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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 FEBRUARY 2018 VOL 44 NO 41

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 14th 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

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 First Class Academy in Mutare.  You are most welcome – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]- 

APPOINTMENTS AND CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House of changes to the membership of Portfolio Committees as follows;-

1.                 Hon. P. Sibanda moves from the Committee on Media, Information, ICT and Cyber Security to the Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology Development.

2.                Hon. I. Gonese moves from the defunct Committee on Small and Medium Enterprise Development to the Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, Sport and Arts.

3.                Hon. Machingauta moves from the defunct Committee on Small and Medium Enterprise Development to the Committee on Mines and Energy.

4.                Hon. S. Chidhakwa moves from the defunct Committee on Small and Medium Enterprise Development to the Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development.

5.                Hon. R. Muguti will serve on the Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

6.                Hon. M. Mugidho will serve on the Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. 

APOLOGIES FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, I have not received any apology from any Hon. Minister but I am advised the Cabinet is sitting today because His Excellency the President only came back last night from a State visit in Botswana. Cabinet had to meet today.  We were hoping that the members of Cabinet will be here by now but they are not in as yet.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I really rise on a matter of privilege to raise a matter of concern and I am sure that all Hon. Members are gravelly concerned about the absence of Ministers.  It is not a new concern Mr. Speaker Sir, it is something we have raised time and again and we believe that the Executive must uphold the Constitution.  It is clearly spelt out in Section 107 of the Constitution that all Vice Presidents, Ministers and Deputy Ministers have an obligation; it is not discretionary Mr. Speaker, it is an obligation which is clearly spelt out in the Constitution and above that, it is something which is also captured in our Standing Orders in terms of both Standing Order Numbers 26 and 63.  In fact, the Standing Orders have gone further to say that it is contemptuous of Parliament if Hon. Ministers do not attend.

          I am really worried Mr. Speaker Sir, that the Head of State who used to be the Leader of this august House and was very cognisant  of the concerns raised time and again by us as Hon. Members about the attendance of Ministers; whilst we do appreciate that the Head of State and some Cabinet Ministers had  been on a State visit to Botswana, I believe that it was imperative for His Excellency to plan his diary accordingly and ensure that either the Cabinet meeting will have started and ended in time for the Ministers to attend Question Time or tentatively, to have re-scheduled that same Cabinet meeting.  I know that the people of Zimbabwe are expectant that on this day, on a Wednesday, matters of concern are raised by their representatives in this august House and when the Ministers are not available; when we have one Deputy Minister present, that is a disturbance to the nation of Zimbabwe.

          I would like to request that your Office conveys the concerns of this august House.  Previously, we have been informed that the Head of State was going to prioritise things accordingly and ensure that we do not have this lacuna where the Ministers are not available but alas, today we find – and it appears Mr. Speaker that the more things change, the more they remain the same.  This is the same thing which we used to experience under the old dispensation and it does appear to us that there is nothing new about this so called new dispensation because it looks like old habits die hard and we are seeing the same resuscitation of the old bad habits.   –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –  I believe that all Hon. Members would like your Office to convey our serious concerns and our grave misgivings about this state of affairs.  That is my matter of privilege Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! I think this is the first time when we have not had Ministers on Wednesday’s Question Time.  Hon. Gonese is correct and one would have thought that the Hon. Ministers would have been dismissed in time to attend Parliament as demanded of by the Constitution, Section 107.  I will accordingly convey the message to His Excellency, the President and hope that we shall not have a similar occurrence in future.

          HON. MLISWA: It is not everyday Hon. Speaker that I am always hard hitting.  I thought I would wish you Happy Valentine’s and wish all Members of Parliament Happy Valentine’s.  That is all I wanted.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, thank you for your compliments.  I was surprised that the House did not appreciate in full the complimentary message from Hon. Mliswa.

          Hon. Zindi having stood up.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have not finished Hon. Zindi, you do not say okay to the Chair.

          HON. ZINDI:  Oh, I withdraw Hon. Speaker especially on a Valentine Day.  Also, Valentine Day to all the Hon. male members.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Aaah!] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You can now say your point of privilege and you are the last one before we map out the way forward.

HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I have already said it.  I just wanted to compliment in response to Hon. Mliswa’s – happy Valentine to female Members of Parliament.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, in view of the absence of Cabinet Ministers, I rule that we move to Order Number 1 until such time that we have the Hon. Ministers in place.

MOTION

FUNDING FOR STUDENTS ON BILATERAL SCHOLARSHIPS IN ALGERIA, RUSSIA AND CYPRUS

           HON. MAJOME: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:

           DEEPLY CONCERNED by the failure of Government to timeously disburse funding for the 460 students on Bilateral Scholarship in Algeria as well as for other students in Russia and Cyprus;

ALSO CONCERNED that the former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, after making an undertaking to pay $3000.00 per student per year to     respective universities, had failed to do so with only 25% having been paid in 2015;

DISCONCERTED that the students are currently starving and living in destitution since their semester break starting from 19th December 2017;

WORRIED that the students have no means of returning back home and some were arrested after engaging in demonstrations against their poor living conditions;

          DISSAPPOINTED by the lack of response by the relevant Government departments;

          NOW, THEREFORE, resolves that;

a) The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in liaison with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant Government departments disburse funds for the stranded students as a matter of urgency;

b) The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development report to the House how his Ministry intends to rescue the stranded students;

c)The Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development urgently inquire into the status and living conditions of Zimbabwe students on bilateral scholarships in Algeria, Russia, Cyprus and other destinations and report its findings to the House.

HON. SARUWAKA:  I second.

           HON. MAJOME:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for finally according me this opportunity to debate this motion that is urgent and that I had been hoping to debate since the 18th of December 2017.  I am indeed grateful.

           I would like to submit calls upon us all Hon. Members to show our patriotism in a very practical way.  If there is any Zimbabwean citizen who is outside the country and who is in distress because of the failure of our own Government to meet their obligation even though we know that the Government is hamstrung by difficulties; if there is such a situation, this august House must move swiftly and encourage the Executive to do everything that it can in order to make sure that suffering is relieved.  This is all the more because if such citizens – some of them are young people, while they might be over 18 but they are virtually children.  These are young children who have left their homes here in Zimbabwe to go and study abroad.  If they find themselves stranded outside the country because of a broken promise, this House must rise together with a clarion call.

           As the motion indicates, it has come out in the public domain particularly even in our newspaper reports that there are Zimbabwean students who were accorded the benefits of the Government’s  scholarship programmes to study outside the country – particularly in this case, in Algeria.  In terms of these scholarships, I understand that the Government of Algeria is the one that meets their tuition fees and so on.  Our own Government, in correct recognition of the fact that a lot of these children or students are from disadvantaged backgrounds or at least it is my hope  that the selection process takes account of that but ostensibly, these children are from disadvantaged backgrounds and their families are unable to meet the full costs of their upkeep there.  The Executive rightly decided to accord them payments for stipends and to disburse stipends to them which I understand will be $3 000 every year for upkeep. However, it turns out that no such money has been disbursed since 2015. 

           What I also understand is that there are 460 students as of December 2017.  The scholarship is called the Zimbabwe-Algeria Bilateral Scholarship Programme.  Since 2015, none of this $3 000 per year has been disbursed.  At the beginning of the year at the start of another semester, 60 more students were destined to join them.

           I move this motion because I found myself receiving an email in my inbox from female students who were pleading – actually, they sent a heart rending cry for help.  I do not know where these students got my email address from.  They are appealing for help so that disbursements can be made to them.  The reports concerning this issue first appeared in the ‘NewsDay’ on the 11th of December 2017 and also in the ‘Daily News’ on the 12th of December 2017. The email had been sent on the 23rd of November but I was unable to act earlier.

           I would like to quote some very heart rending passages from that email. There is this particular student who requested anonymity because she feared victimisation.  She indicated that, “it is now two years without receiving stipends from Government and I quote,

“For the academic year 2016-2017, we never received a single cent. For the current academic year that is 2017, we have not received anything.  We last received our stipends for the academic year 2015-2016 and only a quarter of it was paid.” 

           She went on to say – I hope Hon. Members pay attention to this.  This is a child of Zimbabwe, a young woman who is writing this from far across there in the north of Africa.

