You are here:Home>National Assembly Hansard>Vol. 43>NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 MARCH 2017 VOL 43 no 47

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 MARCH 2017 VOL 43 no 47

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

THE HON. SPEAKER: In spite of the truncated House, we proceed to Questions Without Notice.

HON. MLISWA: On a point of order, Cabinet Ministers are not here…

THE HON. SPEAKER: In terms of what Standing Order Hon. Mliswa?

HON. MLISWA: I am not sure but I stand guided by you [Laughter.] – it should be Standing Order No. 69.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You can proceed.

HON. MLISWA: It is common knowledge that His Excellency was away and Cabinet was supposed to be held yesterday so they are having Cabinet today. I think it will be unfair for us to continue with Question Time whilst the Ministers are in Cabinet. The Deputy Ministers are equally not here, so it was something that I observed and it is up to you to make a ruling.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You made an observation without a proposal?

HON. MLISWA: My proposal would be to continue with other business of the day and try to give Ministers an hour to be here.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you sure the Hon. Deputy Ministers cannot answer some of the questions?

HON. MLISWA: I think the issue is that, for example, I wanted to ask the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services and in her absence, the Deputy Minister but he is not here as well. There are only a few Deputy Ministers present. According to Section 107 of the Constitution, the Deputy Ministers must be here and they are not here.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, I said also on my left the House is truncated as well. I do not know where they are but I think let us ask the Deputy Ministers who are here. Those that have got other questions, I am sure the Deputy Ministers will be around to respond accordingly, so we proceed with the questions.

HON. MLISWA: On a point of order, yes, I respect your ruling Hon. Speaker but just for me being a diligent Hon. Member and like all the Hon. Members who are here present; I have a difficulty to justify the absence of the important arm of Government. I know that the Legislature in terms of our Constitution has two important elements and it consists of Parliament being the Senate and the National Assembly, as well as the President acting in accordance with this Chapter, meaning to say that the President in his capacity as the President of this country is also part of the Legislature to that extent. Now, when you have members of Government on a Wednesday choosing not to be there for whatever reason, Hon. Speaker, we have a duty as Parliament to enquire from Government why perennially they undermine an organ of the State because Parliament is an organ of the State and must be respected.

I want to say that members on this side of the House are on their way, they are just preparing for Parliament…

THE HON. SPEAKER: They are so few.

HON. CHAMISA: They are so few but they are coming, I can assure you, they were just dealing with one or two logistics – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – They will be here in 10 minutes time.

Hon. Speaker, my plea and request is for us to again and once more, under normal circumstances, we should have made what we have to make as a resolution to say we invoke the Standing Orders. Let us sanction the concerned Members, if it is Cabinet, there must be a request from Cabinet to say that we postpone Question Time to another day like Thursday so that as Parliament, we consider it as a special request. Otherwise, we are now being regarded as the deputy of the Executive or as another leg of the Executive when in fact we are another leg of the State. So, we cannot play second fiddle to Cabinet, for whatever reason. We need people to respect Parliament. We need Government Ministers to respect Parliament Hon. Speaker. So, this issue cannot just be taken lying down.

I know that we cannot expect Members from both sides to have a common view on this one but I know Hon. Speaker that this we share as a view. Let Parliament be respected and let us have Ministers coming to this Parliament out of genuine desire to respect this Constitution. Otherwise, if we do not do that, we will continue to have problems. Yes, we acknowledge Deputy Ministers who are here present but we must also have Cabinet Ministers. This is a day that is set aside for you and not for any other to explain to the public what you are doing in Government. So, we are very serious about this and may the seriousness come from your Chair and descend onto Cabinet to the President of this country.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much for your - Hon. Mliswa, just pay attention please. I will ask the Chief Whip to please give me a register of the absent Deputy Ministers except for Hon. A. Ndlovu, Hon. Damasane and Hon. Eng. Madanha.

As for the members of Cabinet, in terms of Section 47, if Parliament is advised about Cabinet sitting, that is accepted but for the Deputy Ministers who are not here, we shall definitely take action against them. I did not want two wrongs to make a right but Hon. Chamisa will agree with me that members on my left are terribly truncated and should be the first ones to respect Wednesday as their day and they are not there - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Be that as it may, we will proceed with questions. I had recognised Hon. Nduna, Hon. Mkandla, Hon. Holder, Hon. Gabbuza followed by him in that order.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, it took a long time coming but be that as it may, good afternoon Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Good afternoon.

HON. NDUNA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Eng. Matangaidze. Aware Mr. Speaker that there was 700 000 metric tonnes of drought mitigation grain imported into the country for the sole benefit of the vulnerable and those who are affected by drought and also aware that His Excellency the President said nobody, including in urban areas, should suffer from hunger due to the drought that has befallen us.

My question goes as follows, what is Government policy regarding distribution of drought mitigation grain in urban areas?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I respect Hon. Nduna for the question he has posed but I think I have responded to that question before.

Suffice to say, we have already come up with mitigation strategies for the urban areas. What we were waiting for was the outcome of the results from the ZIMVAC Urban Assessment Programme. Those results have since come through and Cabinet is seized with those results. Regardless, we have since moved on to distribute food in urban areas. I can give you figures and examples of the mitigation even in the metropolitan provinces of Bulawayo and Harare; we have since started distributing food aid. I would also like to add that, we appreciate that initially, the programme was supposed to end at the end of March but we realised that a lot of people are still to harvest their crop. So there are considerations on extending that programme until the harvest starts coming in. I thank you. – [HON. NDUNA: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker Sir!] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: When the answer is so lucid, let us avoid supplementary question – [HON. NDUNA: Inaudible interjections.] - Yes, I thought the Hon. Minister’s response was quite comprehensive. I shall indulge you one question.

HON. NDUNA: I thank you once again Mr. Speaker for indulging me. My question will border on exactly when will we have this ZIMVAC report, aware also that you have now extended the time within which you want to distribute the drought mitigation grain in the urban areas?

When is the ZIMVAC report coming seeing that we, in particular Chegutu West, have not received any grain?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, time frame Hon. Minister.

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I mentioned that the ZIMVAC report is already out but Cabinet is currently seized with considering it. The ZIMVAC report is not affecting anything at all as things stand because we have since moved in to distribute food in urban areas.

If Chegutu has particular issues and problems, I would gladly indulge Hon. Nduna then we can see how best we can resolve them. Thank you.

+HON. MKANDLA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. What is Government policy regarding students who have completed school especially at Harare Polytechnic, it took them very long to get their certificates? Those who finished in 2014 only got their certificates in 2017.

* THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for her question. The certificates are issued to students on graduation day; they are supposed to get their certificates on graduation day. If there is a problem with graduates not getting their certificates, it must be a unique problem that we must look into if it is brought to us but the policy is on graduation day, students or graduates must get their certificates. I thank you

*HON. DR. MKANDLA: I have a child who was at Polytechnic in 2014 but the child only got the certificate in 2017 because they are asked to pay $50 so that they get their certificates timeously.

HON. DR. GANDAWA : Like I mentioned in my response, I think this should be a unique issue that I can engage the Hon. Member to find out what the problem is. However, there is no policy that students must pay an additional $50.00 to get their certificates because the examination fees and tuition fees covers the aspect of the certificates. On graduation, there is a small fee that is charged which is the graduation fee. So, it should not be a certificate matter. I think it is an issue and she has actually mentioned to say Harare Polytechnic. So, I might engage the Hon. Member to find out the problem and rectify the issue. I thank you.

