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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 FEBRUARY 2017 VOL 43 NO 39

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege Section 69 of the Standing Rules and Orders….

          THE HON. ACTING SPEAKER (MR. MARUMAHOKO):  Hon. Nduna, may you approach the Chair.

          Hon. Nduna approached the Chair.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, after having conferred with you and you gave me authority to continue; Mr. Speaker, yesterday we debated the report on Defence and Home Affairs.  The way it abruptly ended, I seek your guidance on how we should go forward so that we can get the responses to the contents of the report which them are very pertinent.  I seek your indulgence and your guidance on how the report is going to be responded to, in particular about the birth certificates, identification cards and the registration certificates.  I thank you. 

          THE HON. ACTING SPEAKER:  The mover of the motion shall restore it on the Order Paper.

          HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I rise to congratulate His Excellency for turning 93 and we certainly wish him good health – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] 

          HON. CHIBAYA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much. According to Section 68 (d), today is a Wednesday but as you can see, we have only two Hon. Ministers. These are Hon. Dr. Made and Hon. Bimha and one Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  We have got questions from our constituencies and as you can see, the front bench is empty; there is nobody to ask questions.  We have raised this issue on several times and no action has been taken.  I thank you.

          THE HON. ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order, this has been said over and over again.  The Speaker has taken action; I am sure he has alluded to that.  I will brief him on his return that this has continued again.  For now, we have three Ministers and – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order.  On my left, I am saying order.  Behave like Hon. Members. 

          HON. MUNENGAMI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I stand to be guided Hon. Speaker.  Yesterday, you gave a ruling regarding a specific point of order which had been raised by an Hon. Member and your ruling was final.  Unfortunately today, another Hon. Member has made the same point of order which you made a ruling on the previous day.  What is surprising to us Hon. Speaker, is whether that ruling which you made yesterday has been superseded by this other point of order?  If you can help us in making a ruling on whether what you said yesterday – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Ange asipo.] -  Hon. Speaker, we need to be guided on this one.  If I can just remind you that the ruling was on the issue of a congratulatory message to Mr. Mugabe.  Thank you Hon. Speaker. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, the member who stood yesterday on the same issue wanted to debate, then I said you can only put it on the Order Paper and the debate would be allowed.  I made the ruling myself and I am saying what transpired yesterday. 

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I have a point of order.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order Hon. Member?

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker. I seek your indulgence on the issue of attendance of Ministers.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, before you proceed, maybe it is the same thing that you want to …

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  No, it is a different thing.  Hon. Speaker, I wanted to say you have made a ruling that the Hon. Speaker will come and make a ruling when he comes back. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Just a moment.  It is the same thing, so I need to respond to that before you talk.  Resume your seat.  I have apologies from Hon. Zhanda, Hon. Prof. Moyo, Hon. Hlongwane and Hon. Nyoni.  I am sure we have got some Ministers who have come in now and you may proceed with Questions Without Notice.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, you had actually ordered me to sit down so that you respond and then I would stand up.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  You were talking about Ministers.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Yes.  I am still talking about Ministers.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  We have got enough Ministers to answer questions.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, we have a Cabinet of around 40 Ministers and we are only seeing about three Ministers.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Some are on their way coming.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  My point of order still stands.  My view Hon. Speaker is that as much as we are still waiting for the so-called letter that you are writing to the President, what is happening is that it is either the Executive is contemptuous of Parliament, contemptuous of the people of Zimbabwe or else, it is simply a sign that ZANU PF does not want to account to the people of this country.  If we can continue each and every week having Ministers failing to come to appear before Parliament when the same Ministers are actually utilising taxpayers’ money, I think it is better for us to come out into the open and tell the people of Zimbabwe that ZANU PF has become a rule unto itself and a country unto itself.  It is not accountable to the people at all and that it has entirely failed to rule this country.  Thank you Hon. Speaker. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order.  Hon. Member, your issue has been noted. 

          HON. HOLDER:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question was supposed to be directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Since the Leader of the House is here, I am sure he can respond to this question.  Mr. Speaker, the preamble of the Constitution says “We acknowledge the supremacy of the almighty God.”  The question is, in our schools in the new curriculum, there is no scripture union that is being done in the schools right now.  Is Islam being imposed upon us?  Can the Leader of the House please explain to this House on the new curriculum that is being imposed on the kids that have grown up in a Christian manner?

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am certain that the Hon. Member has correctly quoted the Constitution accepting the supremacy of the almighty.  With regard to curricula in schools, it is the duty of the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  He is better advised to put his question in writing so that the Minister responsible for these curricula will be able to deal with specific areas of the curriculum which he is not happy with.  You cannot expect me at policy level to decide on which part of the curriculum is good or bad.  I thank you.

          HON. KHUPE:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House, Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa.  The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, together with political parties agreed that the biometric voter registration kits procurement was going to be done through UNDP so that there is transparency, openness and scrutiny.  According to media reports, Government has said it is going to be responsible for the procurement.  This is a serious assault on the independence of ZEC.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we are all looking forward to a free, fair and credible election and that can only be realised when processes such as biometric voter registration are done in an open and transparent manner.  Why is it that Government has now reneged on the agreement by ZEC and political parties that the biometric voter registration kits procurement is going to be done through UNDP. 

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  All the current existing political parties which participated in the issue of migrating from manual voting to biometric are agreed that we should go biometric.  That is not an issue.  The second issue is, who is going to buy the equipment?  The Government of Zimbabwe has agreed to provide the US$17 million required to buy that equipment.  The question of specifications as to what type of gadgets are going to be bought is technical.  The Government of Zimbabwe is not involved.  It is ZEC with its own technical experts identifying equipment and there are so many companies that have come forward, who are offering specifications that have been put forward. 

So, it is not true that the Government of Zimbabwe is itself run; it has advanced $17 million to ZEC to acquire.  I think every single Zimbabwean who is patriotic will feel proud that we are totally independent in finding resources to acquire equipment for ourselves rather than getting it from some other sources.  We are all concerned with the issue of a fair, transparent general elections and would want to achieve that.  This is why as political parties, we have all agreed to go biometric.  I thank you.

HON. HOLDER:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  The first question that I have asked to the Leader of the House, the Minister responsible is now here.  Could I please repeat that so that it can be responded to?

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order please. Hon. Holder, I think the Leader of the House who is our Vice President has said, you have to put it in writing so that the Minister will do adequate research and give you adequate response.  Of course, he was not here but he found it advisable for you to put it in writing.

