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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 6 JUNE 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 37

Wednesday, 6th June, 2012.

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY MR. SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

MR. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received a non-adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Elderly Persons Bill, [H.B.1, 2011].

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

*MR. MACHACHA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Mutambara. What are you doing as a Government of national unity to stop violence?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the hon. member for that question. It is a very important question. As you are all aware that there is a conversation in the country about elections and it does not make sense for us to envisage a situation where we can have a free and fair election when our people are being violent to each other. More significantly, there is violence now before the election season. There is violence now before the declaration of our elections. What will happen during election time? So we are very concerned about violence. In particular, we worry about the implication of all this to our efforts as the Inclusive Government in terms of creating conditions for freeness and fairness of our elections. What has happened recently in Mudzi and elsewhere is a travesty of justice and must be nipped in the bud.

With Mudzi, we want to ensure that justice takes its course and those who are involved and those who are suspected to be involved - the law must take its course. The problem in this country is this thing called impunity. If there was a way to ensure that when there is a problem, when an individual is involved in violence we come up with a mechanism to ensure that there is no impunity. They must be punished. Justice must take place, but more importantly justice must be seen to be done. For those cases that are very current, like the Mudzi one, all we are trying to do as a Government is to make sure that the police and the courts are effectively involved and those who are suspected to be involved must be arrested and tried. However, they are innocent until proven guilty. The justice system must work. Measures must be taken against those who commit violence so that in this country, we can say never again. Never again should we have political violence where people are victimised because of their political affiliation. No one is more Zimbabwean than the other because of their political affiliation. Patriotism is not the preserve of any single political party. This is the dispensation we seek to build to address these current issues. Beyond that, there are many reforms that we are working on to create conditions for freeness and fairness of our elections in Zimbabwe. National healing is one of those processes we are working on. Then there is need for security sector realignment to make sure our police, army and the Central Inteligence Organisation (CIO) are aligned to democracy. Political reforms that allow tolerance among ourselves are also necessary. These are the reforms that we can use to mitigate violence. Even media reforms are necessary as some of the violent activities we have in the country is instigated and propelled by hate speech in both private and public media. The media inspires and encourages differences and sometimes inflame this into violence, therefore media reforms will be able to tame both the private and public media. Responsible reporting will incalcate tolerance and accommodation among our people so we avoid settling differences using violence. Hate speech in both public and private media must stop.

We hope provisions within our Constitution which we are working on will go a long way to mitigate and manage issues around violence. However, when we say this, do not get caught up on just building institutions like laws and the constitution. It is not enough to have a constitution. In the current constitution and the versions before it, for the past 32 years, there was never a provision for violence. There was never a provision for the violation of human rights. There was never a provision for irregularities in our elections and vote rigging. However, we carried out violence, we violated human rights, and we cheated in elections. How come we violated and disrespected our own Constitution?

What I am emphasising is that, in addition to our good laws and a democratic constitution, we need this 'animal' called constitutionalism, the behavior, culture and the tradition of respecting the Constitution. Having a good Constitution does not necessarily mean that citizens will respect it. What is going to force me to respect the law and behave in a manner that shows respect of the constitution? This speaks to the issue of values. Unfortunately, you cannot legislate values such as morality, respect or love. Values are developed and built over time through schools, civic education and social mobilisation and leading by example. A ne value system and culture must be built in the country so that we can have a violent-free culture and value system rooted in tolerance of political diversity. These are some of the things that the Government is doing around the subject of violence, but it starts with this House as well. We must accommodate each other, we must cherish our diversity. There is strength in diversity and we must believe in the dignity of difference. We can be united without being uniform.

The language of hon. members must not be violent in here. When you are violent and intolerant in the way you speak, your supporters might take your words to mean that we must be violent with each other. Hate, violence, intolerant speech and diction inspire and lead to violence. The behaviour in this House must be characterized by accommodation and tolerance. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the hon. member for that question.

MRS. MATAMISA: In respect to what the hon. member asked, there is still selective application of the law. If what happened to the late Cephas Magura had happened in my constituency for example or in the constituency of an MDC member, I can tell you, we would have been behind bars by now. What worries me is that the hon. members who were responsible and backing the people behind the violence are moving scot-free and one of them is here sitting with us. Can you please elaborate on the selective application of the law Deputy Prime Minister, thank you.

PROF. MUTAMBARA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I spoke of reforms we need to put in place to mitigate violence. Since we just came back from the SADC Summit, maybe I will say a few words about Luanda. What we need to do in this country is to put in place reforms that will allow us to have a society where there is no selective application of the law. If there is selective application of the law in this country, let us work together to make sure that we do not have such a society. At the SADC Summit in Angola on the 1st June, 2012, we as political leaders were encouraged to implement major reforms which will allow our country to have free and fair elections. A violence free society without selective application of the law is key to these reforms. As I indicated, what we want to see as Government is that, the police and the courts must be involved on that matter, you referred to without fear or favour so that justice prevails. Our aspiration and confidence is that the police and our courts will do their work and those found guilty must be punished. We do not want impunity. Once there is impunity then other people will go ahead and carry out violent activities. In terms of reforms, let me say we are trying our best as a country. The key political stakeholders were in Luanda and some of the efforts from Luanda are meant to transform our country into a nation where there is no selective application of the law. The challenge we have right now after Luanda is that going by what is in the media, it is almost as if there were two different meetings in Luanda. When I look at the public media and I look at private media, the difference is like day and night, very diverse interpretations of the same SADC troika meeting in Angola. So, I want to venture to say the result in Luanda was a good outcome for the people of Zimbabwe, and I emphasize that it was good result for the people of Zimbabwe and not Party A or Party B. The people of Zimbabwe won in Angola. The challenge we have Mr. Speaker Sir is that we are too keen on scoring points against each other to the detriment of the country. If you look at what you see in the public media, the Herald and ZBC and what you see in the private media Newsday and Daily News, you see the element of scoring points between the Zimbabwean political gladiators. The public media is looking at the SADC outcome and then expressing opinions on behalf of a political party. The private media is also expressing views on behalf of a political party. That's why the public and private media messages are diametrically opposed. We cannot score points when matters of violence and freeness and fairness of our elections are being addressed. SADC is trying to help us address issues of violence in our country and we must be grateful and work together. What do we mean by that? We mean the SADC outcome was good for the country period. If we look at the statements from the communiqué which congratulated Zimbabweans for being able to work together and having progress, Part 1. That's positive for our nation. Part II, they said go back home and work on the things we agreed upon. Go back home and put timelines on things we agreed upon. Those timelines will then determine when the elections are going to take place. Those are good recommendations for our country. In adopting the SADC recommendation, we intend to address the issues of violence and the matter of selective application of the law. Rather than trying to determine which party lost or won at SADC, we must close ranks as Zimbabweans and work together to reform our politics. I want to thank the hon. member for that question. I thank you.

MR. MATONGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. Now that he is speaking about the Luanda meeting, we have heard various reports from Luanda as you have mentioned. I would like you to explain to this House in terms of policy. What really transpired so that we understand the extremism in media such as the Herald? Can you explain to this House what really transpired?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. member, you cannot tell the Deputy Prime Minister what to address and what not to address. Ask your question as simple and straight forward as possible.

MR. MATONGA: I am asking about the policy implications of what happened, to Zimbabwe. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I will be very brief Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief.

MR. MUSVAIRE: Ngaarege kunyepa.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, there is a member who said ngaaregere kunyepa. Can you stand up! That hon. member, you must show some respect in this House. This is the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, representing the Executive and you cannot be so disrespectful to the extent that you say what you said. Can you withdraw that?

MR. MUSVAIRE: I withdraw Mr. Speaker Sir.

PROF. MUTAMBARA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the hon. member for that question. As I said in answering the last question, the outcome in Luanda was a good outcome for the people of Zimbabwe. When you find people saying this party lost and that one won, it is now partisan politics at its worst. In Angola we were told, go back home, go and implement what you have agreed upon. Where there are differences, the facilitator will help you find each other, but more importantly, go and put time lines on every process. Process A, two months, process C, two days, process D 3 months and so on. Then add up the time in the processes in your road map and the total time that you will get will determine when your elections will take place. This means the date of our elections will be process driven. So we have got a task as Zimbabweans to work together, to agree on things we need to do, where we disagree, we find each other and where possible, Zuma can help us. Zuma will help us help ourselves. He cannot impose solutions or positions. We are a sovereign nation and buck stops with us as Zimbabweans. After we have done all the work recommended by SADC, we will have a timeline that is very clear and that timeline will determine when our elections are going to take place. Completion of the processes required for free and fair elections will thus determine the date of our election. That is the ideal situation that SADC recommended to us.

Now having said that, there are several scenarios that I want to explain so that we can answer the issue of the policy options with respect to the SADC outcome. Some of the scenarios are not very pleasing, so bear with me. Some scenarios may be pleasing depending on who you are. At the end I will emphasise what we need to do together in order to achieve a good scenario for the country.

Scenario number 1 is possible at least theoretically, from what I have described to finish all the reforms and road map this year 2012. Hypothetically, we can identify all the processes required and put timelines to them, 2 months, 1 month, 2 months etc. and say we will be done in 5 months. Meaning five months from June, we are ready for elections in November. This means it is possible to have elections with reforms this year, 2012. It is a possible hypothetical scenario. So, hypothetically you could say everything requires five months, then you can go to an election in November 2012. It is possible within the SADC recommendations from the troika of 1st June 2012, to have elections with reforms this year. Someone might not like this scenario, but I am not here to please anyone, but to carry out informed analysis. Of course, this scenario is ambitious and requires total co-operation, speed and determination.

