You are here:Home>National Assembly Hansard>NATIONAL ASSEMB;Y HANSARD 02 AUGUST 2017 VOL 43 NO 83

NATIONAL ASSEMB;Y HANSARD 02 AUGUST 2017 VOL 43 NO 83

Download attachments:

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APPOINTMENT AND CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that Hon. Brown Ndlovu has been assigned to serve on the following Portfolio Committees;-

(a)              Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care and the

(b)            Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy.

I also have to inform the House that Hon. Mahoka has been

assigned to serve on the following Portfolio Committees;-

(a)             Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care and the

(b)            Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation.

REMINDER OF A CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I also have to remind the House

that there will be a clean-up campaign for Harare Central Business District, tomorrow 3rd of August, 2017 from 1000hrs to 1300 hrs. Hon. Members are urged to participate.

NOTICES OF ABSENCE

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have received Notices of Absence from the following Hon. Ministers:- Hon. Dr. Chombo; Hon. Mupfumira; Hon. Prof. J. Moyo; Hon. Deputy Minister Eng. Matangaidze; Hon. Deputy Minister T. Mathuthu and Hon. Deputy Minister B. J. Mlambo.

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to acknowledge the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery, students and teachers from Chisere Primary School from Harare Province.  You are most welcome. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a point of order in terms of Standing Order 68.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  That is not a point of order but a point of priviledge.

          HON. NDUNA:  Yes, Mr. Speaker, may I go ahead?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes.

          HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, it has come to my attention that there is a young lady of 22 years of age who is moving around towns in particular, and other places taking children of four years and below and relocating them to other places other than their places of residence. Mr. Speaker, I say this so that Hon. Members may be aware that …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member, that is not a point of priviledge.  It is not a point of privilege and it does not affect you as a Member of Parliament.

          HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, I forgot to state that it is read with the Bill of Rights [Chapter 4]. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order a point of privilege must relate to the Hon. Member’s privilege in the national interest.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SHAMU:  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Hon. Minister, I need enlightenment on what the policy says in terms of medical doctors marketing themselves either electronically or in print media on their various specialties. Are they permitted by the policy to do so?

          *THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Shamu for the question that he raised on whether doctors are allowed to publicize or advertise their professions either by erecting bill boards or on the radio and different media.  I think that is what his question was about.

          Policy states that if a doctor has his own surgery or hospital, he is allowed to erect a board or poster to show what he is doing.  Also, the print has certain measurements that should be observed but they are not allowed to go on air like on radio to advertise and encourage people to go to their surgeries.  Still on that note, there are quite a lot of professional doctors and we have specialist doctors.  We are amending that policy to ensure that doctors are able to advertise their specialties, that is allowed.  Other countries actually allow this to be done in both the print and electronic media.  We want to see how far we can go pertaining to that.

          *HON. MUDARIKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, what of those who are advertising themselves in the newspapers and those found in faith based organisations who inform people that they are also healers?  Is that in your policy as well because you are the one who looks at health issues?  I thank you.

          *THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Mudarikwa, your question is not supplementary to the question raised by Hon. Shamu. Prophetic healers are not doctors.

          HON. MUDEREDZWA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Eng. Mzembi.  By way of policy direction, what is your ministry doing to influence the hospitality industry so that their pricing regime is competitive enough, in line with what is happening within the region?  We realise that people are coming to Zimbabwe, but they do not want to spend a night here in Zimbabwe, they would rather prefer to come to Zimbabwe, go back to South Africa, come to Zimbabwe go back to Zambia and other places.   What is it that you are doing as a ministry to influence them so that they also encourage even the local populace to stay in hotels?  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. ENG. MZEMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me thank the Hon. Member for his question.  I have just come from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe ahead of a monetary policy pronouncement or Mid-Term by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor.  The statistics that we were comparing between me and him suggest otherwise. In fact, quite to the contrary, our occupancy rates are way, way up at this juncture.  I can cite Victoria Falls, we are around 90%, in the same destination we have advanced bookings between 4 to 6 months of people who are coming to stay in Zimbabwe, because they are finding our pricing regime competitive on the back of incentives that are already being passed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to my sector and acknowledged by the sector.   That notwithstanding, I wish to acknowledge that for the domestic tourism market, because of the use of the US dollar currency in our midst, we are finding a lot of difficulty in arriving at agreeable cost derivatives in US dollars, because the market including users of the same currency are speculative around this currency.  They do not fully appreciate what margins they should be applying on their costs in hard currency. 

          This is why I have always advocated now and in the past, going forward into the future that maybe one day in the future, we need a currency that can induce internal devaluation and price competitiveness of our products.  We have a choice of 10 currencies within the basket that are all working at common purpose to achieve the very same objective and I hope that we can direct the industry to now institute a differential pricing system for the domestic tourism sector.  Otherwise internationally, we are competitive.   I thank you.

          HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  As a follow up to the response by the Hon. Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Industry what steps is the Ministry taking in terms of promoting the domestic tourism?  He has already mentioned the issue of price regime that it is too expensive.  Can the Minister then highlight to this House what steps they have taken in terms of encouraging the domestic tourism, bringing together all the tourism – [HON. SHUMBA: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Shumba.

          HON. ZINDI: So that they can actually package the domestic tourism. In other words, with the aspect of saying whenever we are promoting and incentivizing tourism, we should not just look at the international at the expense of the local tourist in terms of promoting tourism locally.  I thank you.

          HON. ENG. MUZEMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for this incisive question.  The viability of domestic tourism is a function of the ability of the country to raise a middle class that can afford the product.  I want to say that that action will certainly not come from tourism alone; it is a collective action of the entire country to raise a middle class that can afford the product.  That notwithstanding, we are being creative around certain classes and categories that should be consuming the domestic product. I cite here what I have always advocated for as school tourism which can be directed at assets within our baskets of rooms and it includes national parks.  We have a room stock of about 800 rooms under National Parks.  That could lend themselves very handy to school tourism. 

I do not expect school children to be able to afford five start hotels in the Victoria Falls or three star hotels in Great Zimbabwe.  We have room assets that can be afforded by our school children and they are within the ambit of National Parks.  We are talking to National Parks so that we can make available that room stock to our school tourism.  We have designed a civil servant travel incentive scheme that should be consumed by all civil servants; they are entitled to a holiday.  We designed a scheme and we surrendered it to the employer, the Civil Service Commission, because it constitutes part of their conditions of employment.  So, we are cautious of certain categories and classes that we can affirmatively begin to push towards enjoying the domestic product. 

That notwithstanding and in response to how we are creating democratic access of the product beyond just talking about Victoria Falls.  I have just completed an exercise leading to two weeks ago which has led to the consummation of 11 Tourism Development Zones around the country.  We will reaching out to Parliament shortly, I think within the next fortnight to sensitise Parliament on what these zones are so that we can receive input from you as their authenticity in terms of how we have captured them at technical level from the Ministry. 

          They include products around the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe which is a tourism circuit in its own rights leading into Tokwe-Mukorsi to Gonarezhou.  They include the entire Eastern Highlands - that whole range of mountains has been captured under those tourism development zones.  They include the Midlenta product, they also include the area around Kariba.  In fact, we have constituted 10 development zones that I shall be presenting by the way tomorrow, to the Special Economic Zone authority to see if they can begin to receive equal and similar treatment to what we have designated the Victoria Falls as a special economic zone. 

          There will be democratic access of the product, but I need to bring the output to Parliament so that they can input into it even before we take it to Cabinet, because it will be nice to make sure that it is all inclusive and conclusive around what we agree as Tourism Development Zones in the country.  I thank you – [AN. HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You cannot in terms of our rules.

          *HON. NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon.  Dr. Dokora.  They did well as a Ministry bringing in the feeding scheme programme and it assisted most children to go to school. I want to find out what measures they have as a ministry in terms of provision of sanitary wear to the - girl child, because girls are missing about three days a month, missing school because they do not have sanitary wear.  We want to know that measures the ministry has put in place.  In Kenya, girl children are given sanitary wear which they keep in their bags, I thank you. 

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Nyamupinga for raising such a pertinent question.  It is true, our Ministry launched the School Feeding Scheme Programme. This  shall continue - but we are also knowledgeable on the fact that what you mentioned on sanitary wear affects the girl-child. This was being addressed by the Non-Governmental Organisations, such as CAMFED, World Vision, until recently.

          This year we have organised policy development programmes to raise awareness on the need for School Health Policy which we have put together with the Ministry of Health and Child Care.  We are also carrying out consultations with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development.  We have reached an advanced stage and hope that in the near future we will be able to announce, in line with the policy that will assist the girl child in order that they do not miss out on any school days because of their menstrual cycles.  We will inform you once we have reached that stage of a policy launch to inform you of our progress

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development.  I would like to know from the Hon. Minister with regard to Government policy, bearing in mind that as a country, Zimbabwe, we have done so much internationally in terms of gender representation across the board, specifically to do with Parliament - in relation to Proportional Representation (PR), where we have put so much effort in terms of the girl child being represented in Parliament.  They are doing something wonderful and new to the world.

          What is the Government policy that you are working on to make sure that you put so much influence on political parties, to make sure there is ontinuity, as well capacity build for Members of Parliament, specifically to do with the PR in the forthcoming 2018 elections, so that we have that continuity and the empowerment of those who have been here so that they excel more.  How are you doing it to influence political parties to make sure that, that spirit is maintained?

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The question that has been asked by the Hon. Member comes at a time when that issue is on our agenda, considering the fact that we are moving towards 2018.  In our Constitution, it is enshrined –fully, and not in factions that….

