PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 21st July, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
TABLING OF A REPORT
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF MURWIRA): In terms of Section 12 (1) of the Audit Office Act Chapter 22:18, I lay upon the table the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund final forensic investigation report of July 2018.
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have a list of apologies from Hon. Ministers who are not able to come to the august House: Hon. Mutsvangwa-Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; Hon. Dr. M. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. Mathema, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. Dr. Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. J. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development; Hon. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement; Hon. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. E. Moyo, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. D. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities.
(v)HON.MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, I have just listened to the list of Ministers that have tendered their apologies. Can we know which Ministers are in the House so that we can ask our question accordingly?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: In the House, we have Hon. Ziyambi, Hon. Prof. Murwira, Hon. Kazembe, Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Climate, Water and Rural Resettlement
Hon. Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development and Deputy Minister of Local Government.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(v)HON. MAHWITE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. What is the Government policy with regards to participation of our Premier League Champion, FC Platinum in the Cup Champions League, since sporting activities have been banned in the country? I ask this question because registration of players to participate in that tournament is ending on the 15th August, 2021 and games start on 10th September, 2021.
THE ACTING MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question. As we would appreciate, the pandemic is real and we need to do our utmost to ensure that we break the cycle. With regards to FC Platinum, I am sure they will be able to play but this is an issue that ZIFA should be seized with. I have taken note of the question and I will liaise with ZIFA and find out who this can be solved. I thank you.
HON. MAPHOSA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Can Hon. Members who are in the House put their gadgets on silent because the gadgets are causing echoes and we will not be able to hear what the Hon. Member on the floor would be saying.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, please may we all mute our gadgets.
HON. T. ZHOU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Hon. Minister Sir, most of our Magistrates are staying at their own rented houses out of work stations where they even do cleaning duties with the other people, which I think compromises our justice delivery system that requires public trust and confidence in the rule of law. What is the Government’s position regards to the Magistrates accommodation where they do not mingle around with members of the public? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I want to thank Hon. Zhou for such a good question, which is very important. Indeed we have several Magistrates who live within the community and some in rented accommodation, which is not ideal. What we are doing is we are coming up with a plan in conjunction with Ministry of National Housing of having institutional accommodation for some of our Magistrates, as well as our Judges. This is now work in progress, we are going to ensure that we separate them and we remove them from rented accommodation that may compromise them. I thank you.
(v)HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, when I was in Buffalo Ranch at some point, Magistrates used to be housed in a prison complex, housing development place. Would it please the Minister to go ahead and also get the security places and cantonment areas to house our Magistrates?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Nduna for that question. Madam Speaker, at our prison complexes, we are also experiencing shortage of accommodation for our staff members. As such, it is not possible to do that. Our thrust is to ensure that we build institutional accommodation that is secure not necessarily within the complex of the prison and ensure that we avail institutional accommodation to our judicial officers. I thank you.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: My supplementary Madam Speaker is, is it not possible for our judges and magistrates to be protected in the areas where they reside? Why can we not provide each magistrate with a police officer for his protection and security because they face challenges from people they will have sentenced? I thank you.
*HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I have heard Hon. Chinotimba’s concern that every magistrate should be availed a police officer for his security. Our aim is to ensure that we build houses and where we see that they should be protected, we then put police officers to ensure their security. Thank you Madam Speaker.
(v)HON. T. ZHOU: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am. Perhaps the Minister can favour us with the timeframe on the measures.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I will request the responsible authority, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to come and explain to the House their measures and plans with regards to this issue. I thank you.
(v)HON. T. ZHOU: Madam Speaker, my question was not answered.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It was answered Hon. Zhou. He referred your question to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.
(v)HON. T. ZHOU: Is the Minister around so that he can favour me with the response?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister is not around. I am sorry.
(v)HON. T. ZHOU: If the Minister can favour us with a Ministerial statement with regards to accommodation for magistrates?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is what he said Hon. Zhou. I think you were not listening.
(v)HON. T. ZHOU: Is it a Ministerial Statement?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, it is. Thank you Hon. Zhou.
HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I would have loved to direct my question to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development but since he is not there, I would like to direct it to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Hon. Minister, 72% of girls in rural areas do not use commercial sanitary wear. However, they resort to unhygienic means. At the same time, 62% of girls miss school every month while menstruating. My question is; has the Minister of Finance and Economic Development released adequate funding for sanitary wear in line with the Education Amendment Act on the provision of menstrual health facilities to promote menstrual health?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Madam Speaker, this question was answered some time and the Deputy Minister, if my recollection serves me well answered adequately. He indicated that even those that have not collected should get in touch with their offices so that they can facilitate. He confirmed in this august House that indeed something was happening. I may not have the finer details but what I can confirm is that funds were released and there is a programme that is ongoing regarding sanitary wear to our school going girls in rural areas. I thank you.
HON. MAVETERA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. My supplementary question is; during this COVID period, what policies did Government put in place to make sure that at least girls will be able to access sanitary wear during holidays? Thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Madam Speaker, the proposal is very difficult to implement. When learners are at home, you do not know where to follow them. The programme was targeted for the period when schools are open that then they are able to access, unless if an arrangement which I will request the relevant Ministry to find out whether when schools are closed they can then have a mechanism of those learners going to school to access the sanitary wear. The policy generally is; it is agreed that they have to access the sanitary wear. I thank you.
HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Minister for the response on the first question that was asked by Hon. Dr. Khupe. So that this question does not continue, arising I think there is lack of adequate communication in terms of what has been done by the Ministry so that we have a proper appreciation and the public also to have the information. May I kindly ask that the relevant Ministry brings an update statement so that we get to understand where, how many and when? Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mpariwa. Hon. Leader of the House, can you convey the message to the relevant Minister?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLAIMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I will do so Madam Speaker.
HON. MAVETERA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I am going to direct my question to the Leader of the House since the Minister of Finance is not available. What is Government’s policy when it comes to the disposal of confiscated goods? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. It depends on who has confiscated the goods. If it is ZIMRA, it will auction or they may decide to donate to social welfare, depending on their regulations at that time. If it is the police and the courts, it will be forfeited to the State and the State can auction the said goods again. I thank you.