Scenario number 2, we can sit down, implement the SADC decision and in our analysis of processes and timelines realize that the total amount of time required to do a good job is 13 months. Then we are in a bit of trouble, as this takes us beyond June 2013, the expiration date of this Parliament. By the way, this Parliament expires June 2013w because that is when Mugabe was sworn in (President Mugabe was sworn-in). Our Constitution says that's when this Parliament expires. Also Mr. Speaker Sir, there is a technicality, once it expires, this Parliament in 2013 June, you can go by way of proclamation for the next four months, yaah. So, the ultimate deadline is October 2013. Anyway in this scenario, we have to work very hard together and finish our reforms in 12 months and go for elections. Please listen to me very carefully this is a very reasonable scenario, you finish your reforms by 2013 June and you go to your election with reforms. That is a very reasonable scenario, but requires total co-operation among the GPA parties.

Scenario number 3, and listen carefully because you might not like this one. We can sit down and discuss the Constitution, disagree and then deadlock. Our GPA agreement is a very bad agreement. It allows for deadlock. It allows for parties to walk away. The GPA cannot force agreement on issues and there was no provision for arbitration. So in the conversation of the Constitution, we can deadlock and walk away and say takonana, zvaramba n'anga murapwa achizvida. In that scenario, the process can break down and we say we have failed to agree. There is no Constitution and there are no reforms. If this breakdown happens early, I am sorry to say this means we can have an election this year without reforms. This is a bad scenario. I do not like it but it is a possible scenario. I am not here to please myself or to make you happy. I am here to give you cold analysis and let the chips fall where they may.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I was very clear. I said I am the bearer of both good and bad scenarios. What we need to do is to acknowledge that this ugly scenario is possible and then work together as a nation to mitigate and avoid its occurrence …-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order!

PROF. MUTAMBARA: Scenario number 4, another bad one, since you seem to like bad news. There is another bad scenario, lets explore it. It is a bad one. We work together, we struggle for 12 months until June 2013 and guess what, when June 2013 comes, there is no Constitution, no reforms. We have been bickering, disagreeing, dilly-dallying and playing games for 12 months. Consequently, the constitution has not been produced and no fundamental reforms have been achieved. However, time is up, its June 2013 and elections must happen. You have to go to an election in June 2013 without reforms. I want hon. members to understand that it is a possible scenario to go for elections in June 2013 without reforms, without a Constitution. It is a possible scenario if we do not get our act together, work together and co-operate. COPAC must get its act together and finish the Constitution quickly. The Management Committee must get their act together and get the work done. We cannot afford this dilly-dallying and delay tactics from COPAC and its Management committee. The Bills must be passed. The Human Rights Commission Bill, the Electoral Bill must be passed. If we delay these negotiated and agreed Bills, we are heading towards this scenario number 4, an election in 2013 June with zero reforms. I will be very upset. I love reforms. If you love reforms like I do, get your act together, no dilly-dallying at COPAC, no dilly-dallying in the Management Committee. Get your act together and get the constitution out. If you do not, there is a scenario where June 2013 arrives and there is no Constitution. This is why in Cabinet this Tuesday the 5th June 2012, we made the decision that COPAC must finish their work by today Wednesday 6th June 2012, and we demanded that the Management meets tomorrow Thursday the 7th June and finish in 3 days. Furthermore, Cabinet has for sometime emphasised the need to pass the two key Bills before this House, the Human Rights Commission Bill and the Zimbabwe Electoral Bill. Get those Bills passed yesterday if you love reforms. If you do not do that, 2013 June will come and we will go to elections without reforms. It is a scenario. There is nothing from the SADC Summit that will guarantee that there will be elections after reforms. Let us not be dreamers. Reforms will come from us, not Zuma or SADC.

Let me conclude with the good news or rather what I think we should do. However, bear in mind that as I do so, the scenarios I discussed are possible. The good news I propose is that, let us all work together so that we go back to elections as soon as possible but at the same time, under conditions that allow for freeness and fairness of elections. I know Zimbabweans have got a binary mindset. It is either elections or reforms. Certain parties emphasise reforms and play down the importance of elections. Others emphasise elections at the expense of reforms. The two different groups are both wrong. You need both elections and reforms. Elections must happen as soon as possible. A forced Inclusive Government, a forced marriage such as ours is not the most effective nor efficient way to run a nation. In general, a coalition Government is not the best way to run a country. Look at the British; it is never the best way. So elections must happen sooner than later. However, the question in Zimbabwe is what kind of election? We want free and fair elections. That is where reforms come in. So, we need to work together, those who love elections and those who love reforms. Work together to do the reforms quickly; the Constitution, the Bills, media reforms, political reforms, economic reforms, security sector reforms. If we do all these things quickly, then we will be able to have an election under reforms which is an achievable good scenario. A scenario that says we are going to have an election in Zimbabwe after reforms. But, I want to close by saying Mr. Speaker Sir, do not assume that an election with reforms is a given. An election with reforms will come if we work together and get the Constitution done, get the media reforms done, get national healing done, get the electoral reforms done, get the political reforms done, get the economic reforms done, get the security sector realignment done as quickly as possible then hopefully we will be able to have our elections with reforms by June 2013. This requires us to finish all these reforms within 12 months. This requires maximum co-operation, hard work and putting Zimbabwe first ahead of partisan aspirations. I want to thank the hon. member for that question.

MR. CHIBAYA: My question is directed to Hon. Chamisa the Hon. Minister of Information and Communication Technology. Hon. Minister, what is your Ministry's policy on e-government. In particular, in making sure that it cascades to Members of Parliament and also to our Local Authorities?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (MR. CHAMISA): Thank you Hon. Speaker for the question on e-government. E-Government has already been rolled out by Government and I am sure you are aware of the fact that we launched the e-learning programme at Chogugudza which was part of the e-government programme that the Government has embarked on. It is part of our ZIM CONNECT document and I am glad to say that our Members of Parliament are also beneficiaries of that e-government programme and very soon and very soon the things will be brought to them.

MS. A. NDHLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Chamisa we appreciate the fact that e-governance was launched but there are some ministries such as even the Science and Technology one and Regional Integration, which suffer from the challenge of connectivity yet we are saying we want to do the e-governance thing. So, hon. Minister, can you please elaborate.

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you hon. Member of Parliament, I am aware of certain circumstances where we have ministries that are encountering challenges but I must say that all the Government ministries are now available on the web sites. It may be an issue of the last mile connection which becomes a subjective problem to do with a particular ministry but in terms of content uploading, all our ministries are now on line and I must say that we also would want those programmes to now cascade to the districts, to our various provincial offices and also ward offices. I hear what you are saying but a lot of work has been done. In fact, with particular reference to Science and Technology, they are actually connected. They are one of our best ministries in terms of their connectivity. Thank you.

*MR. VARANDENI: Hon. Minister, you find that the cotton farmers are withholding their crops. They are not selling their produce because of the low prices that are being offered to them. In these cotton growing areas, people are not able to purchase their day to day needs. Their children are not going to school. What is your response to that?

*THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I would like to say thank you to the hon. member for this question. This is a very pertinent question and we know that there is a standoff between our cotton buyers and cotton farmers. I promise you that within two days, we will be in consultations on solving this problem. I thank you.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Prime Minister. Today I will assure him that it will not be in relation to sanctions. Mr. Speaker, we remember very painfully the incident which took away the dear wife of the Prime Minister and it occurred on a sight or place which is further deteriorating into another donga in the midst of our high way, but instead of repairing that place, what the Ministry of Transport is doing is putting road signs to say slow down to 20km/h when crossing. I feel deeply concerned and touched that this place should be setting a memorable history for us that Government should have put its resources to quickly remedy that place and make sure that life will not be lost again. So, I want to find out what the Government is doing to make sure that place is quickly repaired.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Bhasikiti, thank you very much for your concern on the incident and also your observation with regard to the bad state of the road. However, I request you to direct that question to the relevant ministry for your response.

MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Right Honourable Prime Minister that today the Deputy Prime Minister raised a fundamental constitutional issue with regards to one of these scenarios before we hold elections that parties may go for elections or may walk out of the GNU and we go for elections. My question to you is that our Constitution has been amended 19 times and the 19th amendment is quite clear that elections can only be held after the President has consulted the Prime Minister and they have agreed on an election date. How then is the scenario of a party pulling out of the GNU and the President calling for elections possible?

THE PRIME MINISTER: First of all, the Deputy Prime Minister is a member of the Executive, so it will be inappropriate for two members of the Executive to disagree however, because the question has been put to me, let me also try to explain to the House what I understand is the current constitutional position. The current constitutional position is that we have a GNU which has been created by the 19th amendment and the 19th amendment is part of our constitutional order. If any party wishes to break away, it causes a constitutional crisis especially if it is ZANU-PF or MDC because it means that Government is no longer consummated. However, the constitutional position still remains that the parties to the constitutional arrangement are still bound by the 19th amendment. I hope it is a scenario that will not obtain in this country. It is not necessary.

As we move towards elections SADC is very clear that it has drawn up a road map which was outlined and articulated by the Deputy Prime Minister of what steps need to be taken before the elections. There are people who have put time lines to this GNU when in the Constitution or in the agreement it does not exist. As long as the parties are working together within the 19th amendment, there is no way you can short change that arrangement and negotiate another, unless you open another arrangement.

