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National Assemby Hansard 03 May 2017 Vol 43 no 58

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

INVITATION TO THE ZIMBABWE WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that all Members of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus are being invited to an annual general meeting to be held on Friday, 5th May, 2017 at 0900 hours in the Senate Chamber.  All documents pertaining to the discussions at the meeting have been circulated through the Members’ pigeon holes.

HON. GONESE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Just as a matter of procedure, I will request the Chair to indicate to us those Ministers and Deputy Ministers who have given their apologies because they should seek the leave of the Speaker if they are not in the House.  As a matter of practice, you have been advising us. So I think it is just an omission and I am just kindly requesting the Chair to appraise us so that the nation and the Hon. Members are aware of those Ministers who have complied with the relevant procedures and sought your leave to be absent from today’s Question Time.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you for your observation Hon. member. I rushed here and did not check with the Papers’ Office.  I ask some officials to go and check and I will advise accordingly.

*MR. ZWIZWAI: I wish to raise a point of privilege.  Thank you.  Good afternoon Hon. Speaker. I have stood up to raise issues centred on privileges and immunities. Considering that three months ago as she was giving a response in this august House, Hon. Chikwinya changed her statements and furnished us with false information on the issue that they had started recruiting human resources for the Women’s Bank without having flighted the advert for the populace of Zimbabwe.   I raised that issue and you gave me your word that you would go and listen to the recordings and also look at what was written in the Hansard.  You came back and gave a ruling that the Minister should give a ministerial statement to correct the matter because you had listened to the recording and seen the statement in the Hansard that these were some untruths.  It is now three months before the Minister has come to the august House to give the statement.  We do not know whether the money is being utilised without the knowledge of the people.  This shows that this House is not taken seriously, especially you as the Presiding Officer, and it is in contravention with the Standing Orders. My request is that, since the Minister is not adhering to your ruling, serve her with contempt of Parliament and to give that ruling because the Minister is undermining your authority.  I am being assisted by experts that the Privileges Committee is another method that you can use in order to summon the Minister to come and update this august House and the nation at large on the false information she gave us.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, you said what the Minister said was false and yet you have not heard the response from the Minister.  Before we have heard the response from the Minister, we cannot talk about false statements.  I request that you withdraw that statement.

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  I am sorry Mr. Speaker, I said the Minister gave false information but what she said was in contradiction of what she said.  What she said was not true yet she was under oath.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, do not be too clever by using idioms.  The last part of your statement is not acceptable at all. 

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  I withdraw the words that I said about false information but what I am saying is that the Minister is not adhering to your ruling.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Zwizwai, may you please sit down so that I can respond.  Before we went on short leave, the Minister came but we did not accord her the opportunity.  She had prepared the statement.  I am sure tomorrow we will request that she comes and gives us a statement.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. ZIYAMBI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment. Community Share Ownership Trusts were established to be custodians of trust funds.  They purchase equipment that is supposed to be used by the community but there is a challenge that the Community Share Ownership Trusts are now claiming ownership of the equipment and are now hiring the equipment to the council. 

Is that what is supposed to happen when people are trustees and have bought equipment using the community’s money.  They have to hire out the equipment to others yet they should be beneficiaries.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, we agreed that you would not code switch.  What are you saying when you are talking about hiring and setting up?

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  Hon. Speaker, in our vernacular, it is difficult to come up with the right words for those terms.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  It is kukweretesa.

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  Hon. Minister, kukweretesa or hiring out equipment to the council.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would also like to thank the Hon. Member for that pertinent question.

When Community Share Ownership Trusts were set up, they were set up to assist those in the communities.  What happened was that the seed capital was supposed to be maintained but it was now being used up and nothing was coming from the companies.  For them to be able to maintain the equipment, they can then hire out this equipment for a fee to ensure that the machines are maintained.  The equipment that can be hired out includes drilling machines, caterpillars and so on.  For this equipment to remain viable, we requested them to take measures to ensure that they have funding for maintenance of the machines.  That is why we took up that measure.  I thank you.

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  I would like to thank the Minister for the response that he has just given.  In our communities, council renders services for the people.  If the machines are bought and the trustees keep those machines, the people who are supposed to be working as council are not doing their job.  The council has the right to ensure that maintenance of the equipment is done.  If any type of equipment is bought, it goes to the council but if this equipment stays with trustees, it seems that they are making profit.  That is not clear.  So, who are the owners because the ones we know as the owners are the ones who are now having to pay for the use of that equipment?

*HON. TONGOFA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What I am not sure of is the amount that is being charged on hiring.  The trust includes part of council and traditional leaders.  We tell them to raise money for the maintenance of equipment and not to make money but if there are other issues the Hon. Member has heard pertaining to this and is contrary to what I am saying, he can advise my Ministry so that we can take action. 

*HON. MLISWA:  The issue of Community Ownership Trusts which is being talked about, others were given graders and drilling machines.  What Hon. Ziyambi is referring to is about the Zvimba Constituency.  Where I come from in Norton, there are no graders and any other equipment.  How was the distribution of the equipment done among constituencies?  Chegutu and Norton do not have any equipment but Zvimba has.  Is that how it is done that others get and some do not get yet the community is supposed to benefit from its resources?