HON. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question then comes to say how timeous is this done and also what happens in the event that one passes on after goods have been confiscated?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker. If it is ZIMRA, they give you timelines when your goods are impounded before they are forfeited. So within that timeline, you have to follow due process to ensure that you satisfy them that the goods must be released to you. Regarding the court process, if the goods are found to be proceeds of a crime, they will be forfeited. So, whether you pass on or not, that will not arise because they would have been forfeited but if it is ZIMRA, they give you a leeway to prove your case. If you fail, then they are forfeited to the State. I thank you.
*HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to ask the Leader of the House that we have women informal traders who have their goods like onions and tomatoes confiscated. What we want to know is are those things returned to them? What happens to these goods and who is responsible?
*HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Mostly the issue of women in the informal sector at markets is the responsibility of the Minister of Local Government. With your indulgence Madam Speaker, I am sure she will be able to give a more convincing response. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Kwaramba for that important follow up question. We are fully aware that if, for instance, the goods are perishables and they are confiscated by the municipal police – because if it is the ZRP, they fall under Home Affairs but if it is the municipal police, definitely within at least about 24 hours, they will be rotten but in most cases if they are fined, we encourage them to collect their wares if they are still salable. So, if there is a problem somewhere within some local authorities whereby those confiscated goods are not returned, they are free to come to my office or make the local authority aware and we will look into that. I thank you.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The question raised by Hon. Kwaramba is important for us because that is where we get our finance to look after our families in terms of paying fees and food. I want to know through you Madam Speaker that those who are selling tomatoes and perishables in the market – are they aware of the fact that they are supposed to pay rates and are they aware that they can be fined and get their wares within the 24 hours that she talked about? Thank you.
*HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Hon. Mpariwa. Normally when they are confiscated, it means they are operating illegally because if they have the papers and they have the licence, they will be operating from a designated place. So, in this case, they are operating illegally I take it, and in such cases, they are fully aware and most of the time, they run away when the police get there. The police will then collect the staff and there is nobody to claim that stuff. In most cases, we encourage that they are fined and collect their ware. We encourage those vendors to try to legalise their operations and operate from the approved areas. Thank you.
+HON. MATHE: Madam Speaker, what is the policy of the Ministry because the Minister said after they are fined, they are given their goods back. We are looking at the Covid time where these goods are brought together and after the owners have been fined, what is the Ministry doing so that when these goods are returned to the owners, they are not infected with COVID-19 virus?
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Mathe for that follow-up question. I am not very fluent in Ndebele but I assume you said that because of the COVID-19 virus, they will be mixed up. According to the Statutory Instrument 148 for which we are operating under, we have set times and places whereby we are selling our marketware and we have set hours and set places legally and most of the time they run away. As I said before, they will be operating illegally and most of the time they run away. So, that does not apply especially in this COVID era.
HON. DR. LABODE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I think let us not bring this issue and make it look like a COVID matter as if it is happening now. This is not only happening now, it happened long before COVID. I have seen a Police truck carrying women with their merchandise and then when they got to the Police, they come out without their merchandise. The question is who is eating those things?
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think the question that Hon. Dr. Labode is referring to should be answered by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. This is quite an interesting issue. I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for raising this particular issue. I was not aware that our Police Officers are actually involved in confiscating these things. As far as I am concerned, this lies within the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, the Municipal Police. If it is happening, I want to sincerely thank the Hon. Member of Parliament, I will look into it – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
(v)HON. NDUNA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, there is a High Court order against the Chegutu West Constituency, against the Police who have been ordered to return all the wares taken from the vendors. Would it please the Minister to adhere to the High Court order to return the goods and make sure that there is no repeat of taking goods from the vendors?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Nduna, the Minister said he is going to look into it.
HON. T. MOYO: My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Fisheries. I raised this question yesterday and the Speaker said it is very important it should be raised today. It concerns payment for cotton farmers. In this House, the Hon. Minister of Agriculture said those farmers who were owed $1.5 billion by the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, that the RBZ was directed to pay them. Up until now, no payment has been done. I want to seek clarification from the Hon. Minister on modalities that are used to pay those farmers and when those cotton farmers are going to be paid to restore viability in the crop. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question. Cotton is indeed a very important crop for the transformation of rural livelihoods for the accomplishment of vision 2030. It is in this regard that Government has supported the revival of the cotton industry that has seen the cotton industry grow from 28 000 metric tonnes in 2015 to the expected 150 000 to 195 000 metric tonnes this year. This is demonstrative of Government’s commitment.
However, we all know the challenges that bedeviled our country last year in terms of the suspension of the transfer of monies to communities and cotton farmers were not spared. Government committed to pay the outstanding $1.5 billion dollars owed to farmers for the deliveries in 2020. This arises out of Zimbabwe being a high cost production base and the international prices for cotton being lower and the Government’s desire to ensure viability of the cotton sector.
We have started paying the $1.5 billion that is outstanding and the first tranche of $66 million was paid mid last week. We urge all cotton growers to go to their nearest COTTCO deport and ensure that they have valid accounts into which these payments can be made. Initially, the delay was because the Treasury wanted to do a verification of all the farmers. We then resolved that that would take longer and that would prejudice those that had accounts already. So that process where those that have accounts are being paid, it is happening. I was in Zvipane on Saturday and I interacted with farmers that had started receiving their monies.
As Government, we apologize that farmers are being paid a season later and we hope that with the macroeconomic stability now taking place in the country, we will be able to pay. This is why this year farmers will be paid in three tranches, Grade A is $85 and Grade D is $56, farmers will be paid immediately upon delivery, 34 dollars per kg, they will be paid an additional official 22 dollars a kg and then upon grading of their cotton, any cotton that then goes into grade B and A will also attract another premium. I would like to urge Hon. Members to spread the word so that we can communicate and communicate very accurately. Apologetic, however we have started to pay. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Thank you for the answer from the Minister relating to the delays in the cotton sector. Are those delays which are certainly very different also affecting the maize and other grains producers because instead of the 24 hours promised, we are seeing farmers not paid up to about a month or even more. What are the challenges in that sector which have nothing to do with cotton?
