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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 30 JANUARY 2019 VOL 45 NO 29

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 30th January, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

INVITATION TO A CONSTITUENCY DEVELOPMENT FUND WORKSHOP

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I wish to inform the House that all Hon. Members are being reminded to attend the Workshop on Constituency Development Constituency Fund (CDF) to be held tomorrow, Thursday, 31st January, 2019 from 0830 hours to 1000 hours at Rainbow Towers, in the Jacaranda Room.  Please note that Committee meetings will commence at 1030 hours to allow Hon. Members time to travel from the venue. 

          I want to emphasise that Hon. Members should attend because the disbursements of the new tranche of the CDF is about to commence and there are few observations that the Administration of Parliament has made which need to be corrected so that the disbursement is made as quickly as possible.     

     HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of privilege. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I put it to you our Chair and Speaker of Parliament that this House has more than twenty Cabinet Ministers and as we speak right now we hardly have seven. Furthermore, we have more than 15 Deputy Ministers and at the moment we have about seven ministers. Can you appraise the House as to what is the challenge and where are they? Do we have apologies? Should we ask questions to same people we always ask in this House – what do we achieve?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Leader of Government business, please approach the Chair?

Hon. Ziyambi having conversed with the Chair.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have had some conversation with the Hon. Minister, who is also Leader of Government Business and I want to be favoured with a list of Hon. Ministers who have tendered their apology accordingly.

HON. GONESE: On a point of order. I was just seeking clarification on the matter of privilege raised by the Opposition Chief Whip. We did not hear what the Chair had ruled in respect of that issue of Hon. Ministers or at least the majority of them not being present in this august House. We did not hear what the Chair had ruled.

THE HON. SPEAKER: It is because you were discussing there. The Hon. Ministers that have tendered their apologies are as follows:

1.    Hon. Dr. J. Gumbo;

2.    Hon. Sen. P. Mupfumira;

3.    Hon. S. G. Nyoni;

4.    Hon. J. Moyo;

5.    Hon. O. Muchinguri-Kashiri;

6.    Hon. C. Mathema;

7.    Hon. S. B. Moyo.

Those are the ones that have tendered their leave of absence.  So we proceed with the questions.

          HON. M. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands and in his absence, I will direct it to the Leader of the House.  What is Government policy regarding the use of third tier farms - farms that are meant for grazing only because some of the farms are being subdivided into plots?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I request the Hon. Member to put it in writing because it is a very specific question.

          HON. RAIDZA: My question is directed to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  What is the Government policy regarding two quasi Government institutions when contracting especially when one is demanding to be paid in United States dollars.  These institutions are under the purview of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  The question sounds to be a very specific one and I would ask that the Hon. Member gives us the information so that we can then examine precisely what the circumstances are and give him the exact answer that he requires.

          HON. NYATHI: Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  What is the Government policy on banning some of the health practitioners to treat patients on Public Service Medical Aid as this is seriously affecting many Zimbabweans?

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  That is a very good question from the Hon. Member.  We expect as the Minister of Health that each and every medical aid society which is registered through my Ministry is supposed to be accepted by any health institution in Zimbabwe.  As long as they are registered here in Zimbabwe, let alone we also accept medical aid societies coming from outside Zimbabwe, so we prefer to see the Public Service Medical Aid Society members being given the opportunity to present their paid up medical aid cards at each and every health institution in Zimbabwe, there should never be any segregation.  I thank you.

          HON. MATEWU: Mr. Speaker, it is not just about the medical aids, it is actually about hospitals…

          An Hon. Member having crossed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mudarikwa. You cannot cross between the speaker and the Chair. Please come back and go through the other door.

          HON. MATEWU: It is not only about the medical aid societies, it is actually about the hospitals and the private clinics in this country.  Most operations are now being charged in United States dollars whereas Government employees are paid in RTGS.  What is the Minister going to do to ensure that we do not have deaths in this country? People cannot get an operation because they do not have the United States dollar.

          HON. DR. O. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The issue of payment in United States dollars; we have talked about it in the past and we have said the US dollar is part of the multi-currency basket.  This august House had no objection to that because that is reality. We said it was not going to be a legal issue, there is no legal basis to challenge anyone who would come forward presenting their invoice in US dollars.  However, the reality is that we would like all institutions to be charging in RTGS. All institutions must accept medical aid cards. 

I would also like to advise this august House that my Ministry is moving in line with real time and we would like to see a situation where each and every medical aid society will be able to pay the practitioners in real time.  We have had a lot of medical aid societies taking a long time to pay the practitioners as well.  So, the general policy, the general tendency has to be that we accept medical aid cards in the first place because the patients are already subscribing to a medical aid society.  That is what we are encouraging right now.

  I actually set up a team before I came to Parliament; there is going to be a meeting which is going to scrutinise the very issue which the Member has come up with.  So it is something that we are looking at and we would like to make an absolute finality to that matter.  So for the benefit of the population of Zimbabwe, we would like the most easily available currency to be used for the purpose of saving lives.  I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker and I would also like to thank the Hon. Minister for his answer.  However Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to speak in Shona for the benefit of the people in Chegutu West.  I think this is important.  *Are there plans in place because the bigger part of the medical treatment comes from the drugs which are given to patients which the medical aid societies are refusing to honour?  Are there plans in place to establish cheaper places where drugs are manufactured and distributed to hospitals or clinics so that the medical aid contributions are honoured by doctors because people will be getting cheaper drugs from the Government hospitals?

          *HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you very much for the question which has been asked by the Hon. Member.  It is very true that if you do not get any medication, we are going to face a lot of problems because after being diagnosed by a doctor, he gives you a prescription so that you go to the pharmacy and buy medication.  If the drugs do not exist, it means you are in great problems.  Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Child Care have laid down policies.  The first one is that we have a plan of getting drugs from NatPharm and therefore we want to empower NatPharm in such a way that they can be able to buy any medications which they want. 

          The bulk of our medicines come from India, which is about 80% of our medical supplies.  As a result, we are saying through NatPharm, we want to have a representative based in India so that we can buy medication from there at an affordable price.  So far we have made arrangements to create a bigger fund in order to purchase these medications. We are glad the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is supportive of this programme and we are awaiting delivery of medications worth $25 million.  Meanwhile, we have some medicines which have been delivered but are not included in this $25 million.  Besides that, we are going to open pharmacies to be operated by Government under the auspices of NatPharm.  These pharmacies will be established in most cities and will be selling medications at a low price.   

          NatPharm has been ordering medications on wholesale and local pharmacies have been buying these from NatPharm through RTGs. When they go out to their pharmacies, they then disburse these medications in foreign currency and we are saying we do not want that.  In order for us to win this battle, NatPharm should open up its own pharmacies.  Since it will be receiving medications from India, it will also be responsible for dispensing these medications which will be bought through RTGs, swipe or even bond notes. 

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is on the issue of medical aid societies.  Allow me to preface my question so that the Hon. Minister may be able to …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are well schooled, go to the question.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, the majority of citizens in this country have sought refuge and a safety net from …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are defying the Chair.  I said go straight to the question.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  That is where I am going Hon. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, you are prefacing.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Let me try again Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, can you tell us how the Ministry is going to work out the challenges that had made medical practitioners not to accept medical aid.  I am sure the reason why they were no longer accepting them is because there were certain challenges.  How have you gone to overcome those challenges so that we may go and sleep knowing that tomorrow we can use our medical aids?

          HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Once again, that is a very pertinent question from the Hon. Member. I want to reiterate that I indicated that before I came here, we have set up a committee which is going to look into the issue of payments using medical aid society cards and that is exactly where we are going to be getting the answer to the Hon. Member.  So in the next Question Time, I will have full information with regards to his question.

          HON. ZWIZWAI:  Mr. Speaker, I have a point of clarity. 

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

          *HON. ZWIZWAI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker. I am seeking clarity on the question that has just been answered. I have got a feeling the Minister is not answering properly the questions which have been asked.  When is the Minister coming in to present a report for his Committee because most of the questions being asked are answered in that report?

          HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am also equally happy that the Hon. Member sought for that clarification.  This is going to be a national consultative issue.  We would like to seek the general consensus and it is going to be done very rapidly.  We have Provincial Medical Directors; they are going to be sitting with the individual teams within each and every province.  There has to be a consensus I am afraid Mr. Speaker Sir.  It cannot just be a willy-nilly arrangement.  At least by the next Question Time, we should have some answers and  I can promise you that.  That is how serious we are taking this issue.  It is an issue which has to be addressed very rapidly. All my officers are alerted, are ready and waiting to get all the information.  Once we get the various contributions from the other members, we will be able to come up with the final solution and address this august House. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Labode, you cannot wish for another supplementary question when I told Hon. Sibanda that he was going to ask the last supplementary question.  Please be attentive.  Hon. Minister, a point of clarification now from the Chair. When you said the next Question Time, you mean next Wednesday next week, is that correct?

          DR. O. MOYO: Yes.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: So next Wednesday, the Minister will have the report ready.

          Hon. Mliswa having complained that he was supposed to be recognised because he does not belong to any political party.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: When the Chair has made a decision, Hon. Mliswa you do not enter into some contestation.  Thank you.

          HON. TSUNGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I will not give a background because we are all clear and conversant about the events of the recent few days.  My question is, what is Government policy on children in conflict with the law, noting the need to observe and protect child rights and child protection?  We have seen disturbing pictures and read stories about children sharing some cells with adults.  So, what is Government policy on child protection?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question and I would kindly refer him to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.  It clearly states what has to be done with children who are in conflict with the law.  However, as Government, we came up with the Trial Diversion Programme so that those children that are in conflict with the law are diverted to this Trial Diversion Programme and they are dealt with separate from the adults, that is the Government policy.  I thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

INVITATION BY THE ZIMBABWE COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have got an announcement to make.  The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has the honour to invite 40 Members of Parliament from across the political divide to attend an interface that will end up with a luncheon from 1100 o’clock to 1400 hours at Crown Plaza Hotel on Thursday, 31 January, 2019.  To be orderly, I would like to urge the Whips to coordinate that exercise and give us the names at the latest at 0930 hours tomorrow morning in my office.

          HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Minister for his answer, which is ideal but at variance with what is happening on the ground.  As I have indicated earlier on, there is clear evidence of children in leg irons and being kept in cells together with adults.  What intervention are we going to see to ensure that that situation is corrected?  Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Tsunga started extremely well by asking on policy.  Now, if you go to specifics, the best way to do it is to come up with a written question, giving all those specific events and where this is taking place so that the Hon. Minister can respond accordingly.

          HON. GONESE: A point of clarity, from the direction given by the Hon. Speaker, the reason why I am seeking clarification is because in prefacing his question, Hon. Tsunga made clear reference to the recent events which have been taking place in the country and I want to believe that the Hon. Minister is aware.  It was important for that aspect to be put to the Hon. Minister so that he can clarify because these are very pertinent issues which are of concern to the people of Zimbabwe.  The reason why I am following up on this clarification is because of the importance of the issue which relates to a vulnerable group which are juveniles, which are clearly protected by the policy which the Hon. Minister enunciated.  I believe that it is imperative that this aspect be clarified for the benefit of…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You have made your point Hon. Member and the Chair has made his point clearly.  The written question will point out the places where this has taken place so that a direct investigation is done by the Minister concerned.

          HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker Sir, to have a long term solution of separation of adults and minors in prison, at some point the Hon. Minister of Justice came to this House and spoke about open prison system …

THE HON. SPEAKER: What is the question?

HON. NDUNA: I want to know in order to alleviate the plight of these minors, how far is he in terms of implementation of that open prison system that he spoke about?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, the policy has been clearly articulated by the Hon. Minister of Justice and the explanation cannot go beyond that. If you have got specific cases, then you have to write it down, just like what Hon. Tsunga is going to do.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House.  I will talk about bureau de change.  We have heard people saying it is a problem to obtain the licence to operate a bureau de change because for you to obtain the licence, you have to pay $100 thousand and very few people can access it.  What is now obtaining is that we have now created street money changers involving especially the unemployed youths.  I think we need to make it official for the youngsters to access the licence, the fees should be lowered.

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for such a question regarding the bureau de change where we said people can now access licencing for operating the bureau de change.  As a Ministry, we are going to hold inter-ministerial discussions so that the fees for operating the bureau de change are lowered because at the moment, they are expensive that very few people can operate them.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am very grateful for the response given by the Leader of the House.  In order for this process to be expedited, is it possible for me to hold a face to face meeting with the Minister so that I can give more information on the lessoning of the burden of acquiring the bureau de change operating licences.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, there is an Hon. Member who would want to have some face to face discussions with you.  I am sure you are going to benefit from the contributions which will be given by Hon. Matambanadzo so that our country will go forward and we progress.  I think when you approach the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, take along with you relevant information so that you can even go to the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

*HON. SARUWAKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is that are the street money vendors still illegal or they are now official.  I am asking this question because when the New Dispensation came in, these people were cleared from the streets and what is obtaining now is they are now all over the place.  It seems as if  they have been given licences to operate as they like because they are now back on the streets.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The laws regarding the operations of the money changers or bureau de change are guided by Parliament because Parliament is responsible for making laws.  As far as we are concerned, the rates are tabled by Parliament.  That is why we are saying, some of the operations are illegal and we are saying, these illegal street money changers are illegal.  They are not supposed to be operating in the streets.  They are breaking the law.  We are sure that the Ministry of Home Affairs which is responsible for maintaining law and order should be arresting the illegal money vendors or money changers. 

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there is a diamond policy which was approved by the Government.  It is my understanding that the President presides over Cabinet meetings but is the Leader of Government business aware that there is a ruling of the Supreme Court which bars ZCDC from mining from Marange?  There are also recommendations from the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development which also recommend that ZCDC is an illegal entity and that the concessions must go to the former owners.  Is the President aware of this before his approval of the diamond policy?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMETARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which pertains to a judgement of the Supreme Court like he rightly said.  I will bring it to the attention of the Minister so that he can come back to the House with a more informed answer which speaks to the judgement of the Supreme Court.  I thank you. 

HON. BITI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Zimbabwean Constitution obliges Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe to respect the principles of the rule of law.  In light of the events that took place in our country with effect from the 12th January 2019, is it now Government policy that it allows gross attack and gross abuse of human rights that includes rape of women, denial of legal access to those that are in custody, mass trials, mass displacements, destruction of people’s homes, devious assaults on people and that includes the killings and murders of our citizens.  Hon. Minister Sir, is that now Government policy – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Biti, as a veteran politician, you address your question to the Chair.