*HON. TONGOFA:  I think this question was raised sometime back by the same Hon. Member and I explained that the traditional leaders are responsible for the distribution of this equipment.  It is not the Ministry that distributes this equipment. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I think these trusts were not found in urban areas but in rural areas.  That could be the reason why Norton does not have this particular equipment he is talking about.  I thank you.

          *HON.  MLISWA: The Minister said that in Norton there is no rural area but Norton has three rural constituencies.  It has ward 15, 13 and 14.  These fall under Chegutu Rural District, so Norton has rural and urban areas.  So, he is saying that the rural people were not being given and now that I have conscientised him that Norton has both urban and rural areas, what equipment has he given to the rural areas?  I am asking about those who are under Chegutu Rural District, why were they not given the equipment?

          HON. TONGOFA:  The wards that he is talking about are under Chegutu Rural District and they are the ones who consider those wards.  If we are to look into it, you will find that they probably benefitted from the trust under Chegutu Rural Council.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. ZWIZWAI:  My supplementary is to do with the issue of traditional leaders and community ownerships trusts that have been mentioned by the Minister, we have Kariba dam along the Zambezi and coal that is in Hwange Thermal Station as well as Kariba Power Station, surrounded by areas with Tonga and Nambia people.  We want to know if ZESA and Hwange as companies, have set up community share ownership trusts so that the people who are from Binga and other areas benefit.  What measures have you put in place, or are they just living in poverty whilst their resources are being used elsewhere in the country and also in areas like Namibia, without them benefitting from their resources.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member that is not a supplementary question but a brand new question altogether.

          HON. M. NDLOVU:  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Chombo.  I come from Bulilima East.  I would like to know what the policy is on spellings that are mis-spelt on identity documents.  The example is in Kalanga, we spell our names chehanga as tjehanga but the people at the Registrar’s office spell it with ‘ch’.  When people then go to have these anomalies corrected they are penalized, that is vanoripisiwa.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO):  Ordinarily, when someone applies for a document, you are required to check the spelling when the officer is taking the record.  Secondly, you are also required to produce other documents where the name is spelt correctly.  If, for any other reason the name has been misspelt, the corrections are made without any payment.  If there are areas where an officer made a mistake and then demanded that some payment be made, let us know and we will adjust accordingly.

          *HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Minister, when we look at our country, most people do not have identity documents and that is a challenge that is in most rural constituencies.  There is also a challenge of names that are misspelt.  The challenge is that there are no documents.  Does Government have any measures in place to ensure that those without documentation are able to get that documentation in line with what is in the Constitution?  Are you going to have a programme whereby there is going to be decentralization for people to get identity cards and birth certificates as well as passports?  Are you considering this?

          HON. DR. CHOMBO:  I wish to confirm that later in the year the Registrar’s department will visit the rural areas to make sure that those citizens who need identity documents are given an opportunity to do so.  They will also give an opportunity to citizens who want birth certificates to do so and also to attend to death certificates.  I also wish to say that there are offices in each and every district in the country with even some sub-offices that are open every day and are providing these services.  So, we will make a public announcement to enable people who have missed this opportunity to take advantage of this and get their birth certificates, identity documents and death certificates issued.

          *HON. MLISWA:  I thank the Hon. Member for his response but there are other people who do not have any type of document because the Registrar’s office only give documentation to those with papers.  However, we have orphans who do not have anything in terms of documentation.  They do not have enough documentation.  What is going to be done about that?  If they have no form of documentation, how can you identify them?  What measures do you have in place as a Ministry to ensure that those without adequate paperwork are able to get their documentation?  I am asking specifically on behalf of the orphans who do not have any documentation?

          HON. DR. CHOMBO:  I want to thank Hon Mliswa for his question.  Orphans and other vulnerable groups that do not have papers of where they were born, are people who have the right to get identity documents.  We will look into the fact of who looked after them and that gives them the right to get documents that are under discussion. 

          It is a long process; it is not done there and then because we need evidence on which school you attended and for how many years, as well as who looked after you.  Those papers have to be prepared for one to be able to acquire the documents.  Most people who are born in this country have their identification documents and it pertains mainly to refugees.  So, if we are to meet such challenges, we have ways of addressing this issue.  If they are not addressed, advise us on the areas and the people concerned to ensure that they get their identity documentation that they have a right to.

          HON. KHUPE:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Minister, with the biometric voter registration system every eligible voter, that is, everyone who is above 18 years will have to register afresh as a voter.   What is Government doing to ensure that there is a roll out programme ahead of voter registration where people will be given an opportunity to get birth certificates and IDs?  There is a great concern, especially in Matabeleland where people were killed during the gukurahundi era – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - and their children up to now do not have IDs and birth certificates.  What is Government doing to make sure that there is a roll out programme ahead of voter registration, so that by the time voter registration begins, all eligible voters have IDs and birth certificates?  This is a crucial time where every Zimbabwean is supposed to be given an opportunity to go and vote for leadership of their choice.  I thank you.

          HON. DR. CHOMBO:  I thank you for giving me this opportunity to address the question that was raised by Hon. Khupe.  First and foremost, the issue of gukurahundi does not arise in this particular case – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, can you please proceed.