HON. DR. MASUKA: Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for the question. When farmers deliver their produce, they ought to be paid for their effort and to be paid timeously so that they can deploy those resources for preparation of the forthcoming season and to do other necessary issues. The GMB and Government pledged to pay within 72 hours for grain delivered to a depot and within five working days for grain delivered to a collection point. This was based on an assumption that this bumper harvest that is upon us and the season would be similar to a high intake season such as 2018. However, when we do that, we then provide a cashflow to Treasury as the Ministry as to say this is our expectation of what would be required in a week. We certainly underestimated the volumes that would be coming. As of yesterday, we had received over 570 thousand metric tonnes of grain over 500 thousand metric tonnes of maize worth over $18 billion. Treasury has done its best so far. We have received under $13 billion in support from Treasury and we have paid farmers. The amount that is outstanding and over a week is just slightly under $2.5 billion and Government is doing everything possible to ensure that we pay farmers timeously. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Can the Minister bring an up to date report to Parliament and inform the august House those farmers that have been paid and those that are awaiting payment for the produce they have delivered to the depots. As I was coming from my constituency today, there are farmers complaining that they have not been paid. Therefore, we are asking the Minister to give the august House an updated report on what is the correction situation in the cotton industry. Last time I went to my constituency and told them what the Minister had said, that they are going to be paid but up to now there is nothing. I am now being taken as if I am a liar. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. DR. MASUKA: Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member and I appreciate his deep concern for the inordinate delay in paying farmers for their cotton delivered last year. We can get the specific depot which we can attend to and bring the updated information as required next week. Thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My request to the Minister is – can cotton farmers not be paid at the same time as the maize farmers? For example, after two weeks people would want to pay for examination fees for their children and some want to pay school fees. Can the payment period be reduced to two or three weeks? Can you give us timeframes so that people know when they are going to be paid after delivering their produce to COTTCO?
HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question. I think two weeks ago, I was in the Hon. Member’s constituency and we went around seeing whether the cotton farmers have been paid. We witnessed COTTCO personnel paying farmers as well as how they weigh the cotton for the Marketing Board. We also talked to cotton farmers and they gave us ideas on what they think should be done. I am happy that he raised this question, that why is it that cotton farmers do not have a timeframe in which their cotton can be paid for like the case with the GMB when it comes to maize and other grains.
Firstly, COTTCO is a private company. Government only has a 30% shareholding. Other shareholders who are above 70% have not done much to assist the company which is facing challenges in terms of funding. The Government is assisting because cotton is important for Zimbabwe. So the Government took it upon themselves that farmers should be given the Presidential Cotton Scheme to assist them as a Government since the Government does not have an independent company for cotton growers.
We have shares in COTTCO, so let us use COTTCO to buy the cotton. COTTCO is experiencing financial challenges and quite a number of other challenges. Government in the past month has increased their shareholding in COTTCO from 51% onwards. This means that Government will now be able to investigate how COTTCO operates like we do with GMB which is a Government entity. However, Government has taken it upon itself to assist farmers and ensure that they are paid.
The Reserve Bank has already supported the cotton industry through guarantees and they should be getting $5 billion so that they are able to buy cotton. They have been supported through a guarantee of US$10 million for them to be able to get foreign currency so that those who take their cotton can be paid a certain percentage in forex and some percentage in RTGS. As we buy cotton, it is different from the way we buy maize and traditional grains. With GMB, we can sell these products to other farmers and to other countries and we get funding but with cotton, it has to be taken to the ginnery and then after that it is sold. It takes time to realise returns from cotton. I have taken up all that has been said. The Government has now increased its shareholding to 51% in COTTCO so that it has control over this cotton company and will show transparency. I thank you.
*HON. TOGAREPI: My question is almost similar to what has been raised by my colleagues. On the issue of GMB that has been raised in this House, the farmers are taking their grain to GMB and all the money is being taken – [HON. NDEBELE: Address the Speaker.] – I do not know if he is the Speaker.
My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. Is it Government policy that all those who had taken loans, when they take their grain to GMB all the money is taken towards loan repayment. Is this not what then encourages farmers to go and sell their produce elsewhere? What is Government policy especially when considering the maize farmers who are saying they got loans but the moment they take their produce to GMB, all the money is taken? Their question is why should I take it to GMB because firstly, they do not have transport to take the grain to GMB?
*THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Government’s policy is that we want to engage in productive farming to ensure that we have food security. The Government does not have money to give to all the farmers to engage in farming. That is why it is encouraged that small farmers engage in the Presidential Scheme for them to improve their farming but other farmers who are advantaged – those in A1 and A2 schemes are encouraged to engage banks to get loans. This is now national enhanced agriculture scheme which mandates that the farmer liaises with the bank. This year we had CBZ and we are hoping that next year we would have engaged more banks.
The farmer gets into a contract with the bank and the farmer gets assistance. When the farmer then takes his or her produce to the grain marketing board, money is then deducted towards repayment of the loan that was advanced. This is enabled by the contract which the farmer would have signed. I encourage that as farmers engage in contract with the banks, they prioritise the fact that when they take their produce to GMB, they should not lose all their money towards loan repayment but the repayment should be done gradually. If banks garnish the whole amount, it means that trust and confidence is still lacking and they think that if they do not get their loan repayment, the farmer might default.
This requires the Government to discuss this with the banks as we prepare for the 2021-22 farming season to see that farmers are protected from these heavy loans. I thank you.