HON. BITI:  I apologise Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you. 

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMETARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he posed and indeed the Government of Zimbabwe is committed to constitutionalism, the rule of law and everything that he has said.  The events that he has chronicled are events that are of concern to the Government.  What is of concern to the Government is the attack on innocent people, attack on people’s businesses, attack on people who were going about doing their business when the so called protesters barricaded roads, prevented people from doing their day to day activities. Our Constitution is very clear on freedom of movement, freedom of information and association. All those freedoms are enshrined in our Constitution, but what we saw even on property rights when these demonstrations were happening, they went to the extent of attacking police officers in police stations and killing them. There is nowhere in the world where you will find a reasonable State standing aside when civilians are attacking and killing policemen.

          So, this behaviour that happened when the so called demonstrators went into the streets was unbecoming and if there are incidences where the Hon. Member is aware of any of our law enforcements agents that went about doing the opposite of what they are constitutionally mandated to do, we are free to receive that. Those incidences will be investigated. That is the position and our position again is, if anyone is arrested, we have due processes of the law. If you go to court and you have been tortured, you are given an opportunity to explain your case before the magistrate.

          If you are denied legal representation, the Constitution is very clear. You present your case and if you are not satisfied with the ruling of the magistrate, we have review and appeal processes. So we have a whole range of checks and balances in our court processes. I believe that everything that has to be done, the Hon. Member is a very seasoned politician and lawyer. He knows the processes that needs to be done should any of the rights that are bestowed on our citizens are infringed upon. I thank you Hon. Speaker.

          HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker Sir, the situation is very grave. Even our own Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission - Chapter 12, the Commission in terms of our Constitution has issued a report that said there was systematic and systemic gross abuse of human rights. So, the question to the Hon. Minister says, is it now Government policy that the State itself becomes a rogue State?

 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order! I thought the Hon. Minister’s response was very clear. He says even the Human Rights Commission’s report, what is wanted are specific events which can be followed up by the State. That is what the Hon. Minister has said. So, those specific issues must be brought before the Government for investigation and anyone who has broken the law, be it a policeman or a soldier or any other person including a protester, this should be brought to the attention of the authorities so that specific investigations can take place. Where such a report has been given and no action has taken place as the Minister rightly pointed out, the High Court or the Constitutional Court for that matter, can be approached on an urgent basis to state that the authority has failed to look into those specific issues.

          *HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What is Government policy regarding members of political organisations and political leaders or parties which incite violence?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I will indulge the Hon. Member but the Hon. Minister has already answered that. Perhaps for emphasis, the Hon. Minister can repeat.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What has been happening is that our law enforcement agencies have been following up on the organisers so that they can be held accountable according to our laws. If you go to POSA, it allows the organisers to be held accountable even for civil liabilities for whatever would have been destroyed. So, indeed Government is going to do that this time around. We are very serious in following those people who believe that they can incite people to destroy other people’s properties or to incite people to kill each other. The law is going to take its course and definitely action will be seen to be done this time around. I thank you.

          *HON. MPARIWA: This is a supplementary question to Hon. Biti’s question and I am directing this one to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. I am asking because of the following reasons. I am asking because in the high density areas, people are not allowed to move up to a certain time. You find people being driven out of social places like beer halls and night clubs. They are being driven to go home and be with their families and people are being denied access to their relatives who are in remand or in prison. We also have some Members of Parliament who are not in this House because some of them as soon as they are freed by the courts, they are quickly arrested before they can enjoy their freedom.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I do not see how your supplementary question connects with what Hon. Biti has said. You must connect your supplementary question to the original one. Can you rephrase it?

          *HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I will rephrase my question. My question is - do we have a state of emergency in the country which leads to the imposition of a curfew because people in high density areas are denied to be moving around after sometime in the evening? We also have some Hon. Members who were arrested and are on remand. They are not allowed to have a visitor which is against the law. What is Government policy?

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, if you look at why there is this undeclared curfew, the reason was that these hooligans and looters were making people going about their business pay some passage fee because the roads had been barricaded and to get through that barricade you had to pay a certain amount. As a result, the Ministry of Home Affairs moved in swiftly so that people could move freely. The peace loving Zimbabweans were afraid to move at night because of these hooligans.

          What is happening is that the Ministry of Home Affairs has said there should be police officers who will patrol these areas and protect innocent civilians from these hooligans and thugs who will be barricading the roads.

          *HON. NYABANI: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child care. What is Government policy regarding the deployment of doctors in rural areas because where I come from, there are no resident doctors and as a result people travel long distances to access health services?

          Hon. Sacco having left the Chamber without bowing to the Chair.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Whip, call Hon. Sacco and his colleague to come back. Hon. Minister proceed.

          *THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, I am grateful for the question which was raised. The policy of Government regarding the shortage of doctors in rural areas is that throughout the country especially in all constituencies we should have hospitals and clinics that people in the rural areas can easily access. We are starting with the village health posts so that in all the constituencies we have these health posts. We are going to encourage Members of Parliament that we come together and craft ways and means of establishing the village health posts so that these villagers can access health services.

          From that tier, the next level is the village health centre which refers patients to district and provincial hospitals. The reason why we establish these institutions is that villagers should not move long distances to access health services. We have since made a request to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development that they unfreeze some of these posts so that we employ more health personnel for easy access by people.

          We know we have had some Hon. Members who have constructed some clinics and health centres in their areas. As Government, we want to give you manpower to mann those health centres and also have access to medicines. We need to have properly trained nurses and doctors to mann those institutions in the villages.

          *HON. NYABANI: My supplementary question to the Minister is - what is Government’s policy regarding the deployment of doctors in these areas because people are moving long distances. My second question is - when is Government going to make it easy for people in rural areas to access cancer screening programmes because they seem to be existing only in urban areas.

          *HON. DR. O. MOYO: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. The Hon. Member is asking on the deployment of doctors in rural areas. Like I have said, Government policy is that we should have more doctors in these rural areas, which is why we have spoken of unfreezing some of these posts.  Our policy is that clinics should have doctors who would be moving around giving services to rural centres.  We need to train more doctors because we cannot afford a situation where each clinic has a doctor.       Our aim is to start with junior doctors and then the district and provincial hospitals will have specialists.

 Let me turn to cancer screening – this is an ongoing programme, we have been holding outreach programmes which go out to those rural areas and screen these cancers, cervical, prostate and skin cancer.  We need to make plans and concretize them so that they are properly implemented for the benefit of the people in the rural areas.

HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would want the Hon. Minister to inform the House what the Government is doing to ensure that there are primary health care facilities for the people who are distressed and those who are mentally challenged since they are saying they are going to expand…

Hon. Zhou having been discussing with a fellow Member.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Zhou and your colleague there! Can we have order, if you want some conversation louder than what is expected, please get out of the House!

HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to know from the Hon. Minister, the Government policy regarding ensuring that there is primary health care facilities for people who are stressed and those who are mentally challenged since they said they are going to expand health facilities to all villages but existing facilities right now have no primary health care facilities for those under stress and the mentally challenged especially considering how people are being victimised and stressed.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Your supplementary question is a bit vague.  However, I will ask the Minister if he understands it.