*HON. CHAMISA:  My supplementary question to the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa is, we have heard what you told us on the fact that Government is only coming in to assist in terms of funds on the procurement that was supposed to be done by UNDP.  My question is, why is it that Government seems to be backtracking, yet it was agreed that the UN, through the UNDP, would procure the biometric machines.  This is emanating from the fact that our elections are marred by a lot of conflict because there are some interruptions that happened.  What I want to know is, why is it that we have changed or backtracked from the original plan.  Will this biometric system be used only for registration or it can also be used during the voting system because we have heard that it can only be used for registration and when people cast their votes, that system will not be used.  We want you to enlighten the nation on what will happen.  I am sure you are aware of what happened in Gambia.  We do not want such conflicts.  I thank you. 

*HON. MNANGAGWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I have clearly heard the question that has come from Hon. Pastor Nelson Chamisa, the Vice President of the Opposition.  We have not cut communication ties with UNDP.  We have a lot of support that they give in terms of capacity building and that has not been cancelled.  It is not only UN but also the EU countries and other bi-lateral organisations.  Instead of each organisation or country coming forward, they have a basket fund that is used through UNDP.  They dictate to us on what they want us to do and we will have requested what we want them to do.  Probably, it can be capacity building like ICT.  We have agreed on that note and capacity building will continue. 

Hon. Chamisa, my will is that there be no conflict and unfairness during the elections, hence we have requested ZEC as an independent organisation to engage political parties before we get to the elections so that they address issues raised by various political parties.  All those who want to be candidates should be given the opportunity to air their concerns so that when we get to the elections, all of us are convinced and happy with the process.  That is what is currently happening.  We agreed before with the political parties although some were not yet in existence but I know Hon. Chamisa’s Party was already in existence and we agreed we now want to adopt the biometric system.

As the Leader of the House, I do not understand some of these things but the young ones will understand it.  Some of us have come of age but when you explain to us, we accepted some of these things.  If there are certain things that you think are not in order, raise those concerns with ZEC because they will address those issues.  As Government, we have agreed that ZEC should take the lead as an independent commission.  That is what I can say Hon. Pastor – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order.  Yes, I hear you.  You cannot always shout supplementary, supplementary.

HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I had kindly asked the Hon. Vice President whether it is going to be full throttle biometric voter registration and voting or it is just going to be biometric voter registration in part without the biometric voting process because that has been the indication.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  But that is another question.

HON. CHAMISA:  It was the same question, but in two parts.

*THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Hon. Chamisa has forgotten that we agreed that we need  biometric voter registration.  We never said it would not go full throttle.  We agreed that the biometric system would be used in coming up with a Voters Roll up until the actual voting.  So, the division that he is making is something else.  He should go and seek enlightenment from ZEC.

We agreed as parties as to what we want, but if he has a spirit behind him, he should tell us that the spirit of legion is upon him – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING  SPEAKER:  Order, order please.

*HON. MNANGAGWA:  I was only joking with him,  I know he is a pastor.  If I was not in agreement with you, I would not say such words.

*HON. MUNENGAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question to the Vice President is, we heard the words that you have explained to us.  Our country, in terms of finances, is not doing well and we have now got a partner who wants to come in and assist.  We have challenges in hospitals because we are unable to remunerate doctors who are on strike.  On 20th February, there is a woman called Caroline Dube who passed away. 

Why is it that when we have got a partner or a funder who wants to assist us in this process, we are now backtracking and taking the money that we could have used to resuscitate and equip our hospitals to fund the electoral system?  What is it that has caused us to forget about all of these challenges that we have and decide to take over the process of acquiring the biometric machines on our own?

*HON. MNANGAGWA:  Mr. Speaker, as Government, I think we have explained that we have not cut our relationship with the UNDP or partnership.  All the monies that come in through UNDP are channeled to other sectors where we do not have the funds, but there are certain things that, as the owners of the nation, we should take care of and as Government, we felt that it is our duty to find funds for acquiring the machines.  What surprises me is that you are against the fact that we need to take ownership of some of these processes.

UNDP is assisting.  They do not come here to assist in everything.  There are things that they are assisting with.  Ask the Minister of Health and Child Care who will give you the money that is being brought in through UNDP to assist the health sector.  I thank you.

*HON. ZVIZWAI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The whole country is aware of the fact that Zimbabwe is in partnership with the EU on three issues; on working with ZEC, the issue of capacity building that you talked about, as well as voter education and voter registration.  As we journey along, ZEC and the partners are now in the process of voter registration. 

ZEC in partnership with the European Union flighted an advertisement in the press that they are now procuring BVR kits.  The statement was made by ZEC.  The first thing they did was, they advertised. Secondly, they opened tenders and then thirdly, they short listed vendors.  Under the short-listing system, the Government then backtracked and said no, we do not want you to do that.  We are going to do the procurement on our own.  You are aware of the fact that our elections are marked with unfairness and conflict.  What has caused the Government to backtrack on this partnership?  What has made you ensure that the partners do not procure the BVR? 

The letter is available.  You had already been appointed.  For now, let us leave the letter issue because I will bring it.  My question, Hon. Speaker is, why is the Government now taking over from ZEC?  Will ZEC maintain its independence when the Government is taking over?  Why can ZEC not complete the process as we agreed so that it is not under any Ministry or Government and that it remains an independent institution as we agreed? 

HON. MNANGAGWA:  Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member is forgetting that ZEC was not constituted by the EU or UNDP.  It was established through the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  ZEC is funded by Government.  In the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act, we have a provision which says, where they want to have partnership or access to foreign assistance, they must clear.  It is not the other way round.  Our money from Treasury does not at anytime, go into the European basket or UNDP basket.  That is false.  We support and finance ZEC ourselves. 

In areas where we feel we have no capacity, we allow them to cooperate with partners to be assisted but only, after clearance, in terms of the law which sets up ZEC.  So, there is no question of ZEC belonging or having been formed by an outside entity other than the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the laws passed by this honourable House.  I thank you.

          HON. ZEMURA: My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce.  SADC launched the Industrialisation Strategy in Harare two years ago so, have there been any achievements?  Thank you Sir.

          THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. BIMHA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Let me preface my remarks by indicating that for a long time, SADC was focusing on the opening of markets.  The discussions and negotiations at SADC level were more to do with countries opening up.  There was a realisation by members within SADC that we cannot continue to talk about trade until we address the issue of production in that, we need to produce and after producing, we can then engage in discussing issues of trade.  Obviously, there were members within SADC who were at an advanced stage in terms of industrialistion. 

