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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 DECEMBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 25

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PETITION RECEIVED FROM HABAKKUK TRUST OF ZIMBABWE

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to advise the House that on the 6th November, 2017, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Habakkuk Trust of Zimbabwe petitioning Parliament to protect the entitlement of Zimbabwean nationals to birth certificates and identity documents and oversee measures the Registrar-General’s Office has put in place to effect the right to obtain these documents.  The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services – [HON. CHIBAYA: Hon. Mandiwanzira, unonamata, kungorarama wega uri G40.] - Hon. Chibaya, you are a very seasoned Parliamentarian, I do not expect that from you.

          HON. GONESE: Hon. Speaker, I rise on a matter of privilege.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I will begin by saying that Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy.  My matter of privilege is related to the provisions of our Constitution and in particular, I am referring to the provisions of Section 119 on the role of Parliament as read with the provisions of Section 213.  Mr. Speaker, I am sure that you are familiar with the provisions of that Section but for the benefit of all Hon. Members, I will just highlight what the Section provides. 

          In terms of Section 119 of our Constitution, Parliament is obligated to protect this Constitution and promote democratic governance in Zimbabwe.  Further to that, Parliament also has the power to ensure that the provisions of this Constitution are upheld and that the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level act constitutionally and in the national interest. 

Having read the general provisions Mr. Speaker Sir, I will now revert to the matter which is of concern and that is in terms of Section 213; in respect of the deployment of the Defence Forces.  It is clear in terms of that provision that the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces has the power to authorise the deployment of the Defence Forces or the power to determine the operational use of the Defence Forces. 

Further to that, with the authority of the President, the Defence Forces may be deployed in Zimbabwe as follows;

a)    In defence of the country

b)    In support of the Police Service in the maintenance of public order or

c)    In support of the Police Service and other civilian authorities in the event of an emergency or a disaster.

Mr. Speaker, the reason why I am raising this matter is because whilst the President has the authority to deploy the Defence Forces, I believe that when this happens, there is an obligation by the President, as Commander-in-Chief to inform the nation and from my recollection we have not been informed by the President himself of the need for the deployment of the Defence Forces.  I have no problem Mr. Speaker Sir, if that is done in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.  My worry is that at this point in time, and because that deployment specifically must be authorised by the Head of State.  I believe Mr. Speaker Sir, that this is not something which must be done willy-nilly – it is something which must be done after due consideration.  In that regard, the nation should be informed from the highest office in the land and this does not seem to have happened.  What we have had Mr. Speaker, there are pronouncements which have been made by members of the Defence Forces and members of the Police Force jointly but I believe that, if we are to follow the dictates of our Constitution, it is imperative that the Head of State informs the nation of the need to have the Police Force to be assisted by the Defence Forces. 

That is the reason why I am rising Mr. Speaker, that as Parliament, it is our duty and obligation to ensure that at all times as a nation; we follow the dictates and the provisions of our Constitution.  Where there is an element of doubt and where there is lack of clarity, it is important for us as Parliament to ascertain, verify and clarify so that all of us are in the picture as to whether we have indeed followed the provisions of the Constitution.  That is my concern Mr. Speaker and that is the reason why I have reason with this matter of privilege, to have this clarified for us as to whether in fact it was the Head of State who gave that authority because it does not appear to have been done in accordance with the Constitution.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:   While you are upstanding, can you clarify which deployment you are talking about.

          HON. GONESE: The deployment in the country Mr. Speaker.  We have members of the Defence Forces – they are assisting the police as I have already pointed out. The Constitution allows for that, but only in the circumstances where the Head of State has authorised that course of action.  I am saying that as Parliament, we have not been officially informed by the Head of State, and the nation at large has not received any notification.  I believe that if that happens, due process must be followed.  The Head of State could have addressed the nation in that regard or a Statutory Instrument could have been gazetted or a general notice to inform the nation at large – that does not seem to have happened and that is what is the gravamen of the matter.  Because, when that happens Mr. Speaker, I would like to assume that things must be done transparently and openly.  For it to be done transparently and openly, the public must be notified in some way which I am not aware of Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  You have not contextualised your observation Hon. Member.  Can you be more specific?

          HON. GONESE:  I will do so Mr. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          HON. GONESE:  Let me go back to the provisions of the Constitution.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I am very clear of the provisions of 213.

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  So, in view of those provisions which are very clear, my submission is that when you have members of the Defence Forces performing the duties that they are performing, that amounts to a deployment.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You mean now?

HON. GONESE:  Yes, I mean now Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Okay.

          HON. GONESE: I mean now Mr. Speaker.  We have a Head of State who was inaugurated; His Excellency the Hon. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, who is the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in this country.  I am saying Mr. Speaker, that in terms of the provisions which I have adverted to, it is my respectful submission.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I am very clear, I am very clear now.

          HON. GONESE: You are very clear, yes.  So I am saying, at this point in time Mr. Speaker, we have members of the Defence Forces who have been deployed  and in my understanding, they are definitely assisting the Police Service.  We obviously have the Police Service whose primary responsibility is to maintain law and order.  There are circumstances …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I thought you have made your point.

