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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY VOTES 15 JUNE 2016 VOL 42 NO 66

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 15th June, 2016

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

 PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

POSTPONEMENT OF THE CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS)

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that the Capacity Building Workshop for the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where all Chairpersons of Portfolio, Thematic Committees and Whips for parties have been invited, has been postponed to next week from the 23rd to 26th June. 2016.      

POINT OF PRIVILEGE

STANDING ORDERS NUMBER 63 AND 191

HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Mine is a point of privilege and I wish to place it before you and the House, in terms of two Standing Orders, Standing Order 63 and also Standing Order 191.  In particular, I would have wanted, circumstances permitting, to actually have our Ministers to be present but I understand that they may still be on their way.  That as it may, Hon. Speaker, I hope you are going to take it for the appropriate suggestion and recommendation I am giving.

Standing Order 63, in terms of the accountability of Vice President and Ministers, if you go to sub-rule (1), it speaks to issues of the Constitution Section 107 (2), that Ministers and Vice Presidents must attend Parliament and Parliamentary Committees to answer questions.  What I am focusing on is sub-rule (2) which speaks to issues of a Minister being mandated as an obligation to respond to a committee report within ten days, failure of which shall constitute contempt of Parliament, after having been notified of the report.

I am saying this because we have done a lot of reports as Parliament in our various Portfolio Committees.  A case in point is what was done in agriculture, a powerful report, but nothing has been done to respond to that report.  There was one yesterday on Health which was also a very powerful report.  We also did a report on Home Affairs and there was one on ICTs, I could go on and on.  There has not been a response from the Ministers in terms of our Standing Rules.

          Hon. Speaker Sir, what I am saying is that we should take note of this because within 10 days, Ministers are supposed to respond to our reports, not for purposes of just being excited by the voice of the Minister, it is something that has to be done in terms of our rules so that we are able to give sufficient effect to the oversight function of Parliament.  Not only that Hon. Speaker Sir, I also want to direct your attention to Standing Order Number 191, which is very important. 

In terms of the obligation of the Speaker, on 191, ‘the Speaker shall require, ‘shall’ is preemptory, it means ‘must,’ there is no choice or election, it is an obligation – shall require the Vice President or Minister to give a written explanation to the House where he or she –but in most cases I think it is he, because the she’s have been doing very well – [Laughter] – where he/she fails to lay upon the table of the House, the annual report, financial statements of public entities or constitutional entity and the audit report on those statements in accordance with Section 15 of the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19). 

On Standing Orders 192, ‘every Vice President or Minister shall lay before the National Assembly, a report of disciplinary action against an Accounting Officer and Accounting authority or other person in terms of Section 87 of the Public Finance Management Act.  I am placing this before the House because we have had circumstances where certain Accounting Officers have behaved in a manner that is less than accountable.  We understand that there is supposed to have been some disciplinary action taken but we have not received any report. 

As Parliament, may we place our Ministers on notice, that if they are not going to comply with what is in our statutes, we are going to invoke what we have as instruments to ensure that our  Ministers perform indeed and justify why we are paying them handsomely using the tax-payer’s money – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – it is very important.  They are driving very nice cars.  I am saying so because I was once a Minister – [Laughter] – I know what I am talking about.  They must account for what they are doing.  We need to make sure that we write to them on these specific then if they continue on their paths, we then have to invoke what the Standing Order requires.  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.

Hon. Chinotimba having stood up to speak and an Hon. Member having asked him to sit down.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  There is no need to raise emotions.  I was going to say to Hon. Chinotimba, before you rise, the Chair must respond to the point of order on Privilege.  I want to say to Hon. Chamisa, his observations are very appropriate and correct in terms of our Constitution and our Standing Orders.  I must also say that he raised the point of privilege like a prophet and he did not know that he was a prophet.  This is because as Administration of Parliament, we have started an audit of Hon. Ministers who were due or are due to respond to not only reports but also motions raised by the Hon. Members before the mover can wind up the motion.  This has not been happening.  The audit that we have started has already indicated that there are half a dozen Ministers whom we have written to personally, to say they must come before Parliament, particularly here in the National Assembly to comply with the provisions stated by Hon. Chamisa. We want to assure the House that this will be done assiduously to ensure that the Hon. Ministers do respond.

We have also gone further as to write to the Chief Secretary asking the Permanent Secretary to work very closely with Hon. Ministers to assist them so that they can respond to their obligations.  We do so, not only in terms of what Hon. Chamisa has stated or quoted in so far as the Standing Orders are concerned but also in terms of what the Constitution states.  In terms of Section 119 of our Constitution, Parliament must protect the Constitution without fear or favour and the State and all its agencies must respond to the provisions of the Constitution without fail.  We are going to ensure that the audit is completed expeditiously and the Hon. Ministers come before this Honourable House to respond accordingly to the motions as well as to the Committee Reports.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I did not want to debate but I wish to debate on the Privileges of Parliament.  There was a question which I asked during your presence and I also held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  The question was that there are some Members of Parliament who were given red passports of privileges and some were not given.  When you look at the Parliament of South Africa even Hon. Malema was issued a red passport.  If you visit Europe, for the reason that one is a Member of Parliament, they are issued with diplomatic passports.  However, I have heard that there are a selected few who have been given that privilege.  I am not feeling well, I just stood up, that is why today you hear that my speech is not as vibrant as I use to be.  We need clarification on that.  I would like to go and seek medical attention and what happens because of the kind of passport we have. We are not accorded that privilege.  We are stopped and searched at every roadblock, yet I was voted into this position by my constituents. Why then should I be denigrated?  I have also been told that the chairmen of portfolio committees and other members of your circle are regarded as Hon. MPs and accorded that privilege.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not only an MP but I am also a veteran leader of commendable background. 

When I look back at myself, I went to Romania for training and I was given that diplomatic passport with privileges to go with.  I went to Bucharest and many other places and I was given that honour and aura but now that I am an elected MP who fought for the freedom of his country, I am discriminated against.  I am not given the privilege to hold a diplomatic passport and that really pains me.  This may force me to give up my seat and just go and be an ordinary peasant in my rural home.

          I asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the issue of the diplomatic passport and his response was; “the diplomatic passport does not concern me but it is up to the Speaker who is the one who selects who should get that privilege and who should be denied.”  Are you then asking us to go back to the people and ask them to vote for people who are favourites because as it is, we are inconsequential or nonentities?  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          *THE HON SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members.  In response to your question Hon. Chinotimba, I will start by apologizing and say to you; as Hon Chinotimba, you are not feeling well and I sympathise with you, but you had that urge to come and seek clarification regarding the diplomatic passports.  I salute you for that.  First and foremost, the Hon. Speaker does not have the prerogative on the issuance of passports.  Passports emanate from the Registrar General’s Office, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Regarding the issuance of diplomatic passports, I did write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the request was for all MPs to be issued with diplomatic passports.  The reason was for our MPs not to have problems whenever they travel around the globe.  They should get that respect which is due to them but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied this request.  I then went and discussed the issue with the Leader of the House, the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa, trying to look for ways to accord all MPs diplomatic passports.  We agreed that we had to approach the Head of State on this issue.  The Head of State asked for names, especially of MPs who attend statutory meetings at IPU, SADC-PF etcetera.  We put those names down and handed them over to His Excellency, the President.  Therefore, that is work-in- progress.