HON. TEKESHE: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. There was a vision in the year 2000 which said ‘health and education free for all’ but it is now 20 years and there is nothing …
Hon. Tekeshe having pulled down his mask – [HON. TOGAREPI: Vharai muromo.] – Whatever. In 2015, there was an introduction of the SDGs and the Ministry of Health and Child Care is pretending on SDG 3. My question is, up to now, it is now six years and again there is nothing; has the Ministry of Health and Government abandoned this important SDG 3 of free health to everyone? Because of the exorbitant prices we are seeing, health is now beyond the reach of the ordinary person in the street. I would like to know if this goal has been abandoned.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): The right to free health is aspirational and it is dependent on available resources but I will defer the question to the Hon Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare who is in charge of that SDG for a comprehensive response.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The issue of SDGs, let me just indicate to this august House that we have just submitted our national voluntary review to the high level political forum of the United Nations Economic and Social Council just this past week, where we did a comprehensive review of all the 17 SDGs. Health is one area where we have done fairly well in terms of reducing mortalities for women, increasing live births, reducing infant mortality. Health is also an area that we have done fairly well in terms of the current improvement and development of health infrastructure in the country.
You will find that if you go even deep into the country, you will realise that most of our primary health care facilities are being renovated. Infrastructure like water, solar, electricity is being provided for by Government and also collaborating with partners. We cannot run away from the fact that a lot of the resources that would have been reserved for health in the past two years have gone into fighting COVID-19. We have used more than US$200 million in the fight against COVID-19. There is massive investment into health and where we have dealt with issues of isolation centres, we have created infrastructure that will last beyond COVID-19, which means there is a way in which our health infrastructure has been renewed. Kushata kwezvimwe kunaka kwezvimwe. We are fighting COVID but during that process we have invested massively into our health infrastructure.
We have picked up even projects that had been abandoned like Lupane Provincial Hospital. We have seen investments taking place in many places. In addition to that – you know the Government policy to say those of a certain age like the elderly are not required to pay. Certain children up to the age of 5 years, depending on their social standing and the choice of the parents are also not supposed to pay. We run other social protection schemes that are related to health. For example, those who come with bills to the Department of Social Development are helped with paying of their bills. These are all issues that Government has instituted in order to improve our health delivery system.
Right now we have almost reached the requirement of the Abuja Declaration to say 15%, which means we have done extremely as a country as far as health is concerned. Let me urge Hon Members to interrogate some of this data in order for them to be a bit more informed about what is happening in our system. By the way, there are other tertiary health institutions that we are developing now. The NSSA facility is Bulawayo called Ekhusileni, we have deliberately said Government. through the Ministry of Health and NUST, must make it a specialist hospital and investments have already started to take place. Here in Harare, a high level hospital is under construction which will take care again of the specialist needs of the country. There is a lot that is happening in the health sector and I would urge people to look into this so that they have factual information. I thank you.
*HON TEKESHE: Supplementary. Hon Minister when you go on the ground, there is nothing because when children and the elderly visit the hospital, they do not pay for admission fees but there is no medication in these hospitals. What must Government do so that there is availability of medication in hospitals?
*THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think that question should be directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.
*HON TEKESHE: Are you saying the Minister of Health should bring a Ministerial Statement to this House outlining these issues, because these Ministers are not availing themselves for questions.
*THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you we have noted your concern.
HON. DR. LABODE: I just wanted to say we are running towards goal 2030 as the Minister said. There are certain components within the health sector that we will definitely achieve – that one, I thought I should tell the House that we have actually already achieved the control of HIV. We have reached our goal long before that. Our challenge is going to be on the sexual reproductive health, not because we need money. Our legal framework stops a woman from getting contraceptives because of age. So she will get pregnant at a very young age and die. It will add to our maternal mortality, that is our problem. I am pleased that the Minister of Justice understands these things and he is looking at it. On drugs yes – [HON. MEMBERS:Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:Order! Hon. Members, order please!
HON. DR. LABODE: Yes, we have problems with drugs. There are certain ailments where we will not be successful unless we are able to assure that we have enough drugs. The availability of drugs is an issue, it is a fact.
(v)HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs with regards to undocumented people. The issue of undocumented people has been there for many years, and there are two issues. One is; we have people without documents in this era of the pandemic and are being turned away for not having documents. The second one is on the issue of census which is approaching. How are we going to have proper statistics including and ages when certain people do not have those documents to prove who they are?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question. That one was corrected by Government. A statement was made to say – I am suspecting he is talking about vaccination. People are allowed to be vaccinated even without identity cards (IDs). That was made very clear. He also spoke about census which is upcoming. Yes, we are very much aware of the problems associated with access to documentation and Government has intervened. A private company was contracted to take over the production of IDs. This was necessitated by challenges our Government is facing with regards to foreign currency issues. As you would appreciate, our IDs and passports, we use a lot of consumables which are imported but that issue will become history very soon because the company that was contracted is seized with the matter. In fact, only today we received a progress report to the fact that they are busy procuring all the required consumables to deal with the backlog of IDs.
Even with the passport issue, the situation has improved a bit. I am aware that – I will give a reference to that fact. A cousin of mine came to me yesterday wanting assistance to try and get a passport. I told him I do not do that, go straight to the Passport Office; if you have a problem, call me. When he called me, he told me that he was asked to come and collect his passport tomorrow. Such is the improvement at the Passport Office but we may still have to do a lot to ensure that these documents are easily accessible. I am pleased to say in the next few months we will see a big change since access to these documents is a human right.
HON. DR. MUTODI: My question is directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and in his absence, I will direct that question to the Minister of Justice. What are we doing as a country and also as SADC to intervene in the situation in South Africa? We have heard that they are having some disturbances in that country. What intervention mechanisms are being put in place to ensure that there is peace in the region? We also heard some speeches from former President Ramaphosa around that issue, so what are we doing as a country and as SADC?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA):Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Dr. Mutodi for raising a very important issue on a matter that is topical, the issue of South Africa. As you know, the foreign policy of Zimbabwe is guided by five key principles. The first one is respect of international law and the second is peaceful co-existence with other nations. South Africa is our neighbour and if South Africa has internal issues, we do not intervene until and when South Africa has raised a red flag to say we want your assistance.
Again the first principle is protection and promotion of national interest of Zimbabwe and as you know, we have Zimbabweans in South Africa. So we have set up systems to ensure that every Zimbabwean in South Africa is protected and taken care of. We were also discouraging Zimbabweans in South Africa not to engage themselves in illegal activities of looting. As Zimbabwe, this is where we stand. We also stand guided by the Chief Diplomat, His Excellency, President, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa. We do not have issues in South Africa because they are a sovereign State. I humbly submit Hon. Speaker Sir.
