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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 29 MARCH 2017 VOL 43 NO 50

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 29th March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

MATTERS OF PRIVILEGE

MESSAGE FROM ARTISANAL MINERS

HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a point of order, it is not a notice of motion.  If you allow me I will carry on.

THE HON. SPEAKER: In terms of which standing Order.

HON. NDUNA: In terms of Standing Order Number 69 as read with Section 119 of the Constitution.  I am not going to speak about this paper that I am holding but I got a message from my constituency which is addressed to Parliament on a point of privilege that says they are elated and they are humbled by the way Parliament has treated their plight of artisanal mining. Aware also that they have delivered to Fidelity more than 10 tonnes of the 22 tonnes delivered last year. So they have asked me to come and give you a message Mr. Speaker, that they are quite humbled and elated. They wish that Parliament can do more for their plight; in particular today, that is from those at Inezi Mine. I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: We are grateful for that message and my response is that can they also double up the production of gold. Thank you.

APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUSTICE

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Advocate Speaker Sir. I rise on a point of privilege. Standing Order Number 69 arising out of 68 (d) and it speaks to issues of privilege at any particular point in time. Hon. Speaker Sir, I rise on this point because it is a very important motion. To celebrate, acknowledge, honor and appreciate what has happened in this country; a momentous occasion as regards the appointment of a new Chief Justice in Zimbabwe. I want to congratulate the new Chief Justice. You know, I am one person who does not resist goodness. I am one person who looks at things objectively and for that reason Hon. Speaker, I want to congratulate the First Citizen of this country for respecting the first document and law - the Constitution of this country and making sure that we have an appointment of a man on the basis of merit.

It is a victory for our country in terms of constitutionalism, in terms of the rule of law, in terms of our processes as a country; respecting our constitution. You are aware that we had problems Hon. Speaker Sir but in terms of Section 180, Subsection 2 of the Constitution, once a process has been ignited or set in motion by the Judicial Services Commission, it has to be respected and honored in terms of our Constitution. So, we are happy that in the case of the appointment of Hon. Chief Justice Malaba designate, as Parliament, because we defend the Constitution, the man is a man of merit and a man of integrity.

I have been practicing as a lawyer, I have interacted with him. When you look at him, he has a fair and firm sense of justice and his appointment is an appointment that should not be celebrated by ZANU PF or MDC. It must be celebrated by all Zimbabweans because he is a candidate for Zimbabwe. Going forward Mr. Speaker Sir, I can assure you that this country is richer. I was discussing with my learned colleagues from the other side who equally appreciate and as Parliament in terms of Section 119, we are supposed to uphold the defence of the Constitution. The fact that it has been an outcome of a constitutional process, we must celebrate it as Parliament.

This is very good because when the First Citizen nods to the dictates of the Constitution, we must all join in a chorus, to sing the “justice wins law wins” as we say vincit legem vincit. Justice wins, law wins and we must celebrate that. We must congratulate this process Hon. Speaker Sir and I want to say this is a very positive development. As an arm of the State, being the Legislature, when good news happen in the judiciary, it is a positive thing for all the other arms of Government. Even God in heaven is going to smile because it is God who said through the Prophet Amos, “Let justice roll down like a stream and righteousness like a never ever sinking river”. So in Zimbabwe, we are seeing the flowing of justice, we are seeing the stream of righteousness and we must thank God. We must also thank the President for being a creature of the Constitution to all intends and purposes. We must also thank the new Chief Justice for being a doyen of constitutionalism. We must also thank the outgoing Chief Justice for being the superintendent of our justice system in this country. Hon. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you. That is my motion, thank you very much.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Murai.

HON. MURAI: Hon Speaker, I am sure you are correct where you are sighting your eyes. I am not the one, you are being misled Hon. Speaker. 

THE HON. SPEAKER: I saw the Hon. Member who is in glasses ndiani? – [HON. MEMBERS: Chidhakwa!] - Hon. Chidhakwa, can you withdraw your statement.

HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I withdraw my statement.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker for affording me the opportunity to also congratulate the President for the appointment of the Chief Justice.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Nyamupinga, Gonese and I think Chitindi, can we please listen to our fellow Hon. Member. Thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also rise as the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Justice to also express our joy on this side of the House. We have often been labeled as people who do not uphold the Constitution and we have shown them just like what the Hon. Advocate has said. He alluded to the fact that Constitutionalism is upheld in Zimbabwe - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, do not spoil the good news … [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I have not finished. Hon. Advocate Chamisa was very inclusive in his commendations. Why should we bring sour grapes now, please? 

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It was not the intention to bring sour grapes but to applaud that he has correctly stated the true position that obtains in Zimbabwe; that there is rule of law, there is constitutionalism and we are very happy that the President has upheld the due process and appointed the Chief Justice and, as the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, we are very happy that the President has appointed a new Chief Justice. A man of integrity and a man whom we look forward to upholding the Constitution of Zimbabwe and ensure that there is justice delivery in Zimbabwe. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. GWANETSA: Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to Hon. Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri. In her absence, I might re-direct my question to the Hon. Minister, Dr. Made.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Gwanetsa, please be seated. You cannot substitute Hon. Ministers. Your question must be pointed to a particular Minister or Ministry. If your question was directed – [HON. GWANETSA: Inaudible interjections.] – I have not finished. If your question was directed to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate and there is no Deputy, hold on to your question until the Hon. Minister comes through. 

          HON. GWANETSA: Mr. Speaker Sir, could I re-direct my question to the Leader of the House if he is in?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The Leader of the House is not in.

          HON. GUZAH:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.  The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act is very specific in terms of the reserved areas where Zimbabweans by their very nature must indulge their businesses in.  Despite the fact that His Excellency in the last State of the Nation Address was very clear in terms of aligning the laws and what is happening on the ground.  As we speak Mr. Speaker Sir, we have quite a number of people of Chinese origin and Ghanaians plying their trade in these key reserved areas…

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the question?