Now, let me go to the question of elections. Elections must be conducted if they are going to be legitimate and credible. They must be conducted in terms of the agreement and there is no provision for unilateralism. No one can wake up one morning and say I have dissolved the GPA, I have dissolved the GNU and therefore we are going to elections. There is nothing like that, unless you want to reduce this country to another situation where we were at each other's throats. It is not necessary and as the President said in Rwanda, he has never called and he has no intention of calling for an election unilaterally. We do not want a situation where somebody just pulls up one morning and says he is calling an election. There is no such thing. We have to agree and especially having come up from SADC and having been guided by SADC, the facilitator must also agree and we have to agree amongst ourselves when the elections will be held. Why would you want to short change the other people? Just go to an election which we have all agreed to, fight it out and whoever wins will run the country.

MR. KANZAMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, please allow me to first congratulate the Prime Minister on his recent marriage, and I want to wish him the best. My question Hon. Prime Minister is to do with the project which was granted by Government to G5 to do with the Plumtree to Mutare road. The nation is not very clear on what exactly is being carried out on the project, whether it is resurfacing or dualisation. I think the nation needs an explanation on that.

THE PRIME MINISTER: I think it has been a long time since we have been discussing in this Hon. House Mr. Speaker. There are operational questions that you should direct to Ministers and there are also policy questions which you should direct to me or the Deputy Prime Minister in my absence. The dualisation of the Beitbridge to Chirundu, Bulawayo to Mutare is an operational question and the Minister responsible is aware of that. In fact, as we speak somebody was asking about the problem of the road from Masvingo, I passed through that place three weeks ago and what is needed on the Beitbridge to Chirundu is dualisation not putting another make shift arrangement. We are having discussions with the Ministry to have the road dualised. So, it cannot be done in the short term but in the medium to long term because building a road like that one takes probably two to three years and DBSA is already set to fund that programme.

MR. MUDIWA: Minister, can you advise this House where exactly we are on the Constitution and what are the possible dates that a referendum will be held?

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (ADV. MATINENGA): I want to thank the hon. member for that double barreled question. I think it is important for us to understand what governs the constitution making process in this country and I think it is also important for us to understand who the players are in this constitution making process. If you go to Article 6, you will notice that this constitutional making process is going to be motivated by the parties who signed the GPA.

So, when you look at the process you are looking at three parties or three persons agreeing at each and every step before they move to the next one. When you look at where we are today, I think you are aware that there is a document which was circulated in the press and described as a first draft. What was happening in the preparation of that draft was that firstly, you have a select committee made up of twenty-five members.

This select Committee has got co-chairs from three different political parties and in order to properly address the nitty- gritties of the constitution making process, it was agreed that the three co-chairs will act as the interface between the select committee and the drafters. During that interface, the co-chairs will obviously be carrying the instructions from the select committee to the drafters. The co-chairs did that diligently and I am told and I believe that each and every co-chair consulted with his or her Principals on each and every term before agreeing to the instructions to be given to the lead drafters.

That was done and I am also glad to report that the draft has now been validated by the full select committee, debunking this idea that the lead drafters were just sucking ideas from their forms. So, we have got a document which is a reflection of instructions given to the lead drafters.

Again, as I made reference to the parties to this process, the various parties have been looking at this draft and the select committee met last week to look at the material brought by the parties. I am told that two documents have been drawn, a document of agreed issues and a document of disputes. The said committee was supposed to meet yesterday to look at these reports but I have been told just before lunch that they were unable to meet and that they will do so this afternoon.

So, one hopes that when they meet and they then prepare those documents, those documents can be placed before the Management Committee, so that the Management Committee becomes seized with those issues which need their attention. So, the Management Committee is unable to articulate what those issues are but I am sure that when those issues appear, the Management Committee will take all its endeavour to make sure that those documents are addressed timeously.

When you are talking about a referendum, you know, the difference between a Constitution making process is that we are not talking about the time taken to play a soccer match because you know that in ninety minutes, you are finished. That is why it is called a process because it is unlike something definitive, where you say after two hours, you must then have a result. It then ceases being a process and becomes an event. So, when this process is through, as soon as possible, when we give sufficient time to our people to understand the Constitution, when we explain it to them we will then go for a referendum. I thank you.

MR. BHASIKITI: From every management principle, it will be very clear that if you have a process and a company which continues to make losses and then you should re-examine your workforce and even your strategies with the Select Committee which is in charge of this constitutional making process. It is very evident and clear that there will always be disagreements and that consensus is difficult in coming about. The Minister responsible should please bring to this House propositions which will make that Select Committee function, even if it means reducing it in number to four. When you are talking about 25 being the number of Select committee, it is as good as you want to establish another Parliament for COPAC consesus. This is the area where the Deputy Prime Minister has just alluded to, that we will get to June 2013 without a Constitution.

I think either the minister himself who should admit that he has failed to steer this process. The nation is tired of listening to the same story with no progress at all. I thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. member, what is your supplementary question, I was listening.

MR. BHASIKITI: Mr. Speaker the supplementary question is can the hon. Minister admit that he has failed to steer the constitutional making process in this country.

MR. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker, there are other members who are taking COPAC as a mafia organisation. What is your say on that?

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (ADV. MATINENGA): Let me thank the hon. member for addressing that question. COPAC Select Committee is made up of hon. members of this House and I would like to believe that there is not a single member of the mafia in this House and consequently, there cannot be a single member of the mafia in the Select Committee. Finally, the Select Committee cannot possibly be made up of the mafia.

MR. F.M. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Defence, Hon. Mnangagwa. What is the policy on the recruitment of solders vis-a-vis qualification that have been lowered. Why has that happened if it is a policy?

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (MR. MNANGAGWA): Thank you very much I thank the hon. member for asking that pertinent question. We have not lowered at all the entrance requirements in the Defence Forces. In fact, we have raised the level of qualifications. You may be aware that in Southern Africa, we shall soon be opening a National College for excellence military strategy and that would not require us to lower the level of entrance to our Defence Forces to keep up with the standards we aspire to achieve. I thank you.

MR. F.M. SIBANDA: My question is that I have evidence where my relatives without ordinary level have been recruited to the army. Could the minister, through the oath that he took as a minister ascertain that? I thank you.

MR. MNANGAGWA: We are conscious of the need that the army should be composed of all regions in the country. We unfortunately find it difficult sometimes to secure enrolment in some parts of the country because most of the young persons there with qualifications have gone out of the country and in those circumstances, in order to keep the balance, we may grant exception but if it is his young brothers who have entered the Defence Forces and is aggrieved by the fact that they do not have the required qualifications, we can attend to the issue to remove the grievance.

MR. CHEBUNDO: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question to the hon. Minister is line with the pronouncement made by Major General Martin Chedondo that they were going to recruit from each and every village. Is that going to be a policy position even for the youngsters without academic qualifications and other pre-requisites?

MR. MNANGAGWA: I have no doubt that the hon. members, after 13 years of parliamentary experience, should be able to distinguish national policy from individual pronouncements. I have just now told another hon. member that the policy is to upgrade the level of entrance in the Defence Forces. For balance purposes, we make sure that every province has contribution into the Defence Forces, when we say provinces, they are made of districts and districts are made of wards and wards are made of villages. That is the national policy of our Government, the policy makes sure that provinces are covered and I have no doubt he is in agreement with such a noble policy in this country.

MS. MANGAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. What is your ministry's policy regarding the conversion rate of the Zimbabwe Dollar to the United States Dollar on pension schemes for insurance companies that they undertook during the Zimbabwe Dollar era?

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. BITI): What happened during the hyper inflationary era is that insurance policies, both short term policies and life policies lost value as a result of hyper inflation. One of the things that happened is that many of the life schemes, particularly those administered by Old Mutual and ZIMRE, these two companies hedged themselves against hyper inflation through the purchase of assets, physical buildings and massive investments on our capital markets, in particular, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. So, when we had hyper inflation, there was a collapse but these insurance companies did not offer adequate compensation to the falling value.

What we have done as Government is to commission a study through APEC, the insurance regulator. They have appointed actuaries to determine the values of those policies in the post dollarised environment. The report will also recommend on the conversion rates, the report will also look at the assets of these insurance companies in order to see which ones we are going to monetise to compensate insurance funds. So once that report is ready, I will present it before this august House. I suspect that there might be need for necessary legislation to compel the offending insurance houses to comply with fairness and we will bring a law, if necessary, to this august House.

MR. M. SHOKO: Can the Hon. Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs give an indication as to when the ministry is likely to disburse the next CDF funds or alternatively, are there any problems that the ministry is facing regarding the disbursement of the funds?

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (ADV. MATINENGA): May I thank the hon. member for asking this question which has been asked over and over again, but I will nevertheless respond. The hon. member will be aware that we are on what we call cash budgeting and you can only spend what you get, that is at national level. At ministry level, it means we can only disburse what we get from Treasury. I represent a constituency, I certainly would prefer a situation where some money could be disbursed with Treasury so that I am able to do what I have been able to do with the US$50 000 that I got from Treasury but there is nothing on the horizon yet. I keep hoping and I think all MPs will keep hoping. I am happy that the Minister of Finance, as and when the situation improves, is able to make that disbursement.