HON. HOLDER : My question is directed to the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement. What policy does Government have in place regarding those that have been settled on farms in the year 2000 that are now being evicted by the courts and individuals yet all land belongs to the State?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Government policy is that when a person is replaced or was allocated land during the 2000 period; when people were having land without documentation, if those people were not given the documents, we are going to rectify that anomaly. However, whenever a person occupies land which belongs to somebody as an indigenous or a land which is not gazetted, then they are supposed to vacate. If that person has not yet been given any documentation whilst the land has already been gazetted, I think it is wise for the Hon. Member to put it in writing so that the Ministry will deal with those issues.

HON. GABBUZA : Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Services. The Government has put a freeze and cap on further recruitment of civil servants yet we have schools that are running with one or two teachers and ratios have gone up to 1:80 student people/ ratios. Is there a possibility of a rethink on this policy so that those schools are not disadvantaged, given that we are now into second term without teachers?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR, AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE ): There is definitely a rethink on that issue but all we need to do right now is to ascertain the vacancies which are there, approach Treasury to seek funding and should the funding be in place, definitely we will see movement in that regard and some recruitment coming through. However, the challenge right now, is to assess the vacancy levels and to source the funding requirements. I thank you.

HON. GABBUZA : Can the Minister indicate how long that is going to take because there was already a Civil Service audit. Are they thinking of doing another one? Is the one that was done not sufficient to establish the number of vacancy rates?

THE HON. SPEAKER : Order, order! Can we reduce our voices to strictly whispers so that we can follow the proceedings properly?

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE : This particular exercise that I am referring to does not relate to the Public Service Audit that was done. This now depends on the three Ministries, firstly, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services and the Finance and Economic Development. So it will not relate to the Public Service audit like I said. What we need coming through from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is to establish where the vacancies are. Once the relevant Ministry has done that and we, through the Public Service Commission, ascertain that indeed this is actually true, will then approach Treasury for funding. So, you will appreciate that this is a significantly lower route to take for a result to come through. The main challenge as it stands right now will be in assessing the funding so that these will be funded posts.

HON. ENG. MUDZURI : Is the Minister aware that he is in breach of the Constitution by delaying the education of these kids through insufficient teachers? It is not enough to tell this House that there is not enough funding for teachers when you have student/teacher ratio which is not acceptable. These children will not have a gap which they have to subsidise after they have already lost the time. Can the Ministry take it as a Social Welfare Ministry to ensure that is done yesterday?

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE : I fully concur that this exercise that I am referring to should be done as quickly as possible and we will definitely implore on the Ministries that we work with in this regard to make sure that all resources necessary are channeled in that direction.

HON. TARUSENGA : Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Currently, there is a problem on pupils who are on BEAM whose parents are forced by school heads to pay in advance school fees when these pupils want to go for form one or lower six. What is Government policy on school heads who continually request advance fees payment awaiting Ministry’s BEAM payment?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I thank the Hon. Member for that very pertinent question. The Government policy is that once a student has been taken on to the BEAM programme, the liability to pay fees falls now with Government. So, every school head is supposed to enroll that person who is on a BEAM programme. There might be delays in funding coming through, but the obligation now will be between the school and Government. So, the position is clear. Children on BEAM should be registered and should write their examinations. Should there be specific cases Mr. Speaker Sir, where children are not afforded that, please by all means, let us know and together with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, we will implement that the and enforce that headmaster complies.

HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Recently, some students embarked on a tour to America. I would like to know from the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development what Government policy is as regards to payment of air fares. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Because the Hon. Member was not clear, I will assume she is referring to the Riding College students that took a tour to the United States last week.

It is a private college and the parents of those students are the ones that paid the air fares for the students and all the requirements for the tour. The Ministry only gave them a send off event to encourage the other schools since we introduced the STEM programme, but there is no funding from Government as regards these students that are touring the United States of America currently from Riding College. I thank you.

HON. MANGAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. Minister, what is Government policy regarding the use of the fees which is paid to our universities considering that the fees are so exorbitant and they are not part of the salary?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. While I appreciate that the income of our populace is not as much as we would want it to be, it is incorrect to say that the fees that are charged in our universities are exorbitant. People should appreciate that we are the lowest in terms of fees. Our fees at the university are US$350 tuition fees for general programmes and US$450 for the sciences excluding accommodation.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development or Treasury has not been allocating funds to all our institutions of higher learning and the fees are the ones that are sustaining the institutions of higher learning in terms of the learning and teaching material. Everything that you see happening in our institutions of higher learning, be it polytechnics, teacher’s colleges as well as universities is managed from the tuition fees that the students are paying to our institutions. So, we are actually commending our institutions for fully utilising the fees that they are getting from the students. All the developments, even infrastructural developments that you see - for instance, if you visit the Great Zimbabwe University, you will see that there is serious development happening there. If you visit the Bindura University and all our universities, you will see they are working extra hard to use the little fees that they collect from our students to do infrastructural developments since we are not getting any PSIP from Treasury.

So, I think our institutions are utilising the tuition fees and the fees that they are getting from the students to improve our institutions of higher learning. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Good to see you Hon. Khumalo. It is good to see you back. I hope you are in better health now.

HON. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank you for carpeting the Parliament. That was a huge move. Now I can breathe. Thank you so much and keep up the good work.

We have cadetship in your universities, Hon. Minister. The latest information states that you have not been paying. So, the fees…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Khumalo, you address the Chair please.

HON. T. KHUMALO: My apologies Hon. Speaker. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development is paying cadetship to universities and since they started the cadetship, there has never been any payment. He is talking of utilisation of the school fees. What then happens for the non- payment of these cadetships and what is the impact if you do not pay, for example, you owe NUST US$2 million.

HON. DR. GANDAWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir and I want to thank Hon. Khumalo for a very pertinent question. I concur with her that we have challenges in the payment of the cadetship fees and to date, our institutions of higher learning are owed US$62 million by Government across all institutions. As Government, we have engaged our counterparts in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development because it is the Treasury’s duty. It is not the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development that must pay the institution, but it is Treasury that is supposed to pay the institutions.

We sympathise with our institutions because they really need that money to make sure that the institutions are running. We have engaged Treasury. They are now paying US$30 000 every month to the institutions spread across so that at least they cushion the institutions until the whole debt is cleared. We know the amount that is being paid per month is not as much as we would like, but as Government, we appreciate the problems that we have and we assure the intervention that has been made will mitigate against the challenges that the institutions are facing, but we are seized with the matter and appreciate that Hon. Members also agree and sympathise with our institutions that they should be paid so that our institutions continue to be afloat. I thank you.

HON. MUZENDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock). I would like to thank the Government for the Command agriculture programme which seems to be a success. What is now Government policy on the restocking of cattle, with particular interest in the Masvingo Province. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The policy is that we have just completed drafting what is required for command agriculture in terms of livestock and it will be submitted to Cabinet. Obviously, I think it is fair to say that other farmers benefited immensely from command agriculture, particularly crop farmers.

Livestock is an important part of the agriculture sector, so we have drafted proposals so that farmers, particularly in Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, part of Midlands, Masvingo which has got the largest population of Mketo can also benefit from the programme I thank you.

HON. BEREMAURO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock). Hon. Minister, while I applaud the Government for coming up with a good successful Command agricultural programme. What is the Government policy on decentralization with regards to distribution of inputs and administration of the programme from district to ward level where there are GMB depots and Agritex offices? I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULUTRE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. Speaker I did not get the first part of his question. Can I ask the Hon. Member to repeat first part of his question?

HON. BEREMAURO: Whilst I applaud the Government for coming up with a good successful Command agricultural programme. What is the Government policy on decentralisation with regards to distribution of inputs and administration of the programme from district to ward level where there are GMB depots and Agritex offices?

HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I am not very aware what he is referring to because the distribution of inputs has already been decentralized from the main GMB distribution centres to provinces and districts. I do not know whether he is talking about the physical collection of those inputs or I just do not understand his question. Can he expand his question to say where the problem is, because I do not understand where the problem is at the moment?

THE HON. SPEAKER: But the policy is there for decentralization that is the issue.

HON. ZHANDA: It was decentralized a long time ago. The data collection, the identification of beneficiaries, the collected data has already been decentralised, the district administrators are in charge already because District Administrators come from the district. They are in charge of distributing those inputs. So, I do not actually know what he is talking about because it is already decentralised.

HON. MLISWA: The question is while that decentralisation is there, it is on paper, the farmers in my area, Norton – there is a GMB depot and they are actually collecting their inputs in Chegutu yet they are supposed to collect in Norton. I think this is where the Hon. Member was coming from. So, on paper it is there, in terms of implementation it is not happening. They have to travel 100km to 200km to go and get the inputs and that is where the Minister must respond. Why is it that the GMB in Norton where the Norton farmers are supposed to collect, they are not collecting but they are going to Chegutu, that is where the question is.

HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. It is the administrative aspect of the programme, not that it is a policy. It could have been caused by delays in transferring inputs from Chegutu to Norton; therefore it cannot be perceived to be a policy. It is just a question of administration that could have caused the delay. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Minister the issue is implementation of the policy.

HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. When inputs are being distributed - for instance when they are distributed to the provinces, the identification of beneficiaries is done province by province. They are then dispatched to the main depot of the province. The main depot of the province will be responsible for distributing to the district depots, because they could be a delay from the main district in the province to the depot then farmers can volunteer to go and pick it up from there rather than waiting for it to be delivered to the district depot. I thank you.

HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON. MARIDADI: When policy is not speaking to what is happening administratively, there is a problem and I think that is what the Minister is required to address, the policy is there but there is no administration..

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, you need to address that by way of a supplementary question, not a point of order.

*HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My supplementary question is on the challenges that we are facing; people are not getting inputs where they are supposed to get them. So, it means when they are delivered it will not be a full consignment. Some will get fertilizers without the seed or some will get seed without fertilizers. We want our Minister to comment - if people are not able to deliver the 5 tonnes per hectare, will you understand them?

*HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. People came across those challenges in certain places where they got their inputs late. What happens is not uniform, in some places people got fertilizers and did not apply them but decided to sell, so for people who could not deliver the 5 tonnes as specified in the Constitution, each case will be looked at on merit. We cannot give a blanket answer on that. So those who are not able to deliver, their cases will be looked at on merit.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, whilst you are up standing chii chinonzi kudelivhara?

*HON. ZHANDA: Mr. Speaker, if a person fails to honour the contract, that case will be looked at an individual level on merit. We cannot give a blanket answer that everyone who failed to meet the contract is because they did not receive the inputs in place, it is not the same because there are rumours that there are others who sold the inputs because they got the inputs late or the fertilizer was washed away by the rains. So, we will not forgive people like that.

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please forgive me. You must stick to one language; we should not mix the languages, English and our vernacular.

*HON. CHITEMBWE: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. The Hon. Minister talked about fertilizer which was stolen, what is he doing if he heard the rumours that there are people who stole fertilizer and sold it? – [HON. CHIBAYA: Umwe wacho ndiMushowe.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chibaya. Regerai Hon. Minister vapindure.

HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I think the Hon. Member did not get what I said. I did not say there are people who stole fertilizers. I said there are rumours that some people stole the fertilizer. So, the issue is that, a farmer may not have been able to fulfill the contractual agreement within the specified time, there is need for evidence to that effect and we cannot use the grapevine to persecute that person. Thank you.

HON. KHUPE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce. Mr. Speaker Sir, taking into consideration that today marks 100 days since bond notes were introduced as a way of addressing the liquidity crisis currently bedeviling this country, what is Government doing to ensure that we move away from being primary producers to secondary producers - looking at tobacco, chrome and platinum? If tobacco or chrome was to be sold as a finished product, we could easily generate more than US$3 billion for each one of them.

Mr. Speaker Sir, this is the much needed foreign currency, which can move this country forward. If platinum is processed, it consists of 10 other minerals, rhodium, palladium, gold and others. So, what is Government doing to ensure that we move away from being primary producers to secondary producers so that we value add our products? Once there is value addition, we will be able to fetch more money, which is the much needed foreign currency and we will be able to deal with the liquidity crisis that we currently face as a country. I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Khupe for that pertinent question regarding issues of value addition and beneficiation as enunciated in the ZIM ASSET. I completely agree that an economy like Zimbabwe is currently based on primary products or goods. The reason the Government found it necessary through the leadership of His Excellency, to put value addition and beneficiation as one of the sectors or priority key areas to be explored was for the sake of answering what Hon. Khupe has brought up.

Look at tobacco for example, yes, the gold leaf is going out of the country in its tonnage as raw material, but as Government, we are encouraging the value addition of that raw material. If you look, we have encouraged companies such as Savanna to be able to process tobacco to become a cigarette so that we export cigarettes to our partners who are willing to trade with us in cigarettes. We have markets which are willing to buy processed cigarettes from Zimbabwe.

I will take this opportunity to encourage investors, be it local or international, to come in and invest in cigarette processing companies like the Savanna, which we currently have here in Zimbabwe, which is wholly owned by Zimbabweans. Coming to chrome, yes, as a finished product, we do not go up to the finished product, but we can add value for us to come up with ferrochrome. At the moment, I am happy to say that we have seen the resuscitation of ZIMASCO, which, by the end of this year, will have all the six furnaces up and running, thanks to an investment by a South African company. That investment has seen the resuscitation of ZIMASCO on its own when it sub-let some of its furnaces to a South African company.

We also have a ferrochrome producer in Gweru and in Mashonaland West. So, the four ferrochrome producers, last year, they have been contributing around US$10 million in terms of export. With this ferrochrome production, the projection that we have is that, by the end of this year, we are looking at between US$25 million and US$30 million in terms of export earnings.

With platinum, I agree with the Hon. Member that as we export raw platinum, we are not only exporting platinum but several other minerals. The Government has gone into negotiation with the big platinum producers such that we will see a platinum processing plant being installed here in Zimbabwe. Those are the negotiations that are currently underway. You know that Zimbabwe has the second largest deposits of platinum to South Africa in the world. So, we are working with the South African companies which are currently mining here so that they come and put a plant here so that they take out the platinum and the rest of the 10 plus minerals embedded in there so that they remain in the country. I thank you.

HON. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Hon. Minister has just said that Zimbabwe has the second largest deposits of platinum in the world. I would like the Hon. Minister to explain to the House and the nation at large why if we have the second largest deposit of platinum in the world, we are still poor. What are they doing as a Ministry to ensure that we are not poor? Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Sithole, I heard the Hon. Minister indicating that a processing plant will be established in order to accelerate value addition. So, the supplementary question does not arise – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order. The Chair has ruled.

HON. MUNOCHINZWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Hon. Minister what is the Government policy with regards to the number of days that must be accrued by a teacher in order for one to be regarded as due for vacation leave?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Member that is an administrative question.

HON. CHASI: I would like to start by commending Government on the Command Agriculture Programme but it looks certainly in my constituency and Mazowe generally that food security is somewhat secured.

I would like to find out from the Hon. Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, now that we will be nearing harvesting, can he assure us that the necessary machinery such as combine harvesters and driers will be available so that we do not lose on the bumper harvest that we are facing in Mazowe?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Yes, I do confirm that whilst I do not have the specific figures but from a policy point of view, Government has already identified combine harvesters locally.