HON. DR. O. MOYO: Yes, the issue of psychiatric care is an issue of concern and it is in all parts of our planning schedules.  Each and every planning schedule that we have, we are looking at the possibility of improving that service.  I am grateful that the Member has managed to identify that and I can only amplify and say definitely there is a need for us to improve that particular service.  It just does not stop at that because we also have the issue of drug abuse where the youths of today are grossly involved in drug abuse and they might end up requiring some mental counseling, psychiatric counseling, so those facilities are extremely necessary and we shall endevour, as part of building up the primary health care units, ensure that this is incorporated.

HON. DR. LABODE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am actually concerned by something that the Minister has just said.  if I remember very well in the last budget, we do not have money for capital expenditure, we did not even get money for those few health centres which we wanted to build.  So, I do not know whether the programme which the Minister is talking about is going to be rolled out.

My concern with village health posts is that the rural health centre which is the next level has no drugs.  The district hospital has no drugs and it is the district hospital that will have to supply the village post with drugs.  So let us go back home and try to develop what we have; let us make the district hospitals functional, the rural health centre functional before we even go to the province.  If we can only do that then we are okay.  Thank you.

HON. DR. O. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, we are here to narrate a plan and when we narrate a plan, it has to be complete and we have to know exactly what it is that is required at each and every level, that is part of planning.  What happens, how we implement it, in terms of resources, it is another issue; you ought to have the structures first and then you can input into those structures.  So, I am equally confused how the Member could be worried about the creation of facilities.  We have to modernise the system, we have to have fully functional primary health care system and we have to start somewhere – the starting point is the planning process.  Once we have planned, we then fit into the system.

*HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am directing my question to the Minister of Information regarding the sharing of the networks.  We are all aware that at the moment, all the business transactions and communications are being done using the cyber space and internet.   What is Government policy regarding that Government has the prerogative of shutting down communication and opening it at their own time.  Is it in our Constitution-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! The Hon. Member has asked a very good question but unfortunately it has been overtaken by judicial process, the courts have ruled accordingly that it was not proper to shut down the internet.  So, that question does not arise. 

          HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker, I think the matter still arises – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I beg your indulgency Mr. Speaker to – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

           THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  My intervention is final.  The courts have decided the illegality so we cannot debate that. Thank you. 

          *HON. NHARI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  What is Government policy regarding religious organisations which deny their congregants the right to go to hospitals for treatment?

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has gone all the way out in ensuring that all the people – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Ngavataure ne Shona.] - *I thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question.  We need to educate all the people about health issues.  My Ministry is informing people, especially these religious organisations that we have, religious organisations which do not believe in taking their patients to hospitals because they believe in the healing of the Holy Spirit.  We are encouraging them to take their children for vaccinations.  We even have health personnel who move around these organisations disseminating this information on the importance of taking the sick congregants to hospital.

          HON. MAPHOSA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  Is it now Government policy to mislead the nation? 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  To do what?

          HON. MAPHOSA:  To mislead the nation – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  It is in the interest of the incidence …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Can we respect the decorum of the House, from both sides.  Hon. Member, ask your question.

          HON. MAPHOSA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for protecting me.  Is it Government policy to mislead the nation?  My question is in the context of the incident of the Police and the Army brutalising people on Sky TV.  It is with respect to the Police Spokesperson, Charity Charamba when she said it was an incident from 2016.  Mr. Speaker, she later turned retracted her statement after realising that she was exposed.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the question?

          HON. MAPHOSA:  The question is, is it Government policy to mislead the nation? 

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I do not know whether I should thank the Hon. Member for asking a question where Government would mislead its own citizens.  Government is elected by the people of this country to protect their interests to make sure that they protect them – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear] - to make sure that they will inform them.  It is Government’s mandate to make sure that all citizens access information which make them live their rightful lives according to the Constitution.  Thank you. 

          HON. MAPHOSA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think I referred to the incident that I am talking about.  I am not talking about the Government per se.  I am talking of an incident on Sky FM where we heard the Police Spokesperson issuing a statement. 

          HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The question was whether it is Government policy to mislead its own people and that is what I answered.  If the Hon. Member has got a specific question, we would welcome that question and will be able to give them facts after research and also after evidence from the Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] – Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Hon. Minister’s response is clear.  She is prepared to give a detailed response in consultation with the Hon. Member and there is no supplementary. 

          HON. MADHUKU:  Point of clarification Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  There is no point of order on that issue.  No, no, no.  I have said no!

          HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I just want to check with the Leader of the House on the attitude of the second republic towards the question of national dialogue.  I ask this question because we have had conflicting pronouncements from the State with the President on Twitter.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, why do you not simply say there are conflicting statements rather than making a statement after. 

          HON. NDEBELE:  I just want to check with the Minister on the policy of Government towards national dialogue. I ask this question on the back of the fact that in the second republic, we have a listening President.  People all over the world are asking for that dialogue.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are debating now.  Ask the question.  That is enough.

          HON. NDEBELE:  What is the attitude or the policy of Government towards national dialogue?  That is my question.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Ndebele for that good question and I want to thank him for acknowledging that we have got a listening President – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –  I am also thankful and grateful that he has indicated that people out there are happy that we have a listening President and that we should have national dialogue, which is what the President has always said that whatever our differences, we remain Zimbabweans and as such, if we are Zimbabweans we should not resort to violence. We should not resort to destroying each other’s properties, we should not resort to infringing each other’s rights but we should come together and discuss whatever problems we have so that we can solve our problems peacefully.  I thank you.

          HON. MADHUKU: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Environment and Tourism and in his absence, may be the Leader of Government business can assist.  What is the Government policy with regards to a situation whereby there is extreme and perennial human-wildlife conflict where it is causing an…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member, ask the question.

          HON. MADHUKU: My question is - what is Government policy where human lives and existence is threatened by wild animals specifically those living close to conservancies?

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Madhuku for the question.  Indeed, since time immemorial, there has always been this conflict between humans and wildlife and the Government policy is, as much as possible to ensure that the wildlife is contained in the areas that they are reserved for.  I thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Minister, the issue has gone on for a long time and it seems we take animals more superior than human beings.  The Government must be seen to be doing something for a long time. There is the respect of…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! This is Question Time, go to your question.

          HON. T. MLISWA: My question is - what is Government doing practically because this issue has been there for a very long time. Can we be given a timeframe as to when some action shall be taken? Because of the Land Reform Programme, a lot of boundaries were cut and as a result, Government has done nothing to come up with boundaries, fencing to ensure that people are protected.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Mliswa for the supplementary question which is very important that Government has to protect human beings.  This Government has been doing this. Where wild animals have strayed, National Parks have intervened and to a certain extent they would take down the animals.  Also, Government has a programme to ensure that the animals as much as possible within the available resources, they repair all the parameters that were destroyed by the movement of animals and human beings.  I thank you.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Mhlanga.  My question is - in 2005, we had a clean-up operation which was called Murambatsvina, which led to the destruction of people’s property in many high density areas.  Is it Government policy that they go and destroy people’s property?  Is it a revival of the cleanup operation and is it a good policy?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. MHLANGA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  This is a very pertinent question, but let me say it is not Government policy that they destroy willy-nilly people’s properties. As Central Government, we need to have an orderly way of settlement.  Whenever people want to do something, there should be planned settlements.  As a result, if we have these people who are improperly settled, who are allocating themselves illegal stands they are the people who will be affected.