          Your request has been heard and another meeting will be held with the Leader of the House, Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa.  We look forward to seeing your issue solved amicably because as far as we know, we are equal Members of Parliament and we should have the same privileges.  No one is above the other, we are all the same.  His Excellency will give us a response.  So, I am pleading with you Hon. Members to give us time to work on this issue.  I thank you.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  My follow-up question is that the Leader of the House Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa is in the House and you, as the Speaker are also here in the same House.  We may find ourselves trying to digress from issues.  That is why I specifically mentioned that last week you were not there and we asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the diplomatic passports and that is when the Minister gave his response that it was not his responsibility but the Speaker’s responsibility. 

          As far as I know, I do not want you to be involved in this mud-slinging and apportioning of blame.  In this country, we have a lot of mud-slinging and whosoever has a problem or has messed up tries to apportion the blame on other people and quickly address the Vice President on their issue.  What we know however is that, Ministers are MPs who are elected to be Ministers through the President’s prerogative.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we would not want to have somebody who, when elected to be a Minister then tends to look down upon peers.  When you even look at the working conditions of a Minister and an MP, MPs may be better than the Minister.  My request is for you to enlighten us where the Ministers are apportioning blame on you, yet you are blameless.  When I discussed that, I was told that I was going to tarnish your image.  It really pains me that I should direct such questions to the Vice President of the country.  As Members of Parliament, we have the privilege of interacting with the Vice President.  We have a machine which produces 10 000 passports per minute – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – So, where is the problem in issuing all the Members of Parliament the diplomatic passports?

 Therefore, in as far as I am concerned; there is no reason for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to ask for few names to work on.    I would understand, if it was in the past when we had slow machines but Government has allocated equipment to Home Affairs which is able to produce 10 000 passports in ten minutes.  So, where is the problem?  I sympathise with you Mr. Speaker, there is mudslinging, people are trying to tarnish your name.  Unfortunately, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is not in, I would have asked him this question because I have a feeling, he lied to us. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, as Hon. Members, why should we denied some privileges?  We do not have diplomatic passports; we do not have all those other privileges.  Where did we go wrong?  I thank you.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Chinotimba we have a saying that whenever there is something being said, somebody will know about it.  About mud-slinging, as long as you are a leader, whatever goes wrong, there is mud-slinging and you are the victim but as leaders when there is that problem which is flung at you, all you do is to rectify whatever problems could be arising.  I am glad the Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa is here and I will give him chance to respond. 

*THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I will start by supporting what has been said by the Speaker that he wrote a letter asking that all Members of Parliament be issued with diplomatic passports.  His argument was that Members travel to different parts of the world.  What happens is, whenever they get to the airports or to other areas, all Members of Parliament from other countries are given that dignified respect but Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe are searched and frisked, which is very bad.  The Minister then said there are going to be a few who are going to be given those diplomatic passports because in the last Parliament, we had some Ministers who were given those diplomatic passports which will last for five years.  Therefore, they have them and that limits the number of people to access that. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Leader of the Opposition can have the passport renewed.  Hence, having received that response, the Speaker then asked me to prepare for a meeting with the President on the issue and I facilitated that.  He said, we have heard the response given by the Executive on the issuance of diplomatic passports, but he then asked for special dispensation for Members of Parliament, who attend different Parliamentary forums in other countries.  I personally went to His Excellency accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  The President denied that privilege.  We said, well, let us let things cool down and if things cool down, there could be a chance of attaining that. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, we then decided to reduce the number of people and go with the Chairpersons.  We then approach His Excellency on the issue.  We said, these people travel a lot around the globe on business, please give them that diplomatic passport.  After a long discussion, the President agreed and he said those few selected should be given and Hon. Mumbengegwi was advised to give those diplomatic passports.  The Speaker then said, now that we have these few people who have been given the passports, let us give the President time, because we cannot just go to him after such a short period.  I said Mr. Speaker, I think you have turned too much heat on me, let us give it a rest.  So, I am waiting for the Speaker to give me time so that we come and resuscitate the issuance of diplomatic passports to Members of Parliament. 

*HON. MURAI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We have had the response from the Leader of the House Hon. Mnangagwa on the issuance of diplomatic passports.  What is worrying me is why were a few selected, yet as Members of Parliament we operate under the same conditions of service?  I feel we should be treated equally because we are all Members of Parliament in the same Parliament.

*THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Hon. Members, let me tell you the truth on this matter and this is a fact.  Whether you like it or not, it does not matter.  A diplomatic passport is not a right, we should be aware of that.  There is nowhere in our Constitution or wherever, where it is said a Member of Parliament should be given a diplomatic passport.  It is not a right but it is a privilege.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, you have heard it for yourselves, but what Mr. Chinotimba has said, should be pursued.  I remember when we were youngsters, we would go and court a lady and that lady would look down upon you, shout at you and at times hit you but we would never give up.  We would go on courting that lady until she felt that I am authentic and agrees to me.  I am therefore saying, let us not tire.  We know His Excellency, our President is a man of his word and he will give an ear to our request.  We know we will win.  The issue which has been raised by Hon. Chinotimba, we will pass it on to him.  Whatever response we will receive, we will inform you.

          HON. MUNENGAMI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Is it a point of privilege or what?

          HON. MUNENGAMI:  It is a …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the order you are quoting?

          HON. MUNENGAMI:  Hon. Speaker, I think we are now approaching …

          *THE HON. SPEAKER“Aiwa tinzwisisei, tererai example yaHon. Chamisa.”

          HON. MUNENGAMI:  I think it is in terms of my privileges as a Member of Parliament.  In fact, why I am failing to quote the point of order is the reason why I want to ask.  Hon. Speaker, we are now approaching the last quarter of the year and surely even for you Hon. Speaker to ask me what the point of order is when you know very well that we do not have the Standing Orders and Rules.  Those books which we are supposed to be …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order. 

          HON. MUNENGAMI:  That is the reason why I wanted to raise that issue.  I wanted to give you an example of what happened yesterday with regards to issues of Ministers.  We do not even know how many times we are supposed to be asking questions when the Minister presents a Ministerial Statement.  Yesterday, only two or three Members of Parliament were allowed to ask the Minister.  Immediately after that, the Minister walked away.  So, we want to know according to the Standing Orders and Rules how many times we are supposed to ask and all these other issues.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Firstly, let me respond by saying, you have contradicted yourself that there are no Standing Orders.  If they were not there, Hon. Chamisa would not have quoted the Standing Rules – [AN HON. MEMBER: He is a member of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee.] – Order, if you want a reply from the Chair, you must listen.  So, the Standing Orders substantially remain very effective.  As to what happened yesterday, I will have to enquire from Hon. Marumahoko and the Clerks at the Table and get into the matter then I will be able to give you a ruling tomorrow.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. MANGAMI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce.  How far have you gone in the setting up of the National Competitiveness Commission?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question.  Cabinet has now approved the draft Bill which should be coming to Parliament shortly.  It has gone back just for clean up and the Bill will be tabled before Parliament.