          HON. DR. CHOMBO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to state very clearly that regardless of your circumstances of not having a birth certificate or an ID, the Government has made it clear that arrangements are made.  You can bring your relative, your uncle, brother, sister, school master and even anybody who knows you testify.  That is why I was telling Hon. Khupe that the issue that she was raising was a non-issue viz-a-viz the issue of birth certificates.  Thank you.

          HON. KHUPE:  I have a point of order.

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

          HON. KHUPE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a point of order because we are raising a very important issue where children and many people do not have IDs and birth certificates as a result of gukurahundi.  Their parents were killed and right now they do not have access to birth certificates and IDs.  This is a very important issue; it is not a non-issue.  It is very important when it comes to registration of voters.  Can the Minister withdraw Mr. Speaker Sir, because I do not think that it is fair for him to say the issue of gukurahundi is a non-issue and that it does not arise when children do not have birth certificates.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Minister, can you approach the Chair. 

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I have asked the Hon. Member to explain the context of his statement so that he is understood.

HON. DR. CHOMBO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to clearly clarify this matter which has arisen out of the question that Hon. Khupe had raised.  The issue that she raised was lack of birth certificates or other national identification documents by persons in her catchment area due to – [HON. MEMBERS:  No! no!] –Mr. Speaker Sir,

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order please.  Carry on Hon. Minister.

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think the word catchment

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I had not recognised you Honourable.  You cannot start speaking before I recognise you.  What is the point of order?

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order is that the words which the Minister is using – Mr. Speaker, we must be very sensitive when we are in this august House.  I believe that when an Hon. Minister talks of someone’s catchment area, I am not clear as to what he is trying to insinuate because we have got an Hon. Member who is the Vice President of the Movement for Democratic Change – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, she is the Vice President and she has raised a question.  She is also the leader of the official opposition in this august House and she has raised an important and pertinent issue. 

It is an issue which touches on the nation of Zimbabwe because the issue of Gukurahundi has been acknowledged to have been a mistake by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.  The supplementary question raised by the leader of the opposition, who is an Hon. Member of Parliament is a national issue.  In his response, I believe that the Hon. Minister should not belittle Hon. Khupe or to denigrate or do something which undermines the integrity of the Member who has asked the question. 

I therefore ask that the question of a catchment area or the use of the words ‘catchment area’ should be withdrawn.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we are waiting for him to explain and clarify as you asked him to do and he is compounding the error when he started talking about it being a non-issue, it is what caused the problem.  Now he is compounding the error by making reference to a catchment area.  What does that mean Mr. Speaker? 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Can you switch off your microphone please?  Hon. Minister, I think the word ‘catchment’ creates some sensitivity, if it could be withdrawn please. 

HON. DR. CHOMBO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, under your wise counsel, I withdraw the word ‘catchment’. 

HON. MANDIPAKA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. HOLDER:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. 

*HON. ZWIZWAI: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Minister cannot withdraw the word ‘catchment’ only.  He should withdraw the words, ‘catchment area’. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I asked the Minister to withdraw the word and I am asking the Hon. Minister to further explain. Thank you – [AN HON. MEMBER:  MDC irikutiitira noise, we cannot hear.] – Order, order.  I have ruled that the word catchment is sensitive and the Hon. Minister has withdrawn.  That is my ruling and I cannot go further than that.  I am now asking the Hon. Minister to explain himself – [Hon. Mandipaka having stood up on a point of order.] – Sit down please, sit down.  We cannot go on like this.  Can you allow the Hon. Minister to respond. 

HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order is that there are Members of Parliament who are standing.  There is Hon. Shumba and the other two at the back, they are afraid to sit on empty seats because they will be expelled from the Party – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Chamisa, please allow the Minister to explain himself. 

HON. HOLDER:  Mr. Speaker Sir, these people are making noise, we cannot hear what is being said – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Member there.  Order, Hon. Mandipaka, two wrongs do not make a right.

HON. DR. CHOMBO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker I just want to clarify so that Members can understand what I meant.  When documents are issued, Government is very clear that there are many people who may not have the relevant persons to assist them to acquire them on time and there are people who have not had birth certificates or other relevant national documents on time.  So, there are sufficient measures in place to make sure that they are assisted to acquire birth certificates and other relevant documents.  As I said to the earlier question, on the second half of this year we are going to do some blitz in all the provinces and see those who need national documents and these will be provided by the department and throughout the country.  Those who may be left out for a reason or another are also very much welcome to our various district centres and sub-district offices to get the relevant and necessary documents and that they can register as voters and that they participate in the election, come 2018.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          HON. KHUPE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I hear what the Minister is explaining that there is going to be a blitz to make sure that all those who do not have birth certificates are issued with birth certificates or IDs, but the issue here is that the Hon. Minister said, the Gukurahundi issue is a non-issue and we are saying, he must withdraw that; whereas Mr. Speaker Sir, it is a big issue.

Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order has to do with what the Minister said that Gukurahundi is a non-issue.  It is a big issue in that 35 years down the line, still those children whose parents were killed during the Gukurahundi era do not have IDs and birth certificates.  So, it is a big issue and we are requesting the Hon. Member to withdraw what he said that it is a non-issue.  Unless Mr. Speaker Sir, if he believes that it was a non-issue, then it must be put on record that the Minister is saying it was a non-issue and therefore for him it does not matter -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I had agreed with the Hon. Minister to explain himself on the issue of Gukukurahundi being a non-issue but he did not explain that.

HON. DR. CHOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The matter that relates to Gukurahundi  that Hon. Khupe raised -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I do not want to send someone out.  Allow the Hon. Minister to explain himself and let us listen.

HON. DR. CHOMBO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The issue that Hon. Khupe raised related to the persons that did not have relevant documents, birth certificates, et cetera due to Gukurahundi.  That is what I was responding to say that in our issuance of birth certificates, et cetera, it is regardless of any reason.  If you do not have it, we have the mechanisms for you to have it.  Thank you.

HON. MANGAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.  Minister, we appreciate the assistance that has been given to cotton farmers in terms of availing the farming inputs.  I also understand that cotton has been declared a State commodity.  What is the buying price of cotton for this year, and when do we expect deliverance?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, we are dealing with policy issues and I think the way you crafted your question does not touch on policy issues.

HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question goes to the Leader of the House, our Vice President Hon. Mnangagwa.  Mr. Speaker, patriotism and the love for one’s country are celebrated virtues the world over.  I would want to find out whether Government has any policy in place to ensure that we enjoin those from different and diverse political persuasions to respect national events, for example attending the burial of national heroes, then celebrating our independence and the respect for national ethos as provided for in the Foreword in our Constitution.  I thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  I thank the Hon. Member for the question that he has asked.  If I may repeat it because I use one ear as the other one was damaged -[AN HON. MEMBER:  You are disabled?]-  I am disabled, yes.

If I understood him, he said attending national events requires patriotism.  Does a person commit an offence or a crime by failure to attend national events? No, you do not commit an offence.  Patriotism is measured by citizens obeying the rule of law and obeying the Constitution.  We need to be constitutionally committed to our Constitution.  We need to obey the laws of our land.  Those are the two pillars which guide a citizen to be patriotic to your country.  Now, if you are patriotic to your country and there is a national event of your country, that patriotism will compel you to attend national events.  If you do not, we do not have laws to prosecute you.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  Hon. Gonese, earlier on you requested for a list of Hon. Ministers who have sought leave to be away.  The list is as follows: Hon. Prof. J. Moyo, Hon. A. Ndlovu, Hon. Chinamasa, Hon. Mbengegwi, Hon. Bimha, Hon. O. Mpofu and Hon. Mzembi.

          HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I wanted to find out from the response provided by the Hon. Vice President, whether there is that feasibility of coming up with a policy, given that we have some people from different political persuasions, who disregard and denigrate national events. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

          HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the primary right of an individual is entrenched in the Constitution, the right to freedom and the right to choice.  So, the question of patriotism is not an entrenched right but it comes as a result of love of country by obeying your Constitution and the laws of your country.  If you fail to attend national events, then it is yourself who must examine your own conscience.  We have no legal instruments to deal with those who may abstain from national events, but it is expected that when there is a national event, the majority of our citizens would be patriotic enough to attend national events.

          A number of Hon. Members having wanted to pose more supplementary questions.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  There is no supplementary, please sit down.  We do not want to belabour the issue that has been so clearly enunciated by the Hon. Vice President.  There is no law that compels anyone to attend national events.

          Hon. Munengami having contributed without being recognised by the Chair.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Munengami, if you have not been recognised by the Chair, you have said nothing.  Secondly, if you wanted a separate question, you should have asked for a separate question.  Thank you.

          HON. PHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  Government has a policy on home ownership, how far have we gone in implementing it since it was introduced?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  The Government has since written to most of the local authorities, imploring them that where it is possible, those who have occupied homes for more than 25 years, we believe by then they would have paid sufficiently for them to own those properties.

          We have been working with most of the city authorities; City of Harare and others.  His case in point is Kadoma, I am aware that the councilor in Kadoma has also been proceeding in that same direction but the position of Government is very clear, we encourage people who have stayed in those homes for a long time to own them.  It is up to the local authorities to implement that Government policy.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          *HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, the question raised by Hon. Phiri concerning home ownership; it is true that those letters can be written but you will find  some people are not able to get those ownership documents and once a person passes away, the council officials will repossess the property and give it to someone else.  What is Government doing?  The issue is all about the timeframe.  Every time we are being told that it is happening, yet it is the opposite.  What is the deadline when a letter is written so that when one is deceased the family does not suffer?

          *HON. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Mliswa for the question that he raised.  I have come across what he mentioned in Chitungwiza today.  Most of the residents are concerned about that issue whereby the parents are deceased and the children remain behind.  These properties are being fraudulently sold without benefiting the orphans.  I came across such a situation this afternoon. 

          I want to thank Hon. Mliswa for saying this.  We have a Government policy already.  The issue is on implementation.  What he said is pertinent that we need to come up with time limits to ensure that all councils report and inform us that those who are residents are given their documents. Hon. Mliswa, write another letter to the Council to get a response and I will bring a response to Parliament to ensure that the Council complies. I thank you.