When you look at the CDF, we are in fact looking at a concept of devolution of power. You are saying the people in that locality, the people in that constituency and those people in that village must determine what they want to see done. If we can do that at that level, how can we at any stage dispute the concept of devolution.

Questions Without Notice interrupted by MR. SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 33.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY MR. SPEAKER

RESPECTING THE CHAIR

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. members, let me express my disappointment given that some of you, though we have been here for quite a long time, still fail to observe one of the rules of this House where you are required to bow to the Chair. I do not have to be reminding you or embarrassing you to do so. All members are required to observe that rule and it has been observed for a long long time.

Hon. Chiota having entered the House without putting on a tie...

MR. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Chiota, you do not walk as if you are walking in a beer garden without a tie. This is not a dressing room, you must come properly dressed next time before you come to the House.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Deputy Prime Minister, may I request through your office that you assist this House to receive written responses from the Ministers of Home Affairs as these questions have been deferred on a number of occasions. May we, through your good office, request that next Wednesday we get written responses on these matters.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Mr. Speaker Sir, we commit to addressing that challenge. In fact, what we will do specifically together with the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs is to take those questions and actually distribute them in Cabinet and then implore our colleagues to ensure that they provide answers. So we commit to addressing the challenge.

RBZ ACTIVITIES AT CARSLONE MINE IN KWEKWE

24. MR. CHEBUNDO asked the Minister of Finance whether:

(i) the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is still involved in "quasi-fiscal activities" as evidenced by its continued involvement in gold mining operations at Carslone Mine in Kwekwe;

(ii) the Minister of Finance can confirm the claim by certain Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe board members that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has entered into an agreement with a new investor company which took over mining operations and RBZ equipment to transfer the tribute from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to the new investor company;

(iii) there is a formal agreement between Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the new investor to take over both the tribute and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe mining equipment;

(iv) the new investor's operations are registered with the Mining Commissioner or the investor is using the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe licenses;

(v) there are any mitigating measures in place for creditors bank loans and the workers' welfare.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. BITI): Mr. Speaker, in theory, it is no longer possible to engage in quasi-fiscal activities. You will recall that in March 2010, we amended the RBZ Act to ensure that the same sticks to its core business of monetary policy management, stabilization of the Zimbabwe dollar if available and bank supervision. All these things are quite clear that they cannot engage in business. However, there are still quasi-fiscal assets that they still owned. For instance, just to give you an example; the RBZ is the majority shareholder in Cairns Holdings. The RBZ also has got some mining interest including Thuli Mine in the south of our country. The amendment to the RBZ obliges the RBZ to dispose of all none core assets that is quasi-fiscal assets. At the present moment, there is a sub-committee of the RBZ that is dealing with the issue of disposal of all quasi-fiscal assets. That process is taking longer than expected but we believe that they should have done their job before the end of the year. You will also recall Hon. Speaker, that all the proceeds of this quasi-fiscal activity will go towards resolution of bank indebtedness, in particular monies that are owed by the Central Bank to the banking sector in our country. So Hon. Chebundo, the bank is in the process of selling all those quasi-fiscal assets. I thank you Hon. Speaker.

MR. CHEBUNDO: Hon. Minister, with specific reference to a cousin of mine in Kwekwe. They were requesting that at the conclusion of the business by the RBZ in that mining concern, the creditors and workers being part of the creditors were left stranded without anything of what they owed then being paid to them. What then is the position of the RBZ in that regard?

MR. BITI: It is Carslone Pvt. Ltd which is owned and the RBZ is a shareholder. That means that if there is any creditor who is owed by the company, he/she has got a right to proceed against the company. It is not an un-incorporated cooperation. It is incorporated. So any debtor/creditor can actually proceed in terms of the Companies Act and in terms of the Insolvency Act. They can actually sequestrate this company, so that the law can take its due course. What I can tell you will not happen is that the Reserve Bank will not be able to put any money in the form of recapitalising Carlsone or in the form of dealing with creditors because the RBZ itself is under-capitalised and very soon in the course of this year, we are going to bring a Bill to this Parliament that will deal with the issue of the $1.1 billion RBZ debt. So creditors/debtors, they must proceed in terms of the law, the Companies Act and the Insolvency Act. I thank you.

AUCTIONING OF CARS BY ZIMRA

25. MR. CHIMBETETE asked the Minister of Finance to explain to the House why ZIMRA is auctioning cars whose owners are Zimbabweans who have failed to pay duty and how proceeds from the auction will be shared between ZIMRA and the owner.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. BITI): Thank you Madam Speaker, on the question why ZIMRA auction cars whose Zimbabwean owners have failed to pay duty, it is a requirement in terms of Section 39 of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23.02] for every importer of goods to make entry of such good at the time of importation or in the case of goods to make entry of such goods at the time of importation or in the case of goods which are to be removed to some licensed premises (e.g. bonded warehouses) within ten days after the time of the importation. Failure to make entry of the goods may cause the goods to be conveyed to a State Warehouse.

Goods which are taken into a State Warehouse become State goods. The reasons for conveying the goods to a State Warehouse include:

- Failure to pay duty and/or

- Failure to comply with import controls such as permits and licences.

The goods are kept in a State Warehouse for a maximum period of 60 days within which the importer of the goods is expected to make entry of the goods, pay any duties due, removal charges and State Warehouse rent. Failure to comply with the above provision may cause the goods to be sold by public auction.

REASONS FOR AUCTIONING THE GOODS

The goods are sold to recover the revenue at stake on the goods.

In terms of Section 39(5) of the Customs and Excise Act, if the goods are unsuitable for storage or are of a dangerous or perishable nature, or if the Commissioner considers that the proceeds will not be sufficient to cover the duty and the expenses incurred in connection with the auction sale, he may direct that they be sold immediately out of hand. If such goods can not be sold immediately out of hand, the Commissioner may direct that they be destroyed or appropriated to the State without compensation. In 2009, because of the difficult economic situation, I used to say to the Commissioner when are you going to have the auction?

Formalities for auctioning goods

1. The Commissioner General of ZIMRA notifies, by a public notice in the Gazette, the place and time where the auction takes place at least a month before such sale.

2. Also ZIMRA advertises the auction sales through the print and electronic media towards the auction sale days.

3. When goods are detained on Receipt for Items held, the footnote on this receipt states that if the goods are not cleared within 60 days, they shall be sold by public auction.

4. The offer for sale by public auction shall be subject to a reserve price sufficient to cover the duty and the expenses incurred in connection with the sale of the goods.

Procedure for Auction proceeds

In terms of section 39 of the Customs and Excise Act, the proceeds of any sale in terms of subsection (2), (4) or (50 shall be applied in payment of -

a) the duty due to any expenses incurred in connection with the sale;

b) any carriage charges due to any carrier;

c) any warehouse rent, storage charges, including storage charges due to any carrier, in that order and if the balance of such proceeds after making the payments referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) insufficient to pay in full for the expenses referred to in paragraph (c) it shall be applied pro rata to the payment of such expenses.

The payment of any balance from the auction proceeds may be paid to the importer upon application provided that the goods in question have not been a subject matter of an offence.

Goods that are subject matter of an offence are liable to seizure and as such there will be no payment of any remaining balance of the auction proceeds to the importer.

By implication only goods that are detained by issuance of a receipt for items held (RIH) can benefit in terms of subsection 7 of Section 39 of the Customs and Excise Act.

Where goods are sold in error, full compensation will made to the importer at the declared value by the importer.

It is also in the interest of the client to find out how much their vehicle has been sold for and thereafter apply for a reimbursement if there is an excess after the sale.

PROGRESS REGARDING THE TEACHING OF INFANTS IN THEIR MOTHER LANGUAGE

32. MR. MADUBEKO asked the Minister of Education , Sport, Arts and Culture to inform the House on the progress made regarding the teaching of infants in their mother language.

THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (SENATOR COLTART): I wish to inform the hon. member and the august House that all the three main languages of Zimbabwe namely, ShonaNdebele and English are taught on an equal time basis in all schools up to the form two level. Children understand better when they are taught in their mother tongue. This is supported by such renowned educationists such as Agatha Von Grinkel who emphasized the importance of L1 which she defined as:

- Mother language

- Home language

- Local language

- National language

My Ministry abides by that statute to facilitate a smooth transition between home and the school amongst infants.

The House may also wish to know that in areas where local indigenous languages other than Shona, English and Ndebele are spoken, such languages may also be taught in schools, in addition to the three main languages. It should also be appreciated that prior to form one, any one of the languages I have just referred to, inclusive of English, Shona and Ndebele, i.e., Tonga, Suthu, Shangani, Venda, Kalanga and Nambiya may be used as the medium of instruction, depending on which language is most commonly spoken and better understood by the learners. The hon. member may also wish to know that sign language is considered as the priority medium of instruction for the deaf and hard of hearing.

It will therefore, be appreciated that the policy of the Ministry with regard to medium of instruction is one of late switch from L1 to L2. It goes without saying that infants, like all other learners up to secondary school level should be taught in their mother language where this is practicable.

The august House should also appreciate that some of the primary school local languages syllabuses have since been developed, printed and distributed.

Furthermore, textbooks have been produced and distributed in a variety of languages like Kalanga, Tonga and Nambiya. Our intention is to extend to all languages.

Our critical need however is to make sure that we have sufficient teachers to teach these languages. This will take a concerted effort by our sister Ministry, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.