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please address the Chair?

          HON. CHIKWINYA: What we are doing is: firstly, we are going to make sure that we seek for an extension.  What we have in our Constitution indicates that there is going to be tenure of 10 years.  The tenure of 10 years where we have the set up that we have now, is not enough – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We need another 10 years to ensure that at that time, women will be fully equipped to handle leadership positions.  This is just a preparatory stage and we cannot be prepared in 10 years.  We need another 10 years – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          As we move in the 20 years, we are also getting to Agenda 2063 with our SDGs, Agenda 2020.  This is the time when we are also grooming the girl-child.  We cannot groom a girl-child in 10 years.  So, within the next 30 years, that is when we get to Agenda 2030, we would have groomed enough young women to take up positions in Parliament.  So, we are in the process of ensuring that in both political parties; we are working on young women and also working on young men to ensure that they realise the importance of promoting young women.  In both parties, we have an exercise and I believe it is working as we are talking right now.

          We also have a provision in the Constitution, Section 17 – 50/50, we still want it on board.  From my own political party, we have already addressed the issue that we are taking the issue to Central Committee and to Politburo so that it is allowed at that level.  I am also hoping that in MDC, women leaders in there are also addressing - [AN HON. MEMBER: MDC-T.] - MDC-T is also the same issue.  So, if MDCs are addressing the same issue, we will move on with our 50/50 and we will still go on to request for another 10 years while we are grooming the girl child to take up positions.  I thank you.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you Hon. Minister.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, what is it that you are doing as a Ministry to influence and to make sure that you conscientise other women across the political divide; those women who pull down other women who are in the PR.  What is it that you are doing to educate them and to make sure that they appreciate the importance of this gender balance?

          HON. CHIKWINYA: We need a very powerful outreach programme, an outreach programme that will address exactly what you are talking about.  This is one of our biggest setbacks as women.  We have setbacks not by our male counterparts but also by other women and we need to go out there with a robust and very powerful programme to ensure that we talk about this, and ensure it is not just a question of men or women or a question where we both address this issue because we are partners in this programme.  Men and women out there have to be conscientised about this.  We need to just come up with a robust programme to ensure that we address this.  Otherwise this is a problem that we should battle with as parties and as individuals.

HON. MLISWA:  Yes, it is a given that ten years is there.  What has the Ministry done in capacitating women especially those representing other women in Parliament before we get to extend another ten years?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Indeed, there are numerous programmes that we are doing amongst ourselves and these are for both parties - also with our own partners, UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women ourselves and other partners out there.  So much is happening.  As I speak right now, in this House; we have got programmes that we are currently undertaking as female Members of Parliament who are currently here.  I think we are doing so well in that area.

HON. MLISWA:  Which specific programmes?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order!  Hon. Mliswa, the Standing Orders require that you be recognised.  You do not just stand up and start talking.

HON. MLISWA:  I am sorry Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Your apology is accepted.

*HON. MUNENGAMI:  Hon. Minister Chikwinya, you mentioned the 50-50 which is in our Constitution which you said you are trying to ensure that implementation takes place.  If you look at where you are sitting, you are the only female seated on the Ministers’ bench and the rest are male.  What are you doing to ensure that the 50-50 issue that you mentioned is maintained? We realise that in the Executive, there is no 50-50; we need to reduce the gap.

*HON. CHIKWINYA: If we are successful in the 50-50 provision, it does not only mean that it should be in Parliament only.  It is looking at all leadership positions whether it be in the industries, embassies or any other sector.  It will be legislation that will have been passed in this House.  We will also stand up here and say that now that we have legislation on 50-50, it means that at the Executive level, it has to be the same.  If it is at Parliament, it has to be the same too because it will be based on legislation.  This legislation will be used as our defence. 

HON. GONESE: On a matter of privilege Mr. Speaker…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  We have had three supplementary questions please.

HON. GONESE:  It is a matter of privilege and I think it will address some of the concerns.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No.

HON. GONESE:  A matter of privilege Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No. No.

HON. GONESE:  It is a matter of privilege and I think it will address some of the concerns.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No. This is question time…

HON. GONESE:  I know it is related to question time…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, when the Speaker is speaking.  This is time for questions and not for making statements.  I said you cannot ask the fourth supplementary.  You cannot. Some other time you can do that.

Hon. Gonese approached the Chair.

HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  In view of the interest that has been generated by these questions relating to gender balance.  I am requesting the Minister to come up with a comprehensive Ministerial Statement to cover all these aspects and in particular the issue of women’s representation here in Parliament, outside Parliament and in Government agencies.  All Hon. Members can then ask for clarification and I think that will address the issue that is of interest to the whole nation of Zimbabwe –[HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, are you agreeable to that?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  I think that is only fair because there are very diverse issues related to this matter.  Some are constitutional and some are personal. Let us just talk about this and see whether we can come up with a solution to the problem together as Parliament.

HON. KHUPE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Statistics show that in Africa, people discover that they have cancer when their cancers are on stages three and four.  These are advanced stages such that very little can be done to serve those affected.

What is Government doing to make sure that there are screening facilities especially in terms of  mobile clinics which can be deployed throughout the whole country so that people have got access to these mobile clinics as we all know that early detection of cancer saves lives.  It is clear that cancer is prevalent these days and many people are dying from cancer because they only discover it when it is late.  I know that I can bear testimony because when we went to Kenya, we saw how they were handling cancer issues with mobile clinics which are deployed to each and every province.

What are you doing to ensure that we put this in place as well?

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  We are registering an average of 6 000 cases of cancer in this country every year.  Of that 6 000, cancer of the cervix is number one for women and cancer of the breast is number two but for men, it is cancer of the prostate and Kaposi Sarcoma.  Overally, we are registering a lot of cancers that are also HIV related.

So, in terms of what we are doing, we have been able to look at HIV and to some extent; we have managed to contain the spread of HIV in terms of a lowering of prevalence and indeed, a lowering of incidents.  So, we know that we have got structures that we have used for HIV which we call the National Aids Council, Provincial Action Plans, the DACs and the WACs and so on going down.

We have already now instructed the National Aids Council to incorporate cancer fight into the same structures so that you are able to go right down to the villages and are able to disseminate information the same way that we are doing with HIV.  So, we have asked for a budget straight to the National Aids Council to incorporate other methods that can be used to disseminate information.  A lot of our people come very late with cancer, extremely late and then they are in stage three and stage four.  So, the best means of preventing cancer is actually to prevent cancer.  How you do it, is to screen.  Now, every district hospital has got what we call VIAC.  Every woman who comes to our hospitals, we screen using Visual Inspection of the Cervix with acetic acid.  We use that for early screening. 

We also encourage our women to palpate their breasts every time, as often as they can, to see if there are any unusual lumps in their breasts.  Often women tell us and I think this is not fair, but sometimes it is actually the men who say, what is this in your breasts, especially the husbands, but generally we ask that women palpate themselves regularly and often. 

Also outside VIAC and outside the National Aids Council, we are now saying, let us vaccinate our young women for prevention of cancer of the cervix.  So, we are now also on a programme of vaccination to vaccinate against the papillomavirus which causes cancer.  So, we have started that project in Beitbridge and Marondera as pilot projects and those again, we are going to disseminate throughout the country.  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

HON. KHUPE:  Thank you very much Hon. Minister for your response.  Is the Minister considering purchasing mobile clinics because with mobile clinics, you can be assured that at least they will be deployed to each and every place, especially those remote places where they do not have clinics?  The advantage of mobile clinics is that they do not just screen cancer.  They will be checking HIV, high blood pressure and all other diseases.  So, is the Ministry not considering the purchasing of mobile clinics because they will be able to reach all those places where we do not have clinics?  I thank you.

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for putting that point very powerfully.  Indeed, we already have mobile clinics.  We do not have sufficient clinics and we do not want them to be siloed, to be just as you rightly say, only for cancer of the cervix, but we want them to be outreaches for all other preventable illnesses.  We are also saying to ourselves that, instead of just having provincial and district hospitals, let us also now have health centres...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  This is a very important subject and we have lost some of our colleagues here, but you are not listening.  Why?  Any one of us here could be a candidate for that disease.

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Indeed Hon. Speaker, anyone can actually be a candidate.  As I have said, women have got cancer of the breast and cervix; men have cancer of the prostate.  Cancer of the prostate has killed a lot of men here in this country and again, it is because of late presentation.  So, we also encourage men, if you may allow me to divert, to actually go and have themselves examined through the anus, anal examination, and the doctor will palpate and see if the prostate is enlarged.

So, we encourage all men, especially those above 40 years, to also go and have themselves screened, but I will take your proposition very seriously that can we use mobile clinics to be part and parcel of the fight against cancer.  Thank you.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  My supplementary Hon. Minister is to do with the point that you raised that most of the cancer that we have is also linked to HIV.  What are you doing for those that are being exposed, particularly if they are raped, in terms of getting Post-Exposure Prophylaxis or those that are actually living with discordant partners because what we are getting is that not much is being said?  So, a women gets raped, automatically she stays another 48 hours before she actually goes in and somebody says to them, you can actually get PEP Or if she is living with a discordant partner and she has had unsafe sex no one is saying to her you can actually go and get PEP because this is linked to how many of those women then succumb to cancer.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  Hon. Member do not debate, ask a question.   Thank you.