          HON. PHIRI: I want to thank the Minister for his answer. We also have Government houses where people have stayed more than 20 years. We have talked about councils, fair enough. What about people who have stayed in Government houses for more than 20 years? Does that policy also apply?

          HON. KASUKUWERE: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. Let me clarify. In terms of housing, there is what we call institutional houses that belong to the State. They are meant to serve Government officers who come and stay in those areas but may be moved to other areas. For example, the police stations and D.A’s offices, and we have got to keep that pool of houses for Government officers who can be sent or posted to those areas. So, you cannot just sell all those houses because somebody has been in there for that long. What we have now done in recognition of that challenge, we have also started a housing scheme aimed at civil servants but we have got cases of other people who were working for Government who are also deceased. We have also taken a compassionate view in terms of how we can assist those people. We have a case in point in Highfield which was read in the past week. We are handling those matters in the best way possible. We do not want to compromise them but at the same time, we cannot give away Government houses which we will require in the future. I thank you.

          HON. KHUPE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir. I would also want to thank the Minister for saying people must be given home ownership because they have lived in those houses for a long time. My question is, is there a condition where they are asked to build standalone toilets before they are given home ownership, because right now they are using communal toilets? A case in point is Mabutweni suburb in Bulawayo where people have been asked to build standalone toilets before they are given that home ownership. Is there a thing like that Hon. Minister? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Hon. Members, do not blame me if I am to send someone out very soon. I will do it right now so let us keep our cool.

          HON. KASUKUWERE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Khupe for her question. Again, the houses or the development that have been done perhaps in the past were core houses. What we take into account is, when you are talking about a house, it is not just about the toilet but about the dwelling. Can we sell that and allow the home owner to develop and put their toilets in place. I do not think the condition to say you must first of all put a toilet is acceptable. I think that is just causing unnecessary problems. As councils, we have instructed even Bulawayo City Council. I would like to say when Dr. Chombo was Minister of Local Government, I recall he addressed the council in Bulawayo and asked the council to do exactly the same. It appears at times councils are taking their time because they are surviving out of the rentals that come to them. We think they must actually be more proactive and go into more development of new homes across their areas so that they do not survive out of rentals alone. We want to see incremental growth of our towns and that is what we are working on. I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Matambanadzo, what is the issue. Is it a supplementary question or what? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: My point of order Mr. Speaker Sir is that Hon. Khupe has been recognised more than five times and what she has been saying has no direction at all. Her contributions do not build the nation and she has caused a lot of confusion here but we need them to respect us. We want them to contribute on issues that build our nation. Mr. Speaker Sir, right now the whole nation is watching what we are doing here. If you look at it there is nothing that is happening. No business is taking place in this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –. For example, the question that she posed to Minister Chombo ­– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – She was talking about the issue of I.Ds but if you look at it, Hon. Khupe is more experienced than I am. I only just came to Parliament while she has been in Parliament for years but she is facing challenges in making sure people have documents – [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –. It is an easy method. – [THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order!] –. What is her problem? Mr. Speaker Sir, personally a person who has come of age and does not have an I.D, an elderly person, I am able to get them I.Ds – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –. So, for those people without parents, they can still get their I.Ds. They were not born by animals. There is no such a person – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order!] –. I am talking from experience that I have gained in this short period. I have never met such a situation. I am an urban constituency M.P – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]– [THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Matambanadzo. Take your seat please] – and at the same time Mr. Speaker Sir –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! Order, Hon. Members! We complain here that every Wednesday we do not have Ministers in the Chambers, we have questions to ask them.  Ministers are here but you spend your time just talking – [HON. MEMBERS:  Talking nonsense!] - No, no, no.  –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          *HON. ZINDI:  My question is supplementary to the issue raised concerning houses. There are people who would have purchased stands from rural councils and the policy says that you are supposed to pay lease fees for as long as a survey has not been carried out.  One may die before that and in the end, squabbles arise with relatives because they do not have title deeds. 

With the challenges that we are facing in acquiring funds and the long period that the person has paid lease fees, has the Government not yet realised that it is important for them to ensure that the Surveyor General is able to survey the area basing on the number of people who will have paid for them to get a title survey which enables them to get title deeds?  This is a challenge in rural local authorities that we represent.  We are facing such challenges.  People end up fighting over property that is still under lease.

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC 

WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  I will try to explain what we have done as Government in ensuring that people have properties and that they do not lose their land.  The issue at hand was that the title deeds that guarantee you ownership to property could only be acquired in urban areas.  This meant that the smaller towns and other areas did not have the opportunity to own title deeds.  People were building houses, under the lease system.  We agreed with the Physical Planning department as a Government that we are going to extend the building of houses, be it that the whole country is now building houses; we need to have all the facilities in all designated areas for houses.  We need to give people their documentation.  This will assist the survivors if the owner of the stand is deceased. 

If the owner is a policeman in Dotito whilst he is from Honde Valley and dies, his family can sell the Dotito property and buy another one in Honde.  We are now on the title survey and we are giving title deeds in all areas that will be approved by the Department of Physical Planning.

HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, on a point of order. While Hon. Minister Kasukuwere responded, he is not the Minister in charge of rural. It is Hon. Abedinico Ncube.  It was a rural question.

HON. KASUKUWERE:  Housing!

HON. MLISWA:  It was a rural question.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order please! Order Hon. Mliswa.

HON. B. TSHUMA spoke in Nambya.

*HON. KASUKUWERE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  May be I have not understood the question but I think I heard what he said.  He said that there are NRZ houses where people were given title deeds in low density areas but that was not the case in high density areas.  Again in Hwange, the Minister sent a team to look into this issue.  I would like to say that we are on our way to come and rectify this issue.  We are coming next week.

*HON. CHIBAYA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dokora.  Where I come from in Gweru-Mkoba, people would like to know if it is Government policy that for those parents who cannot afford to pay fees in cash can go and perform hours of labour at the school to cover for their fees or they take a goat to go and pay for their fees –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order. Hon. Mliswa! Hon. Mliswa and company over there!

*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  I want to start by thanking Hon. Chibaya whom I have faith with and trust that when he grew up as a school child, there was a moment where his parents or guardians assisted to ensure that his fees are paid.  His fees could have been paid using the available money or by selling wares such as goats or cows in order to get money to pay fees.

That has not changed in any way except that we have emphasised that if a parent is looking for a market on his or her own, there is no advantage but if it is agreed that there is a central market through the local authority at a particular time, parents can go and sell their livestock, they will be able to have money to pay school fees for their children.

          *HON. CHIBAYA:  Thank you Minister but you did not respond to the second part of the question.

          *HON. DR. DOKORA: Mr. Speaker, we have parents in our various communities who are experts in building and have their paperwork which categorizes them as Class I or Class II.  If such a parent is unable to get cash, he can go to the school and offer his labour rather than for the school to look for another builder.  So, they will give the tender to that parent with Class I to build the school.  However, if there is no building at that school –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order please, order.

          Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am proposing that the time for Questions Without Notice be extended.

          HON. RUNGANI:  I object.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Question No 1 on today’s Order Paper was answered in this House last week on Wednesday.  Questions No 2 to No 12, the Ministers are not in the House.

MEASURES IN PLACE TO ENHANCE BUSINESS AND SKILLS TRAINING

13.  HON. CHITURA asked the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development to explain to the House what measures the Ministry has put in place to enhance business and skills training of beneficiaries of various funds in order to ensure that these entrepreneurs succeed and recapitalise such funds?

THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI):       In order to ensure country-wide coverage of business and skills training, an initiative was taken by the Ministry to decentralise activities to provincial and district levels.  There, the Ministry has Business and Co-operative Development officers who train all the beneficiaries of various funds with basic business and co-operative skills so that they undertake viable projects.  Beneficiaries are being trained in business courses such as; How to start your Business, How to improve your business, Marketing, Production Management, Financial Literacy and Bookkeeping, among others.  These are offered to both urban and rural entrepreneurs.

The Ministry mobilised a number of funds that have passed through Parliament.  These include the following:

·        Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa  (BADEA) fund 

The funding worth US$3 million was mobilised from BADEA in 2015 and was to be disbursed through SMEDCO.  However, the funds could not be accessed because of sanctions.

·       OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)

Under this project, the Ministry obtained funds worth US7.6 million from OFID for a 5 year period from 2016-2021 for Manicaland, Masvingo and Matebeleland North provinces.  Under the agreement, the Government of Zimbabwe will provide US$700,000 to increase the fund to US$8.3 million.

·       The Government through Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

          Availed US$90 million worth of loan facilities meant for SMEs.  The funding facilities aimed at increasing access to sustainable funding for SMEs and cooperatives include:

Ø Horticulture facility                        US$10 million

Ø Cross Border facility                      US$15 million

Ø Gold Support facility                     US$40 million

Ø Women Empowerment fund         US$15 million

Ø Business Linkages facility             US$10 million

The Ministry in conjunction with RBZ will be launching these five facilities on Friday 5th May, 2017 at Rainbow Towers Hotel and I am inviting you all Hon. Members to attend.

          The Ministry has engaged various development partners who have signed MOUs with the Ministry to provide funding for various livelihood projects and to mainstream training and skills development where emphasis is given to capacity building in various trades, including market access, skills upgrading and general business management.  These include UNDP, SNV Netherlands, Technoserve, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), Cluster Agricultural Development Services (CADS) and International Youth Foundation (IFY).

ASSISTANCE TO CIVIL SERVANTS WHO ARE BEING CHARGED INTEREST BY THEIR CREDITORS AS A RESULT OF LATE PAYMENTS OF SALARIES

          14. HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare what the Government is doing to assist civil servants who are being charged interest by their creditors such as Topics each month as a result of late payment of salaries.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA):  The pay dates for civil servants are determined and set by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  Currently, due to the liquidity crunch facing the economy, Government has had to delay and stagger pay dates.  All civil servants except the rest of the civil servants and pensioners are being paid on dates within the month worked.  All efforts are being done to ensure all civil servants are paid on time to avoid unnecessary penalties with financial institutions and other suppliers.  Please note that in the current month, the rest of the civil servants were paid on 2nd may, 2017, which is a great improvement indeed from previous months.  We hope Treasury will continue on this positive trend.