          HON. GONESE:  Yes, thank you.  I thought you wanted me to clarify.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I have two observations.  Hon. Chinotimba, I had not recognised you; that is one.  Hon. Members at the back there, yes, can you stop your tete-a-tete please.  The second thing is that you cannot rise before the Chair has responded to the point of privilege.

Yes, I hear you Hon. Gonese – I will engage His Excellency the President and I should be informed accordingly and will advise accordingly.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  My point of order is on privilege.  If you can see on your left and on your right, you can see that it is a bright day.  We want to congratulate the Ministers.  We usually had challenges pleading with the Ministers that they come to Parliament to answer our questions but today, you have just seen yourself that we should thank them and it should continue like this. 

We want to congratulate people like Hon. Perrance Shiri, Hon. Moyo for the new appointments and I wish them well in their new deployments.  Even people are saying what is not proper in this House but the truth of the matter is that our President, Hon.  Mnanagwa did a sterling job as you can see.  So I stood up to thank His Excellency Hon. Dambudzo Mnangagwa that whatever he has done, we should be thankful.  We usually have problems with Ministers who do not attend Parliament on Wednesdays to answer questions but today all the Ministers are here.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Thank you Hon. Chinotimba.  However, the coming of the Hon. Ministers also implies that the Hon. Members of Parliament must attend and not disappear, leaving out certain motions undebated.  Thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. PARADZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the newly appointed Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Rtd. Air Marshall Shiri.  Our farmers in both commercial and rural areas would like to know how far the Command Agricultural Programme is because up to now they do not have access to fertilizers and seed.  They also want to know about the Presidential Input Scheme, because those inputs are not readily available.

          HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.  We have got new Ministers, some of them have been recycled and others are new - would it not be better, with due respect, when they answer the questions just to introduce themselves so that at least it becomes easier on our side as well, to know them. – [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Munengami, I thought you are so experienced in Parliamentary Procedures.  When a question is raised, the questioner directs that question to the specific Minister and I shall call upon the Minister myself.

          HON. MUNENGAMI: We might be in a position to know who…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I will take care of that.

          *HON. RTD. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI: Hon. Member, everything that is possible is being done for fertilizers and seed to get to where the farmers are. Coming to things like fertilizers….

          *HON. CHIBAYA: Mr. Speaker, the question that has been asked by….

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I did not recognise you.  Hon. Chibaya, I repeat once again, as an experienced Member, please can we have procedure?  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]  Order! Ndichakudzingayi manje.

          Hon. Chibaya approached the Chair. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  His small point of order has got some sense of humour, he says that he got frightened by the deep voice of – [Laughter.] –

*HON. RTD. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker and Hon. Member.  The issue of inputs such as seed and fertilizers is under considerations.  When it comes to seed, there are some challenges with regards to long season varieties such as seven and six series.   The seed that was produced last year is not enough to meet the demand because most probably it was affected by the incessant rains.  Varieties like five series going down are available.  Our seed companies are looking for funds so that they can buy the six and seven series varieties.

Fertilizer is being availed though not in adequate quantities.  Some of it is being manufactured locally and we are importing some.  The smooth availability of fertilizers is being affected by the challenges associated with the availability of limited nostro facilities. People who want to farm are many; therefore there is a little challenge, especially on that one which is being imported that when it comes because of our Nostro support, they delay and they cause the delays of fertilizers to reach farmers in time.  Thank you.

*HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that during President Mugabe’s days and G40  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Chinotimba! When I call the House to order, Hon. Chinotimba, please obey.  I will not entertain any innuendos or any discussion on factional politics.  As Members of Parliament here, we must debate issues that affect the nation on the basis of national interests and not factional matters.  If that is repeated, I will not hesitate to send a Member outside the House.  So please, carry on.

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I will try to do what you have said - to run away from the truth, so that I will please you.  It is very difficult because it is in the people.  We lived it, but I will try to please you.

My question to the Hon. Minister is that before Operation Restore Legacy we were not being given inputs, that is us in the opposition and you can hear from other people that some people who did not give us are in here.  So we want to know, now that we are in the new era, the issue of having all the people of Zimbabwe getting access to inputs, can we not come up with a register so that all people would register, because it was closed?  You were not inside, but that is the challenge that we came across.  So, we want to know whether you are going to open it to all the people, especially those who were not in the ZANU-PF party, but the people of Zimbabwe.  I think I have pleased you Mr. Speaker and crafted my question very well, looking at this issue of agriculture.

*THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI):  Mr. Speaker Sir and Hon. Members, every farmer who is in Zimbabwe is entitled to have inputs.  Whether it is Command Agriculture, as long as they meet the criteria which is wanted, they get access.  If it is the Presidential Scheme, everyone is given.  It is not given on partisan basis.  There is no law to that.  I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, mine is a point of clarity because I believe the Hon. Minister did not attend to the question by the Hon. Member.  The question was, this has been in existence - what is the new policy that he is going to introduce, or what are the new measures that he is going to introduce? – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  So what are the new measures that are going to be introduced by the Hon. Minister and Ministry to ensure that the distribution of inputs in this country is no longer on partisan basis, but is inclusive of all citizens of this country?  I think that is the gist of the question Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, perhaps you could also clarify the issue of criteria.