Indeed it is the long term goal for the Ministry to ensure that all indigenous languages are examined up to A level and to ensure that we have sufficient teachers to teach these languages. That is one thing, having the policy is one thing and having textbooks, but of course we need teachers. This will take a concerted effort by our sister ministry, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to ensure that we have sufficient numbers of graduates coming from these particular areas that speak minority indigenous languages who are training as teachers and then deployed to the schools. Without that happening, this policy will be still-born. It should therefore be appreciated that the policy of the ministry with regard to the medium of instruction is one of a switch from L1 to L2. It goes without saying that infants, like all other learners at secondary school levels should be taught in their mother tongue where this is practicable.

In conclusion, let me stress that it is the long term of the ministry to ensure that all indigenous languages are ultimately examinable right away up to 'A' level.

APPOINTMENT OF THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY OF ZIMBABWE BOARD

33. MR. MUCHAURAYA asked the Minister of Media Information and Publicity to inform the House:

(a) On when the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) Board is going to be appointed, and whether continued delays in the appointment of the Board is not in violation of the provisions of the GPA.

THE MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY (MR. SHAMU): Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the member of this House of Assembly for Makoni South, Honourable Muchauraya for the question. The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) Board is in place, after being appointed by His Excellency the President, Cde. R. G. Mugabe on 7th August, 2009, as required by the law. The Board has been discharging its duties satisfactorily ever since. I am not aware that the GPA addresses itself to the appointment of the BAZ Board. I would be very surprised it did.-[HON. MUDARIKWA: Inaudible interjection]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mudarikwa, I would not want to ask you to leave the House. Please do not tempt me.

OPERATIONS OF MPANDAWANA POST OFFICE

34. MR. MARAMWIDZE asked the Minister of Media Information and Publicity to explain to the House why pensioners who get their pay at Mpandawana Post Office are offered a fraction of their salaries instead of the whole amount and have to travel to Masvingo POSB for the rest of the amount.

THE MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY (MR. SHAMU): Madam Speaker, this question should be directed to the relevant ministry in charge of administering pensions. I regret that I am unable to handle matters falling outside my portfolio.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: This question must be transferred to the relevant ministry.

COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF GUKURAHUNDI

35. MR. MUCHAURAYA asked the Minister of Defence to inform the House whether there are any plans to compensate the victims of Gukurahundi.

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (MR. MNANGAGWA): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member very much for according me this opportunity to respond to this particular question. Madam Speaker, this question is mis-directed as the Ministry of Defence does not deal with compensation issues. However, Madam Speaker, the existing statute that deals with the compensation of this nature is the War Victims Compensation Act Chapter 11.16, which statute falls under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. The statute clearly states that war means " the armed conflict which occurred in Zimbabwe and in neighbouring countries between the 1st January, 1962 and the 29th February, 1980, in connection with the bringing about of, or resistance to politics and social change in Zimbabwe ".

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is apparent from the above that the issue of compensation of victims of war, as matters stand now, relates to the period of the liberation struggle.

The Gukurahundi period was 1981 to 1987, it does not fall within the ambit of the above Act.

The reality of the matter is that there is no policy position or statute pertaining to the Gukurahundi period.

Nevertheless, Madam Speaker, I take it that the matter of compensation is being raised in the context of seeking ways and means of healing the wounds of the Gukurahundi period. Under the GPA, matters relating to victims of conflict are now being handled by the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation.

I hope that this particular Organ will deal with this matter satisfactorily.

RESURFACING OF HARARE-BEITBRIDGE ROAD

42. MR. JIRI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain why the ministry has not resurfaced the Harare-Beitbridge road at the 84km peg.

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (MR. MNANGAGWA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. GOCHE): Madam Speaker, the Harare-Masvingo road was constructed in 1958 with a design life of 20 years. This road has outlived its design life twice as a result of the timeous maintenance that was implemented for a long time. However, as a result of the aging and inadequate funding for maintenance, the road structure has deteriorated to such as extent that the usual maintenance works are not providing a lasting solution. Several sections of the road, including the one from 82.9km to 90.5km are experiencing base failure. The worst places are located at the 82.9 to 83.9km and then 89.5 to 90.5 km where speed restrictions of 40km/hr have been put in place. My ministry has a maintenance gang that is permanently working at this stretch of road for the time being. The solution that is now required to make the road trafficable is rehabilitation, which is the reconstruction of the road. A request for funds for the reconstruction of the worst 2km has been made and as soon as the funding is availed, the reconstruction work will commence. However, the entire route from Harare to Beitbridge is earmarked for feasibility studies in preparation for either rehabilitation or dualisation in order to bring it to modern standards.

CONSTRUCTION OF ROAD FROM CHIVHU TO THE RANGE

43. MR. JIRI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development to explain why the road construction from Chivhu to Range has not been in progress for the past seven months.

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (MR. MNANGAGWA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (MR. GOCHE): Mr. Speaker Sir, an in-house construction gang is engaged in the upgrading of the first 13 km of the Chivhu-Nyazura Road which was a narrow mat and this gang worked up to the 30th of December 2011 when the funds allocated for the project were exhausted. My Ministry embarked on the upgrading of this stretch of road starting from the year 2011. The construction of a high level 2 lane bridge across the little Sebakwe River is being carried out as part of the upgrading of the road. Allocations made for the narrow mat widening and the bridge enabled the gang to work up to the end of the year. With this year's allocation for the bridge project, work commenced in January and completion is targeted at the end of July 2012. Funds have also been requested for the narrow mat widening, and as soon as the funding is made available by the Ministry of Finance, work will resume on the road project.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Madam Speaker, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MEDIA, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

MR. CHIKWINYA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology on the State of Public Media in Zimbabwe.

MR. CHEBUNBO: I second.

MR. CHIKWINYA: My motion is on the state of the public media in Zimbabwe report by the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology.

Madam Speaker, by way of introduction, this is basically our first report. I would seek your indulgence to introduce my committee members who are Hon. Baloyi. A; Hon. Chaderopa. F, Hon. Jembere. E; Hon. Mandebvu. M.T; Hon. Matonga. B; Hon Muchauraya. P; Hon. Mudarikwa. S; Hon. Mudiwa. S; Hon. Musumbu. E, Hon. Mutseyami. P; Hon. Varandeni. J; Hon Shoko. H; Hon. Sibanda C.C; Hon. Ziyambi. Z.Z.; myself as Chairperson of Committee.

The Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology resolved to undertake an inquiry into the state of public media in Zimbabwe. The inquiry was motivated by the Inclusive Government's commitment to instigate media reforms in the country. Article 19 of the Global Political Agreement entered into by ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-M in September 2008 recognises and I quote "the importance of freedom of expression and the role of media in a multi party democracy" and calls for "the issuance of licences" to broadcasters other than the public broadcaster.

In that spirit, the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity organized a stakeholder conference in Kariba in 2009 to discuss issues relating to the media industry. The GPA therefore calls for diversity in the media through licensing of new players in both broadcasting and print media with the opening up of media industry. The Committee was compelled to inquire into the state of the public media with the following objectives:

1. To appreciate the operations of public media organizations and assess their preparedness in view of the anticipated ……

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Chikwinya, which motion are you debating?

MR. CHIKWINYA: Parliamentary Report onthe state ofMedia, Information and Communication Technology in Zimbabwe.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Here it states that the report should be reinstated on the Order Paper.

MR. CHIKWINYA: We did that. We moved for reinstatement. So today it is actually presentation.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead and debate.

MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I was on objectives of the Committee in inquiring public media. The first objective was to appreciate the operations of public media organisations and assess their preparedness in view of the anticipated opening up of the media.

2. To appreciate challenges faced by the public media institutions in fulfilling their mandate.

3. To find out what the expectations of stakeholders and the public in general were with regards to the operations of the public media institutions vis-a-vis their mandates.

4. To find out the views and recommendations of media stakeholders on the legal operating environment and

5. To recommend action for improved services by the public media to relevant authorities.

Madam Speaker, with regards to methodology, my committee went about seeking oral evidence sessions with stakeholders in as far as the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Trans media, ZimPapers, Zimbabwe Editors Forum, the voluntary media council of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Media Commission and the Zimbabwe Association of Editors.

Tour of ZBC and ZimPapers

The committee conducted some tour of the ZBC Studios at Pockets Hill in Harare, Gweru Montrose studio and studios in Bulawayo. The tours were also conducted at ZimPapers, Herald House in Harare and the Chronicle in Bulawayo.

Workshops and Reviews of the Media Laws

In anticipation of the Media Laws reforms in pronouncements…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. member, I understand you only gave notice, you did not move for the reinstatement of the motion.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: In order to give sufficient time for this consultation to take place, may I move that the debate on this motion be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BUDGET, FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION ON ZIMBABWE REVENUE AUTHORITY.

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion on the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA's) operations at Boarder Posts.

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS : I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th June, 2012.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. BETTY CHIKAVA

MS. MANGAMI: I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT THIS HOUSE expresses its profound sorrow on the untimely death of Hon. B. Chikava on Sunday, 17th December 2011, the hon. member for Mount Darwin Constituency.

PLACES on record its appreciation of the services which the late Member rendered to Parliament and the nation; and

RESOLVE that its deepest sympathy be conveyed to the family of the deceased Member of Parliament.

MR. KAPESA : I second.