          In the interim, we urge parties to renegotiate payment dates of obligations taking into account the obtaining salary dates.  I thank you.

MEASURES TO ASSIST PEOPLE IN AREAS WITH INADEQUATE RAINFALL

          15.  HON. MUDAU asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House on the measures the Ministry has put in place to assist people in areas where there was inadequate rainfall and to further elaborate on what Government intends to do as a way of assisting those who lost their crops to wild animals such as elephants.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Can I seek leave of the House to come back with the answer next week because it is a new question, it did not come to the office.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you.  So, the question will be answered next week.  The Minister has no response at the moment.

FERTILIZER FOR MR. GODFREY TICHARWA VAMBE

16.  HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to indicate when Mr. Godfrey Ticharwa Vambe would get his five tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate Fertiliser from the Grain Marketing Board (G.M.B) Harare Depot which he purchased in 2008 under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe considering that G.M.B had made an undertaking to give him fertiliser as soon as Treasury released the funds. 

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member.  Mr. Speaker Sir, Treasury is yet to release funds to GMB to pay farmers for the inputs owed from 2008.  Thank you Mr. Speaker. 

MEASURES TO RESTORE EFFICIENCY IN THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICES BY HARARE CITY COUNCIL

          20. HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain the measures taken by the Ministry to restore efficiency of the public transport services of Harare City Council to similar standards that were set by the Harare United Passengers Omnibus Bus Companies in the 1980s.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Majome for asking the question.  It may please this august House to note that the ZIM-ASSET strategy is set to introduce mass bus transport system on all our urban roads with the intention to reduce the current dominance on the urban public transport sector by para transit modes in terms of kombis.  So far, efforts to implement the strategy have been through the following:

              i.            Capitalising ZUPCO

The sum of $25 million ZUPCO – India Exim Bank bus loan deal, which is currently under negotiations is one step towards the implementation of the strategy by building capacity in ZUPCO.  The deal will enable ZUPCO to procure 290 buses from ASHOK Pvt Ltd.  145 of this number will ply intra-city routes. The introduction of high capacity buses on urban routes is expected to drive out para-transit modes without legislating.  That action will naturally reduce the number of kombis and illegal operators in the form of mushika-shika on our roads and is expected to have a significant impact on urban traffic congestion.

           ii.            Private Sector Involvement through Public Private Partnerships

Mr. Speaker Sir, a private company called A1 Metro Buses has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Harare and had a trial run for the Harare – Mabvuku route. 

      iii. City of Harare has constructed holding bays so as to decongest the Central Business District. One has so far been built on Coventry Road in the Kopje area as is now functional.  This holding bay caters for kombis which use Copacabana rank.  Three more such bays are on the cards. 

       iv. Introduction of shuttling services so as to get rid of illegal pirate taxis. So far, 30 shuttle buses have been licensed to service Harare Central Business District.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, these are some of the measures the Ministry together with the City of Harare are taking to restore efficiency of the public transport service with the hope of surpassing the then standards that were set by the Harare United Passenger Bus Company of the 1980s.  I thank you. 

          HON. MAJOME:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Minister for a very detailed and considered response to my question.  My supplementary question is two-fold but I appreciate the efforts that the Ministry is making.  My question is, given the imperative for devolution of power to local authorities in the Constitution and given the fact that there has not yet been any disbursement to councils including Harare City Council of money from public revenues, in terms of Section 301(3) of the Constitution that requires that 5% of all national revenues are given to municipalities, when does the Ministry intend to make that money available so that Harare Municipality can actually support and introduce an urban – public transport system?

          Secondly, is the Government going to restore the infrastructure that it took from Harare City Council when it took over the assets of the Harare United Passenger and put them into ZUPCO.  Right now it does not service Harare at all.

*HON. CHAMISA:   On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  I would want our Parliament, if it were possible, to be able to consider the issue of coverage of parliamentary debates be done 24 hours per day as the case in other countries like South Africa and Kenya.  I am raising a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, because once the live coverage ends, people leave this Chamber.  If you observe, you may notice that we do not have a quorum.  Those that are seated here are interested in the debates, the majority of them are now out of the Chamber.  We may be running the risk of not having a quorum.  We are no longer treating Parliament with the respect that it deserves because we no longer have a quorum.  We should not only be in the House when the ZBC is in the House.  When ZBC leaves, we should also debate. 

Parliamentary debates should not be centred on television.  Parliamentary debates are there for the development of our country when questions are posed and responded to. The majority of the MPs have left the Chamber, I do not know if they are seeing off the ZBC crew to Pockets Hill or maybe this is just a bad practice that we now have.  If you look at the figures, I am not going to raise the issue of quorum, but the figure of the persons that are in here are below the required quorum.  The gaps that you are seeing have been created by people that have gone out.  We should look into this issue closely – even if it is not ZBC, we should have a mechanism as Parliament to cover our own debates so that our people can see their Members of Parliament in action.  The majority of them are cheating.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I leave this matter in your hands, because it always happens. 

