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SENATE HANSARD 03 AUGUST 2017 VOL 26 NO 77

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 3rd August, 2017

The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE’S RULING

HON.  DR. DOKORA’S UTTERANCES ON SDCS AND SSF FUNDS

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: On the 12th of July 2017, Hon. Sen. Khumalo raised a point of privilege arising from the intervention made by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dr. Dokora on the 15th of June, 2017 relating to the establishment of the School Service Fund (SSF).

Hon. Sen. Khumalo stated in her matter of privilege motion that the Hon. Minister had made a fool out of her and brought the Senate into disrepute by questioning the Hon. Senator’s integrity as well as the integrity of fellow Senators who had debated a motion on funds controlled by School Development Committees (SDCs) and School Development Associations when he pointed out that,as it stands, debating as it is put here is really debating on a matter that has originated in the social media, which has no legal force and is really wasting Hon. Senators’ time.”

Hon. Sen. Khumalo argued that the Hon. Minister had deterred and unduly influenced Members from debating the motion and had in the process misdirected the President of the Senate through his misrepresentation. She pointed out that there was sufficient evidence which proved that Government schools in Harare had been given the directive to transfer funds and indeed transferred SDC funds to the SSF account by 31st March, 2017. She stated that this was contrary to the Hon. Minister’s position that there was no legal instrument to transfer the money, which suggested that “there were no SDC funds that had been transferred to the SSF account”.

Hon. Sen. Khumalo was of the view that the Hon. Minister had contravened provisions of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act and implored that a Privileges Committee be constituted to investigate the conduct of Hon. Dr. Dokora.

I then advised the Senate that I would study the matter and make a ruling.  On the 1st of August, 2017, Hon. Dr. Dokora made a personal explanation in terms of Standing Order No. 89. In his explanation, the Minister pointed out that his intervention on the 15th of June, 2017 was not intended to demean the Senate and in particular Hon. Sen. Khumalo. He reiterated that when he stated that there was no Instrument to transfer money to the SSF account, his conscience was clear and he never thought anything to the contrary was happening since there was no official circular to the effect that the SDC funds should be transferred to the SSF account.

He acknowledged that he had since been advised that indeed some schools had transferred the SDC funds to the SSF account prematurely. The Minister assured the Senate that the issue would be addressed. The Minister tendered his unreserved apologies to Hon. Sen. Khumalo and to the Senate which was accepted.

In view of the Minister’s explanation, I therefore, rule that the Minister had acted in good faith in his earlier statement and had unreservedly apologised to the Senate and hence it is no longer necessary to make a ruling on the matter.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  We wish to warmly and heartily welcome the Vice President Hon. Mphoko to the Senate. 

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I am very grateful for the presence of Hon. Vice President Mphoko in this House.  We welcome you Hon. Member especially coming from the Ministry of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation. In this country, we have people who are enemies and are always fighting.  There are also tensions within these people.  So, I would want to find out what you are doing as a Ministry to create peace and order in the country so that the next general elections will be held peacefully?

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  Your question is about children fighting at home.  These are attitudes because fighting comes from attitudes.  I will give you an example where members of one family belonged to two different political parties.  There were two guys from the Mvenge family.  One was in ZAPU and the other was in ZANU.  These two brothers would go their separate ways to their parties and come back home under one roof.  There was no fighting whatsoever until one of them died because of a car accident.  Fighting is caused by attitudes. 

The Ministry has very little it can do but I think the homes themselves have a responsibility not to take politics as that which runs lives.  The moment you want to make yourself professional or a special politician, because there has never been a special professional politician, you will always go wrong.  However, the role of the Ministry of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation is to ensure that it intervenes where orphans cannot go to school; people cannot open bank accounts or vote and cannot get birth certificates. I am sure you are all aware that we went and commissioned the programme to have children get their birth certificates.  

          Let me say to the Hon. Member who asked the question, let us not take politics to a certain level where it is not supposed to be.  Let me also remind you Hon. Sen. Komichi that you are older than ZANU, ZAPU or MDC in terms of age.  All these things came long after you were born and I think we must look at things from that angle.  We should also not take politics as a profession please.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. S. NCUBE:  I am still on the same question that was asked.  I think the Vice President did not answer the question correctly.  The Hon. Member wanted to know the efforts the Ministry is making in connection with the infighting.  For example, yesterday the police were fighting with soldiers and the police were assaulted and we are going towards elections.

