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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 4 November 2009 VOL. 36 NO. 6

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 4th November 2009

The House of Assembly met at a

Quarter-past Two O'clock p.m

PRAYERS

(MR SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR SPEAKER

HALF DAY STAKEHOLDERS PARTICIPATION WORKSHOP ON THE FORMULATION OF MEDIUM TERM LINE

MR SPEAKER : I have to inform the House that the Hon. Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion is inviting hon. members to a Half-Day Stakeholders Participation Workshop on the Formulation of Medium Term Line which will take place on the 5th of November 2009 from 0800hours to 1300 hours at Harare International Conference Centre. The bus will leave Nelson Mandela at 0745hours tomorrow morning.

 

NON ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE ON THE RESERVE BANK OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT BILL (H.B 7, 2009)

MR SPEAKER : I also have to inform the House that l have received a non adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill H.B 7 of 2009.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

*MR. KANZAMA: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development, there are reports of ZESA employees being assaulted by residents when they want to switch off electricity in different parts of the country to the extent that some officers have been injured in the process. I just wanted to clarify with you how this problem can be rectified so that people can understand.

MR SPEAKER: I will allow the Minister to respond to that question but let me remind hon members that this segment is specially for questions that relate to matters of policy that is in general questions that will need detail. However, I have already indicated that this issue is a matter of national importance therefore Minister you can reply.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (ENG. MUDZURI): Mr Speaker, the issue of ZESA employees being attacked by residents has not come to surface. If anything happened it has not been relayed to me but what I can say is that ZESA officers should be more public relations oriented to be able to be more of a public service unit rather than an autocratic unit. So we need to talk to people before they just go to start to cut off the electricity. While we understand we are coming from difficult time and while people are facing challenges, they have to be conducted and discussed with them to ensure that the Bills which they are being asked to pay are realistic.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we are still having few problems with few certain areas where the Bills have been very high but the answer is not to fight ZESA officers but to go to the regional manager and talk to him and if there are real serious problems they can be referred to my office.

MR. MADZIMURE: My question is directed to the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs. In a number of countries, the Parliaments there have decided that they become more independent by having a Parliamentary Commission which will ensure that the welfare of Members of Parliament are fully addressed. Is there any move to do the same for the Parliament of Zimbabwe so that Members of Parliament can exercise their oversight role independently and effectively?

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (ADV. MATINENGA): The question raises very fundamental issues with regard to issues relating to the separation of powers. I certainly share the concerns raised by the member but I think it is proper if a proper motion is brought to the House, thoroughly researched and the Ministry looks at it and see what it can do.

MR. BHASIKITI: My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Communication and Technology. Firstly, I would like to acknowledge his efforts for making sure that the SIM packs are now cheaper but I also want to find out whether he can negotiate further with the service providers because the SIM packs alone cost US$3 plus US$5 airtime. Most of the people in the rural ares cannot afford that. So, the Minister should negotiate for the cost of SIM packs only and people should be given the choice to get their own airtime.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (MR CHAMISA): I really want to thank the hon. member for acknowledging the efforts we are trying to put in place as Government. The point he has raised Mr. Speaker, we are aware and conscious of the fact that because of that additional cost that has to go to airtime, the affordability and availability of SIM packs and SIM cards has really been problematic.

What we are trying to do is to make sure that from a concrete point of view, we try to avail all the networks. We have actually given an instruction to the operators that we want to give you targets in terms of rolling out your networks and what they are actually doing right now is that apart from reducing the cost of the SIM card - I have actually given them up to December to find or work on modalities of removing the extra costs so that they really focus on the actual cost of the SIM card. We want the SIM card to cost between US$2 to US$5. It is supposed to be as cheap as tomatoes on the market. It is a matter of time because we are moving from a dispensation of very serious challenging circumstances for these operators.

Mr. Speaker Sir, more importantly and which I thought was going to be the hon. member's question is to do about network service in Mwenezi where we are talking about the availability of networks in all the remote areas. In fact we have started in areas like Chipinge, Binga, Mwenezi Chikwarakwara and Mount Darwin. The reason why we have targeted these areas is they are remote areas and we want to connect those areas through what we call universal service fund. Operators pay that universal service fund, that is currently what we are doing. So the hon. member must be smiling because we have a new year present by way of a booster.

*MRS ZINYEMBA: My question is directed to the Co - Ministers of Home Affairs . I want to know if they have a programme to computerize my Constituency's Police Station because at present documents are being lost because of the manual operations.

*THE CO-MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR MUTSEKWA): Thank you Hon. Member for the question it is true that our police stations are still in manual mode. Our Ministry is trying its best to have the computers but our challenge is insufficient funding.

*MR. KANZAMA: I would want to know from the Minister if the local business community is allowed to donate these computers.

*MR MUTSEKWA: Yes, the community is allowed to assist, some assist in maintaining offices and houses. What we recommend is that these donations should be done through the ministry so as to verify the donation's origin.

MR MUDARIKWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Education Sport and Culture. What is going to happen to those students who are not going to write their 'O' and 'A' level examinations? Are you going to give them certificates of attendance?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE (MR DOKORA): I always enjoy the hon. members' questions to the Ministry, it is not the first time he has asked questions of interest. I am going to be responding to another hon member later on, maybe I could reserve the response until I do answer Hon. Chimhini's written question.

MR MAZIKANA: I direct my question to the Minister in the Prime Minster's office. Could he enlighten the House on the benefits that accrue to the nation on the disengagement policy?

MR SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Hon. Minister in the Prime Minister's office, you may wish to enlighten the House if you wish so. But strictly speaking that is not a policy question but if you wish to do so, you are duly recognised.