We have also identified combine harvesters that need to be repaired and Government is in the process of repairing those combine harvesters that are not working including driers. Government has already identified driers that are working …

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Chasi, I thought that was your question and you are busy talking with Hon. Paradza. – [HON. CHASI: No Mr. Speaker, I was just smiling.]- – [ Laughter.] – Can you listen to the Hon. Minister? Yes, Hon. Minister, you may proceed.

HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I was on the issue of driers. Government has already identified the number of driers that are in working condition all over the country and about 20 which are not working which Government has embarked on repairing.

The issue of driers is very important because Government wants to make sure that maize is harvested as quickly as possible so that wheat farmers can go into the fields as soon as possible. I thank you.

*HON. MLISWA: My supplementary to the Hon. Minister is we have farmers who were unable to take their maize to the GMB and now you failed to avail fertilisers to the farmers at their nearest depots. What have you done to farmers who are near depots, how are you going to ensure the farmers will deliver their maize to the depots yet you failed to avail fertilisers to them?

HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker and let me thank the Hon. Member for the question. However the Hon. Member’s question is premised on assumptions that we might not be able to do that. I thought he wanted to find out the plans that are in place in order for GMB to be able to collect maize from the farmers?

We have directed GMB to open as many depots as possible, particularly in the maize growing areas. We have also put an order for tarpaulins where the silos are not available in order to deal with that matter. We are also dealing with the issue of bags where bags will be required where harvesting requires bags. So, we are leaving no stone unturned about preparing for this big harvest to make sure that we minimise harvest losses and that is all in place. – [*AN HON. MEMBER: Hon. Minister, we have combine harvesters which are not being used in Matabeleland? ] -

*HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member. I do not know how many combine harvesters are in Matabeleland but if they are there yes, because there is nothing to harvest. When the harvest time comes, they will be used for harvesting. – HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

*HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I can see that our time is moving very fast but I just want to point out that if you look at the way our Cabinet Ministers treat us, it does not show respect to Members of Parliament.

I was asking one of the Cabinet Ministers where he was and he said he had gone somewhere but Cabinet has finished its business. When we are talking about this, I think we should revamp the powers of Parliament because it is not a joke for Ministers to come to Parliament. It is because they earn their salaries from the taxpayers’ money. You will find that the country ranks second place in the way we pay our taxes and I think the taxpayers should benefit. We have a lot of questions including that of mothers who went and grabbed land, there is no one we can ask pertaining the movement of our President as our Deputy Ministers cannot tackle those questions. So we want the Ministers to take Parliament business seriously.

Mr. Speaker, I think we should seriously look at the issue of Ministers abstaining from Parliament because it is not that they will be with the President because some of the Hon. Ministers are here. The President has released them already seeing that Hon. Dr. Dokora and Hon. Dr. Gumbo are here. Our Ministers should respect this House. I know that Members of Parliament cannot be found anywhere but they should be respected when they are here and Parliament should be respected. When Ministers are here, they should respond to questions, failure of which we charge them with contempt of Parliament so that Parliament is respected. I think we should deal with one of them to show that we have powers as Parliament. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, I have not responded to the point of order. Hon. Minister Dokora and Hon. Minister Gumbo, we notice that Hon. Gumbo has been here for the last 30 minutes. Can you confirm that Cabinet is over? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Mr. Speaker, when we left, Cabinet was still in session – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – but our attention was drawn to the fact that those who were aware that their deputies may not be in the House could go and attend to the matters of the House.

THE HON. SPEAKER : Thank you for that clarification. So, the matter does not arise – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

*HON. CHAMISA: Hon. Speaker, we do not trust Hon. Dr. Dokora. I think Hon. Gumbo should speak out the truth.

*HON. DR. DOKORA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. May the Hon. Member withdraw the statement that VaDokora havatembeke. Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER : Order, order! Hon. Chamisa, I think we need to treat each other with honour and respect. Please, if you can withdraw that statement.

*HON. CHAMISA : Thank you Hon. Speaker. I understand that I had to speak my mind out and I know it is not allowed. I am very sorry about that Mr. Speaker. You know when you just speak your mind out, it is not allowed and it does not make others happy. I withdraw my words.

HON. GONESE : On a serious note, Mr. Speaker Sir, I feel that it is important to establish the truth of the matter. The matter which has been raised by Hon. Chamisa, I believe it really goes to the core of what we are here for. It really goes to the core of governance issues and I believe that from the way that my colleague, Hon. Gumbo was chuckling, I had a sixth sense – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-yes and I believe that we should do more. I think that it is appropriate for this august House, through your office Mr. Speaker, to ascertain, though not now, as a matter of fact what time the Cabinet meeting ended. I believe that through your office; it is critical that it be established as a matter of fact when Cabinet meeting ended today and then advise the House. I think there is a possibility that some Hon. Ministers are trying to hide behind a finger. Cabinet might have ended and for reasons best known to them, have decided not to come to Parliament. I believe that it is very important to establish the truth of the matter and to ascertain exactly what the position is. That is my humble plea to your office Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKR : I will liaise with the Leader of Government business to establish the truth and then will come back to you.

+HON. MLILO : Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. I would like to know what Government policy is in order to protect people who are using electricity. A lot of people in Zimbabwe have pre-paid electricity metres and there are people who still owe ZESA a lot of money. If he pays maybe $10.00, part of that money is used to pay for the arrears and the rest will pay for the electricity that the person has to consume. This has been happening in Bulawayo, Gweru and other places. At times they are switching off electricity…

+THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Do not expand, just ask your question.

+HON. MLILO: I wanted to give her a background. The question is what Government policy is in place to protect consumers on electricity. I hope you have understood what I was trying to get at.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA ): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question. Yes, we have a policy in place which says that when a person has been given a pre-paid metre, they are supposed to come up with a payment plan with ZETDC. However, if they do not pay their electricity, they will not get electricity; that is how it works. If the pre-paid electricity is finished and you do not pay your debt, then you are switched off.

+HON. MLILO : Thank you Hon. Minister. I think my question was quite clear. Every month, people buy electricity worth about US$100, US$50 is then said to be paying for the arrears. So, in other words this electricity company has actually forced people to make payment for their arrears. I do not see how people can afford to pay for the arrears and also pay for the electricity that they need for that month. We all know the state of the economy at the moment, so, people cannot really afford this. I thank you.

*HON. MUZENDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have understood your question that how can we protect those who use electricity whilst having arrears in order to ease their problems. I had said that if you are on pre-paid metre, for you to be switched off. What it means is that even if you have a payment plan and you have US$100, US$50 will go towards electricity and US$50 will pay your debt. What it means is that if you do not follow that plan, it is a problem to protect such people.

HON. MLILO: Maybe, Mr. Speaker Sir, let me rephrase my question and ask it in the English language.

+THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I think, Hon. Mlilo, the Hon. Minister has already explained. I do not think we will go anywhere even if we ask the question three times or more than three times. We are not getting anywhere. If there is anything maybe, Hon. Mlilo, you can see the Minister and talk to her, maybe she can explain. No more supplementary questions.

HON. B. TSHUMA: (Hon. Tshuma spoke in Nambiya)

THE HON. SPEAKER: (The Hon. Speaker spoke in Nambiya)

*HON. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir. I ask that if there is an issue concerning electricity, I think we should allow supplementary questions because we have about two or three weeks without people attending to those questions. So, if we ask for supplementary questions concerning electricity, I think it is our privilege that we should talk about what is happening in our constituencies because people are just paying and 50% of their money is being deducted towards paying their electricity.