          HON. MPHOKO:  Are you asking about efforts being done where fights are going on between people?  People fight because of attitudes.  I will repeat that.  I do not know why the police and soldiers are fighting.  Maybe it is because someone thinks his uniform is more beautiful than that of the other but politically people do fight.  Fighting, my sister Hon. Sen. Ncube, is caused by people who think they are better than others in their parties.  I know Hon. Sen. Komichi used to fight a lot.  Yes, we are politicians but if we take it beyond this, we should not think that we are better than the others.  The problem is not in the Ministry but in us.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, National Housing and Public Works, Hon. Kasukuwere.  There is a lot of corruption happening in the local authorities, mostly, I come from Zvishavane and you have been there.  Management is the one that is doing a lot of corruption and they influence councillors to do that which is wrong.  So, what steps are you taking towards management that is abusing the rate payers’ money? I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos for her question and I am sure she remembers when we met in Zvishavane, where I said, if there are any cases that you have observed of mismanagement, corruption, just raise them with us and we will deal with them.  I think what you are raising with me just now, is what you have observed.  I have no problems in taking it up if there are specific cases to deal with.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  I want to find out about the cooperatives which are running illegally.  Is there any Government policy which is in place to look into that?

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, NATIONAL HOUSING AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Hon. Sen. Murwira.  As a Government, we came up with the idea of cooperatives so that we provide land for our people to build, but we have seen that the goodwill of the Government is being hampered and people are misbehaving which results in a lot of corruption taking place.  That has also led us to a point like in Caledonia, where we are retrieving the land and giving it to Urban Development Cooperation.  Land barons were selling one piece of residential stand to a number of people - but as Government, we are watching the moves of the cooperatives so that our people on the ground are not shortchanged by the co-operatives leaders. 

          +HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: My question is directed to the Vice President and Minister of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation, Hon. Mphoko.  Since your Ministry is the one that is responsible for seeing that there is peace in the country; there are 60 households which had their fields taken by ARDA and those people now, do not have anything.  So, what efforts are you putting in place for those people to live amicably and peacefully?

          +THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO): Thank you Madam President.  I will answer part of it which we look at as a Ministry. Let me go and find out from the Ministry of Lands, because you spoke about this company called TREK and ARDA.  You are saying that people have been driven out from where they had their ancestors’ graves.  I will also find out from the Minister of Agriculture and the next time I will come here, I will give you a proper answer.  Thank you.

          +HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Minister, I asked that question to the Minister of Lands, I had to actually put it in writing.  He responded that it was not their responsibility to see to it and that it was not for them to deal with that.  Now, that you are saying it is not your responsibility but theirs, do you think that there will be peace in so far as those people are concerned? 

          +HON. MPHOKO: I understand, Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa kaLuvivi.  I understand my sister but I think you have heard the President saying that whites have come back and they are running some projects and you know he does not like that.  Be that as it may, let me go back to Hon. Made and find out.  I will ask him and I will tell him that last time that question was asked, it was not answered properly.  I will take it up.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  Why is there no written directive to the councils about the Members of Parliament being given land as it is done for the councillors, because this will end up leading to corruption if there is no written directive?

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo on her question with regards the issue that we have discussed on Parliament’s allocation of land.  Maybe, directly, is to say Hon. Senator we have identified a property called Stoomb here in Harare for allocation and to develop residential properties for our Members of Parliament, that includes our Senators.  We have also engaged and we thought majority of our Members of Parliament were desirous to build in Harare as opposed to outside Harare.  However, places like Bulawayo and so forth, we have engaged directly with our local authorities, but I have heard you that you want a written directive, I think we will just proceed to do just that, to write to the local authorities so that you can be allocated land as you so wish.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to Minister of Kasukuwere.  What is our policy concerning those people who stay in council or Government houses?  When these people die or retire without securing any alternative accommodation, we see their spouses being chased away.  As Government, what is your plan concerning those people.

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Madam President and also Hon. Sen. Tawengwa with your question concerning our people, especially those who are Government workers.  I know the place he is referring to, PWD; most of the people who stay there are retired. What happened Hon. Senator is that these were messengers’ camps which were allocated to civil servants.  They would later move on to places which were reserved for them, but it did not happen like that.  Some have stayed in those places for a long time.  When the Government said that we want to revamp these places, we find that we face a challenge of orphans who are there.  For example, the area that the Hon. Senator is referring to is the PWD.  We have plans to put up flats; we want to engage in high-rise buildings.  We want to give first preference to the sitting tenants so that many people will be accommodated and we have taken that into our plan.  We have stopped the eviction of the residents of PWD, so we went and sat down with them.  There are about 386 who are affected in that area.  Thank you.  

          *HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Madam President for affording me the opportunity to ask my question.  Minister Kasukuwere, we want to greet you in this House because we have not seen you for a long time.  We have challenges with our local councils.  A lot of workers are not getting their salaries.  Most of the councils have such challenges, which means people are not remunerated even after working for a long time.  Probably you will explain to us because what we are seeing is that the people who get affected are the workers but the management gets their salaries.  May you please explain to us how this works?