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE (MR G. MOYO): I would like to thank the hon. member for asking that question and I would like to say to this House the question relates to the party policy. I thought here we are discussing government policy.

MR F. M. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs. Can he enlighten this House on the constitutional making process, if there are problems, why, and what are they doing to correct those problems.

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (ADV. MATINENGA): May I thank the hon. member for seeking enlightenment on what is happening on the constitution making process.. Mr Speaker Sir, I am glad to inform this House that there is movement in the constitution making process. We are all aware that the constitution making process is a process that is governed by Article VI of the GPA. We are also aware that we have since gone past the first two major steps in consummating the GPA. The first step being the establishment of the Parliamentary Select Committee and the second major step being the holding of the first Stakeholders' Conference. The next step is the critical outreach stage where members of the Thematic Committees are going to be going out to seek the views of the people in this country as to the nature of the constitution which they desire.

Let me advise this House that Thematic Committees are now in place. What is to be done now is to train the members of those Thematic Committees in order that they become aware of what they should ask for from the communities they will visit, in order that those communities are able to meaningfully contribute to the document which might then come out at the end of the whole process. We are now at a stage where the Minister of Finance has made a commitment to make funds available. This commitment is going to be made on a weekly basis, which is going to be based on cashflow which is presented to the ministry on a weekly basis. So the money is there and we are now on the stage of going out with the process and we are confident that we will be able to adequately and materially engage with the people of this country.

MR F.M. SIBANDA: Could the minister tell this House whether we are going to be in the time frame of the GPA that the Parliamentary Select Committee was given because there is still a lot of work and that there is no money. That is very critical to our nation. Can the minister comment.

ADV. MATINENGA: Mr Speaker, when the time frames were set out on the GPA, it was in order to give the parameter in which the constitution making process is going to be made. With all other political issues those issues are not cast in stones. It is difficult to indicate that we are going to able to write chapter one tomorrow and finish it because when we visit chapter one it is quite possible that there are a lot of other issues which arise out of writing chapter one. Roughly, what I can say with some confidence is that when we look at the global time which was made available, in case of the GPA, we are going to endeavour to meet that global time.

MR DONGO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My queston is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Services . I do not know if the Minister is aware that there are a lot of families who lost bread winners during the run off election of June 2008 and some poeple lost their limbs? If she is aware, what is the Ministry doing?

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (MS MPARIWA): Mr. Speaker, I am not aware whether this question is clearly my responsibility and also if it is a policy question, because the hon. Member has asked a very fundamental question which seeks to find out the government position in terms of the welfare of those who lost their bread winners and those who would have been maimed because of political violence.

I am sure it is a three some question and it also requires correct information.

1. The question which goes to the Ministry of Home Affairs to find out how many and so on - because whatever is a gap in the policy in terms of government delivery falls under my Ministry; (a) the question of education (b) the question of food (c) the question of health.

Let me hasten to say that government policy is very clear that we look after all the vulnerable people in the country, that is also those who are destitutes, including the elderly, the sick and the orphans. According to government policy, those that are brought to us and those who fall under the category that need assistance – we do have a policy where we pay some grants to cater for the needs of those that would have been disturbed and do not have a fall back position.

2. The question of having a replacement of limbs and so on – once that information is given to us and the poeple brought to us, we willl be able to help. Government policy is very clear in terms of catering for the needs of those that we call vulnerable. However, if the hon. Member could furnish even Hansard, to say the names of those who need the assistance of my Ministry, I will be of assistance.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY MR. SPEAKER

SWITCHING OFF CELL PHONES

MR SPEAKER: May I advise hon. members to switch off their cell phones.

MR MUKANDURI: Myquestion is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. What measures is his Ministry taking to address the transport problems faced by the ZRP and the conditions of service for the ZRP? I heard over the radio that the Ministry of Health is going to improve on the remuneration of senior doctors and health staff.

THE CO- MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR MUTSEKWA): I would like to thank the hon. Member for asking that question. I do acknowledge that there are serious challenges that affect the performance of the ZRP in their day to day duties, especially when it comes to transport.

However, the ZRP are not isolated in this particular problem. The problems affect all the government departments. I am sure once the economy has picked up and we have got money, the Ministry is quite eager to see that the transport situation in the ZRP is improved. As to what are we doing about their welfare in terms of allowances and salaries, the Public Service Commission looks after the welfare, allowances and salaries of the Police. I am aware that the Commission, as we speak, is involved in wanting to find out how they can best reward them. However, everything depends on the returns that we get from the Ministry of Finance.

* MR KANZAMA: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Is it true that there will be relocation of families from Chiadzwa? If so, where are they going to be relocated? Is it also true that an investor has shown interest in investing at Chiadzwa?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT(MR ZWIZWAI): Mr Speaker, it is true that families in Chiadzwa will be relocated and government has such intentions. Some families are found in the foot prints of the mine. Due to security reasons and the fact that the diamonds in Chiadzwa are alluvial in nature, it will not be proper to leave families in the mine. The area has to be fenced off and the affected people will be relocated to ARDA farm.

This relocation will be done in consultation with the local community. The Ministry of Lands is also involved in the process because some of the properties are of sentimental value. The other problem is that we are now ploughing our fields and there is great concern that if they leave now, then how are they going to feed their families? An evaluation team is also working on site and ten million dollars was set aside as an incentive to build better houses for them than they currrently have and other facilities like irrigation, clinics etc.

It is true that two investors have come to Chiadzwa. However,

I can not share the information with you now as the matter is subjudice (before the courts). So, my hands are tied.

MR BHASIKITI: Can the Minister explain why there has been tremendous progress into mining without the certification of the Environmental Impact Assessment?