          HON. GUZAH:  The question is what is the Ministry doing in terms of aligning what His Excellency said in terms of the reserved areas.  Why do we continue to see foreigners trading in this particular area when it is a reserved area?  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  It is true that the Act is very clear with regard to reserved areas being reserved for our indigenous people.  However, the clarification from the President delegated the implementation of the Indigenisation Act to the various ministries.  It is now the responsibility of various line ministries to make sure that they do not allow people to trade in those areas.  I thank you Hon. Minister.

          HON. SITHOLE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that what policy measures are they putting in place as Government to ensure that there is harmony between their Ministry and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing which is actually more responsible for the issuance of licences yet their Ministry is the custodian of the Indigenisation Act.  Thank you. 

          HON. TONGOFA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I think last time the Hon. Member asked that question here in Parliament in writing, we responded to that question adequately.  We only coordinate the line ministries through the Cabinet Committee with regard to the implementation of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.  However, we suggested that the Local Government may make sure that companies which want to operate in Zimbabwe go through the Ministry before they start operating to make sure they allow their status in terms of shareholding has been looked at. If it is not in line with the Indigenisation Act, they do not allow those companies to operate.  We do not know how far they have gone with regard to the implementation of that condition.  So, I cannot say anything with regard to that because these are implemented in the line ministries at the moment.  Hon. Speaker, allow me to go and find out how far they have gone with regard to implementing the Reserved Sector Statutory Instrument in those line ministries.  I thank you Hon. Speaker. 

          +HON. G. M. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce.  How far have you gone in your objective in trying to improve Bulawayo companies which were not functioning properly, how far is it now?  When you introduced the policy you mentioned two companies. Are those two companies working well?  Are there any other companies that you have added on to this programme?  I thank you.

          +THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question.  I will not mention the two companies only but I will talk of the resuscitation of Bulawayo industries as it is important to bear in mind that Bulawayo is the hub of industry in Zimbabwe.  Now, there is a law which has just been put in place in Zimbabwe  that of Special Economic Zones.  This law has got opportunity to look into  resuscitation of Bulawayo companies.  As it is, we also have two policies which are in line with resuscitation of industries in the entire country and in particular, Bulawayo.

          The two policies are as follows;

i) The policy on cotton to clothing.

ii) The leather industry development policy.

The implementation of these will actually target Bulawayo industry resuscitation.  This cotton to clothing policy, was launched in Bulawayo so as to emphasise the earmarking to improve the textile industry, particularly in Bulawayo.  Looking at that, we assume that we will harvest a lot of cotton this season.  Hon. Made will probably give you the tonnage but we are expecting about 100 000 metric tonnes of cotton to be harvested this year.  Whilst on that, Bulawayo should have a place where this cotton should be processed from lint right through the value chain up to clothing. 

We should improve the textile industry in Bulawayo.  Whilst on that, the textile industry in Bulawayo has since been resuscitated and they are supplying Edgars with clothes manufactured in Bulawayo.  I would like this House to know that there is no reason to import suits and shirts for men because we have them in Bulawayo. 

In the leather industry, we are looking forward to resuscitate the industry through the CSC because that will resuscitate the leather industry in Bulawayo.  That is not the only area that we are looking at. We are also looking at the heavy industries in Bulawayo that supply mines throughout the country.  Particularly in Bulawayo, we have a programme, just before Trade Fair, to showcase what is happening in Bulawayo industries.  I thank you.

+HON. K. SIBANDA:    Hon. Minister, what impact has been realised from the introduction of the Statutory Instrument 64?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, this is not a supplementary question, this is a new question.

HON. MURAI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Last time, you promised that you will read out the Hon. Ministers who will be absent in the House before commencement of business.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I did not promise on that.  I made a commitment and that will be done tomorrow after I have concluded my investigations. 

*HON. CHISOROCHENGWE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My name is Chisorochengwe and no longer Teti Banda.  I am directing my question to the Minister of Agriculture....

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You do not direct your question to the Minister, but direct it to the Speaker.

*HON. CHISOROCHENGWE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.  What is Government policy regarding farmers who joined command agriculture but were not given all the inputs necessary for the programme?

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We will not go back and console them by giving them what was supposed to be given.  This was an initial programme and we are now looking at the times ahead.  We need to look at the inputs that are needed for the next planting season but definitely we will not act retrospectively.  We will keep on implementing new changes because this was a learning curve.  We are now looking at wheat farmers and we are urging farmers who want to get into the command wheat agriculture to come and register.  Command agriculture is going to include almost all the crops and livestock, a livestock programme.

HON. MLISWA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is, Minister your role in having to discharge your duties is to plan properly especially if you are an agriculture minister.  Your answer is indicative of the fact that you did not plan properly and in not having to plan properly, there was shortage of inputs.  As much as command agriculture has done well, you are admitting that the planning was poor.  What assurance do we have in moving forward that the planning will be spot-on?  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, I hope you understand what it means by spot-on.

HON. DR. MADE:  Yes, I do.  I do not accept the assertion that the planning was not spot-on. That I want to assure the Hon. Member.  I indicated in my response that whenever you are starting a programme or a project, it has its own weaknesses and strengths.  By and large, this programme had many strengths that we are building on.  However, I will be fair to the Hon. Member and say; the assurances are there that we will improve on the planning.  Planning is also a science and not as perfect as you would like to paint it.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. D. SIBANDA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I can see that there are hiccups here and there on command agriculture.  I would like to seek clarity from the Minister in terms of the funding because some people are saying, command agriculture was funded to the tune of $190 million and others are saying $500 million. 

HON. DR. MADE:    Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for raising that supplementary, it gives me the opportunity to clarify to the nation.  Five hundred million was the target.  As we moved into the programme, various offers were made towards that $500 million. However, the bottom line was that there was a certain interest rate that was acceptable for us in order to pass, that onto the farmers.  As you know, farmers are primary producers, they are price takers and if we had taken money that was expensive, we would have crippled the farmers.  So, at the end of the day, the percentage that was accepted was 6 percent and below.  This is the limitation that limited us from taking the 500 million that was offered.

The figures that are being referred to, if the Hon. Member wishes, she can put the question in writing so that I can have an opportunity to clarify on that particular matter.  I thank you.

