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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 07 FEBRUARY 2018 VOL 44 N0 38

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 7th February, 2018

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

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have received the following apologies from Hon. Ministers; Hon. Dr. O. Mpofu, Hon. Dr. Bimha, Hon. Marapira, Hon. Ziyambi, Hon. Rtd. Air Marshall Shiri, Hon. Prof. P. Mavima.

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

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

ERROR ON THE FINANCE BILL [H. B. 1, 2018]

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that we have noted an error on Clause 39 of the Finance Bill [H. B. 1, 2018].  The Bill will therefore be recommitted to the Committee of the Whole House tomorrow.

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received a non-adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Estates Administrators Amendment Bill [H. B. 8A, 2017].

INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE ON THE KIDZCAN ORANGE WEEK 2018

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that KIDZCAN Zimbabwe, a children’s cancer relief organisation, is inviting Hon. Members to participate on ‘Orange Week 2018’, which is a children with cancer awareness project, from 11th to 18th February, 2018.  All Hon. Members are urged to create their own Orange Day by dressing up in orange and donating a dollar in order to support the worthy cause of KIDZCAN.  You are all kindly requested to give feedback to KIDZCAN Zimbabwe, in form of pictures and videos.  All proceeds will be used to assist children who are battling cancer.  Please check your pigeon holes for further information.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise on a point of privilege in terms of our Standing Orders just to alert the House that Parliament has to do something regarding the vulnerability of Hon. Members of Parliament in the various constituencies, particularly in the context of an attack on one of our Members of Parliament yesterday.  I have had an occasion to check with the Police in Epworth and discovered that there was an attack on a Member of Parliament Hon. Zalerah Makari.  Hon. Makari was attacked by some unknown persons at Epworth board.  The reason is still not yet known.  The RRB number is 3448819.  A police report has been made.  I am saying this because we are seeing an escalation in the vulnerability, not just of Members of Parliament but also the ordinary citizens, particularly in the context of our run-up to elections. We do not want our elections to be tainted with accusations of lack of credibility, violence or instability within the country.  So, may something be done Hon. Speaker Sir, because this is a very serious issue?  You are aware that in the United Kingdom, a Member of Parliament by the name Deborah Cox was actually killed.  As a Member of Parliament, you attract a lot of envy from competition, detractors and enemies of our country.  So, it is important that we do not just move to protect Members of Parliament; we also have to do something to make sure that there is peace and stability in the country.

May this be taken to the President so that his call on free and fair elections is actually made a reality within political parties and also for intra-party democracy generally across the whole country.  No Zimbabwean must lose life in 2018 on account of either intra-party elections or elections in general. Hon. Speaker, I rest my case.  I thought I needed to bring this to your attention, asking you to do something about it, but also asking Government to issue a very stern warning and a very powerful statement, particularly dealing with the perpetrators because we are seeing an escalation.

          Of course, another week, it was not a Member of Parliament but an NPP member, a leader of the Opposition Party who was attacked in Glen Norah.  It is not a good thing.  We want the new dispensation to be new.  We want the new era to be a new era not a new mistake of the old acts that are repeating themselves.  Advocate Hon. Speaker Sir, thank you very much for your indulgence and may God bless you.  Thank you.

          Hon. Holder having stood up before the Speaker had responded.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Holder, you have to wait until I make a comment on the matter raised; then I will recognise you.  It is very sad that this has happened.  It was only yesterday as I came out of the Chamber that the said Hon. Member had indicated to me that she was not safe and I had advised her to immediately inform the police so that she could have some long distance security cover.  I do not know whether she proceeded accordingly but she had indicated to me yesterday that she was under threat from unknown people who have threatened her.  I will convey the message accordingly to the powers that be and also, I think it should be recorded that the incident referred to by Hon. Adv. Chamisa in Glen Norah, where a member of the opposition and others were attacked; I think it should be applauded that the police took swift action and the perpetrators were arrested and are facing court charges.

          HON. HOLDER: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I rise on a point of privilege, on what Hon. Chamisa was saying.  I am on the same note that as Hon. Members, I personally was attacked in a newspaper by The Mirror, dated 1st February, 2018 with a headline “Zvishavane MP stabbed for affair with a married woman”.  I do not even know – my family is in panic; everybody is in panic and I have got people across the country phoning to find out what is going on.  I think newspapers should never write things that are not true.  This is what is happening to us. 

          I have not been stabbed; I am well, healthy and I do not even know- my wife is there.  So, I do not understand this Mr. Speaker.  The newspapers should report the truth because we have business people, colleagues and everybody that are actually looking up at us as leaders and when you get such a placard “Zvishavane MP stabbed,” where? I do not know; for what? I do not know.  Hon. Speaker, we need a serious intervention on that.  It is also tarnishing party names, whether it is opposition or the ruling party.  It gives a very bad image to us as leaders.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, what Hon. Adv. Chamisa raised was not a motion, so we cannot carry on debating that. While I note with sadness what Hon. Holder has said, I think appropriate action should be taken through your legal advisors so that you can get a retraction of that statement.  I am hoping that the media fraternity is around and they should be able to take note of what you have just said.

          Hon Nduna having stood up.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: What is it?

          HON. NDUNA: Hon. Speaker, I seek that you recognise me on a point of privilege.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Members, let us not abuse this time.

          HON. NDUNA: I promise not to abuse it Mr. Speaker.  A few days ago, the Minister of Health and Child Care made a Ministerial Statement.  I bring to the House the thankfulness of the people of Chegutu West and also that they are not yet out of the woods in terms of the cholera epidemic.  I applaud a lot of arms that have been embedded with us, in particular, Hon. J. Moyo, Hon. S. K. Moyo, Hon. Parirenyatwa…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Member, that is not a privilege, it is a matter in the public domain.  Thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. MAJOME: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Hon. Minister, what are the plans of your Ministry in order to curb road carnage generally on highways that pass through urban roads in terms of improving traffic control at dangerous intersections, in particular Harare-Bulawayo highway at the intersection, for example at Tynwald Drive, where there is N. Richards?  I think there is need to put traffic lights or other such controls in order to curb and stop accidents that happen, particularly there – [HON. DR. GUMBO: At Tynwald?] – Yes.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Address the Chair.

          HON. MAJOME:  I beg your pardon Mr. Speaker Sir.  Accidents are happening on traffic sections that are poorly controlled such as Harare-Bulawayo Road at Tynwald Drive.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Are you not repeating yourself now?  I thought you mentioned Tynwald already.

          HON. MAJOME:  My apologies Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thought you had said I should address you, so I thought you wanted me to clarify.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:   No, I think the Hon. Minister has got the question.

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Majome for that very important question which gives me an opportunity to explain what the Ministry is doing along the roads in order to curb the accidents that we find along our roads.

Generally speaking, on the main highways, what the Ministry is doing is actually coming up with perimeter fencing which has stalled just because of the cost of the material that we use, but we are actually doing our best to make sure that we provide the perimeter fencing as provided by the Ministry.  We have already started doing that along most of our roads at the moment but regarding the specific question that the Hon. Member is talking about, which is pointing at some intersections mostly in urban areas, what we have been doing in order to curb accidents along such places is to come up with what you have just mentioned, to put on some robot controls so that we can control the movement of traffic.  The area that the Hon. Member is talking about - that is why I wanted to find out exactly which place, whether it is along Kirkman Road or it is at the intersection of Tynwald Road where we have some shops, which really is becoming an area of concern.  Also beyond that, as you travel from Dzivarasekwa into Kuwadzana, at those places, we are putting up some robot controls.  So, maybe very soon you should see that robots will be erected at those intersections.  That is what we are doing. 

Because of the traffic that has increased in Harare unexpectedly, most of our intersections definitely now need a lot of reconsideration between ourselves and the City of Harare, including the Mbudzi area where it becomes a nightmare for most people especially during weekends and even after work in the evenings.  So, we are looking at all those places in order to come up with some control measures such as robots at those places.  So, I want to thank you very much for that question because it is important but it is also under consideration – you will see some robots being erected as soon as possible.  I thank you.

          HON. MAJOME:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Minister for his eye on such important things.  My supplementary question is, can the Hon. Minister maybe by way of approximation indicate a possible timeframe as to when motorists along that particular road; Harare-Bulawayo Road intersection with Tynwald that you identified near N. Richards as well as also on the other side on Kirkman Road and Tynwald Road, by way of approximation maybe a few months – when we expect to see traffic and better control at those intersections?  I thank you.

          HON. DR. J. GUMBO:  I did not hear anything because there is a lot of noise from Members on the left Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you repeat your question please?

          HON. MAJOME: Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is to ask the Hon. Minister to indicate even by approximation what kind of timeframe that he has in mind by which motorists can expect to see maybe traffic lights and better controls at that particular Harare-Bulawayo Road intersection as well as Kirkman Road on the other side.  How many months approximately can we expect traffic controls there?  Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Member, I was going to rule you out of order because you are now being specific.  You asked for policy direction on what the Minister is going to do on those danger spots but now if you are going to ask for a specific part of a road, that becomes more specific.  I do not think that is a policy matter.

          HON. MAJOME: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Minister was gracious enough to also show his concern by responding specifically, so I want to believe that it seemed as if he has plans.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:   Order, he gave an example and went further to mention areas like Dzivarasekwa.  So, my ruling stands. 