MR ZWIZWAI: l am sure that I share the same sentiments with fellow hon members that the question seems not to be properly structured and we are failing to get the gist of the question. It is important however, that I should enlighten the member around the issue of progress in mining and the issue of certification through the Environment Impact Assessment. It is true that there is a lot of progress particularly in the gold mining sector which is one of the low hanging fruits within our Economic Recovery Programme. This comes obviously through the incentive where we managed to liberalise the monopoly of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe regarding export, purchase and possession of gold. As we speak, individual Zimbabweans are at liberty to be licensed to purchase and possess gold. We also have another incentive in the form of improved world market prices on various minerals such as chrome and iron which have been seriously affected by the credit crunch. You will know that the price of gold has reached an all time high at a rate of US$130 per ounce which was unprecedented. The use of the US$ as a medium of exchange is also one of the incentives because our miners where in a catch 22 situation and they would sell their minerals but would be paid in local currency through the monetary policy that was in place which would not assist them.

In terms of the Environmental Management Certificate, there is no single operator allowed to mine without the certification from the Environmental Management Agency. It is not negotiable and it is not something controlled by the Minister of Mines but it falls within the ambit of Minister Nhema. We are actually facing challenges and are receiving a lot of complaints from the small scale miners who cannot afford to hire the qualified personnel to do the Environmental Management Report and also the required registration fee. We assisted in that matter and we are busy negotiating with Minister Nhema.

MR BHASIKITI: The Minister has evaded the question. I still want to be answered on the Chiadzwa issue.

MR ZWIZWAI: I would not want to answer that question off the cuff. Your passion around the question means you could have properly documented evidence around it. If you can put that question in writing, we will be able to give you details around the question.

MR MUDARIKWA: As Members of Parliament, are we allowed to have workers committees and further to that, are we covered by the Labour Relations Act. If we are to call for an industrial action? If we are grieved, do we fall under the Labour Relations Act where we need to wait 14 days for an industrial action?

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (MS MPARIWA): I am also a Member of Parliament and first and foremost, I did not realise that Members of Parliament are employees. The Labour Act in this country is very clear and the hon member is quite acquainted with the contents or requirements of the Labour Act and in terms of what procedures have to be followed for any organisation to form a Workers Committee and to what category they fall under. I am not sure whether the hon. member is trying to incite an industrial action in Parliament. If so, then he can forget to be a Member of Parliament next time. When he does not come to Parliament, I will take his constituency.

+MS T. KHUMALO: My question is directed to Hon. Mudenge, Tle Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education* What I know is that cࡨildren should hɡve good health. I would like to know if students at tertiary institutions are taug䁨t about STIs?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER A D TERTIARY EFUCATION(Dђ MU


ENGE):

I confess that my耠Ndebel is not ve⁲y advanࡣed, b⁵t take it that耠the hon. member is asūinc a`out ѓTIs in general at universities and colleges. STIs, I believe stands for Sexually Transmitted Infections, that includes HIV. Let me say that the question of STIs at universities, teachers colleges, technical colleges and schools is a serious subject which we teach, it is compulsory. You have to have gone through a programme where we are talking about the contracting, preventing and advise students and the community. It is a compulsory subject in our schools, teachers colleges, technical colleges and universities. By the time they reach the university they will have already gone through the programme at school. The problem is not knowledge but the weakness of the body.

MR MADZIMURE: My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. What measures are you taking to ensure that - I suppose the University of Zimbabwe will be taking students for the next year's programmes, what measures are being taken to ensure that those who would have failed this year because of the circumstances are catered for next year?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION (DR MUDENGE): We do not plan for failing students. I can assure you that the staff at the university will not subject students to examination when the students are not ready. The integrity of the university is done by highly professional staff, which if it is not sure that the students are ready ...

MR MADZIMURE: On a point of Order...

MR SPEAKER: Order, the Minister is still answering the question. I recognize the Minister.

DR MUDENGE: The University of Zimbabwe ensured that the undergraduates were late in opening, the post graduates went through without a break. The undergraduates, because of the water situation, started later but they have therefore extended the semester to cover for the period which they lost. It has been planned for, utilized and they will be preparing for examinations when it takes place.

MR F.M SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. I presume the Heroes Act is under your Ministry. Is she aware that the Heroes' dependents are now destitutes? Is the Minister aware that certain hon. members who are beneficiaries are not being catered for? What happens to the funds that are allocated to the beneficiaries of National Heroes in Zimbabwe?

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (MS MPARIWA): I want to thank the hon. member for his question. Yes I know that the heroes' dependents responsibility lies in my ministry. I also wish to inform this House that heroes' dependents are being paid. If for any reason, anyone on that list of heroes' dependents is not being paid, the hon. member can bring that to my attention. Indeed, the amount that we are paying is just a small amount but they are being catered for.

MR MUNGOFA: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines. The government has made a lot of noise about value addition to our minerals yet the ministry has done nothing in order to make those raw materials be made available to local processors. There are some indications by mining houses that they are prepared to make available raw materials but the ministry has made no effort to make it work. Can the Minister please specify.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (MR ZWIZWAI): Thank you hon. member for the question which seeks to establish the ministry's policy around the subject of value addition. First of all, value addition in mining is a very broad subject. It touches a broad range of minerals such as chrome, platinum, gold and maybe granites to value add it before we export it as raw. I would like to assume that because of my privy to the passion position of the hon. member around diamonds, this question is seeking to establish the ministry's policy around value addition on diamonds.

Regarding value addition on diamonds, it is the Ministry's policy that there has to be value addition as opposed to exporting our diamonds as rough diamonds. We are in the process of coming up with a very solid policy that will see the processing and the mining of diamonds from the mines up to the fingers. In this regard, we also want to ensure the growth of a value addition and beneficiation industry in this country. The question that you have raised is that of the challenges around the access of goods by the value addition companies. There are two ways to do that. First of all by open bidding process which is done twice a month through MMCZ. But this has challenges that it only limits you to the goods that come from Chiadzwa and precludes you from the goods that come from the other two operations such as Murowa Diamond mine and River Range.