           She says, “we are suffering and now known as beggars. Our academic performance has gone bad.  Our permits were written ‘strictly education’ and working is very illegal.  We cannot work.  Our Zimbabwean boys try to work in the construction industry sites where they receive $4 per day after working for a good nine hours.  Sometimes they are arrested and mistaken as illegal immigrants.” 

           During the summer school holidays, the school facilities were closed and they are now in boarding houses.  They must cook on their own and fend for themselves but because of that, they ended up using the little money they had.  I quote, “we ended up selling our cell phones and laptops for food.  Some borrowed money from other students from Nigeria, Angola and so on who had received their stipends thinking that the Government would give us ours but they have not.  Now, these foreign students are taking everything we have – that is students from other African countries because we cannot pay them back.  Some are promising to sue us’. We were doing all this because we had no money to buy food or even soap.” 

           They are saying a lot of them are poor and are from poor backgrounds.  She went on to say that, “Hon. Member, we want your help if possible – whether you can raise our issue in Parliament.” I hope Hon. Members of this august House are paying attention.  This was a plea from a young woman.  The email address was called Zimbabwe female students in Algeria.

           She says, “we want your help if possible whether you raise this issue in Parliament or file the case before the courts.”  I preferred to bring it to this august House.  She went on to say that, “we really need your help our  case needs urgency, we are suffering.”  They are daughters of Zimbabwe.

           She indicated – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections] –

           THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, can you please lower your voices so that we can follow the debate.

           HON. MAJOME:  She also indicated that previously, this scholarship arrangement was under the former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Prof. Jonathan Moyo and she says, “the Minister has been ignoring us and threatening us.  We did not have anyone to cry to.” Now, the scholarship was moved to the newly created Ministry of Presidential Scholarships under Minister Mushohwe,” and as of December last year, they had a two week semester break and she said, “we do not know what we will put in our mouths.  We cannot go for prostitution, we need our money.  May you help us.  The abandoned students in Algeria.”

           Mr. Speaker Sir, if girl children raise a plea like this, it is something that calls for concern.  We cannot be a nation that risks its young women selling their bodies in countries across the world because we are not looking after them.  We are not sending to them just basic means of survival.

           The prayer of this motion is really very simple, that in particular the relevant Ministry, that is the Ministry of Scholarship together with that of the Ministry of Higher Education and the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs who was the primary voice of the new dispensation when he announced it on television, in those very unusual circumstances that happened; the plea is that they sit together and do everything they can to ensure that they disburse money to these students. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I have received a lot of communication on the internet and Twitter as well as on Face book from Zimbabweans who are debating this very sad state of affairs.  However, I forgot to say that when this issue came out in the Daily News and in the News Day, as I indicated, these students had taken the unusual step of conducting a demonstration outside the Zimbabwean Embassy offices in Algeria.  The demonstration was broken up by the police in Algeria and some of the students were injured.  It is said that there is one particular female student, who because of the stress involved, succumbed to psychological stress and illness. 

          In the debate in the media, the general sentiment is that there is sympathy for these children who are in Algeria.  It turns out on the media that there are possibly Zimbabwean students who are also on scholarships in Cyprus and Russia experiencing the same fate.  It appears that possibly there could be other students who are beneficiaries of these scholarships in South Africa or elsewhere who might also not have received their stipends.  I want to believe that this nation; it is said in the Bible that whatever you do to the littlest of these - yes, I know they are over 18 years but they are still children - you do it unto Jesus Christ.  A nation is judged by what it does to the least of its individuals.  We cannot be so heartless to send our children outside and abandon them there, leave them exposed to prostitution and working as illegal immigrants.

          In December, these students were afraid that they were leaving their residences. In the north of Africa, the climate in Algeria is temperate climate and it was said to be experiencing one of the harshest winters.  It snows and these young people, because they had not received any money, did not have adequate warm clothing.

          I also received communication in my inbox on Twitter from another student who had been in Algeria, who also happens to come from Harare West Constituency.  He confirmed that indeed that was the state of affairs. He was fortunate to have finished and graduated.  He said that when the students demonstrated at the Embassy, they took a sit-in at the Embassy in Algiers and the student attaché unleashed terror upon students.  Many suffered severely from Algerian police brutality under the command and watchful eye of the attaché who is called Caleb Mharapara.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we just need to do something very simple. Of all the things that our Government is spending money on, surely money can be spared to send relief to these young people.  Of course, there are issues around foreign currency shortages but an issue like this deserves urgent priority. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, while I say this, I must also bring to the attention of the House the concerns that some members of the public were debating, which I think Hon. Members must also discuss.  Let us help these children because it is urgent. As a nation, we have State universities and other universities that are around. Why not spend the money that we have in developing our local universities and equipping them fully so that all Zimbabwean students, whether they come from under privileged backgrounds or wealthy backgrounds, are able to go to our own universities and study without the need for sums like these.  An amount of US$3 000 per year can do a world of wonders, for example at Midlands State University or at the University of Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- It will do a lot of good. 

          It is helpful to learn from other jurisdictions but when we are a country that is so poor like this, we can maximize the use of our resources, plough and invest in our universities.  In the meantime, because we have chosen to send these young men and women abroad, let us do the right thing.  Let us meet our promises to them, let us not break our promise to them.  If we are going to send them, let us make sure that we have the money to sustain them. 

          Mr. Speaker, I want to raise concern that I hope this House does a comprehensive job because there are reports of Zimbabwean students elsewhere.  It is extremely painful and embarrassing to be an African nation whose own children survive on the charity of donations from students of other African nation countries.  We have become a laughing stock even on the African continent as capable as we are.  We must not allow this to happen. 

Can we move swiftly and in this case, the hope is that the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education conducts possibly a comprehensive inquiry so that in case we have other Zimbabwean students, not this Algerian case but who are even in other countries, to find out what is the status of the welfare of the young women and men that we have sent abroad on scholarships, to find out their conditions of living and to find out ways of rescuing them if they need rescuing.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to plead with the Hon. Members of this august House to whole heartedly support this motion and do everything that we can to ensure that as a matter of urgency, there are urgent steps to ensure that those who are responsible for disbursing money find it and send it to these students so that they can be rescued and that their future stipends are guaranteed to avoid these sufferings.  They should also find out what can be done in terms of rehabilitation, particularly the ones who have suffered stress and are now mentally ill.  Even, particularly for the vulnerable young women, I am sure the one who wrote this email to me does not want to go into prostitution like the other ones but I think there is a reason why she said it.  We need to find out if we can rescue them from that.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I will close by asking our Government, if we are in a new dispensation indeed, to do everything possible and to arrest the situation in higher education.  I understand that the Government said it is going to give loans to students; well - that may be so but a lot of us in this House benefited from Government grants including myself.  For my first degree at the University of Zimbabwe, I benefited from a grant and a loan, so that is the way we should go.  We should invest in our students. Giving out loans only in an environment like this might also be difficult. 

          However, whatever the case might be, my plea is that, may this august House move to resolve for a comprehensive solution that stops the suffering of these children. Investigations on the state of affairs of other children should be carried out and also to look into our higher and tertiary education to ensure that we protect our young people and invest in them as the Constitution provides, but also do so in a sustainable way.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! There is a vehicle whose registration number is ABI 9698, a Nissan Amada, could the owner please go out and park the vehicle properly.

          HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me thank the mover of the motion for coming up with such an important matter for consideration in this House.  The motion is as a result of a plea from distressed citizens who are in Algeria and other countries outside our borders.  They went there with high hopes of earning an education and come back to improve this country.  Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker Sir, these students got a raw deal from their own Government.  This is a plea, and the students are crying out loudly through this august House, which is the institution which is closely linked with the welfare of our people so that the message can get to our Government, the Executive, that we have students who need attention so that we do not embarrass ourselves as a nation.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I am particularly worried that we are talking of students in Algeria, Russia and Cyprus - these countries are not English-speaking.  Communication is very important when one is in distress.  It is better to be poor and desperate in your own country than to do the same in a foreign country because it becomes very difficult to find your way out to get help. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, as a result of the neglect by this Government of the students in these foreign countries, we have exposed our own citizens to the vice of prostitution as alluded to by the former speaker, the mover of this motion.  Our citizens are now begging in foreign countries, they have been reduced to beggars in order to survive, others have turned to prostitution and young men have been turned to slavery as they are doing menial jobs in order to earn a living.  Instead of going to the foreign countries for the reason of learning, we have exposed them to slavery.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I remember last year that we debated in this House concerning young ladies who went to Kuwait with the hope of landing good jobs and earn money to support their families back home but what then happened was that; they were treated as slaves.  The difference with the students I am talking about is that they went to foreign countries with the hope of getting an education and this was facilitated by our own Government.  So as a Government, we must not facilitate the enslavement of our own people.  By taking our students to foreign countries and fail to take care of their accommodation and food requirements, we are simply letting them to the wolves and it is very unfair and irresponsible of our Government to allow that to happen.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, on these bilateral agreements, I think it is very important that when there is an offer which we cannot meet in terms of our side of the bargain, it is better not to take it up than to say we have good relations with Algeria or Russia.  Those countries play their part and we then fail to contribute on our side of the bargain and end up embarrassing ourselves as a country and also putting our own citizens at risk. 