          HON. KWARAMBA:   Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Hon. Minister, I would like to know what the Ministry is doing regarding VID officials who are issuing fake drivers’ licences?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Kwaramba for asking that very important question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it was only this week that I made a stern warning to VID officers and also driving schools.  Not only that, also even those people who go to the driving schools because they want to get drivers’ licences.  These three groups of people should be warned that they must stop the corruption that we witness or is being purpoted on.  I warned VID officials and I said, if we continue to hear what we are being told about their activities, they are going to be either fired from work or we might arbitrarily transfer them without notice so that we try and bring some order into VID.

I went further on Friday night to address again the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and again made the same stern warning that we are aware and that reports are coming to us, that there is a lot of corruption that is taking place at VID and that the people must be warned.  We also have some measures that we have put in place – like putting up some toll free numbers and also some suggestion boxes where you can bring in some suggestions on how to assist us - because you must understand that VID people are not doing this on their own.  They are doing it in collaboration with a lot of compliance from those who want to get licences and also members of the driving schools. 

So, a lot is being done but we also need support from you as the general public to assist us by giving us the information of those people who are involved in corrupt activities.  It is not all VID officials who are involved in this corruption, but it is some individuals and the most worrying issue is that they are doing it because it is being instigated by the people who want to obtain licences.

 VID Mr. Speaker Sir, in order for the Ministry to curb the corruption that is taking place at VID; 80% of the examination for the learner driver is done in full glare of everybody who wants to visit any VID depot.  Eighty percent of the whole process is done there and only 20% is done outside the VID Depot, on the road.  So, we are doing as much as we can in order to make sure that the examination is done transparently but that corruption cannot be eradicated by the Ministry on its own.  If everybody cooperates, then we can be able to eradicate the corruption that is taking place at the V.I.D.  Thank you.

HON. MARIDADI: The issue of V.I.D is almost like a national disaster.  I was hoping that the Minister could probably issue a Ministerial Statement…

THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?

HON. MARIDADI: My supplementary question is that, is it not possible for the Minister to issue a Ministerial Statement seeing that this is as a national disaster?  Thank you.

HON. DR. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank you Hon. Maridadi for that question.  I will do that.  There is no problem for me to do that, I will definitely do that.  I have been making these statements.  If they are not enough, I will actually come up with a Ministerial Statement, and I can do that.  Thank you.

HON. MANDIPAKA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not know if we have the Leader of the House, I wanted to ask my question to the Leader of the House.  I stand guided Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mandipaka, the Leader of Government Business in the House is Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi. I have read out his apology, so why do you want to create an awkward situation? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Order, order!

*HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  What is Government policy as regards the families that are all over the country that no longer have breadwinners like the orphaned households and widows?  They used to receive $20 in the past, after an assessment would have been done by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, but this has since been discontinued.  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Mupfumi for such a pertinent question.  The Government has got ways to assist such vulnerable people in several forms.  There was the issue of $20, these are called harmonised cash transfers and this is still being disbursed to people.  Assessments are done by the officials from the Social Welfare Department to identify which group of vulnerable people requires such assistance.  At the moment, they are receiving up to $50 which is in line with the assessment done for each family depending also on the number of vulnerable dependents in the household. 

Over and above that, they are receiving food in the form of maize, school fees payment for children’s and clothes, depending on their needs.  Those that are ill are also given Assisted Medical Treatment Orders (MTO’s), documents that enable them to seek medication.  So, the Government is continuing to ensure that people who are vulnerable are assisted and that they are not found wanting.   This includes little children that are orphaned, widows and those people who are living with disabilities and those that are vulnerable.  I thank you.

*HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Minister for such a response. I went to my constituency in Dangamvura, Chikanga last week; there is nothing like that.   These groups of people are actually suffering and vulnerable children are not going to school; they are being sent back home.  Maybe, you should also task a single member of the army for each school to ensure that children are not sent away from schools.

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mupfumi, what does the army have to do with Social Welfare?

*HON. MUPFUMI: I am talking in terms of the restoration of legacy.  If teachers are advised that children should not be sent back home, it is my plea that soldiers be stationed at schools so as to ensure that children are not sent back home – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, withdraw that statement regarding the soldiers because the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has officers responsible for that. So, we do not need interference by the military.

*HON. KAGONYE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The money that has been given to for school fees through BEAM for school children, we are aware that there were problems in the schools; they were not accepting vulnerable children in schools without upfront payment for fees because Government through my Ministry was owing a lot of money to these schools.  End of last year, the Treasury gave us a lot of money to clear the outstanding debt.  At the moment, majority of schools have been paid off their debts and are accepting children under BEAM.  If the problem persists in specific areas, let us know so that we can intervene. An amount of US$7m was disbursed to us by Government for the harmonised cash transfer such a programme so that our social partners can also augment that amount.  It is the first time that such a large amount of money was disbursed to us, which means the Government is aware that the number of people who require assistance has increased.

          If this information does not reach all areas, I urge Hon. Members to go to those areas to educate about the existing programmes and go to their nearest Social Welfare officers so that they get assistance.  I thank you. 

          *HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is - what means have you put in place to ensure that this money gets to the rightful recipients.  If we look at the problems and the level of corruption that has been obtaining in our country, what mechanisms have you put in place to ensure that the money gets to the rightful recipients?

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  The Hon. Minister spoke very well. If there is a problem, you can go to the offices in the Social Welfare Ministry.  If you are unhappy get in touch with her; she will deal with the matter – [HON. CHIBAYA: Kunoendeka vari right zvekuti.] -

          Hon. Mutseyami having stood up to ask a supplementary question.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I have ruled on your supplementary question, I cannot open debate. 

          HON. MLILO: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker Sir.       

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

          HON. MLILO: My humble request is for the ...

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I beg your pardon?

          HON. MLILO: My humble request Mr. Speaker Sir, with all due respect, is for the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare to...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You mentioned a point of privilege?

          HON. MLILO: Yes, Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Ask a supplementary question.

          HON. MLILO: My question is therefore directed to the Hon. Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  In all this that she has said, how do the disabled people fit in?  I see in a lot of constituencies and a lot of towns that disabled people are not benefiting from such a fund and in her explanation, she did not articulate how they fit into the picture.  She only spoke about people who are vulnerable, including the orphans and the widows and not the disabled people.  I thank you.

          HON. KAGONYE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  People living with disabilities are included under the vulnerable members of society.  They qualify to benefit. We actually have a fund that is dedicated specifically for people living with disability.  From my own assessment, the challenge that I am seeing is lack of information on those members who are disabled.  The majority of them are there at home and are not aware of these facilities.  So my appeal is for the Members of Parliament and the public in general to inform those people that are living with disability that there are such facilities that are available within Government so that they can come and also access the benefit – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          *HON. CHIBAYA: My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Kagonye.  What plans do you have for pensioners as regards to increasing their monthly pensions? When are you going to increase their pensions?

          *THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Pensioners amounts are worked and determined by actuarials scientists who are experts in that field.  They will come up with the minimum amount that should be given to the pensioner in line with their monthly contributions at the time when they were still working.  This is dependent upon the workings done.  Previously, the pensioners’ salaries were increased from US$60 to US$80 per month.  These amounts are reviewed periodically, considering the state of the economy.  Currently, they are receiving US$80 per month.  I thank you.

          *HON. CHIBAYA: Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am glad that this august House can ask questions to Ministers and that the entire nation will be watching.  The former Minister did promise to increase pension amounts from US$60 to US$80 and all the pensioners were listening.  We were told that by the end of 2017, it would be raised from US$100 to US$150.  It is....

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Ask a question Hon. Member.

          *HON. CHIBAYA: You said that you have increased the amount to US$80 but it was once stated that the amount would be increased to US$150.  What do you say to this contradiction and how is the public going to view this?  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          *HON. KAGONYE: I was asking the former Minister what Hon. Chibaya is referring to.  Initially when she said this, she said the amount was going to be increased from US$60 to US$80 which was done and that it was her expectation that at the next review, it will be increased to US$100.  Plans are underway to review and thereafter, we will know to what amount the pensions will be increased to.  I thank you.

          Hon. Chibaya having stood up to ask yet another supplementary question.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, you cannot ask two supplementary questions.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: My supplementary pertains to the underprivileged in our society.  We see a lot of children on our streets begging, making even driving very dangerous on the roads.  What efforts is the Ministry doing to ensure that the lives of those young children on the streets who are abused by being used to beg is mended, so that they can be incorporated once again into society and be good citizens of this country in the future.  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE):  Thank you Honourable for the question.  The Ministry has been doing a lot in terms of planning for the children to take them away from our streets.  The unfortunate thing is, all the efforts that were being done to take them off have not been enough to keep them in homes or reconcile them with their families.  So right now, we are going to launch a programme called ‘Take them off the streets’.

On that programme, we are trying to come up with ways that are acceptable to the children themselves that will actually assist them to be integrated into society, otherwise we are equally concerned with the number of children that are on the streets and we are still looking at possible ways that will permanently remove them from the streets.  Once we come up with those strategies in partnership with our social partners, we will actually inform the House on the progress.  Thank you.

HON. MANGAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  What is Government policy regarding the allowances that are given to village heads and what is the prescribed methodology of paying such allowances?

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):   Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Village heads are being paid an allowance and this allowance is on a monthly basis.  We have had problems since they were not accessing enough cash.  We have now devised a methodology so that they are paid through Ecocash and at present, we are above 75% of all the village heads in the country, paying them through Ecocash.  We want to make sure that every village head is paid through Ecocash so that the trouble they have to come to the district administrators’ offices is reduced and they can access their funds through their Ecocash.  I thank you.