          HON. MANGAMI:  Mr. Speaker, do we still need the National Competitiveness Commission when we have got the Tariff Commission?  How different are they?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  That should have been your first question in terms of sequence.  It is going to be in place and you were answered; now you want to go backwards.  No, we cannot allow that.

          *HON. MAPIKI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  What is the Government policy on schools in rural areas where there is one teacher to 600 pupils?  Some schools are even closing down because there are no teachers. 

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  On the Government policy regarding the proportion of learners and teachers, my Ministry is given permission to recruit teachers whenever there is concurrence of the Treasury and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  This is because the Civil Service Commission is responsible for recruiting teachers as they do with all other civil servants.  So, if there is concurrence between Treasury and the employing Ministry, we can recruit according to what has been stated by the two Ministries and we start recruiting the necessary teachers. When we recruit teachers as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, we hand them over to the Commission for appointment. 

As a Ministry, we look forward to continually opening schools and not close them down.  We do not expect ourselves to employ more teachers than can be paid by the Treasury.  If teachers are recruited without concurrence of Treasury, that is when you have situations where some teachers go for months without being paid.  I did tell this House that the fact that we take a certain number of teachers, the directive was given at the beginning of the second term.  That is when we were told that we are supposed to recruit teachers and headmasters and my approximate number is 130 000.  From that period, we were working hard on the recruitment of teachers so that these teachers would be employed in resettlement areas, rural areas and other areas that have teacher shortages.  I am sure Hon. Mapiki has asked this question looking at particular areas such as farming and rural areas.

          *HON. MAPIKI:  My supplementary question is, you have said that there should be concurrence of Ministries for recruitment. How long does it take for these Ministries to hold a meeting, agree and recruit teachers so as to alleviate the problem faced by these rural schools and learners?

          *HON. DR. DOKORA: I hear what the Honourable Member is saying. He is emotional about this issue because he is the one who is living in this situation. In the recruitment policy, we also look at the status of the school whether it is a satellite school or it is a registered school. How many learners the school has, all this is put together so that an analysis is held on the quantum of teachers which should be recruited into that place, hence I cannot say we need so many years.

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: The supplementary question by Honourable Mapiki is, can you give a timeframe as to how long it takes Government departments involved to resolve the problem.

          *HON. DR. DOKORA: Whatever it is we do depends on Treasury and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Whenever these discussions are held, we have to take into consideration that these people have to be paid a salary. There was a time towards the end of last year when we were told of ghost teachers who were said to be in my Ministry, hence avoiding getting into the same problem, there should be concurrence between my Ministry, Treasury and the Public Service Commission. Let me say that this process can only be quickened if you were to go and campaign for the removal of sanctions so that there is cash flow to pay these teachers.

          *HON. MUTSEYAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. In the rural areas where we stay, there is a programme called ‘Food for Work’ which was introduced by Government. People work for four hours a day from Monday to Friday for 15 days a month. At the end of the month, they are given a 50kg bag of maize. We have said these people are vulnerable and some of them are elderly and sick. Are we asking this same person to go and labour in adverse weather conditions only to earn 50kgs? Is that a fact?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG MATANGAIDZE): Let me give an explanation on how the ‘Food for Work’ programme operates. Firstly, there is an assessment which is held to establish the vulnerable groups and in this case there are people who are already in our registers and receiving food. At the beginning of the year, His Excellency declared a state of disaster because of the El Nino induced drought,  we have had another assessment which has established more vulnerable people. Some of these people who were affected by the drought are able-bodied and very capable people. What is happening is that those people who were already receiving food because they were recorded in the first register, continue receiving their food, but those who are partaking the Food for Work programme are able bodied people who have only been disadvantaged because of the El Nino induced drought hence can work for their food.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: There are circumstances where after people have worked under the Food for Work programme when it comes to their receipt of the maize that they are supposed to be allocated, they are again required to pay a certain amount of money as transport cost. Is that Government policy and what happens if that able-bodied person who has worked does not have the money to pay for the transport cost? Do they lose the maize that they would have worked for?

          *HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: I do admit that when we introduced this programme, we had problems in ferrying the food and we asked local leaders to help in transporting the food to the needy people but Government has now introduced a new system whereby transport is supplied by DDF and the army trucks to ferry this food. My request is that if we have any areas where people are still being asked to pay for transport, please give us the details so that we can investigate.

          HON. MHONA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. What is Government’s policy in liaison with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to ensure that buildings and amenities to which the public has access to, are accessible to persons living with disabilities as enshrined in our Constitution under Section 22 (4) so that we mitigate the risk of such people being abused in the name of help especially women living with disabilities.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker, like the Hon. Member of Parliament is saying, it is very clear that the statutes which are there for building cater for the disabled people.  The implementation of that policy comes in with the public works under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. 

So I would rather they direct that question to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on the implementation of laid down statutes on the standards of buildings to cater for the vulnerable.

          HON. T. KHUMALO: My question was meant to be addressed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development but in his absence or his deputy, I will address it to Minister Dokora.  I think he also might respond and if that fails, could the Hon. Vice President please help.

          Government has come with cadetship schemes for vulnerable students that are unable to pay their fees and it has come that as Government, you have not met your obligation of meeting the payment of fees for cadetship students.  Now the current scenario in our universities especially, is that if you do not pay your fees, the Minister here confirmed that everybody that has not paid fees will write. 

Sadly, these students are unable to access their results due to non-payment of fees because Government has not paid fees under the cadetship scheme and those students are going to be denied their results.  Why are you also denying those that have failed to pay, while as Government you did not pay under the cadetship scheme? What is Government policy here vis-a-vis these students accessing their results whether they supplement or go forward?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member, please address the Chair.

          THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, these are specific issues, not a question of policy.  I think these are specific issues which require a detailed answer from the appropriate Ministry to state why the issues raised by the Hon. Member are in existence.  I do not think it is a question of policy but a question of administrative problems that may be in existence.  So I request that the Hon. Member, in the absence of the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, have the question put in writing.  I thank you. 

          *HON. MAKONYA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Mguni.  Deputy Minister, is it Government policy that when I get to a roadblock with a faulty car, I am directed to go to the nearest police station.  The arresting police officer drives my car and refuses to show me his licence considering the fact that he is not covered by my insurance.  Is it Government policy that a police officer drives my car because my car has a problem or there is a problem on me?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, let me explain to the Hon. Member of Parliament what is proper.  The police have the right to detain a vehicle for not more than 24hrs if the vehicle is found to be faulty.  If there is a fine that the driver has to pay and it is less than $20.00, then the driver can pay a spot fine.  But if the car has to be detained in a safe place like a Police Station, it has to be driven by the owner to the Police Station, park it and be satisfied that it is safe, that is according to Government policy.  I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  I preface my question as follows: in the advent of the establishment of the National Building Society Bank.  I am aware that in a lot of towns, NSSA has stands, in particular in Chegutu West Constituency, it has 300 ha of land.

