the harmonised cash transfer system has not yet been upgraded, beneficiaries will receive these allowances in cash.

Beneficiaries have however experienced delays and intermittent payments due to a system upgrade with the banks.

LOANS AND BEAM SUPPORT FOR THE DISABLED

23.   HON MUGIDHO asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to advise whether the Ministry could facilitate access to loans and BEAM support by persons with disability.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): Persons with disabilities can access loans and BEAM support.  My Ministry has a facility for loan applications meant for empowering persons with disabilities.  The revolving fund can pay a maximum of $1 000.00 for a project upon application.  This year, the Ministry has allocated to beneficiaries of this facility and so far at least $7 000.00 of the revolving fund has been allocated to eligible applicants.

Furthermore, children with disabilities are eligible for BEAM.  All special schools have candidates under BEAM.  In the past, a certain percentage of the BEAM allocation was set aside for persons with disabilities.  However, Government has since reviewed this criterion since it meant that some persons with disabilities may be left out if the percentage allocated to them has been exhausted.  As such, the eligibility criterion is that any vulnerable child will benefit, children with disabilities included. 

STATUS OF SALARY ARREARS FOR NRZ WORKERS

24.   HON. B. DUBE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to update the House on the current status of salary

arrears of workers at NRZ and when the salary arrears will be settled. 

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): From our investigation and engagement with the parties at NRZ (management and workers), a number of challenges were noted to be contributing to the failure by the NRZ to meet its obligations and these include;

i.                   obsolete machinery which also causes danger to employees,

ii.                low production,

iii.             lack of recapitalisation and working capital, and

iv.             competition from transport, haulage trucks, etc.

Mr. Speaker, as a Ministry, we have established that NRZ has

instituted a number of measures to improve its viability and also its competitiveness. There is hope therefore that these measures will enable the parastatal to meet its obligations. It is our understanding that NRZ has reduced its staff through retrenchments in an effort to reduce the wage burden and thereby improve viability. Accordingly, at present the number of employees is now in excess of 4 500 nationwide.

          The parastatal has also made efforts to meet current salary obligations. In that regard, NRZ is paying between 80% and 90% of the monthly salaries. As a Government, we expect them to do better than this. We have also established that salary arrears at NRZ are lagging behind by 16 months. The Ministry facilitated negotiations in that regard at the National Employment Council through a meeting held on 23

September, 2018. The idea was for parties to agree on a payment plan that is mutually acceptable to the parties. However, there was a deadlock and the employees resorted to the courts.

          The Ministry will continue to engage the parties to find a mutually agreed roadmap on the payment of salary arrears. The Ministry has urged NRZ to open communication lines and within the auspices of the NEC, parties will be engaged to enter into a payment plan so as to clear the arrears.

          The Ministry would want to advise that it is in the best interest of business, labour and Government that all stakeholders play their role by negotiating in good faith and adhering to their collective bargaining agreements. Parts should utilise social dialogue and increase information sharing so that employers are adequately and correctly informed.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, as a Ministry, we will continue engaging NRZ with a view to:

i.                   open up lines of communication with employees so that confidence

and trust are created between the parties.

ii.                to enter into a payment plan with employees so as to clear backlog

in outstanding salaries.

TABLING OF THE 2017/18 ZIMVAC REPORT

25. HON. MPARIWA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House when the 2017/2018 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment (ZimVAC) Report will be tabled in Parliament.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): Hon. Member, please be advised that my Ministry was advised by the office of the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet in a correspondence dated 9th July 2018, that the Rural Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee Report was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Food Security and Nutrition and the full Cabinet.  My Ministry was therefore given authority basing on the report to engage with the donor community so as to ensure that assistance to vulnerable households can be availed with the urgency it required.

The House will be informed on when the ZimVAC Report will be tabled in Parliament after my Ministry engages the Cabinet Committee on Food Security and Nutrition. 

WORST AFFECTED AREAS IN TERMS OF FOOD DEFICIT

26.   HON. MPARIWA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to state the worst affected areas by district and province in terms of food deficit and access to clean water and measures being taken to alleviate these challenges.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Hon. Member, please note that according to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC), rural food insecurity in Zimbabwe for the 2018/19 consumption year is worse when compared to the previous year.  In addition, kindly note that between October and December 2018, the food insecurity prevalence rate is expected to be 20% and during the peak hunger period between January and March 2019, 28% of the rural population (approximately 2.4 million people) will need food assistance.  This has increased from 11% that was recorded last season.  The worst affected provinces with the highest food insecurity levels are Matabeleland North (36), Masvingo (34%) and Matabeleland South (30%).