HON. ZINDI:  Hon. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  Realising the fact that people in constituencies regard Members of Parliament as the face of Government, what measures do you intend to put in place to make sure that your Ministry officials liaise with Members of Parliament in terms of submitting names of vulnerable people in our constituencies so that there is that interface and interaction with Members of Parliament, ensuring that the vulnerable members have submitted their names to the Ministry?  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, I will protect the Minister.  It is the responsibility of Members of Parliament to liaise with Government offices, the community and the local authorities to identify the problem areas.

HON. ZINDI:  Supplementary question Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  There is no supplementary.  Do your work.  As Members of Parliament, do your work.

HON. ZINDI:  I take it with protest Hon. Speaker.

HON. KANENGONI-MALINGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  Does your Ministry have an early warning mechanism in relation to possible drought so that you can prepare to feed people in the eventuality that there is a drought?  If so, are there such plans for this year, given that the rains were not that great and there might be potential drought?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Again, the Hon. Minister is protected.  That question goes to the Minister responsible for Climate Change.  The responsible Minister is the Minister for Environment, Water and Climate.

HON. KANENGONI-MALINGA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the question was related to feeding of people.  So since their Ministry gives food to vulnerable groups, the idea would be that there would be vulnerable groups if there is a drought.  That was the question.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, your question was on mitigation of drought.

HON. KANENGONI-MALINGA:   Yes, but in relation to food.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No.

HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  I would like to know what her Ministry has put in place with regards to transport for the vulnerable - seeing the Ministry prescribes that ZUPCO is the only mode of transport that the Ministry uses and yet it has been defunct for many years, including some areas where ZUPCO does not go.  It leaves the beneficiaries, including the disabled, begging for transport.  So, I would like to know what the Ministry is doing to make sure that transport is provided.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you Hon. Member for the question.  Our Ministry assists by issuing travel warrants to the vulnerable.  However, the challenge that we have been facing is that most transporters refuse to use the travel warrants.  They prefer cash, but on a case by case basis, we can always analyse and assist according to the need.  Thank you.

HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  It becomes very difficult for the vulnerable to access information of where to go, case by case.  Can the Ministry not come up with a deliberate programme or certain transporter that would provide the transport because if the Ministry says case by case, then for people that do not have access to information, it actually complicates the whole situation?  Thank you.

HON. KAGONYE:  What I have said is a matter of policy.  We deal with public transport.  Those are the ones that normally accept travel warrants.  However, the reason why I said case by case is because we do not have a universal transporter for the whole country.  It then becomes difficult for us to liaise with transporters who are not Government transporters unless if you know a specific case, maybe we can talk to the private transporter in that particular area.  If ZUPCO or any other form of public transport was efficient, then this problem was not going to arise.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have received further apologies from Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Haasati ambouya, he is a stranger in Parliament.] – Order, order.  Hon. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate; Hon. Minister Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Vice President responsible for the Ministry of Defence, Security and War Veterans; Minister of Finance and Economic Development ; Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, Hon. Minister Bimha and Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation;  Hon. Kazembe Kazembe.  That is the list in addition to the one I had indicated earlier on.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Putting across an apology is one thing but it has to be noted that the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Dr. Parirenyatwa is a stranger to this House –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – The last time he came to this Parliament was when he came just to give a statement.  That was it.  I have been here for five years but I have hardly seen him more than five or six times. It is something that has to be noted. It is so unhealthy and it is so sad bearing in mind the challenges that we have in this country; he is hardly here.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order. Hon. Mutseyami, we will bring the issue to the notice of the Hon. Minister.

HON. SARUWAKA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Moyo.  Section 281 of the Constitution clearly spells out that traditional leaders must not be members of any particular political party.  This means that they cannot speak on behalf of any political party.  They cannot further the interest of any political party.  I would like to understand what the Hon. Minister is doing to rein in traditional leaders who come out openly that they support a political party – in this case ZANU PF.  We have the example of the President of Chiefs; Chief Charumbira who has clearly stated that he supports ZANU PF, yet he is continuing in his role as a traditional leader.  What is his Ministry doing to make sure that all traditional leaders are non-partisan?

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, as the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, I am not the supervisor or controller of the constitutional provisions and it is not the Ministry’s policy to look into the issue of chiefs pronouncing themselves about their political persuasions.

HON. SARUWAKA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I did not understand what the Hon. Minister said. Is he implying that he is not the Minister responsible for traditional leaders?  Do they fall under a separate Ministry from his?  If he is the Minister in charge of traditional leaders, then it is incumbent upon him to make sure that they stick to the provisions of the Constitution.  In this particular case, traditional leaders, are coming out openly in violation of the Constitution.  Is the Minister not charged with making sure that he upholds the provisions of the Constitution?  In this case, the behaviour of traditional leaders; why is he not taking any action when they blatantly violate the Constitution?

HON. J. MOYO: The appointment and disciplinary procedures for chiefs is now the responsibility of the Provincial Assembly of Chiefs as well as the National Assembly of Chiefs.  This is provided for in the Constitution.  Nowhere does the Constitution allow me to discipline any chief in this country at present.

*HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for allowing me to ask a supplementary question to the Hon. Minister July Moyo. Hon. Minister, you rounded up all the chiefs country-wide under the programme that was being done by the Government programme of buying vehicles. You took them to the headquarters of Midlands Province – [HON. DR. GUMBO: Zvine basa rei?] – It is important because we marched together.  It is important and pertinent.  We should be proud of one another.  We marched together on the 18th of November 2017, and we removed Mugabe together.  So, we should not ill-treat each other.  The new era is not for one person.  We will not allow this to happen.  We would have used words for the incident to describe it in another way.  If you want to right the wrongs in this country, we will have to do it together. You rounded up chiefs and you gathered them at a party Headquarters and you gave them cars.

As the President was saying, we are going to have free and fair elections, do you now want us as political parties to start demonstrating against President Mnangagwa now? If we want to make sure that the country is right, we should be honest enough to honour up and say we did wrong, we will take up corrective measures. We took steps together, we are in the new dispensation together; we will hold elections and congratulate the winner. I thank you. 

* HON. J. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker for Hon. Zwizwai’s question. In the Midlands where the chiefs gathered to meet the President, that is not a ZANU PF building. It belongs to the Midlands Development Association and includes everyone who is in the Midlands. That is how it was constructed. As to who can use it, it is neither here nor there. If the Salvation Army wants to use it, they can and anyone is free to use it inasmuch as ZANU PF used it. If a person does sloganeers – whoever is possessed with spirits – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - If we are to say that the Minister should rein them in, the Minister will have problems. If there are those that are not happy about what happened to chiefs, chiefs have their National Council of Chiefs, they have Provincial Assemblies of Chiefs, and  so, you should take your complaints to those fora so that these issues can be attended to. I thank you.

*HON. MAONDERA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am surprised that the Hon. Minister says that he is not responsible for the chiefs, but in his Ministry, there is a director who is responsible for the welfare of traditional leaders. Their Vote is under his Ministry. How does he not know that the chiefs can be disciplined by him? Why does their Vote fall under his Ministry and have a full director responsible for running the issue of chiefs, yet you are flouting the laws of this country?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! The Constitution must be read wholesomely. Notwithstanding the quoted Section 281, you have to read the Constitution also in terms of Section 287, which speaks to the Integrity and Ethics Committee of the Council of Chiefs. In subsection (c), one of the responsibilities of that Committee and I quote, ‘is to deal with complaints against traditional leaders’. Thank you.

*HON. PARADZA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. The whole country is crying as to when they are going to get assistance from the Government because the crop was a complete write-off as a result of insufficient rains. To be more precise, when is the Government going to assist such people?

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the question by Hon. Paradza – we are not yet out of the rain season. People have not harvested and there has not been an assessment of which areas are suffering from the drought. So, your question does not arise.

*HON. KATSIRU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. All councils that are in this country, none is able to stand alone and since they cannot stand alone, if you look at their books of accounts, they show that the majority of the money that they are owed  is being owed by Government. When are you going to pay these councils their money or are they never going to get their money? I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J.  MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Katsiru’s question is two pronged that the councils can no longer stand on their own and that is true. In some ways, it is because some of the powers that the councils had are no longer being used by them. They were now being used by certain ministries. So, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development came in this august House and showed that the councils can now raise revenue on their own before it goes to any other Government department.

On the second question where he said - is Government going to pay the outstanding debts to the councils? The person who is in a better position to comment is the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. If he has been specific for what is being owed, I would have been in a better position to answer the question. Maybe, it will be best if you were to put your question in writing so that there can be a better response to his question. I thank you.

*HON. KATSIRU: Mr. Speaker Sir, it is clear that all Ministry departments had water supplies for years and this water as well as the rates have not been paid for. There has been a lot of debt accumulated from the non-payment of these rates and water bills. In their books, they still say US$56 million is still being owed by the people and three quarters of that amount is owed or has been accrued by several or different Government departments. As the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, it should be in his interest to know that the councils have been paid so that they can work properly. I thank you.

HON. J. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I have heard the Hon. Member’s question. Unless and until I am given the specific councils, up until I know all of them, I am unable to answer that question – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I will help you Hon. Minister. The Auditor General’s report indicates the problem that Hon. Katsiru has brought to our attention and I think Hon. Katsiru can put his question in written form. The Hon. Minister can refer to the Auditor-General’s report and he will be able to answer comprehensively. Thank you.