          What is Government policy regarding those stands that NSSA has, cognizant of the establishment of  National Building Society Bank vis-a-vis those low income earners that are in the constituencies as I have mentioned.  Chegutu is in a 40 square kilometer radius I shudder to think how many hectares Harare has.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order I thought you had asked the question already.

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member for his very important question.  Yes, NSSA launched a National Building Society.  The purpose of the Building Society is to enable low income earners to afford reasonable housing at affordable interest rates.  The Building Society is open to any worker who is working in Zimbabwe.  They have to go through the necessary vetting processes. 

          Regarding the land which NSSA has in various parts of the country, I would like to assure the Hon. Member that we just launched in Harare and Bulawayo.  We will be rolling out into the provinces.  So NSSA will be looking at all the land available to be handed over to the National Building Society so that we can ensure that what we intend to achieve, that is housing delivery to the less privileged is achieved.  So in due course, we will be moving into the provinces to establish all the land and start the process.  It is a process and not something that will happen overnight.  We are aware that we have land in your constituency Hon. Member.  I thank you.

HON. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce.  It is emanating from disturbing media reports which alleged that she had said the First Lady Dr. Amai Grace Mugabe is actually donating goods which have been confisticated from ZIMRA.  Can she confirm if it is a Government policy?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): I am not aware of any statement that I issued like that.  If you are talking of media, I am not sure whether that was not meant to be malicious. Thank you.

HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Services. Hon. Minister, what is the Government policy as regards the payment of allowances to student teachers. Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question.  However, I am unable to answer her question because it relates to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.  What I can recall is that through the rationalisation and civil service audit we are reviewing all allowances including those for student teachers.  We are still to come up with a reasonable allowance for the student teachers.  I thank you.

 HON. KWARAMBA: Hon. Minister, I am asking this question because you find that teachers at teachers’ colleges are being paid allowances but those who are at universities, when they go for teaching practice, they are not given anything.

HON. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker. As I said, the Ministry is reviewing this through the civil service audit.  We would want to standardise and rationalise all allowances.  We are very much aware of the fact that students from the university are not given any allowances, hence we are looking at reviewing the allowances given to student teachers downwards and we will come up with a position shortly. Thank you. 

HON. J. MHLANGA: Point of order, Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members, administrations are different.  I am not given instruction.  I can choose whom I need to. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes I choose what I want to do – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – That is your problem.

  +HON. N. NDLOVU: That is not a problem, it is just a mistake, it is not a problem. Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Vice President Hon. Mnangagwa.  What is the policy if there is somebody who does not want to work with the Government and the Government promises that it will unleash the gukurahundi forces on that perceived adversary?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I did not understand the question if she can repeat the last part of the question.

+HON. N. NDLOVU: My question was, is it true that if Government has somebody who wants to contest or oppose it then it promises hell and something very difficult on their lives?

*HON. MNANGAGWA: That is not Government policy.  Government does not unleash terror on any people of Zimbabwe.  Please you may oppose Government and say whatever you want. Your Government is a supportive Government. I thank you

+HON. N. NDLOVU: The reason why I am asking this question is that His Excellency, in his address to the Central Committee, the President promised the war veterans who were working against him that they were going to suffer and have the gukurahundi forces striking on them.

*HON. MNANGAGWA: Fortunately, when that statement was said, I was present at the Central Committee and you were not there.

*HON. CHIBAYA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. May the Vice President use a proper honorific when addressing another Member of Parliament instead of simply saying ‘you’?

*HON. MNANGAGWA: I was present when the President issued that statement and I heard what he was saying and you were not there.  You only heard from rumours and the press.  What you are saying is not true.  That is not what the President said. The President did not say such a statement. What is pleasing is that this was a domestic affair but you people on the opposition MDC-T are interested in what goes on at the ZANU PF private meetings.     

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I think we are wasting time making a lot of noise.  That supplementary question is the last one on this question.

          HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Vice President Hon. Mnangagwa.  My question is whilst we admit that he was present and we were absent, it means that he agrees with us that what we watch on television is not true because these things were said out on televisions and newspapers and is viewed by everyone.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, that is not a question, it is a recommendation.  Can we proceed please.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House.  I want to ask how far the Government has progressed towards the issue of ZISCO Steel.  The fact that there is a loan which was acquired and yet there are outstanding salaries of workers who are suffering in terms of non-payment of school fees for their children.  Their properties have been sold to recover their debt.  So, I am asking what progress the Government has made so far in terms of paying the outstanding salaries and how is it going to be done, in installments or once off?  Thank you.

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Member asking the question and myself come from ZISCO Steel.  The only problem that is there is that, the issue to do with progress is not policy, it is administrative.  We have a Minister of Industry and Commerce who is responsible for issues of progress.  If one is working, they expect to receive their salary at the end of each month, there is no need to ask whether workers should be paid or not. 

What I think the Hon. Member is thinking, which I am also thinking because we live together is that; when is this issue going to be resolved?  There are people who are supposed to answer that question because Government has Ministries.  He should have asked the question through writing so that he will be given a detailed answer as to the progress being referred to because it very important.  Thank you.

HON. KAUNDIKIZA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development, Hon. Nyoni.  My question is what is Government policy on people who paid their monies towards housing cooperatives for the past 10 years and have not received any places of residence and no audits were done on the people who received those monies?    Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  That is a very important question.  Cooperatives are not supposed to pay money to anybody.  When cooperatives are formed, they are supposed to pay money to themselves because they are, according to the law, an independent entity.  They must pay the money to themselves and they must be accountable to their members, supervised by the Ministry.  If any cooperative paid money to none other than their cooperative structure, it is them to blame because they are not supposed to do that.  I would like to advise the Hon. Member to advise those cooperatives that they should try and correct it themselves and stop paying money to people who are not legally supposed to receive their funds.  Thank you.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary question Hon. Minister Nyoni is that, for the past 10 or so years, we have had this challenge across the country and people have suffered as a result.  As a Ministry, what systems are you putting in place to make sure that we will not have a continuation of this challenge since the down-trodden person is the one who is suffering most and many a time it is purely out of ignorance, yet it is not a privilege for them to be ignorant?  I thank you.

          HON. NYONI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like the Hon. Member to be specific.  If there are any specific cases where cooperatives have been cheated by outsiders or within their structures, the Ministry has a department that assists to realign those people within the laws.  However, let me say that, having recognised that a lot of cooperatives are doing things out of ignorance, my Ministry has put in place training for cooperatives.  Before we register any cooperative, we train them first and after registration we follow up and also train them.  If there are mistakes that were made before then, the Ministry will be happy to receive those complaints and guide the cooperatives accordingly. Thank you.