Given that, we are also in the process and I would be pleased if you could also input your contribution into the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill; where we are looking at beneficiation and we are trying to create a threshhold and other percentages that you deem necessary to enable you to have goods throughout the year so that we will not shut down. If you give us your views, they will be incorporated into the amendment that will be brought before the House to become part of the law.

In the meantime, we do not have problems in supporting the industry. The Ministry is prepared to assist the industry if there has been a move. My Ministry is prepared to work with them to engage some leaders in this House. Our offices are open, we can even do it tomorrow so that we can kick start the process to enable you to access these goods so that you make use of your licenses before it is due for renewal on the 2nd of January. Thank you.

Questions without notice were interrupted by MR SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

2009 'O' AND 'A' LEVEL EXAMINATIONS

MR CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture to provide this House with the final statistics of registered students for 2009, O and A level examinations after the failure by many of them to raise examination fees and to further clarify government policy on the future management of examination fees.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (MR DOKORA): My response is as follows. I am pleased to inform this House that the final statistics of the registered candidates for November 2009 “O” and “A” level stood as follows as of 30 October 2009. Really the word final is provisional. As of October 30, 2009 - “O” level - some 132 538 candidates had registered for a total of 642 full subject combinations. This candidature represents 55% of the entry for 2008 which had been 239 434 candidates for 1 382 371 subject combinations. The average number of subjects per candidate in 2008 was 6 subjects compared to the current 4 - 8 subjects for 2009.

Thus a number of candidates failed to register for the basic minimum of 5 subjects. In “A” level, in 2008 some 36 917 candidates registered for 114 829 subject classes in the “A” level examinations. So far this year, using the provisional date of 30 October, some 25 000 candidates had registered for 72 891 subjects by Friday the 30th of October 2009. This represent 58% of the 2008 candidature. The average number of subjects stood at 3.1 in 2008 compared to that of 2.9 subjects this year. That is a 2% difference. This indicates failure by some candidates to register for the 3 basic minimum subjects at this level. It is expected however that these figures will rise as more entries are received from outlying areas of the country which depend on the postal services for delivery of their registered forms to ZIMSEC. Their present mode of registration of candidature falls below the Ministry's expectation as the government undertook to underwrite the examination through loans availed to all potential candidates, payments of which was extended to the end of January 2010. It is probable that line officers, station heads, parents, guardians and sponsors may not have fully appreciated the loan facility.

Future Management of Examination Fees

As the member might appreciate, in the past under a stable economic regime, examination fees were announced and known well in advance of the ensuing academic year. In this regard, parents, guardians and other potential candidates knew through their centres by October/November what the examination fees for oncoming June examinations would be. Registration for the same June examinations would be concluded by February, giving parents about four months to source and pay the money for the examinations.

Similarly, candidates registered for the November examinations by the end of April. This gave ZIMSEC adequate time to process the entries and send provisional statements to centres to enable candidates to correct any errors from name spelling to subject syllabus code.

With the rise in inflation, it became impossible to observe the aforecited time lines. Registration was inevitably delayed to enable setting of examinations fees as close as possible to the intended registration date. This enabled ZIMSEC to get as close to the purchasing power of the fees as possible.

As in the past, and as the economy continues to stabilise, Government will approve the examination fees well before the registration date to allow adequate lead time for parents, guardians and other sponsors. To that extent, the examination fees will become readily known and ZIMSEC should be able to call for entries early so that the processing of the data can be done on time.

UNICEF TEACHING AND LEARNING MATERIALS

6. Mr Chimhini asked the Minister of Education Sport, Arts and Culture to explain to this House:

I. the facts regarding the provision of learning and teaching materials provided by UNICEF and other funding partners; and

II. The distribution policy or mechanism to ensure equity to all schools.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (MR DOKORA) : I would like to inform the hon member and the august House that UNICEF has been distributing teaching and learning materials to schools in the 18 poorest districts in the country. These have been dabbed the 18 focal districts. In addition to these, UNICEF has also been distributing teaching and learning materials to schools in other districts under the Child Friendly Schools Programme adopted by the Ministry in conjunction with UNICEF and other cooperating partners. Such schools have a very highly improved books to pupil ratio compared to their counterparts in the same districts.

It should be appreciated that following a number of meetings since February 2009, donors, partners and other NGOs have formed the Education Transition Fund for the purpose of raising funds or sourcing funds to purchase teaching and learning materials and to pay school fees for the OVCs and other children of an indigent background. It should be appreciated that at the launch of the fund at Mutasa Primary School in Highfield on 14 September 2009 an amount of US$70 million was said to have been raised. US$20 million of this amount was earmarked for the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) with the US$50 million being meant for the purchase of teaching and learning materials.

Regrettably, this money was mainly in the form of pledges and it has not yet been realised. However, UNICEF is currently putting modalities in place to purchase basic textbooks with the yet to be known amount of money it has been availed. UNICEF works in this regard with two committees on teaching and learning materials established for the purpose and in conjunction with book publishers in the country.

It was intended to have the textbooks for the core subjects delivered to schools by the end of the next quarter.