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Even me, I am also pleading with you that you should write your questions down because it needs a full response.

*HON. A. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development, that those who are going to engage in winter ploughing, there will be no water. What is the position of our electricity and the price because people are really crying about the tariffs on electricity? How are they going to pay for the electricity so that we get a bumper harvest? Thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Mnangagwa for her question. I am not very clear whether she is saying that we should change the way people were paying their electricity because at the moment we are not in a position to lower down the tariffs. They will remain like that.

*HON. A. MNANGAGWA: I will submit the question in writing.

+HON. R. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Could you please direct me because it is a difficult question? I do not know whether I can direct the question to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. There are women foreigners who are in prison. They say when they were put in prison they had not committed any offences. What is Government policy in relation to repatriating these ladies back to their countries? Some are from Ghana, Zambia and Malawi.

There is no food in prison. They said they last had meat on Christmas Day. So, they were asking for help from the Government so that they can be repatriated back to their countries.

+THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Ndlovu, the Minister of Home Affairs is not present in the House. Maybe you should ask your question again next week.

*HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services and in her absence, the Deputy Minister. The United Nations Convention which referred to the people living with disabilities in 2013, Zimbabwe was there and there are things we agreed to do. How far are we from implementing the things of the United Nations Convention 2013, in terms of people living with disabilities? How far are we in terms of implementation?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Hon. Speaker for the question asked by Hon. Mliswa. Yes, the Government is working very hard that we should implement what we agreed on the UN Convention. The important thing that we are doing is aligning the law to the Constitution. The law that we had was enacted in 1994. So what we want is to align that law with what we agreed to. Now, we are at the stage of coming up with principles which are guidelines of how the law will come out.

I have said that we have visited about six provinces and we are getting ideas from them on how we incorporate it into the law on what we agreed. What I can tell this House is that as a Ministry, we have created at director level a position which only deals with disabled people. On all issues pertaining to Social Welfare and the programmes we will give priority to people living with disability and the programmes, are at an advanced stage. We will come up with a Bill that we will bring to Parliament for debate. I thank you.

HON. MLISWA: Minister, it was 2013 and you are still implementing in 2017. When are you going to really fulfill this implementation of this programme? Section 83 of the Constitution is very clear about what the State must do to ensure that those living with disabilities are also given priority. How far have you gone even in terms of the building structures in this country; the schools for example? How far have you gone in implementing Section 83 of the Constitution? As a nation, we are seen wanting when it comes to people living with disabilities. It is like we tend to ignore them yet they are 10% to 15% of this population. We need to know the timeframe when this implementation will be done.

Time for Questions Without Notice having expired.

HON. D. SIBANDA: Mr. Speaker, I move that Questions Without Notice be extended by 10 minutes.

HON. MARIDADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: The most important thing in addressing the issue that Hon. Mliswa was coming through is to come up with a legal framework which will govern the implementation of the ratified positions. We are thinking that at least by the third quarter of this year, we should have that Bill coming to Parliament for deliberation. That now addresses the timeframe that Hon. Mliswa is talking about. We accept that there has been delay in that implementation but certainly by the end of this year, we should be able to have a Bill that guides the legal framework which will ensure that other line ministries, like the Ministry of Local Government, Publics Works and National Housing for argument’s sake, which now stipulates how building can be built up to accommodate the disabled of our society should be able to be operative.

It is important that we get the legal framework in place and we have made significant progress in that regard. Yes, I agree that there have been delays but going into this year, we should be able to get the legal framework in place and guided by that, we should be able to implement all the important issues as ratified in that Convention.

*HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to Hon. Dr. Dokora. Students, parents and teachers are not happy about your curriculum. My question is, are you going to continue implementing your curriculum which is causing challenges to our Government?

*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA) : Thank you Mr. Speaker for the question asked by Hon. Chibaya, an Hon. Member from Midlands, which means that he lost a lot because he did not attend the day which was set apart by Parliament to explain on this matter.

*HON. CHIBAYA: Hon. Speaker, we can come up with plans on teaching Members of Parliament on Government plans. What happens is that as we represent people, what I bring here comes from the people. He should answer the question that I have asked. The people who asked the questions are listening and they want an answer. It is not good for the Minister to answer that I lost the explanation he gave whilst I was not in Parliament; he should answer the question without insulting me.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Do not forget Hon. Members that you are left with only 5 minutes.

*HON. DR. DOKORA: I want to answer Hon. Chibaya. His question should not be brought into this House at this moment because we set aside the 13th of March to explain to Members of Parliament about this curriculum. Hon. Chibaya comes from Midlands, after this he will go and explain to his constituents.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, for us not to waste time please answer the question.

HON. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON. MLISWA: I think Hon. Speaker Sir, with due respect, when this issue was heated here, we were all invited to listen to this. Secondly, the Hon. Member of Parliament can learn from my lesson. I invited him to my constituency and he addressed everyone there. So, there is nothing that stops him from that as that is his role as a Member of Parliament to engage the Minister to go there – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.

HON. CHIBAYA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON. CHIBAYA: I referred my question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Hon. Dr. Dokora. I did not refer my question to Hon. Mliswa. Hon. Mliswa cannot respond on behalf of Hon. Dr. Dokora. I want an answer from the Hon. Minister – [HON. CHIBAY: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Chibaya. I may make a ruling that the Minister will not respond to your question. If I say order, I mean order. Hon. Minister, just in brief, respond to his question.

*HON. DR. DOKORA: Now, on this journey which we have embarked on, of revamping our education curriculum, it did not start in a few years but it started long back in 1998/99 when it was seen befitting by our President that we should set up a Commission which was led by Cephas Nziramasanga. He is the one who came up with the issue that we are following and want to implement in our education system. So, we are doing it bit by bit in implementing what they came up with. I think that from the many words, Hon. Chibaya as a representative from Midlands in Mkoba, can make plans so that we send technical people to help them on that issue – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. It is not the first time for Hon. Dr. Dokora to answer the questions as he is doing right now. So I am not going to take any supplementary question – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order please.

*HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question to Hon. Dr. Dokora is different. I am not going to say anything about that issue – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.] – let me ask a new question. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services. In our country, we have a law on how we disseminate information. As Government, are you allowing members of political parties to have their own radio and television stations like in other countries like Uganda and Kenya? Yes, we have newspapers, but radios and televisions, are there any plans so that if political parties are able to do that, they can do it?

+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I apologise, I am not very fluent in Shona. Hon. Member if you allow me to respond in Ndebele. The Hon. Member asked and said other political parties are allowed to broadcast in other countries. I thank you for the very important question. The Hon. Memeber is aware that we are digitalising and after the end of the digitalisation process, we will be having 12 stations. Six of those stations will be open to anyone who wants to broadcast, regardless of which political party that person belongs to or religious organisation they belong. If they want to broadcast to the nation, they are free to do so. Yes, whoever wants to broadcast, they can, but that can only be done after we are through with the digitalisation process.

+HON. KHUPE: Thank you Hon. Deputy Minister. My question is, why is it that when you watch the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC) now, other parties are not given an opportunity to broadcast but we only hear of ZANU PF broadcasting women’s activities. Why is it that we never hear of MDC activities being broadcast on ZBC? This is for the reason that we also want other political parties to be broadcast on ZBC.

+HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. That is an important question. ZBC does not discriminate – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – wait, wait…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please.

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I have not yet finished – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, let us hear the Hon. Minister in silence.