It is very sad, as a nation, we must realise that every citizen who is outside our border is our ambassador.  Every Zimbabwean who is outside the country should be lifting our Zimbabwean flag very high.  We should be seen as a country which can take care of its own citizens.  How then are we going to have our students in foreign countries act as our ambassadors when they are starving in those countries?  They are now known for begging, is that the picture we want other African countries to see on us, are we prostitutes?  Is that the message we want to send outside there?  What choice are we giving our students if we do not support them with the funds when they go out?  So, Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to thank the mover of the motion for raising this very pertinent motion to the attention of yourselves and our Government that it is very important that, as a responsible Government, we make sure that we support these students, especially those who managed to write to us. 

It would be very sad that they have taken all the trouble to inform your office and nothing happens.  We must be seen as a responsive Parliament and as a responsive Government.  Mr. Speaker Sir, before I sit down, I just want to thank the mover of the motion for raising this very critical issue.  I hope our Government will at least show the difference between what was happening under Robert Mugabe and what can now happen under the new dispensation.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: The Chief whips have consulted each other and I believe they have done some round robin consultation with yourselves and they have indicated that we can now go back to question time with the current crop of Ministers who are here.  If that is the consensus of the House, we proceed with Questions Without Notice.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 15th February, 2018.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I move that we revert to question time and that you extend with 10 minutes.  I so submit.  Thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. KARORO:  Thank you and good afternoon Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  In the absence of the Minister, I will redirect my question to the Leader of the House.  Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is now teaching 16 languages in the new curriculum.  I would like to understand from the Hon. Minister why the Chikunda language was excluded from the new curriculum?  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Members, please be guided by the Constitution.  This is not a place to advocate for some other languages that are not within the Constitution in terms of Article 6 of our Constitution.  You might in future, Hon. Member, ask for some amendments to the Constitution. 

HON. J. TSHUMA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  My question was supposed to be directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education - in his absence, may I redirect it to the Leader of the House.  What is Government policy to the issue of administrators who are not following Government policy?  For example, there are tertiary institutions that have clear policy that if students do not have money to pay for their fees, they should not be sent home, instead, they can be allowed to write their exams and their certificates can be withheld until they make good their payments.  Right now, there are a lot of tertiary colleges that are forcing students to defer from writing their final year exams this year until next year, which is against Government policy.  What is Government policy against such administrators who abuse Government policy?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he kind of answered.  He clearly spelt out the Government policy that no student should be barred from writing an exam.  All administrators who are not doing that will be violating Government policy.  I believe that he has specific issues with specific colleges, perhaps for his benefit, if he can put that question in writing, detailing the colleges that are doing that for the attention of the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, it can be looked into and resolved.  I thank you.

 HON. J. TSHUMA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Leader of the House ...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I have not recognised you – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Gara pasi iwe, sit down.] – Hon. Zwizwai.  There is no supplementary question because the Hon. Leader of the House has been comprehensive in his response.  Hon. Tshuma should put the question in writing with specific colleges that are violating Government policy. 

HON. CHAKONA:  My question was supposed to be directed to the Minister of Finance, in his absence, I am directing it to the leader of the House.  What is Government policy with regards to members of the public or anybody who goes to the bank and deposits US dollars.  When they want to withdraw the same, they are not permitted to do that or they are limited to have access to their money which they would have deposited.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you very much Hon. Chakona for the question.  Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that the policy the Reserve Bank put in place is that if you deposit US dollars, you are allowed to withdraw the US dollars.  Should there be an institution that is not following that, perhaps you need to take that up with the Minister of Finance in writing or the Reserve Bank.  The policy is that where you deposit US dollars, you are allowed to withdraw, but where RTGs money has been deposited, that is where the bank limits are applicable.  I thank you.

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is that the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr. Mangudya promised the country that ....

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Who is speaking at the back there?  Why is the translation so loud?  [The Serjeant-at-Arms approached the Chair.]  Sorry for the interruption, please proceed.

    *HON. ZWIZWAI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr. Mangudya promised the country that the value of the US dollar and the bond note is 1:1.  This means that they are the same.  The Government used a lot of money in advertising, advocating for the 1:1, the rate of the US dollar to the bond note.  He also promised the country, especially President Mugabe that if that rate of 1:1 is not put into effect, he is going to resign as the Governor.  We want to know where he stands in Cabinet, in terms of his resignation because as we stand the rate is no longer 1:1.  In addition, the jingles that used to be played are no longer playing on TV or radio for the people to be assured.  We want to know where you stand as Cabinet to restore the legacy of 1:1 and to put into effect his desire to resign if it does not work.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question which is a supplementary to Hon. Chakona.  Hon. Chakona asked about if I take my US dollars and deposit into my account; what does the law say and the Hon. Member asked about someone who said a statement about tendering a resignation, now it is not the same question Hon. Chakona has asked.   Hon. Chakona is talking about withdrawing the money that he has deposited and he is asking about the statement on what the Governor said and it is not Government policy, whatever he said.  So what he is asking is now different from the first question.

          So, this is not a supplementary question which has been asked by Hon. Chakona but if he wants to know how our funds are going, he can put it in writing so that we would answer him accurately.  Then we will go and ask the question on the one he said was going to resign and investigate, then Hon. Chinamasa will come back with the answer.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I think the supplementary question does arise because when you do RTGs you expect the value of both denominations to be equal, which is not the case.  I think that is the nature of the question.

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  We should know that the value between the three currencies; the bond, RTGs and US dollar, the values are the same but the Reserve Bank Governor has said if your money has been deposited  into the account as RTGs, please use it as RTGs but if it was deposited as cash into your account, you should withdraw it as cash.  The problem we are facing is that because of the demand of cash, the money which was put as cash and then as RTGs, the value was different so there was no balance.  We now have a dispensation that if somebody has deposited cash, you can withdraw that amount as cash.  That is why I responded that he is talking about somebody who has gone to the bank and deposited cash, in that case if the money should be withdrawn as RTGs, there is going to be an anomaly because it was going to be RTGs versus cash.  That is why the people who have deposited their monies as cash can withdraw that money.

          HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Minister must be very clear and understanding that when the bond notes started, there were people who had US dollars in their accounts.  They were then given bond notes, they did not say no, but when they are asked for US dollars, they cannot because they banked that US dollar initially which he converted into bond notes.  So how does he reconcile the two?  There is no way that you put a US dollar today, you get bond notes and when you ask for US dollar, you are not given US dollar.  It is not possible and you must deal with the facts on the ground and admit that the economy is not pumping; we do not have the US dollars.  This is why we need the Minister of Finance and Economic Development who is responsible for that to answer.  I was going to say that there is no point for us to have Question Time when the responsible Minister is not here with the facts.  It is a waste of time for us to continue like this.  The Minister of Finance and Economic Development must come and respond to this question himself otherwise we are wasting time.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Mliswa for his contribution and his suggestion that perhaps the Minister of Finance should come and attend to issues of money – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! In life, there is a virtue of humility and if the Hon. Leader of the House accepts that he cannot answer the question fully and he will refer it to the Minister concerned, I think that must be accepted.

          Hon. Munengami having wanted to raise a point of order.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  No point of order shall arise.

          HON. MUNENGAMI: Not concerning this.  Thank you Hon. Speaker, now that we have got other questions that we want to ask because he is here as the Leader of the House, is he again going to refer those questions to the relevant Ministers.  We need to ask questions and we need to know whether we will get answers, so what are we going to do now?  If he is not able to answer those questions, then we might as well defer like what Hon. Mliswa has just said because what is the point of us asking questions when he does not know.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Munengami, you did not appreciate fully what Hon. Mliswa said.  Secondly, you cannot be prescriptive as to what the Hon. Leader of Government Business is going to say.  Why do you not allow him to answer the questions and where he is able to do so, he will do so. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order! I will not accept a quid pro quo.