HON. RTD. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI:  Hon. Member, I happen to have been very much involved with Command Agriculture at national level.  I was actually in charge of the implementation team so I am not going to respond based on hear - say information, but on actual facts -[ HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- At no stage were field officers ever instructed to distribute inputs on partisan basis.  So, there was no issue of distribution based on partisan basis.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  I think the best way forward, Hon. Members as representatives of the people, where such practices of partisan allocation do arise, can you put them into record and bring them back here so that the Hon. Minister can then be confronted with actual facts.

HON. ZWIZWAI:  Mr. Speaker, you had requested him to give us the criteria but he did not.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, the issue of criteria, just briefly.

HON. RTD. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI:  Hon. Speaker Sir, the criteria at the moment is based on those who have honoured their obligations for last season.  People were given inputs and they were supposed to pay back.  Those who did that are eligible for registration again and for entering into contracts.  For new entrants, they get confirmation from the Arex officers in their various districts based on their competence and the fact that the member should actually be in possession of a title deed for commercial farms, an offer letter for A2 farm, a permit for A1 farm and obviously known communal farmer with a known piece of land.  Basically that is the criteria.

*HON. MAHOKA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.  What plans do you have Minister when it comes to how Command Agriculture is being directed?  I have seen that people have geared up their gear.  What do you have in place when it comes to harvesting because there are districts which do not have combine harvesters?  What plans have you put in place so that we have combine harvesters in place for harvesting the grains?

HON. RTD. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The plan that we have for the harvesting of those grains that need combine harvesters; firstly, there is a fund that has been set aside to help those who have combine harvesters, that they will be maintained and would also help others.  Secondly, we are looking at buying new combined harvesters.  We think they will be in place before harvest time.

          HON.  MANGAMI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  What is government policy...

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, the rule says you address Ministers the same way you address yourself.  They are honourable.

          HON. MANGAMI:  Hon. Minister, what is Government policy regarding assistance to institutions that take care of children such as children’s homes and orphanages. 

          THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE): The question was not clear, I did not understand what she wants to ask.  Can she repeat the question?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The question is, what is Government policy as far as assisting children’s homes and orphanages is concerned.

         

HON. KAGONYE:  It is one of the core business of the Ministry.  We look after children in various capacities in terms of provision of their basic education, food and all social network security pertaining to children.

HON. CHAKONA: My question is directed to Hon. Minister Mandiwanzira.  Yesterday the country experienced a black out on internet connectivity from about midday to 5.00p.m.  The major problem was experienced in foreign countries.  What is Government policy in terms of safeguarding and ensuring that the country is continuously connected to internet given the constraints that we saw yesterday?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Mkandla and your colleagues, can you be attentive.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND CYBER SECURITY (HON. MANDIWANZIRA): It is true that the country suffered a major internet blackout yesterday, which was caused by the disruption of services, particularly on the fibre optic cable bringing in bandwidth via South Africa into Zimbabwe.  So, 17.5km from Beitbridge into South Africa, the fibre optic cable was cut off by a tractor that was working on the side of the road.  Coincidentally, on the same day, City of Harare workers who were working in Kuwadzana, we understand they were putting sewage pipes underground, also cut off the fibre optic cable belonging to TelOne and also disrupted services.  This brings to the fore the most important thing that we must recognise as Zimbabweans that internet is such an important enabler to anything and everything that we do.  Therefore, I think it is important that the operators are encouraged to have redundancy which does not necessarily follow the same route.  It is our understanding that Liquid Telcom only brings their bandwidth via the cable from Beitbridge and their redundancy is also on the same route.  Thankfully, TelOne, which is owned by Government, brings bandwidth via Beitbridge and also brings bandwidth via Plumtree through Botswana and via Forbes Border Post from the undersea cables on the Mozambique side.  It is our view that as a result of the lessons learnt yesterday, Government will insist on – especially Government owned companies expanding their redundancy capacity beyond the two or three lines that are available to Government owned companies.  I think what happened yesterday should never be repeated because the country lost quite a significant amount of money in terms of opportunities and businesses.

HON. MLILO:  Hon. Minister Sir, it is a basic rule of thumb in Telecommunications and ICT that when you create a redundancy link or alternatively when you create alternative reaction pathways, your points should not traverse in the same area.  Your points should not traverse in the same route or same ISP or IAP.  What then happened in this case was – at some point in time, I remember that Government, through the Ministry had plans to create an alternative pathway which was meant to be the super-gateway that was going to go through Botswana.  What really has happened with the super-gateway because I believe the Botswana gateway could have alleviated us from the problem that we had yesterday.  Does the Ministry in any way have a disaster recovery policy that has been tried and tested seeing that we were left exposed yesterday?