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir and I would like to thank Hon. Misihairabwi for that supplementary.  It is true, in this country we are now emphasising not just prevention as primary prevention against HIV, but we are also saying let us promote Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.  Now with Pre- Exposure Prophylaxis what it means is that, those people who are at risk of getting HIV, mostly because of their profession, we are encouraging them to go onto Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, which means we give them treatment or tables to prevent them from catching HIV should they come into contact with that.  This we are actually encouraging very much in terms of our sex workers.  So, we are saying to sex workers Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is available, especially for our women.  So, when that happens, it also helps. 

The second thing is, those who have been exposed, perhaps have been raped and you want to prevent them catching HIV, we encourage Post-Exposure Prophylaxis.  They are available in the country.  The centre of that availability is Wilkins Hospital, but we are saying, it is all disseminated to our central and district hospitals so that people can access them.  So, if a woman is raped and we are not sure and she is not sure of the status of the man, which is mostly the case, we encourage they get the Post-Exposure Prophylaxis within 48 hours of being raped.  The point that you are raising is that there is a lot or bureaucracy getting to that position and we have tried very hard through our own systems to try and lighten that burden so that people are not put into too much rigmarole before they can access that Post-Exposure Prophylaxis.

I must say it is not talked about very much and so our population do not know much about it and I think we need to have a very vigorous exercise to educate our people about Post-Exposure and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.

HON. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Minister is, the cost of treating cancer is huge. Those that are on first and hopefully on second stage might go for $2 000 per session. Those that are beyond second, third and fourth, we are looking at $3 000 - $4 000 and no Zimbabwean woman can afford that. What is Government’s policy vis-a-vis the issue of Government meeting the cost of cancer treatment like you mentioned the issue of AIDS levy? Where is cancer coming in on the AIDS levy in terms of advocacy and treatment?

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: I would like to thank Hon. Khumalo for that very important question. What has happened to us and I think the country needs to know this, that we have had problems in getting drugs generally in our institutions. There has been an acute shortage of drugs now and again, particularly some of the drugs like cancer, drugs for the mentally disturbed and drugs of anesthesia. We have had a shortage of that and we have lobbied each other in Government that, can something not be done about drugs in this country.

We discussed around a small levy of cellphones and I am so pleased that the Ministry of Finance agreed and announced in its Budget Statement that in fact there is going to be a health levy which has already started operating. This month we got $6 million towards that health levy and that money has been targeted particularly towards drugs. So, we are hoping that over the next few weeks and months, we should be able to satisfy ourselves that our central and provincial hospitals particularly, are well-equipped with drugs. That will also help us in looking at priority drugs and one of our priority drugs is cancer treatment.

We are so happy that this health levy has come by and we should be able to cascade that health levy towards cancer treatment. I think $6 million per month and if it continues at that rate, we really will win. At the present time, as you know Mr. Speaker, the NGOs and donors are the ones who are subsidising our drugs to the tune of 98%. Most of those drugs come to the clinics and that is why you find a lot of the clinics will have drugs but the provincial hospitals will not have drugs. So, this levy will help us now to stock the provincial and central hospitals and with that also, to be able to look at cancer treatment. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MANGAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. It is a fact that in every district, there are children who have got special needs yet it is not in every district that we have schools for such people. What is Government’s policy regarding the provision of schools for special needs so that they are also catered for in their education?

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): I thank the Hon. Member for raising the question. It is a given that our policy of education embraces the concept of inclusive education as opposed to institutionalisation. The examples we have at St Giles, Kapota or Henry Mare are examples of institutionalisation and there are 38 such institutions in the country at the moment. However, with inclusive education policy, you try as much as you can for those conditions that are amenable to inclusion to allow those children to remain within mainstream classrooms for purposes of their education.

What then becomes critical is the skills acquisition on the part of the teacher on how to handle an inclusive class when that obtains at a given school. Another layer that assists such inclusive education policy delivery is the setting up of technical units in the districts across the country. It is those districts that are now being or have been capacitated already in some cases to allow them to offer assistance to the teachers who are deployed in any given district. So, the Hon. Member should enquire at that local district schools inspector as to the location of a given school which plays the role of a technical assistance site. Thank you.

HON. MANGAMI: Hon. Speaker, I hear the Minister and I think the inclusiveness part of it, yes he has acknowledged that there are some hindrance and right now it is the language barrier, for example the deaf and dumb. I did not get it clear how such can be assisted through the technical unit which the Minister has alluded to. So, may I be appraised on how such issues to do with the deaf and dumb groups which require special needs, how can they be taken care of remembering that the schools are scattered and such children are found in different places.

HON. DR. DOKORA: I have already indicated that at each of our District Offices, there will be ready information as to the forms of conditions that particular district is capacitated to assist children in. We have in Matebeleland North a case in point at Fatima where precisely the form of disability, constraint or challenge that she makes reference to is taken care of because we have a teacher at the school who is capacitated to look after children of this nature. They are in a mainstream school and not isolated in the sense of being institutionalised, which was my first definition of the specialised schools where of course we acknowledge the tremendous effort that teachers have to make when they are perhaps in a class of one or two such learners. It is a much better situation to allow it to remain outside the school system or take the expensive route which has been the institutionalisation when resources perhaps do not quite permit. Thank you.

*HON. MASHAYAMOMBE: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Dr. Gumbo. Hon. Minister, what measures does the Government have in place to decongest Harare because there is a challenge in Zimbabwe in terms of congestion?  As the Minister of Transport, we want to find out what measures you have in place.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO)  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Mashayamombe for the question that he posed.  I want to inform him and ask him to redirect his question to Hon. Kasukuwere, the Minister of Local Government.  Anything that relates to urban councils is under his Ministry.  I thank you – [HON. MEMERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Can we have order Hon. Members.  Order Hon. Zindi.  I do not think there is any need for a supplementary question because the Hon. Minister did not answer any question.  When you want to ask, it will be a new question because the Hon. Minister did not answer it and he said, the question has to be referred to Hon. Kasukuwere.  So there is no need for any supplementary question, unless you have a new question.

*HON.  ZINDI:  I will ask a new question.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much, but not now. 

HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  Good afternoon.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.  I wanted to find out, what their is the policy of local tourism in terms of licensing eating houses and shebeens.  I say so because I come from a party where this is a very important part of the culture of Bulawayo.  The late great Sydney Malunga died asking about this issue of when you are going to legalise shebeens.  It is part of our lives, so people must understand that and respect it.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I want the question so that the Minister answers.  You cannot answer yourself.

HON. J. TSHUMA:  My question is, what is the Ministry’s policy towards legalising and licensing local eating houses and shebeens in our society so that they can operate legally and also create revenue for Government?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. ENG. MZEMBI):  Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for asking this question.  First and foremost, for that kind of product to become legal, licensing of places that sell liquor, you need in excess of 12 to 13 licences, many of which fall outside my realm as Minister of Tourism.  So to get to the point where we legalise the shebeens as he calls them, it will need the collective action of more than eight Government Ministries to get to that point.  I would like to take it back to a Committee of Ministers to see how we can promote it as a concept around home hospitality.  Sezvatinoita ndari kumusha, haina licence.  Vanhu vanongofamba vachingoti ngomee, vanhu voenda vonomwa zvavo.  We will find a way of bringing it back, nicely branded but with the collective effort of at least eight Ministries.  That is the future going forward  – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chibaya, please!

*HON. MURAI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Good afternoon.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, the Minister of Defence.  Yesterday, we witnessed violence between the ZRP and the Defence.  Their duty is to maintain peace and security in the nation.  We are no longer sure whether we are safe or not.  What measures have you taken in place to address the misunderstandings between the two groups to guarantee our security?  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI):  Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for raising this question.  I will address it after I have reports from the ZRP and from the Army concerning what exactly took place.  I promise you that on Wednesday, I will have a response pertaining to that issue and also the measures that are being taken to ensure that there is no violence or misunderstandings amongst the security forces.  I thank you  – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members. Order Hon. Mupfumi.  If there is someone calling for a supplementary question, it is the duty of the Chair to recognise him and not you.  The Minister of Defence said that he will bring a response, so I do not know where the supplementary question arises from when he has not responded to anything.  Hon. Members please, we have others who want to pose questions.  Let us wait for the Minister to bring the answer and if your questions are not addressed, then you can raise supplementary questions.  Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I am saying that, let us go to other questions whilst we wait for the Minister’s response.

*HON. CHAMISA:  On a point of privilege. Madam Speaker, it is permissible in the Standing Orders.  Standing Order Number 68 (d) permits us to take it up with the Minister who is here.  We are privileged to have Hon. Mphoko.  We have noticed that it is important for us to have a response from his Office.  We also realised that the First Lady of the nation has said that within Government – I believe the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa has just walked in,  so we have both Vice Presidents in this House in order to respond to the question.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chamisa, in my understanding, we were talking of the issue of the violence that erupted between the police and the army.  Once it has been raised, Madam Speaker, it becomes more pertinent than all the other questions that have been raised.

          Madam Speaker, you need to refer to the Standing Orders.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I will give you the chance to do that once we are done with these questions.

          *HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  But Madam Speaker, the law does not permit that.  My point of privilege is directed to the Vice Presidents, either Hon. Mphoko or Hon. Mnangagwa.  The privilege is that we witnessed the First Lady saying a lot that if it was possible, the President should appoint someone to lead the nation.  So we want to find out from the way the Government is set up, is there stability in the Government or there is instability, because that reflects that there is instability in terms of governance, because of the speeches that are given by the leaders of the nation.  Can they give us assurance that there is stability within the Government?

          THE VICE PRESENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO):  Thank you Hon. Speaker, I am not privileged because the bulk of his questions were in Shona.  I want to handover to my colleague, thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA):  Madam Speaker, I was not listening, I was reading.  I am not sure I heard the question.  So may the Hon. Member repeat the question?