          *HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: My supplementary is that there are farmers who got some inputs but they did not get all the inputs that they applied for the hectrage that they planted.  They are also saying that the expected yield will not be achieved because it was affected by lack of inputs.  What are you going to do with such farmers?  How are you going to work out their payment plans because it is not their fault that they did not get the required inputs timeously but only got part of the inputs and the remainder never came?  How are you going to treat such a scenario?

          *HON. DR. MADE:  The Hon Member is talking about farmers who received partial inputs and what we know is that we have a clear set out agriculture structure where these farmers can go and talk about their problems.  What we know is that we cannot just guess but from a policy point of view, like I have stated, we have command structures where that farmer can go.  Hence, I cannot answer this question as a general question therefore I urge these farmers to go to their command centres and should there be any problems we will then deal with it on an individual basis so that we get the details and give technical responses to the questions.  Where you have not received all the inputs from Command agriculture, farmers did not necessarily take the whole package.  Other farmers had their own seed while others had part of their own fertilizers.  You only came into Command agriculture voluntarily for the items that you possibly did not have and wanted funded by command agriculture.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Chidhakwa, can you put your question in writing so that you can get a detailed response.

          HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is very important that we take the business of Parliament seriously.   The Minister knows that I signed a contract for Command agriculture and the farmer was to get everything.  He is lying through his teeth if he says the contract says that you were supposed to get other things.  I have a contract which I can produce showing that Government was supposed to provide everything.  Why is he not telling the truth in this House? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, that is not a point of order.

          HON NDUNA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon Nduna, what is the issue?

          HON NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon Members please listen to the Chair when I make a ruling.  I said Hon. Chidhakwa is the last person to ask a supplementary question.  Thank you.

          +HON. TOFFA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Services.  I was talking of the resuscitation of Bulawayo industries and some will be resuscitated.  I would like to find out what the Ministry has put in place to enable people to register for employment, such as employment bureaus which used to be at a place called Vhundu where people would go and register for employment.  I am saying that because people in Bulawayo have been crying that some non residents are taking over their jobs.  So what is your Ministry doing to resuscitate the industries?

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR, AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for bringing a very important question and contribution.  As a Ministry, we are delighted with the positive developments in the country and we will be liaising with our counterparts in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  I want to remind the Hon Member that we still have employment bureaus in Harare and Bulawayo.  However, they have not been very active in view of what is happening in terms of the economic recovery.  We will make sure that as a Ministry we re-advertise and make sure people are aware of where they can register for employment as well as going into other provinces when the situation arises.  So, it is something which is very important and we will be looking into it, though we have two which are operational although low key.  Now we just need to advertise and let people know and also ask the Hon. Members to conscientise their constituents so that people know where to go and register for employment.  I thank you

          HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, I seek clarification on Government’s position regarding reducing public expenditure through cutting down of Government employees.  I particularly seek clarification on the issue of youth officers.  What is their job – is it critical at this point?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  The original question concerned policy on the establishment of employment bureaus where people could register for employment.  That is the original question so; your question does not arise.

          HON. NDEBELE: May I seek you indulgence Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: No, your question does not arise as a supplementary.  You will have to have a fresh question.

          HON. B. TSHUMA: Spoke in Nambya.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, in summary the Hon. Member is saying, some youths and other people do register for employment at those employment bureaus but in the end, those who have registered in that locality are not taken and, you get people from outside the locality being employed, ignoring those who have registered.  I think the Hon. Member said, in some instances, they are brought in in buses.

          HON. MUPFUMIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for bringing to my attention the challenge or problem.  It is not Government policy to allow importation of labour from different areas.  It is something which we would like to look into if I maybe availed a detailed report so that we can follow through to curb that.  It is not Government’s policy and we do not encourage importation of people from various areas to come and take jobs for locals.  So, if I can be availed with the details, we will follow up as a Ministry.

          HON. B. TSHUMA:  I had a specific request.  I want to know at the policy level what remedies are there before I can even attempt to pursue the remedy as the Minister rightly advises.  Before I can even go and compile information to bring to her, I want to know what remedies are available to that community, then I can be inspired to follow up.  As it stands right now, if there are no remedies, as I seem to suspect from the answer that she gave, then there will not be any point for me to follow up.

          So, I would want to know the remedies that are available at policy level.  I thank you.

          HON. MUPFUMIRA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am sure that the Hon. Members will agree with me that we can only act on facts and that is what I have requested that once we have the facts, we will be able to come up with the remedies.  Perhaps the remedies are already there but I need facts for me to be able to assist.  I have already said as Government, it is not our policy to encourage importation of labour, because we all come from constituencies. If there is employment in the area, we expect the locals if they have the requisite skills to be given priority.  But, I am saying let me have the facts and we will deal with whatever needs to be done.  Thank you.

          HON. K. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.  Minister, how far have we gone with the resuscitation of the Cold Storage Company and what are the strategies that you have put in place?

          THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR.MADE):  Mr. Speaker, the question is a detailed question. However, from a policy point of view, I just reaffirm that we are in the process of resuscitating the Cold Storage Company starting with the appointment of  a new board and that will be done just now.  Then also, that Cold Storage Company will be the major player in the command agriculture related to livestock.  I want to mention - even though that question I will answer in the written question that I am answering today on the partnership with NSSA as well, as they are coming in to invest in that company.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          HON. MANGAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I intended to ask a question to the Minister of Health and Child Care when I registered to ask my question but now that the Minister is not around, I stand down my question.

          HON. WATSON:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  I would like him to tell the House and the urban population particularly, how he feels their policy for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to use large metal bars with spikes as lethal weapons rather than the control of traffic and the improvement of road safety.  Thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. O. MGUNI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you Hon. Member for the pertinent question that a lot of Zimbabweans would like to hear and get clarity on.  Spikes, boom-gates and walls are under the column of security barriers to control traffic or human beings. It is vital to control traffic or human beings.  It is vital for police or any security organ to use the spike to prevent vehicles from parking in that area or going through the road that the spike is laid on.  Therefore, you are controlling traffic.