          *HON. MACHINGAUTA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that; on the issue of housing cooperatives, at what stage are title deeds issued?  I am asking this because there are many who pass on before they are issued their title deeds and the deceased’s children have the stands or houses confiscated from them.  Thank you.

          HON. NYONI: Thank you very much. According to the Act, when you form a housing cooperative, you will be so many in number and you need to build the houses for every member until each of the members has a similar structure according to your agreement.  Thereafter, you approach the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to apply for your title deeds.  However, it has happened that, while people will be building, disputes happen and cooperatives start splitting.  Let me inform the Hon. Member that when I took over the Ministry, there were about 68 disputes and we have been able to solve most of those except for seven within Harare only.  So, those kinds of problems happen and when they are brought to our attention we try and solve them.  No individual will get their title deeds until all the cooperative members have agreed that they have reached a stage where all of them can satisfactorily get title deeds equally.  Thank you.

          HON. MANGAMI: Hon. Minister, may we also know what happens to those cooperatives which continue to enroll members when they do not have land.  How does the Ministry deal with such because members of the public will not be aware that the cooperatives will not be having land.  They continue to collect money when land is not there.

          HON. NYONI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  The issue of land is the responsibility of the Ministry of Local Government.  Co-operatives are an independent entity according to the law and they have a responsibility as co-operatives.  All we can do as a Ministry of SMEs and Co-operatives is to support them.  They have a responsibility to go to the Ministry of Local Government and discuss the issue of land.  I think Minister Kasukuwere was very clear that what he was dealing with were the land barons and there are housing co-operatives that are continuing to build houses.  He is not giving land to those co-operatives that have been found wanting in terms of following the laws of the land.  I thank you.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

COMENCEMENT OF VETTING FOR FORMER POLITICAL DETAINEES

  1. CHITURA asked the Minister of Welfare Services for War

Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees to inform the House on when vetting for detainees who were not previously vetted before would take place.

THE MINISTER OF WELFARE SERVICES FOR WAR VETERANS, WAR COLLABORATORS, FORMER POLITICAL DETAINEES AND RESTRICTEES, (HON. COL. RTD. DUBE):Madam Speaker, and Members of this august House, I want to begin by expressing my profound gratitude to Hon. Chitura, who is a proportional representation member for Manicaland Province, for raising the question concerning the vetting of ex-political detainees who were previously not vetted.

I wish to advise that the vetting of this category of veterans of the liberation struggle is a continuous administrative function of my Ministry.  We vet and verify every case on its merits.  It follows that if the Hon. Member is aware of specific cases of ex-detainees who have not yet been vetted, she may kindly refer these to the Vetting Inspectorate and Investigations Directorate of the Ministry for necessary attention.

This august House may be pleased to know that my Ministry is at an advanced stage of aligning our laws to the new Constitution of Zimbabwe (No.20) Act, 2013.  My Ministry administers the War Veterans Act, the Ex-Political Detainess and Restrictees Act, the National Heroes Act and the War Victims Compensation Act.  This alignment will result in a single Act of Parliament covering all veterans of the liberation struggle, who are defined in the Constitution Sections 23 and 84, as those who fought, those who assisted the fighters and those who were detained for political reasons during the liberation struggle. 

The new Act will also cover categories of veterans which fall under my Ministry’s jurisdiction but were previously excluded from the law.  Specifically, we are talking about the nationalists, war collaborators and the former refugees, who you are calling non-combatant cadres in our legal drafting.  To this end, we have already done the necessary consultative workshop and the principles of legislation have already been approved by Cabinet.  The actual drafting started on 13th June, 2016 and we hope to have completed this by mid July, 2016 for onward processing through Cabinet and the Legislature for purposes of enactment.

Before I conclude, I also want to say a word or two on the vetting of war collaborators.  There has been a lot of political statements and growing agitation about this issue.  The legal position is that war collaborators cannot be vetted or registered before they are defined in law.  Their vetting therefore has to wait until the current alignment of laws is completed.  My Ministry estimates that for planning purposes, there could be around 200,000 war collaborators when their vetting is finally done.  We also estimate that they could have 49,000 widows and 40,000 children who would be eligible for Government support.  In drafting the law and the constitution, we are carrying out and are seriously looking at the range of benefits that could be legislated and the impact of such benefits on the fiscus and the tax payer.

Madam Speaker, I wish to emphasise that the phase of vetting collaborators will be a lot more difficult because it is very difficult after 36 years to tell who was a collaborator and who was not.  If I ask this august House to say those who were collaborators, maybe only less than 50 will remain seated.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker, we have witnessed vilification, denigration, assault on the integrity of those that participated in the liberation of this country.  As a Ministry and as part and parcel of your responsibility, what are you doing as  a policy measure to make sure that all those who participated in the liberation struggle are respected?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, that question is not coming from the original question.  The original question is talking about the vetting.  Hon. Minister, do not answer that question. 

          HON. SARUWAKA:  My supplementary question to the Minister is, in light of the last section where he clearly indicated that it is practically impossible to vet the war collaborators, what is the rationale for him to try and go ahead with the exercise?  Is it not prudent that he comes out clear and just make a statement that it is not going to happen.  He has clearly indicated that it is going to be cumbersome and almost impossible.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, it is only that I let the Hon. Minister explain what he was saying otherwise the question was, when is he going to effect the vetting only.  All the explanations were coming but because he is a Minister, I could not stop him.  Your questions are emanating from the explanations not from the original question.  The question is, when are you going to vet those who were not vetted.  I will not allow the Minister to answer questions emanating from explanations.

HON. MUNENGAMI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  You are truly 100% correct in answering the question, but it is like when the Minister responds to the question, it is the duty of us as Members of Parliament to then ask questions with regard to the responses.  So, this is actually what we are trying to, to respond to the answer. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I understand what you are trying to say but it is my duty as the Presiding Officer – [AN HON. MEMBER: Madii kumumisa?] – To listen to the responses.  I have to guide you – [HON. MUNENGAMI: You should have stopped him.] – This is why I stopped him.

HON. MARIDADI:  Madam Speaker, in that case I think according to Parliamentary rules, if what he says is not on record, it must be expunged from the Hansard.  It must be taken off because we want to ask questions depending on the answer that he has given but if that last part of his response is not going to be followed up, it must be expunged from the Hansard.  Please give a ruling, from which point is it going to be expunged.  Thank you.

 THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  From where he was saying – if I start asking who is a war collaborator here – that was not supposed to be said in this House because the question was, when are you going to do the vetting of the collaborators only- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].  If you have something, you can put it in writing so that he can answer you.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Madam Speaker, in terms of Standing Order 61(2), the Vice President or Leader of the House may request that business be stood over until a Ministerial Statement is given.  I so move.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE 24TH SESSION OF THE JUNIOR PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE SCHEDULED FOR 18TH JUNE, 2016 IN SUPPORT OF THE DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD

          THE MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. ZHUWAO):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  On Saturday the 18th June, 2016….