          *HON. MACHINGAUTA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Hon. Minister Moyo has accepted that local authorities cannot function on their own. My question to him is, is there any hope that these local authorities are going to be paid by Government, especially the one stated in Section 301 of the Constitution that says 5% of the National Budget should be disbursed to local governments? Are they going to access that 5% so that they can offer good service delivery?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): I thought the Chair who was here before I took over had made a ruling that the Hon. Member can put the question in writing so that the Minister can respond. Is it the same thing?

          *HON. MACHINGAUTA: My supplementary is clear Hon. Chair and there were specifics that were required so that I needed the research but I am saying since he has conceded that the local authorities cannot stand on their own, in light of the constitutional requirement of Section 301 that they should receive 5% of the National Budget, is there any hope that the said local authorities are going to receive the 5% as stipulated in the Constitution so that there is good service delivery?

          HON. J. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for asking that question. It is true that our Constitution more than any other constitution that I know of has given our local authorities the power to raise taxes both in the urban and rural areas. We have not just given them power to tax in the Constitution but in the subsidiary legislation, they have been told how to tax and follow up on those who are not paying their taxes. This, we are emphasising to all our local authorities so that they can get maximum accruals from their taxation.

As regards to Section 301, the pronouncement of  at least 5% is only after Government and the local authorities have gone into a thorough revenue sharing exercise to understand what ought to be collected by central government and what is collectable by local government and to see where the gaps are, and then you can apply the 5%. In some cases, in order to equalize so that we do not have certain areas of our communities remaining behind and others moving ahead, the tax base of all our local authorities is not the same.

So that 5% yes, we need it to be given to local authorities and I think the Hon. Member will know that the Minister of Finance in his Finance Bill this year admitted that he was going to apply that 5%, come next year. We have already started working on the modalities so that the 5%, when it comes, can be given in accordance with some form of fiscal regime that we will have created. We are working at that and I want to thank him for asking that question.

HON. M. MAWERE: My question is directed to the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon. Mupfumira. Hon. Minister, what is the policy of your Ministry as regards the mushrooming of shebeens and houses that have been turned into lodges and at the same time where prostitution is taking place. What is your position on that one?

THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. MUPFUMIRA):  I want to thank the Hon. Member implying that shebeens are tourist attractions. What we are in the process of doing as a Ministry is to ensure that all tourist activities, shebeens, lodges or whatever are registered with the Ministry through ZTA. So, we have the next two months to register such. I would urge Hon. Members to advise us of any lodges you might find mushrooming in the residential areas so that we register them. Once we register, we will be able to find out what activities they are carrying out and if they are not lawful, the law will take care of whatever is unlawful. I am talking about registration.

HON. M. MAWERE: My concern Mr. Speaker is that the loose moral will break hell and hence, our culture will be eroded. I know it can be tourism but the aspect of eroding our culture is un-African. Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Member, I thought the Minister has already addressed that by saying that all those institutions must be registered and they will make sure that they comply with the Tourism Policy.

HON. M. MAWERE: I stand guided Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. GABBUZA: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Mr. Speaker, we listened with a lot of anticipation when the South African Government announced the reduction of fuel prices as a response to the global decline of crude oil prices and as a response to the strengthening of the US$. Now, as Zimbabwe, are we seeing a likelihood of a reduction in the oil prices in response to the same declines on the world market in the near future?

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. K. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  All I can say is, I wish that could happen but as a Ministry, we are quite aware that we are making every effort to make our fuels as affordable as possible.  This is why, not long back, I did make an announcement that the pump prices of petrol and diesel were going down for a simple reason that the excise duty which falls under the Ministry of Finance, we had negotiated with them to reduce that area.  The problem we have at the moment is that our excise duty is still very high.  The reason I understand was that there was no way Government could really meet its obligations without increasing the excise duty on this particular sector. 

We seem to be seeing developments which are giving us some kind of joy in that a number of competitors are coming in terms of particularly the supply of fuel.  We, ourselves as a Ministry, our own subsidiary called NOIC that was formerly NOCZIM is increasing its capacity.  As recently as this week, we NOIC we bought Trek, some of you know Trek.  We want to see the increase of our outlets in terms of Petro Trade and indeed, in terms of Trek that we have just purchased.  However, there are a number of competitors that are showing signs that certainly, we are likely to see our fuels and oils going down. 

We pray that happens because that has multiple factors in terms of results.  You also have industries expanding if fuel is reduced or oil in general is reduced.  You will also see a number of economic activities taking place.  I want to say to the Hon. Member, his question is pertinent and we shall follow of course, statutorily the world prices of oil and go along with that trend in terms of our own activities in the country.  I want to say that is our biggest hope and we shall monitor the situation as necessary as possible.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

Questions without notice were interrupted by the TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

HON. NDEBELE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to make the most honourable thing to propose that we put taxpayers’ money into good use by extending time for Oral Questions, given that a lot of Cabinet Ministers are not in today. 

HON. NDUNA:  I second.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  By how many minutes?

HON. NDEBELE:  I propose 45 minutes Mr. Speaker Sir or perhaps 30 minutes. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, you are not being sincere.  We still have to attend to written questions.  Let me rule that we extend by ten minutes. 

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I appreciate the Hon. Minister’s answer.  My supplementary is Zimbabwe Energy and Regulatory Authority (ZERA), as a Government policy, has the mandate to recommend to Government the price of fuel and energy based on their observation of the fluctuation of the oils on the international market.  I wish to know from the Minister if ZERA has proposed or recommended any price to the Ministry given their observation on fluctuation of the international prices.

HON. S. K. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, I again want to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  It is true that ZERA monitors fuel prices on a daily basis.  If there is any development in terms of international prices, ZERA also plays the same tune but sometimes by only one cent because much of the prices, as I said, were affected by the excise duty.  If it was not the excise duty, I believe ZERA would even do more than what it is.  We are in discussions with my counterpart, the Minister of Finance to see whether we can sacrifice some of this squeezing which is happening in terms of our excise duty to bring down our prices.  Certainly, we monitor that on a daily basis.  ZERA gives me a report daily on what has taken place.  If you look at our prices, almost every week or every other two weeks, you will find that there is a slight change, but not very meaningful but minimum change because of the developments in international prices.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE:  Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the Minister, in his response, mentioned Petro Trade.   I want to find out from the Minister, what the intelligence behind the policy of Government is in getting involved in the retail of fuel directly to consumers.  Is that not crowding out private companies from selling petrol and at that rate, are we not going to see a Government that opens sadza restaurants?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:    Order.  Hon. Member, may you go back to where you were standing.  Hon. Member, if you ask a question, be serious.  May you withdraw the sadza part of your question?

HON. NDEBELE:  If you find it so offensive, I recant that.

HON. S. K. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  Government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from exploitation.  If we leave the entire market in the hands of monopolies, you would find that the price of petrol tomorrow will be $5 per litre and others will go to $6 or whatever price.  Certainly, the country will be at standstill.  Therefore, it is necessary that Government also plays a part to monitor the prices of this very important commodity.  If we do not do that, there is nothing else that will remain moving.  So, I do not think it will be fair to say Government must not be seen to be participating. I do not think it will be fair to say Government must not be seen to be participating in this area which is very crucial and is a security area actually.  So, you cannot afford to ignore and leave people on their own and say let Total or any other private company do as they please.  We cannot do that.  So, we are going to see an increase actually in terms of competition, even with Government on this area in terms of Petro Trade or as I have said, the new ones who have just purchased. 

So, if there is any abuse of this particular area in terms of prices, ZERA actually monitors every day what goes on in the market and we will ensure that those companies which push up their prices randomly or as they wish are brought to book.  So, I think we are going to continue with that policy for quite some time.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. NDEBELE: Is the Hon. Minister therefore suggesting Hon. Speaker, that the security nature and interest of Government within the retail of fuel is not well taken care of by NOIC?  Is he also implying that the presence of Petro Trade stations that are dotted across the country is a control measure for fuel pricing? 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: It is exactly what he said.

HON. NDEBELE: I am trying to understand the economic sense behind that argument, if he may spell it out for us as well as for the nation because it defies all text book economics.

HON. K. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, I want to repeat that Government has a responsibility to look after its citizens and that responsibility includes this particular sector.  We cannot just look back and shy away from our responsibilities because in the past – [HON. NDEBELE: Inaudible interjection.]Mr. Speaker, if the Hon. Member wants to answer the question, he is welcome, I believe through you…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, address the Chair, I will deal with it.

HON. S. K. MOYO: Thank you Sir.  I am only saying Mr. Speaker, we are not saying people must go out of the industry.  We are promoting competition and we are saying where there is competition, there is obviously some kind of stability in terms of these prices.  However, if there is no competition and we leave it to anybody who can or cannot, we shall find ourselves in difficulties.  So, we shall continue with that policy until we find ourselves in a situation where we can say, protection is sufficient.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Well explained Hon. Minister.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

RETENTION ALLOWANCE FOR DOCTORS IN DISTRICT HOSPITALS

          2.  HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care whether there are plans to reintroduce a retention allowance for doctors at district hospitals.

          THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE) on behalf of the MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you Hon. Mangami for the question.  In response, Health Worker Retention Scheme was set up in 2009 with the support of development partners to complement Government efforts to remunerate and retain its workers.

Health Worker Retention Scheme contributed immensely to the presence of motivated health workers at all levels of the health systems, especially doctors in district hospitals.  Development partners have continued to contribute financial resources to the health worker retention scheme at decreasing rates citing limited resources.

