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National Assembly Hansard 24 January 2018 Vol 44 No 35

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 24th January, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

NOTICE OF MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS

THE HON. SPEAKER: In terms of our Standing Rules and Orders, you are privileged to ask your questions without notice and proceed to the written questions. Thereafter, there will be two ministerial statements. I hope Hon. Members will be there to listen to the two ministerial statements.

PROCEDURE ON QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to draw the attention of the House to the provisions of Standing Order Number 64 (8) on Questions With Notice which states that, ‘if a Member is not present to ask a question or if the question is not reached by a Quarter to Five o’clock p.m., the Minister to whom it is addressed must cause an answer to be printed in the official record unless the Member has signified his or her desire to postpone the question’.

Further to the provisions of Standing Order Number 64, I have to inform the House that the Joint Business of Houses Committee met this morning and resolved that, in the event that there is a question with notice and the Member and the Minister are both absent and the Member has not designated a proxy, the question must be expunged from the Order Paper. Where the Minister is not available, he or she must assign another Minister to respond to the question. Please be guided accordingly.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have a point of privilege. Realising that nobody stood for a notice of motion, I ask you to recognise me on a point of privilege.

I heard your earlier announcement that speaks to the ministerial statements including the one that I asked for yesterday that is on the issue of cholera in Chegutu in particular.

THE HON. SPEAKER: So what are you talking about Hon. Member if the ministerial statement is going to be made. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, I want you to hear me. A good part of the questions that I have on Questions Without Notice centre on that ministerial statement. I ask seeing that this might encompass a good number of the questions that are there today. Would it not be prudent Mr. Speaker, if you would allow us to ask questions on matters of clarity after the Ministerial Statement on cholera.

THE HON. SPEAKER: That is not a matter of privilege Hon. Member. It is procedural that after a Ministerial Statement you can ask questions for clarification. Reference to the questions that you think maybe covered by – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order! Reference to the questions that may be covered by the Ministerial Statement, if they are so covered, then you stand down those questions because it will be a repetition.

HON. MLISWA: Point of order Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You cannot raise a point of order when nothing has been said. You raise a point of order when there is a debate – [HON. MLISWA: It is a point of privilege.] – you simply said point of order – [HON. MLISWA: I was continuing.] – no! You must start by rising on a point of privilege so that you do not confuse the Chair.

HON. MLISWA: Point of privilege Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Please go ahead and be brief.

HON. MLISWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of privilege is; I was driving from the Constituency and it was quite disturbing that there is an operation which is happening and involves armed National Parks officers, Central Intelligence Department (CID), it has various organs of the State to which, as a Member of Parliament I am not privy to. I do not know if there are any Members of Parliament who are privy to such an operation. It is important that if there is an operation being undertaken by any department, we as Members of Parliament, equally understand what will be going on so that we talk to the people. We are the politicians elected and I do not understand how this Cabinet or Government misses the point that Members of Parliament represent people in the Constituency. As a result, there was a lot of mayhem and I had to talk to the Director General of National Parks who equally admits that they were wrong in not informing the Members of Parliament. So, I would like the Minister of Home Affairs to let this House know if there is any operation which is being headed by police and other arms of Government to what effect, intention and what law. Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! There are certain operations that do not need pre-warning by the very nature perhaps of the security of the operation – [AN HON. MEMBER: Operation Restore Legacy.] – Operation Restore Order for example – [Laughter.] – there was no notice – [HON. MLISWA: Operation Restore Order, everybody was told that it was coming.] - But when the tankers started moving into the Central Business District, there was no statement, the statement came later on. Thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. KARORO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Environment – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order!

HON. KARORO: In her absence…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, can you start asking your question again.

HON. KARORO: My question is directed to the Minister of Environment Mr. Speaker. In her absence, I will direct my question to the Leader of the House. What is Government policy and position on the protection of people from wild animal attacks taking cognisant of the fact that the number of those being killed by wild animals is on the rise in areas like Mbire, Binga and Kariba. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question, which is very specific about the Mbire area. The Government policy is that; all citizens of this country and everyone who is in this country must be protected from any danger, be it from animals or anything. So, he is speaking about a specific area which is in Mbire where animals are causing havoc. I would suggest that if he can put that question in writing so that the relevant Ministry can respond and rectify the situation. That will be alright. I thank you.

HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Good afternoon to you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development. Hon. Minister Sir, what is the national policy on fuel-marking in Zimbabwe as a means to control the fuel smuggling that is happening in our country?