However, the dispute that has come across Zimbabweans is that when do the police put the spikes on the road because some people say they throw it on the vehicles.  Some drivers will then run over the spike when they are disobeying the rules of being controlled.  I went to Bulawayo three days ago to see exactly whether the police throw or put spikes –[Laughter.]-  I saw the police laying the spike down and I saw the taxi driver running over the spike.  It is the Parliament that has to conscientise and educate the drivers to follow the rules because they are carrying people. You cannot run away from a ten dollar fine, run over the spike and sacrifice the lives of eighteen people.  We need to educate our drivers on spikes.  I thank you -[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

HON. WATSON:  Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, I was in Bulawayo four days ago and witnessed-[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order!  Can you switch off the microphone at the back there?

 HON. WATSON:  I was in Bulawayo four days ago and witnessed road traffic officers holding those very metal poles with spikes not in front of the vehicle but from behind a vehicle running to lance with that weapon.  It is not for traffic control.  If it is used correctly, it should be put on the road and not to hold it.  Can the Minister not clarify that point instead of making it the fault of drivers?  Thank you.

HON. MGUNI:  As I articulated, the dispute -[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

HON. MUDZURI:  On a point of order

 THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order!  Hon. Mudzuri, the Deputy Minister has not even opened his mouth to answer the question.  Why are you raising point of order before he answers?

HON. MUDZURI:  That is where my point of order is.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Procedurally, the Hon. Minister must answer first.  I must give him that opportunity.

HON. MGUNI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  If a police officer was running behind the taxi with a spike throwing it, it is not allowed.  A spike is laid on the ground as I explained, as a security barrier but one cannot throw an object on a moving vehicle.  If that has happened, we need to discipline that officer because that is not allowed because it causes other damages like breaking the windows. 

If there is a particular incident like that, the Hon. Member has the right to come to our offices and report that and action will be taken.

HON. MUDZURI:  My point of order is that I am shocked by the behaviour of most of the Members of Parliament here.  They get excited and try to clap hands over death traps which are being put on our people. I think we must be disciplined and let the Minister respond correctly as to what should be seen to be happening to our people.  It is not proper to  find somebody excited and clapping hands over something that has threatened our people’s life. It is not fair.

My point of order is that we must be disciplined as Members of Parliament and behave.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mudzuri, it is up to the Chair to control that. 

HON. HOLDER:  Hon. Speaker, I have a supplementary question to the answer that was given.  Can the Minister please explain to this House if the spikes that are being carried by the policemen are under the specifications which the Police Act conforms to?

HON. MGUNI: Mr. Speaker Sir, can he repeat the question.  I was in a discussion.

HON. HOLDER:  Are the spikes that the police are carrying according to the Police Act in terms of the specifications, length and the way they are laid?  Are they in conformity with that because a spike looks like a weapon?

HON. MGUNI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Yes, that is where I started when I was explaining to say that they are counted as one of the security barriers.  They are there.  The dispute is about how to use it and I explained that the police officer must lay the spike down.  Even a security guard is allowed to lay it in a no parking area so that you do not park your car on that area.  It is a warning sign.

HON. HOLDER:  That is what he was asked.  He never answered.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order!  I think the Hon. Deputy Minister has been very clear.

HON. MAONDERA:  My point of order is that Ministers must come here to answer questions.  Hon. Tshinga Dube is asleep there -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-  He is supposed to be here to answer questions.  War Veterans are suffering and that Minister is asleep.  What does that mean?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order, order!  Hon. Member, you are now out of decorum.

*HON. MUTSEYAMI: Mvura iyo mugeze kumeso.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mutseyami and your colleague there.   When someone closes his eyes - [Laughter.]- Order, order Hon. Mpariwa please, closing one’s eyes may not be sleeping.  So, I saw him as closing his eyes.  You cannot determine whether someone is sleeping because he has closed his eyes.

          An Hon. Member having wanted to pose a supplementary question.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: No more supplementary questions on that one.

          *HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I wanted to direct my question to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  In his absence, I will direct it to the Leader of the House, the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa.  Now, that the date is 29th March, towards the end of the month, there are very long queues at the banks.  People are now absconding from work trying to get money from the banks.

          Since there is shortage of cash, people are now not able to carry out their duties and they are wasting productive time standing in queues.  What is Government policy regarding the increase of cash so that everybody who wants money would get it, especially when we are looking at the end of the month where people want to pay their bills?  In fact people get their salaries through banks and they intend to get their money.

          *THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. MNANGAGWA): Hon. Speaker, I advise the Hon. Member to put the question in writing so that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development would go and check the details in consultation with the Reserve Bank Governor and the question can then be answered.

          The Hon. Member is a former Minister and she is aware that you cannot tell that Treasury has so much funds or nothing.  It is also Government policy that when people have worked, they should be paid.  When they go to the banks to get their salaries, they should get their money on time.  When there is no money, we then need to question the banks and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).  That is why I have asked the Member to put the question in writing.

          *HON. ENG. MUDZURI: My supplementary question regarding the shortage of cash in the banks is – we had a discussion with the Vice President on cash shortage recently.  My question is what plans does Government have in re-introducing the US dollars in paying out people who need that money.  I remember the RBZ issues out a statement - looking at the priority list in the allocation of funds; it appeared that the US dollars will only be given to the industry people and not ordinary people.  Ordinary people will only receive the bond notes.  As a result, they will go to the exchange bureau to get foreign currency.  When they want to go outside the country, they have problems in getting the foreign currency.

          Before, we get out of the Inclusive Government; we used to get our money directly from the banks.  Now, the problem is you cannot access the necessary foreign currency to go outside the country.

          *HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA: Yes, we once had a discussion about liquidity shortages and we made a foresight that we were going to face some cash shortage in the country.  I also explained to him the four ways where we get our foreign currency.  He said he knows the four ways.  So, I am not going to talk about them.  They are the same methods we are still using to get our foreign currency.

          I did not clearly get his second point because he was meandering and I could not get the gist of the question.  He said if an individual has an account with US dollars or rands and if that person wants to go out of the country – the policy which is in existence is that when you are travelling outside the country, the amount which you can carry is stipulated, especially if it is an amount which is in the bank.  We also look at what it is that you want to buy outside the country.  That does not depend on the amount you have but on the amount which is in the Treasury to facilitate the importation of goods.