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Vice President, let me repeat.  While you are standing?

          HON. E.D. MNANGAGWA: Yes.

-         [Laughter.] -

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  I really appreciate that.  Hon. Vice President, my question to you is that we have seen and heard in the full glare of all the people of Zimbabwe, statements from the First Lady to the effect that there has to be an appointment or direction as to the successor, whether yourself or some other, - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It was not clear but yes, it was public.

          Our question, which is a very important question, is there stability within Government and is there something in Government that has necessitated those fundamental pronouncements by the First Lady?  Particularly when one has regard to what was also said by the First Lady - to say that there is bias in farvour of some Ministers in terms of others ahead of others. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Is everything well in Government or the Government is facing some serious problems?

           HON. E.D. MNANGAGWA:  I thank you Hon. Member. Madam Speaker, the first point is where was the First Lady speaking?  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Which political party was it?  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – We have no problem of recruiting more members into ZANU PF.

-         [Laughter.] –

We were at a rally of a particular party, ZANU PF, discussing

issues of that political party.  You have referred to Government, I am not aware of any statement relating to Government at all. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  With regard to the issue of some names or some people not appearing, it is a question of being subjective whether that is true or not.  You need to look at particular cases and say, in this particular case it should not have been on page two but on page one or not page eight but on page two.  Then we deal with the particular cases as they arise.  I thank you. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. MARIDADI: Inaudible interjection.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order I think the

question was clear and the answer was also clear that in this august House, we cannot debate on issues of a particular party.  May we please proceed with the business of this august House, Hon. Mupfumi! - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          *HON. MUPFUMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker…

          HON. MARIDADI:  Madam Speaker, honestly allow me to pose a supplementary question, because this issue was on our national television.  What happens in ZANU PF affects us because ZANU PF is the ruling party - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is the supplementary question?

          HON. MARIDADI:  The supplementary question is, the First Lady is the wife of - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members.

          HON. MARIDADI:  The First Lady is wife to our President and Head of State and what she says goes, because she is a person who is very important.  What was said at a ZANU PF rally has a bearing on all of us, because ZANU PF is the ruling party…

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  May you please get to the point.

          HON. MARIDADI:  I want to say that we need a comment from one of the Vice Presidents on what the First Lady said, especially when it related to a senior Government employee because she summoned a senior Government employee and censored him in public.  That is public knowledge, and it is in the public domain, hence cannot be swept under the carpet.  We need to have a response on that.

          Hon. Vice President, kindly respond to that.  I am happy that there is you, Leader of the House who is also Vice President and there is also Hon. Vice President Mphoko and there are senior Ministers.  You can help each other to answer this question, it is very important.  Thank you. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – 

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA):  Madam Speaker, I am grateful for the supplementary posed by the Hon. Member.  A matter arose at a public meeting and if there are any answers to be given, they must be given at the same forum.

          In a democracy, like the democracy we have, such meetings are covered for the benefit of the nation.  When we give that report at that platform which is appropriate, again the nation will be informed.  I thank you.

          HON. GONESE:  Madam Speaker, I have a matter of privilege arising from – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. DEPPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Gonese.  I think you know the procedures of the House.  – [HON. MLISWA: Inaudible interjection.] -  Order Hon. Mliswa!  Order Hon. Members, if I call for order, I mean everybody.

          HON. GONESE:  Yes, I have a point of order.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, I think you understand the procedures, you cannot just stand up and start talking.  I did not recognise you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  How can you start talking before I recognise you? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  Order, order may we have order in the House?  Hon. Gonese order! – [HON. GONESE:  I am raising a point of order!] -  Order, order may we have order please.

          HON. GONESE [speaking]:On a point of order Madam Speaker.  

          THE HON. MADAM SPEAKER:  Can we have order.  Order Hon. Members. Order please, order in the House.  

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

          HON. MARIDADI: I propose that time for Questions Without  Notice be extended – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. MARIDADI:  Madam Speaker, in any case the time has lapsed but the question had been posed already. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: No, it was answered.

          HON. MARIDADI: No, it was not.  The VPs are seized with that question Madam Speaker.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

          The Hon. Deputy Speaker moved that question no. 1 be answered.

          HON. MARIDADI:  No that question must be answered Madam Speaker.  Hon. Majome please hold it until this question has been answered.  On a point of order Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Maridadi I did not recognise you.

          HON. MARIDADI:  You gave me the floor and I am on the floor already.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I did not recognise you. Hon. Maridadi please

          HON. MARIDADI:  Hon. Madam Speaker please, this one is important.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I did not recognise you, you cannot just start talking.

          HON. MARIDADI:  Both factions are here, both factions are represented in the House.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi please, take your seat.

          HON. MARIDADI:  Both factions LACOSTE and G40 are represented in the House Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. GONESE:  On a matter of privilege Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. MADAM SPEAKER:  No, no.

          HON. GONESE:  You cannot ignore a matter of privilege which I have risen on.  I am standing up on a matter of privilege in terms of Standing Order No. 68(d).

           The Deputy Speaker having moved on to question No. 2.

          HON. GONESE:  But this is not procedural Madam Speaker.  Why are you even ignoring question No. 1?   Why are you leaving question No. 1?   

          HON. MAJOME:  On a point order Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order? I was calling you several times, you were not responding why?

          HON. MAJOME:  Because you were having an altercation with Hon. Maridadi.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am presiding over this House, not anybody else.

          HON. MAJOME:  I respect that Hon. Speaker but you were actually having an alteration with Hon. Maridadi and Hon. Gonese.  Hon. Madam Speaker I have a right to be heard.  On a point of order Hon. Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You can come here and talk to me.

ADOPTION OF THE NON- PAYMENT SYSTEM OF ALL NON-CURABLE DISEASES AND HIV/AIDS TO STAGES OF DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

          4.  HON. D. TSHUMA  asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to consider adopting the systems of non-payment of all non-curable diseases and HIV/AIDS to the stages of diagnosis and treatment instead of picking out diabetes, in view of the debilitating impact that these diseases have on human capital.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Hon. Tshuma for that suggestion.  It is indeed one that we are considering, in light of the current disease burden. Currently HIV testing and treatment are free.   Government through the AIDS levy and the Global Fund to fight HIV, Malaria and T.B, provided that funds for such treatment are there.  However, we still have gaps in the funding of other non-communicable disease such as diabetes.  We are targeting the supply of more affordable anti-diabetic drugs under the new health levy.

REPLACEMENT OF THE GAS CHROMATOGRAPH MACHINE

1.     HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Health and Child Care

to inform the House when the Ministry would replace the one and only Gas Chromatograph machine which packed up in 2004, in view of the fact that this is affecting forensic pathology in public hospitals.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Hon. Majome for raising that question.  Currently we have one Gas Chromatography machine that is installed at the Government Analyst laboratory.  However, this one was purchased by partners and it is mainly being used by the food sciences.  Because of this reason, the procurement of reagents for the toxicology tests that are needed for forensic pathology examinations is a problem. 

          We have as a Ministry; under the department of Pathology - on order one Gas Chromatography for the exclusive use of the forensics. I thank you.

          HON. MAJOME:  Hon. Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon. Minister for his response but I would like the Minister to clarify what then Government is doing for the needs of forensic pathology when as he said the only Gas Chromatography machine is being used for food and nutrition and he did say they are buying one.  In the meantime what is happening to forensic pathology, what is the Government doing with samples that require to be tested by a Gas Chromatography machine and also have they budgeted and when are they going to buy this one for forensic pathology?

          HON. DR. MUSIIWA: Thank you Hon. Majome for raising this question.  As I have said before, we have one Gas Chromatography machine that is installed with the analyst laboratory, this basically is a backup - it is a backup for the Government analyst laboratory.   So, this is the one that the forensic pathologists are using.  However, because it does not belong to the pathology department, we have put on order a machine specifically for the pathology department, it is on order.  I thank you.

          HON. MAJOME: I asked the Minister to indicate when it is that he expects that a Gas Chromatography that he had ordered will be on site and available for forensic pathology, it is not enough for him to just say it is on order, but when is it going to be available?

          HON. DR. MUSIIWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker, as I have said it has gone through tender and a purchase order has already been given.  I would want to assure the House within the next month or so, we should have the machine installed with the laboratory.

MEASURES ON EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT

8.      HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Health and Child Care, the measures Government has put in place to ensure that no one is denied emergency medical treatment at any health institution as demanded by Section 29 (2) and 76 (3) of the Constitution. 

On a point of privilege Madam Speaker, this is the third that I am asking this question.  I put this question on the Order Paper because the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care previously prevaricated over this question and actually said untruths about his answer.  The reason I am raising a point of privilege is to remind the Hon. Minister that he has a duty in terms of the Privileges and Immunities Act of Parliament to tell the truth.  If he does not have the answer, he should indicate because it is an issue that I am going to raise around the privileges and immunities because he has not told the truth.  He has prevaricated before.  I hope that he will answer my question this time honestly and seriously.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Majome, are you saying the Minister is not telling the truth in this House?

HON. MAJOME: Previously, he did not.  I actually intended to raise a motion on privilege about that.  So, I am asking the question again now.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hope the Minister is going to give the truth of the matter.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Majome for this question.  I want to believe we are on the same wave length.  I want to assure this House that emergency medical treatment is a right enshrined in this country’s Constitution.  As such, all Government medical institutions are obligated to provide emergency medical treatment.  The Heads of such institutions are personally obligated to make sure they allow or ensure this right is given to all the patients in need.