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question. It is true that marking helps a lot to check on the quality of fuel one brings into the country. This is a matter which is not on at the moment. It is a matter which we are discussing and that which we hope to introduce shortly

HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Indeed, like what the Hon. Minister said that it is a matter which they are seized with…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, do not preface your question, go straight to the question.

HON. MUNENGAMI: My supplementary Hon. Speaker is; why has it taken the Government so much time to start the marking of the fuel which is coming into the country? Is it a way of allowing the smuggling of fuel in the country. Why is it that it has taken them so long for them to do such a programme, considering the effect of the smuggling of fuel in the country at the moment?

HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO: Hon. Speaker, I cannot answer for previous ministers. All I am saying is that, we are correcting the situation and marking will be introduced shortly. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MAJOME: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. I wish to raise my point of order, possibly as a point of clarification in terms of the Constitution, which holds that Ministers are individually and collectively responsible for their decisions. I heard the Hon. Minister in his response saying that he does not speak for previous Ministers. However, my understanding is that when we, as Members of this House ask questions, we are asking them to the Government and not to Ministers in their individual capacity, for policy. Possibly, it is rather disturbing if the Hon. Ministers are representing themselves in their personal capacity, yet our understanding is that they are coming here to represent Government and all the offices. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I think the point of order is relevant. Hon. Minister, you do not represent yourself individually, you…

HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I have not finished. Hon. Majome is advising us that Hon. Ministers act collectively, not individually. Would you respond to that Hon. Minister?

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not refute what the Hon. Member is saying but I must also say, you cannot act collectively when you are not there – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Minister of Energy, can you be assisted. Where the Hon. Minister is not sure of an issue, the Hon. Minister must seek leave of the House to go, investigate and come back to the House with the correct position.

HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, I entirely agree with you. All I said is that there was – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – All I said was that there was no such policy on marking and we are introducing it. I do not see how I can now be asked why I did not introduce it before when I was not there – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MUNENGAMI: Mr. Speaker, honestly like what you rightfully say…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Munengami, you stand in silence and be recognised. Hon. Minister, the supplementary question was, why has it taken Government so long? I thought that was going to be the Hon. Minister’s point of departure to investigate why it has taken long.

HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, I take note.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.

+HON. MKANDLA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Why is that in Matabeleland North Province, the Grade 7 results that are out, 24 schools did not have a single child who passed? What measures are you taking as a Ministry for children to pass at the schools?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): The Minister is not around but the question is very specific to the extent that it pertains to why a lot of students did not pass, if I got it correctly. It is very specific and needs the relevant Ministry to respond. It is not a policy issue. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, Leader of the House, perhaps you did not understand the Ndebele aspect. The concluding latter part of the question was, what Government policy is in place to ensure that pupils pass their Grade 7 results? That was the conclusion.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The reason why I said it is very specific is, she spoke about a specific area. Can I preface it…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Minister, please take your seat. The question is on policy. What policy is in place to make sure that pupils pass their Grade 7 examinations? That is a policy statement.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Perhaps, let me concentrate on that part alone. The policy of the Government is, we want excellent education and the thrust of the Government is that all our learners, be it ECD up to university education have to attain the highest standard of education. Where I was referring to is a particular school that did not perform well. You need to interrogate what are the circumstances that led to that particular school not performing well. In terms of the general policy…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. I really sympathise with you Hon. Minister. The question did not refer to a particular school. The background was 24 primary schools that had a zero pass, not one school.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I hope I have satisfied the requirements of the question that - what is the policy? What I was referring to, the other part, I withdraw because it refers to a particular region with 24 schools or one school. It is not covered by policy; it is a particular region. Pertaining to the policy of Government, I hope I have satisfied what you want Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MAJOME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is referred to the Minister of Home Affairs – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Please proceed with your question.

HON. MAJOME: What is the Hon. Minister doing in order to ensure that Zimbabweans do indeed enjoy the right in Chapter III of the Constitution, to have access to passports, travel documents, birth certificates and national registration certificates as a right and not as a privilege as the Constitution requires?

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. MPOFU): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Majome for that question. It is the right of all national Zimbabweans to have national documents which include passports and the other documents that the Hon. Member referred to. We have even extended this right to aliens who would have stayed here for a long time. They can be supported by affidavits or recommendations from senior citizens within the community. I want to assure the Hon. House that the transformation that is going on now allows that right to all the citizens who want to acquire those documents. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. MAJOME: I thank the Hon. Minister for the response that does indicates that Government recognises that it is a right and not a privilege. My supplementary question is - is the Hon. Minister aware that …

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you please raise your voice?