HON. MANDIWANZIRA:  It is true that the rule of thumb is that redundancy must not be on the same route and I must say that this is the case with TelOne.  I did mention that TelOne, out of the disaster that we had yesterday, was the only network that was still offering service although at a reduced capacity because they were now bringing bandwidth via Botswana and Mozambique.  However, they also suffered the same fate that affected Liquid Telcoms on the Beitbridge route.  So, in terms of TelOne, they were adequately prepared and it is Liquid Telcoms that was not adequately prepared.  It is a licensing expectation that you must have redundancy that is not following the same route.  I have asked the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to investigate how come the redundancy by Liquid Telecoms was again on the Beitbridge route and both of those routes were affected yesterday.  I do not have the report yet but when we get it, we will be very happy to share it with Parliament.

In terms of the super-gateway, I think this more or less deals with channelling traffic through one route and that would not have been helpful in the circumstances yesterday.  It is done in terms of monitoring the traffic that is coming in and leaving the country for revenue assurance purposes and that would not have been helpful yesterday.  But I think alternatives are definitely required and this means that we may need to open up the space for more investment by other operators.  However, more importantly, Government must strengthen its investment in fibre optic cables particularly in building a national network that guarantees we will never fall as what happened yesterday.

*HON. MACHINGAUTA: My question is directed to Hon. Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi. In this country, people are registering to vote and the population of people living with disability is 1,4 million. So, I want to hear from the Hon. Minister what plans are in place so that those living with disability get help when it comes to registering to vote.

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to request the Hon. Member to put his question in writing so that I can go and consult with the ZEC officials and find out what plans they have put in place so that it will go well – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I will indulge the Hon. Member, if you can put the question in writing – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – Okay, I get you. Hon. Minister, this is an urgent matter. I am sure you could have some indications.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will hazard to answer and say the Constitution provides that every citizen is allowed to register. It is their right but the modalities that have been put in place; those are the ones that I want to ask ZEC as an independent body mandated by the Constitution to carry out that function. It is not a direct line Ministry of Justice. So, my appeal to the Hon. Member was if he can put the question in writing then I can follow up to find out what measures have been put in place to ensure that the constitutional requirement and that right has been realised – [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] –. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I think in view of the fact that we are likely to adjourn and the matter is burning, can I suggest to the Hon. Minister to get information from ZEC and on Thursday you make a Ministerial Statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – [HON. MUNENGAMI: Inaudible interjection.] – Order, order! I have not recognised you. Hon. Munengami, you do not start speaking before you are recognised. Take your seat. I believe you wanted to supplement the information that the Hon. Minister should bring. Is that correct? – [HON. MUNENGAMI: Yes.] – I will give you the indulgency but next time follow procedure.

*HON. MUNENGAMI: I want to add that the Minister should help us with the issue which was brought before the High Court concerning aliens that people can register if they bring a long birth certificate and identity card but the elderly only have identity cards. They do not have long birth certificates, which is another requirement. So, I am pleading with him that if he can engage ZEC to find out the way forward because most people only have I.Ds.

*HON. MURAI: Still on BVR, the process is going very well but we have a challenge that because we have so many national events that have affected –

*THE HON. SPEAKER: I think you should just tell the Hon. Minister what he is supposed to do.

*HON. MURAI: I am asking Hon. Minister that you extend the time for BVR registration. Add more days please.

*HON. MUTSEYAMI: My addition to the Minister is that on the BVR, we agreed with the Hon. Minister during the last session that when people are being issued I.Ds in the rural areas, there are wards which they reached and the people who issue out I.Ds came later. Up to date, the people have not returned and because of this programme now, there are some areas where ZEC is now giving two days extension but while the Registrar General officials are going in January and the other officials are going back in December, yet in this House we had said they would be an engagement between ZEC and Ministry so that those issuing I.Ds start and then those for voter registration would follow immediately.

*HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to Hon. Minister Mupfumira. What plans do you have when it comes to domestic tourism because many hotels are out of the reach of many people? Most of the hotels are very pricy just to sleep one night. For you to have breakfast, it costs a lot of money and you cannot even afford to give a tip. What plans do you have so that our people can travel freely in Zimbabwe?

THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. MUPFUMIRA): I want to thank the Hon. Member for his pertinent question. I want to assure him and as he knows, I have just taken the reins. We were looking at our tourism strategy the past few days and those are some of the things that we were talking about that the cost of doing business is very expensive. We will try and find ways that can encourage domestic tourism. I know that if you visit our areas, the money that is charged, especially Victoria Falls is too high.  So, we are going to look into that as we are looking at our strategy on marketing tourism.  Thank you. 

          *HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture, Hon. O. Mpofu.  My question is, as the new Minister who is coming in the new era, are you seeing yourself revamping or changing the Government policy on how the Police Force are interacting with people.  Firstly, when it comes to road blocks, are you going to remove them because they were a menace?  As we were inaugurating the President, people were complaining about road blocks because they are affecting business and people.  Is there going to be a change? 