          As I said, I did not understand the other  part of his question – is there a limit that is set aside that if you are going outside the country and you want cash, the amount should be about $1000.00, but I am not very sure about the exact amount.  All I know is that there is a set limit which one can withdraw for going outside the country.  If you go to a bank and tell them that you want bond notes, they are available in the banks.  I am talking of the money which is in your account.  You cannot access someone’s account. What I am explaining is that you access the amount which is in your account. This also relates to the foreign currency in the United States dollar and that is why I advised you to write the question down, and the responsible Minister of Finance will give the correct response to that. So, since you are saying there is a liquidity crunch, we then have to ask the Minister of Finance who will liaise with the Reserve Bank Governor and tell you of the availability of cash.

THE HON. SPEAKER: There is a vehicle registration number ADF 7027. It is a cream Land Cruiser which is blocking the exit of another vehicle.

HON. KHUPE: Thank you very much Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa. I have a supplementary question to do with foreign currency. The Mid-Term Review Monetary Statement meant to meet the needs of SMEs. However, access to foreign currency allocations from banks is a big problem. Even the priority lists are not being followed. What is Government doing to make sure that SMEs, especially women have access to foreign currency allocations from banks so that they are able to replenish their stocks since they are the major drivers of this economy?

HON. E.  MNANGAGWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am in total agreement with the questioner. That is the thrust we would want to achieve. How much of it we have achieved, it is a question of the availability of resources to meet the objectives which you have identified as useful to the growth of the economy. I thank you.

*HON. CHIDHAKWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. The workers, especially civil servants have problems of accumulation of debts because they are not receiving their salaries on time. They borrowed money from the banks and the banks are adding interest as per agreement. What is the Government policy regarding the payment of civil servants salaries on time so that they can settle their bills on time without being affected by interest which is charged by these financial institutions. As I speak, some of the members are about to have their houses attached because of ballooning credits with these financial institutions.

*THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. It is Government policy that workers receive their salaries on time because they will have worked for it. At the moment, we have a liquidity crunch in the country and civil servants are not being paid on time. Regarding the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, I have stated that workers should be paid on time. We only have control of what is happening in Government. I am happy that all civil servants are receiving their salaries within a week after month end. We know we have very few people who are disadvantaged but as Government we pay salaries at stated times at least a week after the month has elapsed. We also as Government make enquiries if there are any labour disputes regarding salaries and intervene trying to make harmony in the working industry. As Government, we are proud to say we receive our salaries a week after month end. In the private sector, that is a different set up.

*HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am directing my question to the Vice President, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa. In the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, we have learners who are failing to raise the exam fee which is required. As a result, they are now writing a subject per year and accumulating up to six certificates. When they go to apply for enrolment at tertiary institutions, they are told that the institutions want students who have sat their examinations in two sittings not six. Therefore, how can the Government work on this programme to alleviate the problem of these students?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me say this is the first time for me to hear of this problem. I think I would advise the Hon. Member to put the question in writing so that it can be responded to by the relevant Minister.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Hon. Member, may you put your question in writing so that the relevant Minister will respond.

*HON. CHAMISA: I am surprised Mr. Speaker Sir because the Vice President who works hand in hand with the President is answering all questions. He then says he does not know what is going and I wonder how he cannot respond to that question when he is in such a high office.

*VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA): What I heard is that Hon. Chamisa is now Vice President.

THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Nduna and Hon. Mliswa in that order please.

*HON. NDUNA: Thank you. I want to thank … - [HON. MEMBERS: Muri kudzokorora vanhu sei. You keep calling vanhu vari kumberi ikoko munoti hakunawo vanhu here ku back kunoku] – ndinonzi Nduna ka ini.

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

          HON. RUNGANI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am asking that we extend the question time with 10 more minutes.

          HON. NDUNA:  I second.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It took time coming but came nevertheless. My question goes to the Leader of the House and Vice President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa. As head of Command Agriculture in Cabinet and in the nation, compared to what we were expecting out of Command Agriculture and also with what we are going to get, is there a variance or we will get what we had budgeted in terms of quantum as it relates to the grain that we are going to get or that we expect to get out from the venture?

THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. If you go through your Order Paper, that question is already on the Order Paper Number 25. So it does not arise at this juncture.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for your guidance.

THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you. After Hon. Mliswa we will have Hon. A. Mnangagwa and then Hon. Murai in that order please - [HON. MEMBERS: Inadudible interjections]-. You may go ahead Hon. Mliswa.

*HON. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment. May you please explain the progress regarding the Community Share Ownership Trust because what is happening in Zvimba, I noticed that the people of Norton who are supposed to benefit from ZIMPLATS are not benefiting and the only people who are benefiting are the people of Zvimba. My question is, why should we have people from outside benefiting and yet those in the mine vicinity whose resources are being exploited are not benefiting. 

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA): I thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question Hon. Mliswa. The Government Policy regarding Community Share Ownership Trusts is that the people who are within the vicinity of the resources being exploited especially the district, are the people who are supposed to benefit from the exploitation of their natural resources. They should be specifically getting something from the companies investing in their area and what you are saying is surprising to me. We do not discriminate people in that area and benefit people outside that jurisdiction.

*HON. MLISWA: This question is pertinent. The Deputy Minister said those within the district should benefit. ZIMPLATS is under Chegutu and Zvimba is an independent district hence I am saying why Zvimba should benefit yet the people of Norton where ZIMPLATS is resident were not benefiting? My contention is Zvimba and Chegutu have two administrative districts. Chegutu is an independent district just as Zvimba is and I repeat, why should Zvimba benefit at the expense of Norton?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and please, may I advise the Hon. Member that the Government policy is that, the people who live within the vicinity should benefit. But when it comes to the implementation of the programme, there is a team which includes the area traditional chiefs who should decide on which areas should benefit. I think what I may best advise the Hon. Member is that, Hon. Mliswa, put your question in writing. Then we will carry out our own investigations and respond accordingly.

THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. A. Mnagwagwa. HON. ZWIZWAI: Mungabvumidza munhu one chete Mr. Speaker kuti abvunze mubvunzo?

THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The Minister said put the question in writing.

HON. ZWIZWAI: It is a supplementary.

THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: No it does not arise.

HON. ZWIZWAI: Haaa, totadza kubvunza supplementary?