          *HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  We have a financial problem in the country and all people are interested in knowing how this could be corrected.   People would like the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to come and respond to these questions and also the Reserve Bank Governor, Mr. Mangudya also promised us that if things do not go his way, he is going to quit his job.  We are encouraging Ministers to research on questions being asked.  This is reflecting a bad picture because we have students in the Speakers Gallery who will look down upon our Ministers as people who are incapable because they cannot answer particular questions.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The last part of your question must be withdrawn because it is a blanket statement.

          HON. ZWIZWAI:  I withdraw Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

          *HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My policy question is a follow up on the question regarding the Leader of the House who used to respond to questions regarding various issues in the Government.  Why do we not say that the Leader of the House should not respond to questions regarding the various ministries?  When the particular Minister is not in the House, we should leave out the questions.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  According to the parliamentary systems, the Leader of Government business is there and can answer.  Where he is unable to answer, he will indicate accordingly.  So your suggestion is not accepted.

          HON. MAVHENYENGWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. I want to thank Government on Command Livestock Programme but I want to know…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  Please go to the question.

HON. MAVHENYENGWA:  Thank you.  I want to know whether goats, sheep and other small livestock are included in the programme and when is it going to spread to other regions of the country like Masvingo Province which is generally an arid region which is suitable for livestock production?

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI): I thank the Hon. Member for asking the question.  Yes, small ruminants such as goats and sheep are going to be part of Command Livestock even poultry, both …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, you address the Chair.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI: Even poultry both …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order. Hon. Minister, you address the Chair.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  My apologies Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI: Allow me to respond to the Hon. Member.  Yes; goats, sheep and all other small ruminants are going to be part of Command Livestock.  The programme is going to be launched in the provinces very soon.  If everything goes per plan, we should be launching the programme in Matabeleland South on Friday and possibly Matabeleland North on Saturday.  From there, we shall be going to other provinces.  I thank you.

HON. MHLANGA:  My supplementary question to Hon. Shiri is whether the Ministry is considering extending the policy on Command Agriculture, be it cropping or livestock to small scale farmers or communal farmers seeing that if well managed, six sectors of land can be viable.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Command Agriculture encompasses all farmers, big and small.  The fact that Presidential Input Scheme focuses specifically at the small scale farmers such as the communal and A1 farmers does not preclude the same category of farmers from being contracted under Command Agriculture.

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  Hon. Minister, what is Government policy regarding us as MDC – in the past Government led by Comrade Mugabe, members of the MDC and their supporters were not allowed to participate in Government programmes such as this Command Agriculture.  Our request is that you announce to the nation the plans that you have as a new dispensation since we all participated in bringing down the criminal elements which were surrounding His Excellency Comrade Mugabe until he resigned.  What plans do you have so that non ZANU PF members benefit, unlike in the past regime where we were discriminated.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Hon. Zwizwai, may we please tell the truth as it is.  The past Government did not deny any bona fide citizen of Zimbabwe to enjoy the fruits that were being disbursed by the Government in any programme.  Nobody was discriminated – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Order, I can give an example of Welshman Ncube.  He has got a farm and a lot of others too – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  - [HON. ZWIZWAI: Isu tiri mavictims, regai titaure on our behalf.  Give us assurance.]

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Zwizwai. Order please, order!

*HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank you for allowing me to answer the question raised by the Hon. member regarding discrimination of non-ZANU PF members.  In the first place, I am not aware of the fact that some people were discriminated against in participating in programmes in the past but we are now looking at the new dispensation.  When we address farmers, we are going to talk to people who are bona fide farmers, whether they are communal farmers, A1 or A2.  All we want to know is the evidence that one is a bona fide farmer.  We are not going to discriminate along partisan lines.  Everybody should participate in the development of the country.  I have been approached by many people, including people from various political parties who also want to benefit from the land reform programme.  I have highlighted to them that they should submit their applications because there is a land audit which is going on.  When there is need for them to benefit, they will definitely benefit.  May I please pinpoint that if Hon. Zwizwai also wants to benefit, we will take him as an example of the non-partisanship approach of the Government towards its programmes

HON. CHINANZVAVANA: My question still goes to the Leader of Government business in the absence of the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  What does Government policy say on the fate of a better part of our population, those who did not manage to get full qualification on their Ordinary level and Advanced level examinations considering that upon the implementation of the new curriculum, they cannot proceed as they are expected to get a 30% mark of continuous assessment in the classroom.  Do we all stop going to school even as adult learners?  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question which is in two parts; one relating to those that wrote their Ordinary levels before the coming in of the new curricular and the position now that we have the new curricular.  As a way forward, it a question that I believe is important for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to address and rectify, given that there is a movement of curriculum from the old to the new.  So, I will take the question to the Minister with a view to rectify the situation.  I thank you.

*HON. CHITURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Health, Dr. Parirenyatwa.  What is Government policy regarding cervical cancer especially in women?  This has become so rampant that in my constituency, in Manicaland, women are paying as much as US$800 to be attended to on the cervical cancer.

*THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I thank Hon. Chitura for this pertinent question on cervical cancer.  I agree definitely that women have lots of problems regarding cervical cancer and it is one of the most prevalent types of cancers biting all the other forms.  The second in line in the attack is the breast cancer and third is the prostate cancer. 

However, the problem is that most of these women come late when they have already developed attacked by cervical cancer.  Our advice as Ministry of Health and Child Care is that women should go for screening earlier so that they receive attention.  As of now, we have introduced a programme where these women are screened for the cervical cancer.  So, this is one of the methods we are using for prevention. 

The Hon. Member has also talked about women being made to pay US$800 for the treatment of cervical cancer.  As Hon. Members of Parliament and Senators, let us talk about cervical cancer in our constituencies.  Let us encourage women to go and be screened for cervical cancer.  We are even encouraging our young girls from the ages of  nine years upwards to be vaccinated against this cervical cancer.  We are also encouraging abstinence from sex to the young girls because we have realised that this cervical cancer is contracted during sex.  So, young women should delay in indulging into sex or if possible, they should abstain.  We are also encouraging men and women to have protected sex.  Most importantly, women should be screened.  When women are screened for the cervical cancer, they should be screened for breast cancer as well to check if they do not have any growths in their breasts.  If ever growths are found, they then go to the next stage of screening which is ultrasound so that it can be examined and treated before developing to full blown cancer.

*HON. CHITURA: We have Dr. Kitkat in Mutare who is demanding US$800.  It is happening in the Government institution especially for the removal of the womb for those women who have the cervical cancer. 

*HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: This is a specific question. May you please put it in writing so that we give you an appropriate answer.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Chitura, I hope you have heard what the Minister has said.  May you please put that in writing so that a full investigation is done and an appropriate response is given.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Would it not be prudent to use part of the National Health Fund towards alleviating the plight of the affected men and women in terms of cancer treatment?  Would it not be a prudent exercise to utilise part of the National Health Fund that you have started accumulating, to treat and also to mitigate in the treatment of those people that are affected by the scourge and the proliferation of the cancer.

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me thank Hon. Nduna for that supplementary question.  It is true that we now have a Healthy Levy Fund which has accumulated to the tune of about 22 million and we have used 16 million of that.  We have recognised that cancer drugs are very expensive..

HON. MLISWA: On a point of privilege!  Mr. Speaker, you can see Members of Parliament walking out and they are all from ZANU PF.  Now, when you lose the primary elections, you know why you lost.  Even when the television broadcaster is here, your constituents cannot even see you, and you do not ask questions.  What are they doing here?  This is a waste of tax payers’ money.  His Excellency is clear about you working hard and you are busy going out to hotels, what for?  We cannot be seen wasting tax payers’ money at this rate.  I think it is important that elections are held quickly so that you find yourself back in the farms rather than wasting people’s money.  This is unacceptable Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order please. Thank you Hon. Mliswa. Would the Chief Whip make sure that he restricts the movement of Members at the back there. 