So, the hitherto dispensation fitted them very well, but for countries like Zimbabwe who still have a long way to go, in terms of  industrialisation, it was then decided at the summit in Victoria Falls that we should now frontload our discussions in terms of industrialisation.  Therefore, we had the opportunity as a country to host the discussions towards coming up with an industrialisation strategy and roadmap.  We utilised consultancy in the member States and finally, the Heads of State and Government in their wisdom approved the industrialisation strategy and roadmap.  That was in 2015.  What is now happening Mr. Speaker Sir, is that, we are working on a costed action plan which I would like to believe will be presented to the next summit, which is next month in Swaziland.  After that, I think we should be in a position to avail the information on the implementation matrix.  I would like to thank you.

*HON. MARIDADI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  The response that was given by the Hon. Vice President concerning BVR; I reaslised that as he was responding to Hon. Zwizwai, there was already conflict.  So, I was thinking that for the conflict to come to end, I was requesting the Hon. Vice President gives us a Ministerial Statement on the BVR for us to understand what is happening so that when we get to the elections, everyone will be in the picture of what will be happening.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member is saying that there is potential and possibility of disputes and I do not dispute that.  The interest of ZANU PF, the interest of any political party – MDC-T, MDC-N, People First, people second; all those political parties who will be involved and registered to participate in the next general election, I think that, it is necessary and indeed a desire by all these political parties that we run a peaceful, transparent, fair, clean and credible election.  To do so, we have set a platform where all the political parties who are participating in the general election discuss with ZEC and put forward their concerns so that everything should be ironed out before the election comes.  That is what is there.

The Hon. Member says I must make a Ministerial Statement to repeat what I am saying; I determine where a Ministerial Statement is to be made.

HON. MARIDADI:  Hon. Speaker, this issue is very important and we cannot leave it to be determined by one person, the Hon. Vice President.  This is an issue emanating from the Constitution and the Hon. Vice President does not hold sway to determine whether or not he should give the Ministerial Statement.  This Ministerial Statement, we demand it according to the Constitution and it must come from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  We demand that this Ministerial Statement is issued by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development because it is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development which wants to put money into ZEC and not the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  So this Ministerial Statement should come from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and should be done as soon as possible because this is a Constitutional issue.  Thank you.

          HON. E.D. MNANGAGWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, since the Hon. Member is stating that this is a constitutional issue, we are so pleased that you make your application quoting the Section of the Constitution which requires the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to make a Statement on this issue in Parliament.

          *HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Hon. Made.  Since Zimbabwe this year seems to be better placed in terms of food security, may you enlighten this House what preparations you have done in terms of dryers and the issue of procuring maize as well as the silos to store yields for this year.

          *HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, I think the Hon. Member is misleading the House.  Zimbabwe is not better placed in terms of food security but you should not lie that we are expecting a bumper harvest.  As it is we are actually experiencing hunger.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order including the Vice President of MDC.

          *THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Mapiki for the question he raised.  Firstly, in terms of the silos where we keep our maize, our silos are in three phases.  There are silos that we built using concrete whereby we store maize.  We then have the sheds.

          On the concrete built silos, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is in the process of ensuring that those silos do not have leakages and no moisture can affect the produce.  There are machines that are there to ensure that the maize remains safe in those silos.  So, the Government has taken action to ensure that those silos are well maintained.  Secondly, we have companies, mostly the millers who buy maize from GMB.  Some of them have promised that they want to work with GMB to ensure that our silos are adequately maintained.

          In terms of buying maize from the farmers, what is important is that every farmer who is going to sell his/her produce to GMB should have a bank account.  Once he delivers his maize to GMB, his money is transferred into his account.  We want also to open up satellite points that will enable farmers to access the GMB than travelling long distances to take their produce to GMB.  I thank you.

The Acting Speaker having recognised Hon. T. Khumalo.

          *HON. NDUNA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  I was of the opinion that since the person who posed the question has a supplementary, he should be given a chance to ask his question, then Hon. Khumalo will ask later.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Hon. Member who posed the question do you have a supplementary? I am sorry I did not notice that.

          HON. P. D SIBANDA: On a point of order.  Inasmuch as I appreciate the intervention by Hon. Nduna, my fear is that if we continue to be correcting and training you in this House, I think in the eyes of the public, even the international community will be reducing the integrity and the value of the Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Tshuma.  Please resume your seat.  Hon. Sibanda, with due respect, I had not seen him standing up but other Hon. Members had recognised that he was standing up.  So, there is nothing amiss there.

          *HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary question is that I need clarity on the funding to buy maize from the farmers.  Is there a fund that has been put aside to buy the small grains because they are in abundance where we come from.

          *HON. DR. MADE: I would like to thank Hon. Mapiki.  When we buy maize from the farmers, we will be buying small grains as well.  The price will be the same as the previous season, which US$390 per metric tonne.

          HON. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary is on the safety of our maize.  If anything is to go by…

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I realise that others posed supplementary questions and we were regressing, going back to issues that had already passed.  There is something that happened in this House which is of concern to me.  Hon. Munengami spoke in this House yesterday and complained about the happy birthday message to President Mugabe.  He called him ‘Mr’.  He cannot call the President Mr.  He needs to correct that.  When he said that, the whole country was listening to what he said.  He needs to respect the President.  Is that what we can term respect?

          The Opposition of this nation should be taught to respect and honour the President of the nation because he is the one who enabled you to be where you are.  He respected you to be in this House.  Today you are called Hon. Members – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  you want to be called honourable but you fail to say President, aah munoti muri vanhu?

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Matambanadzo, handina kuziva kuti nhingi yenyu yapinda nepapi but anyway, ndakunzwai, it is alright.

HON. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is directed to Hon. Minister Made.  If the media is anything to go by, we are being told that maize is the food for cattle.  How safe is our maize for consumption as human beings?  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTUTRE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): I want to thank the Hon. Member for seeking that clarification.  I think we all know that in reference to certain parts of the country, it is very valid that; indeed, small grains are more suitable in certain areas, but we also know that historically, maize is an introduced crop into our environment. In the development of that grain, certainly, there are certain varieties that are also developed for purposes of livestock.  So, there is nothing that is wrong in that particular clarification from a plant physiology point of view.  Thank you –

Hon. Mliswa having stood up to give a point of order.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, if we continue with these points of order, then you have no time to ask questions.  The Ministers are here now, you have been complaining that there were no Ministers in the House, they are here but you continue.  Why do you do that?  That is the last one Hon. Mliswa.

HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think as Members of Parliament, we should take this House seriously.  Some of us have no time to involve ourselves in party or factional politics, we represent our constituents.  We come here to ask questions relating to the development of our constituencies.  What I am trying to say here Mr. Speaker is that, you have a list which I referred to last week that you are being given a list.  I do not belong to any party and they both have factions, and the list involve factionalism and I have no faction.  So I also wanted to give you a list of independent Hon. Members so that you can also recognise me – [HON. KHUMALO: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order.  Hon. Mliswa, you have made your point – [HON. MLISWA: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, Order please.