*HON. A. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am directing my question to the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry and I am saying, we are in the contest for the World Tourism Organisation Presidency and we want to get that position. How far are we in this race? Give us a briefing regarding how we are progressing.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. NDHLOVU): Thank you Hon. Member for asking such an important question. If Zimbabwe is going to be successfully elected into the hierarchy of world tourism, definitely we are going to benefit. Actually, we are very glad to inform you that there is very stiff competition for that position being contested by seven people of which two of them are from Africa. But talking of Africa, the Zimbabwean candidate was being supported by most of the State Presidents in Africa and this was shown in Kigali, Rwanda though because this position is very powerful, we have some people going behind the back of African leaders saying they also want to contest.

In December we got people from Seychelles who submitted their own candidate and are trying to arm twist Zimbabwe out of this but as Zimbabweans, we are a people who are hard working and very creative. When we set our mind on a certain aspect, we definitely see it through and we are campaigning to the other countries with the right to vote. We have got thirty three countries in the Executive Council who are going to vote and, they also form part of the UN tourism board. Therefore, I am asking all the people of Zimbabwe to support their candidate. Cognisant that His Excellency always talks about   the reform of the United Nations.  We are saying as Africa, we need to have more seats in the United Nations.  The World Tourism Organisation is one of the organisations of the United Nations.  Let me look at the benefit of winning this seat.  We will benefit more because there will be more tourists coming not only to Zimbabwe but the region. 

Our candidate, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon. Mzembi is always talking about the improvement of the number of tourists into the country.  What is happening at the moment is, globally we are just getting a fraction of what we should be getting in terms of tourists coming into the country.  We believe when we have taken up that seat, we will have more jobs in the country.  I thank you.

*HON. MURAI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We are being told about what is happening on this world tourism position.  It is showing that as you are progressing the campaign for this position is getting to be very stiff.  I am suggesting that since we have our colleagues who have the NIKUV system, may we please ask them to intervene and give us the technology so that we win this position at all costs – [Laughter.] - 

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

HON. MAONDERA:  I have a point of order Mr. Speaker. 

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

HON. MAONDERA:  My point of order Mr. Speaker is to request the Minister of Energy and Power Development to give us a Ministerial Statement regarding the issue of pre-paid meters.  A lot of residents are being duped of their hard earned cash and since they installed pre-paid meters in various areas, they did not finish, particularly in Glen Norah, Kuwadzana, Highfield and Glenview.  So, we are having a challenge because residents are in darkness as to when ZESA is going to resume that programme and when it is going to end.  There is a lot of corruption going on and people’s hard earned cash is being stolen.  So, we request a Ministerial Statement if possible so that we can interrogate the issues.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The Statement will be prepared so that everybody understands where we are and that they are not conned by some people.  Thank you very much.  

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

INSTALLATION OF COMMUNICATION BOOSTERS IN MWENEZI WEST CONSTITUENCY

          12.  HON. L. MOYO asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to state when communication boosters (Econet) would be installed in Mwenezi West Constituency since the request was made in Parliament in 2013.

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MANDIWANZIRA):  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Moyo for the question.  I obviously would like to say that operators in this sector are facing huge challenges in terms of deploying base stations and boosters across the country. 

          Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has a total of eight boosters in Mwenezi West Constituency with the last to be constructed being Mwenezana site in October, 2013.  Econet indicated that since that time to date, they did not manage to construct additional boosters and they do not have any plans to do so due to resource constraints. 

          Telecel has two boosters in the constituency and of the two, the one in Rutenga was upgraded to 3G in 2013.  There are plans to upgrade the Mwenezana site in 2018. 

          NetOne is also cognisant of the challenges being faced by Mwenezi West residents on network availability. Against this background, plans are underway to ensure that the situation improves this year.  A total of seven sites have been earmarked for network deployment in 2017.  The areas that are under consideration are:  Maranda, Sarauro, Mwenezana, Lundi, Matibi Mission, Alko and Mwenezi Centre.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ), the regulator who administers the Universal Services Fund (USF), which is used to service underserviced rural areas indicated that the constituency has not yet benefited from the fund.  POTRAZ, however indicated that once the major project of rolling out the communication boosters to all the underserviced areas is approved,  Mwenezi West constituency will benefit.

          In summary therefore, there is a total of ten mobile communication boosters in Mwenezi West Constituency, eight for Econet and two for Telecel.  An additional seven boosters for NetOne are planned for this year.  Therefore, by the end of this year, people in Mwenezi West Constituency will have a choice to use any of Zimbabwe’s three networks though connectivity will remain intermittent because of the sparse population of the boosters that will still exist by year end.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary question to the Minister is, do you not think it is a good idea to start developing an infrastructure master plan upon which you will then bench-mark progress in a time sensitive manner to say by such and such a year, you are going to be having infrastructure of this nature or that character in a particular area, so that citizens are able to follow the progress particularly in the rural areas. Correspondingly linked to that, are you also not considering the introduction of national roaming, meaning to say that citizens are able to roam from one network onto another, for example from Telecel to Econet; so that we do not have unnecessary duplication and multiplicity of boosters and competition of infrastructure in unnecessary fashion.

HON. NDUNA:  On a point of order.  Mr. Speaker, I am not going to rise again on a supplementary question because he has taken the words out of my mouth.  The issue is about local roaming...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Nduna.  There was no need of you saying that.

HON. MANDIWANZIRA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Chamisa for a very important question. The short answer to his question is that we are considering a national roll-out plan.  The second part of his question is, when are we going to introduce national roaming.  We have already introduced the infrastructure sharing regulations.  Therefore, it is now up to the operators themselves to discuss these roaming arrangements.  We believe that it is important that service is introduced because it saves money and deployment of infrastructure because it means that you are not passing on any particular cost to the consumers.

In line with that also, we have instructed that number portability be introduced before the end of this year.  This has been on the cards for the last three years.  To explain to Hon. Members what this means – number portability is that you should, as a subscriber to a mobile network, be able to choose to migrate from your current network to another network with your current number.  If you are on NetOne or on Econet and you want to go and enjoy NetOne services or vis-a-vis, you should be able to take your number. The 0712 must work on Econet and the 0772 must work on NetOne.  That is what is number portability.  We have directed that before the end of this year, it be introduced to help consumers seek better services. 