As already indicated above, two committees working closely with the books publishers, printers and paper converters have been formed. These committees will see to the purchase of teaching and learning materials and their equitable distribution to schools throughout the country. The distribution of the teaching and learning materials were and will be based on the individual schools' enrolment, thus, schools with larger enrolments will be given more than those with less. The districts that were identified as constittuting the initial core of UNICEF's attention were as follows: Manicaland, Buhera, Chipinge, Mutasa; Masvingo: Mwenezi, Zaka, Matabeleland North and South: Bulilima, Mangwe, Binga, Tsholotsho; Mashonaland West: Kariba, Hurungwe, Chegutu; Midlands: Gokwe North, Zvishavane; Mashonaland East: Mudzi, UMP; Mashonaland Central: Rushinga, Mt Darwin.

If I could take the opportunity to respond to Hon Mudarikwa who raised the question whether we are going to issue certificates of attendance for those that have not made it to the examination room. The practice in the schools is that not all pupils necessarily wait to write the ZIMSEC examination or the Cambridge examinations. They do other matters, they pursue other courses while they are in the schools. It could be computer courses related to Pitman or HEXCO. However, each school has the authority to issue a testimonial to say that we have had this pupil for two terms, one year and they were found to be of this kind of behaviour and they participated in these various fields of learning.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

MR MATUTU: I move that Order of the Day Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.

MS KARENYI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

FIRST READING

AUDIT OFFICE BILL (H.B. 10, 2009)

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE

presented the Audit Office Bill [H.B. 10, 2009]

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

FIRST READING

FINANCIAL ADJUSTMENTS BILL, (H.B. 8, 2009)

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE

presented the Financial Adjustments Bill [H.B. 8, 2009]

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

FIRST READING

PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT BILL, (H.B. 9, 2009)

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE

presented the Public Finance Management Bill [H.B. 9, 2009]

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

CONFERMENT OF HERO STATUS

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the criteria used to declare national heroes and heroines.

Question again proposed.

MR CHITANDO: Thank you Mr Speaker. I want to add my voice to this motion. I would like to thank Hon. Sibanda for bringing in this motion. Firstly, for our national heroes to which this motion is dedicated - basically the aspect of the Global Political Agreement that has to be fulfilled, that is the national healing and reconciliation. The national healing process is suffering because when we declare our national heroes, we are doing it on a very partisan manner. This is very questionable.

Let me give a recent event which I had to experience. I had come here with an intention to go to the burial of the national hero Hon. Chando. When I drove from the hotel and I arrived in the Samora Machel Avenue, I started to see I was in a totally different place. It was not a national event, I decided to go back because it was a ZANU PF event. We should not take such events to be ZANU PF or MDC events, they should be national events.

What I am trying to say is, the national heroes thing should not belong to a particular party that is going to declare that Chando is a hero. If you do that, you are already watering down the heroism of that person. The first thing which l would like you to understand is that when the Politburo is sitting to decide who is to be conferred with the hero status, they are already raping -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible injections]-because in the Act there is nowhere it states that the politburo is going to sit to decide. They are taking away -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible injections]-

There are three aspects ; firstly distinguished- from the Oxford Dictionary it means successful, respected by many people. If you are respected by many people. Let me take you back to the March elections, Morgan Tsvangirai got 47% and R.G Mugabe got 43%. I am not saying President because they are candidates of their own parties. If you are declared a hero and you have got 43% it is not fulfilling the aspect of the law.

The second aspect is distinctive; it should be easy to recognize a hero because of difference from other people. So when you are saying this person is different from other people, there should be something different about that person. Today you are declared a liberation hero and tomorrow you are declared a national hero – the Liberation Act clearly states some of the criteria of who is to be a liberation hero. They are not fulfilling the second aspect.

The third aspect is that of outstanding - it is well stated in the Heroes Act. There is nothing that is outstanding. Persistence, that is why I am saying they are raping. Outstanding means extremely good. I want to give an example from the three things which we have stated. Who does not think Jairos Jiri was distinguished, distinctive and outstanding. Certainly, he has done what other people have not done. Those who were at the University in the 1980s, the Students Council were there to declare him a hero. They will tell you that those years A Mutambara was going to be a hero of that time. And if you talk of heroes, we will give you our own heroes and the soccer fraternity will give you its own heroes. So, if you go to the area of music and say give us your heroes, they will give you names of their heroes. So, everyone is a hero in his own right. If you go to soccer there is no none who can doubt that Sunday Chidzambwa is a living hero the same applies to J. Nyarota. Some people should be declared heroes whilst they are still on this earth. Who can doubt that Sunday Chidzambwa is a living hero, he has been able to take Dynamos to highest levels, he has been able to take Zimbabwe to the African Cup of Nations and he has lifted the COSAFA Cup twice. So, the criteria which we are using to declare our heroes is making this nation a laughing stock.

MR. HOVE: I rise to add my voice to the motion brought by Hon. Sibanda, it is a very important motion. I would also want to add my concerns with regard to the nature we are realizing, recognizing and acknowledging individual contribution to this nation. Let me start by saying, it is quite a noble idea to declare individual heroes or heroins. However, with everything that is wrong in our nation the procedures in declaring one a hero or heroin to whom we purport to be giving respect - the problem we have in Zimbabwe is to view things in a narrow partisan, parochial and very selfish way, it is belittling the person whom we intend to respect. I would like to acknowledge that indeed the majority of our liberators may be found in ZANU PF and ZAPU but that does not give ZANU PF the right to declare people heroes or heroins because the noble objective of going to war was not for ZANU PF, it was for the nation.

Mr. Speaker Sir, when we have a highest body of a political party declaring someone a hero, it is very wrong. It even boggles my mind why a partisan body can declare someone a hero and expect other parties to come or attend such events? You even accuse someone of playing golf and not coming to mourn the hero, mourning who, if you honour individuals in ZANU PF, there is no way you can expect the whole nation to come and attend that private funeral.

I am of the idea that if you are expecting all Zimbabweans to recognize any individuals or any achievement,

that person should not be acknowledged and declared a hero by a political party. There has to be an independent body that accords that status.