It also cascades to private health institutions.  It is an obligation that must be given and it is given under the Constitution.  As I have said before, if there are specific instances where this regulation is not being observed, it will be important to bring it to our attention so that we could take stern disciplinary measures.  I thank you.

HON. MAJOME: Madam Speaker, I hope the Hon. Minister would answer my question.  May be it is actually a point of order.  My question is not about whether people can get treatment.  It is a very specific question.  The question is what measures has the Government taken to ensure that no one is denied emergency medical care at any health institution in accordance with the new provisions in the Constitution; that is Section 29 (2), it says that the State shall put in place measures to ensure that, that is done, as well as Section 76 (3), which says that everyone has a right not to be denied emergency medical treatment from any institution. 

These are new provisions in the Constitution that came into effect in 2013.  It requires the Government to do certain things to ensure that they work.  So, what are those measures that you have put in place?  The reason I am asking is because you are answering about Government health institutions but what have you done so that for example, a private hospital – if a person is run-over, say outside Avenues Clinic there, they will not be treated if they do not have medical aid or if they cannot pay. 

The Constitution requires that you put in place measures to ensure that the person is treated and possibly some financial arrangements are made.  That is the question.  What has Government done to ensure that those measures – what measures may be financial or administrative or even medical aid.  What measures have you put in place to ensure that no one is send away?  Nobody dies because they cannot pay at that point.

HON. DR. MUSIIWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Majome for that clarification.  As to the financial commitment, there is no financial commitment to make sure that happens.  However, as a Government, we have made the necessary administrative arrangements.  We are the regulating authority in this country.  Circulars to this effect have been given out to all medical institutions together with all relevant Medical Associations.  It is an obligation and everyone is in agreement, the emergency treatment will be given.  Thank you.

HON. MAJOME: When were those circulars issued to both public and private health institutions to ensure that anyone who requires emergency medical treatment meets with the relevant administration?  Have you informed the public that if you have an accident or heart attack, you can go to any hospital because the Government has given circulars and you would not die because you do not have the money at that moment.

HON. DR. MUSIIWA: This was done some time last year.  My office did that. I am responsible for medical regulation.  So, I personally made sure that this regulation has gone out.  You could check with all Medical Associations.  It is a requirement of the law.

HON. MAJOME: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I took the trouble- this is the third time I am asking this question and I have taken the trouble to put the question on notice.  For the Hon. Minister to say some time last year – surely with due respect, he has an obligation to answer the question precisely.  It is a question on notice.  He should have come with an answer that says these are the measures that we have done.  I would really like to know because I represent people who have been turned away from institutions.  This is a life and death matter.  People are dying and for him to say some time last year, for a question on notice, I am sorry Madam Speaker, I believe it is disrespectful of Parliament.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I think you hear what the Hon. Member is saying that she needs specific dates on what you are doing, not general answers.

HON. DR. MUSIIWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would like to clarify further.  What the Hon. Member has simply said now was in supplementary to the question.  She did not specifically ask for the circular.  We could have easily provided the circular under which this happened.  In any case, the essence of the question was whether in this country emergency treatment is given.  This is the assurance I have given…

HON. MAJOME: On a point of order.  That is not the question…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, you wait for the Minister to finish.  Can you finish your response Hon. Minister?

The Hon. Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care indicated that he had finished with his response.

Hon. Masuku having indicated that questions 9 and 10 have been dealt with during the previous sitting; the questions were not responded to.

POSITION REGARDING MR. TOBAIWA MUDEDE

12.  HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Home Affairs to notify the House when the Registrar–General of Zimbabwe, Mr. Tobaiwa Mudede was born and if he is above the age of 65years, why has he not retired from the Civil Service.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you very much Hon. Member for your question.  However, this issue lies in the hands of the Public Service Commission. Those are the people who are running the ages, retrenchment and everything to do with employment. 

ZANU PF PARTY CAUCUS ADDRESS BY MR. TOBAIWA

MUDEDE

13. HON MAJOME asked the Minister of Home Affairs;

a) To confirm whether or not the Registrar General, Mr Tobaiwa Mudede addressed a ZANU PF party caucus at the ZANU PF Headquarters on 10 May 2017, urging the party to amend the Constitution to ban dual citizenship despite Section 196 (3) (a) requiring Public Officers to be objective and impartial.

b)  To inform the House if the Minister and the Registrar General have any respect for the Constitution.

c)  To inform the House if the Registrar-General will address the MDC– T. and MDC about the constitutional amendment on dual citizenship.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Yes, the Registrar-General did address ZANU PF party at a caucus.  The procedure is that the party writes to the Minister who is invited then the Minister has his prerogative to see that he invites the Registrar-General to explain to them.  If they intend to do the same, they have to write to the Minister who will see who to go with so that he gives proper explanations.

HON. MAJOME:  The Hon. Minister has not finished answering.  He only answered the first part of the question on whether or not the Registrar-General addressed a ZANU-PF party caucus or not and that all parties are welcome to be inviting him. He did not answer part (b) and (c).  He did not answer on the issue of dual citizenship.  Is he confirming that the purpose of his address was to ban dual citizenship.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, the question has three parts.

HON. MGUNI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  There is another question which says; does the Minister and the Registrar General have any respect for the Constitution – yes they have.  The two officials have always and will continue to uphold the Constitution of Zimbabwe. 

The other one is that; will the Registrar-General be addressing the MDC–T and MDC about the constitutional amendment on dual citizenship –I attended to that one.  Which is the other one Madam Speaker?  Can the Hon. Member be allowed to pose another question?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I think you should answer those which you have answers for because your answers should be written somewhere.

HON. MGUNI:  Yes, they are in the order I have answered.

HON. MAJOME:  Madam Speaker, as a point of privilege, has the Hon. Minister prepared the answers because in my understanding; all ministries have Parliamentary liaison officers who must assist them to answer. Does he have ....

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, no, no.  Everyone knows that. All the Ministries know that they have liaison officers pertaining to what is happening in Parliament.  I just want to know from the Minister which part of the question he has answered so that he goes to that one which he has not answered.

HON. MAJOME:  The reason why I am concerned is that I took trouble to prepare this question but the Hon. Minister does not look like he is prepared to answer the question.  Did he prepare for it because he skipped aspects in part (a) of the question?

HON. MGUNI:  I answered the first question correctly by saying the issue of the age of the Registrar-General of Zimbabwe is in the hands of the employer who is the Public Service Commission.  I then went to the second question which was saying confirm whether the Registrar-General, Mr. Tobaiwa Mudede addressed the ZANU PF party at a caucus.  I answered and said yes, the Registrar-General did address ZANU PF party caucus at ZANU PF Headquarters. However, this was a request from ZANU PF that the Minister should come and explain. The Minister then took the Registrar-General with him to explain more and even better so that the party got more details.

Does the Minister and the Registrar-General have ....

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Minister.  I am surprised that the Minister is answering questions but Hon. Majome is discussing something with another Hon. Member. This is where now she will not get what the Minister has answered.

HON. MGUNI:  We come to the third question where it says; does the Minister and the Registrar General have any respect for the Constitution – that one I answered too.  I was ready to go to the fourth one; will the Registrar-General be addressing the MDC and MDC-T about the constitutional amendment on dual citizenship;  I said they can do that through an application.  They must invite the Minister who will make his decision whether he is taking the Registrar-General with him to address them.

I think I answered all of them.

HON. MAJOME:  On a point of clarification, that is why I asked if he can confirm whether or not the Registrar General, Mr Tobaiwa Mudede addressed a ZANU PF party caucus at the ZANU PF Headquarters on – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, if you make noise, we will not be able to follow up.

HON. MAJOME:  On 10 May 2017, urging the party “to amend the Constitution to ban dual citizenship”,  so the Hon. Minister has said that yes, he did.  I am seeking clarification that is he confirming because it is a composite question.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  He did understand, yes.

HON. MAJOME:  I understand that it is yes for everything.  Yes, that the Registrar-General went to the caucus to urge ZANU PF members to amend the Constitution because he said yes.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, what I heard from the Minister is; the Registrar-General attended the ZANU PF caucus when he was invited and accompanied the Minister of Home Affairs who had been invited by the caucus to explain what they wanted to know.  This is what I heard from the Minister.

HON. MAJOME:  Madam Speaker, I think we are now contradicting ourselves.  Initially, the Hon. Minister said that the Registrar-General was invited by ZANU PF.  Now what the Hon. Madam Speaker is saying is a different thing that he was invited by the Minister.  It is now very confusing.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Someone has helped me to understand you.  Hon. Minister, the Hon. Member needs to understand whether the Registrar-General urged the ZANU PF party to amend the Constitution to ban dual citizenship.  His attending you said yes.  What about the part I have just highlighted?  I think this is where the problem is.

HON. MGUNI:  The Registrar-General did not urge the ZANU PF to amend the Constitution to ban dual citizenship but was explaining to the caucus pertaining the questions that the members wanted to understand especially related to the elections.

HON. MAJOME:  Hon. Madam Speaker, this is the Registrar-General of the Republic of Zimbabwe who occupies a very sensitive office in terms of the database of the citizens and so on.  I wonder if the Hon. Minister believes that it is good governance to allow a civil servant of such critical stature to attend a political party caucus.  Does that augur well for good governance and also the image of the Government itself and for his functions?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  According to what the Minister was saying, Mr. Mudede accompanied the Minister to help the Minister in answering what he thought he could not on his own.  So, I heard him saying, if also the other parties need the Minister at their caucuses, they can invite him and if the Minister feels he needs the Registrar General to accompany him, he can do the same.  This is what I heard.