Also on demonstrations, if people want to demonstrate because we now have our country, people are looking forward to be escorted by Police when they are handing in their petitions or complaints, whether to the President or to you.  It is there in the Constitution.  Should we look forward to that because we know that when a new day is coming, it brings a new thing?  Are we going to have those new things or we are going to meet the same challenges that we were facing during President Mugabe’s era?

          +THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU):  Thank you Hon. Member. I want to thank the Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity and also thanking Hon. Adv. Chamisa for such an important question.  I once spoke about what Hon. Adv. Chamisa had said, that the job of the police is to maintain peace and order.  Everything that is outside that, we will not tolerate.  The main job of the policemen is to maintain peace and they are there to assist all the citizens.  However, there are also ways to catch those who commit crimes. Issues to do with road blocks, I will realise so many citizens have lodged complaints about it.  Road blocks are not bad but it appeared as a bad way because of the way it was being implemented.  The first thing that I am going to deal with, I am going to meet with all the police officers in all the Commands and I will lay out how I want them to do their operations. 

Issues to do with demonstrations Mr. Speaker Sir, there are rules that are supposed to be followed every time there is a demonstration by any organisation or anyone.  We want to urge all citizens to follow the procedures.  There are times whereby even if there are certain agreements that have been made, people go against the agreements and we see the police officers taking action, especially when there is something bad that has been done.  All that I can say is, police officers are supposed to respect all the citizens and citizens are supposed to respect the police officers as well.  It is not good when we do finger pointing at each other.  We are supposed to have police officers who are there to put order in the country.  I thank you.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I really want to thank the Hon. Minister for such a very comprehensive answer but also a very responsible answer.  This is the kind of dispensation we want.  We respect our Ministers when they respect us.  We really want to appreciate it Hon. Minister, and we hope that the approach is going to continue.  My supplementary question Hon. Speaker Sir, if you look at the police insignia or the police latin saying, “pro lege pro populi pro patria”, it is for the law, for the people and for the country.  If our police is for the people and for the country and indeed for the law, I saw that in the courts there were some police officers who were taken to court because now the Constitution does empower a citizen.  If you feel offended by the conduct of an individual police officer, you can take them to court.  There was a very successful case in the courts, several police officers were taken to court. 

What are you also going to do as you meet them tomorrow in terms of equipping them with the correct peace mindset because they have to move from being a Police Force to being a Police Service?  Are you also going to emphasise this because a lot of police officers think that policing is about rioting and beating up people?  Are you also going to tell them that policing is not just force, it is also to interact with citizens in a proper manner because the public relations aspect of our police is a very important aspect?  Are you also going to touch on that from a policy point of view because it is very important so that people really know that it is a new dispensation in the context of the politics of the day?

HON. DR. MPOFU:  I do not want to preempt what I am going to tell the police tomorrow.  I think I have got a plateful of issues that I want to give direction on.  However, I think the fundamental role of our National Police Force is to ensure that there is law and order and it will be in that context that I will be dealing with this issue.  It is a very emotive issue as you all know and I want to address it head-on to ensure that they maintain their national status as a people’s force without really having to compromise their responsibility.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, do we say Police Force or Service? 

HON. DR. MPOFU:  Police Service – [Laughter.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you very much.  Whatever we do, the guidance we give, the road map we adhere to will not compromise the efficiency of our Police Service.  That is what I can say now Mr. Speaker Sir.  The rest you will actually get to know about it after my meeting. Thank you so much.

          Hon. Zwizwai having stood up on a point of order.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: There is no point of clarification because the Hon. Minister said he will not want to be preemptive of what is going to be discussed tomorrow. So, there are certain details that he cannot discuss here. Let the Hon. Minister meet the Commanders of the Police Service tomorrow and I am sure that he is going to come up with new directions which he will share with Parliament in due course.

          Hon. Members having stood up to pose supplementary questions.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: If the question is about the police, I am not accepting that. I am not accepting and I have ruled. Please sit down Hon. Members. I have ruled already that you allow the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Culture to meet the Commanders.

          HON. MHLANGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. We were almost running out of maize storage facilities in the last season. If indeed this year becomes another bumper harvest, can the Minister inform the nation what measures have been taken or what measures are under consideration to mitigate against this? Thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. MARAPIRA): I thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member. As Government, we are busy moving stock...

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

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

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Mr. Speaker, how can we have the response from a Deputy Minister when we have the substantive Minister who sits in the Cabinet? What is happening and what is the problem here? Is that a coup Mr. Speaker? We have a substantive Minister who is there. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Deputy Minister, in terms of procedure, you cannot answer on behalf of the Hon. Minister when he is there.

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI): Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Members, we have to take note of the fact that we are consuming the grain which was harvested last season. So, by the time we harvest, come next harvesting season, we expect the stocks to have gone down significantly. Currently, we are also moving grain from over congested depots to the less congested depots.