Hardest hit districts during the peak hunger period between January - March 2019.

Rank

District

ZimVAC Proportion of households%

Oct-Dec 2018

Food insecure households Jan -

Mar 2018

Grain required/month (mt)

Total grain requirement for Jan-Mar 2019

1

Mudzi

57 

18,988

949.40

2,848.20

2

Buhera

55

33,808

1,690.40

5,071.20

3

Binga

50

17,387

869.35

2,608.05

4

Umguza

48

10,762

538.10

1,614.30

5

Gokwe North

47

28,241

1,412.05

4,236.15

6

Rushinga

46

8,515

425.75

1,277.25

7

Bikita

44

17,859

892.95

2,678.85

8

Tsholotsho

43

12,375

618.75

1,856.25

9

Mangwe

43

7,118

355.90

1,067.70

10

UMP

42

11,824

509.20

1,773.60

11

Bulilima

42

9,509

475.45

1,426.35

12

Nkayi

39

10,641

532.05

1,596.15

13

Masvingo

38

20,066

1,003.30

3,009.90

14

Chiredzi

38

26,197

1,309.85

3,929.55

15

Mwenezi

37

15,447

772.35

2,317.05

16

Mutoko

36

13,151

657.55

1,972.65

17

Kariba

36

3,723

186.15

558.45

18

Lupane

34

8,514

425.70

1,277.10

19

Mutare

32

20,970

1,048.50

3,145.50

20

Nyanga

32

10,160

508.00

1,524.00

21

Zaka

30

13,598

679.90

2,039.70

22

Mvuma

30

6,026

301.30

903.90

23

Gutu

28

14,216

710.80

2,132.40

24

Beitbridge

28

5,606

280.30

840.90

25

Zvishavane

28

5,076

253.80

761.40

Source: Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

My Ministry will commence re-targeting of illegible food insecure households basing on the results of the ZimVAC Report of 2018 and food distribution will follow thereafter.  May the House be informed that each household will get a 50kg bag of grain each month.  My Ministry also works with development partners which compliment Government efforts.

With regards to provision of clean water, may I refer the House to the responsible Ministry?

DOMESTICATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

27.   HON. MPARIWA asked the Minister of Public Service,

Labour and Social Welfare to explain the delays in the domestication of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and to state when a Bill will be brought before Parliament.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe is a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which the country ratified on 23 September, 2013. The process of domestication commenced with the review of the current legislation that govern issues pertaining to Persons with Disabilities. In this regard, Government has taken steps to amend the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17:01) to incorporated provisions of the UNCRPD.

In 2017, the principles to amend the Disabled Persons Act and domesticate the UNCRPD were submitted and approved by Cabinet. Subsequently, my Ministry instructed the Attorney General’s office to draft the Bill. Ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections however, Parliament dissolved as such with the reconvening of the 9th Parliamentary Session, the principles now require and await approval by Cabinet. Upon approval of the principles by Cabinet, my Ministry will ensure that relevant stakeholders are informed and will expedite the submission of a draft Bill in Parliament.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

WHEREABOUTS OF ITAI DZAMARA

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  An oral question was asked and request was put forward for the Minister of Home Affairs to make a Ministerial Statement on the whereabouts of Itai Dzamara and what the Ministry is doing to find him.

The response is, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has been investigating the disappearance of Itai Dzamara since the 9th March 2015.  Justice David Mangota issued an Order, HC 2211/15 on 13th March, 2015 directing the Zimbabwe Republic Police to submit fortnightly reports on the progress of investigations to the Registrar of the High Court.  These updates are still being sent to the High Court of Zimbabwe by Police General Headquarters (Legal Services Department), through the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office and to date, 93 updates have been forwarded.

My Ministry is aware that during on-going investigations, some individuals and civic organisations have proffered various allegations which have been investigated by police and sister organisations but no leads have been established.  The Zimbabwe Republic Police, through the Press and Public Relations Department, has appealed for information that may lead to the location of Itai Dzamara through press statements broadcast on all the print and electronic media houses in the country.  A reward of US$10 000 which has been offered by the police to anyone who supplies information which may lead to the arrest of the suspects involved in the alleged disappearance of Dzamara or to his location still stands.  Police are still conducting investigations.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MATIZA), the House adjourned at Eleven Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 21 NOVEMBER 2018 VOL 45 NO 20