Hon. Mliswa having been shouting at other Hon. Members was sent out of the House by the Acting Speaker and escorted out by the Sergeant At-Arms.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, let us maintain order in this Chamber please.  If you continue making noise you will follow Hon. Mliswa outside.

HON. D. SIBANDA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  With due respect, this session is live on television.  Zimbabweans are watching, they want to listen to what their Members of Parliament are asking Ministers so that they respond on issues affecting them out there.  Let us respect the people out there who are watching this programme.  I am pleading with Hon. Members of Parliament so that we take this session seriously.  Thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Your point of order is sustained.  Hon. Members, the nation is watching you, you represent various constituencies here, your behaviour will take you to your constituents, they are watching you.  Everyone here is mature, why do you not behave honourably.  You waste your time and at the end you only ask four questions yet when you come here you want all the Ministers to be present to listen to your noise.  Is that what they should be happy for?

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Mr. Speaker, you acknowledged me when I stood up.  You acknowledged that I must present. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  To which Minister?

           HON. MUTSEYAMI:  To Hon. Minister Made.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  You can carry on. 

          *HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary question is directed to Hon. Minister Made.  I understood what you said concerning the procurement of maize by GMB.  You mentioned that people will be receiving their money and it will be deposited into their bank accounts.  In the rural areas, there are farmers without bank accounts and there are challenges for some of them, especially those in Chipinge to go and open an account.  They need transport to go and open an account in Checheche or Chipinge.  Hon. Minister, we faced challenges during the sale of tobacco because farmers were being charged commission by those people who have bank accounts.  What measures have you put in place to make sure that those without accounts are able to get their money in full and are not robbed by those who have bank accounts?  Thank you. 

          *HON. DR. MADE:  I want to thank the Hon. Member for asking this pertinent question that has given me a chance to enlighten this House.  Firstly, I want to agree that to farmers who will have started farming, it is difficult for them.  What we will do when it comes to tobacco and cotton is, we will look into that issue to assist our farmers.  The advantage of opening an account is that the farmer will not have to wait for two or three weeks before they get paid.  We would want them to access their money easily.  We want to deposit their money into their bank accounts.  So, we will consider the issue that he has raised to ensure that we improve the ease of doing business for our farmers so that they do not use middlemen’s accounts. I thank you. 

          *HON. PHIRI:  I will direct my question to the Leader of the House, Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa.  Is there a new vision in Government in terms of investment for parastatals, such as glass companies, dairy …

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Mliswa, when the Chair rules that you go out, I mean you go out and remain out.

HON. MLISWA:  That is not what the Serjeant-At-Arms has said – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  No, no, no. Can you go out.

          *HON. PHIRI:  I was saying, since my question touches on a number of companies that fall under various Ministries, I will direct my question to the Leader of the House.  Is there a new vision in Government as regards investment for parastatals that have closed because what is happening in these companies, it appears that there is disinvestment?  What is happening in these organisations is that there is asset stripping.  Most of the machinery is now being used as scrap.  I will give an example of Kadoma.  There is a glass company in Kadoma, which falls under IDC and is now selling equipment, machinery at Cold Storage Commission and DMB are being sold.  What is the new Government policy?

          HON. SITHOLE:  On a point of order.  The Hon. Member is improperly dressed.  He is wearing a track bottom in Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I do not see anything wrong with his dressing.

          *HON. PHIRI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  If you have a nationalistic question, those that are not nationalistic would want to disqualify you from asking the question.  I have said we have a glass company which falls under IDC and is now selling machinery and we have the Cold Storage Commission, they are selling machinery and the equipment as scrap.  The GMB are selling the bulk tanks that are in Kadoma.  Is there a new Government policy as regards these parastatals that are now selling machinery?

*THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, we have not come up with a new policy in Government as regards investors that can help us prop up our economy.  We have sent up pleas to new investors to come in various sectors and at the moment, we have not heard any response in that regard.  The asset stripping that has been made reference to, for me to be aware of it, I would not know.  I cannot be responsible for guarding these drums.  It would be a good thing if there are any anomalies that written submissions be made indicating the particular parastatal and the Minister responsible will attend.

Hon. Bimha, the relevant Minister is here.  Hon. Made, under whose purview GMB runs under, is hearing the news that assets are being stripped.  It is not good and it cannot be condoned at all that parastatals are asset stripping.  That should be submitted in writing so  that the police can arrest the thieves.

*HON. CHIBAYA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  I wanted to ask my question to the Minister of Health but in his absence, I will direct it to the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa.  People are crying in our Government hospitals over the issue of our doctors.  Private doctors are for the affluent, our ordinary constituents in Gweru and Mkoba have access to Government hospitals.  Doctors are on strike, what measures have you put in place, Hon. Vice President to put an end to the issue of our doctors who are now on strike so that they can go and carry out their duties and that our members whom we represent have medical access.

*THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member said it very well that the doctors are now on strike.  He did not say that they have been sent on strike by Government; they have gone on strike on their own volition.  Discussions are ongoing with those workers who are on strike.  They have grievances which they would want Government to address.  Yesterday, we were in Cabinet and we heard their grievances and some of them have been attended to but others are still outstanding.  They are still in the middle of coming up with a solution.  Myself, all those that are in the august House and all our citizens wish that our doctors be in our hospitals and attend to those that are ill.  As Government, we will do everything possible to ensure that their genuine grievances are looked into and addressed.  I thank you.

*HON. CHIBAYA:  Hon. Vice President, my question is, as you are undertaking these discussions with our doctors, nature cannot wait for a person to fall sick. I did not say that as Government, you sent them on strike but I said, as Government, what measures have you taken to address the short term problems.  How are the patients going to be assisted whilst you are having your discussion?  I thank you.

*HON. MNANGAGWA:  Indeed Hon. Speaker, when one falls ill, those that are qualified to treat are the ones who treat.  The ones that are qualified to treat patients are doctors who are on strike.  We are discussing with the doctors, urging them to come back to work.  We have had several doctors that have come from various areas that have come to assist.  I did say as Government, we are concerned because a person falls ill any time and they require assistance only to find out that doctors are on strike.  It is our wish that our doctors go back to work.  The doctors are saying they are interested in working but they would want their grievances addressed.

In our negotiations with them, we informed them what we are capable of doing.  In the mean time as we are negotiating, people fall ill; it is a problem we are facing as Government.  That is why we are doing everything possible to ensure that the doctors go back to work.  We would envisage a situation where they would resume their duties while we address their grievances because this is an issue that cuts across the entire nation.  Those that are in the rural and those in the urban, those that have money and those that do not have, it is our wish that the strike be quickly resolved so they can go back to work.