HON. MAJOME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Is the Hon. Minister aware that very high numbers of Zimbabweans experience problems, that is barriers to accessing birth certificates, national identities and passports, some of which are the cost itself, for example passports and even the cost of replacing possibly lost identity documents and information. Thus, therefore, a vast majority of Zimbabweans just do not have those documents and have given up trying. Are you aware of that and what are you doing to ensure you remove those barriers so that everyone accesses them as a right.

HON. DR. MPOFU: I want to thank the Hon. Member. Again, the Hon. Member has proffered very constructive suggestions to the Ministry outside this august House. What she is saying is what we are dealing with. We are moving from the manual system of processing documents. I was there yesterday at the Department of Immigration and this morning, I was in another department. I intend to move to the Registrar General’s Office to ensure that we move from the manual system to the e-digital issuance of documents. The process is within the 100-Day Programme which His Excellency the President has actually set us to achieve. I agree with you Hon. Member and we are working on that. On e-passports, we are quite at an advanced stage. On e-visa, e-immigration and identity documents we are almost there and I can assure this Hon. House that this will have been achieved by – [AN HON. MEMBER: On e-voting?] – E-voting is a matter for the Ministry of Justice and I am talking about those that relate to my Ministry, Mr. Speaker. I thank you Hon. Member.

HON. NDEBELE: Is the Minister aware that the backlog for those citizens who are waiting for issuance of passports is growing each day and the Passport Office continuously requests those who apply for ordinary passports to top up. Is it Government policy to raise money by fleecing ordinary citizens? What is the Minister doing about that?

HON. DR. MPOFU: I want to thank Hon. Ndebele for raising that issue. We have challenges within the department that issues passports because of lack of foreign currency to import paper. The Zimbabwean passport, because of its quality whose paper requires imported material, we have had a challenge that we raised with the Ministry of Finance who has intervened and will be bringing in a paper to ensure that the backlog is addressed. As I said earlier on, I was there yesterday and have been assured that the backlog will be addressed as soon as the paper is available. As for the fleecing of applicants, perhaps the Hon. Member can share that with me so that I can address it. I am not aware of that. Thank you Mr. Speaker – [HON. NDEBELE: I can share with him.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: You do not share in this august House – [HON. NDEBELE: No, in the form of a question.] – You can visit his office and give him more details. Please take your seats. The Hon. Minister will be happy to be favoured with more information. I think he has got an open door policy at his office and you should be able to follow up with details pertaining to the issues that you raised with the Hon. Minister.

*HON. MACHINGAUTA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Local Government but in his absence, I will direct it to the Hon. Leader of Government Business, Hon. Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi. Hon. Minister, what is Government policy concerning the appointment of senior officials in the local authorities?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Minister, I do not think I understood the question, perhaps you did.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Please, can you repeat your question Hon. Member.

*HON. MACHINGAUTA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Maybe the Minister may not be able to respond to the question but my question is related to the appointment of senior officials within the local authorities because those people are important people in our societies. So, I wanted to know the policy with regards to the appointment of senior officials in local authorities.

*HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question on how senior officials in local authorities are appointed. There is a policy that is in place which is part of the Local Government Act. That is the Act that explains how those officials are appointed but at the end, it is then taken to the Minister who is consulted and appointments are then made. So, there is a policy that guides the appointment of such officials. I thank you.

*HON. MACHINGAUTA: My question Hon. Minister, is that on the policy that you have referred to for that appointment of such officials, we want to understand what that policy says because the people we are talking about such as the town clerks, chamber secretaries, and those that deal with the day to day lives of people in the area, you find that in other areas those people are not there and certain issues are not addressed in terms of social services. We would also want to know the period that can be taken for appointments to be made. If we go to our Constitution, Section 14, there is the issue of devolution and we want you to explain to us what the status quo is concerning appointment of such individuals to ensure that our service delivery system is improved in our nation.

*HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank him for repeating the question but the issue that he has requested is for me to explain the policy. It is difficult for me to come here and explain each policy and what it says. I have said that there is a policy, Hon. Speaker, that guides the appointment of such officials. That Act is open and free to everyone. Whoever wants it can buy and read, but if he faces challenges in the Act that are specific, he can come and ask me, but for me to explain what is in the Act, it is difficult.