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Mr. Speaker, we have said that because cancer drugs are so expensive, we have decided to take part of the money of the Health Levy Fund account to buy some of the expensive cancer drugs.  So, we think it will go a long way towards alleviating the treatment of cancer because it is a very expensive drug.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. ZINDI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Regarding the question which has been asked by Hon. Chitura on Dr. Kitkat, let me explain further. Hon. Dr. Parirenyatwa, are you aware that Dr Kit Cart has his own private surgery and he also works for the Government hospital at Mutare Provincial Hospital.  As a result, he refers some of these patients to his private hospital and this is where he makes these patients pay cash in United States Dollars (US$).  He does not want any swipe or bond notes, he wants the hard US$ currency.  So, what should we do with this kind of relationship where someone with a private surgery is also allowed to attend patients at Government hospitals? How are you managing it as a Minister of Health and Child Care?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Zindi, that seems to be an observation of a particular hospital – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  I suggest that you put it in writing so that the Minister gets a chance of investigating and then comes back to you.  It needs some investigations before he can come back to you.

          HON. MATANGIRA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  My point of order is the pertinence of what Hon. Zindi has said.  It is not only happening in Mutare, it is happening countrywide.  People come to the general hospital and they charge people – I think the Ministry has to make an investigation countrywide and help the nation.

          HON. MAJOME: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary question is; has the Government found out why Zimbabwe has high and astonishing rates of cervical cancer?  Does it know what is causing Zimbabwean women in particular, to be amongst the highest prevalent rates of cervical cancer?  What is it that is happening to Zimbabwean women that is causing them that so that we do not only deal with the incidence of it but intervene to find out what it is that is predisposing them more than others to cervical cancer?

          HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me thank Hon. Majome for that pertinent question.  In terms of the region, Zimbabwe has one of the highest cervical cancer rates, but it is also because we have done a survey here in the country and some countries have not done an appropriate survey.  However, the most common cause is the human papilloma virus (HPV).  One of the causes is also that we have the highest rates of HIV in the country and we are finding that women who are HIV positive are more prone to acquire the cancer of the cervix. 

          Women are living longer because of treatment and the risk becomes higher of acquiring cancer of the cervix.  This is very related to HIV in the country.  Of course, there are other reasons but HIV was found to be one of the major causes of the high prevalence in this country.

          HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change.  Hon. Minister, what is Government’s Environmental Impact Assessment Policy regarding companies that are situated or sited in residential areas causing health hazards to communities that live near those industries or companies?

          HON. NDUNA: Sorry Mr. Speaker Sir.  I have a point of order before the question is answered.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nduna.  Just in the middle, before I even recognise the Minister, you stand up again?

          HON. NDUNA: Sorry Mr. Speaker, I just want to guide the House so that we become procedural in terms of the time limits of questions with notice.  I am just trying to make sure that we stay in the confines of our procedure because the time has lapsed.  I want to call for extension of time for questions without notice Mr. Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Who said it was time over?  I am here, I will tell when it is time over, it is not for you to tell me – [Laughter.] –

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Mashakada for the very important question which he has posed regarding some companies that are situated in residential areas without proper Environmental Impact Assessment Programmes.  Our position is very clear, that any company that wants to establish business in Zimbabwe must first apply for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) permit. 

Unfortunately, the question answers itself because these companies will not have respected the laws of Zimbabwe.  So, in itself it is very wrong and I know the company that he may be referring to here in Harare, which has caused a lot of suffering within residential areas.  We intervened because already, there were a lot of misunderstandings where people were interpreting a situation where a company did not respect our laws.  This is an Indian company I presume, and we brought them to book.  Apparently, when the issue was brought to my attention, already the residents of Harare had also raised a flag.  We have now demanded that they process the Environmental Impact Assessment but with all stakeholders involved.  I want to end by saying that we are seized with the matter and I want warn any other company that would want to do business to follow the procedures and regulations of this country.  I thank you. 

HON. MLISWA:  Thank Mr. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, environment, even in the Constitution, is key, you have the power to stop anything from happening if it harms the people from an environmental point of view.  There are mining companies that are mining without the EIA, what are you doing as a Ministry to stop this, especially Chinese mines because your intervention is critical to protecting the environment and human life.

HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to appreciate the question asked by Hon. Mliswa regarding the companies that he is talking about.  I do not have data as to which company he is referring to.  I would want to encourage him if he is aware of such companies to report to us and we will not hesitate to move in and put corrective measures.  I thank you.

HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker, I also speak as the Chairperson of Mines and Energy Committee.  There are many issues that are coming through where clearly mining operations seem to be taking precedence over the environment.  I think it will be important for the Minister to respond whether there is a relationship with the Ministry of Mines or any other Ministry that needs an EIA before they do anything, because it is about the ministries working together but we have fights already within the two ministries where EMA is saying, a mining activity is taking place without Mines coming through to us.  Is she aware of the fights between EMA and the Ministry that is also awarding licences to people to mine?

HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I have already indicated that if there are such challenges existing between our won agencies, EMA specifically and the Ministry of Mines, I want to encourage the Hon. Member to bring those cases before my Ministry so that if need be, we can organise meetings with the Hon. Minister of Mines so that we agree on a way forward in redressing the issue.

HON. MARIDADI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a very hot topic.  I introduced the motion yesterday, in which I presented here in Parliament and we will be expecting the Hon. Minister to give a response.  One such case which comes to mind when Hon. Mliswa speaks is the issue of the Borrowdale Vlei which Hon. Minister, you had an out of court settlement with One Ken Sharpe where you gave him the right to develop that area which is essentially the head wetland in this country.  When you develop that area, you compromised all the underground water of the City of Harare.  Minister you are well aware of that situation, can you please give us a response in particular to the Ken Sharpe issue at Borrowdale.  Thank you. 

HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, that question is already on the Order Paper.  I was going to shed more light on the issue.  If I can be allowed to present later.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  If it is on the Order Paper, leave it until we get there.

*HON. CHIKOMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Hon. Shiri.  We want to thank the Government and it has really helped us.  In Gokwe, our industry is cotton growing and people are not yet well vested in cotton farming.  Can you give us two more years so that people can be capacitated to continue growing cotton?

* THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to answer Hon. Member Chikomba.  The issue of cotton farming, like what he is saying, we are going to look into it and also engage the financiers that is Government, the Treasury to see whether we can go on.  For now, we are dealing with three years, until we have response from Treasury whether they can give us more years.

HON. MANDIPAKA:  I am directing my question to Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi.  Hon. Minister, worried about the reputation of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Service ...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order.  In the absence of which Minister?  Is it directed to him and not to do with any other Ministry?

HON. MANDIPAKA:  It is directed to the Leader of the House Mr. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, worried about the reputation of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Service, can you outline before this Honourable House the policy position that Government has adopted or will adopt so that members of the public continue to have confidence in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, especially in this new dispensation.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I thought that was supposed to be directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  It is exactly what I was asking you to do. 

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I would like to thank you Mr. Speaker and thank the Hon. Member for the question that he asked which is very important.  As you may be aware, we now have a new Commissioner General of police.  One of his functions is to ensure that the integrity of the force and starters that they enjoyed in past is restored.  It is our hope that the Commissioner will do his duties accordingly.  I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The Hon. Minister has spoken about the new Commissioner General being charged with the responsibility to restore credibility and integrity to the organisation.  It is known that the current Commissioner General of police is an old horse within the same organisation such that the level of his being tainted with whatever has been going on in the organisation is high.  Again, looking at the fact that his appointment seems to be contrary to the new dispensation in terms of age limit for employment in the Public Service, how does the Hon. Minister envisage a scenario where that kind of person will turn around and improve the integrity of the organisation.  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. However, the Hon. Member is casting aspersions on the character of the Commissioner General without any evidence – which, with all due respect, I believe it is not necessary.  He is a new man on the job.  He has been tasked to do a job and casting aspersions on his character without any substantive evidence is wrong.  I thank you.

          HON. P. D SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, the most important aspect of the question is that it is a fact that the new Commissioner General has been in police force, I think from the early eighties up to now.  He has been in the police service, all the activities that have been taking place in the police force, he has been a senior member in the position of Deputy Commissioner General.  Therefore, that is a fact and they are not aspersions.  He needs to clarify whether his association with the organisation through these years up to now can give us confidence as a nation that indeed he has what it takes to re-invent the image of the organisation. Beyond that, it is also a fact that he is a man beyond 60 years of age, that is not an aspersion, the Minister should clarify that.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for allowing me to respond to this question.  The Hon. Member said “the Commissioner General is tainted” – [HON. P. D SIBANDA: Yes he is tainted.] –

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

          Hon Munengami having stood up and said, “he is tainted, it is a fact”.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, may you please move out – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, Hon. Member may you please move out?  Can you apologise to the Chair please?