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Thank you Madam President.  I am very happy because in this House, there are leaders of the political parties.  The people who run councils are politicians and the people who are chosen are those who look into that.  Yes, it is very true we have a lot of councils and some have gone up to 20 months without paying employees their salaries.  For example, we have Chitungwiza Town Council.  Harare City Council is trying very hard, probably they are lagging four or six months behind.  The same applies to City of Mutare.  Councils that are running well are Bindura and Bulawayo. 

Where is the problem now?  The main challenge is people are not paying rates and secondly is the issue of corruption because those on top such as the Town Clerks get their salaries.  Thirdly, the councillors allowances is there but for the workers, it is not enough.  So, those are the three challenges that we are facing but we are rectifying the problems.  We know that there are a lot of debts which we are supposed to pay to councils as Government.  We are engaging the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. 

When we wrote off people’s debts, it created a lot of gaps but we would want to close those gaps.  The most painful thing is that leaders in those councils want to feed themselves first before looking at their subordinates.  Right now, I am very happy because most councils are doing well.  For example, in Mutare we have put a new Town Clerk, Mr. Maligo.  He is doing very well because they are paying the current debts and arrears to their workers.  They have come up with a payment plan and at least they are paying the current salaries well.  I want to thank you for that question.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  Hon. Minister, when you waived the payments of services in 2013, do you not think you were influencing to get services that they do not want to pay for?  Do you not think that is what is affecting the councils?

HON. KASUKUWERE:  Thank you very much Madam President.  When we took that decision, it was in view of factors that had emerged at that point.  We said we have to make it a lot easier for our people but that did not mean they have to perpetuate that going forward.  When you have been given a discount in this shop, it does not follow if you go to the next shop you must get a discount; that is wrong.  I think they took advantage of Government’s decision to lighten the burden on them and say we want this to happen tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, which we are saying no to. 

I have made it very clear, publicly that we are not going to have any more relief.  People must pay for services that must be delivered to them.  That is a responsibility which we said the ownership of our towns belongs to our people.  They have got the responsibility to ensure that their towns work and town leadership must be transparent in terms of how they use those resources.  So going forward, there is no going back.  I do not think this is something that people must develop into a habit and say because it was done like this yesterday, we must not pay.  We must encourage our people to own up and pay what is due to their local authorities.  It is about their own upkeep, health environment and so forth.  So, our position is very clear – pay and let us move forward.  Thank you. 

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  What is Government policy in dealing with the land barons who continue to parcel out land illegally for purposes of settlement?  Where are the city fathers when all this happen under their nose?  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for a very important question that he raised and I think I must address this in a bit of detail.  This is criminal and unfortunately, we have allowed for people to get away with this kind of crime.  State land, council land and property owned by individuals cannot be invaded by anyone or parceled out by individuals and pocket the proceeds.  This is pure criminal behaviour.  We have not spared anybody we have come across.  We have sent some people to jail and we continue to make sure that anybody who parcels out land, sells land that does not belong to them, especially the land barons must be arrested. 

Some have hidden behind political cover. Some have gone to the extent of giving these pieces of land names of prominent politicians to ward off authorities from dealing with them.  They will call this Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Housing Co-operative, “unopasvika sei?”  They will call it Chatunga Co-operative, Mai Grace Mugabe Co-operative just to try and abuse the names of our leadership for their nefarious objectives.  We have said no more to that. Do not give names without authority from those leaders, let alone their families.  It must be approved. 

We have realised that this actually cuts across the political circles.  I can tell you for a fact that you will be very happy to know that even our Members from the other side of the House used these names for their own purposes.  They will give names of our revolutionary leaders and then you go behind and say who really this person is. You will realise that it is somebody coming from our dear friends Chinja. I am just making funny of this because I know some have done it, but all we are trying to do is to discourage this behaviour. It is much more rampant here in Harare. In all the other towns, there is a way of doing things legally but it is in Harare where lawlessness has taken route.

          This morning as we were cleaning the city, you would find people selling wherever they just think they can sell. The same thing is happening with the land barons. Anongomuka makuseni, otanga kufamba nhanho dzake, whether short or tall and he will consider his own weight or height and say this is one meter, and they sell the land. Anybody who purchases that land risks losing it.

That is very certain and this is why we are making it very clear. Those who are selling land will be arrested. So, I want to appeal to all citizens that if you want land, check with the local municipality. We have DEOs and District officers in certain councils. We have DAs in all our towns from our Ministry as well as the Ministry of Rural Development. We also have UDCORP and IDBZ. These are authorities that are handling issues to do with access to land and so forth.

If you do not check, let alone ask for the authorisation whether this is legal in terms of whether you had the authority from the Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing to develop this property; if you are in doubt, do not buy. Consult us, otherwise you will run the risk of losing your hard earned currency or money. This is happening in a number of areas but on the land barons, we are not going to turn back. We will continue to pursue them and stop this kind of behaviour. Thank you very much.  