Furthermore, that legislation was put in place by the MPs in this House, but now I am expected, as an individual, to come here and explain that piece of legislation. So, I request that he goes and gets a copy of that Act and when he has read and has sections he would want clarified, then I can assist him in understanding those sections. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Order! The Hon. Leader of Government Business is correct. Such a question is better dealt with under a written question so that the Minister concerned can then go into details of the law and give a comprehensive response. Thank you.

HON. MLISWA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Again? What is the point of privilege?

HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, first of all the Minister was supposed to respond according to the Constitution which is Section 274 which defines the role of the urban councils, how they should perform. So, I am trying to help him.

Secondly Mr. Speaker, does our Cabinet have any policy for Ministries, because I am very worried. Each time we come here we do not get specific answers in line with policy and so forth. So, each Ministry, does it have a policy because even when we sit down in our Committees, they seem to talk about there not being a policy and coming up with a new policy? Government is a government of order of documents. As the Minister was there, he was certainly reading from some document and when they leave they continue.

I am really serious Mr. Speaker, do our Ministers have policies which guide them on which way they should follow because once you have a policy then you come up with time frames of implementation. Each time we come to this august House to ask questions we are never given a time frame. We are told it is happening, it is happening. Some Ministers have gone and they have come back, so when is it really going to happen? So, the Leader of Government Business is here - when they are in Cabinet which policies are they talking about? Are there policies in place which guide this country? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Some of the questions that require response on policy, as I explained, need some research and such questions must be asked through written questions. To have a blanket statement to say Hon. Ministers do not have policies, I do not think that is fair an observation. So, if the Chair feels as I have done in the question asked by the Hon. Member there, the policy question is fine, but it requires research accordingly because it is a procedural matter and it would be wrong for the Hon. Leader of the House to mislead us here without coming up with something that has been researched.

HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker my point of clarity… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have ruled. You do not respond.

HON. MLISWA: My point of clarity is…

THE HON. SPEAKER: You do not respond. Please take your seat. Take your seats.

HON. CHIBAYA: All of us – [Laughter.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, all of you.

HON. ZINDI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development has just walked in. My question is, sometime last year we asked on the policy implementation in regards to pensions. Remember between the period 2008/2009 the pension for pensioners was eroded due to inflation and then Justice George Smith was appointed to head a commission and a report was produced. We were promised that the report was supposed to have been forwarded to the former President. So, we want to know what the position is in as far as that is concerned in terms of implementation.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUKUPE): Thank you for your question. The report was actually produced. We presented it to His Excellency the President, Emmerson Mnangagwa and the next step is that the report is actually being tabled before Cabinet. So, after it is tabled before Cabinet, that is when it is going to be made available to the public. I thank you.

HON. ZINDI: My supplementary question is, is it possible that we could get a time frame. I am asking for a time frame based on the experience of having raised this issue in this House sometime last year and it is yet to be tabled in the Cabinet for it to be then made public information, because people are anxious to know as they feel short- changed. They are anxious to know whether they are going to be compensated in terms of their pensions they are supposed to be receiving. So, the time frame is important. Is it possible the Minister gives this House assurance of time frame? Thank you.

HON. MUKUPE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Cabinet starts sitting on 6th February, so I cannot give any time frame until Cabinet sits. I thank you.

HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As a matter of fact I had a similar question related to the subject matter on the Order Paper, but now that it has been raised on Questions Without Notice, …

THE HON. SPEAKER: What are you saying?

HON. GONESE: I am coming up with; I do not know whether I can call it a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker Sir. As a matter of fact, I had a related question on the Order Paper, but now that the matter has been raised on Questions Without Notice - it was question number 38…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Why do you not wait until we get to that question?

HON. GONESE: From the way the Hon. Deputy Minister is responding, it is giving the impression that the Hon. Deputy Minister is not ready to respond. That is the reason why I felt it was appropriate at this point in time to raise the issue because in particular, Mr. Speaker…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member why do you not wait for question number 38, we will deal with it at that point.

HON. GONESE: Because I was going to raise it as a follow up since the question has already been asked.

THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no, wait for the written question.

HON. T. J. DUBE: Hon. Speaker Sir, my question is why it has taken so long to align the laws of the collaborators to the Constitution. This has been going on for too long, it seems to have been swept under the carpet now. Secondly, on war veterans, do you have any consideration of their pensions for the last 20 years? Those are the two questions Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. You did not indicate which Minister. I suspect – [AN HON. MEMBER: Ehe.] - Just a minute! Just a minute! I suspect that question it is directed to the Hon. Vice President, Rtd. General Dr. Constantino, G.D.N. Chiwenga who is in charge of war veterans [HON. MEMBERS: Guvheya.] –

THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT (RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA): Mr. Speaker Sir, can the Hon. Member repeat his full question.