MS. MANGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Like I have said, allow me to present this motion to express my condolences on the untimely death of Hon. Chikava on the 11 th of January 2012. Comrade Betty Chikava was born on the 19th of February 1942. She did her Sub A through to Standard 2 at Nyamande Primary school and then did Standard 3 to 6 at Howard. She attained her 'O' levels through private studies. In 1958 to 1961, she trained as a State Certified Nurse and State Certified Maternity Nurse. In 1980, she trained as a Farm Health Worker Trainer at Bindura Hospital. During the period 1990 to 1991, she trained and obtained a Diploma in General Nursing at Chitungwiza. During the period 1981 to 1988, she managed the farm health scheme during which she attended a Nutrition Course in London, UK. In 1962, she worked as a Nurse at Howard Hospital and she also worked at Banket Hospital in 1963, Madziwa Hospital 1964-1967, Bindura Hospital in 1968 as a Project Coordinator. She then rose through the ranks to the post of Sister in Charge or Night Superintendent. She held this position until 2005.

Madam Speaker Comrade Chikava was a youth for ZAPU in 1961 in Highfield and then joined ZANU as a youth in 1962. She was actively involved in youth activities. During the liberation struggle while at Madziva clinic as a nurse in Shamva, she supplied the freedom fighters with drugs, food and clothes. Her husband who was a School Headmaster was ordered by the ZANLA forces to collect money from school teachers and other staff…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, kindly switch off that microphone. Hon. members, this vehicle ACM 9756 is blocking the other vehicles. Can the owner go and move it please.

MS. MANGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker, I was explaining the role played by Comrade Bettty Chikava during the liberation struggle. In fear of being sold out, Comrade Betty Chikava convinced her husband to use their salaries to pay for all the teachers in a bid to fund for the freedom fighters. In 1976 to 1979, she was one of those in the restricted keeps but continued to nicodemously support the freedom fighters. In 1978, she had to give shelter to 6 comrades in maize stacks when she was confronted by the Rhodesian soldiers at Farm Number 33 Kariyana in Mt Darwin for 3 days.

Since more reinforcements were coming, she ended up having slaughtered 20 out of 30 herds of cattle to support the liberation struggle. In October 1978 again Comrade Betty Chikava was arrested for questioning, having been reported for supplying medical drugs to freedom fighters. She continued to mobilize staff and patients and was again arrested for a day.

Comrade Betty Chikava rescued five female comrades for 5 days during the first election campaigns during which her house was heavily guarded by the Rhodesian forces. Madam Speaker, Comrade Betty Chikava in 1980 was elected Branch Chairperson for the Women's League and in 1987 she became the District Chairperson for ZANU PF. In 1986, she was elected the District Secretary for Health in the main wing and in 1993 she became the Bindura District Treasurer - main wing. In the same year she was elected Secretary for Health. In 1997, she was elected and appointed Central Committee member, a position she held until 2005.

Madam Speaker, from this brief history of Hon. Betty Chikava, we can all acknowledge the immense contributions she made in our country. I would like to thank all the Members of Parliament who went to bid farewell to their fellow comrade. May the soul of the late Comrade, Betty Chikava rest in eternal peace, I thank you.

MR. MUDARIKWA: Madam Speaker, thank you very much and good afternoon to you Madam Speaker -[Laughter]- Madam Speaker, on my return from Yugoslavia, I was deployed in Mashonaland Province. That is when I came in contact with Comrade Betty Chikava. Revolutions need revolutionaries to implement a successful programme. Madam Speaker, Comrade Betty Chikava represents the roles that the women of Zimbabwe played in the liberation of this country. It represents a situation where this august House must remember and realize the role the women of Zimbabwe played to free this country from the bondage of colonialism.

Madam Speaker, when you go back to the history of this country, you can go back to Mbuya Nehanda. She was -[AN HON. MEMBER: ZANU PF Member]- the person who resisted the evils of imperialism. She was the person who felt it was necessary that we must rise against the colonialism. There were a lot of men around. In our revolution, women in Zimbabwe, women in Rhodesia, women in Southern Rhodesia have not been sellouts. You get more sellouts from men. It is an honor Madam Speaker to rise up to debate on comrade Betty Chikava. During the process of the struggle Madam Speaker, when the name Betty Chikava comes into my mouth, the befitting words to describe her is that she was the mother of our revolution.

Madam Speaker, revolutionaries never die. They go but their heroic contributions will continue to live forever. Madam Speaker, when you see an old man around this august House, it is because they are products of the women of Zimbabwe. The women of Zimbabwe must be proud and the women of Africa must be proud of having given birth to great heroes like Augastinho Neto, Nyerere, Nyse Mati, Amilca Cabral, Comrade Samora Machel and Ernesto Che Guevara. The struggle continues, but the struggle will never continue when there are no women because the women produce the youths and the youths are the vanguards of any revolution.

It is unfortunate at this greatest moment in the lives of our revolution Madam Speaker, that certain men admire to marry when they do not produce any results. Madam Speaker, when you look at Comrade Betty Chikava, you are looking at a person who dedicated her professional life to the development of the people of Zimbabwe. Yes, she did her education through correspondence and yes, she did her education through the most difficult time but she managed to attain a Diploma in General Nursing. That is something that is great. This is something that we must always admire as the people of Zimbabwe. Every day we must follow what Lenin used to say guchitsa, guchitsa. That means live and learn. It is a process of education.

The mover of the motion mentioned that Comrade Chikava was ZAPU and ZANU PF but ZAPU provided the foundation of the revolution and some of the songs in ZAPU were soja raNgomo sunga hutare, kana ndozofa sara uine nhaka. They knew that they were engaging in a revolution. They knew that they were going to die but they knew that they were mothers who were there, who were prepared to give birth to more stars of Zimbabwe to continue and further the revolution. Madam Speaker, it is my honour and revolutionary duty to present to you and this august House that Comrade Betty Chikava was a hero in her own right. At this moment, I want to thank hon. members from across the political divide who came to salute and give their last respect to Comrade Betty Chikava, whether you are MDC. ZANU-PF, MDC-T, MDC 99 or MDC-M, you are a son and daughter of Zimbabwe. What is important is the role that the people of Zimbabwe present themselves as a united force. Madam Speaker, it is more befitting that this motion is being debated when you are in the Chair as our mother. It is more important that we are debating this motion in the process of writing our Constitution, where the people of Zimbabwe are realising the importance of our mothers. It is important that those people who are involved - it is unfortunate that Mwonzora and Mangwana in COPAC are not here. They must realise the importance the women of Zimbabwe played in the revolution and after the revolution in the future of Zimbabwe. I want to thank the people of Mount Darwin for having accepted Comrade Betty Chikava to be their hon. Member of Parliament. It is pleasing that Hon. Khumalo is walking in. She is one of the women who is going to contribute on this motion on Comrade Betty Chikava. It is also important that as people of Zimbabwe, we must give respect where it is due.

Madam Speaker, the success of our independence can be seen on the quality of education. In Zimbabwe we now have Professors who are seated in this august House. If Zimbabwe was not independent, there would not be any professors. We now have hon. members who are seated in this House who benefited from the contributions and the success of our revolution. Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I want to thank all those who are going to contribute on the motion of Hon. Chikava. Before they contribute, I want to thank them that even when you are going to contribute, you need to contribute in a positive way. We do not want contributions that are partisan because in our life we say wafa wanaka. You could have had differences with Comrade Betty Chikava, but quantify your differences with her and quantify her contributions to the struggle. Her contributions outclass any difference that you could have had with her.

I want to thank you for allowing me to stand up and contribute to this important motion. Mashonaland Central Province is where there is that farm known as Altona Farm, which was the first farm to be attacked in 1972 by the ZANLA forces and it marked the beginning of the armed struggle. There were more women who participated in the struggle other than Hon. Betty Chikava and at this moment, at this juncture we must honour and salute those women and our mothers for the role they played and say to them my dear mothers, the mission has been accomplished. I thank you Madam Speaker.

MS. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam Speaker and I would like to commend the Hon. Mudarikwa for recognising me for whatever I was talking about. I would like to add my word on Hon. Betty Chikava. To me she was a mother before being an hon. member. I had the opportunity of travelling with her. She was one person that never believed in controversy but she believed in dialogue. Every time you were with her, to her we were children before being hon. members and every time we got to a situation whereby we needed to solve whatever problem that could be there, her first word would be if you cannot manage to get accommodation, the four of us let us get one room and we share. That is being motherly. I want to believe that Mashonaland Central has lost a comrade and a peaceful mother. She was a care giver because every time that you would speak with her - she was diabetic. At every opportunity she would tell you how to control your sugar level and why it is important for someone to listen to their body especially when it comes to the issue of sugar diabetes.

She also mentioned the necessity that as a Government, there was need for us to discuss the issues of these silent killers like sugar diabetes. It is one area that we do not even talk about but as a country, people of Zimbabwe are suffering from sugar diabetes. As we are sitting here today some of the hon. members that are in this House are diabetic. All along when you used to go to Government hospitals, you were given the insulin free of charge because it is a deadly disease but due to the economic meltdown in this country some of the people are dying when their lives could be saved by making sure that the Government institutions, especially the hospitals, are still supplying the syringes and the insulin. It is so sad that she had to die having not achieved her agenda whereby this disease must be talked about and as a Government, we need to do something before a number of people die from it.