Some assistance has come from the Army and from the Prisons and Correctional Services to assist in Government hospitals whilst these ones are on strike to alleviate this problem. 

HON. HOLDER:  To the Leader of the House, when you had Cabinet yesterday, you were updated about the plight of what is happening in the Health department.  When you were being updated about the plight, did any story come up about the medical aid, PSMAS that does not work in any of our institutions.  We are contributing religiously but they are not accepted and we are still paying cash.  Can we be updated on that?

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Holder, that is a different question from the original question and you may ask it as a separate question on its own.

*HON. P. D. SIBANDA:   The Vice President has said they are taking measures to redress the issue.  The problem of doctors has been ongoing for the past two decades when you have been ruling and ruling and ruling and going outside the country to get your own treatment.  Hon. Minister of the lion totem, what has caused the Government to fail to resolve this problem that is affecting millions of Zimbabweans, but not you the affluent leaders who go outside for medical attention.  Why have you failed through the years to resolve the issue of these doctors which dates back to 2004?  I thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Hon. Minister, before our advent, the doctors were there.  Whenever they were dissatisfied, they would be on strike and issues would then be resolved.  We came and took over and doctors go on strike and up to today, we are still resolving issues after they would have gone on strike.  I thank you.

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

HON. HOLDER:  Mr. Speaker, I wish to extend question time.

HON. MUNENGAMI:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir in terms of Order No. 69 (d).  We made a request through this House for clarity on the issuance of rice by the Hon. Minister Mupfumira.  We requested that we be given a list of the Hon. Members who have been recipients to the allocations of the 3000 tonnes of rice and the Hon. Speaker Adv. Mudenda, agreed to that effect that the Hon. Minister would come to do the presentation of the allocations of the rice of the beneficiaries. 

There was an argument in terms of the allocation of the rice which was taking place across the country.  It was cutting along this issue of political factions whereby there was this allegation that the G40 faction was benefiting more in terms of the rice allocation as compared to Lacoste and the MDC was the worst affected, though it was now encroaching to the Hon. Members of Parliament of ZANU-PF

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Honourable, what is your point of order then?

HON. MUNENGAMI:  My request is for the statement to that effect where the Speaker accepted that, that presentation would be done by the Hon. Minister regarding the presentation of the rice which was done.  It is almost two months now and I am not sure whether it is a challenge just to get that list from these 270 Hon. Members of Parliament.  Is that a challenge to a Minister with Principal Directors, Permanent Secretary, a Deputy Minister, Aids and so forth?

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker Sir, a request was made for a Ministerial Statement on the distribution of food.  I do not know whether the Hon. Member was in the House or not, but a full Ministerial Statement was given to that effect – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

Just for the information, Mr. Speaker Sir, of the Hon. Member, just in case he was not here.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order at the back.

HON. MUPFUMIRA:  The issue of rice is very clear.  We distributed 1 750 tonnes of rice to the rural provinces and they were supposed to be distributed to all constituencies through the Drought Relief Committee, not my Ministry and this was done to the constituencies through the Provincial Governors.

However, Mr. Speaker Sir, for your information and the information of the Hon. Members, it is not Government policy for the Hon. Members of Parliament, whatever party affiliation they belong to, to distribute.  The distribution is done by Government through Social Welfare.  I will insist that we will not give to individual Members of Parliament.  They go through Social Welfare, through the Provincial Administrator’s office.  So, I would ask the Hon. Members to find out from their provincial administration where the rice has gone to.  It has gone to people.  It is not coming to any Member of Parliament, whether it is ZANU PF or MDC.  It has to go through the official structures.

Mr. Speaker Sir, a statement was issued and I am just reiterating just in case he missed out.  I thank you.

HON. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  We have noticed back home that the rice which the Minister is saying has been distributed to the less privileged, to the people back home, it is just two cups.  Minister, when you say you are giving people food, can the Government make sure you give them adequate food.  That is mockery.  When I got home, Mr. Speaker, I found out that my neighbours who had gone to collect that rice, it was just two cups.  That is not good enough.  Hon. Minister, please take note, let us not take advantage of people.  Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order.

HON. CHIBAYA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  You said the rice was sent to rural constituencies.  It is not clear you are either lying or you do not know what happens – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

HON. KWARAMBA:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  He has not finished.

HON. KWARAMBA:  It is a point of order in respect of what he is saying – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order please!  Hon. Khumalo, I do not need your assistance.  Thank you.

HON. KWARAMBA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member should address the Chair and not the Hon. Minister.  

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: The point of order is appropriate, Hon. Member, please address the Chair.

*HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  I am saying in December 2016, rice was distributed in the rural areas and it was also brought into the urban constituencies.  ZANU PF structures distributed the rice and said it had come from President Mugabe.  But, she is saying that the officials from the Social Welfare Department are the ones who are distributing the rice.  The Minister is lying to this august House and the country at large.  She should say the truth.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Chibaya, I think you will recall that the Minister came and gave a Statement in this august House and we gave Hon. Members a chance to ask questions and put additions and seek clarity.  If you now want the Minister to come up with a repeat of that Statement, you may so request.

          Hon. Chibaya, what I can do is to give you the benefit of the doubt only on that issue so that the Minister can answer but she gave a Ministerial Statement and you were supposed to have raised your questions then.  I will give you the benefit of the doubt and allow her to answer the question, and then we are done.

          Hon. Minister you may answer if you wish but we are not going back to that issue.

          *HON. MUPFUMIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  If we say rural provinces – we have ten provinces and we have two metropolitan provinces which are Harare and Bulawayo and eight are rural provinces.  When we say eight rural provinces we will be referring to those rural provinces which are eight in number.  Towards the end of the year, Government resolved that peri-urban provinces, Harare and Bulawayo be issued but originally it was meant for rural constituencies.  Gweru is the provincial capital for Midlands.  I wish God had allowed us to grow rice in Zimbabwe. -HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

          HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker, as Zimbabwe, we are a Christian nation and our Constitution says as much.  I just want to implore the Minister to desist from bringing in the name of God into this.  In fact, she must know God herself. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members.  I have already made a ruling that the Minister spoke on this issue and I am not going to give anyone some more time.

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

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: I have made a ruling Hon. Gonese.

          HON. GONESE: But Mr. Speaker, I think that any ruling must be predicated upon the proceedings and what transpired immediately prior to that ruling being made.  I believe that when the point of order was raised, the position was that in response to questions which were being asked in this House about the list relating to rice specifically and not the statement which was given in this House which was just on mitigation. It was in response to that, that the ruling was made that a Ministerial Statement must be given to this august House specifically dealing with the beneficiaries and the list of distributions which were made.  That is not the Ministerial Statement which is he is referring to. 