(v)*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Since we heard that there were more than 300 people who were shot dead, are there Zimbabweans amongst those who were shot?
HON. MUSABAYANA: I want to thank Hon. Chinotimba for his important question. As I have alluded to, the issue of Zimbabweans who are outside the country is important. We are in constant touch with our Ambassador in South Africa. From the start of the riots, we have been engaging each other. In those conversations, we are enquiring if there are our nationals caught in the riots. As of now, we do not have any casualties. If we come across any victims, we will help them with the documentation so that they will be assisted in returning home. Thank you.
(v)HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary question is to what extend does the Ministry have a record of Zimbabweans living in South Africa should these events recur or get worse? How up to date is the register if we have one of Zimbabweans in South Africa.
HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Hon. Chair. I want to thank Hon. Markham for a very important question. Yes, we have a lot of Zimbabweans in South Africa. What we have done as a Ministry is we are working on a diaspora policy. That diaspora policy also involves the registration and putting together and integration of all the organisations and representations of Zimbabweans living abroad. In that endeavor, we will be able to come up with the exact record or records of Zimbabweans living abroad. What we have also done with this diaspora initiative is, we are interacting with diasporans so that they know about the consular services that we provide and all our missions in the host countries. In that process, if there is any challenge that they have in the host country or the country that they are staying, they will be able to contact us and we will be able to assist them. That is how far we have gone. I thank you Hon. Chair.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister responsible for Local Government and Public Works. I would like to thank the President of the country, who gave our chiefs vehicles. My question says, Minister, our village heads are not getting allowances. A research in one of the areas indicates that half or more of them are not getting their allowances but all the jobs that are done on the ground are done by these village heads. All the messages are brought about by these village heads. Why are some village heads not getting their allowances? How can the Ministry make sure that their welfare is improved? Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I would want to thank Hon. Mathe for the question. I stand corrected. I think she is saying we are not paying the village heads. We have about 27000 village heads that are registered with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works. Most of the village heads that are not being paid are not officially installed or sworn. They have been appointed by the “sadunhus” but they are not in our registers. All those village heads that are official are getting their allowances every month.
I think there is also the problem of boundaries. Some of the chiefs appoint village heads in anticipation of the upcoming delimitation of boundaries. Once they are formally installed, the village heads are paid every month on time. I thank you.
+HON. MATHE: This programme of having these village heads registered has never been done ever since I became a Member of Parliament. In my constituency, I have never heard that there is a programme where village heads are being registered but they work so hard daily more than any other person. When is this programme going to be done?
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My Ndebele is not very good. I would appreciate it if somebody can translate it for me.
HON. MATHE: Hon. Speaker, while I do not want to speak English and interpret myself from the language I have used, I would like to ask this question for the second time because honestly it concerns me and the rest of the people in our communities. The Hon. Minister said, they are not paid because they have not been registered. My question is, since I became a Member of Parliament, there has never been a programme to register village heads. When are they going to register these village heads so that they get paid? I am saying in this august House these village heads do the rest of the jobs or let me say they do everything for every Ministry and they get nothing. Can you imagine?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon. Mathe for that follow up question. The process is once you install a chief, he installs the headman and the headman is given a boundary, and according to the number of houses, headman appoints the village heads. If there are no boundaries yet set, there is no way we can recognise those village heads. It means they have not been officially appointed for them to be registered with the Ministry.
Once we do the boundaries and they are officially registered with us, we know they exist but we do not know officially they exist – so, they are not in our books and the chief cannot even submit those names to our Ministry. Right now we have a programme which has been hindered by the COVID pandemic whereby we are going to do the delimitation and the boundaries so that each chief knows where his boundary starts and ends. The finances we have been given, but because we cannot conduct those exercises during this COVID era, we have been delayed, but it is being addressed. I thank you.
HON. BRG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Thank you very Hon. Speaker Sir. May the Hon. Deputy Minister know that these unregistered village heads are causing a lot of confusion on the ground in resettlement areas? For 20 years, they have been acting as if they have authority when they do not have that authority officially and the Ministry is doing nothing for 20 years. My question is why are you keeping them? The registered ones, why are they not provided with transport? Chiefs are given vehicles but from headman to village head, they walk long distances. Why can you not give them motor-bikes or bicycles? What is the problem in giving them at least even transport allowance to do their work? Like what Hon. Mathe said, they do the donkey work for all the Ministries like the Ministry of Public Service, everything registration etc, they are the ones who are the first port of call even the District Administrators, they work with them. Thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon. Mayihlome for that follow-up question. If there is a situation whereby you have the village heads that you know that they are formally in the system, I really request that you bring that to my office and I will get that rectified. The issue of giving the village heads means of transport, when you talk of a village head, it is somebody who controls like 20 or 30 households. It is somebody who they see every day and so there is no need, unless he is going to do other chores but for him to communicate with the people that are within his/her jurisdiction, it is a distance that they can walk. I would request that through the relevant officials systems, they can register those so that when we are reviewing the allowances for the traditional leadership and we will really look into that. I thank you.