The other point I am also trying to put across is that when declaring heroes, we need to revise certain procedures and even places that these so called heroes are being interred. We should also have private cemeteries for the people who have contributed immensely to our nation. The problem which we have is that these heroes are being declared by party, a minority party, if it was a majority party we would probably say it is the views of the majority. It boggles my mind when I see a minority party trying to rule, it goes against democratic norms.

I want to acknowledge that certainly we have heroes and they vary, we have liberation heroes, we have soccer heroes and we also have heroes from our traditional chiefs, we have heroes in churches and music. We hear of the celebrated Chief by the name Chief Chihota who used to preside over his court whilst he is seated on a lady's lap. We have heroes in various sectors and certainly heroism is not found in politics only. The mere fact that we have been given mandate by the people or we have people who belong to other parties does not make us the supreme or commanders for declaring heroism.

I am of the idea that we should open up the process of recognizing heroes and not only recognizing dead persons, but we should recognize and celebrate the lives of living heroes. Every one who does good work wants to be recognized. It is only in this nation where we wait for someone to die before we realize the importance of that person. I remember some two years ago a person was declared a hero and they bought a casket and they took that casket to Chikomba, but when they tried to take that coffin inside so that it could lie in State, the coffin could not fit at the door. I am of the opinion that to circumvent such a shame of heroism, let us celebrate the heroism with people whilst they are alive. So, I want to say Mr Speaker Sir, as long as it is ZANU PF Politburo's mandate to declare a hero, that person should not be a national hero. That person must be called ZANU PF hero, because he has been declared in respect of the work that person has done. As the previous speaker has said, the three aspects that will single him out as a hero. All the sons and daughters of this nation are supposed to be respected in one way or another and you are still continuously prejudicing those status of heroes and heroines. I am of the opinion that we set up an independent body that represent every area of interest and caters for everyone to declare our noble sons and daughters as heroes. We should not only declare them but also carry forward the ideas that they have had. It is very unfortunate that in our nation we celebrate when people are dead but do not carry forward the value they will have obtained when they were alive. It is a shame on our nation that 30 years after independence, we seem to recognise the individual but not carry forward. We have a deliberate belief that struggle values are not finished after 30 years old. I am quiet saddened with the way we are dealing with these issues of national heroes.

*MRS CHADEROPA: Thank Mr Speaker, I would want to enlighten my fellow hon members on why the heroes acre was put in place. The aim of the heros acre was for the burial of freedom fighters who fought in the liberation struggle. If at all you feel that this has to be changed it would be good if we could sit down discuss and amend this. I am a member of the ZANU PF central committee, if I die today, I will not be buried at the heroes acre because I never fought in the war. If one is a hero who took part in the liberation struggle whether ZANU PF or MDC he should be accorded hero status. This is an issue that we need to discuss and not fight over. Thank you Mr Speaker.

MR BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr Speaker, I would like to share certain observations with the mover of this motion. Recognising that the Act states that the President confers such status to deserving people. He may also

confirm analogue of the member deserving, who have been accorded such status. He went further to give us highlights of people he perceives – he made his pick as an individual, perhaps with consultation from a small group I suppose – the other people whom he expects to be confered heroes' status and to be buried at the national shrine, but the whole argument flaws from the basic fact that he does not seem to research cause or essence of the heroes acre. He never addressed that area and is ignorant to that part. I would then need to highlight and put some understanding on some hon. members about the whole essence of heroes acre and heros status. It seems now to be exciting issues to those who had different views all together. Nevertheless,chiedza chinosvikira kuvanhu nguva dzakasiyana, kuna Paul chakamusvikirawo achienda kundo pindutsa vakanaka. Saka ndofara nokuti pavanekuona kwanaka kuti heroes acre is a deserving shrine to our nation. That is fundamental. However, to the people who have to sit down and think about the shrine and when it started – I know you are a growing opposition and you will come to age [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

MR SPEAKER: Hon. member in this house we do not have an opposition party. May you address the Chair please.

MR BHASIKITI: What I am saying to the members even to the mover of the motion is he did not endeavour to give the members the essence of how these issues started. The hon member who has just spoken indicated that we won our liberation struggle against the colonial settlers, against the Ian Smith regime. There were a number of people who were killed outside the country in Mozambique, Zambia and these people were to be taken home for decent burial and they have to be given recognition of what they deserve and their sacrifices. No doubt they will find the tomb of the unknown soldier and many people were taken there who fought for our country. We have also other luminaries and other important figures who died in the struggle in Mozambique like Herbert Chitepo and Josiah Tongogara and others - [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - These people have also to be given national recognition for how they sacrificed their lives for this nation, and the deserving place for their burial was at the national shrine. It has now developed, but from there I know hon members you have not even settled to be a party, but the heroes acre was going on. If you want to be carried on board, you do not just rock the boat, you have to understand that chikepe chavekufamba saka tave kuchifarirawo.

MR SPEAKER: Order hon. member, please address the Chair.

MR BHASIKITI: Then you would not understand why the other hon. Member, the mover of this motion presented before this House that there are some members like Susan Tsvangirai and Isaac Matongo whom he thinks in his view that they could have been confered heroes status. I understand that Susan Tsvangirai was given a state assisted funeral. Quite a number of poeple were in deep sorrow, lamenting over her death. I am surprised because I was one of the MPs who stood up in this House and said we need to give it a thought as an inclusive government.

However, I am taken by surprise that if such an understing is arrived at, how could we have buried each other when we have a lot of mistrust and some people cannot be focused within the same national spirit that we have. It would be a disgrace even now to say we have laid a hero like Susan Tsvangirai at heroes acre when her husband is found playing golf when another hero is being buried. It baffles my mind and why cry over such inclusivity?