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you so much. Hon. Minister, the other day I was in Speke Avenue. There are also land barons that are parceling spaces where vendors must sell. At the end of the day, they come and collect a dollar from every vendor. The money that these people pay does not go to the council. So, the council is losing a lot of money. I want to understand what you are going to do with these land barons because from my understanding, they are making thousands of dollars per day from these vendors and they can vend anywhere. They can just be there without the council knowing and the money is not going to the council. It goes to an individual.

HON. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Madam President. The Senator is quite right. They are not land barons. We call them space barons. They sell space and space which does not belong to them. It is wrong and criminal. Here is a rate payer who has this shop. Just go in First Street, not even Speke Avenue, just here in First Street, infront of OK, there is somebody selling his own belts. The unfortunate part is that our council has turned a blind eye to this menace. I was talking to the Deputy Acting Mayor and the Town Clerk this morning that enough is enough. We have got to deal with this situation. We cannot accept it anymore.

As we were walking, myself and Hon. Muchinguri from Robert Mugabe Road coming up to Samora Machel Avenue and at First Street, there are bags which have basically closed the road. You cannot walk because somebody has set up goods on his/her space and just because this person has been allocated this space of land by somebody who has pocketed the money, that again we are going to deal with that situation. We will not allow this lawlessness to continue any day longer. Thank you.

+HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President. I would like to know from the Minister of Local Government - does he have any powers to issue out land where there are councillors and without the knowledge of those councillors?  

HON. KASUKUWERE: Well, if you are asking about me as the Minister, yes of course we have the authority. We can do that because Urban Development Corporation is under us as...

HON. SEN. NCUBE: Without the knowledge of the councillors in the area?

HON. KASUKUWERE: Madam Senator, can I answer the question. It is the Government which gives the councillors land anywhere. It is the Government which allocates land to city councils. Councils basically use our laws – it is a devolved authority. So, you cannot say to the father you have no power to do what you want in the family or in the house because you told your child that you are going to be the one in charge of this area. No. If we decide to build a new town and allocate land or if we have State land that we control in the urban centres, certainly we can give it to anybody we so wish because that is what we have and we are authorised to do so in terms of the laws of our country.

*HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Hon. Minister Kasukuwere. What is Government policy regarding the allocation of stands to people living with disability? There should be a quota system allocated to people living with disability in all the areas where you are parceling out residential or any other land.

*HON. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Hon. Shiri. The question which you are asking today is now a regular one. Wherever we meet, you are talking about that and you always talk about the welfare of the people living with disability. Hon. Senator, it is Government policy that whenever we are constructing, we always think about you and the questions which you ask. As a result, whenever there is any construction of accommodation, the houses on the ground floor should be allocated to people living with disability, especially when you are talking of high rise buildings which have no lifts installed. In areas like Tafara where we are constructing, we are saying the ground floor should be allocated to people living with disability.

It is also compulsory that houses constructed should have rumps so that people living with disability and moving on wheel chairs can always have easy access. Talking about the allocation of land on a quota system to people living with disability, we are encouraging local authorities to allocate land to them. Some three weeks ago, we were in Masvingo working with Hon. Chinamasa. We had some people living with disability who were visually impaired who were allocated land and they were asked to pay deposit for the land allocated. I thank you.

*HON. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. We have heard people who are talking especially local authorities saying they lack capacity to fulfill some of their obligations. My question is, is it not possible for the Ministry to make a policy which will dictate that whosoever is elected as a councillor should be a resident in that area because he has property and he has the interest unlike now, whereby people are only asked to be in that place because they are party political nominations.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): It is true that people should represent people in their areas of resident but when we talk about the quality of people, the Constitution says all people are equal and can access resources whenever they can. If you are resident, even if you are lodging, poor and uneducated, the point is that you are allowed by law to go and stand for elections and be nominated.  So, what we need to do is to have a rethink and maybe craft some law where we will talk about the qualifications of people who should be appointed to councils because at the moment, our Constitution is very silent on educational qualifications.  At times we have some people who are appointed into council and when they get there, they are easily bribed because people want to be corrupt and take advantage of these councillors. 

We also have problems with our councillors, we know that the law say that anybody can be a councillor but we are saying, as people who are supposed to be in the local authorities, we need to put some educational qualifications, for instance a council will have no member who is a lawyer, an accountant or a doctor or engineer, hence, there is need for qualified people to be in those places.  The problem we have is that, when people are appointed by political parties, they are appointed because of popularity.  When you have elected them, you start complaining to the Minister of Local Government that councillors are not doing their work properly and yet you are the people who appoint these people and elect them into positions.  There is therefore need for the Constitution to set parameters.  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Madam President.  My correct name is Muronzi because I have had some people calling me ‘Murozvi,’ and it has been written in the Hansard as ‘Murozvi’ but I am Muronzi.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, my nephew.  As a representative of councillors from the rural areas, I want to ask whether councillors also have benefits.  I am asking this because one may spend 20 years as a councillor but in the end, there is no single benefit to write home about.  Maybe they are ignorant where I come from, in Madziwa, they retire without anything, even a residential stand.  I want to find out if they have any benefit, I am touched by their plight because I come from a rural constituency.