HON. BRG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: These other village heads that are masquerading as village heads in the resettlement areas, are they legal or illegal? That is what we want to know, so that if they are not officially appointed, they should stand down and you appoint proper people to administer that because for 20 years we have had resettlement areas without village heads?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Mayihlome for that follow-up question. In resettlement areas there is resuscitation of chieftainship that is going on and we are going through the legal framework that is right now at the AG’s office to make sure we will be able to resuscitate that chieftainship but in the meantime, we have seen some other areas where there are self appointed headmen. As I said, if it is a specific area, I will appreciate if the Hon. Member can bring that to my office and I will do due diligence on that. I thank you.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Local Government and my question is in two parts. The first part is in your assessment, in terms of prioritisation, do you not think that councillors would better serve the community more than village heads in terms of provision of motor vehicles? What is your attitude to that? The second part Hon. Minister is does the Ministry have policy guidelines to prevent the proliferation of village heads who are being appointed willy-nilly and some of the appointments have to do with corruption? The headmen are given goats and so on. It is quite corrupt – do you have monitoring mechanisms to prevent the proliferation of village heads? Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you very much Hon. Mashakada for those questions. You talked about the village heads versus the councillors – right now we have a programme for councillors whereby according to their pockets as a local authority, if they can afford we have encouraged them to purchase motorbikes. I think most of the local authorities have done that. When you talk about corruption with village heads, there are three tiers, the chief, the headman and also the village head and each one has got a certain amount he/she can charge whenever there is a case they are attending to. If it is corruption it is supposed to be reported to ZAAC and if we get those cases and there is evidence, we have taken some measures. We have expelled some of the village heads and so forth. As long as there is a proven case, we have taken them to task. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As a follow-up what was asked by many Hon. Members – the challenge that we have seen is coming from the headman, the chiefs appointing people who are not official and we have all these challenges. We have many areas where we have acting chiefs – who, for their own reasons they will be appointing these people to get more power and so forth. Why do we have these acting chiefs for 10-15 years and they are not resolved? What is the Ministry of Local Government doing to correct this so that we are within the law that governs chieftainships?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you very much Hon. Speaker and thank you very much Hon. Togarepi for that follow-up question. When a chief dies we normally put as acting the first son of that chief for two years. Then the processes kicked in whereby the family members and the community select a chief that we are supposed to install. What happens in most cases, whenever one is selected there are court cases and court cases and we cannot install a chief once the matter is before the courts. As a Ministry, we cannot do anything but we wait until that court sails through. Thank you.
*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. I want to find out about COVID, it looks like it can be with us up to 2030. In Rushinga, Binga and so on, what Government policy do we have for those pupils because other children are learning through the internet but in the rural areas they are not learning? Education is what makes a person. How far are you with your plans because this COVID is with us. What are the children going to write in November?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): The desire of Government is that we should have what we call blended line which incorporates physical and virtual. So the ICT is looking for gadgets and erecting base stations so that those school pupils will be able to learn. Online learning is the in-thing worldwide. That is the desire of the Government and that is where we are right now. There are a lot of things that need to be done looking at how COVID is devastating. We need vaccines; we want to revamp our hospitals and that is what Government is looking into. Also, the Government wants to rehabilitate all that so that our children will get proper education.
*HON. NYABANI: We want to know with the issue of COVID the other Ministries which were given money. On virtual learning, ,how much money was given so that we know when it is starting because it can take forever. We want to know how far the erection of boosters is so that our children will benefit.
*HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. We are lucky because the responsible Ministry of ICT is here. When they are given money they should look for the equipment. With your permission, I can hand over to them – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AD COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. The national e-learning programme – in that programme, 1 500 schools will be connected out of about 6 600 schools. At the same time, there has been an acceleration of infrastructure development across the country, both from Government and also from the private sector.
The question relating to the amount of money which will be invested in terms of base stations across the country, Parliament and Government last year approved and ratified the 71 million dollar project which is funded through China- EximBank. In the 71 million Mobile Broadband Phase 3 Project, there will be a number of base stations which will be deployed across the country. There has been a digital infrastructure scheme so that we rationalise the entire infrastructure and at the same time, there is the infrastructure sharing policy where we are redeploying and reconstructing new base stations across the country. This is certainly ongoing and central to all of this, includes the e-health strategy and the e-learning. Thank you.
HON. TONGOFA: My supplementary question is; are there going to be examinations given that the students who are now writing this year never went to school last year and this year they have gone for one month and they are writing examinations in the next two months? Are they going to write proper examinations or we are just fulfilling?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Dead children do not write examinations. What we are trying to do is to make sure that our children stay alive. Delaying their learning is better than allowing them to die. What we are going to do is; when conditions are right and we feel that our children are safe, then they can write examinations. Let us not worry about rushing to have an examination in an environment where we may lose life – [HON. MEMBERS; Hear, hear] –
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by the THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
DENIAL OF ACCUSED PERSONS THE RIGHT TO HAVE ADEQUATE TIME AND FACILITIES TO PREPARE DEFENCE OUTLINES
3. HON. GONESEasked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairsto inform the House:
a) Why accused persons are denied the right to have adequate time and facilities to prepare their defence outline, in violation of section 70 (1) (c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which implies that accused persons should have copies of the charge sheet, state outline, witnesses’ statements et cetera.
b) Why the State violates this right through failure by the Police to prepare documents in duplicate yet they demand that accused persons make photocopies of documents which they do at exorbitant costs.
c) Why the Ministry allows service providers at the Harare Magistrate Court along Rotten Row to charge foreign currency and cash only for their services, refuse to accept other modes of payments such as ecocash, telecash or netcash transactions, a practice which is a clear breach of the country`s foreign exchange regulations.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me start by thanking Hon. Gonese for raising a very important question which is of concern to many people. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is important for me to highlight that the courts have always respected, not only the accused persons’ right to adequate time and facilities to prepare for their defence, but all the rights of persons accused of committing a crime. The records of court proceedings are there to prove this. It is practice, and also a requirement of law, that at the initial appearance of the accused, his rights are fully explained to him/her, including the right to legal representation. No trial starts if the accused has not been served with documents that the State will use during the trial as evidence against the accused.
The law, however, does not place any positive duty on the State to photocopy for the accused all the documents required, what the accused is entitled to, is access to the police docket. Where any of accused’s rights have not been observed in a manner that vitiates the proceedings, the legal process provides for recourse in the High Court, either through automatic review at the request of the convicted person or on appeal.
Mr. Speaker Sir, regarding the issue of the police not preparing duplicates of documents for accused’s persons, this falls under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The legal position would still remain the same, however that the right does not place a positive duty on the State to provide the accused with everything required by him/her to prepare a defence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, touching on the matter of service providers charging in foreign currency or cash, while refusing other acceptable modes of payment at the Magistrates Court, as raised by the Honourable Member, let me hasten to say there is no private service provider operating at Harare Magistrates Court offering any photocopying services to accused persons. The Ministry does not supervise private service providers. If there is anyone breaching the foreign exchange regulations of this country, such individuals or private service providers ought to be reported and arrested by the police?