One of the conditions of support towards the Health Worker Retention Scheme was that the levels of financial support would decline as from 2012 on the understanding that Government would gradually increase the levels of remuneration for its employees.  The Government has not been able to improve salaries for all its employees due to limited fiscal space.

Development partners, including the Global Fund, went ahead and gradually reduced the levels of retention allowances paid to health workers over the years until December, 2017 when the Health Development Fund (HDF) stopped funding the Health Worker Retention Scheme citing limited resources.  The Global Fund continues to support health worker retention at reduced rates which are not very attractive.  The HDF is now supporting Results Based Financing which channels resources to health facilities, 25% of which can be used for health worker retention of the staff at the respective institutions or districts.  The levels of retention will not be as high as when the scheme started.  Currently, a doctor in the district will receive $88.65 with effect from January, 2018 from the health worker retention (Global Fund), down from $682 when the scheme started.

The Ministry continues to lobby for continued support to health worker retention, which is sensitive to the differences in working environments and maintains rather than destroys team work.  Health workers in difficult to reach areas like Siakobvu in Mashonaland West and Gokwe North District Hospital should have higher retention rates to be able to attract and retain health workers.

It is sustainable for the Government to improve conditions of service for its employees for the doctors and all other health workers to be attracted and retained in district hospitals and all levels of care.  Thank you.

PROVISION OF RETICULATION SYSTEM TO HOUSEHOLDS IN NKETA CONSTITUENCY

11.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain;

a)  why the Bulawayo City Council is failing to provide the reticulation system to households in Ward 26 Emganwini in Nketa Constituency.

b)  why the residents of millennium houses in Ward 26 and

Emnganwini Houses in Ward 26 at Emganwini are not given a waiver to offset the rentals that they have been paying ever since they were built as it is their view that the City Council has over benefitted from such payments.

c)  why the City of Bulawayo is not giving home ownership for free to residents of millennium houses at Emganwini areas and to further state whether or not there is a deliberate attempt to ensure that a certain percentage is reserved for the locals.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for asking the question on why the Bulawayo City Council is failing to provide the reticulation system to households in Ward 26 Emganwini in Nketa Constituency.

        Mr. Speaker Sir, let me inform this House that in Nketa Suburb, there are a few challenges. Servicing of the 97 high density stands began in January, 2012.  The project was practically completed in 2014 with the developer, Branch Metro making preparations for handover.  A final inspection of water, sewer reticulation and roads revealed that minor attention was required on faulty main water valves, testing of sewer line, roads and drainage before the project could be handed over to councils.

          The findings of the inspection carried out were as follows: - water was ready 98% but four valves needed replacement.  Sewer was ready 99% but testing of sewer line is outstanding.  Roads were ready 97% but contractor needed to attend to drainage system.  After the passing on of Mr. Tshabangu who was the Project Director and later his daughter, Mr. S. Saidi was left in charge of the project.  However, council has since failed to locate Mr. Saidi and therefore engaging the project to beneficiaries to complete the outstanding snags and handover. 

Below are the outstanding works that need attention.

-         Water replacement of the four non-functional water valves

-         Road, opening of some sections of the drainage to facilitate safe draining of storm water.

-         Sewer; only testing was pending, otherwise the sewer was inspected to engineering satisfaction.

The way forward is that the Project Resident Committee has been advised to organise for completion of the outstanding issues so that the project is handed over to council.

(b)     Mr. Speaker, the Millennium Housing Development was built as a social scheme for residence who could not afford mortgage facilities or build their own houses from other incomes.  These were drawn mainly from Esdojiwe which was a dormitory or a hostel kind of accommodation and the building and concept had been condemned.  Some of the beneficiaries came from councils’ waiting lists.  The scheme was funded from a loan from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the rentals generated from this scheme were meant to create a revolving fund where council will be able to service the loan and continue building more rented accommodation.

     Most of the beneficiaries were failing to pay the rentals, making it difficult for council to continue building more units.  Council resolved to convert the houses to home ownership in 2015.  The price to be paid was discounted to take into account the number of years a beneficiary had been in occupation of the house.  The beneficiaries were given 10 years to pay.  The city has not unduly benefited as alleged, as the cost of those houses has been discounted.

(c )         As stated earlier Mr. Speaker, council has to repay the loan.  In addition, there are costs linked to home ownership, like survey costs which are factored into what is expected to be paid by the beneficiaries.  Council has a policy of disposal of rented houses to sitting tenants.  The houses are sold at a discount based on the number of years of occupation as follows:- First five years is discounted at two percent; next 10 years discounted at three percent for each year of occupation.  This means if you have occupied the house for 15 years, the discount would be two percent for the first five years - equals 10, plus three percent for 10 years - equals 30, which gives a total discount of 40%.

           The discount applies to improvements only and the land is not discounted.  Now, for one to get a discount of 100%, one must have occupied the house for at least 30 years.  In view of the foregoing, none of the millennium beneficiaries have been in occupation for 30 years.  Therefore, 100% discount rate is inapplicable.  Thus, to the extent that a certain undiscounted percentage remains, the occupant must pay.  Besides, as a matter of principle, there must always be an exchange of value in such transaction for sustainability purposes.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

     HON. MASUKU: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question to the Hon. Minister is - what recovery mechanisms does council have to the contractors in the event of failing to complete the contract?

     HON. J. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, any contractor before they sign a contract, there are remedial questions that must be put in the contract such as failure to complete the job and we expect that the council will follow their contractual obligations with the contractor in order to recover the money.

POLICY ON REMUNERATION OF ONE PARTY IN CASES OF DISPUTED CHIEFTAINSHIP

12.  HON. S. MPOFU asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to inform the House:-

(a) whether or not it is Government policy to remunerate one of the parties in cases of disputed chieftainships while the matter is yet to be resolved and if so;

(b) whether such a position does not border on bias, prejudice and outright compromise on the other party which is not privileged to receive such payments?

     THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking that question.  However, let me inform this august House that Section 284 (3) of the Constitution provides that remuneration of traditional leaders must not be reduced while he/she holds or acts in the office concerned.  Government policy is to remunerate all chiefs appointed by the President in terms of Section 3 (4) of the Traditional Leaders Act 29:17.  As long as the office bearer is not removed by the appointing authority who is the President or court, he/ she is entitled to remuneration. The allowance can only be ceased upon removal, either by the appointing authority or by a court in the case of the dispute.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

     HON. MAJOME: Point of clarification! In the previous session on questions, the Hon. Minister indicated that he is unable to answer questions pertaining to traditional  leaders because his Ministry has no mandate at all whatsoever.  I happen to notice that the asker happened to be from the Opposition.  I happen to notice that in this particular question, a member of the ruling party has asked the Hon. Minister pertaining to policy and the functions of traditional leaders and the Hon. Minister has very diligently answered the question.  So, my question is, how is it that the Hon. Minister on one hand is unable to answer questions pertaining to traditional leaders because as he rightly says, the Constitution requires that their office be independent.  But, how is it that when a Member of the ruling party asked a question he answers it?  As a Member of this august House, I would very much want to understand how the Hon. Minister is able to deal very differently with the same issue.  He either answers questions on policy pertaining to traditional leaders or he does not because it would then look like, if it is in the party’s interest …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member, this session is for questions – so, may we proceed.

          HON. MARIDADI:  Mr. Speaker, I think the Hon. Member Majome has a very…

          THE TEMPPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, please take your seat.  I did not recognise you.

          HON. MARIDADI:  Okay, please recognise me soon.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Majome, when the Minister responded in the first instance, the matter was not related to what is being discussed now.  This is why the Chair who was here before me said that those matters were related to the Chiefs’ Council.  So, it is different from what you are trying to say.

HON. MAJOME:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for your attention but I want to believe possibly that we need to go through what the Hon. Minister said because I was listening very attentively.  The general tenor of the Hon. Minister’s response was that all matters pertaining to traditional leadership are matters that his Ministry does not deal with as the Chiefs’ Council deals with it.

Similarly, the issues that have been asked by Hon. Mpofu are also matters that in terms of the Constitution, the Chiefs’ Council is also mandated to fulfill.  So, he gave the impression that he does not deal with traditional leaders.  It would appear like it is almost discrimination on the basis of political affiliation because I am having difficulty to understand how he is able to pick and choose which ones it is that he answers.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I do not think that it is a matter of pick and choose.  Hon. Minister, would you want to answer?

HON. J. MOYO:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Member, I am sure that it is very clear and the ruling by the Speaker was correct.  I refused to answer questions dealing with disciplining of chiefs because that is taken care of by the Constitution.   The Speaker read about how you channel your complaints and about the integrity of the chiefs, that is a different matter but, administrative matters that deal with chiefs, I have to deal with them.  Because, even the Council of Chiefs when it comes to appropriations, they are under my Ministry.  Therefore, there is a difference.  I cannot discipline any chief in terms of the law and it is very clear.  That is what was supported by the Speaker in his ruling.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. MAJOME:  Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of the Constitution, the issue that the Hon. Minister has raised around appropriations to the traditional leaders are matters that are distinctly removed from the Minister in terms of appropriation.  If you will allow me to just read.  ‘In terms of Section 301 (3) of the Constitution, it is categorically provided that separate estimates of revenue and expenditure must be given for each of the following; and paragraph (d), the Council of Chiefs”.