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. If you allow me I will proceed. Mr. Speaker Sir, I said ZBC does not discriminate. Anyone can bring whatever they want for broadcasting. However, if they are invited and they do not turn up for recording, interviews or whatever reason for which you would have wanted them to broadcast, I think you should put it down in writing so that I will investigate and bring a proper answer.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.

HON. MAWONDERA: Mr. Speaker Sir, through you I am asking the Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce if it is possible to give us a Ministerial Statement on investors who have been visiting us here in Zimbabwe such as Mr. Dangote, Russians and Chinese people who come for a short period of time and they leave without investing. We want to know what is happening, whether the companies are being opened here in Zimbabwe or in South Africa. We have been observing this movement for a while, so we want to know what is going on.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA) : I thank you for the point of order raised. I think it is very important for the Ministerial Statement to be issued in relation to investment. However, investment is not only linked to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, there is another Ministry directly linked to investment promotion. I think the words Industry and Commerce narrows the whole framework. The issues of investments being referred to should be directed to the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, which is the rightful Ministry. I thank you.

CORRECTIVE MEASURES TO MAKE THE WORK PLACE CONDUCIVE TO THE WORKERS IN DETE

1. HON. MKANDLA asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce that in view of the facts and findings from the management of Industrial Development Cooperation in Hole Investment in Dete, what are the corrective measures taken by the Ministry to make the work place conducive to the workers in terms of the Labour Act.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. With your indulgence, allow me to thank the august House for the patience regarding this particular question and the next one, which was asked in November 2016 and took all its time because of the intricacies that are involved which needed us to research on this question and only be able to bring the response now. I would also want to express gratitude to the Hon. Member who was patient with us as we went through the enquiries so as to bring a suitable response. The response is still however work in progress but the Hon. Member and is aware of the processes that we are going ahead with.

In response, Hon. Speaker Sir, Hon. Members are aware of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare’s visit to Last Hope Estate trading as Ginhole Investments to investigate the challenges that the company is experiencing.

The findings of the Parliamentary Committee resulted in a management shake-up that led to the then Chief Executive Officer of Ginhole Investments leaving the company. Hon. Members will also recall that Hon. Deputy Minister Matangaidze, the Deputy Minister of the Public Service, Labour and Social Services addressed this august House on the issues affecting workers at the company.

It is the objective of my Ministry to ensure that all the assets at the company are fully utilised in order to benefit the community. As part of efforts to appreciate the goings on at the company and come up with the way forward, I had a very fruitful meeting with Hon. Mkandla in whose constituency the business is located. My Ministry is also in consultation with the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe so as to come up with a lasting solution to these challenges. I am convinced that these corrective measures will in future positively contribute to the welfare of the employees in line with the requirements of the Labour Act. I thank you.

REVAMPING OF THE CERAMIC DIVISION BY THE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

2. HON. MKANDLA asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce to explain to the House why the Industrial Development Corporation in Dete, Hwange East Constituency is not considering the revamping of the management and administration of the ceramic division and pave way for new personnel with new ideas for the welfare of the workers and benefit of the company.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Hon. Speaker Sir, the issues relating to the revamping of the management at the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe owned ceramic business in Dete have already been addressed in my previous response.

May I once again reiterate that the consultations currently underway will come up with lasting solutions that will meet both the welfare needs of the workers and benefit the community. I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, first I want to applaud the Hon. Minister for having taken action aware also that I am a member of the Committee that went to IDC in Dete. She eloquently spoke about there being a shift in terms of management – the CEO having been shifted to somewhere else.

One of the key issues that was there was about the CEO being a member of more than three boards. Has the CEO, in particular, also been removed from the other board, aware that he is only maybe supposed to sit on one board? This is my question that follows up on this one.

HON. MABUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I will refer briefly to the Findings of the Committee that went to Dete where Hon. Nduna is also party to.

You will recall that your Findings touched on issues that needed investigations which were even amounting to allegations of some criminal activities. So, the investigations are bordering around that. I do not want to prejudice the ongoing processes and comment on the membership of this individual but what I can safely say is, I did not say that he has been relocated to other places. I just said that he was removed. I thank you.

REPAIRING OF THE NATANE RIVER BRIDGE CONNECTING PLUMTREE AND SOMNENE IRRIGATION SCHEME

17. HON. S. M. NDLOVU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development whether the Minister is aware that District Development Fund (DDF) has failed to repair the Natane River Bridge connecting Plumtree and Somnene Irrigation Scheme.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministry has not received the information that the Hon. Member is referring to regarding the failure by DDF to repair the Natane Bridge. DDF is a road authority under the Office of the President and Cabinet and as such, it is responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges that fall under its jurisdiction. As the overall road authority, my Ministry is investigating the issue with a view to taking corrective action under the Emergency Road Works Programme.

REHABILITATION OF MANYUCHI BRIDGE IN MATEBELELAND SOUTH

19. HON. L. MOYO asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to inform the House, what steps the Ministry is taking to rehabilitate the Manyuchi Bridge below Manyuchi Dam and the Chipwe Bridge in Maranda Area which link Mberengwa, Mwenezi and Beitbridge in Matebeleland South.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question but I would like to point out that this question belongs to the Ministry of Rural Development, it does not belong to Local Government.

ELECTRIFICATION OF SCHOOLS IN CHIVI SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

24. HON. VUTETE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House when the Ministry would connect electricity in the following schools in Chivi South Constituency:

(a) Simudzirai Primary School

(b) Chehaya Primary School

(C)Runesu Primary School

(D)Tokwe Primary School.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA ): In response to Hon. Vutete’s question, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to inform you that Chehaya Primary School is 4km from the existing grid network and the targeted electrification date is 2018, according to the REF plan. Runesu Primary School is 6km from the existing grid and it is also targeted for 2018. Simudzirai Primary School is 8km from the existing grid and it is targeted for 2019. Tokwe Primary School is 7km from the existing grid and it is targeted for 2019.

Mr. Speaker Sir, let me take the opportunity to inform you that Nyahombe Primary School, Nyahombe Clinic and Nyahombe AREX, all in the same constituency, were electrified in 2016.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

RECAPITALISATION OF CAIRNS FOOD COMPANY

3. HON. CHIKUNI asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce to inform the House when the Cairns Foods Company would be fully recapitalised so as to cater for farmers’ produce such as tomatoes, butternuts, Michigan beans, among others in Manicaland and a situation that would help create employment for the people in the Province.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Hon. Speaker, my Ministry is cognisant of the need to fully recapitalise Cairns Foods Company so that it generates more employment in line with our economic blueprint, ZIM ASSET. May I however, advise that this process is on-going.

Cairns Foods recently partnered a local investor who injected fresh capital into the business. As a result, the company now employs 436 permanent employees and up to 500 contract employees, depending on volumes in both the production and merchandising divisions. However, an additional US$7.9 million is required for the business to be fully recapitalised so that additional employees are engaged.

Hon. Members are aware that my Ministry included some products produced by Cairns Foods such as baked beans, jams, canned fruits and vegetables on Statutory Instrument 64 (2016). This has enabled the company to increase capacity utilisation and the uptake of products from the local farmers.

My Ministry will continue to monitor the situation with a view to ensure that the company increases capacity utilisation, attains viability and creates more jobs. I thank you.

DISTRESSED INDUSTRIES FAILING TO OPERATE DUE TO OUTSTANDING WATER BILLS

4. HON. MAVENYENGWA asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce to inform the House on the distressed industries which are failing to operate due to outstanding water bills dating as far back as the Zimbabwe dollar era and to state whether there would be a reprieve for industries.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Hon. Speaker Sir, this august House will agree with me that local businesses have been continually affected by a myriad of challenges among which include the high cost of utility bills such as water. It is the mandate of my Ministry to facilitate industry and commerce through addressing these challenges so as to ensure increased capacity utilisation, generate employment and develop exports.