Mr. Speaker Sir, to sum up, the law does not place any positive duty on the State to photocopy for the accused all the documents required, what the accused is entitled to, is access to the police docket and any private service providers that are operating outside our courts by providing photocopying services are not mandated by the Ministry of Justice and where they are seen to violate our country’s foreign exchange regulations or tender regulations, they must be reported and arrested. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
(v)HON. GONESE: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, in view of the fact that the majority of the people in this country are indigent, in other words they are not people of good means and most of the accused persons cannot afford legal representation. Is it not appropriate for the Ministry to put in place mechanisms which ensure that such accused persons have access to those documents by way of having duplicates prepared in the same way that the charge sheet is prepared in duplicate so that even the State outline and witnesses’ statements can be prepared in duplicate to enable those accused persons to have access to the documents.
Further to that, the service provided at the Rotten Row Magistrates Court is actually the police who claim that they do not have a merchant account number and they do not have a swipe machine. As a result of which they charge only in cash and now to whom should one report when in fact it is the police who are violating the law?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up question. Indeed, I have taken note and I will have discussions with our legal aid directorate to see what they can do to help the indigent. My colleague Minister of Home Affairs is here on the second question where the service providers are alleged to be police officers. I am sure he has taken note and we will follow up and ensure that if indeed there are police officers who are operating there they will abide by the law. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is to draw attention to what Hon. Gonese has just said. The issue of no payment either by point of sale or by ecocash is not only pertaining to the courts but to the police which he has just mentioned. In fact, this has been mentioned so many times in the House and the Minister said it was work in progress for the ecocash number to be set out for the police by province and also swipe machines to use. My point now is, what is happening because we are constantly told it is work in progress. It takes one hour to set up an ecocash account and it takes even less to get a point of sale. I cannot understand why law enforcement agencies cannot facilitate people paying their funds. It is always cheap than to have issues with collecting cash and US dollars. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: I have taken note and my colleague the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage is here and he has also taken note so that we can have several modes of payment at our courts.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
ESTABLISHMENT OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES (VCTs) IN MARAMBA-PFUNGWE CONSTITUENCY
1. HON. KARUMAZONDOasked the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation to inform the House when the Ministry will establish a Vocational Training Centre in the Maramba-Pfungwe Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORTS, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): My Ministry is currently seized with an expansion drive which will in the long run, oversee the setting up of at least one VTC in each District across the country.
As part of the training initiative that can benefit communities in Uzumba, the Ministry managed to construct Nhakiwa Vocational Training Centre and this was done with consultations with various stakeholders as most of the resources utilised were drawn from the Community Share Ownership Trust. The move was meant to take advantage of the available facilities/amenities in the area that included the road network, electricity as well as health care facilities.
As part of the initiatives that can benefit communities in Uzumba immediately, the Ministry in consultation with the communities within the Constituency can institute Skills Outreach Programmes (SOPs). These are short demand driven courses that can take place in-situ with the Ministry seconding training staff for the initiatives as well as offering certification to the trainees that complete the courses.
It is the Ministry’s target that once resources are made available; a permanent solution will be made through the construction and subsequent operation of a Vocational Training Centre in Maramba-Pfungwe to ensure that vocational skills are made easily available. Human capital development is essential for national development and as such, the Ministry looks forward to continued engagement with your office and Constituency.
ABANDONMENT OF TENGWE RECREATIONAL CENTRE
2. HON. MASENDA asked the Minister of Youth, Sports Arts and Recreation to inform the House why the project at Tengwe Recreation Centre, which received a Budget allocation in 2018/19 has been abandoned.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORTS, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has the pleasure to respond to an inquiry made by Hon. Masenda in which he queries why works towards the refurbishment of Tengwe Sports Club have been stalled. This submission and inquiry the Hon. Member underlines the desire by all of us to see the upliftment of standards for sports and recreation facilities in our communities.
Mr. Speaker Sir, just to give a background – the Ministry, having realised a slump in the state and nature of community sport and recreation facilities at the inception of the Second Republic and realizing that this phenomenon had limited participation as well as insulated against talent identification and development, the Ministry endeavoured to revive sport and recreation facilities for the attainment of maximal under and community benefits. In this regard, the Ministry went on a drive to identify facilities which could be refurbished to nominal standards for the mutual benefit by community and users.
In the process of implementing this initiative and cognisant of the desire by Government to promote and develop the Sport and Recreation industry through widespread investment, marketing and consumption of recreation facilities through Public Private Partnerships. This led to the Ministry signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Hurungwe Rural District Council for the refurbishment of Tengwe Country Club. The main purpose of this project was to meet community needs by providing an interconnected system of sport and recreation facilities which support recreational opportunities and economic development for the community.
In view of this, the Ministry released budgetary support amounting to RTGs80 000 as cited by the Hon. Member. The funds were channelled and acquitted through Chinhoyi Urban Vocational Training Centre. The funds being nominal at the time could not satisfy all the requirements of the whole project and could only refurbish two tennis courts and tennis practising board. Pursuant to this, the Ministry has submitted budgetary request for the completion of this project and others which had been stalled due to limited funding further aggravated by the incidence of COVID-19. I would like to assure the Hon. Member to anticipate resumption of refurbishment activities at the facility.
Once again, the Ministry would like to appreciate your observations as they aid in modelling policy with regards to facility development, management and venue operating systems. The Ministry values your undeniable appetite for the completion of this project and would cherish your support in mobilising stakeholders to input towards the development of this facility as we are all aware that Government alone cannot meet all the requirements of sport and recreation facilities in the country.