          HON. MUNENGAMI: I am sorry Hon. Chair.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The way I responded is the Hon. Member has indicated that the Commissioner General is tainted and in the absence of what has tainted him, he is deemed to be an innocent man.  The Commissioner General is a constitutional appointee, appointed by the President, contrary to what he is alleging that he is governed whatever age that he is speaking about.  He is a constitutional appointee, appointed by the President after consultation with the Minister responsible for police and what I was alluding to is he is a new man on the job; he should be judged according to his own shoes that he wears – [HON. P. D. SIBANDA: That is his shoes.] –

          I would not want to belabour questions about the character or things that someone has done that have not been brought either to the attention of Cabinet or to the President.  I thank you.

          *HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House.  What is Government policy regarding the demise of the Zimbabwe dollar, we have some people who had sold their properties and had used the Zimbabwean dollar.  When we entered the US dollar era and money in the banks were evaluated against the US dollars, those people got something like US$5 or $6 for that amount.  Was the evaluation of the US dollar equivalent to the value of the property sold such as houses and farms?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question regarding the evaluation of property sold in Zimbabwean dollars.  I am going to take this matter up to the higher echelons so that this question can receive the response it deserves.

          *HON. MARIDADI:  The question asked by Hon. Mupfumi has been asked already, I think you should rule him out, where was he?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi, you are out of order.

          Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.

          HON. MLILO: I move that Question Time be extended by 10 minutes.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: It was extended already, so that falls off.

CLINICAL CANCER TESTING CENTRES

1.    HON. MANGWENDE asked the Minister of Health and

Child Care to state the plans that the Ministry has put in place to avail clinical cancer testing centres across the country to ensure early detection of breast cancer.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Mangwende for asking this important question about cancer testing. Government of Zimbabwe through the Non-Communicable Disease department in the Ministry of Health and Child Care has a plan to introduce breast cancer screening as public health programme.  Currently only cervical cancer is being screened on as routine basis from district hospital levels upwards. Cases of breast cancer are on the increase with many public figures having been diagnosed and also many people seeking treatment when cancer has already spread.  If breast cancer is detected early, it can be treated successfully through surgery but if it is detected late, treatment involves chemotherapy and radiotherapy which are very expensive for the ordinary person and prognosis is poor if diagnosed late.

          We intend to screen women of reproductive age group as well as having campaigns, educating them about the disease as a way of encouraging them to get screened earlier.  Screening of breast cancer first involves: Palpation of the breast by a trained health worker which is also known as clinical breast exam.  If lumps are palpated/felt, the patient is referred to mammography or ultrasound-scan (USS).  Mammography machines are expensive so much that the Ministry is not able to procure to every district and provincial hospital without external help.

CITY OF HARARE AWARD OF THE RAMSAR WETLAND CITY STATUS

2.    HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to state whether the proposal by the Harare Wetland Trust for the City of Harare to be awarded the Ramsar Wetland City status would assist the City in securing funding for the provision of    water in the City.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I fully appreciate the question from the Member of Parliament, Hon. Majome.  Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention which seeks to promote the wise use and conservation of wetlands.  Accreditation for the Ramsar Wetland City Status generally promotes conservation and wise use of all wetlands by the signatory city, leading to attainment of sustainable socio-economic benefits for the local people.

This accreditation encourages communities that are close to and depend on wetlands to establish a positive relationship with these wetlands through increased participation, awareness and consideration of wetlands in local planning and decision making.  The status comes with obligations that include upholding appropriate standards regarding water quality, sanitation and management in the entire area.

The suggestion for the Wetland City Accreditation for the City of Harare is in the right direction towards sustainable wetlands management which currently is a major challenge.  The Ramsar Wetland City Accreditation is a new wetland management concept that was adopted at the Conference of Parties (COP) 12 in Ankara and is already incorporated to the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2016-2021.

Benefits of being awarded Ramsar Wetland City status include international cooperation in wetland conservation and management initiatives and access to Ramsar Grants for conservation that includes the Small Grants Fund established in 1990 and the Swiss Grant for Africa.  The grant helps developing countries support the conservation and wise use of wetland resources and the sustainable development of communities which depend on them and care for them.  Sustainable management of wetlands ensures water provision through recharging of underground water and water sources by wetlands…. 

     HON. MAJOME: On a point of order, I am straining to hear the Hon. Minister’s reply.  May Hon Members be kind enough to lower their voices.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  May Hon. Members please lower your voices. The Hon. Member is complaining that she can hardly hear the Minister’s response.

     HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI: Lastly, these benefits should also be realised by residents of the Harare Metropolitan province once the accreditation has been completed.

HON. MAJOME: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that given her positive attitude and support of the possibility of Harare being awarded Ramsar Wetland City Status, what will the Hon. Minister do to support that attainment, given the rampant onslaught on wetlands in Harare?

HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI:  Harare City Council works very closely with my Ministry.  Whenever they are ready, we are more than ready also as a Ministry to support them.

GAZETTING OF THE NEW HARARE WETLAND MAP

3. HON MAJOME asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to inform the      House when the Ministry would gazette the new Harare Wetland Map that was produced by the Environmental Management Agency as well as the National Action Plan.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministry has since produced and forwarded the draft proposal of the Harare Wetland Map gazette to the Attorney-General’s office, legal drafting section and we await their assessment.  The gazetting will be done as soon as the draft has been reviewed and approved by the Attorney General’s office and we are targeting April this year for the gazetting.

In addition to the above legal process, my Ministry has since set up a technical team of different experts from universities, industry, civic society and Government to develop a comprehensive national wetland utilisation and management guidelines. Work on this study is at an advanced stage with the team now ready to conduct wide consultations in all the provinces before the finalisation of the baseline report and formulation of the national guidelines.  It is within the terms of reference for the experts to include the National Action Plan for sustainable wetland management within this process.  This work is part of my 100 day target.

ILLEGAL OCCUPATION AND FARMING ON WETLANDS

4. HON MAJOME asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to state measures being taken to curb illegal occupation and  farming on wetlands.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministry is committed to stakeholder participation in environmental management that ensures local stewardship and sustainability of adopted practices.  My Ministry is working tirelessly with various stakeholders in putting measures to control illegal occupation and farming on wetlands. 

Some of the measures include; integration of the Local Environmental Action Plan (LEAP) with the city master plan and local plans, engagement of Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on measures to take in order to curb illegal occupation and construction in wetlands.  A National Task force that comprise representatives from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Town Clerk’s forum, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate and Environmental Management Agency has been set up.  The terms of reference for the taskforce include mainstreaming of urban development with the need to protect and preserve wetlands as green belts, produce a guideline for wetland use options through consultative and participatory process; inclusion of wetland management in the Development Control Manual being compiled as a guide for local authorities; carry out an inventory of all the wetland sites in all the urban areas to identify sites that are already allocated for development and those that are still vacant and review and synchronise all the Statutory Instruments and by-laws that regulate wetland management and utilisation.  Progress to date has been on:

Close collaboration and technical input by EMA to Physical Planning and City of Harare before a sub-division or development permit is issued to avoid conflict of decisions.

My Ministry is aware of ecological importance of wetlands and at the same time appreciates the importance of food security.  The call for prohibition of wetland cultivation has been done working with responsible authorities.  Most of these wetlands have banners erected with the message ‘No to cultivation’ but I assure the House that enforcement efforts by local authorities under strict supervision by EMA should be stepped up.

My Ministry is working with civic society advocating for the protection of wetlands and prohibition of cultivation in wetlands. Some of the civic societies include Conservation Society of Monavale, Marlborough Wetlands Trust, Harare Wetlands Trust, and Lake Chivero Users Association among others. Education and awareness programmes on both electronic and print media is in progress.