We realised that one of the major reasons why people get stuck with a service that is poor is that they do not want to lose the number that they have had for a long time.  It undermines their business and their contacts.  We believe number portability must be introduced before the end of the year and that instruction has gone out.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

ELECTRIFICATION OF KACHIVA PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

13.   HON. KWARAMBA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain to the House why Kachiva Primary School and Kachiva Secondary School in the Hurungwe Constituency, Mashonaland West are still not yet electrified despite the fact that the necessary tubing was done in 2002.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN.  MUZENDA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Kwaramba for the question.  Mr. Speaker sir, Kachiva Primary School was electrified in 2011.  Some houses are actually connected and ZESA is from time to time attending to faults in the complex.  Those houses that are still not connected are due to the fact that the customers have not yet paid their connection fees.  Kachiva Secondary School, on the other hand, is not yet electrified.  At the time the primary school was connected, the structures for the secondary school had not yet been put up and the secondary school was using the facilities from the primary school.  The secondary school later put up its own structures and according to the rural electrification programme, the secondary school which is just 400 metres away from the existing grid will be electrified in 2018, resources permitting.

Hon. Members may wish to know that it has now become very common for customers, inclusive of institutions to remain without electricity years after the grid has been erected, resulting in infrastructure redundancy.  This is normally result of lack of financial capacity to fund internal wiring and pay connection fees.  To get around this problem, ZESA is with effect from 1st March 2017 expected to implement a policy position whereby they capitalise the cost of connection for the institutions.  After connection, ZESA will recover their costs as the consumers do their electricity top up under the prepayment platform.  The institutions are however still expected to do the internal wiring. 

HON. KHUPE:  The Honourable asked about a primary school and a secondary school and the Minister is talking about houses that have been electrified and not classrooms.  Mr. Speaker Sir, education is the greatest vaccination against poverty and children can only get out of poverty if they are well educated.  If the environment in a school is not conducive, especially where there is no electricity, you do not expect children to perform well.  I would like to know, 15 years down the line, why these schools have not been electrified when tubing has already been done.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order.  Hon. Minister, before you stand up, apparently this school is in my constituency and it was electrified long back.  I do not see why this question is on her.

PLANS TO AMELIORATE ELECTRICITY CHALLENGES IN PARTS OF CHITUNGWIZA

          14.   HON. MUSUNDIRE asked the Minister Energy and Power Development to inform the House, what plans the Ministry has to ameliorate the challenges in some parts of Unit J in Chitungwiza which have been without electricity for over four months despite the fact that some individuals from ZESA have been moving around collecting money from residents and claiming that such payments would go towards the repairing of the transformer.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Unit J lost a 200KVA transformer in December 2016.  Power was fully restored on Friday 24th February 2017.  The delay in power restoration was due to the critical shortage of transformers owing to increased faults caused by theft and vandalism as well as thunderstorms. 

Transformer repairs are the responsibility of ZETDC through its sister company ZESA Enterprises.  However, some criminal elements have been taking advantage of vulnerable clients to collect money purportedly for transformer repairs.  Residents should approach customer service centres when in doubt for an official position.  I would want to emphasise that consumers should desist from entertaining unscrupulous elements who are ripping off customers of their hard earned cash in the name of representing ZESA.

         HON. SITHOLE: My supplementary question is on intervention mechanisms that the Ministry has put in place to ensure that these transformers which are being vandalised almost on a daily basis in Chitungwiza does not recur.  What security measures do they put around those transformers because most of the transformers are left unattended?  There is no security guard or security system to guard those transformers.   So, on a daily basis, they are being vandalised yet they are very expensive to replace.

          HON. MUZENDA:  Whilst I appreciate that ZESA should be providing security for the transformers, it is important that we should try also to educate our constituents about the importance of transformers and how expensive they are to replace.  Since there are quite a number of transformers, it becomes very expensive for ZESA to provide security, hence people should also help the enterprise by conscientising the users.

MONEY OWED TO ZESA

15.    HON. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Energy and Power

Development to inform the House on:

(a) What the Ministry is doing to assist ZESA recover the more than one billion dollars that it is owed by consumers, especially Government Ministries and departments.

         (b)What the impact of non-payment by consumers to ZESA which

              has to service its external debt of imported electricity is.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA): The Ministry is engaging Government Ministries to arrange for the off-setting of ZESA debt with its obligations to Government departments and institutions.  In addition, inter-ministerial interventions are being employed to collect debts of private entities under various Ministries such as Mines and Industry.

The non-payment by consumers has resulted in ZESA failing to service its external debt for power imports of up to 400 MW.  The external debt currently stands at $77 million.  There is a risk of curtailment of imports from HCB and Eskom that may lead to load-shedding.  ZPC is owed $741 million for local power purchases and this is resulting in low coal stocks as winter approaches.  The non-payment is also negatively affecting the smooth flow of operations and provision of service delivery.  ZESA is owed over $1 billion despite the measures being taken to recover that debt to its suppliers and it is also facing cashflow challenges.

HON. CHIRISA:  Thank you for your response Deputy Minister.  However, I still want to know how long this debt has been carried over and the impact on the mega project by ZESA.

HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  The debt was there when I joined the Ministry so, I do not know how long that debt has been outstanding.  It is impacting heavily on the repayment as I indicated in my response that the import bill as of last week is standing at $77 million.  So you can see that it really is heavy but the Ministry and ZESA itself are trying their level best to recover the debt through inter-ministerial arrangements.  When it comes to Parastatals, we are trying to engage the parent Ministries, for example, in the case of the Hwange debt, we go to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce so they can at least try and persuade their parastatal to make some payments but it is not easy going.

HARMONISATION OF THE MARRIAGE LAWS BILL

17.    HON. MUSVAIRE asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs, to inform the House when the Ministry would

bring before Parliament the proposed Bill on Harmonization of Marriage

Laws.

         THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,

LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.

MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Marriages Act and the

Customary Marriages Act are among the pieces of legislation which

were identified as requiring alignment to the Constitution.  Some of the

provisions in these Acts are incongruent with the Supreme law of the

land and thus need to be aligned thereto.  Such issues as the abolition of

child marriages in whatever form and the equitable distribution of

matrimonial property upon divorce or separation of spouses, amongst

other issues, is the subject matter to be considered in aligning these Acts.

The two Acts will be harmonised under one Marriages Act.

         At present, the Memorandum of Principles of the Marriage Bill has

been prepared and will be presented before Cabinet for approval.  If the

principles are approved, the drafting and consultative processes will

follow before the Bill is presented to Parliament.  It is important to note

that the Marriages Bill is one of the legislation which formed part of the

legislative agenda as presented by His Excellency, Cde. R. G. Mugabe

when he officially opened the current Parliamentary session in October

2016.   As soon as the consultative and drafting stages are completed,

the Bill will be brought before this honourable House.  We are hopeful

that this will be done during the current Parliamentary Session.

         Some of the proposed amendments to the marriage regime

particularly, the outlawing of child marriages will be dealt with under

the General Laws Amendment Bill.  Drafting of these provisions is

almost complete and these will be contained under the General Laws

Amendment Bill.  I thank you.

DECENTRALISATION OF PRODUCTION OF PASSPORTS TO DISTRICT OFFICES

          18.  HON. CHITURA asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House, whether the Ministry has any plans to decentralise the production of passports to district offices.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. O. MGUNI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  According to the international Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards which come under the United Nations, the production of passports should be in a centralised and well secure area.  In Zimbabwe, we have decentralised the passports to the provincial capitals and it is only one provincial capital which is Lupane.  However, the offices and systems have been put in place but, the staff has not yet gone there and the Department of Public Works is still sorting out their accommodation.  We may not decentralise more than that to the district due to the security that is required from UN and I have seen that some provincial capitals are very far from each other.  We have made arrangements that the nearest provincial capital, for example, Gokwe North, the nearest place is Gweru which is Midlands.  So, Gweru can accept the passport applications from Gokwe North.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

ACCESSING OF PENSION FUNDS

          20. HON. CHITURA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, 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):  Thank you 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 the 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 pensions within two months of retirement.  A lump sum payment is paid approximately one year after retirement. 

However, as a Ministry, we are working with Treasury to ensure that the lump sum is paid on time, preferably a month or two after retirement.  The current delay is undesirable.  I thank you.

REENGAGEMENT OF RETRENCHED WORKERS

          26.  HON. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to explain to the House whether in view of the anticipated bumper harvest Grain Marketing Board would reengage all the more than 1 200 workers who were retrenched and if not what criteria would be used and which skills would Grain Marketing Board consider from such people.

          THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): I want to thank the Hon. Member for raising the question.  Hon. Member, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) may reengage some of its employees with grain handling and storage skills.  The selection criteria will be guided by its recruitment procedures.  Thank you.

          HON. CHIRISA:  Thank you Minister for the response but Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to know – we know that there were over 1 000 workers retrenched and they are picking these skilled ones only.  What are they going to do about the remainder who are also struggling at the moment?  Thank you.

          HON. DR. MADE:  I think that the Hon. Member needs to understand that, when an institution retrenches, the workers would have received benefits but it is also understood that, in granting the permit to retrench, it is as a result of, generally speaking, down sizing business.  So, as and when the business comes back to life, it does not mean that only skilled workers - no, it can also mean human resources, administration and those in the finance side, that, the Grain Marketing Board will examine as the need arises. 

Some workers may have alreadyfound something else to do but on the skills side, when we are talking of grain storage, it is not just a question of just putting bags there.  There are actually skills to put up those stacks – the straining that is related to that even in human resources, in administration, maybe GMB used to train its people if they are experienced people who went out maybe without any crime or something like that, certainly, the institution will consider that as and when the development comes.  It is not only GMB but it is all agro related entities and institutions and even companies.  So, that will be looked at as the issue of resuscitation of the economy and in particular agriculture takes place.  Thank you.

AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN GRAIN MARKETING BOARD (G.M.B)

          27. HON. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to explain to the House whether in view of the fact that there are plans to fund agricultural activities in Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and reviving CSC in Bulawayo, Marondera, Kadoma and other areas using NSSA contributions by workers, there are any plans for a NSSA housing scheme for the workers who are the major contributors to the fund.

          THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): Mr. Speaker, unfortunately on this question, there are portions that relate to NSSA that the Hon. Member might wish to refer to NSSA, in particular the NSSA housing scheme for the workers.  I think if the construction of that question could be separated.

          On the issue of the Grain Marketing Board, we have no plans of carrying out GMB using NSSA funds.  We have not applied for that.  As regards the CSC, I have already indicated that NSSA has taken the option to invest along with others in the Cold Storage Company.  This will also help our livestock areas which is also very important. 

I also need just to add for the Hon. Member that remember, NSSA also invested in the fertiliser companies that support agriculture in general with fertilisers.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for raising these questions.  Thank you.

HON. CHIRISA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I just wanted to find out whether the Deputy Minister can answer the last part of the question or I have to put it in writing again.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. MADE):  With your permission Mr. Speaker, yes, the Hon. Member can put that part of the question in writing.

WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PLANS TO REDUCE ELECTRICITY TARIFFS IN SUPPORT OF IRRIGATION SCHEMES

16.  HON. A.   MNANGAGWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House whether the Ministry has any plans to reduce electricity tariffs in support of irrigation schemes for winter cropping in view of the fact that the country has received a lot of

rainfall for 2016 / 2017 farming season which is expected to yield a

bumper harvest.

 

     THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA): ZESA supports the Command Agriculture and Winter Wheat programmes.  The utility has made arrangements to import power from HCB and Eskom to ensure that there are adequate power supplies during the winter season and hence support irrigation.  However, the cost of supplying this power to the farmers leaves no room for a tariff reduction.  The tariff is already below cost of supply.  The Ministry has, through the Command Agriculture programme, requested that electricity for winter wheat should be funded as part of the other inputs such as seed, fertilizer and chemicals with such costs being repaid after harvesting.

On the motion of  HON. MATUKE seconded by HON. DZIVA, the House adjourned at Twenty-Three Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 29 MARCH 2017 VOL 43 NO 50