You can see the ministers’ bench is empty and there is only the deputy minister who is now responding to his questions.  This is an important issue and I have decided to raise it so that it is placed on record and be given the due respect it deserves.  We have a few members of the youth that are aspiring to be ministers, such as Hon. Wadyajena but I do not know which Government will that be, they are sitting in the front benches.  I thought I should just leave this matter with you, because it involves the taxes payers’ money and the people’s time – people whom we are supposed to represent. You should put it across to the MPs that this is vital.  I thank you.

 *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Thank you Hon. Chamisa for the pertinent issues that you have raised but what you have left out is that you spend a lot of time making a lot of noise during question time.  If you had mentioned that, it would have been worthy.  I want to add on and say that a lot of time is wasted saying a lot of useless things.  Indeed, what you have said is true that once ZBC leaves, the Ministers also leave this august House.  We should not be people that come because the television is present.  We should come to the House to represent our constituents.  Television coverage should not be an end in itself, parliamentary business is important. 

It is true that Parliaments the world over are now having televised coverage.  It is not for purposes of visibility to the public but to ensure that they also learn how Parliament works.  I will accordingly make the necessary report to the powers that be and your response will come in due course.  I thank you for such a pertinent observation. 

*HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Indeed, we should reduce our noise levels and also look into this issue of objections and so on.  We must be constructive but we must learnt this from the Westminster type of Parliaments.  We should have parliaments for Africans based on afrocentric.  They should not be enjoying the fights between oppositions and ruling parties.  When you develop a country, there should not be fighting, assaulting one another and setting one another on fire.  It is important that we do this.  I thank you.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  It has been heard and it is pertinent.  I thank you.

HON. CHINGOSHO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would to thank the Hon. Member for the two supplementary questions.  The first one, it is true that local authorities should get five percent of total revenue which the Ministry gets from Treasury.  At the moment, we are still waiting to get the funds from the Treasury.  As soon as we get the funds, definitely the local authorities will get their five percent. 

The second supplementary is on the Government or Ministry’s plans to restore the services by allowing local authorities to carry out the services.  As the Ministry’s plan to improve services in local authorities, it has proved that if local authorities are given the opportunity to run the services, things will improve in the local authorities.  That is one of the plans that the Ministry is going to implement.  I thank you.

HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  According to Standing Order No. 56, the quorum of the House should be 70 plus and I think we are not.  Pursuant to that, Standing Order No. 56 (2) is very clear in that ‘the Chair shall thereupon adjourn the House without putting any question until the next sitting day’.  I therefore, move that in terms of Standing Order No. 56, there is no quorum in the House.

          [Bells rung.]

[Quorum formed.]

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity and I also want to thank the Minister for his so eloquent answer.  My supplementary question is that, the resuscitation of the efficiency of the United Passenger Bus Company cannot come in without ZUPCO buying locally.  What plans does the Ministry which plays the oversight role on ZUPCO or where ZUPCO is embedded – what plans do they have to make sure that ZUPCO buys buses locally in order to enhance the efficiency of the public transport system in particular in Harare?

Hon. Mliswa stood up and counted the number of Hon. Members in the House.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Mliswa, I did not give you that responsibility.

HON. CHINGOSHO:  Thank you Hon. Speaker and Thank you Hon. Member for that supplementary question.  As I indicated earlier on, the Ministry is trying to revive the ZUPCO services by allowing the local authorities in this case, especially Harare and Bulawayo to allow the local authorities to run the services on their own.  So, this is what is happening.  Thank you.

HON. MLISWA:  Hon. Speaker, we are only 66 and it requires 71.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa, I did not give you that responsibility to count people here.

HON. MLISWA:  But in terms of Standing Order Number 56, we must be 71 and we are not.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order please.  We have just rung the bells and we counted people and we had enough people in numbers here.

HON. MLISWA:  I have just done a recount and we are 66.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Who gave you the authority to do that?  You may continue Hon. Member.

HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, I have conferred with the Minister and my question goes as follows: what plans does the Ministry have in making sure that ZUPCO buys its buses locally, aware that if they do buy their buses locally, they will both enhance the efficiency of the public transport system, that is mass public transportation and they will enhance the capacity of the local industry by 10% of the manufacturers of buses locally.  What plans does the Ministry have to force ZUPCO to buy those buses locally to enhance public efficiency of the public transport and also to capacitate the local manufacturing industry to up its game by 10%?

HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a serious issue according to the rules.  We are a House of rules and I am citing Standing Order Number 56 again.  We are not 71 and business cannot continue because as Hon. Chamisa has said, we are wasting taxpayers’ money.  We are supposed to account for it and we should be leading by example.  It is the rules that I am sticking by – there is no quorum and as such, we cannot continue.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I hear you Hon. Mliswa but at the same time, I did not give you the right to count.  You should have raised your issue and not to go round counting people.  Yours is to stand up and call for a quorum when you find that there is no quorum.

HON. MLISWA:  I was just trying to be sure.  So once again, I stick to my point of order which is on Order Number 56 again.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I hear you.

[Bells rung.]

[Quorum formed.]

On the motion of  HON. MATUKE, seconded by HON. RUNGANI, the House adjourned at Twenty Three Minutes  past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard National Assemby Hansard 03 May 2017 Vol 43 no 58