          Lastly, Mr. Speaker Sir, City of Harare was issued with an Environmental Protection Order in terms of Section 4 (b) of the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27] for the protection of wetlands and to stop wetlands cultivation. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the Agency also issued environmental protection orders to seed companies who are also promoting urban agriculture and individuals involved in stream bank and wetland cultivation.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES ON ASHBRITTLE VLEI

            5. HON.  MAJOME asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to state whether the Ministry has approved the development activities taking place on Ashbrittle Vlei near Borrowdale, since it is a wetland and if so, whether the Environmental Management Agency had approved the Environmental Impact Assessment for such developments.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I need to highlight to the august House that projects listed in the first schedule of the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27] are required to comply with the provisions of Section 97 of the said Act, in which they are required to have environmental impact assessment approval before project implementation. Housing development is one of the listed projects in the said Act. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, coming to the development in question taking place on Ashbrittle Vlei, the developer submitted an Environment Impact Assessment report to the Agency and was issued with an EIA approval certificate.  The decision was reached in consultation with my Ministry in which the process involved conducting scientific ecological assessments by the agency and also independent consultants and other stakeholders were also contracted in order to make an evaluation.

The project developer was allocated 9,7 hectares of the total area of 18,34 hectares as a measure to safe guard negative impact to the Vlei.

HON. MAJOME: Is approval of development like in this particular case not a self contradiction of the Ministry’s espoused policy to protect wetlands?  Is it about favouritism?  Are there certain projects that are maybe better than others?  I have asked this because the assessment of the Environmental Management Agency is called to question a lot and the suspicion of uneven handling.  The Ministry and EMA; are they not shooting Government’s efforts in the foot to protect wetlands by approving some developments?

HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI:  Mr. Speaker, I have already alluded to the fact that the 18,34 hectares which this developer had been allocated, most of it was found to be not suitable which means a proper thorough assessment was done by independent consultants and also EMA.   They reached an agreement that only 9,7 hectares of that piece of land is suitable for development.  It means that it is not all of it and this exercise is undertaken on every project to establish which aspects can work and which aspects cannot work.

We need also to appreciate that Asia and UK are sitting on a wetlands.  It is the regulations that each individual country puts to itself to make sure the flow of water is not interfered with.  This is also what we considered which is part of our environmental impact assessment requirement.  I thank you.

HON. MARIDADI:   Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Minister speaks about UK and Asia sitting on wetlands and that there has been development.  If UK and Asia have done it wrongly, it does not follow that as Zimbabwe we must follow their example and do it wrongly. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ashbrittle wetland which the Minister has had an out of court settlement with the developer Kent Sharpe and has been allocated 9,7 hectares for development for both residential and shopping mall;  you can tell by the low uptake of residential stands on Ashbrittle that it does not really matter what an Environmental Impact Assessment has been done by the Ministry or by EMA, it is still not suitable for human habitation.  It is so clear.  The Minister talks about wise use of wetlands, there must never be use of wetlands.  Wetlands must be preserved as wetlands.  They can never be use of wetlands which can be called wise.  They must be preserved as wetlands so that we allow the ecosystem to endure. 

Mr. Speaker, giving half of the 18, 34 hectares for development, it will still affect the ecosystem.  Giving one hectare of the 18, 34 hectares will still affect the ecosystem and bio-diversity.  The Minister should be able to know this.  The Minister is assisted by technical people in the Ministry who must be able to know that if you just give half of the wet land or even a quarter of it for development, it affects the bio-diversity and it will no longer be a wetland.

HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Maridadi for that very important question.  However, I would want to emphasise that technical work was done, very scientific which involved even outsiders, the University of Zimbabwe.  A technical team was put together, several of them, not just one because there was a legal wrangle until such time that they came to some understanding that this is what we were going to only allow.  So, the Minister is adequately advised at every juncture by a technical team and we also consult widely. 

I cannot comment on his business, how he is performing.  If he is not doing well, it is up to the contractor because we cannot influence who should buy the properties.  I thank you.

HON. MARIDADI: I am also favoured with technical information to the fact that Ashbrittle Vlei is not suitable for development which I am happy to present to this Parliament and the Minister can say whether or not the technical information I have is false.  I am favoured with technical information from the University of Zimbabwe, EMA and from the Minister’s officers who will tell you that Ashbrittle Vlei can never be suitable for any development because it will disturb bio-diversity. 

Mr. Speaker, I will be very happy to bring that diversity.  Mr. Speaker, I will be very happy to bring that technical information to this House but I want to urge the Hon. Minister to give a Ministerial Statement after which I will present the technical information I have on Ashbrittle because I feel this is very important, it affects the livelihood of the people of Harare.  Thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi, I suggest that you take whatever information you have, discuss with the Hon. Minister and she might decide otherwise, if you can liaise with the Hon. Minister.  Thank you.

          HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, Hon. Maridadi’s point is critical and the Minister has articulated issues pretty well.  However, I think these are some of the legacy issues where the former Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, just did things which were out of order and gave land.  The issue now is that the Minister is forced to deal with an issue out of the corrupt activities which the former Ministers were doing – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Chombo was the godfather of land barons and he gave any piece of land anywhere.  As such, the Minister has tried as much as she can and is doing her job.  So, we should go back to the real land baron.  The President has appointed a commission to deal with land barons, the first one is Chombo to be brought to the fore to answer this.  I hope you take note of that.  Thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa, that is why the Chair has ruled that Hon. Maridadi and the Minister should sit down and bring whatever you have to the Minister for her to make a statement to the nation.

          HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I cannot refuse a opportunity to sit down with the Hon. Minister.  I am looking forward to it.  I would love to sit down with the Hon. Minister.  However, what I want to say is that the Minister knows it as much as everybody else that the Minister is trying to sanitise the corruption of the previous regime and she must not do that…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Maridadi – [HON. MARIDADI: Minister, you must not sanitise the corruption of Dr. Chombo.  If anything, you must be able to expose him, he is brought before this house and he must go to jail.  Thank you.] – Hon. Maridadi, are you taking my advice? – [HON. MARIDADI: Sorry Mr. Speaker, it was just coming out, I could not hear you it was just coming out.  I am sorry about that.] –

          HON. GABBUZA: I am seeking clarification from the Minister.  If an environmental protection order has been issued and an area is declared a wetland, can a developer come and do an environmental impact assessment to override that declaration of protection which would have been made?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Gabbuza, it is exactly what Hon. Maridadi has raised but in a different way.  This is why I had suggested that Hon. Maridadi and the Minister sit down together.

REHABILITATION OF SACHIPIRI DAM

6.  HON. MHONA asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to explain why it has taken long to rehabilitate Sachipiri Dam in Ward 18 and Maringobwe Dam in Ward 17 in Chikomba Central Constituency.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Mhona for the question requiring me to explain the action my Ministry is taking to rehabilitate Sachipiri Dam in Ward 18 and Maringobwe Dam in Ward 17.  The dams in question were received, brought to my attention by the Minister of State for Mashonaland East, Hon. Musabayana at the end of January, 2018.  I indicated that the ZINWA team will be dispatched to the district to go and inspect the extent of the required repairs and the costs. Depending on the magnitude of the cost of the repairs, I intend to authorise that the repairs be met from the Ministry’s Water Fund. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, let me take this opportunity to also remind Hon. Members of Parliament to report all weirs and boreholes which lack repairs and also indicate those that need to be sunk or constructed.  I thank you.

FISH BREEDING PROJECT AT RUTI DAM

          7.  HON. MUDEREDZWA asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to state when the Ruti Dam in Ward 19 in Buhera District would be considered for a major fish breeding project.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Mr. Speaker Sir, Ruti Dam has already been identified as one of the dams to benefit from the Command Fisheries programme for Manicaland Province.  The dam will be restocked like other dams under the Command Fisheries Restocking programme.  This will be done after the stock assessment which determines the type of species in the dam and hence, will determine the stocking levels required.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          HON. MUDEREDZWA: I would like to thank the Minister for that recognition.  However, is there any plan to reduce the number of crocodiles or the population of crocodiles in that dam because that dam was built during the colonial era?  By design and purpose, it was intended to provide water to irrigation in Middle Sabi to the extent of discouraging people in Buhera to even use the water in that dam.  Are there any contingency plans that are there to ensure that we reduce the number of crocodiles in that dam because it is a disaster to the community around it?

          HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The issue of crocodiles as raised by the Hon. Member, is a new issue which does not arise.  However, now that the issue has been brought to my attention, I will dispatch a team so that we do an assessment as to how best we can reduce the number of crocodiles.  I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA: Sorry Mr. Speaker.  Last week, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development was not here, but I got wind from one of the Ministers that they had prepared answers from the Ministry regarding our questions that were on the Order Paper last week.  My question is, is there no one of the Ministers available who might have been favoured with the answers to these questions?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, can you resume your seat.  Obviously, if the Minister was here to answer on his behalf, he would have actually stood up.  Why should I go to that extent and ask which Minister?