So, if the Hon. Minister is of the view that he is able to deal and transact with matters pertaining to, as he said, appropriation and administration, when the Constitution says that he does not, I would be very grateful as a Member of this august House to be educated on how it is so that I would know how to deal with matters of traditional leadership because it is a very uneven way of doing things.  I want to believe that possibly, going over the Hansard and seeing what exactly was said, it would just clarify issues.  If the Hon. Minister can answer Hon. Mpofu’s question, I believe that he should be able to answer also Hon. Saruwaka’s question.  Sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Majome, the Minister is quite right.  He said that there is a department in his Ministry that deals with the traditional chiefs and also, there is a separate entity that deals with the Chief’s Council.  So, there is a difference there.

HON. MAJOME:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to ask that we go over what was said. Mr. Speaker Sir, I think that this is a matter of great public importance.  I would ask, with your indulgence, that possibly the issue receives further consideration because in his earlier response, he gave a response that indicates - because Hon. Maondera wanted to raise an issue that there is a director in his offices indeed for matters of traditional leaders.  So, there are a lot of contradictions and inconsistencies.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Okay, let me put it this way.  The Minister will go through the Hansard and see where the contradiction is as you say and then probably come further and clarify.

LOSS OF LIFE IN THE EVENT OF NATURAL DISASTERS SUCH AS VELD FIRES, FLOODS AND LANDSLIDES

13     HON. MAJOME asked the Minster of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to state:

a)    strategies the Ministry has put in place to mitigate against loss of life in the event          of  natural  disasters such as veld fires, floods and landslides;

b)   whether the Civil Protection Unit is adequately prepared to respond to natural disasters; and

c)     whether Government is considering setting up a fund to compensate victims who lose properties in natural disasters.

 

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  On the first part of Hon. Majome’s question Mr. Speaker Sir, may I inform the House the measures taken to mitigate against loss of life in the event of any disaster, inclusive of natural disasters such as veld fires, floods and landslides.  These are regulated by the Civil Protection Act [Chapter 10:06, 1989]. 

The Act provides for the setting up of the Civil Protection Organisation in the country and co-ordinate preparedness and response.  Accordingly, civil protection structures which are multi-sectoral in nature and are coordinated by the directorate of Civil Protection Unit are in place across the country vis-à-vis at district level, provincial and national civil protection committees.

These structures prepare for any potential emergencies and disasters depending on the disaster risk profiles of the respective parts of the country.  Current ongoing preparedness measures include;

-         Disaster risk assessments, inclusive of mapping.

-         Preparedness of planning for response.

-         Education and awareness’ integration of disaster management into education.’

-         Community based disaster risk management ‘dissemination of early warning information.’

-         Review management of emergencies and disasters in order to glean lessons.

However, mitigation or prevention is largely a sectoral responsibility through the respective sector specific regulatory frameworks and policies.

b) whether the Civil protection Unit is adequately prepared to respond to natural disasters.

Mr. Speaker, my response to this question is that the Civil Protection directorate has the regulatory framework and institutional arrangements in place.  The expertise of the Civil Protection structures are available for management of disasters of any nature.  Nevertheless, the major gaps include funding constraints, centralisation of equipment and expertise in major centres; leaving the periphery more exposed, communication challenges due to lack of network coverage for some parts of the country.  A process is ongoing to review both policy and legislation with the view to address the gaps.

 C) Whether the Government is considering setting up a fund to compensate victims who lose properties in natural disasters;

          Mr. Speaker Sir, Government has established the Civil Protection Fund for the management of disasters and provision of assistance as required.  However, there are no plans for setting up a fund to compensate victims who lose properties in natural disasters because citizens have other avenues of recourse for compensation such as risk transfer mechanisms which include insurance cover by individuals.  I thank you.

          HON. MAJOME: I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for expounding on the measures the Government has in order to mitigate against natural disasters.  I would like to ask the Hon. Minister about his last reference to the mechanisms that citizens have at their disposal; risk mitigation measures such as insurance.  Has the Ministry assessed the adequacy and the accessibility to the general population of such measures in the insurance industry to ensure that there is sufficient provision in the insurance sector in order for citizens to be able to safeguard themselves from such natural disasters?

          HON. J. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, I cannot say that there is adequate cover throughout the spectrum of disasters that we face.  There are people who have, for instance, insurance cover for disasters that are caused by motor vehicles, others have disaster coverage for insurance on fire, and there are so many coverages.  However, I cannot say that it is adequate, given the population that is mostly in the rural areas.   So, there are gaps, as we have said, in terms of mitigation but assistance by Government agencies and supporting partners is well managed. 

Only recently, this year, last week, we had a very large stakeholder meeting to make sure that at least that preparedness at national level going down to the local level is assured.  I attended those meetings but certainly, we cannot cover in order to compensate the individual and we just hope that as the economy grows, most of our people can find mitigation which is through the insurance systems of the country.  I thank you.

          HON. MAJOME: Thank you Minister.  Are you happy with the levels of awareness that are given to citizens in order to save themselves  because currently, there are reports, I believe seven members of one family who just perished from lightning who were reported to be under a tree.  A long time ago, there used to be a lot of publicity programmes on radio and television warning citizens about disaster.  So, in that same vein, is the Minister happy that the level of awareness and warnings to the citizens being done using the media is sufficient?

          HON. J. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, while we have not done a survey to see the total coverage but given the number of radio stations that are there now in the country and the programmes that I have seen coming out from the Civil Protection Unit and the cooperating partners they work with, they have tried very much to spread the word across, not just our television which happens to be one but across the number of radio stations that are now dotted out throughout the country.

 The coverage that is in the newspapers is not adequate because it would need a lot of payment but I think if you listen to these community radios throughout, you will see that the Civil Protection Unit and their cooperating partners are pushing a lot targeting certain disasters that happen periodically.  I think that coverage must continue to grow in order to mitigate and to prepare people for eventuality of these disasters. I thank you.

          HON. GABBUZA: I just want to understand from the Minister - we see a lot of disparities in terms of level of assistance from Central Government when there is a natural disaster, it varies from place to place.  In terms of policy, are there a specific number of people that must lose their lives before Government can be roped in at national level to assist?  At one time, four people die, Government rushes in, 20 people die, Government rushes in, 20 people die in an accident and nowhere is Government seen.  What really determines when Government comes - in terms of the number of lives lost?

          HON. J. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, disasters happen in all parts of the country and sometimes reliability on information coming from official channels is not enough.  This is where again we appeal to Members of Parliament and community leaders, that is, councillors as well as chiefs, headmen and village heads to alert the authorities.  So often people hear about a disaster when it is already over and we can only appeal that you inform the authorities and you as Members of Parliament, certainly have a duty to do so.  When the disaster or cholera happened in Chegutu the Hon. Member was on the phone with the Minister of Health and also myself when I was even in Bulawayo, so we were able to activate the Civil Protection Units in various areas.  So, I appeal that information and coverage will not be total but we rely on Members of Parliament to inform us when such disasters happen.  I thank you.

BENEFICIARIES OF WOMEN GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS FROM LOANS AND EQUIPMENT PROGRAMMES

18. HON PHIRI asked the Minister of Women and Youth Affairs to state women groups and individuals in Kadoma who have benefitted from loans and equipment programmes that the Ministry has started.

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN AND YOUTH AFAIRS (HON. NYONI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Phiri for asking the question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, let me highlight that women’s groups and individuals in Kadoma who have benefited from the loan and equipment programmes from my Ministry, did so through the Women’s Development Fund.  The fund was established in 2010 as a means of addressing the lack of collateral amongst women and the high interest rates charged by banks. 

 Mr. Speaker Sir, in Kadoma district, US$32 850.00 has been disbursed to 24 women’s groups from the Women’s Development Fund from 2010 to date.  I would like to appeal to all Members of Parliament to encourage women who have benefited from the Women’s Development Fund to repay the loans so that the fund can benefit more women.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I hereby table the list of the 24 women from Kadoma.

Serial

Name of Group

Ward/Constituency

Type of Project

Amount Received US$

Year Funded

1

Kushinga

Chakari

Market gardening

3 000.00

2010

2

Kuyedza

Chakari

Poultry

1 600.00

2010

3

Kushanda

Sanyati

Poultry and sewing

2 500.00

2010

4

Kunzwanekuita

Sanyati

Buying and selling

2 000.00

2010

5

Kuwirirana

Sanyati

Piggery

2 000.00

2010

6

Munyati Group

13

Poultry

3 000.00

2013

7

Jangano Kadoma

9

Bar and catering

2 000.00

2013

8

Mutsindo

14

Peanut butter

2 000.00

2013

9

Kutenda Poultry

10

Poultry

2 000.00

2013

10

Kushinga Poultry

13

Poultry

2 000.00

2013

11

Tabatana Group

8

Catering

2 000.00

2013

12

Kals

15

Saloon

1 500.00

2013

13

Vambaiwo Group

2

Poultry

1 500.00

2013

14

Vebin Group

16

Poultry

1 500.00

2013

15

Mana Group

17

Poultry

1 500.00

2013

16

Sungadzisimbe

4

Poultry

1 500.00

2013

17

Chiedza group

14

Poultry

1 500.00

2013

18

Mudzimai Wanhasi

16

Baking

500.00

2014

19

Chousvinu

10

Beekeeping

500.00

2014

20

Munashe

 

Buying and selling

1 000.00

2015

21

Kadoma Women’s Horticulture Group

 

Horticulture

1 250.00

2015

22

Mana Group

17

Poultry

1 500.00

2013

23

Sungadzisimbe

4

Poultry

1 500.00

2013

24

Chiedza Group

4

Poultry

1 500.00

2013

 

Total

 

 

32 850.00

 

 

PROGRESS ON THE ESTABLISHMENT AND CAPITALISATION OF THE EMPOWER BANK

19.   HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Women and Youth Affairs to appraise the House whether there is any progress in the establishment and capitalisation of the Empower Bank targeted specifically at the youths.