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Madam President.  My grandmother how did you end up on that side?  This polygamy was troublesome back home – [Laughter.] – Thank you.  This question should have been directed to the Minister responsible for rural affairs.  However, I will respond.  Being a councillor is not a formal job, if you are elected as a councillor, you are helping with development and it is not a formal job since you are in that position because of being elected by the people and if they do not vote you in the next elections, you are out.  You are elected today and after five years someone else maybe elected into that position and you will be out of work.

Therefore, it is a reality that most of them are elected out and they go to their home area and someone gets in.  However, whilst they will be at work, that is when they get any form of allowances that will be there, that is the form of payment they get.  A long time ago, people were elected into councillorship because of their economic status.  They were usually were well to do persons who were able to use their own resources to develop the community within which they live without them looking for payment.  Therefore, some are elected whilst they are poor and they think they can get rid of their poverty using that position and this has led to corruption in the country.  Others resort to allocating themselves big residential or industrial stands and so on.  However, as Government, we try by all means to make sure they are well taken care of without disadvantaging the community but this is not formal work, it is voluntary service.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Madam President, I was already giving up.  My question is directed to the Vice President.  Hon. Vice President, the Constitution is very clear in terms of Traditional Leaders that they are supposed to be apolitical.  However, what happens is that, when we vote in the Senate, the Traditional Leaders or the Chiefs, publicly vote with a political party.  Is this not a violation of the Constitution? The second part of my question is, are they not compromising themselves when we go to elections, when we know that they publicly vote with a political party.  I thank you.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Sen. Chimhini, you know very well that the Hon. Vice President is not responsible for Chiefs.  You should pose that question to Hon. Ncube.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Point of order Madam President.  I want to believe the Vice President represents all Ministries and in the absence…

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I do not think he represents all Ministries, that is why he is the Vice President and Minister of a specific organ.  Anyway, the Vice President said he can fumble – [Laughter.] –

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO): Thank you Madam President.  I thank the Member for the question although it is not my area, I want to answer as a human being.  A chief is a human being whether he comes from Zvimba or Nkayi.  When he votes, he is not whipped by a political party, he will vote as a person – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – that is what happens and that is what it is.  There is nobody who is hanging in this world, it will never happen.  You will have to lean somewhere.  Let me give you an example; I am not sure about the name of your political name but if you come from Umdaca and then for instance your leader’s uncle is a chief, that has a biasness on your leader of MDC for instance.  If there is a chief in an area, be it Chief Gwebu or anyone, he has an inclination to his nephew, so you cannot say he is whipped by anyone.  It is automatic. 

In life if you go to a certain place and there is a football match, you are just a new person in that area, I can assure you, you will end up supporting this other team that is against the other one - [Laughter.] – Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Kasukuwere.  He has answered part of my question and I would want to thank you Hon. Minister for the explanation that you gave when you said you have the intention of constructing flats so that you can be able to accommodate many people and they can be able to have their own homes.  But, I am saying when you are planning, will you please construct more in places like Mutare and other places because it is a mountainous area; we have very few places where people can have residential stands.  If you are going to construct flats, then people will be very happy.  In other countries, they construct high-rise buildings so that they accommodate more people and save land than spreading these single dwellings which take up a lot of space.  I urge you Minister to try and construct the flats as early as possible so that people can get homes to live in.  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Madam President and I would want to also thank Hon. Sen. Chabuka for the question.

          This past week, we started at the OTS in Sakubva, Chineta, Matida and Chisamba.  We held meetings with the citizens of that area and we have a space which has been set aside for the construction.  If I am not mistaken, by next week they will be starting on digging the foundations and we have allocated them money amounting to about $2 million in Sakubva, Mutare so that construction of these residential areas can begin.  This is a programme which will be carried out in all cities throughout the country so that people can have accommodation just like what was done by the late Hon. Minister Chikoore who was the Minister then.   They were destroying old houses and then constructing new ones.  That is what we are going to do.  I thank you very much Hon. Sen. Chabuka.