          We are encouraging local authorities to work hand in hand and cooperate with people who want to observe the laws by constructing in areas allocated specially for those businesses.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: As a follow-up question, people will only construct at a place where they find it necessary.  We have noticed that in some instances, some of these structures have been in existence for five years and then these illegal structures are destroyed.  To make matters worse, we have seen members of the security forces, especially soldiers being asked to destroy these properties, why?

          *HON. MHLANGA: Let me explain, when people have settled in those illegal places, they create a lot of problems such as sanitary systems, road structures; all these are destroyed because of the illegal settlements and this leads to diseases such as typhoid and cholera.  As a result, we are now asking local authorities to make proper plans to have proper settlements put in place, otherwise we will keep on having problems of these illegal settlements.

          *HON. MAJAYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary question is - when this person constructed this settlement and stayed for four to five years, where were the local authority officials when this person was in this illegal settlement?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: To follow Local Government planning please, we cannot be debating this all over again.  The issue of land barons did come through here and it was debated.  Those land barons who have been parceling out land outside the law was debated here.  We cannot repeat what has been debated.

HON. MUDARIKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Prof. Mavima.  What is the policy of the Ministry on the procurement of school uniforms?  Most of the schools are now in the business of overcharging school uniforms.  They have moved away from their core-business of teaching.  We used to buy uniforms at fair prices from uniform stores but now the schools are overcharging on uniforms.  It is like when you bring a uniform from outside, they will...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  The question has been heard.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me thank the Hon. Member for the question that is very important.  I like the passion with which he was presenting it.  I made a statement Mr. Speaker before the beginning of this current Session when we realised that we were going to have serious problems related to cost of uniforms.  This Press Statement went to the rest of the nation to say that parents should not be obligated to buy their uniforms from the schools or to buy from specific suppliers because we did not want a situation where we would create sort of monopolies and raising the price of uniforms.  That position remains that parents should not be forced into a single supplier situation because that increases the price of uniforms.  We hear the concern of the nation regarding that but we are happy to say that there are many suppliers who are providing uniforms at a reasonable cost.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I appreciate the Minister’s answer but he says he made a statement and schools generally communicate through circulars. Is the Minister confirming that he sent a circular to schools so that they abide by it?

HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  If this House remembers, this issue was raised again last year and the circular was sent out by our former permanent secretary.  In fact, it is not my responsibility to send circulars but a circular was sent by our former permanent secretary to all schools to ensure that they desist from the practice of selling at the school at exorbitant prices or putting parents in a position where they can only get uniforms from one supplier.

HON. MASENDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is, there is a policy in the Primary and Secondary Schools where students are required to buy hardcover books that are very expensive compared to the soft cover exercise books...

 THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  The subject is school uniforms, now you have gone to the covers. 

HON. T. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, what I want to find out from the Minister is, is the wearing of uniforms mandatory, constitutional or it is a policy?  Can the Minister respond to that?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  The primary question is on the expense of uniforms, so let us stick to that.

 HON. T. MLISWA:  Sir, is it mandatory though to wear it?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, no, that is a new question, I am sorry.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Considering that we have a basket of currency and nothing has really changed, can the Minister inform this House why schools have been allowed to triple the prices of school uniforms and charging in US dollars as well.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I thought the Hon. Minister adequately answered that question.  A circular has been issued.

HON. MADZIMURE:  It is for selling uniforms but not to charge in US dollars.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, no, no.

HON. MATARANYIKA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  There are a number of medical aid societies that in addition to be funders of health service providers also have medical practices of their own such as clinics and laboratories.  In direct competition to independent service providers and in the process of raising the possibility of conflict of interest, is it proper policy for your Ministry to permit such medical aid societies to play a dual role of funding as well as service provision?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO):  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  The question that has been posed by the Hon. Member is one of the classic questions that we have to address.  Very soon you shall be seeing a Bill coming through this august House.  The intention is that all medical aid societies, medical insurance companies are conflicted when they end up being service providers as well.  The issue of competition is overruled in that case. Therefore, we want a situation where there is fair play, where there is no self referral because once you are a medical insurer and you send clients to your own facility, you are running away from the issue of competition. So, we need competition. There will be a Bill which will come through this august House which will answer to the Hon. Member’s fears. I thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker. You announced that there will be 40 Members of Parliament going to meet the church leaders but there is a circular from the Clerk that Members of Parliament must attend a CDF meeting tomorrow. I thought it is probably unfair for the 40 who will be going.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: ZCC starts at 11.00 o’clock so there is no conflict.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

DISTRIBUTION OF POLICE VEHICLES

          1.   HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House how police vehicles are distributed station by station in view of the fact that the number of police stations is less than a thousand countrywide.

    THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. When distributing police vehicles, considerations take into account valuables such as crime patterns, the size of policing area, and geographic location among others. Given resource constraints, Government was unable to avail many vehicles, hence most police stations have one vehicle each. Like I said, the situation is set to improve soon once the vehicles being procured by Government are delivered. I thank you.

    HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is, since there is a shortage of vehicles in the police force, why can the Government not buy locally manufactured vehicles rather than import expensive vehicles that will be few in number? Thank you.

    HON. MADIRO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I appreciate the Hon. Member’s contribution that the Government considers procuring vehicles locally - that is a good suggestion and there is no prescription for the Government to procure from outside the country only but locally as well. It is a good suggestion and the Government will consider that. Thank you.

ENGAGEMENT OF MR CLEMENCE MASANGO AS REGISTRAR GENERAL

2.   HON. MADZIMURE asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain whether due process was followed in the engagement of Mr. Clemence Masango as Registrar General, in the light of the current investigations by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission into his alleged sexual harassment conduct and similar allegations reported to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Hon. Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage is not responsible for the appointment of senior Government officers like the Registrar General. I would like therefore, to advise the Hon. Member of Parliament to redirect the question to the relevant Ministry that has the mandate to appoint Government officers. I thank you.

        Hon. Madzimure having stood up.

        THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure, I do not think you can put a supplementary question since the Hon. Minister has advised that you redirect the question to the relevant Ministry.

         HON. MADZIMURE: I just want clarification.  The Minister is saying that the Registry Department falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs, meaning the Registrar-General reports to the Minister. If then the Ministry realises that he is a real criminal, is the Ministry going to work with such a person?

HON. MADIRO: Thank you Madam Speaker. As I have already stated, the responsibility to recruit Government officers at that level is not the responsibility of the Ministry. The Ministry works together with officers who have been seconded to the Ministry and those who are responsible for the recruitment, we have taken care of everything into consideration. So, if there is an issue of criminality or unsuitability that is a matter which should be directed to the relevant Ministry. Thank you.

OPENING OF KATIYO BORDER POST

3.   HON. MUDIWA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House when the Katiyo Border Post will be opened to enhance the ease of doing business with Mozambique.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Madam Speaker. First of all, I would like to draw the attention of the House and the Hon. Member to the fact that the function of constructing border infrastructure lies with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. My Ministry is just one of the stakeholders who contribute largely in terms of requirements for officials who will work at the border who fall under my Ministry specifically, the Department of Immigration and the Zimbabwe Republic Police.           Focusing more on the question of when the anticipated port at Katiyo Estates will be opened, I can advise the House that this project has been on the cards since around 2012. I am reliably informed that Eastern Highlands Plantations Limited made an offer to sponsor this project, details of which can be obtained from the relevant Ministry as I mentioned earlier. 