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN AND YOUTH AFFAIRS (HON. NYONI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Nduna for wanting to know the progress on the Empowerment Bank.  Significant progress has been made towards the establishment of Empower Bank Limited that will help young people to realise their economic aspirations.  Before I outline the progress that has been achieved so far, I would like to inform Hon. Members that the creation of Empower Bank is consistent with the National Youth Policy that advocates the setting up of a youth friendly financial institution that caters for the needs of the youth for project support.

Empower Bank is a bank that is going to accommodate the peculiarities associated with the youth, the majority of whom do not have collateral security or historical financial records that would prove the usually required good track record.

The Empower Bank project entailed the establishment of a deposit taking microfinance bank.  However, registration as a deposit taking institution required a minimum capital injection of US$5m which was not available.  As a result, a phased approach had to be adopted with the first phase being the establishment of a credit only microfinance institution (MFI).

The credit only MFI was licenced on 29th May 2017 under the name of Twinstock Capital (Private) Limited after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had released an amount of US2 500 000 representing equity injection into the MFI by the Government of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Empower Bank project is now in its second phase, namely; the upgrading of the credit only microfinance institution into a deposit-taking microfinance bank that will operate under the name of Empower Bank Limited. The application for the registration of Empower Bank Limited is currently under consideration by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as the Government of Zimbabwe released a further US$10m on 28th November 2017 under the 2017 National Budget to capitalise the project.

The latest payment takes the capitalisation of Empower Bank to US$12.5m which amount enables the Licensing Authority, the Registrar of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), to register the project as a deposit taking microfinance institution if all the licensing requirements are met.

The board of Empower Bank that is composed of eight directors has been approved by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.  However, to adequately meet the corporate governance requirements of Empower Bank and also achieve a balanced national representation on the board, I am in the process of re-examining the composition and also nominating additional people to beef up the board of the bank.

The bank is also in the course of securing suitable premises to accommodate both the headquarters and the Harare branch as a starting point before full scale decentralisation once the registration process is complete. The bank is still to recruit staff.

Mr. Speaker Sir, although significant strides have been made in the establishment and capitalisation of Empower Bank, there is still a lot to do.   The launch of Empower Bank is one of the urgent projects that Government is working on, although not included in the 100 day plan because of some outstanding issues.

As the application for a deposit taking microfinance institution licence is being considered, several other administrative processes within Government will take place concurrently. It should, however, be appreciated that the procedures involved in setting up a bank are elaborate and time consuming and Hon. Members are encouraged to be patient in the meantime.  I want to assure the House that as soon as all the processes are done, the bank will be duly registered and launched.

HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker, Government is putting US$12m to establish this youth bank.  Money will go towards licensing, paying of staff and all the other ancillaries that are required to register a bank.  Hon. Minister, is it not prudent to put this money into an existing bank and have a special division that deals with youth affairs and not establish a whole bureaucracy where most of this US$10m will go towards administration and the money that will be made available to the youth will not be as much as putting this money into an existing bank like Standard Chartered and then you have a specific department that handles specific issues pertaining to the youth?  I thank you.

HON. NYONI: I would like to thank Hon. Maridadi for the supplementary question and assure him that money will not go towards administration.  It will go towards the on-lending. Even if you put this money to an existing bank, it will still go towards administration.  The reason why you are having this facility is that young people have been marginalised by traditional banks. They have stringent rules and stringent regulations that really impede young people from accessing loans.  There are procedures; the collateral that they ask for is really beyond a lot of young people.  What we are trying to do here is to create an institution that will groom young people.  They will have different products apart from just lending that will facilitate the young people to be able to be bankable.  I thank you.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, I move that there be an extension of Questions with Notice.

HON. CHAPFIKA:  I second.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  What I seek to know from the Hon. Minister is the timelines…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order,  Hon. Member, I did not ask you how much time you require.

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, if we could have 20 minutes.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Twenty minutes is permissible.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Minister for her astute answer.  What I need to know is the timelines for the capitalisation of the Empower Bank to the tune of US$12.5 million.  What are the timelines that she is giving for the capitalisation of this institution to the tune of US$12.5 million?

HON. NYONI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The money has already been made available by Treasury.  So, there is no timeline.  The money is already there.  As soon as the procedures are complete, I think the bank will be able to be operationalised.

PROGRESS TOWARDS CLEARANCE OF THE COUNTRY’S DEBTS

20.  HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to appraise the House on the progress the country has made towards the clearance of debts owed to the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and other multilateral institutions through the Arrears Clearance Strategy.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  I thank the Hon. Member for raising this question.  Resources have been mobilised to clear the arrears with the World Bank and African Development Bank.  The World Bank has in fact written to say that they are ready to receive this money, but we are in discussion with the World Bank as well as with the African Development Bank with respect to what we should expect in terms of new financial inflows in the event that the arrears are cleared.

So to that end, we have agreed that we do a needs assessment for our economy that will inform the African Development Bank and the World Bank with respect to the envelope of new financial inflows which can come away in the event that we clear the arrears.  So, the exercise right now, Mr. Speaker Sir, is conducting the needs assessment and we are expecting a World Bank mission to conclude that exercise.  We hope that the exercise will be complete by end of March.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, the question speaks also to the European Investment Bank and the multilateral institutions through the Arrears Clearance Strategy.  Would the Minister also address those two banks or those two institutions.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order.  Hon. Bhebhe you cannot hear me because you are wearing earphones.  Can you do that outside the Chamber please.

Hon. Bhebhe left the Chamber.

HON. CHINAMASA:  My apologies to the Hon. Member, Mr. Speaker Sir.  There are four multilateral institutions; the World Bank, the IMF, the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.  We cleared our arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the answer I gave was pertaining to the African Development Bank and to the World Bank.  I had omitted mentioning the European Investment Bank and that is a matter we will attend to after we have cleared the arrears to the World Bank and to the African Development Bank. 

I need to also point out, Mr. Speaker Sir, that after settling the arrears to the three institutions, we will need to approach the Paris Club Creditors to reach an accommodation with them with respect also to our arrears, but that will be the second stage of the process or in clearing the arrears to the multilateral creditors as well as to bilateral creditors who are organised under the Paris Club.  I thank you.

FUEL COST BUILD-UP

33.  HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to state the cost build-up of fuel and how Government intends to curb arbitrary fuel price hikes.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. K. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for her question.  Zimbabwe imports all its fossil fuels.  The bulk, that is over 95% of the fuel, is transported into the country by pipeline from Beira.  The rest of the fuel comes into the country by road and rail.  Fuel prices in Zimbabwe are based on a cost build-up which takes into account all the cost of importing and distributing fuel as well as the margins allowed for the fuel importers/wholesalers and retailers.

          The cost items of the fuel price build-up are as follows:

FOB price or price ex-Beira, freight, taxes and levies – particularly excise duty, administrative costs, distribution costs and margins (for wholesalers and retailers).

          The fuel cost build-up fixes a price cap. It would be an offence for oil companies to sell fuel above the price cap.  However, oil companies are free to engage in price competition but must take place below the cap.

          It should be noted that over the years, it is only the FOB price that has been changing in line with the constant fluctuations in the price of fuel on the international market.  The rest of the cost items have remained constant, save for the recent reduction in excise duty.

The current maximum prices per litre for diesel and petrol are as follows: diesel 500 - $1.24; petrol (E5 blend) - $1. 35. It is important to note that, had Government not reduced excise duty on fuel recently, the prices would have been as follows: diesel 500 - $1.31; petrol (E5 blend) - $1.40.

The current cost build-up of diesel and petrol is as follows:

Cost Item (per litre)

Diesel ($)

Petrol ($)

FOB (Ex-Beira) price

0.6225

0.5820

Freight (pipeline charge)

0.0650

0.0650

Taxes and Levies

0.3910

0.557

Administration costs

0.0110

0.0110

Distribution costs

0.0350

0.0350

Wholesaler margin

0.0600

0.0600

Retail margin

0.0600

0.0600

Note: The breakdown of the figures is given in the attached cost build-up.

          At selected service stations in the country, one can find the higher quality Diesel 50, which currently sells at a higher price of $1.36 per litre.  Diesel 50 is considerably more expensive than Diesel 500 because it is still coming into the country by road, a more expensive option.

          Hon. Members are however aware that the country is phasing out Diesel 500.  Within the course of February 2018, it is expected that all the Diesel 500 would have been completely phased out.  Diesel 50 will then be brought in bulk and transported into the country by pipeline, developments which would considerably reduce the price of Diesel 50.  Using current prices as an example, the price of Diesel 50 would drop from $1.36 per litre to the Diesel 500 equivalent of $1.24 per litre.

          In the past, Diesel 50 could not be imported by pipeline because the storage facilities in Beira were still receiving Diesel 500 and Diesel 50 should not co-mingle with the inferior Diesel 500 because this would compromise the quality of the Diesel 50.

          As Hon. Members may have noted, the international prices of fuel continue to change.  Currently, international fuel prices are on the rise.  As I have earlier indicated, the only cost item that is causing changes in fuel prices in Zimbabwe is the ex-Beira price which is driven by the fluctuations in international fuel prices.

          The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) is responsible for pricing fuel in the country.  The authority does so on a weekly basis and it is common for the prices to increase by a cent or so each time the pricing is done.  In this environment of increasing international fuel prices, it is rare for local fuel prices to remain constant for two weeks.