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Madam President, I wish to move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by 15 minutes.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: I second.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA:  I thank you Madam President.  My question goes to Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Kasukuwere.  This is in relation to the haphazard planning in Kadoma City -Waverly in particular even on buildings - can something be done?  I do not know what help Kadoma City can get, whether it is some directive or some direction because compared to Kadoma and Gweru, it is the only city there that is stagnant and nothing is happening.  There have been a lot of empty spaces for the last 20 years.  You try to develop it and the answers that you get are, oh no there is this or there is that.  It is really stagnant and we are appealing for some assistance.  Workers are not being paid.  I thank you Hon. Minister.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Madam President, I can see you cannot call out my name because you are laughing.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  We discourage Senators from giving a long preamble before they present their questions.  That is why all these Hon. Senators are laughing because he gave a long preamble.

          HON. KASUKUWERE:  Thank you very much Madam President and I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Musaka for the question.  As I indicated earlier on, we indeed have some challenging cities and one of those which really has been a major pain to us is Kadoma.  So, you are correct – we need to correct Kadoma.  There is a lot that is going wrong in Kadoma and we are trying to nurse it back to some better and positive traction in terms of how it attends to its developmental requirements.  Clearly and I do admit that Kadoma is one of those towns that require mending.  So, thank you very much for raising it with me but, we will keep our eyes in Kadoma.  I can visit it and see what can be done to try and bring it back on track.

          *HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA:  Thank you Madam President and how are you?  My question is directed to the Vice President, Hon. Mphoko.  I know that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development as well as the Minister of Home Affairs are not around but as the Leader of the House, you can help us.  We cannot get money in the banks but in the streets, you find that there are new notes there.  Where is that money coming from?  I thank you.

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO): Thank you Madam President.  I think you are right my friend by knocking on a wrong door.  I think to do justice to your question, it will be better to direct it to the responsible Ministry because that is very technical and I do not want to indulge myself going into those things.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIZEMA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  For a long time, we have heard that the management in councils awarded themselves hefty salaries.  Were those salaries slashed down because it is an outcry that they are getting huge salaries but I did not get to a point where it was said that their salaries were slashed so that they all benefit.  When a council does not realise enough money, we would want that the salaries be fairly distributed from the top to the lowest person. I just want to know if the salaries were slashed to cater for the others.

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Sen. Chizema for the very good question which is in connection to the wages and salaries that we pay council workers.  Yes, the Government has taken steps to downgrade the salaries of council management.  Some were getting up to $22 000 and if I am not mistaken, from 26 July 2016, I wrote a letter to all the councils beginning with the City of Harare which is the biggest.  The salaries were slashed down.  The Town Clerk’s salary was reduced by 50% from $22 000 to $10 475 and we also cut the rest of the management’s salaries.  The ceiling that we pegged for the Town Clerk of the City of Harare is $10 475 and for all the other councils, we reduced their salaries as well. 

I know that they are getting more than what Hon. Senators are getting and even myself, I do not get that much but we are looking at the work that they are doing as the Town Clerk especially in Harare, it is mammoth work because we want people who are educated and who have the knowhow so that we do not cry when councils do not function well when we do not pay them well.  So, we gave all the councils a directive that their salaries should be in tandem with the funds that they realise in their councils.  We gave them a schedule of salaries that should be given to top management.  So, it is according to what these councils are realising.  We said that for all the money that they collect, 30% should go to salaries and 70% should go to service delivery.  Yes, we have slashed their salaries downwards.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIZEMA:  Thank you Madam President.  On top of those salaries, you are saying that it is $10 000 but if you look at it, the type of cars that you buy for the Town Clerk, they are very expensive cars but should they fail to perform and are dismissed from the job, they go with those cars and the one that replaces him will again be awarded an expensive car at the expense of the ratepayers and at the expense of the lowest paid people.  I think that some of the policies in the councils need to be looked into and be revised because it does not augur well.  There are those people who do manual work or let us say those who do the menial jobs are supposed to be paid more but you find that the Town Clerk is also given allowances.  My question is, if you slashed down their salaries, what about the allowances because on top of salaries you give them allowances and buy cars for them.

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Hon. Sen. Chizema, you were once a commissioner in the Harare Council and you are the one that put that law into place to buy expensive cars for the management.  However, I am happy because your question seeks to benefit the people at the lower levels.  Whatever you talked about, we looked into.  If management wants to go on holiday, that should be catered for from their salaries.  They also have to use the cars that are already there.  A lot has been happening and we have ensured that all council workers benefit.

          +HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU:  My question is directed to the Vice President of Zimbabwe Hon. Mphoko.  What is Government policy pertaining to the upgrading of a headmen to a chief.  I am asking because we have not seen any written record and on several occasions that will cause some disturbances here in Zimbabwe.

          +THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPOKO):  Hon. Sen. Chief Gampu’s grand father taught me.   I think this question should be directed to the responsible Minister.  But I know it is unfair because as an African, I stay among the chiefs.  What we know and what we grew up knowing is that if a headman is from Charumbira, it is their headmanship and cannot be diverted.  If a new chief or headman is being inaugurated, what should be done is that the headman from that area should sit down and agree for example that from the Mathe family, it is so and so who is supposed to take over the headmanship.  However, the chiefs on their own can sit down and discuss the issue of succession.  Now that Kaisa is now late, one of his children should take over.