Madam Speaker, the other issue on Hon. Chikava is that she was a counsellor. In life physical pain fades with time but emotional pain is there to stay and with Hon. Chikava, the moment when the emotion kicks in and she is there she would be a shoulder to lean on. I am also diabetic and there are times whereby when the sugar drops, everything goes hay wire and she would understand that, that is the behaviour of somebody who is hyperplasemic because what happens during that process, most of you must have been mesmerised to say why is she reacting the way she reacts. One moment, I was smiling and the next moment I will be crying, but she understood that and it is one disease that all of us should understand because when the time comes and the sugar drops or it is very high, the reaction of that individual is unbelievable and some of you, the moment that individual recuperates, the next time you see them you should sympathize with them. It is not about sympathy but to understand and be able to tell when the sugar is high or it is low so that she gets the necessary treatment before it is too late. So, there is a great need for us to do the same.

Having said that, to me Hon. Chikava was a peace builder. Mashonaland Central is a hotbed in terms of violence, misunderstandings and God knows whats next, and I want to believe that Mashonaland Central was honoured to have had Hon. Chikava to be one of the Members of Parliament. There could be a possibility that maybe she could have been one of the perpetrators or never but what is important is that we need to have people like her, because whenever there is a women there has to be peace. That is because women believe in peace and if you look at the number of Members of Parliament that are dying in this current Parliament they are mostly women. That is a sad scenario because the peace builders are dying and those that perpetrate violence, who are the man in most instances are not dying.

It is very sad because people like Hon. Chikava, the people that are supposed to be here to make sure that these men that do not listen - because all the time what is needed is the shamu and as long as there is a woman next to a man there is some bit of sanity. Even if that man is violent there is always sanity. A good example is kana benzi chairo rinofamba richibvisa hembe muroad the moment a woman walks next to that mad person, there is sanity.

So, the problem that is there is that amongst us as women, not all of us are peace builders. There are some of us that have adapted the behavior of men and want to use violence because they are not very good negotiators. So, I want to believe that the death of Hon. Betty Chikava is a sad loss for this Parliament, is a sad loss for whoever is going to start the campaign on sugar diabetes and how the Government should deal with it. It is a sad loss to her own kids who have lost a mother, a pillar of strength and a friend, and for this august House, we have lost a woman who would have been able to participate in the latest surge of violence that is taking place in this country.

The time has come that as women, there is need for us to come together and try and tame this violence that is constantly making us go through emotional pains instead of physical because like I said, physical pain fades with time but emotional pain does not. A good example of emotional pain was in yesterday's debate on the death in Mudzi. There was a lot of emotions and when it comes to emotions, it is very difficult to control people, that is why you see when we are at funerals, as women, our role is to sing and to cry which is very good because we cry and take off the steam.

Now, as men, you were taught not to cry but to beat up people. You must learn to cry then you stop beating up people. Madam Speaker, I would love to say to the Chikava family may Hon. Chikava's soul rest in peace. I want to assure her that I will take up the issue of diabetes myself, to ensure that this issue is debated in public and that we try and find ways where Government really raises the red banner on the issue of the sugar so that we can save lives. I thank you Madam Chair.

*MRS SHIRICHENA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I felt guilty not to contribute to Mai Chikava's debate. I first knew Mrs chikava in 2008, when we met here at Parliament. The history of Mai Chikava which was alluded to by the other hon. members continued throughout her life. In this august House, she was an aunt, a mother, a sister and a grandmother to everyone. We all know the role of an aunt and in this House, despite being of different party affiliations, Mrs Chikava was also affiliated to her own party but she treated everyone equally. She did not love people because of their political affiliation because it was God's love that brought us here together, she treated us equally. I really feel pained when looking at the women's caucus. I remember male hon. members complaining that women were having too many workshops, but for us to go to those workshops, it was because there was money.

Mrs Chikava was the women's caucus treasurer and she worked so hard to get funds for the women MPs to go for empowerment workshops to enable us to operate efficiently. She left us in a difficult position and I am not sure whether God will be able to give us another treasurer such as Mrs Chikava, who will assist until our term of office has expired and continue to go to workshops just like we used to do during her tenure.

To us MPs, Mrs Chikava's death is a great loss and to the people of Mt Darwin, it is a big blow. I hope God will assist the people of Mt. Darwin to get another leader like Mrs Chikava. As women MPs, I ask God to assist us to get another loving, caring and hard working woman like Mrs Chikava. We are now going towards elections and we used to know during Mrs Chikava's time, every woman MP would go to her constituency with contributions from Mrs Chikava. I sincerely hope that God will intervene so that her spirit will reside within us, helping us and guiding us to come back after the next elections. In short, I hope God will receive her spirit just like he will also receive ours when we die. I hope her love will continue to be in us so that we can all live peacefully in our country Zimbabwe. I thank you Madam Chair.

*MR. DZIRUTWE: Thank you Madam Speaker, I will speak in Shona because that was the language that Mrs Chikava loved. I first saw her here at Parliament in 2008 and when COPAC started, at the All Stakeholders Conference at Sheraton, the women MPs from Mashonaland Central wanted to know who I was because they did not even know me by my name. When COPAC started, Mrs Chikava and myself were the only MPs in team one. The first three to four days, we were busy sizing each other but after a week, we became very good friends. The standing arrangement was that the team leaders would use the same car and the rapporteurs would use another car, but for the five months that we were at COPAC, we were together with Mrs Chikava on a daily basis. We first stayed at the Monomotapa, then went to Ambassador and later to Oasis. It was not easy travelling from Harare to remote places such as Mahuwe and Muzarabani on a daily basis. I knew she had high blood pressure. When praying she would say my children is this the way to pray? Our prayer according to Salvation Army fellowship, is like this. There is not even a single meeting that we abandoned in all the meetings that we were supposed to attend. I used to greet her even in the House. When I got the message that she had passed away it really pained me. From what I know during the five months that I knew her I do not have anything bad to say except to say her height was like that of my mother, sometimes she would bring groundnuts for us because she would stay behind in Bindura. We used to travel a lot with her, when she passed away I attended the funeral.

I learnt a lot of things from her even when she was still a young girl up to the time she married her husband. May her soul rest in peace because she was a good person. She was non partisan in debating but she said the truth as it is, I remember when she talked about the Auditor and Comptroller General in the Public Accounts Committee the way she tackled her debate it was excellent. I thank the mover of this motion who enabled us to debate about this good Member of Parliament. I thank you.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Madam Speaker, I would like to contribute on this motion regarding our late hon. member Mai Chikava. She was a mother, a woman, a legislator and an ambassador of peace to me. Nowadays, it is very difficult to come across a mother or a person you would say this one is a mother, having both attributes of being a mother and a woman. When I say a mother, this institution of motherhood has a lot of dignity and respect.What comes out of the mouth of a mother is honesty, openness and bearing pain for others, all these attributes were in Mai Chikava.

From the time I got to know Mai Chikava as a Member of Parliament in this House, she went further to be a colleague in the Public Accounts Committee where most of her active participation could be seen in scrutinising Government expenditure. One would wonder looking at her age how she would articulate clearly issues in the Public Accounts coming out of a woman and a mother of her stature, it would not stop one admiring her. As a legislator, I would talk to her and ask some pertinent questions. I remember discussing with her about this 50:50 women's issue. I said to her but Mai Chikava you were not appointed to Parliament how did you win this seat. She explained to me that it was sheer hard work, honesty and recognition of her service by the community and the people from where she came.

To probe her further I said, 'now why is it that most of your colleagues want to come to Parliament through appointments of 50:50'. She said perhaps because some of our colleagues are disadvantaged but what I am trying to say is that you do not demean the status of a woman because she is a woman but women like Mai Chikava would demonstrate their worthiness and their ability by competing with men and surpassing even their male counterparts in excellence and in doing good. I think we should draw a very important lesson from that kind of life from the departed hon. member. As, we call and advocate that we want to see more women in Parliament let us urge them because there are important attributes in almost each and every woman which are very good, and useful for the uplifting of people's lives and economic development of a nation.

What Mai Chikava would always remind me is that, "we are the people who were blessed by God to take care of his creation, no doubt we were given the task of bearing children and nature them until they grow". What I see now is a modern woman who by way of dressing, you will be confused as to what message you want the nation to take from just merely looking at the woman. Mrs Chikava would always dress with dignity when she came to Parliament. When it comes to issues of debating in Parliament, most of the men had to sit and listen while she articulates issues eloquently with facts and precision, that was Mrs Chikava. I was moved and deeply touched when I got news of her departure so much that I had to drive at short notice from Mwenezi to Mashonaland Central where she was being buried.

Madam Speaker, to do further justice to the lesson we can draw from Mai Chikava as an ambassador of peace, she was always preaching peace. I remember in one of our meetings in the Public Accounts Committee, we wanted to invite someone to do a presentation on a certain topic. I was shocked when she suggested that Mr. Lovemore Madhuku would do justice to that presentation. I said, "Madhuku, how can you come up with such a name"? I sat down and reflected seriously because I knew that Mrs Chikava whenever she speaks about an issue, she would have thought seriously about it and you could not take her for granted. I realized it was true because when we went for that conference in Victoria Falls where other countries had gathered, there was no justice done to that topic. That is when I remembered and said we should have followed Mrs Chikava's advice; Mr. Madhuku would have done justice to the topic. She did not look at issues in a partisan manner. I have singled out that example so that you can believe what I am talking about, knowing that she was from ZANU PF but she could stick out on what is beneficial to the nation or any important undertaking regardless of which party the person comes from.