DISCREPANCIES IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF INPUTS

26.  HON. SARUWAKA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement to:

a)    explain the discrepancies observed in the distribution of inputs under the           Presidential Inputs Scheme considering that some beneficiaries in some districts and wards are allocated more inputs compared to others from other districts and        others receive the inputs at the onset of the planting season while others at the middle or towards the harvest time.

b)            provide a schedule showing quantities of inputs allocated each district throughout the country, the number of targeted beneficiaries in each district and the dates on which they received their allocations.

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Saruwaka for his question. 

(a)             Honourable Member, the discrepancies observed in the distribution of inputs are as a result of:

i.                    Logistical challenges associated with movement of inputs;

ii.                The performance of contracted inputs suppliers vary across suppliers; and

iii.             Constraints associated with nostro funding also impacted negatively on timely availability of inputs.

(b)            Honourable Member, inputs under the Presidential Well Wishers Agriculture Inputs Programme were distributed via the GMB depots with most of them overlapping districts, hence it is not possible to provide a schedule showing quantities allocated in each district.  I will present a schedule of inputs received across GMB depots throughout the country and the targeted beneficiaries by depot.  Collection of inputs by beneficiaries started in September 2017 and the programme is ongoing up to this day.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. SARUWAKA:  My supplementary question to the Minister is, when the Presidential Inputs Scheme was advertised, it was clearly stated that each beneficiary was entitled to 1 (50kgs) compound D, 1 (50 kgs) top dressing and a 10kg of seed maize.  The experience in my constituency is that in some wards, up to four people were allocated one bag of fertilizer.  I wanted to understand from the Minister whether that is permissible that the allocation would vary as per ward.  In some of the wards, people got the full allocation but in others they were sharing the allocation.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, did you quite listen to his explanation on the discrepancies you were asking for?

HON. SARUWAKA:  Yes, I listened.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  So, does that question arise?

HON. SARUWAKA:  Yes, it does. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I do not think so.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL PERRANCE SHIRI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to respond to the Hon. Member’s question whereby in some wards, I agree some members were given their full complement of inputs because they were supplied with enough inputs for that particular ward.  Because of the reasons I stated earlier on, in some wards the inputs availed were not enough.  Through consultations amongst various stakeholders, it is quite possible that they will have agreed that instead of giving specific individuals complete packs of the inputs, it was necessary to divide whatever was available amongst all members of the ward so that with the next supply, they would also undertake the same exercise.  I believe that must have been the logic. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  I also have a rural constituency; that has been done in my constituency, it is no exception.

HON. SARUWAKA:  My supplementary again is on the same matter.  I would want to understand from the Minister whether it is the Ministry’s policy to ensure that all beneficiaries get the same quantities or according to his Ministry, it is possible that some beneficiaries get a quarter of what the others get.  What is the Ministry’s policy?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I am ruling you out of order.  The explanation was quite clear.  I do not know what explanation you need.  It is quite clear, he explained clearly. 

HON. SARUWAKA:  What was clear Mr. Speaker Sir?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I rule you out of order.

HON. MLISWA:  On a point of clarity.  I think the Minister is a great farmer himself but I did not hear him address the issue of giving inputs timeously.  The issue is that, you have a situation where you give a farmer a 25 kgs of seed or 10 kgs in November, you give them compound D in December, yet you are supposed to plant the maize with the compound D.  You then give the Ammonium Nitrate in February when during this time the crop has grown.  What measures has he done to ensure that inputs are distributed timeously?  If they are not distributed timeously, what does he do?

The other issue is, who distributes the inputs?  The old Government had a tendency of having councillors and politicians involved and so forth.  That is why people felt that this Presidential Input Scheme was aligned to the ruling party yet it is for everyone.  What measures has he done to ensure that the GMB that does the logistics and Agritex are there?  It seems as if there is not much happening.  I was in my constituency today and I had to stop the distribution of inputs because already some people were saying there were new lists coming in.  What criteria is the village heads using in terms of verifying that this person is a farmer because there is a situation where the village head will submit a list of others who are not farmers.  What mechanism has he put in place to ensure that the inputs are going to farmers?  What happens Mr. Speaker Sir, is that you will get inputs being sold as a result of them being given to people who are not farmers.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I would allow that one as a different question altogether.

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to respond to Hon. Mliswa.  On the timing of the availability of the inputs, the determining factor is the availability of resources with which to procure those inputs.  If we are availed with the resources timeously, we will be able to respond timeously as well but due to other pressing requirements, Treasury at times may not be having enough resources at a given time, hence the staggered sort of approach and some delays.  What we were trying to do is to continue conscientising Treasury so that it appreciates the fact that in agriculture we deal with seasons and timing is of utmost importance.  We have been hammering this point and we believe one day they shall appreciate our point of view. 

As to the responsibility of distributing various inputs especially for the Presidential Input Scheme at village level, that is the responsibility of the District Administrators and their staff.  Of course, they are assisted by the Grain Marketing Board and the Agritex officers.  We expect them to do the distribution diligently.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          HON. GABBUZA: I just want to find out from the Minister, there is a new development and I want to know what policy position they are taking to redress this problem.  The transporters, when they get to the rural areas, charge again for transport and it averages between $2 and $5 per bag.  Now, in most cases when the deserving farmers fail to get the money, the undeserving merchants or business people end up buying the fertilizer by paying that money.  What measures are they putting in place to solve that because the deserving farmers are not accessing the fertiliser because of the extra money charged by the transporters?

          HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  What happens is as Government we deliver the inputs to the various GMB depots …

          HON. MLISWA: On a point order, Standing Order Number 56; it is important for Members of Parliament to listen to this distribution than busy making noise and as such I do not think the quorum is good enough.  Most of them who are rural MPs are not even here to listen to the Minister talking about important issues which affect the people and the country at large.  Standing Order Number 56 is clear that the quorum must be 70 and I do not think we are 70.  Thank you.

[Bells rung.]

Notice having been taken that there being present fewer than 70  members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not being present, THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER adjourned the House without question put at Five Minutes past Five O’clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 56.

NOTE: The following members were present when the House adjourned: Hon. Bhudha M.; Hon. Chibagu G; Hon. Chigudu , M.; Hon. Chikomba,L.; Hon. Chikwinya N.; Hon. Chingosho C.P.; Hon. Chitura L.; Hon. Chiwetu J.Z.; Hon. Cross E.G.; Hon. Dziva T.M.; Hon Gabbuza J.G; Hon. Gonese I.T.; Hon. Hungwa G.; Hon. Kaundikiza M.; Hon. Khumalo M.; Hon. Mabuwa C.; Hon. Machingauta C.; Hon.  Madubeko J.; Hon. Mahiya M.; Hon. Majaya B; Hon. Majome F.J; Hon. Makoni R.R.; Hon. Maridadi J.; Hon. Matimba K.M.; Hon. Matsikenyere N.; Hon. Mavenyengwa R.; Hon. Mawere V.M.; Hon. Mhona F.T.; Hon. Mkandla M.; Hon. Mlambo W.B.J.; Hon. Mlilo N.; Hon. Mliswa P.T.; Hon. Moyo L.; Hon. Mpala M.; Hon. Mpariwa P.; Hon. Mpofu M.M.; Hon. Mpofu S.; Hon. Mtigwende T.; Hon. Mudarikwa S.; Hon. Muderedzwa R.; Hon. Mudyiwa M.; Hon. Mufunga A.; Hon. Mugido M.; Hon. Muguti R.; Hon. Mukwena R.; Hon. Mupfumi I.F.; Hon. Musanhi K.S.; Hon. Ncube G.M.; Hon. Ndhlovu A.; Hon. Ndlovu N.; Hon. Ndoro L.F., Hon. Nduna D.; Hon. Nhambu B.; Hon. Nkomo Mail; Hon. Nyere C.; Hon. Passade J.; Hon. Porusingazi E.; Hon. Rungani A.; Hon. Sansole T.W.; Hon. Saruwaka T.J.L.; Hon. Shongedza E.; Hon. Shiri P.; Hon. Sibanda M.; Hon. Tshuma J.; Hon. Uta K.; Hon. Vutete M.; Hon. Wadyajena J.M.; Hon. Zhou P and Hon. Ziyambi Z.

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 FEBRUARY 2018 VOL 44 NO 41