RECRUITMENT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES BY THE ARMY
4. HON. E. NCUBE asked the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs to inform the House:
a) what government policy is regarding Army recruitments of persons with disabilities who have professional qualifications but cannot perform other physical tests such as running; and
b) to provide disaggregated data on the number of persons with
disabilities currently employed in the army province by province, gender and job position.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS AFFAIRS (HON.MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): The question comes in two parts. I will first unpack the question by stating that the world over, military organisations do not recruit disabled persons. One of the key requirements for recruitment into the military is that one should be physically fit. Applicants into the military are required among other things to run 10 km in 45 minutes for males and 55 minutes for females as part of the recruitment process. After qualifying to join the military, recruits will be exposed to rigorous physical training that requires able-bodied persons. By not recruiting disabled persons, this should be considered as fair discrimination since the ZDF would be protecting them from being subjected to situations that are not palatable to their physical conditions. This is in line with sub-section 56 (5) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that ‘Discrimination on any of the grounds listed in subsection 56 (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair, reasonable and justifiable in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom.’
When a person is recruited into the ZDF, he or she may get injured either during training or on military operations. In that regard, the ZDF has internal policies that deal with the management of those members. These policies are meant to protect disabled persons against unfair discrimination in line with sub-section 56 (6) of the Constitution which states that, ‘The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures to promote the achievement of equality and to protect or advance people or classes of people who have been disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.’
By virtue of this Clause, disabled persons in the ZDF are protected against unfair discrimination. The ZDF has the following mechanisms in place in tandem with this Clause:
a) When a member gets injured in combat action, on training or traffic accidents, he or she is taken to a hospital for treatment. Upon discharge from the hospital, the member is taken to a physiotherapy facility as recommended by medical specialists. In the case of the ZDF, such facility is at Tsanga Lodge Rehabilitation Centre in Nyanga.
b) At the end of his or her physiotherapy session, the member is trained on a new trade or specialisation as determined by specialists during his or her physiotherapy reviews coupled with the input from the member on his or her wishes.
c) After the member has passed his or her new areas of speciality, he or she is re-assigned to a new job in line with the area of speciality. Some would work as stores managers/clerks, cooks, office clerks, electricians, cobblers, dress makers, IT personnel and so on.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the second part requires me to provide disaggregated data on the number of persons with disabilities employed in the Army province by Province, gender and job position.
The ZDF has forth eight (48) members who are disabled, forty one (41 of whom are males and seven (7) are females. Half the number of these members are mostly employed as stores managers/clerks and the office clerks and the remainder are on rehabilitation at Tsanga Lodge. I thank you.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
COPPER CONTROL AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 3, 2021]
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE) presented the Copper Control
Amendment Bill [H. B. 3, 2021].
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
POLICE AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 2, 2021]
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE) presented the Police
Amendment Bill [H. B. 2, 2021].
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT BILL [H. B. 4, 2021]
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE) on behalf of THEMINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. NCUBE) presented the Public Finance Management Bill [H. B. 4, 2021]
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 7, 2021]
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE) on behalf of THEMINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the Guardianship of Minors Amendment Bill [H. B. 7, 2021]
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
Hon. Shamu having been standing up for a while.
THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon Member, may I know why you are standing.
Hon. Shamu took his seat.
– [Hon. Ndebele: inaudible interjection.] –
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON TOGAREPI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 23 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 24, 30 and 31 have been disposed of.
HON MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
SECOND REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND CHILD CARE ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION OF TRADITIONAL AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINES IN ZIMBABWE
Twenty Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care on the development and promotion of traditional and complementary medicines in Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
HON. MASANGO CHINHAMO: I would like to thank all Hon Members who contributed to our motion on the promotion and development of traditional and complementary medicines in Zimbabwe.
I was really impressed by the level of debate. It was really informed and insightful. I would also like to thank the Vice President and Minster of Health and Child Care, Hon Dr. Chiwenga for making time to respond to our Committee report. That was indeed a comprehensive and well researched response from Hon Chiwenga. May he please keep up the good work and make timeous responses to our Committee business. I now move that the House do adopt the report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care on the development and promotion of traditional and complementary medicines in Zimbabwe.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON NDEBELE: On a point of order. If it pleases you, may you kindly remind me of the procedure. After the adoption of a report what should we expect as Hon Members? If you may refresh my memory please.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): After adoption it is entirely up to the Executive to act on the report.
HON NDEBELE: You mean implementation on their own volition.
FOREST AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 19A, 2019]
Amendments to Clauses 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19 and 20 put and agreed to.
Bill, as amended, adopted.
Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.
FOREST AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 19A, 2019]
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON DR MUSWERE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M. NDLOVU): Mr Speaker Sir, I now move that the Bill be read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
CYBER AND DATA PROTECTION BILL [H. B. 18A, 2019]
Thirty-First Order read: Consideration Stage, Cyber and Data Protection Bill [H. B. 18A, 2019].
Amendments to Clauses 1, 3, 4, 13 and the new Clauses 15, 16, 21, 22, 30, 35, 37, 38 and 39. Put and agreed to.
Bill as amended, adopted.
Third Reading, with leave forthwith.
CYBER AND DATA PROTECTION BILL [H. B. 18A, 2019]
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE): Mr. Speaker, I now move that the Bill be now read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI:I move that the House reverts to Order Number 17.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
FIRST JOINT PETITION REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND CHILD CARE AND THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON THE PETITION FROM THE ADVOCACY CORE TEAM (ACT) ON THE AGE OF CONSENT TO ACCESSING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES BY THE ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG PERSONS IN ZIMBABWE
Seventeenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Joint Petition Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care and Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on the Petition from the Advocacy Core Team (ACT) on the age of consent to accessing reproductive health care services by the adolescents and young persons in Zimbabwe
HON. SAIZI:Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank all Hon. Members who immensely contributed to this debate on the petition from the advocacy Core Team that age of consent to access healthcare services be revised. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the contributions that were made. I was very much impressed by the level of debate. It was very informing and precise. I would like to thank this august House and the Minister of Health and Child Care for making time to respond to our Committee report. May I once again take this opportunity to thank him for making timeous responses to our Committee reports at all times. I now move that the motion be adopted.
Motion that this House takes note of the First Joint Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care and Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on the Petition from the Advocacy Core Team (ACT) on the age of consent to accessing reproductive health care services by the adolescents and young persons in Zimbabwe, put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Five Minutes to Five O’clock p.m.
*From the National Assembly Hansard