Mr Speaker, I think at this point in time, we are not yet mature to delegate any other organ with the duty of looking at the conferment of heroes. To move our nation forward, one would realise that when we talk of heroes – there are district, provincial and national liberation heroes, some who are not even at the national shrine but they remain heroes. What seems to be a mistake from the other members is that there is a criteria which the members think should be considered.

The mover of the motion talked of people like Ndabaningi Sithole and other members. However, the criteria being used looks at what message can be learnt in the life of a person until his death. If we can take Mangwiro – today he is doing wonders for the good of the nation but tomorrow he is found destroying the same nation. We put people in a quandary of trying to think of what kind of man he is. What it means is that he cannot be a hero.

I would like to enlighten even our members that it is paramount to work for the country and sacrifice for the benefit of future generations. This is where we are found wanting, especially those members who are vocal and are the chief advocates of the issue of the conferement of hero status. I want to say to them that they are a hundred miles away from their feet.

Mr Speaker, I may spend more time addressing and trying to educate my colleagues on the importance of the Heroes Acre and the essence of what brought it into existence. If you look at the calibre of the people who are confered such status, you will be ashamed of yourself because they have a whole history, from the liberation struggle up to the new government. You say they are ZANU PF hereos but these are people who have gone and seen it all.

Hon. members, I want to thank you very much for the desire and acknowledgement of the heroes shrine as an important shrine for our nation. I want to urge you further and say that be patient and give it time and in due time you will be qualified to see how we can qualify our heroes. At the moment, you are hundred miles from that process.

 

 

*MS KARENYI: Thank you Hon Sibanda for this motion. I just want to say a bit concerning the aim of the heroes acre. I am happy because they are breaking that law as a party. I want to repeat and tell them that there are heroes who went to war and we saw heroes from school who went to war who are Sithole and Tekere but they are not at Heroes Acre. Kombayi also fought in the war of liberation but he was never buried there. What we are saying is address this issue because today you might be in power but tomorrow it might change and we will have a leader who never went to war. That leader will not remember war heroes only. If the sun rises it will set. It is a sure thing that change will come tomorrow. I am only reminding you to make these decisions not just based on today and along partisan lines, but you should look at tomorrow.

Ndabaningi first engaged in land distribution at Churu Farm. ZANU PF will come to an end. Your children and grand children will want to know what the Heroes Acre is. Those who fought by supplying food, cooking, taking our parents' chickens, goats and cows you did nothing for them. To Hon Bhasikiti, I want you to know that the sun is setting. As a party a stone throw away from running the country, we will not rule along party lines. If you are a hero you will be accorded the hero status.

*MR BALOYI : I have three things that I would like to highlight. This issue should be looked at in terms of ideology. We are conflicting because we differ in ideology. I never went to war. Hero status is accorded if one contributed to the liberation struggle and its development. Mr Speaker, we have a lot of other heroes that have been mentioned such as academics, singers, actors and many others. Yes they contributed but the important thing that holds count is the liberation struggle. Others are curtain raisers [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] Please protect me Mr Speaker, other heroes are accorded hero status but not at the Heroes Acre I refer you to Hollywood.

The aim of the Heroes Acre was to bury freedom fighters. If something is to be changed let us sit down and discuss then change. [ inaudible interjection] Do not disturb me, let me finish. If I die I am a member of the Central Committee, so I will not be buried at the Heroes Acre because I never fought the war. If one is MDC and fought the liberation war he deserves a hero's burial at the Heroes Acre. Let us talk about this issue and not fight over it. If anyone feels there are flows that need to be addressed, then they should visit Cde Robert Mugabe or the Prime Minister. The Bible says the faith of yesterday is not for today. Going to heaven will be judged by todays' faith. Yesterday's success will not serve you tomorrow.

MR CHITANDO: Point of order Mr Speaker Sir.I am a Christian and it pains me to hear someone quoting the Bible wrongly and blaspheming. Can he withdraw his statement.

*MR BALOYI: I thank you.

*MRS ZINYEMBA: Thank you Hon. Sibanda. I want to say now we are wasting time instead of taking the country further. We are acting like a chicken. We are snubbing those who sacrificed their lives in order for us to be in this House. Even God is not pleased. It is not good not to give credit where it is deserved. During the sixth Parliament the Act was there but noone raised a finger. Now that we have been enlightened let us look at this as one. It is only Jesus who shed his blood so that we go to heaven. Heroes are heroes whilst still alive.

Hon. members if you go to England and visit St Pauls Cathedral you will notice that it is now a tourist attraction – you pay money. I was disappointed because there were statues of saints including Bernard Mizeki, then came their heroes' statues. Then there are graves of fighters in the church – so to me God is of the British, but the spirit of God held me to understand that it is not of God. Some of the people in here are saying that some of the people at the Heroes Acre do not deserve to be there. You do not expect to be invited to a funeral. It must bring us together. What we must be aware of is that the spirit does not die. Anyone is free to establish and ZANU PF has its own values regarding the Heroes Acre. There are many people at the Heroes Acre who did not go to fight.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY(MR CHAMISA): I was compelled to add my voice on this motion. This is not the kind of debate that will invite confrontation and acrimony of some kind, it is an important motion. We need to have national discourse on our national institutions if they are to maintain their national touch and feel. The challenge that we are having right now is, we are all coming here crucifying this very good idea, thinking that we are punishing this and that party. The unfortunate thing is that there are imponderables that we have before ourselves. If we are to imagine for example, we wake up tomorrow for some reason we have another political party, are we still going to have the Politburo of ZANU PF sitting to confer heroes status. If we are to do that what is the implication vis-a-vis the government of the day. We have to ask that because it is a reality. Regime change is a reality as long as we have elections in a country.