If indications are that the current facilities will not be enough in the next harvesting season, we can always come up with contingent plans. Mind you, it is not all our Grain Marketing Depots which are made up of silos. The bulk of them use tarpaulins to protect the grain from the vagaries of the weather. So, we can immediately resort to that approach whilst we are looking at the possibility of constructing proper silos. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Ah! Chief Whip. I had recognised Hon. Holder and Hon. Zwizwai. Please proceed.

HON. HOLDER: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Let me first congratulate the Ministers that have been recently appointed. My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Hon. Minister, I have a lot of faith in you but I need to ask you a question.  My question is, you are aware that in Midlands, in the chrome mining fields, there is a lot of bureaucracy that has been taking place. What mechanism or Government policy are you putting in place in order to regularise the chrome claims that were unfairly distributed in the Midlands Province?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Order, order Hon. Munengami.

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHITANDO): Thank you Hon. Member. It is a pertinent question. The reality is that today is my first day in office. I request that you put your question in writing, then I can give you a comprehensive and valid answer next week. Thank you.

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

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Point of order or supplementary question?

HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, this Cabinet has been chosen by the President who said he has hit the ground running. It is totally unacceptable for a Minister to come and say I am still studying when the economy has been suffering. The Minister must respond to the question given to him. They are there on duty and we are not wasting time.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Order Hon. Members. Hon. Mliswa, can you take your seat? Order Hon. Members. I mean Order Hon. Chamisa. Do I need to mention your name? – [HON. MLISWA: Inaudible interjections.] - Hon. Mliswa, if you persist, I may send you out.  Order, order!  If I say order, I mean order.  I am saying order you obey when I say order.  Can you sit down Hon. Mliswa?  Order please.  I am calling for order and you are laughing like you are in a pub.

HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order, on a point of order.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa I will chuck you out.  I will send you out; I am not taking that point of order.

HON. MLISWA:  Why not, why not?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I am not taking that point of order – [HON. MLISWA:  Inaudible interjections.] –

You go out now.

Hon. Mliswa was escorted out of the House by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

HON. NYAMUPINGA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, with your indulgence I approached the Chair before you got to the Chair.  I was asking for his indulgence that during these 16 days of gender based violence activism, will I be allowed to ask two relevant questions, but being addressed by two different Ministers and I had got a nod from the Speaker.

THE TEMPORATY SPEAKER:  I am aware.  Order please, I have recognised you to ask a question.

HON. MYAMUPINGA:  Thank you, I did not know.  My question is going to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  Considering the high rate of gender based violence in this country, we have safe-houses that are packed with victims of gender based violence.  I want to know Government policy or the women of Zimbabwe would want to know Government policy on social services that are provided to the safe-houses in terms of food and clothing.  Mr. Speaker, sometimes when a victim is physically abused, they run to the safe-houses naked and sometimes they remain naked for a week because there would be no funding to buy clothes for them.  So, we would want to understand the Government policy on that aspect?

Also, during these 16 days of gender based violence, a lot of children are being married when they are under the age of 16. We want to know from the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs when they are going to bring the alignment….

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order please.  The first question was directed to which Minister?

HON. NYAMUPINGA:  To the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Minister Kagonye…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  That is enough, let her answer first.

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  It is Government policy to provide social safety networks to victims of gender based violence – not only those victims but anyone who is vulnerable.  So, the Government has a policy to look after them in terms of accommodation, Government grants, food and any other relevant assistance that they may require.  I thank you.

*HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The issue of the importance of women which has been raised by Hon. Nyamupinga is very important.  You know that the backbone of a home is the mother and the backbone of the nation is the man.  There is no nation without homes.  Minister, do you foresee the revamping of this issue of revenge in gender based violence – that of pornography.  Are you adding those things, and also of people who have small houses, that it be criminalised for someone to have a girlfriend.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members.  Hon. Advocate Chamisa, I think you are lost there.

*HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  No Mr. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have made a ruling; it has nothing to do with zvamave kupindura pano.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  With all due respect, you know that it is in terms of the Standing Orders.  In terms of the Standing Orders, you have every right to make a ruling but the question that I addressed is an arising question.  It is to do with the offences that are related to gender based violence and I am not lost in all fairness.  I will not challenge your ruling but I also reserve the dignity and right of honour within this House.  May I be answered by the Minister because …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Adv. Chamisa

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Hon. Speaker, you know that I am respectful to your Chair because when you cast aspersions to say that I am lost, I represent this alternative.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Can you just take your seat please?  Hon. Chamisa, you are an advocate, so when you are asking your questions, you should direct them - because you are now adding the issue of small houses.  That is not what was being referred to.  So, I will give you the benefit of the doubt but be in line.

*HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Mr. Speaker, I ask for your forgiveness because I have added small houses, because probably it is affecting a lot of people and I am withdrawing that.  I am sorry because it has offended you.  I am just saying, is there a law coming from Government so that we would amend our law for things that are really affecting women because, as a lawyer, I represent women because there are many which affect the rights of women.  So, are you going to add a lot of crimes because gender is not only affecting men, but it is affecting men and women as well?  So, are you going to add more criminal charges when it comes to that?  Thank you.