          HON. MUNENGAMI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker. Before the Minister finishes his Ministerial Statement, I think I asked the Hon. Speaker, before you sat on the Chair that, can we know how many questions we are supposed to ask the Minister after his Ministerial Statement, so that at least we become aware.  Can you give us guidance?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was here when the Speaker gave you the answer.  He said he was going to check with the one who was on the Chair and what happened, then he will give you the response – [HON. MUNENGAMI:  I am talking on this one now.] – No, there is nothing like that.

          THE MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDEGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. ZHUWAO): Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  His Excellency, President R. G. Mugabe will be the guest of honour at the Official Opening of the 24th Session of the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe at the Harare City Sports Centre.  The theme of the commemorations will be Investing in Children and Youth for an Empowered Society and a Growing Economy in order to Prevent Conflict and Crisis and Protect all Children’s Rights”. 

          Zimbabwe has consistently held sessions of the Junior Parliament since 1992 as part of celebrating the day of the African child. The day of the African child Madam Speaker, came into being following a declaration by the African Union Heads of State as an important day in commemorating the 1976 protest by school children in Soweto, South Africa.

          Madam Speaker, as Hon. Members are aware, on 16th June, 1976, students in Soweto, Johannesburg protested against an education system designed to further the purposes of the apartheid regime.  The brutal response of the apartheid security agencies to unarmed student protests resulted in significant number of deaths.  The 1976 protest contributed tremendously to the eventual collapse of the apartheid regime.  This is why Madam Speaker in 1991, the African Union passed a resolution designated June 16 as a day for celebrating the African child. 

Madam Speaker, the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe is a platform for young people to organise themselves and come up with common goals for their development and convey their wishes to responsible authorities and get feedback on their activities.  In order to capacitate the Junior Parliament, which is largely made up of young people of school going age, I appointed a Steering Committee of young people to put in place a blue print that addresses the aspirations of young people.

Madam Speaker, the Steering Committee members include the current Junior President, Samuel Nyirenda and his two Junior Vice Presidents, Ottis Mashayanyika and Tatenda Maramba.  The Steering Committee was mandated to develop a framework to guide and coordinate strategies for investing in the empowerment of youths through consultative processes involving several stages.

The Steering Committee is expected to have been concluded incorporating gathering the views of young people so that the outgoing Junior President will present that draft to the incoming Junior President.

Madam Speaker, I want to inform Members of the House that Hon. Members are requested to support Junior Members of Parliament at this event.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. P.D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker, may I prefix my clarification by stating that about two or three months ago, I met a parent whose child was a Member of the Junior Parliament.  Basically, what the child told me was that she felt the programme was literally wasting her child’s time.  She made a number of observations, which give rise to my clarification.  How exactly are you assisting the young people who are Junior Members of Parliament, not only in their supposed role but also in ensuring that they attain their aspirations?  How is Government assisting the programme with resources?  How is the Government assisting the Junior Parliamentarians in their own life needs?  I thank you.  

HON. ZHUWAO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for raising that question.  The objective of the Junior Parliament and all other junior structures of governance is to assist young people to be able to understand the whole concept of democracy so that when they do eventually get to be Members of Parliament, they will be able to understand some of the roles and responsibilities that they have. 

We hope as a nation that this will assist us in future parliaments to have Members of Parliament that do not unnecessarily raise points of order when it is not necessary Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MARIDADI:  Thank you.  Investing in children and the youths is the theme of this year’s celebrations.  Hon. Minister, I wish to know what is happening with the cadetship of students in various universities because this is part of investing in youths and empowering them.  The cadetship programme has not received any funding from the Government.  Secondly …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, the Statement as I understood it was talking about child parliamentarians and not students at universities.

HON. MARIDADI:  Yes, and I will tell you.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Would you please go along with what has been said when the Statement was presented.

HON. MARIDADI:  So, if that is the case, I withdraw.

HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I would need some clarification from the Hon. Minister.  Whilst we appreciate the activities of the Junior Parliament, I would want to find out whether his Ministry or Government cannot suggest other activities that can be done on the 16th June every year in remembrance of the history that you have given us of those children who were killed in Soweto apart from the Junior Parliament.  Can we have any other activities that have some relevance or bearing to the event of the 16th June, 1991 apart from the Junior Parliament.  I thank you.

HON. ZHUWAO:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  I would want to thank the Hon. Member for that question.  In particular for this year Madam Speaker, on the actual day of the African child on the 16th June, we will have a commemoration not only of the children that lost their lives in Soweto 40 years ago but together with the Zimbabwe Youth Council and the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board, we also commemorate and try and highlight on the issue of children who are losing their lives in road traffic accidents, with specific reference to the young lady from Girls High School who recently lost her life.  Thank you. 

HON. SITHOLE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I also need to seek clarification from what the Hon. Minister has just said.  He was proposing that we have a commemoration in relation to the massacre that happened to the children around the month of June in South Africa.  I am also proposing to the Minister that we also commemorate our own sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who were murdered during the 27th June, 2008 run up to the elections. 

HON. NDUNA:  Minister, I want to applaud you first and foremost, for your Statement and also for your response in terms of the RTA on the Traffic Safety Council that you have spoken about on the conscientisation of those kids that are utilising the roads, in particular where we have children losing their lives needlessly.  Perpetrators of these injustices, in particular those that are said to have indulged in culpable homicide go scot free after the offence and only go to court after a long period of time.  My clarification however borders on your statement of investing in the future. We came to Parliament and we asked vociferously and on numerous times for Government to indulge in feeding schemes for children at primary level. May you, as you invest in the future of these kids, also ventilate on that point of primary school feeding where we are, where we have come from, and the future of such a scheme so that our children in particular those that walk long distances can be fed at school so that we have a future for these children which is second to none in their education system.

          HON. ZHUWAO: I acknowledge the question that has just come from the Honourable Member and wish to reiterate that one of the key objectives of holding a Junior Parliament is to also allow the young Members of Parliament to articulate for themselves their wishes and aspirations. So those are some of the wishes and aspirations that will be articulated by the Junior Members in the presence of the Executive. I thank you.

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE: I was just going to suggest to the Minister that when he gave the narrative of how this day was founded, here in Zimbabwe we have instances of our own history which can actually be passed on to our children. For example, St. Alberts School in 1971 – an entire school headed for the Mozambican border to join the war. They were followed by the Rhodesian Forces and some of them were killed during that process. Those are some of the things that we need to educate our youth on -if you can enter into a research programme.

          There is also the University of Rhodesia when we had Alois Mangwende and Witness Mangwende who were then restricted from leaving Salisbury and  travel for not  more than 30km simply because they were taking anti-colonialist activity at the University of Rhodesia. They then had to flee into the diaspora and went to school while they were actually in exile. Some of those things need to be passed on to our children because we have a very rich history. I for one was expelled from school in 1971 for demonstrating against the then Minister of Education, A. P. Smith. By the end of the day we have students who were victimised in this country whose history has to be passed on. Let us research and enrich what we are going to pass on to our children when we meet at such gatherings. I am going to attend anyway. I thank you.