HON. MAJOME:  My question was, is it according to good governance? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-  I have a right to ask, Hon. Madam Speaker.  My question is, is it good practice - yes, but does that augur well for good governance and for the image of the Government in terms of – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-   It is a fundamental point.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Can you please put on your microphone so that the Minister hears what you are saying.

HON. MAJOME:  My question, Hon. Madam Speaker is, is the Hon. Minister of the opinion that this practice of allowing such a key Government official who holds the data base of all the citizens, to attend a party caucus even if it is another one - is the Minister convinced that such a practice is conducive for good governance and for the image of the Government, particularly the requirements in Chapter 9 for principles of public administration leadership, to show the highest levels of efficiency and prudence.  Is he convinced that, that is the right thing to do?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Although that is not a policy question, but as a democratic country, where we need transparency, clarification and accountability, the Minister may not be a technocrat or know what people want to know about birth registration, but I have the right to carry my advisor who will help me even in the Portfolio Committee of Parliament here.  I can do that even in their party.  They must write to me as a Minister and I will decide who I will go with.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

SIGN LANGUAGE FOR THE POLICE

14. HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House on what steps the Ministry has taken to ensure that police at their stations, are taught sign language in order to assist the deaf.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The recently graduated police force of 597, the training has now changed.  It now extends to one year instead of six months.  In those additional six months, three months is language; all 16 including sign language. We are intending to withdraw some of the officers, especially those dealing with the public to come and do their sign language so that it is done fairly on the ground.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

POLICY ON ISSUANCE OF BIRTH RECORDS

15.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Home Affairs to explain the policy regarding the issuance of birth records to mothers delivering at Government hospitals considering that some do not get the birth records due to failure to settle their hospital bills.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  It is illegal for any hospital authority to withhold the issuance of birth confirmation records to the public.  These birth confirmation records are issued to hospitals by the Registrar General’s department at no cost to them.  Hospital authorities are in turn compelled to issue them to the public at no cost as well.

These documents cannot be used as a weapon to settle any outstanding bills by mothers who have given birth because they are going through the labour process.  This has been brought to the attention of the hospital authority.  We wrote a circular to them.  I thank you.

RADIO AND TELEVISION LICENCE FEES

20.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to:-

(a)  Explain why radio and television licences are so high compared to other regional trends;

(b)  State the method used by the national television to check whether the content resonates with the public.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSHOHWE):  Madam Speaker, I wish to recognise and thank Hon. Masuku who has asked me to explain why radio and television licenses are so high compared to other regional trends.  

Madam Speaker, television and radio licences are set by the Government of Zimbabwe for the national broadcaster through Statutory Instruments as gazetted from time to time.  The level of the fees is a direct or indirect function of many factors that are both of economic and broadcasting nature.

Broadcasting transmission factors, analogue versus digital transmission

Whether the national broadcasting grid is digitalised or analogue, it is a fact that digital frequency is cheaper to run than analogue frequency as digital frequency spectrum brings about what is called the digital dividend which brings about economies of scale and scope which also brings down costs, thus supporting licencing fees. 

One needs more frequency spectrum to run an analogue terrestrial television broadcasting which is more expensive than digital transmission.  Further, Hon. Speaker, maintenance costs of an analogue transmission system are higher than digital transmission.

Economic factors

In coming up with the licence fees, economic factors such as prices charged on substitutes like as newspaper which currently charge US$1 per copy per day translating to US$365 per year were also considered.  The current annual television and radio licence fees are as follows: a home television costs US$50 per annum, a business television costs US$100 per annum, home radio US$20 per annum, personal car radio costs US$30 per annum, business car radio costs US$80 per annum and business office radio costs US$50 per annum.

If these fees are compared with what local print media substitutes are being paid for per annum. The fees are very reasonable given that you need about $365 for delivery of daily newspapers per annum.

The general cost of production is also taken into consideration. The broadcasting industry remains a developing industry in Zimbabwe. As compared to other countries, the cost of production is indeed quite high in Zimbabwe. This is coupled with the fact that broadcasting equipment is imported into the country, which increases the cost of production. Most countries in the region receive a grant from the government which assists in meeting production costs, while ZBC does not get such a grant. This means that the license fees have to cater for the production costs.

However, the rates are on the high side as compared to regional rates with SABC of South Africa, for example charging about $25; Zambian Broadcasting Services charges $18 per annum and Botswana $15 per annum. It must be noted that all these nations are ahead of Zimbabwe in as far as digitalisation is concerned, hence lower cost of transmission as compared to the one in Zimbabwe where maintenance costs for analogue system are exorbitant and as indicated, ZBC does not receive any subsidy as some regional broadcasters do. 

It is envisaged that after digitalisation, licence fees will go down remarkably with the coming in of the digital dividends whereby more players will be involved. More-so, pay per view business model will also ensure that licence fees are down as is characteristic of many fully digitalised countries.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Masuku also asked my Ministry to state the method used by the national television to check whether the content resonates with the public. Mr. Speaker Sir, the national broadcaster uses a number of methods to check if the public likes and enjoys the programming that is broadcast. These are:

Firstly, audience research; the national broadcaster has commissioned an audience research company to carry out a survey to find out viewership trends with regard to programmes they enjoy most, programmes they would want to see, viewership times and quality of production. The results of that survey are used to come up with programmes and also inform the national broadcaster on the times to schedule such programmes so that it resonates with public preferences. At the moment Mr. Speaker Sir, the national broadcaster is in the process of embarking on yet another survey.

On feedback platforms, which is another form of inquiry, the

national broadcaster has a number of feedback platforms which help in assessing and positioning programmes versus public response. These include emails, social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and others. Such platforms are availed to every programme while the normal telephone calls are also used to get viewers’ responses to programmes.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we also have what we call road shows and outreach programmes. The national broadcaster is employing road shows and outreach programmes for both television and radio as a platform to communicate with and get feedback from viewers and listeners alike. Such road shows and I am sure members of this august House know how popular they are, have proved to be quite popular and useful platforms for the national broadcaster to understand and appreciate the wishes of the public.

          They also have complaint registers. This register captures any form of complaints or compliments brought to the national register using any form of communication or directly, as some people may feel obliged to come and raise their complaints.

          They have also instituted what are called Listeners’ Clubs. The national broadcaster, especially for radio has activated Listeners’ Clubs around the country where listeners communicate regularly with the national broadcaster. This gives prompt feedback, which helps the broadcaster in its programming decisions.

          Media reviews and articles are another method of gauging viewers’ preferences. The national broadcaster also pays attention to articles in the media and to this extent Mr. Speaker Sir, such articles based on personal opinion or public driven articles are important in helping the national broadcaster understand the thinking of the public with regards to programming. I would want once again to thank the Hon. Member. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. MASUKU: My supplementary question is - what is the public response in terms of paying the licence fees?

          HON. DR. MUSHOHWE: The Hon. Member is part of the public and he has part of the answer. I think he is just asking for the benefit of other Members of Parliament. Those who have understood the rationale behind these fees do understand and sympathies with ZBC. As I have said, ZBC is still operating by and large on analogue which is an antiquated system and is very costly. Nevertheless, ZBC has an obligation to this nation to make sure that they continue to receive radio and television broadcast. So, they do understand. Yes, we could have a few people who may not be familiar with the reasons behind the costs that are given, but this is why I am thanking because as you have raised this issue, I am telling the public what the reasons are behind these fees. So, I want to thank you once again for raising this one for the public. I thank you.

          HON. MAJOME: I want to ask the Hon. Minister as follow up to the issue on the content of the national public broadcaster or ZBC resonating with the public. Why does ZBC bring content that is biased in favour of the ZANU PF political party in terms of the editorial policy as well as coverage and the issues concerned? Sometimes the national broadcaster even acts as a public address system to announce ZANU PF party caucuses and meetings. Why does it do so if as you say Hon. Minister, the content resonates with the public? There are members of the public who are not from ZANU PF who pay for these things, why does it do that. 

HON. DR. MUSHOHWE:  Thank you very much.  I want to thank the Member for that politically motivated question.  The ZBC is a public and national broadcast and it is available for anybody and everyone in this country or beyond.  If ZANUF PF has more programmes than other political parties that ZBC covers, it is not the problem of ZBC.  Let those political parties go out there and ask ZBC to cover them and see ZBC refuse, so let me know.  If you do not have programmes and the ZBC does not know that there is a programme that is taking place, it is not their problem, it they do, they cover.  We have seen other political parties ....

HON. MUNENGAMI:  On a point of order.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order.  You can raise that one as a supplementary question. 

*HON. MUNENGAMI:  The Minister should tell us the truth and not tell lies to this House because the ZBC gives us false information at times, so the Minister should be honest in this House.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I am not taking anymore-supplementary questions.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO HELP PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES TO HAVE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ON HIV VOLUNTARY TESTING, TREATMENT AND CONDOM USE

2.   HON. KWARAMBA asked the Minister of Health and Child

Care to inform the House of the measures that Government has put in place to ensure that people living with disabilities have access to relevant information in pictorial and Braille formats as a way of disseminating information on HIV voluntary testing, treatment and condom use, in view of the fact that these people are usually left out.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA):   Madam Speaker I thank the Hon. Member for the question and respond as follows:-

(i)                  A sign language dictionary focussing on HIV and reproductive health was development in partnership with Disability  HIV and AIDS Trust (DHAT) and other such partners.  Health service providers and community representatives were trained on the use of HIV, STIs, TB and reproductive health sign language. More resources need to be mobilised for such initiatives to be rolled out to scale.