In addressing the issue of high water bills, my Ministry has invited the affected companies and engaged the relevant stakeholders on the concerns raised by the companies so as to come up with a win – win solution. May I however, advise Hon. Members that the long term solution to the high cost of utilities is an ongoing programme that my Ministry is seized with within the ambit of the ease of doing business reforms and current efforts to establish a National Competitiveness Commission (NCC). The NCC will holistically analyse issues relating to the high cost of utilities including other variables that affect local businesses.

GOVERNMENT POLICY ON SUGAR CANE MILLING BY TONGAAT

5. HON. MAVENYENGWA asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce to –

(a) explain Government Policy on sugar cane miller, Tongaat Hullet in Chiredzi who has a monopoly on milling sugar and does not want to give more than two hundred indigenous farmers, milling quota to enable them to sell their sugar cane; and

(b) further state how Government intends to protect such farmers from losing their crop if not bought by Tongaat Hullet;

(c) state whether Government has any plans for accommodating more millers in this industry as is the case in the tobacco industry which has many floors.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Hon. Speaker, may I inform this august House that the issues raised by Hon. Mavenyengwa are before the courts and under judicial consideration. As such, we are prohibited by law to comment or elaborate.

ABUSE OF INPUTS BY BENEFICIARIES

15. HON. KANHANGA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to inform the House what the Ministry is doing to bring sanity in cases where beneficiaries:

(a) Did not have land and capacity and have converted inputs to personal use;

(b) Have not paid back anything ever since they were allocated land;

(c) Have abused inputs at district level and have not utilised the land despite the fact that they were supplied with requisite measures at the express of productive farmers.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON ZHANDA):

(a) It is Government policy that matters like these should be reported and brought to book like in the case of the two farmers from Mazowe District whose issue is before the Bindura Magistrate.

(b) I am not aware of any programme that required farmers to pay

back for inputs. If the Hon. Member has any other information where abuse of inputs has taken place, may he share with the Ministry so that action will be taken.

(c) As indicated above, if the Hon. Member has information of

any such abuse of inputs, may he share the information with the Ministry so that action is taken. Matters relating to utilisation of land are the responsibility of the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement.

INSTALLATION OF BASE STATIONS IN GURUVE NORTH CONSTITUENCY

16. HON. KANHANGA asked the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to appraise the House as to when the four sites for base stations identified by engineers in Guruve North Constituency, namely Zembelipinda, Nyamanyi, Bakasa and Nyamaseve will be installed, considering that most of the sites are in low lying area dead ground.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. MLAMBO): It is not clear whether the Hon. Member is referring to base station for mobile telecommunication service or broadcasting transmitters for the provision of radio and digital television services in Guruve North Constituency. We are therefore not sure which engineers identified the base station and for what services.

For television and radio broadcasting, under the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration Project, there are two transmitter sites that will provide broadcasting coverage of both radio and digital television services to the Guruve North Constituency. These broadcasting transmitter sites are at St. Alberts’ Mission and Mutorashanga.

St. Alberts’ Mission will provide coverage to the lower lying areas such as Mahuwe and Muzarabani, as well as areas on higher ground such as Bakasa.

Mutorashanga will provide coverage to areas that include Zembelipinda, Nyamaseve and Nyamanyi.

However, the transmitter tower at St. Alberts’ Mission is currently being reassessed following initial indication that the tower may need to be replaced before new transmission equipment can be installed. Should the tower require replacement, then a disbursement of approximately $400 000 will be needed to replace the tower under the ongoing Digital Project. The timing of its completion will therefore be linked to the disbursement of this funding requirement, funding which has not been available to maintain a reasonable pace even as the Project is far behind completion timetable. If the tower does not require to be replaced, equipment installation can be completed within a period of four months since the transmitter equipment is already in the country.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Mutorashanga site is ready for equipment installation following some repair works to the tower. However, the equipment for this and five other sites is currently held up at the manufacturer’s warehouse in Germany on account of payment, due to transfer challenges, to allow the equipment to be shipped. Once these moneys are transferred, equipment installation can be completed within six months of the equipment being shipped. I thank you.

TITLE DEEDS FOR HOUSES IN CHITUNGWIZA

20. HON. G. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, to explain to the House why most houses in Chitungwiza’s Unit A, Unit B, Unit C, Unit G and Unit K, still do not have title deeds.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO ): Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the question. However, let me inform this august House that all the bona fide property owners of Unit A, Unit B, Unit C, Unit N, Unit G and Unit K in Chitungwiza can now get title deeds to their properties subject to clearance of land value fees by the property owner.

TERMINAL BENEFITS FOR TARUSARIRA MUNYIKA

21. HON. G. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, to inform the House when Tarusarira Munyika, a former employee of Chitungwiza Municipality, Employment Code Number 11081, who used to work in the revenue section would get his terminal benefits.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO ): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the question. However, let me inform this august House that Mr. Tarusarira Munyika, a former employee of Chitungwiza Municipality who used to work in the revenue section was fired in 1999 and got his terminal benefits totaling Z$19272.83 in the year 2 000 and 2001.

EVICTION OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN NEW ZENGEZA 4

22. HON. MUSUNDIRE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, to explain to the House why residents of New Zengeza 4 who are mostly civil servants have been asked to vacate Government properties which they have been occupying since the Zim Dollar era, considering that they have been struggling to service their debts ever since their balances were converted to the United States Dollars.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO ): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me inform this august House that the properties of Zengeza 4 in Chitungwiza are National Housing Fund (NHF) properties. Some were sold to the sitting tenants, some are on sell and others are on lease to the sitting tenants. The tenants were offered the properties to purchase but some did not accept the offer when it was extended to them so they remain on lease agreements. About 698 of these properties are on sale to the sitting tenants who have since paid a deposit and are still paying installments towards the purchase price. 131 are strictly rented houses with no option to purchase after clearing rental areas. However, the agreement that we have with the tenants under lease is that they pay their rentals in full of which failure to pay warrants eviction and most of these tenants have not been paying rentals since 2009. The Ministry has reminded them to settle their outstanding rentals of which failure to clear the money overdue will leave the Ministry with no option but to give them the three months notice before it institutes the eviction process for non-payment of rentals.

POLICY ON ASSISTING THE INFORMAL SECTOR

28. HON. CHITURA asked the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, to inform the House what the Ministry’s policy is regarding assistance given to the informal sector in order to ensure that there is no economic exclusion in terms of accessing credit and insurance facilities.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA ): Mr. Speaker, Sir, the informal sector is a preserve of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development, hence the question should have been directed to the Ministry. The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development is registering and creating business linkages for the informal sector as part of the financial inclusion strategy launched by the RBZ in 2016. Broader financial inclusion will ensure access to credit and insurance facilities for this sector. However, youths are dominant players in that sector, which then gives my Ministry a keen interest. Several other Ministries and agencies in fact also have a keen interest in that sector that is spearheading the transformation of the Zimbabwean economy from a colonial, dualistic and enclave structure to a more participatory, inclusive and indigenous structure that facilitates broad based economic empowerment.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is pertinent to note that the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act, 2013 Sections 14 (1) states that “The State and all agencies of Government at every level must endeavor to facilitate and take measures to empower through appropriate, transparent, fair and just, affirmative action, all marginalised persons, groups and communities in Zimbabwe.” In addition, Section 20 (1) (c) , states that “ The State and all agencies of Government at every level must take responsible measures including affirmative action, programmes to ensure that youths, that is to say people between the ages 15 to 35 years, are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues for economic empowerment.”