          HON. ZHUWAO: I wish to applaud the Honourable Member for raising those issues and it is specifically for this purpose that we convene the Junior Parliament so that our Junior Members of Parliament together with all the other young children are also made aware of not only our history as Africans but more particularly our history as Zimbabweans. I thank the Honourable Member.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I want to say that I am very passionate about young people and I am passionate about grooming of leadership and therefore that is why you find I will seek more and more clarification. Would you say that the intended objectives of that programme are being met since it was introduced in the country? Secondly, what tangible activities besides these official gatherings, are being done to groom these youths into good leaders of tomorrow.

          Remember my first time when I was clarifying, I indicated that one parent said that it is a useless programme that is wasting time for their children. How are you incentivising the youths who are participating in these programmes?

          HON. ZHUWAO: I wish to thank the Honourable Member for his very progressive comments and suggestions. I want to point out that his very first comment in itself provides clues to his last questions in terms of incentivising young people because his first comment talks about the programme as a programme that grooms leaders. It is a leadership development programme that is meant to be able to assist young people to be the future leaders of tomorrow.

          HON. MUNENGAMI: I just want to ask the Minister if he can explain to this House the selection criteria which they use in as far as selecting children from different provinces is concerned. Secondly, we want to know how these children will be accommodated.

          HON. ZHUWAO: I wish to acknowledge the Honourable Member for his question and his constant quest to be educated. The process that is used for the selection of Junior Members of Parliament is a process that is run by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education where the young people are given a theme around which they would debate and they are selected on a constituency basis.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  We are now reverting back to Question With Notice.

TRAINING OF INDIGENOUS PERSONNEL IN DIAMOND CUTTING AND POLISHING

  1. HON NDUNA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain the progress that has been made so far in the training of indigenous personnel in diamond cutting and polishing as part of the drive towards value addition and beneficiation.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA): Sometime last year, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development proposed to Government the introduction of a package of incentives to encourage companies that may want to train Zimbabweans who go into value addition of diamonds. As a result of that, a Chinese company has since come and it has recruited some 25 students who will be in China for one year. Over the three years, they will train 300 Zimbabwean students in cutting, polishing, valuation of diamonds and this programme is being done jointly with our School of Mines and so aspects of the programme will also come from our School of Mines and a Department for diamond cutting valuation will be established at the School of Mines in Bulawayo.  I thank you.

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE: My supplementary question is, are the Chinese the best trainers, bearing in mind the fact that one of their companies was responsible for the disappearance of $15 billion?

          HON. CHIDHAKWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, this company that I refer to is one of the largest value adding companies, not just in diamonds but also in platinum and gold jewellery.  This company has over 2 000 retail outlets of jewellery in Asia and building another 2 000 stores through which they wish to distribute their jewellery.  It is based in Hong Kong and has a very strong work ethic.

          This however, does not mean that this is the only company.  We are actually in negotiation with other companies that are willing to assist us with cutting and polishing to benefit from the package of incentives.  Besides the training, the other thing that we wanted was access to markets, so we will approach those that we think will give us not just the training but access to markets for jewelry products once we start manufacturing.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Minister, is that programme not going to be compromised by some acts that have happened in your Ministry where you have appointed your Permanent Secretary to be chairperson of three Boards that are under your Ministry?   Does that not violate the laws of the country?

          HON. CHIDHAKWA:  The Hon. Member wants this particular item to the linked to the Boards but let me respond to that nevertheless.  Minerals Marketing Company of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) as you very well know will be dissolved and made part of the Mining Exploration and Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MEMC).

          A first reading of the Bill has already been made here and we are waiting for the second reading.  We found it difficult to appoint a Board of Directors when at a material time it had expired to appoint a Board of Directors for an organisation that we were dissolving.  We did not think that it made sense to call people and say, we are appointing you for three years.  Then come back to them and say, however we may dissolve the organisation in six months and you may have to go home.  We thought it was not necessary for us to do that as it would inconvenience members of the public who would have been appointed to such a Board.

We could also not appoint a Board of Directors for Marange Diamonds, as you very well know, for an organisation that we knew was going to be subsumed by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) as has happened now. We have appointed some members of the Board of Directors but we had a few problems with members of ZCDC.  So once we finish, then the Secretary will obviously cease to be on any of the Boards of Directors.  I hear you from a corporate governance point of view but from a purely practical point of view, we found it difficult to appoint substantive Board members when infact the organisations were transitory.  I thank you.

HON. MARIDADI:  Hon. Minister, thank you for the statement but I wish to draw your attention to the fact that once upon a time we had a diamond polishing center that was established in Zimbabwe but is now a white elephant.  It sits so conspicuously along Lomagundi Road, on the right hand side; when you are driving to Chinhoyi there is a huge complex.

I used to sit in the Portfolio Committee of Mines and Mining Development and we once visited that complex.  We were taken through the processes of how diamonds are going to be deposited into that complex, polished and the whole value chain.  To date, there is grass growing taller than the building as it is a white elephant and nothing is happening there.  We are talking of sending our children to Hong Kong to learn polishing and all that …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Order, order Hon. Member, could you just direct your question to the Minister?

HON. MARIDADI:  Yes sure, there was a lot of money that was invested into that complex.  What is happening to that complex and why has it been abandoned?

HON. CHIDHAKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you Hon. Maridadi for that supplementary question.  The Diamond Value Addition Centre was established by private individuals.  Naturally, our hope and expectation will be that the private individuals will continue to get financial resources from their financial institutions for the purposes of completing the facility.

As Government, we cannot go and interfere in their situation, neither can we take public money to give it to them to enable them to complete it.  I am aware that the proprietors of the facility are keen, they have had legal problems around the legal proprietors but I am aware that the legal issues have now been resolved.  I know that they will soon be getting back to the development of that facility.  From a Government point of view, we will play the facilitative role that they need and give them the assurance that we will support them.  

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Nduna.

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, I am the originator of this question and I was thinking that if you allow me, I should be done in a minute.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You may proceed.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you for your indulgence Mr. Speaker. I need to know at what cost will it be to train our beneficiators of the diamonds as you have alluded that we are sending some to China, what cost will this have to Government?  I am aware also that you said this is in partnership with our Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the School of Mines in Bulawayo.

HON. CHIDHAKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. Hon. Nduna, the training will be fully funded by the company or companies that will have accessed the package of incentives that we have given.  The package of incentives revolves around giving them royalty free access. 

You know that we said when you want to cut and polish diamonds locally, you will not pay royalty on the diamonds.  This was in order to encourage people to cut diamonds domestically but we also then took another step to say, if you are going to use the diamonds for the training of our people; when you buy diamonds, we will give you that same benefit which you would otherwise get when you are actually operating a manufacturing entity.  From the Government and the School of Mines perspective, there are no direct expenditures.  We forego the royalty, that is the expenditure that the Government commits itself to.