I am a Member of Parliament first before I am a cabinet minister, so I am actually sharing my thoughts. I am just saying, in as much as we would want to make sure that we preserve the legacy of what is good about our country, the Heroes Acre is a concept, the heroes conferment as a concept is beyond contestation. What we seek to chlorinate is the process. What we seek to disinfect is the process itself. We have no doubt that the issue of heroes is something that is good for the country because we are preserving our past, history and celebrating our sons and daughters. The way we arrive at that is what we are contesting.

We need to make sure that we have a process that is going to stand the test of time in future, even when most of us are long gone and dead, we need this process to be there. Imagine 40 years from now, you were talking about our heroes, they will not be there. Nobody will be there but we still need to preserve that institution. We need to preserve the legacy. Let us have a national ownership of these important processes. It is not about MDC now enjoying the ship because they are now in the inclusive government. This is about our country. It is not about individuals per se and I would want to say to hon members let us not convert this Parliament to being a graveyard of good ideas, which have come from a party that belongs to the opposite side. It will be a travesty of justice and generations to come and they will judge us very harshly. Even the whites Du Pond used to stand here, Lardner-Burke used to stand here, even Van Der Byl but they were discussing things that were preserving their own legacy as colonialists.

We need to make sure that when we come here we preserve our own legacy as a country. Nobody doubts that Josiah Tongogara was our hero. But it is making sure that we preserve that process. As a matter of fact it is not only politicians who are heroes. We have other people who are outside the orbit of politics who have possibly done from a patriotic barometer very well than most of us who are politicians. We need to make sure that this is a national discourse and there is national consensus on this matter.

I am glad and that in cabinet and even here in Parliament there is realisation that we need to start to debate about these issues so that we preserve our past and safeguard our future. It is very important to make sure that we do not allow one political party to define who should be a hero. In this country the enumerator is the political party and the denominator is Zimbabwe, so you have bastardised mathematics where you say the enumerator is the denominator. We cannot have a situation where a political party is moved or migrated to represent the whole country. In 20, 30 years to come possibly these political parties will not be there. There will be new parties and new players. Let us make sure that we preserve our legacy as a country.

Even the status of the Heroes Acre itself, if we do not do something as a country to make sure that the Heroes Acre is preserved as an institution, it will just crumble and just collapse. We need to make sure that we embrace ICT. When you go to the Heroes Acre it has to be a tourist attraction and you must be able to interact with Josiah Tongogara. You must have a video of Tongogara, Dr Zvobgo, of course you will have a problem with the video of Dr Hunzvi -[ laughter] - I must say on all these matters there is no debate about the heroic contribution of our heroes. We want to acknowledge that contribution but what we contest is the process.

Let us make sure that the process is managed and this is why people contest on how to go to heaven. This is why you have different churches but there is common understanding on going to heaven. Apostles think that you go to heaven by shaving your hair, Roman Catholic think that you go to heaven by singing and doing Maria Musande, Jekenishon think that you go to heaven by beating the drum, there are many ways of going to heaven. But they agree on the definition. Let us agree on the definition of Zimbabwe we want today, tomorrow and in 40 years when all of us are no longer Parliamentarians. We must leave a legacy for our country.

We spend a lot of taxpayers money to come here and quarrel on issues that are supposed to unite us. Is it not something amiss that you go to the Heroes Acre and if we were to try and look at the political cards of all our Heroes, they are all ZANU (PF). There is something fundamentally wrong. Zanu PF is not a party that is synonymous with heroism. We support that there is a legitimate body to confer heroes status and even calibrate heroism. There are other people who do not deserve to be national heroes but you can be given a badge of honour for their contribution to our lifestyles and work styles. We need to debate around those issues and have a national policy on the conferment of heroes status

MR GWIYO: I feel compelled to equally share my thoughts with those views expressed by hon members. The debate under discussion is a healthy debate and it helps to demystify the process and the institution upon which the responsibility of selecting the national heroes was based. I would also want to suggest as part of the process that in order to add value on the hero status we must be able to draw a cut off line. In the process of the debate we need to bring in additional concepts which recognize various efforts because we find that when we talk about heroes, is it a point of inspiration? Is it a point of subjugating? The manner in which the process of selection of heroes in the past has been, creates an situation where people are intimidated around a particular person. It was a process to create fear, it was a process that was intended to institutionalize a one party state.

I would also want to suggest that as we discus and redefine the process of hero selection, we need to carry out what I can call comparative studies with other countries. If one needs to define what is a hero, go to Latin America they have Jose Marti for probably one hundred years. We have people that are called martyrs for their contribution. We have people that are called luminaries for their outstanding contribution.

The issue that has been raised in this motion is to suggest that let us redefine the process that was being used in defining a hero. If it means by way of a motion to suggest to ZANU PF that you were in a black box, can you come out of the black box and then we can have a universal understanding to what can be called a hero. That is my view Mr. Speaker.

*MR NDABA: I would like to add my voice firstly, my view is different from others. Those from Latin America where called freedom fighters. Freedom fighters are more recognized in most countries than celebrities. In ZANU PF and others it was noble to confer this status to freedom fighters. In our culture we do not destroy graves because you are considered as a witch. Things change. If we are seeing from different views, let us come together and discuss it rather that destroy what others have built. There are so many Heroes out there who did go to Heroes Acre – that is a different view. Let us be sober minded when discussing such issues so that the powers would be moved. Motions like these must help us to move forward as a nation.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 5th November 2009.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT, the House adjourned at Sixteen Minutes Past Five o'clock p.m.

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 36 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 4 November 2009 VOL. 36 NO. 6