          +HON. SEN. NCUBE:  What I would like to ask is that there are people who are being installed as headmen or chiefs from nowhere when they do not come from the lineage of headmanship.  Where is that coming from?

          +HON. MPHOKO:  Makhumalo, there is what you call power.  Can you see my hands, I am not MDC but if you pour water into this hand, it will all leak out of the hand through the fingers.  But if I hold my hand half clenched, you can pour water and I will be able to drink.  These chiefs from our area, Chief Gampu, Kaisa, Mtshane and Ngungubane all opened their hands.  They should close their hands.   We have the powers, so close the powers.  Do not open your hands.

          HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  I would like to start by thanking the Vice President and the Minister of Local Government for coming to this august House.  My complaint is that it has been almost two weeks now.  Last week, the chairs were just as empty as that.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order, we are out of time.  I thought you were going to pose a question.

          HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  Please madam President, let me register this complaint because this practice of Ministers not coming to this House will continue.  Now, today I have seen the Vice President and I am complaining to him to take the matter to the President and tell the President that Ministers are not doing their job.  They are sleeping and sitting on their job wasting the tax payers’ money as well as their time.  We feel much belittled and we are not happy.  So, I am putting it across to the Vice President who is here and I think it will also assist you Madam President.  We are not happy to be only questioning two Ministers for the last one hour yet other Ministers are not here.  The Vice President has come all the way to attend this meeting, what about all the other junior Ministers and Ministers who are not coming.  Why are they not doing it?  That is my complaint Madam President.

          HON. MPHOKO:  I thought Madam President, you were the rightful authority to take it up rather than me.  If you can take it up and then it comes to us.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  The Hon. Chairperson of the MDC knows that as presiding officers we have written through the leader of Government business Hon Vice President Mnangagwa.  We have but still they do not show up, so maybe as Chairman and leader of his party’s business, he failed to compel, to maybe add a word or two about that. 

          Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62 (5).

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We have to thank Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Kasukuwere because that is the only question we have and he is the only Minister present.  Thank you for coming to the Senate to respond to questions.  It is appreciated.

ORAL ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

RESUSCITATION OF THE DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT FUND (DDF) TILLAGE UNIT

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:   Madam President, I was advised to direct the question to Minister S.K Moyo.  So, I did so - it does not belong to the Minister of Local Government.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Mr. President, I move that Orders of the Day, Number 1 to 8 on today’s Order Paper, be stood over, until Order of the Day, Number 9 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF THE EDUCATION ACT TO THE CONSTITUTION

 

Ninth order read: Adjourned debate on motion on funds controlled by School Development Committees and School Development Associations.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Thank you Mr. President for letting me wind up my motion today.  I am winding up this motion because of the visit by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Dokora, who came in here, to give an apology. 

I would like before I continue, to thank the following Hon. Senators who debated the motion, if they had not done that, we were not going to have any redress into the activities.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Ndhlovu who seconded the motion and debated it.  I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Makwarimba, Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa, Hon. Sen. Machingaifa, Hon. Sen. Mashavakure, Hon. Sen. Makore, Hon. Sen. Shiri and Hon. Sen. Timveos.  I would also like to thank some Senators who did not have the opportunity to discuss but were each time told to sit down when they tried to debate, Hon. Sen. Ncube and Hon. Sen. Chimhini, who eagerly wanted to debate the motion.  I thank the House for having been able to agree with what I had submitted to them and they debated it.  My apology goes to Hon. Sen. Makone for her serious question to the Minister on the 21st of July asking him if it was true that the funds were moved into the SSF fund.

The Minister came to this august House as well as to me and made some apologies on the 1st of August, 2017.  He said he is going to redress the issues, as you heard him stating that issue.  So, we are all going to be eagerly waiting for the Bill to come so that we can discuss.  However, this motion has put it into each one of us here, as Members of the Senate to go and think about where we are going to look into and align the Act with the Constitution. 

The Minister promised that the funds will be sent quickly into the SDC’s and SDA’s funds.  So, we are hoping that by the end of September 2017, all the funds will have been moved to the SDC’s and SDA’s.   The Minister said he has a lot of people he can send to inform the schools of the decision.  So, we thank the Minister. 

Mr. President, the Minister quoted that the schools are more than 8 500, among these, he informed us that there was a school where the SDC’s or SDA’s squandered the US$60 000.  We are all saying that that money would not be the issue of quickly changing the system without coming to the Parliament.