It is in line with these Constitutional provisions that the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (MYIEE) is mandated to facilitate the empowerment of youth and indigenous citizens for them to effectively participate in the mainstream economy. The major drive behind the youth empowerment initiative is recognition that the empowerment of young people is central to achieving the ZIM ASSET objective of all inclusive sustainable economic growth and development. The youth in general have been economically disadvantaged in terms of access to credit and insurance as the Hon. Member correctly observed. My Ministry therefore seeks to increase access to economic opportunities for the youths and indigenous citizens by enhancing their livelihood through various policy initiatives. These initiatives also benefit the informal sector players. The Ministry’s initiatives are guided by the National Youth Policy and the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Policy. I will discuss each of the two separately.

The National Youth Policy provides a comprehensive and multi-sectoral framework for addressing youth challenges to enable them to achieve sustainable socio-economic development. The National Youth Policy recognises that decent employment and participation in agricultural, industrial, commercial and service sector provide sustainable livelihood to the majority of youths. The National Youth

Policy also provides for the establishment of a Youth Fund and removal of barriers in order to ensure access to capital by youths. The policy also encourages promotion of youths entrepreneurship but including entrepreneurship training in the school curricula, providing access to skills training, mentorship opportunities and timely information on market opportunities.

These policy provisions have led to the establishment of youth empowerment facilities run by the Ministry in conjunction with private sector institutions. Whilst these facilities are currently suspended owing to lack of funds, the Ministry, with the support of Ministry of Finance is at an advanced stage of establishing Empowerment Bank. Empowerment Bank will enable tailor made financial inclusion and support of innovative and enterprising youths who are not receiving adequate support from the traditional banking sector.

The National Youth Service training programme which resumed in 2015, has been configured to incorporate a significant component of entrepreneurship which will greatly assist in economic inclusion as youths will be able to take full advantage of economic opportunities as they arise from time to time. The Ministry also runs 42 Vocational Training Centres around the country which offered technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills to 41 263 young people in 2016 alone. The Ministry intends to establish at least one VCT in each district.

Mr. Speaker Sir, in June 2016, the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe adopted the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Strategy for investment (ZIMYES for Investment) which presented recommendations on how Government can establish a conducive environment for young people to effectively contribute to economic growth. ZIMYES for Investment outlines a Youth Empowerment Model with three main areas of intervention, namely Youth Entrepreneurial Development Programme, Youth Anchor Companies and Empower Bank Youth Financial Inclusion Initiative. I have already explained the progress being one Empower Bank and will thus briefly discuss the other two.

The Youth Entrepreneurial Development Programme (Zimbabwe Champions and Heroes of the Economic Empowerment Revolution) ZIMCHEER identifies, acknowledges and celebrates innovative, enterprising young people who are contributing towards the transformation and growth of Zimbabwe’s emerging economy. The Ministry has already identified 39 358 ZIMCHEER entrepreneurs from across the country who have together created 93 692 jobs.

Through the Zimbabwe Youth Council, the Ministry has established four anchor companies to provide aggregated services for market linkages, value chain development, as well as support for management, human capital, accounting and legal services for youths.

The four companies and their relations with ZIM ASSET clusters are as follows:

· Youth FEED Zimbabwe (Food Security and Nutrition Cluster)

· Youth Make Zimbabwe (Beneficiation and Value Addition Cluster);

· Youth Shape Zimbabwe (Utilities and Infrastructure Cluster); and

· Youth Employ Zimbabwe (Poverty Eradication and Social Service Cluster)

Mr. Speaker Sir, the indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act [Chapter 14:33], provides for the establishment of the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund. This fund has the mandate to offer finance for business start ups, rehabilitation and expansion. This can be accessed by players in the informal sector. Unfortunately, the fund has never been capitalised.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Youth Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment has made significant strides towards economic inclusion of the informal sector through skills training and access to credit facilities, though in a limited way. The informal sector is mainly dominated by young people; hence my Ministry has a keen interest. That notwithstanding, this question is best answered by the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development. I thank you.

ACCESSING OF PENSION FUNDS

30. HON. CHITURA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, to inform the House how long it takes to access pension funds after one has retired.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr. Speaker Sir, the lead time for processing and paying of pension benefits after a member has retired is two months. We are unable to pay pension benefits on time because we are faced with challenges of limited financial resources. To mitigate the negative effects of limited financial resources on our pensioners, we are making sure that one is paid his/her monthly pension within two months of retirement. A lump sum pension is paid approximately one year after retirement. However, we as Ministry are working with the Treasury to ensure that the lump sum is paid on time, preferably a month or two after retirement. The current delay is undesirable.

CONSTRUCTION OF A TEACHER’S COLLEGE IN MATEBELELAND NORTH PROVINCE

32. HON. MAIL NKOMO asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, to inform the House what plans the Ministry has in place to construct a Teacher’s College in Matabeleland North Province, in view of the fact that the province has no Teacher’s Training Colleges despite the many vacant teachers posts throughout the Province

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (HON. DR. GANDAWA): The Ministry is at an advanced stage to establish a Teachers’ College in Matabeleland North Province since there is no college in the province. Meanwhile, Hwange Training Centre has been identified to house the college while a site and construction of the permanent site is under consideration. There is also a plan to establish a polytechnic in Matabeleland North too.

SHORTCHANGING OF CUSTOMERS ON SUBSCRIPTIONS BY DSTV

36. HON. CHINOTIMBA asked the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, to explain to the House why DSTV service provider is short changing clients by charging them an extra two dollars over and above the subscriptions that they pay through the banks which are subcontracted by DSTV to collect the subscriptions on their behalf.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for Buhera, Hon. Joseph Chinotimba for his questions. Multichoice did not sub-contract banks to collect payments but has nominated numerous banks that clients can use to make payments for its services. Multichoice is therefore not responsible for the $2 commission charged by the banks for accepting DSTV subscriptions. The $2 charge is a commission raised by the banks, under the jurisdiction of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe just like any person or corporate body in Zimbabwe is free to use the banking system as a channel to receive payments.

In response to the second question, I will make a few points that address the matter. Multichoice Africa, which provides the DSTV service from outside Zimbabwe, does not have a permanent presence in Zimbabwe and therefore, is not able to operate any bank accounts in this country. Subscribers can choose to either pay Multichoice direct in Randburg, South Africa, with no extra commission added, or to pay through local banks who remit the funds direct to Multichoice Africa and charge a commission to do so. Bank charges of this nature are normal to standard banking practices, Skynet (Pvt) Ltd, trading as Multichoice Zimbabwe are a franchise appointed by Multichoice Africa to manage Multichoice subscribers in Zimbabwe on their behalf, and are remunerated accordingly by Multichoice Africa. They are not permitted to receive subscriptions directly from subscribers.

Allow me to also point out that the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have been encouraging the use of plastic money as a way of easing the liquidity crunch currently being experienced in the country. When clients use plastic money to pay for the Multichoice services, the costs are close to nothing and far less than the $2 charged for hard currency deposits made through local banks.

It is however important to explain that the decision to use the banking system as a payment channel in real sense is to the advantage of Zimbabweans who want to pay for Multichoice services. The alternative of building a collection infrastructure in Zimbabwe would escalate the costs of subscriptions by margins far higher than the $2 paid when one uses the banking system in terms of costs associated with the requisite buildings, accounting, labour, vehicles and security.

The response to the third question has been covered by the explanations in the first and second responses. Thank you

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA ), the House adjourned at Twenty Two Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

Last modified on Thursday, 23 March 2017 15:01
National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 MARCH 2017 VOL 43 no 47