I believe Mr. Speaker that in all fairness, to the people of this country, the point still remains valid that that a Ministerial Statement is due to be given in this august House so that the people of Zimbabwe can be appraised of the specific distribution.  It is not helpful Mr. Speaker for the Hon. Minister to come and mislead this august House and this is what is causing the commotion.  I believe that the Hon. Minister must take the people of Zimbabwe seriously and take this august House seriously and do justice to the pertinent issues which are confronting our nation.

          *HON. MAHOKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My point of order is about the issue that has been raised.  The Minister was asked a question and she was about to respond and the MDC MPs started making noise.  We would want to hear the Minister in silence and not noise.  They should give the Minister a chance to answer the question.  Thank you.

          *HON. MARIDADI: Hon. Speaker, we will not listen to Hon. Mahoka because she insults the Vice President of the country and nothing of substance will come from her.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order both sides, may we have order in the Chamber please?  I have already made a ruling and that ruling stands.  Hon. Maridadi, you are a senior Member please.

*HON. MAJAYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The issue of rice is problematic – whether it is MDC or ZANU PF, everyone wants to consume rice.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Sibanda.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of order.  Hon. Speaker, my point of order is that question 1 has been on the Order Paper since last year.  Apparently, it is a question that is so pertinent to the people that I represent.  I seek your indulgence and that of the Leader of Government Business, that we pray that this question be dealt with without so much delay because it has been on the Order Paper for over six months now.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you.  It will be brought to the attention of the Minister to be present to answer the question.

          HON. MAONDERA; Thank you Mr. Speaker.  A few weeks ago, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dokora said that he would bring to the House the new and old curriculum.  Maybe he believes that we may forget.  When are we going to get this curriculum because people are disgruntled about the new curriculum that you want to introduce.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member if you remember, the Minister in this Chamber said he was going to organise a workshop.  So, he has not done that workshop.  You will hear when he is ready.

          *HON. MAONDERA: Yes, he said we would organise a workshop but he also said he would bring the new curriculum and the old curriculum as well for us to make a comparison and confirm if it is the Nziramasanga Commission recommendations.

          *THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, why do we not wait and do that process during the same time?

The Minister being absent to respond to question No. 8.

          +HON. MKANDLA: Hon. Speaker, this question has been on the Order Paper since November, last year.  The Minister had not turned up since then. I am therefore, requesting the Minister and respond because people are waiting for an answer in the Constituency.

POLICY MEASURES TO PROMOTE DOMESTIC TOURISM

17.    HON. CHIMANIKIRE asked the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, the policy measures that have been put in place by the Ministry to promote domestic tourism and explain whether domestic tourism has improved since 2016.

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. MUSHOWE): on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. ENG. MZEMBI): Madam Speaker, the National Tourism Policy recognises the importance of the participation of the locals in tourism and thus the need to develop the domestic market.  The domestic tourism market remains the backbone of the Zimbabwe tourism sector, despite the current economic challenges are facing.

          In this regard, the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry together with Zimbabwe Tourism Authority engage in different activities in the country in order to educate our people on the holiday and investment opportunities in the tourism sector.  The Government efforts to promote domestic tourism, His Excellency, the President, Cde. R. G. Mugabe initiated ‘know your Zimbabwe’ campaign in 2014.  This initiative is aimed at incentivising locals to travel within the country and visit major tourist destinations in Zimbabwe.

          In line with this campaign, the tourism industry has developed attractive packages for local people which include special hotel rates for city hotels being offered by leading tourist groups.  Preferential hotel rates were also put in place to attract local travellers.  Participation at local fares, such as the Zimbabwe International Trade fair, Provincial Agricultural Shows in Harare, Mutare, Midlands, Masvingo, Bindura , Marondera and Chinhoyi.  Cultural festive are some of the activities in increasing tourism awareness and bring the tourism products to the people. 

          The Ministry has developed a national tourism master plan, which is a framework to guide tourism development in the country.  About 10 tourism development zones (TDZs) were identified for both domestic and international investors.  In order to support local players in the industry, the Ministry is in the process of developing a tourism revolving fund.  This will help to improve the tourism product and make it more accessible to the domestic people as well as attract domestic investors.

Realising that our children do not have a basic holiday culture, a schools educational programme was launched to build a culture of taking holidays among the children under the rubric ‘Catch Them Young,’ as the school children are the future tourists.

In order to further promote domestic tourism, the Ministry is in the process of developing and revitalising Community Based Tourism (CBTs) projects with the assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).  So far, 80 projects were identified and four pilot CBTs were selected to inform the CBT manual to be finalised in May, 2017.  These include Tengenenge Arts and Culture, Chesvingo Cultural Village, Bulawayo Township Tour and Girezi Eco-tourism.  These projects are wholly owned and manned by communities and we are expecting both local and international tourists to visit these areas.  This will also benefit communities within the vicinity.

The local business tourism market segment is active throughout the year, through Meetings, Incentive travel, Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) while the leisure component is also pronounced during the public holidays and festive seasons.  There is a great potential in the domestic tourism market that could sustain our economy if it is anchored by both promotional and empowerment financial support.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question to the Hon. Minister is; seeing that domestic tourism is a new product on the market, there are interested people in different communities who want to participate –

Hon. Toffa having been speaking to the gallery.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA): Hon. Toffa, can you please address the Chair.

HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Seeing that domestic tourism is a new product, how do people who want to get involved in promoting…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Kanhanga?

HON. KANHANGA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My point of order is that domestic tourism is not a new product at all.  It has been there since the formation of the Ministry of Tourism.  Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I was going to allow the Hon. Minister to respond after the Hon. Member had finished asking for clarification.  The Hon. Minister will clarify that.

HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  It may not be a new product to the Government, but it is a new product to our local populace.  My question relates to the fact that, I have been approached by a number of people who want to get involved but they do not know where they should go.  I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister if his office is open to new players?  As stated in his response, there is a lot of potential, what can new players do to participate?  Thank you.

HON. MUSHOWE: Let me thank the Hon. Member for a very useful question.  It is true that domestic tourism is not a new phenomenon in Zimbabwe, but it is also true that very few of our people have been participating in domestic tourism for basically two reasons; many people have been carrying the notion that tourism was for foreigners, tourists, as the name suggests, yet, this is a product that should be enjoyed first and foremost by our people.  There has been a lot of promotional activities that have been taking place to ensure and entice our people to visit areas of tourist attractions.  However, if there are people out there who want to know how and where they could go and even try to understand what it will cost them to visit centres of tourist attraction, my Ministry and ZTA are always available to entertain such enquiries and it is the business of ZTA to make sure that tourism is promoted.  We would welcome such inquiries if they are there.  I thank you.

HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I do not think my question was heard clearly or the Hon. Minister did not understand it well.  I am talking about people who want to participate who have something to offer as part of the product.  For example, somebody who has a farm which has tourism products like heritage sites and so on.  How can they be part of that, not those who want to go and visit?  Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I also thought the Hon. Minister was very clear that his offices, the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry and ZTA are open to those people to come and invest in the Ministry.  However, I will allow him to clarify.

HON. MUSHOWE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  You had spoken for me very well.  I thank you.

HON. ZVIDZAI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  I wish to thank the Hon. Minister for a battery of initiatives that he has spoken to around domestic tourism.  However, I would like to ask the Hon. Minister to indulge me and give a statistical expose of the benefits of the changes or improvements that have arisen from all these initiatives.  I can see kuti dzanzwa moto dzakutaurirana ikoko kuti hanzi – this is a written question, this is not a …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are only allowed to use one language.  You started with English and you will explain everything that you want in English.  In addition, just ask your question and do not listen to anyone.  Speak to the Chair.

HON. ZVIDZAI: I would like to get a statistical expose of the benefits so that I can read whether this is just a pie in the sky or a big wish-list.  Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I will allow the Hon. Minister to respond but in terms of statistics, I think he would also need more time to go and do a research so that he will give reliable and correct statistics in the House.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSHOHWE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. ENG. MZEMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I wish the Hon. Member could ask the original question because what Hon. Chimanikire asked for is different from what you are asking for.  So, you should come up with a new question if you have a different question.  I answered the question asked by Hon. Chimanikire.

HON. ZVIDZAI:  On a point of order. Madam Speaker, the Minister is simply refusing to answer a question that is very clear.  If you look at the original question, it talks to ‘improved’ and talks to ‘promotion’.  These are issues around change developmental issues and I do not see why he thinks there is irregularity with respect to this question.  If he does not know, he must simply say I do not know.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, I will not allow the Hon. Members and the Ministers to respond to each other because I am the one chairing this session.  The Hon. Minister has no capacity to bring statistics at this moment and juncture.  So, I ask you Hon. Member to write down that question and put it on the Order Paper so that the Hon. Minister will respond to it next time.

ZIMBABWE HOTEL ROOM RATES VIS-A-VIS THE SADC TREND

18.  HON. CHIMANIKIRE asked the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry to inform the house whether Zimbabwe hotel room rates vis-a-vis the SADC trend on hotel rates are comparable or competitive.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSHOHWE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY  (HON. ENG. MZEMBI):  May I once again thank Hon. Chimanikire for his question. Let me begin by giving you a regional average room rates by star rating.

Table 1.  Regional Average Room Rates by Star Rating

Country

0-2 Star

3 Star

4 Star

5 Star

Angola

150

214

355

439

Botswana

 61

 90

154

588

Malawi

110

152

187

245

Mauritius

60

 97

246

469

Mozambique

107

125

190

281

Namibia

 84

115

127

368

Seychelles

105

172

259

504

South Africa

 58

104

154

415

Zambia

 28

 80

295

389

Zimbabwe

 79

129

149

232

Average

 84

128

212

393

 

Zimbabwean hotel room rates are generally competitive as shown in table 1 above.  What makes Zimbabwe appear expensive is lack of value for money, for example, a 3 Star hotel in South Africa and Seychelles is offering a product better than a 5 Star hotel in Zimbabwe.  To this effect, standards and services of a five star hotel in South Africa would be way above the standards of a five star hotel in Zimbabwe.  In addition, the Zimbabwe hotel rates may appear seemingly high because of the exchange currency rate with other countries’ currency for example US dollars versus South African Rand.

The level of hotel standards in Zimbabwe has generally gone down owing to economic challenges prevailing in the country.  These challenges have also made it difficult for the destination to attract investors for new hotel developments in the country especially in the 4 to 5 star range.  However, Government has put in place measures to address these challenges through the introduction of Special Economic Zones where incentives are provided to attract investment.  In addition, there are Statutory Instruments in place to assist tourism players to refurbish their properties and uplift operating standards.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT IN THE SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT

19.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, why some individuals are allowed to have contracts of employment in the service of the Government, as is the case with Rita Makarau the Secretary for Judicial Services Commission who is also the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION

AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Madam Speaker, Justice Rita Makarau was appointed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of Section 238 (1) (a) of the Constitution.  This is done after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.  In terms of Section 238 (2), for one to be eligible for appointment as the Chairperson of ZEC, they have to be a judge or a former judge or a person qualified for appointment as a judge.  The current Chairperson was a former judge and this means she is totally eligible to be appointed.

Madam Speaker, the disqualifications that are contained in terms of Section 240 of the Constitution do not apply to the current Chairperson of ZEC.  In so far as her post as Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) is concerned, Section 10 of the Judicial Services Act is the guiding provision.  In terms of that Section, the Secretary of the JSC is appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, which Commission is provided for under Section 189 of the Constitution.

Madam Speaker, it is therefore, clear from the constitutional and legislative provisions I have alluded to, that there is a difference in the appointment and functions of the Chairperson of ZEC and the Secretary of the JSC.  Whilst the former is a presidential appointment in terms of the Constitution, the latter is an appointment by the JSC in terms of the Judicial Service Act.  There is no law that precludes one from holding both positions if they are fit and proper and meet the requisite eligibility criteria. On behalf of the Minister of Justice I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker, my supplementary question is…

HON. J. TSHUMA:  On a point of order, Madam Speaker.  I do not know how the Hon. Member gets to answer a supplementary question because he is not the Minister – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.  I think Hon. Tshuma, you are out of order because the Hon. Minister is representing the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and he has got the capacity to respond to all the questions, as he has also given the answer to the House.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon, Speaker.  Justice Makarau, as Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission, is a senior member of a body that is charged with administering the courts in this country.  Similarly, sitting as the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Hon. Speaker, is there no conflict of interest in the two positions that Justice Makarau is occupying in the fact that, as the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, if there is a dispute pertaining to elections, the disputants in those elections will have to approach the same courts in which she is basically the manager in charge of managing the courts.  Thank you, Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I think, Hon. Sibanda, the question does not arise because the Minister was clear in his answer that in the Constitution, there is no mandate that actually specifically states that one cannot hold those two positions because the other one is a constitutional presidential appointment while the other is a Judiciary Act appointment.  So, I think the Minister has answered your question.