*HON. KAGONYE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The way I understand, I think that this issue should be directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and not the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order please.  Can you take your seats Hon. Members?

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

          HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended.

          HON. CHINOTIMBA: I object.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

EMPLOYMENT OF EX-CONVICTS

3. HON. F. PHIRI asked the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare

 what the Ministry is doing to promote employment to ex-convicts since prisons are providing correctional services?

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Phiri for the question.  Mr. Speaker the Government regards Prisons as a rehabilitation institute.  Naturally, all things being equal, the rehabilitated persons are expected to re-integrate into society and be active participants in all areas including equal opportunity in terms of employment services.

          However, we take cognisant of the unfavourable conditions in the Labour Market, which not only affect the released person but the generality of all citizens.  They all have to compete for the limited jobs and obviously those without any prison record have a better chance of getting the only available jobs, while those from the prison battle to clear their image and stigma.

          We are also aware that every employer requires disclosure in terms of convictions.  It is against this background that we acknowledge the need for a policy that will support mechanisms to cater for those released from prison.  Currently there is no such policy for both private and public sector.  Since unemployment is a national concern a holistic approach on employment creation and a fund is also recommended to avoid appearing to be rewarding those from prison.

          FIRING OF COACHES AFTER LOSS OF A MATCH

20. HON. KANHANGA asked the Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation to explain whether it is government policy to fire national team coaches whenever they lose a match, be it soccer, cricket or volleyball as was the case with Mr. Calisto Pasuwa.

THE MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Firstly, there is need for clarity as to whether the matter relates to Mr. Calisto Pasuwa.  This is because Pasuwa was not fired.  Instead, his exit as coach of the warriors followed the expiry of his contract on 28th February, 2017.  However, for the benefit of the House, there is no Government policy which justifies or criminalises the firing of a coach on the basis of their team’s bad performance in a particular match or tournament.

The hiring and discharge of a coach solely rests on the coaches’ contractual terms as given by their respective associations and Government respects the discretion and integrity of national sport associations in this regard.  However, Government holds no reservations of intervention if a coach has been prejudiced by an association.  This is part of the National Sports and Recreation’s policy ennunciation on Government’s dispute resolution and arbitration mechanism.

On the other hand, globally, most coaches enter into performance based contractual terms.  Probably in the Zimbabwean context, the question which we should be asking is whether the global trend should be embraced or not.  I thank you.

RE-OPENING OF THE RIMUKA POST OFFICE

33.  HON. PHIRI asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security what plans are in place to re-open the Kadoma Rimuka Post Office which closed down several years ago.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND CYBER SECURITY (HON. MANDIWANZIRA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, Rimuka Post Office is actually operating as an off-counter for the Kadoma Post Office.  The Rimuka Post Office is currently operational and is offering a full range of postal services to the public. 

There was an incident however, when the clerk manning the post office counter was unavailable and his replacement delayed in rendering services resulting in the post office not offering services for three days and that was in August.  When we heard about this, Mr. Speaker Sir, we asked what disciplinary action had been taken because this is unacceptable to Government because services must always be delivered and people must go to post offices and get services as is expected on a daily basis.  So, we have been told that the person concerned was charged for withholding information that is pertinent to the discharge of another member’s duties and also was charged for conducting oneself or behaving in a manner that brings or likely to bring the name of the company and in this case ZIMPOST, into disrepute or to tarnish the image of the company. 

He was also charged with gross disregard of standing procedures and rules resulting in potential financial loss or prejudice to the company and this matter was heard by a hearing committee in Kadoma on 17th November, 2017.  The outcome was that the Postal Manager, a Mr. Madi, was found guilty and the penalty was a final written warning valid for 12 months.

ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMUNITY INFORMATION CENTRE IN KADOMA

34.  HON. PHIRI asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security when the Ministry is going to establish a Community Information Centre in Kadoma.

HON. PHIRI:  Mr. Speaker, question number 34 has been overtaken by events.  Thank you.

POLICY ON LOCALS BENEFITING FROM TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

42.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development what the Government policy is in terms of ensuring that the locals benefit from tertiary institutions within them.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon. Masuku for the question.  Government policy is that institutions of higher learning are by nature, national.  Local communities benefit as follows;

1.     These institutions stimulate research around the areas where they are, thereby providing the evidence base for decision making.

2.    By nature, these institutions employ people.  Maybe some of them are local especially in terms of jobs that are there.

So, employment is created for sure and also, they tend to help inclusivity in the nation.  The nation has the ability to mix up.  Somebody comes from another region and learns a lot of things which lead to national inclusion and stability. 

POLICY ON STUDENTS FAILURE TO PAY OUTSTANDING FEES

43.    HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to inform the House what the Government policy is as far as students who fail to pay their outstanding fees are concerned and to further clarify whether or not they can be employed when they do not have their results.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF MURWIRA):  The Ministry wishes to state that at State Universities students are expected to pay tuition fees at registration or before writing their examinations.  However, between registration and the writing of examinations, parents/guardians can make mutually agreed payment plans which they must honour to avoid inconveniences and ensure that they will get their diplomas and degrees.