(ii)           In response to the need by the visually impaired to access information on condom use, condom instructions were put in Braille, in partnership with UNFPA - with follow up sensitization meetings on this intervention targeting persons with disability in the communities.  With more resources, this intervention could be done to scale.

(iii)           The Ministry in collaboration with partners (DHAT, Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT) has been training health care workers in disability responsive service delivery. To date, this programme has reached out to representatives from 35 districts across all provinces, all provincial hospitals, and all central hospitals.  The intention is to continue the trainings until all our facilities have the capacity to provide equitable services to PWDs.

(iv)         Our plans include trainings of health care workers in sign language and to ensure that information is also made available in Braille and other formats that facilitate use by those with visual impairments, as outlined in our HIV testing strategy.

(v)            Key materials developed by HIV and reproductive health departments have been adapted and produced in Braille - to mention specifically the gender based violence materials, sexual reproductive health package and the HIV treatment literacy manual.  These have been shared with the Council for the Blind for further dissemination using their different platforms.

I thank you.    

POSITION ON THE FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF USER FRIENDLY DISABILITY POLICIES

3.   HON. KWARAMBA asked the Minister of Health and Child

Care to explain the Government position as regards the formulation and implementation of user friendly disability policies and to also give statistics on the numbers of HIV positive people living with disabilities.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA):   Madam Speaker, the MoHCC is committed to leaving no one behind in its interventions in the national HIV response as we focus on closing all the taps in prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.  Persons with disability are among the vulnerable populations for which we have specific programming in view of the challenges they face in accessing services.  Herewith some of the measures in place:

(i)               Within the ministry of Health and Child Care, we have a rehabilitation unit that works together with organisations of PWDs and sectors working in the disability field, as well as facilitating linkages with other health programmes.

(ii)           Policy formulation and implementation is guided by evidence.  The MoHCC conducted a national survey on living conditions among persons with disability with a focus on health - including HIV/AIDS, STIs, TV and cancer.  In response to the findings from the survey, we are improving our existing strategies and policies to ensure they are inclusive of PWDs, including infrastructure that is accessible in critical departments like maternity wards, and pharmacy.

(iii)        Organisations of people with disabilities are aware of the policies and have platforms for communicating and implementing in the constituencies they work.

(iv)         Statistics on the numbers of HIV positive people living with disabilities;

a)     Currently our national health information system does not routinely capture HIV information specific to PWDs.  However, such statistics can be obtained from time to time surveys.  Data captured from the 2013 national disability survey shows that 8.9% of males and 11.2% of females disclosed that they were living with HIV.

b)   A key recommendation from the 2013 survey is to include disability in all population based surveys so that we have disaggregated health statistics on people with disabilities.  Therefore, going forward, all future HIV related surveys will include some questions on disability, then such data will be readily available. 

UTILISATION OF FUNDS DEPOSITED IN THE DISTRICT ACCOUNT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF DONGAMUZI CLINIC

5.      HON. M. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House how the sum of $23 000 earmarked for the construction of Dongamuzi Clinic, which was deposited in the District Account in 2014 was utilised?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA):  Thank you Hon. Khumalo for your question.  The Ministry of Health and Child Care needs to clarify the issue with the District Council.  Once that is done, feedback will be given to the House.

UTILISATION OF FUNDS ALLOCATED IN THE 2016-2017 BUDGET FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF DONGAMUZI CLINIC

6.      HON. M. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House how the amount of $200 000 and $250 000 which was allocated to the Ministry on the 2016 and 2017 Budgets respectively, for construction of Dongamuzi Clinic in Lupane West Constituency was used?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Hon. Khumalo for raising that question.  In 2016, Dongamuzi Clinic was allocated $200 000.  However, only $50 000 was disbursed to pay suppliers.  The balance was taken back as unused budget by Treasury.

          In 2017, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development allocated $250 000 to ensure that the project is completed.  In June, 2017 a release of $100 000 earmarked for suppliers was disbursed which they have not yet exhausted.

POLICY ON ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL INSURANCE BY MEDICAL INSURANCE COMPANIES

7.      HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House what Government policy is regarding issuance of travel insurance cover?

          THE MINISTER HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): The issue of health insurance is a voluntary issue in this country.  We have no universal health coverage, so naturally those who are on medical insurance are those who choose to pay for it.  Local health insurance is covered under the Medical Services Act of 2000 and insurers provide schemes that cover travel abroad as an option.  Thank you.

POLICY REGARDING SETTING UP OF ONE BORDER POST (OBP)

16.  HON. A. MNANGAGWA asked the Minister of Home Affairs to explain to the House the Government policy as regards considering the setting up of a One Border Post (OBP) similar to the one in Chirundu in order to ease movement of people, heavy traffic such as haulage trucks and private cars.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  I would like to advise the House that Government has already adopted a policy of transforming border operations from separate borders into One Border Posts starting with the major ports of entry and exit.

The next port of call for this project is the Beitbridge Border Post and the matter is already under discussion following the Bi-National Commission between Zimbabwe and South Africa held in Harare in 2016.

The process will be replicated to other ports such as Plumtree, Mutare and Nyamapanda depending on bi-lateral agreements and the necessary funding.

ALIGNING OF THE CITIZENSHIP OF ZIMBABWE ACT AND THE IMMIGRATION ACT TO THE CONSTITUTION

18. HON. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Home Affairs to:-

 (a)  Explain to the House what steps the Ministry has taken to date, to align the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act and the Immigration Act with the new Constitution;

(b)  State whether the new Citizenship and Immigration Board has been put in place;

(c)  Explain why people still apply for citizenship and work permits from the Registrar General’s Office.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  On question (a), I would like to advise the House that my Ministry has carried out consultations with the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to facilitate the process and this is therefore work in progress.

(b)  Citizenship on Immigration Board is still under the process of being finalised.

(c)  The Registrar General’s Department is the legal authority which is mandated to register citizenship.  Processing of work permits is done by the Immigration Department.

REVENUE REALISED FROM ZANU PF RALLY LIVE BROADCAST

26. HON. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services to state how much revenue was realised from the ZANU PF rally live broadcast on ZBC in Mutare.

THE MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSHOHWE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the coverage of events at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation is based on commercial decisions which the Corporation does on a case by case basis and the issue of revenue from the ZANU PF rally live broadcast in Mutare should be viewed in line with advertisers and programmes/production sponsors.  These advertisers and sponsors are interested in accessing large numbers of viewers for their showcasing and the rally in Mutare offered an opportunity for the national broadcaster to attract such a large multitude of viewers.  In this case, Mr. Speaker Sir, such high numbers of viewers led to revenue generation as the national broadcaster marketed and sold large numbers of viewers to would be advertisers and sponsors in that possible shortest time and the benefit continues in the long term.

Mr. Speaker Sir, whenever the Head of State, President Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe addresses a rally or other gatherings, the national broadcaster receives a high peak in viewership as Zimbabweans want to hear the message of the President.  From these rallies by the Head of State, Mr. Speaker Sir, the national broadcaster gets free content varying from entertainment by musicians who grace such occasions and information on the state of the nation through various speakers who would have been invited.

The business strategy envisaged by the national broadcaster, Mr. Speaker Sir, is thus to cover any event which attracts high numbers of viewers in order to attract advertisers and sponsors.  Any event that would have been communicated to is covered for commercial benefit, such as the live broadcast at the National Shrine during heroes and heroines burial is now sponsored.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the coverage of such rallies is therefore an investment in numbers that will pay dividends.  In sync with this, the national broadcaster is thus employing a tried and tested strategy which demands total conviction and support from all stakeholders from different social distributes.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

PROGRESS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DIGITAL BROADCASTING MIGRATION PROJECT

27.  HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services to appraise the House on the progress the Ministry has made in implementing the digital broadcasting migration project; ad to further indicate when it is expected to be completed.

THE MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSHOHWE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe embarked on the digitalisation project in March of 2015, in line with developments across the world, as sanctioned by the International Telecommunication Union, the ITU.  Apart from the migration from analogue television broadcasting to digital television broadcasting, this project is also addressing the challenge of poor or no radio reception that exists in some parts of the country, particularly in rural and border areas, where members of the public have resorted to hostile foreign services.

Mr. Speaker Sir, at its inception in March of 2015, the project has a target completion date of March 2016.  We are now in August of 2017 and the project is yet to hit the halfway mark.  The major challenge to the project has been the slow pace of disbursement of funds against other national priorities.  The whole digital broadcasting migration project is estimated to cost $172 million.  So far, only $47 million has been disbursed to the project and that disbursement has been over a period of two years.  It we go by this pace of funds disbursement, then the digitalisation project will take us another five years to complete.  A balance of $125 million is still required to complete this project.  As it stands, the contractor is owed about $11 million dollars in equipment that is ready for shipment, but will not be shipped to Zimbabwe on account of non-payment.  The issue of funding, coupled with the challenge of making foreign payments, is the major hurdle that needs to be addressed for the speedier implementation of this project.

Be that as it may, Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to say significant progress has been made with the funds that have been disbursed so far, albeit at a reduced pace.  In terms of site preparation, to make the various sites ready for equipment installation, the following progress has been made so far:

·       Thirteen out of fifteen transmitter sites access roads have been completed.

·       All the 44 sites that required power supply installation or upgrade have been completed.

·       Two transmitter equipment rooms that were required for Chimanimani and Kariba sites have been completed.

·       Seven out of eight sites equipment rooms that required room expansion have been completed (Mutare, Nyanga, Kamativi, Kenmaur, Rutenga, Mt Darwin, Karoi).