Madam Speaker, as I said earlier on that she was an ambassador of peace; whenever you conversed with Mai Chikava, even within the same party, she would go beyond factionalism. She would stick to building people and uniting people. I think that is the model and the attributes we should be seeing from our women because men do not have those characteristics. If we are advocating that there should be more women in Parliament, I think we should also be underlining the fact that we want women of stature. We need women of stature like Mai Chikava who would come and add value to this august House than just bring a feminine title which will not have any benefit.

Madam Speaker, having said that, you would remember in her contributions in Parliament that her main focus and thrust would be for Parliament to look at issues which affect the ordinary people of Zimbabwe. I remember her contributing very much to the issue of the supply of clean water to communities and even supporting the idea that at every school, there has to be a borehole where the community can also draw water while it gives service to the school. This was …

MR. S. KHUMALO : On a point of order Madam Speaker, I realise that we do not have a quorum.

Bells rung.

Quorum formed.

MR. BHASIKITI : Madam Speaker, I do not want to belabour the point more about the contribution which was made by the late Mrs. Chikava. What I would want to conclude by underlining is the fact that women should stop asking for a free ride to Parliament. They have to demonstrate their worthiness to the people and community from where they come. The electorate is very wise nowadays. They do not see people on the basis of gender whether it is men or women. They look at the benefit which accrues from the representation made by the member, hence the election of Mrs. Chikava at her old age to this august House and her contribution was very lively and beneficial to this House as I have already outlined. So to do justice to the lesson and aspirations which were being advocated by Hon. Chikava, it is to stop this issue which I hear is about to be introduced into the new Constitution that there should be just seats reserved for women. You are dis-empowering them, you are removing their dignity. Women are just as good as men if not better. Let them demonstrate it. God gave them those important attributes. So what it means is, as we mourn the departed Mrs. Chikava, let us do justice and urge that our female counterparts take a clue and a very important lesson from the life of Mrs. Chikava and emulate to be good female representative or legislators in this House. I thank you Madam Speaker.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th June, 2012.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I move that the other Orders of the Day, be stood over while we revert back to Order of the Day, Number 2.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

LEAVE TO MOVE RESTORATION OF THE FIRST REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MEDIA, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE STATE OF PUBLIC MEDIA IN ZIMBABWE ON THE ORDER PAPER

MR. CHIKWINYA: I seek leave to move that the motion standing in my name on the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media and Information and Communication Technology Report on the state of the public media in Zimbabwe be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order Number 43.

MR. MATONGA: I second.

MOTION

RESTORATION OF THE FIRST REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MEDIA, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE STATE OF PUBLIC MEDIA IN ZIMBABWE ON THE ORDER PAPER

MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name on the restoration of the First Report of the Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology on the State of Public Media in Zimbabwe which was superseded by the prorogation of the Session of Parliament. The Portfolio Report was on the Order Paper but as are the rules and procedures of Parliament it then had to fall away. I therefore motivate that it be restored on the Order Paper such that due debate can be obtained as Members of Parliament or this august House will debate the State of the Public Media in Zimbabwe. I thank you.

MR. MATONGA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITEE ON BUDGET, FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION ON ZIMBABWE REVENUE AUTHORITY

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion on the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA's) operations at Border Posts.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th June, 2012.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Madam Speaker, I move that all the Orders of the Day, be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 12 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, ARTS AND CULTURE ON PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS TEXTBOOKS TENDERING AND DISTRIBUTION PROCESS UNDER THE EDUCATION TRANSITION FUND

Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Education, Arts and Culture on Primary and Secondary schools tendering and distribution process under the Education Transition Fund.

MS. MANGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank the following hon. Members who have contributed to the report of the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in Primary and Secondary Textbook Tendering and Distribution Process under the Education Transition Fund. Firstly, Hon. Mhashu whose contribution clearly elaborated much on the investigations which the Committee carried out, he really showed his knowledge in the field of education and the passion he has for the education of the children. Secondly, Hon. Nezi, Hon Bhasikiti, they all looked at this Textbooks Tendering Process and have given quite a good analysis on the issues. Of course I will not leave Hon. Mushonga who also contributed to the same report, including Hon. Mukanduri, Hon. Machacha, Hon. Matamisa, Hon. Mudzuri and Hon. Hove.

Madam Speaker, the Committee did not report on any falsehoods and did not mislead the nation but compiled the report based on what the Minister and his Secretary for Education, Sport, Arts and Culture submitted to the Committee as well as the submissions from the publishing houses in Zimbabwe and that is what we brought to this House. What is it that the Minister may be calling half truth in his response? The Minister made it clear that when the books were tendered, he did not even know how many schools were in the country and we can produce that information which was given to us.

There are contradictions on the survey, the Minister said a survey for primary schools was not carried out and the Ministry officials said it was carried out. Who then should we believe as a Committee? The Secretary confirmed that there was a survey conducted to establish the specific needs of children in primary schools and furnished the Committee with the documents of the survey. Madam Speaker, let me submit to you the evidence here, for the record, that was brought to us in terms of a survey. This thick volume is a survey that the Ministry did. So, in his response, the Minister did not acknowledge the response which they gave to us which we as a Committee, are not happy because we were telling the truth which he denied here to say there was a survey conducted.

I will submit the records of the Committee to confirm our arguments to say the survey was done. If really the survey to establish which titles schools were using was not carried out as they claim, Madam Speaker, can you allow such a haphazard method to continue without the Committee pointing out its displeasure? Do we have to keep quiet because we do not have the funds as a country? Really there is need for the Minister to appreciate the Committee's oversight role given, using the information that the Committee has gathered.

Madam Speaker, we as a Committee were surprised that the Minister was targeting individuals instead of responding to the Committee's report. What we compiled was a Committee report, it was not an individual report. We thought the Minister was supposed to respond to the report of the Committee which we would have appreciated rather than targeting individuals. If I can quote one of his statements when he said "two hon. members in this House, have accused me of being involved in corruption", such things of course as a Committee we have used the information that was given to us and the Committee would want proof from the Minister to actually identify the hon. Member whom the Minister has said is an interested party and has a publishing House, so that at least we are furnished with such information which we do not have as a Committee.

Madam Speaker, as a Committee we have looked at the report and the Minister was somehow glorifying UNICEF in trying to alleviate the problems of textbooks in schools rather than working collectively as a Government. For example when we were told that I asked UNICEF to take over the process completely, that is why we are saying the Minister ended up chairing meetings which he initially gave responsibility to Mr. Boora, the Regional Director as was indicated in the Committee's report. The Minister admits that it was his own decision, him alone who decided to hand over the process to UNICEF. So the decision again should have the ministry's decision so that the relation portrayed within the ministry is that of a collective effort. If it was a collective effort they there were not going to give information which was disputing. So which aspect of the Committee does the minister say is not clear? If the ministry set back after handing over to UNICEF, does the minister expect the Committee to carry its oversight role on UNICEF? I understand, when we wanted to interrogate, we were told that we cannot make an oversight on UNICEF. So we were only depending on the minister and the other stakeholders' responses. So it is unfair to withhold some information to the Committee and decide to hit back in this august House.

Some of the responses that we got from the Minister, we were hearing them for the first time but when the minister came to the Committee we were not given such information. So the minister put a lot of information in responding to the Committee's report which he never did when he was given the opportunity to appraise the Committee on the issue. During the oral hearing session, the minister did not inform the Committee that he surrendered the tendering process to UNICEF, so the Committee has a right to know what the ministry was doing in this regard. The minister was concerned about one publishing house being awarded the tender, so we have heard. That was part of his response that he was also concerned about it, but at the same time, ironically, there seems to have problems with the Committee raising the same concern. We are also concerned as he was also concerned, so can that be called half truth.

Madam Speaker, the Committee has noted and appreciates the ministry's efforts in putting in place a data capturing mechanism. Remember they did not know the number of schools in the beginning, when the tendering process begun. Now that they are putting something in place, we are happy as a Committee. It is indeed a fact that the education sector was in crisis with regards the textbook relation to pupils. The Committee acknowledges the achievement of one to one ratio by the ETF, but maintains that the process was not done properly.

The Committee in its report cited and thanked all countries which contributed to the Education Transition Fund, what it queried is the procedure followed regarding the tendering process. It is the Committee's belief that UN and UNICEF would be happy to know that there is a Committee such as this that makes ministers to explain their government duties.

Madam Speaker, the Committee maintains that one school of thought does not give children room to be creative and it is a fact as argued by some prominent educationist such as Brunner, Skinner and others. May the minister be informed that when a Committee investigates, it does it through all stakeholders and when necessary, it will even re-invite stakeholders for clarity of issues. So the minister was given opportunity to appear before the Committee and the truth was established.

The Committee's position is that there be transparency in tendering. Transparency in tendering should be exercised for all stakeholders who will include the ministry officials, parents, children, printers and publishers, irrespective of who will have brought the money. Tax payers are the same throughout the world and so is the public money.

Secondly, we also encourage that the local industry should also be promoted.

Thirdly, the ministry should work as a coherent team so that they do not have conflicting issues that it brings to the Committee.

Lastly, the ministry should partner with development partners instead of surrendering everything to them. Madam Speaker, the ministry should be in control and should not sit back leaving the donor to answer to the public when the former is the government.

In conclusion Madam Speaker, I would like to again thank all members who have contributed, including the minister. As a Committee, we will continue to do our oversight role to the ministry without fear or favour. Let free thought prevail in Parliament. I therefore ask for the adoption of the report. I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA), the House adjourned at Half past Five o'clock p.m.

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 38 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 6 JUNE 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 37