In State Polytechnics and Teachers’ Colleges, payment of fees is governed by Statutory Instrument 81 of 1999, which stipulates that payment of such fees should be made before opening of each term or within seven days after opening.  Government has since instructed that students are not turned away from colleges and polytechnics for late payment of tuition fees.

However, it is mandatory that boarding fees be paid within seven days of opening of each term, at the latest.  Where necessary, at the discretion of the institution, the owing student/parent/guardian and the institution can enter into mutually agreed payment plans.  The student/parents/guardians are urged to honour their payment plans to avoid inconveniences.

Whilst the Government is meeting salaries for the employees for the institutions of higher and tertiary education, it is of paramount importance that parents/guardians pay fees for the students so as not to compromise teaching and learning activities at the institutions.

However, the Ministry directed all institutions to allow students to write their examinations.  Institutions may withhold results until all outstanding fees are paid.  Students are given certified copies of the results and as such they can apply for employment using those copies.  Students however, might not be able to get employment outside the country as these certified copies might not be allowed but anyway, they can get employment using the certified copies and they will get the originals when they are able to pay their fees, assuming that the job will allow them to get some money and then pay the fees.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

1.    DATE OF BIRTH FOR MR. TOBAIWA MUDEDE

HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House when the Registrar, Tobaiwa Mudede was born: and further explain if he is above 65 years and why he has not retired from the Civil Service?

          THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE): Thank you Madam Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Majome for the question.  May I humbly implore the House against personalizing enquiries and rather interrogate policy issues.

          Mr. Speaker, ageing is an inevitable consequence of life which must be embraced rather than shunned.  According to Betty Friedan (1921-2006), “aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength”.  Biblically, it is recognised as a crown of glory only from God.

          The African Union has been advocating for the retirement age to be moved forward due to the rising life expectancy rate witnessed globally.  For example, British Government announced the possibility of raising retirement age to 67 or 68 to match the trend.  Article 8 of the African Union Protocol on Older Persons requires us to respect older persons Right to Employment.  It provides that: “States Parties shall:

1.    Take measures to eliminate discrimination against Older

Persons with regard to employment opportunities;

2.    Ensure that Older Person enjoy decent working conditions”

Resolution 106 African Union bears in mind the rapid rate at

which the population of older person is increasing throughout the world and that the most rapid increase is taking place in the developing world, with Africa alone projected to have between 204 and 210 million older person by 2050.  This resolution therefore, calls upon all African Government to review policies on Older Persons.

          My Ministry is currently initiating ratification of this new Protocol which Parliament is expected to debate and endorse.  It is important for us to consider social trends and keep abreast with global and continental trends.  Our laws must remain relevant and devoid of discrimination against age in this particular context, otherwise we perish for want of vision.

          In direct response to the question from my learned colleague, allow me Mr. Speaker, to say that Mr. Tobaiwa Mudede was appointed as the Registrar in terms of Section 201 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe as read with Statutory Instrument 1 of 2000 (Public Service Regulations) as amended.

          In terms of Section 21 (1) of the Public Service Act, the Commission can engage persons on contract or such conditions as may be fixed from time to time.  The Commission is empowered by the Public Service Regulations to engage retirement age.  Such persons will not contribute again towards a pension as they would have already done so, hence their placement on annually renewable contract.

          May I also inform the House that my Ministry has proposed amendments to increase NSSA retirement from 60 to 65 years?  These proposals are under consideration by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development as required by the NSSA Act.  I thank you. 

WHEAT SEED FOR THE 2017-2018 SEASON

          10. HON. GEZI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement to inform the House the measures the Ministry has put in place to ensure that winter farmers have adequate wheat seed for the 2017-2018 season as a way of averting the current situation where farmers end up resorting to planting unknown wheat variety.

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI): Hon. Member, over the last five years wheat production has averaged 12 500 hectares and wheat seed produced has been adequate for that hectarage.  However, with the advent of Command Agriculture, the requirement trebled, hence the shortages.  Seed hoses have since been encouraged to produce more wheat seed to meet the expansion in wheat production.

TOBACCO LEVY COLLECTIONS FOR THE AFFORESTATION FUND

          11. HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement to inform the House:

a)    How much has been collected from tobacco levy to date towards

 the Afforestation Fund, and

b)   Whether TIMB has made any progress in the establishment of

woodlots from the Afforestation Fund?

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI): Hon. Member: (a) the funds are collected and retained by ZIMRA.  The levy in 2015 was $8 011 579.49 into TIMB account.

(b)     No progress has been made because the Constitution of the Afforestation Fund is yet to be presented to and registered with Parliament as per the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act, [Chapter 22 (19) by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

On the motion of  HON. RUNGANI seconded by HON. MKWANGWARIWA the House adjourned at Ten Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 December 2017 18:01
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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 DECEMBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 25