·       Six out of seven existing towers that needed repair work have been completed (Harare, Bulawayo, Kadoma, Chimanimani, Mutorashanga and Gokwe), the Chivhu tower as well needed to be replaced.  Repair work on a further four of the towers that need to be replaced is also set to commence.

·       Civil works for three out of four TV studios, the master control room, web TV and playout rooms at Pockets Hill have been completed.

·       Civil works for two radio transmission and two radio production studios at Mbare have been completed.

·       Civil works for one radio transmission and one radio production studio at Montrose studios have also been completed.

·       A property has been acquired for the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe’s Central Monitoring Station in Harare.

In terms of equipment installation, the following equipment installations have been completed:

-         Two out of four television studios, Master Control Room and Playout System at Pockets Hill in Harare.

-         Main head-end at Pockets Hill in Harare.

-         Statellite uplink terminal at Pockets Hill in Harare.

-         Six out of 48 digital transmitter sites, at Kamativi, Kenmaur, Mutare, Nyanga, Susamoya and Harare.

-         The BAZ Central Content Monitoring system and seven remote stations.

-         Seven new transmitter towers at Binga, Kotwa, Bindura, Nkayi, Mashave, Gokwe Sengwa and Zvishavane.

Following the last disbursement of funds to the project in November of 2016, more equipment has started arriving into the country and the following progress is expected to be achieved by the end of this year:

-         Installation of two new towers at Hwange and Honde Valley.

-         Completion of five new tower foundations at Insiza junction, Tsholotsho, Chikombedzi, Murewa and Gutu.

-         Installation of digital transmission equipment on seven existing sites, namely Bulawayo, Gokwe, Mutorashanga, Kadoma, Gwendingwe, Binga, Kotwa.

-         Installation of new radio transmission equipment on seven FM transmitter sites at Kamativi, Kenmaur, Susamoya, Nyanga, Mutare.

-         Delivery of 48 ENG camera sets for the public broadcaster ZBC.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the completion of the digitalisation programme will result in significant increase in the number of television channels that can be viewed by the public on their television sets.  These channels will need to be filled with content or the programmes to be viewed by the public, otherwise we will have a digital platform with no programmes to deliver.  To this extent, Government is assisting content producers with the provision of production equipment and meeting the costs of production, as it has been observed that access to production equipment such as cameras, lights and editing machines, as well as mitigation against costs of production removes the barriers that would otherwise make it difficult for the massive demand for content on the digital platform to be met.

Government has therefore embarked on outreach programmes to mobilise content creators to produce and supply content to the digital platform.  To-date, all provincial capitals have been covered and the exercise has been extended to language communities in areas such as Kariba, Nyanga, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Plumtree, Hwange, Binga and Victoria Falls, to ensure that all our national languages find expression on our television screen as required by our Constitution.

Fourteen productions have been completed in Harare, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Mutare and Lupane and thirteen productions are currently underway in Harare, Gutu, Bulawayo and Binga.  More productions will commence in different parts of the country as more funds are disbursed.  A significant number of content creators do not have formal training in this industry and this has an impact on the quality of their products.  In order to improve on the quality of products, Government has roped in the Zimbabwe Film and Television Training School of Southern Africa (ZIFTTSSA) to provide short training courses prior to the commencement of productions.

Mr. Speaker Sir, content production is a real business opportunity for content creators that will lead to employment creation and growth of our creative arts industry as well as contribute towards the economic growth of our economy.  We are also in the process of acquiring 50 000 Set Top Boxes, which will be distributed in those areas where digital transmitters would have been installed.  This will allow members of the public in those areas to start receiving digital services as the project is rolled out. 

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker Sir, whilst some progress has been made on the digital broadcasting migration project, more work still needs to be done in order to complete this project.  As I have already pointed out, the issue of funding still needs to be addressed in order to speed up the whole migration process.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

USE OF A HELICOPTER TO ATTEND A PRIVATE FUNCTION BY GENERAL CHIWENGA

          28. HON. G. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Defence to explain why General Chiwenga used a helicopter to attend a private function in Wedza.

          THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  First and foremost, this question lacks details because it does not specify which private function General Chiwenga attended using a helicopter.  This makes it difficult for us to adequately respond to the Hon. Member’s question and to put it into proper perspective.

          Be that as it may, the helicopter is an alternative mode of transport at his disposal, by virtue of him being the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces which operates the helicopters.  Depending on the schedule in his office, the General can decide on whether to go by road or by helicopter.          

          Madam Speaker, there are times when we have competing events in our office life, where one seeks to attend to private as well as official functions on the same day and in order to attend both, one has to use the fastest mode of transport available.

          Madam Speaker, the General is a Senior Government Official who is very rational in his decision making and I am sure his decision to use the helicopter was meant to address certain urgent issues pertaining to the defence of this country.  I thank you.

An Hon. Member having stood up on a supplementary question to question number 28.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  How could you have a supplementary when the question has not been answered ?  You can only read from the Hansard.  If you have another question, then you can come and ask - but for now, you cannot.  What do you supplement when you do not know what the answer is like?  Can you please take your seat?

PROGRESS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF INFRASTRUCTURE USING THE OPEC FUND FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LOAN FACILITY

          29.  HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to appraise the House on the progress the Ministry has made in the construction of the envisaged 12 Primary and five secondary schools in eight rural provinces, under the US$20 million loan facility from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  The two major milestones have been reached towards construction of the targeted schools.  Firstly, feasibility study report has been submitted to OFID.  Secondly, authority to advertise for tenders has been obtained and this will be flighted in the press on 4th August, 2017.  The next stage will be the engagement of contractors of begin construction work.

Satellite schools selected for funding under OFID

Province

Pry

Name Of School

District

Enrolment

Sec

Name Of School

District

Enrolment

Total

Mashonaland West

3

Sadomba Extension

Makonde

500

1

Tavoy

 

 

Hurungwe

400

4

Chehama

Hurungwe

450

 

 

 

 

Just Right

Mhondoro Ngezi

583

 

 

 

 

Midlands

1

Budiriro

Gokwe North

500

1

 

Neta

Mberengwa

400

2

Mashonaland Central

2

Tengenenge

Guruve

300

1

Belgonie

Mazowe

401

3

Craigside

Bindura

370

 

 

 

 

Masvingo

1

Nyuni

Mwenezi

500

1

Nyuni

Mwenezi

500

2

Matabeleland North

2

Kokoloza

Binga

538

0

 

 

 

2

Teme

Bubi

440

 

 

 

 

Mashonaland  East

1

Makumimavi

Chikomba

400

0

 

 

 

1

Manicaland

1

Lawrencedale

Makoni

400

1

Sterksrooms

Chipinge

419

2

Matabeleland South

0

 

 

400

1

Mokgampo

Mangwe

690

1

TOTAL

11

 

 

 

6

 

 

2 819

17

LOANS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF HARARE RING ROAD AND THE HARARE-CHIRUNDU HIGHWAY

          35.  HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to appraise the House whether there has been any progress in efforts to secure loans for the construction of the Harare Ring Road and the Harare – Chirundu Highway.

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministry is making efforts to secure loans for the construction of the Harare Ring Road and Harare – Chirundu Highway.  The necessary contracts to access the loans from China are still under review and the House will be briefed as soon as the process has been finalised. 

CORRUPT OFFICIALS AT KWEKWE DRIVING SCHOOL

      36.   HON. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development whether the Ministry is aware that Kwekwe Driving School asks for bribes from the unqualified drivers in order to issue them the driver’s licences. If so, to explain what steps the Ministry has taken to deal with the corrupt officials at Kwekwe Driving School, considering that road carnage is on the rise due to this rot.

     THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to advice that we have not received any complaints from the public on the matter that has been raised.  However, since it has been brought to our attention, we will investigate together with the Vehicle Inspection Department who are the only authority which issues drivers’ licences in the country.  If we find that the allegations are true, the driving school will be deregistered. 

FINANCING OF INFRASTRUCTURE CONSTRUSTION FOR SMES

      37.  HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development to inform the House on what steps the Ministry has taken to incentivize private players to finance the construction of infrastructure such as market stalls, factory shells and ablution facilities for Small and Medium Enterprises, given the phenomenal growth of the informal sector over the past decade.

     THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the provision of appropriate and affordable infrastructure is critical for the development and growth of the SMEs sector.  The Ministry, through the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises policy framework (2014 – 2018) outlines infrastructure provision for SMEs as one of the anchor pillars to support the development and growth of SMEs.

     Steps taken by the Ministry:  -

·       The Ministry has engaged local authorities to mainstream SMEs development in their plans.

·       In particular, local authorities have been engaged to identify and provide suitable land for the development and construction of SME infrastructure throughout the country under various models:-

                                 i.            SMEs are being provided with land to put up their own infrastructure.  This model has been successfully implemented in Mutoko. 

                              ii.            Local authorities construct infrastructure such as market stalls and factory shells where SMEs rent from council.

                           iii.            Private players are being given land to construct MSME infrastructure under Private Public Partnership (PPPs) arrangements (Built operate and Transfers).  The local authorities provide the land and private players construct the work space.  Under this arrangement, some local authorities such as City of Harare are also pursuing profit sharing models with private players.

·       Private players will enter into BOT and BOOT arrangements with State or statutory corporations to construct infrastructure enjoy tax holidays for the first five years and taxed at 15% for the second five years.

·       Private players who construct new industrial buildings for SMEs are eligible to claim 100% Special Initial Allowance (SIA) where 50% is allowed in the first year and the balance over the next two years.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, the House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMB;Y HANSARD 02 AUGUST 2017 VOL 43 NO 83