CHALLENGES FACED BY THE POLICE IN ARRESTING TSIKAMUTANDAS

4.   HON. M.M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to highlight the challenges currently faced by the Police in arresting the Tsikamutandas who have robbed people of their livestock and are abusing children in Silobela.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question. Madam Speaker, I wish to point out to the Hon. Member that investigations carried out by the Zimbabwe Republic Police reveal that the activities by Tsikamutandas are conducted at the invitation of some traditional leaders such as chiefs and headmen for the purposes of carrying out cleansing ceremonies in their areas of jurisdiction.  In the process of carrying out these cleansing ceremonies, the tsikamutandas then take advantage to dupe people who unfortunately, willingly give the tsikamutandas tokens of appreciation for their cleansing ceremonies.  Madam Speaker, the activities of these tsikamutandas indeed, have an element of criminality.

However, when the police try to intercede, the communities, led by the civic leaders, become hostile to investigations, thus failing to assist the police in locating the tsikamutandas.  In any case Madam Speaker, the cleansing activities are done clandestinely to the extent that the existence of the tsikamutandas in a particular area is kept a closely guarded secret.  However, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has of late intensified awareness campaigns in this regard to conscientise the people on the need to promptly report to the police the presence of the tsikamutandas in their areas.  Recently, Mr. Speaker Sir, the ZRP Kwekwe District led by the Acting Officer Commanding District, held an All-Stakeholders Meeting that was attended by Chiefs, Headmen, District Administrators, Kwekwe ZINATHA Inspector and seven civic leaders to raise awareness about the adverse effects of engaging the tsikamutandas.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, on the issue of the alleged abuse of children in Silobela by the tsikamutandas, no case has been reported to any police station in the district.  However, I would like to appeal to the Hon. Member that, if he is aware of any such cases, there is urgent need for him to report the matter(s) to the police who will diligently deal with the reported cases.  I want to assure all Hon. Members that the ZRP will continue to raise awareness among communities and arrest all perpetrators of such crimes.  I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

BAN ON MOVEMENT OF LIVESTOCK

5.  HON. MPOFU asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain why the police are not enforcing the Government ban on movement of livestock to control the spread of foot and mouth diseases in Silobela.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question.  I wish to point out that, it is not correct that the police are not enforcing the ban.  Madam Speaker, no movement of any form of livestock without the accompanying legal documentation from the Veterinary Department is being allowed.  May I urge the Hon. Member to promptly report any case in which he may suspect movement of cattle in defiance of the ban or without the necessary legal documents from the Veterinary Department.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker having deferred questions 6 – 13.

HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  You may realise that these questions arose way back from 2018 and I am worried that the Government is not paying attention to the importance of Parliamentary Business.  Earlier on, I think the Chief Whip has highlighted a number of concerns and can it be delivered to the Executive that ministers in this august House need to attend to Parliamentary Business or we term it as Contempt of Parliament.  Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Member.  The Minister was here and she rushed to attend urgent matters.  Next week, she will be here with the answers.  Thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I have a point of Privilege.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I request that you indulge the Ministers who are currently present as has been done to Hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  If you can also indulge the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education whose questions start from question number 87 going forward.  Seeing that you are on question number 14 and the ministers are not here to answer those questions, I request Madam Speaker Ma’am.

Hon. Nduna was asked to approach the Chair.

CONTROL OF MUSHROOMING PRIVATE COLLEGES

122.  HON. MADIWA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain mechanisms in place to control the mushrooming of private colleges to ensure maintenance of standards in the education sector.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  It is the mandate of the Ministry to provide equitable, quality, inclusive, relevant and competence-driven infant, junior, secondary and non-formal education.  As such, all schools whether Government or private fall under our purview and have to conform to the standards of the Ministry.  No school is supposed to operate without proof of registration.  At Head Office we have a department, Department of Primary, Secondary and Non- Formal Education that is responsible for all schools in Zimbabwe.  Periodically, the department carries out inspection in schools.  The same exercise is also extended to private schools and independent colleges.  In the event that illegal colleges are discovered, the Ministry with the assistance of police orders the closure of such colleges. 

However, if the colleges have followed all the necessary procedures as per the Ministry, such colleges are registered.  They pay their registration fees and they are allowed to operate.  Also, let me just add Hon. Speaker, that we do not really emphasise closure.  In cases where we see that it is possible to formalise, we then encourage such colleges to formalise, but the basic infrastructure and the basic standards have to be in place.  Thank you.

HON. MADIWA:  My supplementary question to the Minister is - do they monitor such schools because I have witnessed especially in my constituency where we have maybe 40 students in a very small classroom. 

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  This was the essence of my answer because I said we have a department at head office called the Department of Primary, Secondary and Non- Formal Education that is responsible for all schools in Zimbabwe and periodically the department carries out inspection in schools.  The same exercise is extended to all types of schools including independent colleges and this is the department, if they find out that the school is not registered that is responsible for shutting down such schools or to recommend formalisation if it is appropriate to do that.  I thank you.

HON. PHULU:  Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister whether there is anything that they are doing to periodically train those who run private colleges so that they can enhance their standards because we really do need private colleges given the emphasis on free education and quality basic education to supplement the schools that Government has.

HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I think the issue of standards is taken care of within the context of the inspections that I referred to. This is how we see whether in terms of infrastructure the schools are meeting standards and also in terms of curriculum delivery. When we look at these schools we also look at the qualifications of teachers and we also look at the standards of supervision and other things like that.

          The issue of standards is determined and enforced through the periodic supervisions. We also periodically hold training sessions for our SDCs and teachers but it is the owners of the private colleges or schools to either join those training programmes or not. Where we come in to enforce standards is when we go and supervise.

BOARDING SCHOOL FOR ZVIMBA NORTH CONSTITUENCY

124. HON. CHOMBO asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education when Zvimba North Constituency will have a boarding school.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The priority of the Ministry is to facilitate access to education to all learners, especially to areas of need.  We have made it public that we have a deficit of school infrastructure of 2 056. We have extended an invitation to partners who would want to invest in the education sector. The Presidential Indaba hosted by the Ministry on 18 July 2018 has seen potential investors making pledges to partner with us. This development comes on the backdrop of the Ofid and the Joint Venture Partnerships which are now at an advanced stage of implementation.

          While boarding schools are also in short supply, access takes precedence at the moment. However, the Ministry supports all entities that have the intention of establishing boarding schools. In some schools, we have adopted the concept of low cost boarding, especially in areas where learners travel long distances.

          HON. CHOMBO: Supplementary!  Minister, we have a dire situation in Zvimba North whereby the secondary schools that are there are more than 25km apart. If you look at the statistics in Zvimba North, we do not have a lot of kids going up to Form 1. On your list you said there are priorities, what is the criteria you use to allocate funds to erect boarding schools which Zvimba North does not qualify for now?