          ZERA is also mandated with enforcing fuel pricing.  After fixing the price cap, ZERA inspectors go around the country checking compliance to the price cap and penalising any offenders.  So, if there are any arbitrary fuel price hikes, then these are illegal and very few.  The continued increases in fuel prices are largely due to the rising fuel prices on the international market.  I thank you.

ELECTRIFICATION OF SCHOOLS IN MHONDORO-MUBAIRA CONSTITUENCY

35. HON. GANGARAHWE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when the following schools in Mhondoro-Mubaira Constituency will be electrified:

a)    Chibikira Primary School Ward 1;

b)   Gora Primary School Ward 6;

c)    Mavhudzi Secondary School Ward 8;

d)   Muzavazi Secondary School Ward 27;

e)    Nyokandove Primary School Ward 7; and

f)     St. Peters Musonza, Ward 7.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. K. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, questions have been raised by many Hon. Members here who want to know when certain institutions in their respective constituencies shall be electrified.  Whilst it is the Government’s responsibility to provide electricity to rural institutions through Rural Electrification Fund (REF), the available resources have not been enough to meet expectations, hence creating a huge backlog.

Currently, REF has been implementing the Rural Electrification Programme in consultation with Rural District Councils and their Provincial Administrators in coming up with priority projects considering the cost of the project to be involved, equity distribution within the provinces and resource availability.

REF plans to electrify Mavhudzi and Muzavazi Secondary Schools in the current year whilst Chibikira School, Gora, Nyokandove Primary Primary Schools and St. Peters Musonza are scheduled to be electrified in 2019, subject to the availability of funds.

          However, it must be noted that REF is in the process of finalising a Rural Energy Master Plan (REMP) which will act as a guide in implementing the Rural Electrification Programme. Once adopted, the document will form the basis for programming all electrification projects in rural areas including the above mentioned institutions. Mr. Speaker Sir, once the Rural Energy Master Plan is in place, members may engage the Rural Electrification Fund’s Provincial Offices for details regarding electrification of various institutions of interest to them. Thank you.

          HON. PHIRI: Mr. Speaker Sir, in most cases REA does not have enough finances but in most cases, it is transport and other resources that they are failing to get. What is the Ministry doing to assist as far as financing REA and also ZESA itself? Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. S. K. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, let me say that REF is the Rural Electrification Fund. It is a fund and of course, where they have got difficulties, they always reflect that in their budget. As far as I am concerned at the moment, if transport is a problem to them, surely they should have their priorities correct in terms of the fund, but it is a matter which I personally would want to follow-up and find out why they are not able to fulfill the obligations when they have got a fund which can take care of some of these challenges. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

POLICY ON REPAIRING OF ELECTRICITY TRANSFORMERS

          36. HON. GANGARAHWE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to state:

(a)             the policy on repairing electricity transformers considering that some transformers in Mhondoro-Mubaira Constituency have not been repaired for the past one and half years ago; and

(b)            whether the Ministry is aware that the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is requesting Muzavazi Primary School in Ward 27 and St. John’s Matarutse in Ward1 in Mhondoro-Mubaira Constituency to pay for repair of broken down transformers; and if so, to advise whether it is the Ministry’s policy.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. K. MOYO): Thank you again Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question.

(a)                 There is no policy with regards to the repairing of faulty transformers. My Ministry is committed to ensuring that customers have adequate supplies of electricity and this is done by availing transformers where they are needed in addition to repairing faulty ones. However, of late, the utility has been overwhelmed with faulty transformer replacement backlog, worsened by transformer oil thefts and vandalism. ZETDC is however prioritising institutions such as schools and clinics.

(b)            However, there is a policy in place to credit customers who are prepared to purchase transformers or any other material required in the provision of electricity. This is done where ZETDC does not have the requisite resources at that time, but the customers are willing to provide the resources in order to quicken the process. Refunds will be made through equivalent energy credits to the customers’ accounts.

Coming to the specific institutions which the Hon. Member referred to, ZETDC is scheduled to replace the transformers for Muzavazi Primary School and St. John’s Mataruse by end of March this year (2018).  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. MAJOME: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to ask the Hon. Minister in light of the issue of the rampant theft of transformer oils because in Harare West Constituency, there is such a problem. My question is that while the Hon. Minister has noted that we have an epidemic of the vandalism of transformers, does the Hon. Minister have plans to improve security for transformers and electrical equipment so that these mishaps do not happen and then we start looking around for money.

Also even by way of technologies like Panic Alarms, CCTVs to secure those transformers that are there and also for ZETDC to ensure that their transformers, if vandalised, consumers do not suffer because there is no money that is available. Is his Ministry looking into means to ensure that the plight of consumers is alleviated and that the Ministry and ZETDC do not get under pressure so much from the vandalism that keeps on happening? Thank you.

HON. S. K. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for her contribution which I think is very sound and I can assure you that we take note of what you have said. We shall see how we go, but we are very grateful for that. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

REHABILITATION OF SKYLINE-MUBAIRA ROAD

37.   HON. GANGARAHWE asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development when the Skyline -Mubaira road in Mhondoro-Mubaira Constituency which was rendered impassable by 2015/2016 rain season will be rehabilitated.

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker. The 87 km gravel section of the road was graded in 2017 under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).  Added to this, Mupfure River Bridge on the 77 km peg along the same road was also repaired as part of the emergency road rehabilitation programme in 2017.  The suspended culverts on the 81 km peg were also repaired as part of this programme.  This year, 30 km of the same stretch or road has already been graded.  If the Hon. Member is not visiting the place, can he go back and check.  I thank you.

*HON. GANGARAHWE:  I want to thank the Minister for the response but I believe you were not given adequate response by your provincial office.  The road was graded for 5km last year because there were excessive rains and it has never been graded before.  I asked the same question in April last year and you said it would be graded in the second phase that was starting on the 1st of July.  Nothing has been done up to now.  May you revisit your response because that is not the truth?  I thank you.

HON. DR. GUMBO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member is fully aware that I personally visited Mashonaland West Province.  He knows that I was at Chinhoyi when the Hon. Members, the road construction officers including the provincial engineer were present.  They gave me the full answer and all the money that was spent on that road.  The fact that the road might now be in a very bad state, I totally accept because our gravel roads do not take even a month to get into a very bad state.  To say the road was not done when I had visited the province personally and made sure that his question was answered before his own people who supervises the roads in the same province, leaves a lot to be desired.  I thank you.

HON. GANGARAHWE:  Supplementary.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Gangarahwe.  There is no need for any supplementary, do your homework.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO ENSURE EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF PENSIONS BENEFITS

32.  HON. G. K. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare to state;

(a)  measures being taken by the Ministry in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of pensions benefits; and

(b)  when Mr. Mawondo, a resident of Chitungwiza North constituency and surviving spouse of the late Josephine Mawondo with Pension Number 244/2101, would start accessing pension benefits as the surviving spouse.

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE):  The authority is updating member employment and contribution records to ensure that the information is readily available at the time of claiming benefits (death, invalidity or retirement).  This will reduce on turnaround time hence availability of benefit to members and their dependants on time.  The Authority currently runs a television advert at prime time during the 2000 hours news encouraging employers and contributors to come forthwith to pay contributions and update member records.

·       The Authority has adopted and is nurturing a customer centric culture that will see it delivering superior services to customers.

·       NSSA introduced the biometric identification system in order to ensure that pensioners are not defrauded of their pay outs by unscrupulous third parties and also to avoid payment of benefits to ghost pensioners.

·       The Authority uses a multi-channel benefits disbursement system that is done through all banks and mobile money service providers in order to give pensioners an opportunity to choose payment channels of their choice.

·       NSSA engaged private sector partners to enhance benefits pay outs, for example, provisions of the Funeral Benefits Enhancement by partnering with a funeral service provider to offer decent burial to pensioners since 1 April 2017.

·       The Authority engaged banks for exemption of bank charges to pensioners.  Pensioners are exempted of bank charges by all the banks.

·       NSSA continuously engages stakeholders through workshops for feedback on service delivery and suggestions for improvement.  The Authority is committed to improving its systems and procedures on the road to service excellence.

Mr. Mawondo started receiving survivor’s pension in August 2015 backdated to 2 June 2015, which is the date of death of the late contributor Mrs. Josephine Mawondo.  He registered for biometrics on 31 January 2017.  His pension payment is up to date.

SWITCHING OF ELECTRICITY IN SCHOOLS IN ZAKA NORTH CONSTITUENCY

34. HON. MAVENYENGWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when the following schools and a clinic in Zaka North Constituency will be switched on two years after electricity lines and transformers were installed by the Rural Electricity Agency:

a)    Chiredza Primary School;

b)   Redza Secondary School;

c)    Mandhloro Primary School;

d)   Mukwirimba Primary School and

e)    Mandhloro Clinic.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. K. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me thank the Hon. Member for raising the above question.  Delays in connecting the above-mentioned schools were due to shortages of meters which in turn is attributed to foreign currency challenges.  Under the 100 Day Rapid Results Initiative, it is our expectation that 30 000 meters will be connected by 10th April 2018.  Meters for the institutions which the Hon. Member is concerned with have been sourced and should be installed before the end of February 2018.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 44 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 45 has been disposed of.

HON. TOFFA:  I object Mr. Speaker Sir.

Motion put and objected.

On the motion of HON. RUNGANI, seconded by HON. L. SIBANDA, the House adjourned at Twenty-Three Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

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