I am now asking each one of us here, that as we go to our schools we also raise the issue so that they remember that they are supposed to move the funds back to their original accounts as it was supposed to be.  At the end the Minister of Education does the alignment of the current laws to the Constitution.

Finally, I move that this motion be adopted.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, order! Hon. Sen. Khumalo, if we adopt the motion and is contrary to the spirit that you have expressed yourself.  The spirit is that we now await the Minister’s presentation of the Bill.  It is when that Bill has been presented that you can bring back this motion if you like and say we do not agree.  When we debate the Bill, that is where you come out fired up and say I do not agree.  At this stage tactfully actually, you withdraw it, on the understanding that the Minister will stick to his word. I think it is tactful.  If you withdraw, it means you can resuscitate it if you are not happy.  You simply say I withdraw it in anticipation that the Minister will live to his word.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I thank you Mr. President for saying it on my behalf.  I am saying those words which you have said on my behalf [Laughter.] – I withdraw the motion standing in my name:

That this House -

NOTING the efforts made by Government in expanding the education system at Primary and Secondary levels across the country to meet the demand for education since independence;

APPLAUDING the Government’s decision to embrace all stakeholders in education thereby leading to the creation of School Development Committees (SDCs) and School Development Association (SDAs);

FURTHER applauding the excellent work done by parents through the SDCs and SDAs in enhancing the quality of education in Zimbabwe;

DISTURBED by the abrupt decision by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to order the closure of SDAs/ SDCs accounts at government schools and transfer monies to the government controlled School Service Fund.

CONCERNED that the move will retrogressively impact on the gains made in the educational system over the years and result in the total collapse of the system;

NOW THEREFORE, calls upon the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to;

i)                   Align the Education Act to the Constitution;

ii) Cease forthwith the transfer of SDA/ SDCs Funds to the School Service Fund; and

iii) Formulate a consolidated Statutory Instrument to guide the         operations of SDCs and SDAs taking into account stakeholders’ input.

     Motion; With leave, withdrawn.

MOTION

ADOPTION OF A DRAFT PROTOCOL ON THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS ON THE RIGHT TO NATIONALITY AND THE ERADICATION OF STATELESSNESS IN AFRICA

          Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on resolving situations of statelessness in our country.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you very much Mr. President.  I want to thank everyone who debated this motion.  I think this motion was debated very well.  Also, Hon. Sen. Mohadi brought the same motion and it was debated well.  What I am happy about is that the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa is actually in the SADC and he knows how statelessness affects the identity and lives of people.  I want to thank everyone and I move for the motion to be adopted.

That this House;

RECALLING ongoing efforts of the African Union to move towards the adoption of a Draft “Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Right to Nationality and the Eradication of Stateless in Africa:,

TAKING NOTE of the conclusions and Recommendations on statelessness adopted by the SADC “Technical Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa Addressing Mixed Migration in Southern Africa: Linking Protection, Immigration, Border Management and Labour Migration, Gaborone, Botswana from 16-18 August 2016”,

ACKNOWLEDGING the Conclusions of the “Conference on Ensuring Everyone’s Right to Nationality: The Role of Parliaments in Preventing and Ending Statelessness, Co-organised by the Parliament of South Africa, the inter Parliamentary Union and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, from 26 to 27 November 2015”;

RECOGNISING the requirement by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) endorsed by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015, in particular SDG target 16, 9 to provide by 2030 legal identity for all, including birth registration;

FURTHER RECOGNISING the numerous formal pledges of SADC Member States to accede to the 1954 UN Convection relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the Recommendations from the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review to the same effect.

COGNISANT that the Zimbabwe National Constitution provides for Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms incorporating the right of children to a name and provision of identity documents;

NOW THEREFORE calls upon the Government to:

i)       Resolve any existing situations of statelessness within our own country;

ii)               Review the legislative frameworks and administrative practices in nationality matters with a view to ensure their consistency with the Zimbabwe Constitution and International standards on the prevention and resolution of statelessness, as well as on protection of stateless persons;

iii)            Initiate legislative reforms which address any identifies gaps or challenges, including any discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, thereby helping to prevent statelessness;

iv)            Ensure gender equality as regards the equal right of men and women to pass on their nationality to their children and spouses and to change or retain their nationality.

v)               Expedite the implementation of Article 6(4) of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, thereby preventing childhood statelessness;

vi)            Establish and maintain comprehensive birth registration and civil registration systems within Zimbabwe with a view to prevent statelessness;

vii)         Accede to the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families; and

viii)                     Support the drafting, adoption and ratification of a Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Right to Nationality and the Eradication of Stateless in Africa.”

Motion put and agreed to. 

On the motion of HON. SEN. TAWENGWA, seconded by HON. SEN. TIMVEOS, the Senate adjourned at Four Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 12th September, 2016.  

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 03 AUGUST 2017 VOL 26 NO 77