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA: I think I have indicated Madam Speaker, that at the moment the priority of Government has been to build day schools and not necessarily boarding schools. Even the 17 schools that we are building are day schools. Five of them are secondary schools and 12 are primary schools. The criteria for allocation by province has been to look at the deficit that exists in each province.  Apparently, Mashonaland West from which the Hon Member hails has the highest need of schools. If you look at the allocation of the 17 schools, we have allocated four to Mashonaland West.

          We are moving to the second stage of building these schools and we are targeting 100 in the next year or so. Again, the allocation is going to be based on need. As far as we are concerned, Mashonaland West will take the lion’s share because it has the highest need.

We have encouraged existing schools using community resources to engage in what is known as low cost boarding where the schools themselves are helped by their own SDCs and in some cases some well wishers to build low cost boarding facilities. I have previously appealed to Members of this august House to take leadership in advocating for the construction, especially of low cost boarding schools. I thank you.

HON. CHOMBO: Hon. Minister, of course you said the community should take initiative – the children in Zvimba North are learning in sheds and do not have classrooms. They have composite classes where you have ECD to Grade 7 with two teachers at a school. I have one such school. We have a zero percent pass rate because of that. That one is a dire need. Your Ministry should really take a look at it.

HON. PROF. MAVIMA: We have been very candid in stating the dire need for school infrastructure. We have about 1800 schools that are similar to the ones that the Hon Member has just described. We have such situations typically in satellite schools. This is the reason why we have said we need as a nation and Government to expedite the process of addressing these issues. I understand very well like I said, that Mashonaland West because of the Land Reform Programme that took place there and that it had the bulk of commercial farming areas that were resettled, that it has really serious shortages. So does Binga, so does Gokwe North just to name a few districts.

We are seized with this matter and this is why I am saying this year we should start on the construction of about 100 more schools and you will find that these target those satellite schools in order to upgrade them to a standard that will give us quality education in the nation.  Thank you.

RESOURCING ZVIMBA NORTH CONSTITUENCY SCHOOLS WITH SCIENCE AND COMPUTER LABORATORIES

125.   HON CHOMBO asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to state measures being taken to ensure schools in Zvimba North Constituency are adequately resourced with functional science and computer laboratories to meet the requirements of the new curriculum.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): In line with the competence-based curriculum, the Ministry has streamlined the learning of sciences and Information Communication Technologies.  For this reason, the Ministry is making effort to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is available.  In 2013, the Ministry, through partners provided science kits to most of our disadvantaged schools, in fact at that particular point in time, every secondary school got a science kit especially the day secondary and satellite schools.  This year, the Ministry has engaged a service provider who has the capacity to supply mobile science labs. Already some of our schools such as Daramombe High School and John Cawie have benefited from this move.   We have 800 schools that are going to benefit from these mobile science labs.

With respect to computer laboratories, the Ministry has adopted the concept of smart classrooms, the Permanent Secretary through partners such as FBC have equipped a number of primary and secondary schools but it is an ongoing process.  Again, in our Infrastructure Development Programme, we are targeting 66 existing day secondary schools to benefit from the construction of science laboratories.  I will have to check whether we have allocated some to Zvimba North.  Thank you.

HON. CHOMBO: On the responses that were given, the Minister said he is going to check if Zvimba North is one of the schools going to benefit from the 800 mobile schools and 66 laboratories.  Can I get that if that is the position, Hon. Minister?

HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Yes, I am going to check on that and I will report back to this august House indicating whether we have targeted Zvimba North as far as labs are concerned.  The mobile labs are for primary schools and the conventional labs are for secondary schools.

HON. PHULU: Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the Hon. Minister, I take it for granted that they have a monitoring and evaluation system when they distribute these kits and laboratories.  In the event that they find that some of this equipment lies derelict and is not used, what measures are in place to encourage the schools to make use of these laboratories and equipment

HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I think in response to the previous question, I indicated the monitoring, supervisory process that we undertake.  The Hon. Member would be happy to know that I, as Minister, together with the Deputy Minister and our Permanent Secretary are part of that monitoring process.  We go into joint monitoring with some of our development partners like UNICEF, the department of International Development UK and other partners.  We do this three or four times a year and as far as science equipment is concerned, we have not had any issues related to this; moreso now, that all our secondary schools are required to have practical examinations in science starting from 2018 ongoing. So this equipment is being used and I am happy about that.  Where we have had serious problems are situations where sometimes computers are donated but without the necessary capacity at the school to use the computers and we have found that some computers have not been used.  If we find that situation, we take corrective action in order to make sure that the computers are used but we have a robust system of monitoring and evaluation.  Thank you.

SHORTAGE OF TEACHERS IN RURAL SCHOOLS

128.   HON. NKOMO asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to state measures being taken to address the shortage of teachers in rural areas.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  The employment of teachers is a matter that rests with the Public Service Commission, Treasury and of course the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as a user Ministry.  Most of our schools are indeed understaffed and we have already presented the deficit that we have nationwide.  As a Ministry, we have been assured by both the Commission and the Treasury that we will get the necessary teaching personnel as the economy improves.  You will realise that as of now we have been granted 3 000 additional teachers and we are in the process of recruiting and making sure that we allocate fairly, based on the needs of the various districts – so that process is already taking place. 

However, at the moment, the fiscal space does not allow for employment of the optimum number of teachers who may be paid by Government.  Apart from those 3 000 that we have been allowed to recruit, only teachers who leave the sector due to attrition like death, resignation and retirement can be replaced.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. MUSANHI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, what are you doing to reduce the teacher to pupil ratio in terms of the standard which is about 1:25?  The last time I checked, it was 1:100 and I want to know what you are doing to reduce the teacher to pupil ratio. 

           HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The current situation, I think there has been hyperbole in terms of the presentation by the Hon. Member of 1:100.  It is lower than that but it is not the optimal ratio that we need.  The problem stems from the fact that again due to fiscal constraints, we are not able to recruit the number of teachers that we would like.  Even the 3000 that we are currently recruiting is not going to be enough.  Our estimation prior to the 3 000 being granted was that we needed something like 12 000 to 13 000 in order to have an optimal level of staffing in our schools.  It is a desperate situation that we are living with but it is because of the fiscal constraints that we face as a nation and a Government.  Thank you. 

          HON. NYAMUDEZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to know from the Minister, the criteria that you are going to use when employing the teachers.  Are you going to take them haphazardly or you take those who completed the course first.

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Thank you.  There are a number of considerations that are being made in the recruitment of teachers.  Hon. Members will be happy to know that in order to enforce transparency, we made sure that those who are responsible for assigning the teachers would not know the names. So, it is only the E.C number that is going to be used.  Secondly, we are going to look at the year of graduation.  Thirdly we are going to look at issues of area of concentration and the match between the requirements of the schools that have the vacancies and the area of concentration of the teacher.  So, these are the primary criteria that we are using in order to recruit these teachers. Thank you Madam Speaker. 

          HON. PHULU:  In terms of the criteria, teachers who have disabilities struggle to be deployed.  Is that going to be taken into account as well?  Is there a policy in place to take that into account?  Thank you. 