HON.  P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, I think with all due respect, you are out of order – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I am being very honest, the Hon. Speaker is out of order.  This is a genuine question that deserves a response from the Hon. Minister and not from the Speaker.  There is no need for the Hon. Speaker to shield the Minister from responding to that question.  The question is a genuine one that has got nothing to do with appointments.  It is a question that has got to do with the manner that the Chairperson of ZEC, also being the Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission, discharges her responsibilities.  It has got nothing to do with appointments.  Therefore, I believe that the Hon. Minister should answer that question.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sibanda, I think you are the one who is out of order because the answer from the Minister was clear.  If you have a separate question which needs a separate answer, then submit a written question and the Minister will provide the answer.

HON. MASUKU:  On a point of order, Madam Speaker.  I think the question from Hon. Sibanda arises because he is talking about the same person who is Rita Makarau, who is the Chairperson of ZEC and at the same time, she is the Secretary for the Judiciary Services Commission.  The issue here is about the conflict of interest.  So, the question still is relevant.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Okay, I will allow the Minister to respond to the question, although I personally think that the question does not arise.

HON. DR. MADE:  Madam Speaker, you are very right in the response that you have given.  In actual fact, the construction here is speculative construction that they are giving.  I think that my answer was very clear.  Thank you.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN NKETA CONSTITUENCY

25.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain why food distribution in Nketa Constituency is done by ZANU PF party members, namely Mr. Keiza Mdlongwa, Mrs. Constance Ndlovu, Ms Mitsho Ndlovu, Ms. Sibonginkosi Maphosa, Ms. Nkiwane from outside Nketa Constituency, Ms. Noweta from Northend and Mr. Dube.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Madam Speaker, it is our understanding that the Hon. Member is referring to the grain distribution that is being implemented by Government under the state of disaster following the severe effects of the El Nino induced drought.  Our response will accordingly be restricted to the current grain assistance under the Government Food Deficit Mitigation Programme. 

Allow me, Madam Speaker, from the outset, to inform this august House that food distribution under the Government Food Mitigation Programme is not operated on partisan line – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –   

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.  Allow the Hon. Minister to respond to the question.

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE:  At the provincial level, I reiterate again, the programme is coordinated by the Provincial Drought Relief Committee chaired by the Provincial Administrator.  The District Drought Relief Committee is chaired by the District Administrator and the whole Drought Relief Committee is chaired by the Councillor or other elected local leaders at that level.

With reference to the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province at Ward level, the Drought Relief Committee is chaired by an officer from the District Administrator’s Office.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point of order is very short and precise. The Minister is not speaking to the question. The question is so clear. It is requesting why specific names have been put across. Why are they doing the distribution? It is not a request for a workshop. Who are these people? Ngatimbomirai zveworkshop kani.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mutseyami. I have heard your point of order. I want to make a ruling. Let us give the Minister a chance to finish his response so that we know if he has not answered all the questions clearly.

          HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I was explaining that with reference to the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, at ward level, the Drought Relief Committee is chaired by officers from the District Administrator’s Office while the secretariat is from the Department of Social Welfare in my Ministry. The other members are representatives from Government Ministries, the Bulawayo Residents Association and Community Representatives chosen by the respective communities and from other partner organisations operating in Bulawayo. Again I reiterate, no political affiliation is considered for membership into the Ward Drought Committees. Representatives are chosen by their respective organisations.

          Following issues raised concerning partisan distribution of food in Nketa Constituency, investigations were carried out to establish how grain is distributed in the constituency. The Provincial Administrator, District Administrator and some of the local leadership were consulted. It was established that all distributions for Nketa Ward 25 and part of Ward 24 are carried out at Nketa Hall in Ward 25. Currently, there are five hundred households from both wards receiving grain assistance monthly at this ward distribution centre. The actual distribution of the grain is carried out by the Drought Relief team led by officers from the Department of Social Welfare.

The Ward Drought Relief members who are responsible for mobilising beneficiaries and for monitoring of the whole distribution exercise for this centre are Ms. Sibonginkosi Maphosa, Ms. Mitsho Ndlovu and Mrs. Constance Ndlovu from Wards 24 and 25. These members were chosen by the local communities to represent them in the Committee. They are coordinated by Ms. Eulyses Nowedza who resides in Northend. 

We were made to understand that the selection process for these representatives were transparent and non-partisan. Our investigations also established that Mr. Keiza Mdhlongwa, Ms. Nkiwane and Mr. Dube are not part of the Distribution Committee and they are not known at the distribution centre.

          In conclusion, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for bringing this matter to our attention. The Provincial and District Drought Relief Committees will continue to monitor food distribution in the respective areas of Bulawayo to ensure that all the needy have access to the food. I thank you.

          HON. MASUKU: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Minister has said the community leaders were asked about this issue on investigation. I am part of that community, I am a leader and I am an interested person. Why was I not consulted about the issue because from what he is reading, there is no truth. It is far from the truth. Even the ward that you are talking about is not at Ward 25. So, you were given false information.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Masuku, please speak to the Chair.

          HON. MASUKU: Yes, you were given false information Hon. Minister.

          HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Madam Speaker. The information we have...

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members on my left side, you have asked the question and you want the Minister to respond. So let us give him the opportunity to respond to your question.

          HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: The information we have from the Drought Relief Committee as set up is that the MP and Councillors from those wards were consulted. If it is a specific issue that Hon. Masuku is disputing that consultation, he can come to my office. We will raise the office and try and find out exactly what transpired. I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Masuku, the Ministry will make a follow-up.

          HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Minister says these Committees must be very apolitical. In the event that the community chooses a political activist to be part of the Committee, what remedies do they have as a Ministry?

          HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I mentioned clearly that the selection process of the people on the Committee is not based on party affiliation. It will be difficult for anyone in this country to stand up and say so and so is affiliated to this party for as long as that is not the criteria that is being used for the selection process. The selection process is based on competency. What the person does or the person’s affiliation at the end of the day is immaterial, but should that person allow the party affiliation to affect the discharge of their operation and duties, then by all means you should raise up all those issues and we will take due cognisance of that and remedial action can be taken.    

          HON. MLILO: Thank you very much Speaker. My supplementary question is in Cowdry Park Ward 28. We have got a councillor by the name of Collette Ndlovu or Nkomo. In Pumula Ward, I think it is Ward 26, we also have a councillor there. Those councillors are distributing rice and as they are distributing rice, they are  sloganeering. That rice is only being distributed to the members of the MDC. Could the Minister elaborate on that one? 

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank Hon. Mlilo for that question. That is an area of great concern and as I said, food should never be distributed on party lines. So, we will obviously take up these allegations just like we take up the other allegations concerning the other parties and investigate, and try to get to the bottom of it and then make sure that food is not distributed along partisan lines. I thank you.

 Questions with Notice were interrupted by the TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE), the House adjourned at Five Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday 28th February, 2017.

   

 

 

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 17:27
National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 FEBRUARY 2017 VOL 43 NO 39