REHABILITATION OF DEGRADED ENVIRONMENT BY MINING COMPANIES

  1. HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain the measures the Ministry is taking to ensure that mining firms rehabilitate the environment degraded by mining operations.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you Hon. Nduna for that question.  Rehabilitation of our environment is one of the key aspects of mining.  Mining that does not rehabilitate is not progressive.  We take note that over the years, significant damage has been done to our environment and we are trying to work out ways of dealing with that because some of the people who committed the offence have left the country.  However, as I bring the Mines and Minerals Act for consideration by this House, one of the things that we need to tackle and tackle very seriously is the issue of ensuring that when somebody comes to mine in Zimbabwe, they cannot leave this country before they rehabilitate. 

We are looking at a hybrid, the first thing is that we are proposing to Parliament, the promotion of mining with rehabilitation.  You mine for a certain period of time and then you rehabilitate and move on to the next stage.  Combined with that, we also intend to set up a trust where resources will be put and if somebody jumps the gun and leaves the country without doing rehabilitation, those resources in a trust account will be triggered to deal with the rehabilitation of our environment.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Hon. Minister.  If setting up of a trust is good intention, can we not have a situation where we have a provision in the Bill which says, one cannot get a mining licence if they have not submitted a plan on how they would rehabilitate the environment during and after the mining instead of having to depend on money from a trust fund.  Is that not akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?  I am for the idea of not giving a licence without a proper structure of rehabilitating the environment during and after mining. That will be my proposal Hon. Minister.

HON. CHIDHAKWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member is right.  When we give you a special grant to do exploration, you are required to present an Environmental Impact Assessment which will be approved by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).  When you convert the special grant into a mining lease, you are supposed to not only give us a development plan, which is over a period of time, you inform us at what rate you are going to mine – is it 100 ounces per year or 50 000 ounces.  You also tell us the extent of the destruction to the environment.  It is on the basis of all these things being submitted to the Mining Affairs Board, which will then say, yes we think that he has a good plan.

Hon. Maridadi, the issue is that, even after doing that, if somebody discovers that he had overestimated the resource, they can jump the gun and still leave even after giving you the plan in terms of the law.  That is why I said a hybrid, because it allows you to bring in a trust but at the same time it enables you to do mining with rehabilitation at the same time.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, some of these miners engaged in environmental degradation are artisanal miners or makorokozas from the constituency I come from.  What are your plans to date of regularising their operations so that they can also come into the mainstream of the rehabilitation processes that you eloquently spoke about?

HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  This is a perennial question from Hon. Nduna and on many occasions I have tried to explain to him.  There are many Zimbabweans who walk into our offices everyday across the country and apply for land as it becomes open for prospecting.  They apply for that land and they are given mining certificates and regularise their operations.

However, there are those in our midst, who believe in going onto the ground before they visit the offices and start digging.  When they start digging, they then seek the services of people to say regularise me because I am already on the ground.  I do not think that as Members of Parliament, whose role and responsibility is to make laws, we should go and try to encourage people to violate those laws.  We need to be true to ourselves and to the positions with which the people of Zimbabwe elected us to. 

Hon. Nduna, please help the young people who are out there to go to our offices and regularise their operations.  Where they are located in a concession which is owned by somebody else, the best we can do is to  - we cannot go and evict somebody because legally, we will lose the battle.  However, the best we can do is to go and say, we have a pool of people who also want to do mining, can we sit and agree that you tribute out some of your land to them.  To expect the Ministry, which is supposed to be protecting the laws made by this House and violate those laws by willy-nilly taking out people whom we have given licences and replacing them with others on the same piece of land is totally unacceptable, and we will not do that.  I thank you.

HON. CHAMISA: Hon. Minister, my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister of Mines and Mining Development is to do with having a sustainable and viable model for mining towns, from a rehabilitation point of view.  You know that in most of the towns, once there is mining, and the mineral is exhausted, there is a risk of having a ghost town.  From a futuristic medium to long-term perspective, what are we doing to make sure that we subsist the existence of that town or urban settlement?  Look at what is almost likely to happen with Shabani, Kamativi to some extent, Mashava – you can have the whole list of those.  From a planning and policy point of view, what are we doing as Government and as a country to make sure that we have such a sustainable model?  Thank you very much.           

          HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I think the Hon. Member brings a very important question.  Many examples abound of how when the mineral resources are exhausted we have nothing.  At the moment we are discussing the Great Dyke, new platinum project and one of the most critical discussions that we are having is:

  1. Where do you site the houses, is it not better to put them in Norton so that if anything happens they become part of Norton?  But there are also arguments to say that if you put them in Norton, you deprive other areas of the development which would have accrued to them as a result of the mining. 
  2. In 25 years when the mineral resources are exhausted, what will they do?  One of the things that we have been looking at seriously and we are looking at that also in Chiadzwa, is to say when diamonds are finished in Chiadzwa, you must at least be able to have an irrigation system that is in place which is producing agricultural commodities and have agro processing activities, factories that are processing those raw materials from agriculture.  So, you substitute mining with agriculture and that discussion is an absolutely important discussion.  I would therefore urge Members of Parliament as leaders in the areas where you come from to be pushing such discussions.  You should be able to bring in that discussion and saying what are we going to do, what will become the backbone of our economy if this particular backbone is broken.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, there is no quorum in the House in terms of Standing Order Number 56(1).

[Bells rung]

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order!

          A notice having been taken that there being present fewer than 70 members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not being present, THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER adjourned the House without question put at Five Minutes past Five O’clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 56. 

          NOTE:  The following Members were present when the House adjourned: Bhebhe A.; Chamisa N.; Chibagu G.; Chibaya A.; Chidhakwa W.; Chigudu M.; Chikomba L.; Chimwamurombe A.; Chitindi C.; Dube S.; Dziva T M.; Gandawa G.; Gezi T.; Gonese I.T.; Gumbo J.M.; Gumbo S.; Holder J.; Kadungure D A.; Kaundikiza M.; Khanye N.; Khumalo M.; Kwaramba G.; Mabuwa C.; Machingauta C.; Mahiya M.; Mandipaka O.; Mangami D.; Mapiki J.; Marumahoko R.; Matiza B J.; Matuke L.; Mavima P.; Mhlanga N J.; Misihairambwi P M.; Mkandla M.; Mlambo W B.J.; Moyo J.N.; Mpariwa P.; Mpofu B.; Mpofu M M.; Mudarikwa S.; Mudyiwa M.; Musabayana D.; Mukwangwariwa F G.; Musanhi K S.; Mushohwe C.; Mutomba W.; Mutseyami P C.; Muzondiwa E S.; Ndhlovu Alice.; Ndlovu N.; Nduna D.; Nkomo Mail.; Nyere C.; Rungani A.; Saruwaka T J.L.; Shava J.; Shongedza E.; Toffa J.; Uta K.; Watson N J.; Zhou P.

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY VOTES 15 JUNE 2016 VOL 42 NO 66