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  With regards to teachers with disability, my understanding of the issues related to such teachers has not been whether or not they get absorbed into service but whether or not we are facilitating for them to effectively render the services that they are supposed to render.  In recruitment, there has never been discrimination on the basis of whether a teacher has a disability or not.  However, if it is issues of facilitating their effectiveness within the classroom, that issue has been raised and we had a meeting with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee over this past week and we committed, as a Ministry, to making sure that such teachers are provided with the necessary equipment and facilitation including the availability of Government funded assistance to make sure that they navigate properly as they deliver their services.  There has never been a question about discrimination in the recruitment process.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, questions 129, 130 and 131 are a repetition of questions 87, 88 and 89.  So, we are skipping them.  We are also deferring questions 132 to 135.  The Minister will come with the answers next week.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

OPENING OF TAKUNDA B SCHOOL IN MKOBA CONSTITUENCY

18.  HON. CHIBAYA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education when the Ministry will open Takunda B School in Mkoba Constituency to address the challenges of shortage of schools.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  Takunda B School is a product of the PSIP and the Government initially allocated funds resulting in the construction of four classrooms.  The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education sees it fit to escalate the construction of more classrooms and toilets in order to provide more and decent infrastructure.

The Government has this year 2018, allocated more funds amounting to $200 000 and a tender was flighted in order to build more classrooms.  One of the contractors that won the tender is due to start construction.  As I speak, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing handed over the site to the contractor on 10th October, 2018.  The contractor is expected to build more classroom blocks and toilets within a period of 90 days after which the school is set to open.

However, the Ministry is currently undertaking a holistic school infrastructure programme to cater for the deficit that we have countrywide.  We have already gone public about the OFID programme which is set to deliver 17 new schools before the end of the year.  Alongside this is the Joint Venture Partnership where we are targeting to build more than 100 schools.

SHORTAGE OF NDEBELE AND TONGA TEACHERS IN MATABELELAND REGION

119.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to state the Ministry’s plans to curb the shortage of Ndebele and Tonga teachers in Matabeleland region.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  In July 2014, the Ministry engaged skills of six universities to upgrade the skills of 2 500 teachers in the broad areas of languages, ICT, Technical Vocational Education, Mathematics and Science, Commercials and Agriculture.

This programme also zeroed on minority languages such as Venda and Tonga which were offered at Great Zimbabwe University in line with the dictates of the new curriculum.  The curriculum now requires that learners in ECD A, ECD B and grades 1 and 2 who constitute the infant grouper should receive instruction in mother language.  Other than infant teachers for Tonga, Ndebele and other minority languages, there is an oversupply of Shona and Ndebele teachers in general across primary and secondary schools.

To address the shortages, while the teacher capacity development is still rolling out the required teachers shortages of Tonga and Ndebele teachers was being met through the retooling of junior school teachers, that is grades 3 to 7 who were taken back on short courses in ECD at teacher training colleges which involved over 400 teachers and this approach somewhat ameliorated the shortfalls which were being experienced particularly as it also addressed misplaced teachers.

Real shortages exist in A’ level Mathematics, Physics, Technical Vocational subjects, Technical Graphics and Building.  It would appear as others prefer to be in the field than in the classrooms.

HEADMASTERS AND DEPUTIES IN MAKONI NORTH CONSTITUENCY

120.  HON. MUNETSI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain why the following schools in Makoni North Constituency are not staffed with qualified headmasters and Deputy Headmasters:-

(a)  Rusununguko Primary and Secondary Schools;

(b)  Mutiwegora Secondary School;

(c ) Moruma Primary School;

(d)  Tsikada Primary and Secondary Schools;

(e)  Nyamaronda Primary and Secondary Schools; and

(f)  Kufa Primary and Secondary Schools.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has on many occasions made it public that an excess of 10 000 teachers are needed in order to adequately handle the competence-based curriculum.  To this effect, we have engaged both the Public Service Commission and the Treasury on the best way forward.  However, the major challenge is on the fiscal space in which we are operating as a nation.  As a Ministry, we are however grateful that Treasury and the Commission have assured us that we will get the quantum of teachers as the economy improves.  This holistic solution that we envisaged will not only apply to the above stated schools, but to all the schools that are under staffed across the country.

The situation of the specific cited schools is that advertisements for heads were flighted for all provinces including Manicaland.  Interviews have been conducted and we await appointments.

USE OF SCHOOL BUSES BY POLITICAL PARTIES

121.  HON. MLAMBO asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain government policy on the use of school buses by political parties.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  I am happy that the Hon. Member has put it correctly that we have schools that are servicing the needs of our schools.  For this reason, the buses will continue to serve the purpose for which they have been bought.  Our line managers have not reported any cases of school buses being used for party business.  If such a situation arises, members are free to bring it to the attention of the Ministry.  I want to assure the members that our system will carry out an investigation on the matter.

However, individual schools are not prohibited from offering services to the community in which they are situated.  Where such services are offered, members of the community pay reasonable amount of money.  The offer extends to the members of different denominations and some of the Hon. Members in this august House have benefitted from the offer.

BUILDING OF THIRD HIGH SCHOOL IN MBIZO CONSTITUENCY

123. HON CHIKWINYA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education when the third high school in Mbizo Constituency will be built to cater for the five existing primary schools?

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  The Ministry is seized with development of decent school infrastructure in all our provinces. Our 2013 Infrastructure Expo had shown that the nation has a deficit of school infrastructure of 2 056. That number has long since increased. As a Ministry, we have adopted a two pronged approach to address the current deficit, that is, the Ofid programme and the Joint Venture Partnership Programme.

          The Ofid Programme which is already under way is set to deliver 17 brand new schools before the end of the year. Some Hon. Members in here can confirm that such developments are taking place in their constituencies. After this first phase, more schools will be constructed through the same programme. On the other hand, the Joint Venture Partnerships are set to deliver more than 100 schools. We have also held the Presidential Indaba on infrastructure on 18 July 2018 where many investors have pledged to work with the Ministry on school infrastructure development.

PROVISION OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY FRIENDLY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN SCHOOLS

          126.    HON. MADHUKU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the measures being taken to ensure that all schools provide physical disability friendly learning environments.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The Ministry is seized with issues of access and quality of education that the learners are supposed to receive.  For this reason, the Ministry has deliberately created a department at head office that is the department of Learner Welfare Psychology Services and Special Needs Education that actually deals with issues of special needs education.

          The department carters for learners who are visually impaired, those of hearing impairment and other disabilities that the learners have.  As the Hon. Members might be aware, most of our modern buildings are responsive to learners with disabilities.  It is the policy of the Ministry to ensure that all modern buildings have ramps that are specifically for learners with disabilities.  We have also taken it upon ourselves to ensure that learners are provided with devices such as hearing aids and other facilities.

REGISTRATION OF NEW SCHOOLS IN RURAL AREAS

127.    HON. MADHUKU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain to the House measures being taken to register new schools, particularly in rural areas as Zimbabwe School Examination Centres.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Recent development in our country has witnessed the emergency of new schools particularly what we regard as satellite schools.  These schools are supposed to be registered and in order to function like any other school.  For a school to be a registered centre for ZIMSEC, there are certain infrastructure requirements that should be available in schools.   One of the key requirements is that the school should have a strong room for the safe keeping of the examination papers.  Once such facilities are in place, any school can be registered as a centre.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. KAZEMBE), the House adjourned at a Quarter past Five o’clock p.m.   

 

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 30 JANUARY 2019 VOL 45 NO 29