THE HON. SPEKAER: Hon. Member, can you please repeat your question.

HON. T. J. DUBE: Hon. Speaker Sir, I said why has it taken so long for the alignment of the laws of the collaborators to the Constitution and secondly it has taken more than 20 years without revising the pensions for the war veterans?

THE HON. RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA: Mr. Speaker Sir, on the issue of alignment of laws as regards war collaborators, war veterans; the Hon. Member was the Minister recently – [ Laughter.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.

HON. RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA: However, Mr. Speaker Sir, the matter is receiving attention because there have been issues which had to be clarified in terms of what we mean by war collaborators, how should they be vetted, non-combatants, those who were in the refugee camps. We want these categories to be properly defined before they go to the Cabinet Committee on legislation. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

Hon. Zindi and others having stood up to ask supplementary questions.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Members you must follow the replies and the reply as far as the Chair is concerned was comprehensive.

HON. KWARAMBA: I am not satisfied Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you still not satisfied?

HON. KWARAMBA: Mr. Speaker, there is a part that he did not answer; the second part which talks about the review of pensions for war veterans.

THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT (RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker and let me thank the Hon. Member for asking that question. Everyone would want to see our ex-combatant receiving meaningful pensions but it has to do with what the nation can afford the capacity of generating wealth and revenue which in turn can then be disbursed. I hope this is what this august House and every Zimbabwean is trying to achieve and we would want not only for the war veterans but for every Zimbabwean, every pensioner to receive – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – a meaningful pension. Mr. Speaker Sir, as Government, we are seized with that matter – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.

HON. RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA: Mr. Speaker Sir, as Government, we are seized with that matter. We would want to see all our people, those working, those who are on pension receiving meaningful pensions, but that money has got to be generated and this is what we are all trying to do. I thank you Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question to the Hon.Vice President, Rtd. General Dr. Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga, [HON. MEMBERS: Dominic, Nyikadzino.] - [Laughter.] - My question is Vice President, different nations are known to understand that war veterans are known to maintain peace worldwide - be it in Vietnam, America, United Kingdom et cetera. Is it legal and as Government policy that for 37 years up to today we are still – I know you have been spearheading a very important programme of restoring legacy. Can the legacy be restored in 37 years when we keep postponing and saying that we are still looking into the issue? Do you not think this has affected the image of Government, especially when considering that what you are talking about does not have any timeline as to when we can get a response and also as to when the war veterans can get their pensions?

There is nothing as important as the war veterans, so, we want that to be addressed. In our opinion all other things can be suspended but the war veterans should be given a decent living – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

*THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT (RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA): I thank the Hon. Member for that question. Mr. Speaker Sir, let me respond to what the Hon. Member has asked. I wish that all of you would have the same spirit in this august House and suspend going to America and other areas that you have been to – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] [HON. MANDIPAKA: Supplementary, supplementary, supplementary!] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

Several Hon. Members having stood up to raise a point of order.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Can you sit down! Order, order. Can the Hon. Vice President approach the Chair?

The Hon. Vice President Rtd. General Dr. Chiwenga approached the Chair.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order. Hon. Mliswa. Hon. Mliswa! Order! Hon. Mandipaka, I said order can you sit down. Can you sit down? Order, order! I think it will be high time to ask some Hon. Members to get out of the House – [HON. MEMBERS: Starting with the Vice President.] –

Order, I have asked the Hon. Vice President to proceed to answer the question

*HON. RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I was still responding but when other Hon. Members stood up, I decided to take my seat in honour of this House. I understand that the rule says that when others stand up, you sit down.

I was saying that we need to understand the history behind that journey of the past thirty seven years that we have gone through. If we had worked together as a nation and not a divided people, we would not be talking about under development or poverty – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

Hon. Gonese having stood up to raise a point of order.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

*HON. MATUKE: I can see the Chief Whip from the opposite side has stood up.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you take a seat? Hon. Mandipaka, you had a supplementary question.

*HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections .] – I would like to …

HON. GONESE: I am rising on a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. With due respect to the Hon. Vice President, I think what is happening in this House is as a result of the words uttered by the Hon. Vice President wherein, in terms of responding to the question first, he cast aspersions on the character of our Hon. Vice President by making reference to going to America which had nothing to do with the genuine question which had been posed. The genuine question Mr. Speaker, related to the welfare of War Veterans which had not been raised. It is important for us not to act on emotions. It is unparliamentary for the Hon. Vice President to respond in the manner that he did. I think we must respect each other in this august House and in my respectful submission, it will be appropriate for the Hon. Vice President to be asked to withdraw that part where he made or made insinuations against Hon. Adv. Chamisa which were uncalled for.

The straight forward supplementary question related to the issue of timeframes where this issue was to be addressed. I was of the view that he should have stuck to that aspect and respond about the timeframes where this issue was going to be addressed instead of provoking pandemonium and chaos in this august House. That is the reason why I respectfully ask the Chair to ask the Hon. Vice President to withdraw and then we can proceed as normal. That is my submission.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! The Hon. Vice President is requested to withdraw that first part of the answer.

THE VICE PRESIDENT (HON. RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the matter is withdrawn but an arrow shot is a fly which has gone. Anyway,...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

Hon. Members having stood up.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Please sit down. Can we hear from Hon. Adv. Chamisa.

*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. The position of a Vice President is a very pertinent position and it leads to peace and also to unity within the country. What we request from the withdrawal that the Vice President has made, you know that in terms of our rules, if a Member is disappointed, he has a right to talk to you in that manner. The Vice President has withdrawn his statement but he has further added salt to injury when he said an arrow shot is a fly which is gone. This is a challenge because this is a man from the military who has spoken, but in the military set up, it might not mean anything because the Vice President is known as an esteemed and highly recognised Commander. Kana munhu arimugandanga mukuru achitaura zvakadai...– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

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

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you sit down Chief Whip, you do not do that. Hon. Adv. Chamisa, if you want to correct the darkroom of this House, you should not be equally guilty. You withdraw the statement of gandanga.

* HON. ADV. CHAMISA: I withdraw the term gandanga Mr. Speaker but I would want to give an alternative for that word. I withdraw that word but it was honorific. The Vice President is now saying ceasefire and that is what we expect from him. What I am saying is that words that intimidate are not good. It gives us a wrong image of our nation. So, we want the Vice President of the nation to be respected or honoured by the Vice President of the opposition so that we also honour him. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have not ruled. Thank you. Hon. Vice President, your withdrawal was accepted but the arrow aspect is frightening. It might have certain implications and so, if you could simply withdraw and carry on with your answer. They are frightened of the arrow.

THE VICE PRESIDENT (HON. RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I retrieve my arrow.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Vice President, did you have something else to say in response to the question.

THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT: No.

*HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is a supplementary question. Looking at the response that he gave, I realised that he was deeply troubled by the failure of Government. He expressed concern...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mandipaka, can you ask your supplementary question?

*HON. MANDIPAKA: I would want to pose a question to the Vice President to say that, is there policy that is being put in place by Government to deal with people who are still going to America to lobby for more sanctions? I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I dismissed that question.

HON. ZINDI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to our Vice President is to do with the pension or welfare of war veterans. With all due respect, I appreciate his response that the country does not have the financial capacity to make sure that war veterans have been rewarded for the task they undertook to liberate this country. With all due respect, we have seen chiefs being given vehicles…

THE HON. SPEAKER : Order, order. Hon. Member, can you ask a straight forward supplementary question.

HON. ZINDI : Yes, the question then is, can those plans also be put in place in order to make sure that war veterans’ welfare is also given a priority. I thank you.

HON. RTD. GEN. DR. CHIWENGA : I repeat again - not only to the Hon Member who has asked the question, but to all Members of Parliament; the matter for war veterans and all pensioners in this country is receiving the attention it deserves. I thank you.

HON. N. NDLOVU : My question is directed to the Minster of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. What is Government policy on people who are going around collecting voter registration serial numbers from the public? I understand they are infringing people’s right to privacy – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question which allows us to clarify certain issues. The process of voter registration is conducted by ZEC and before they conduct the process of voter registration, they are supposed to have a programme of voter education. In other words, what I am saying is that the voters have to be educated about the process that they are going through so that they appreciate what has happened and the consequences of what has happened if any.

What the Hon. Member is referring to is an issue that could have been addressed if everyone involved in the process; be it ZEC, political parties and civic society undertook the process of voter education because the process of collecting voter registration slips does not impact in any way in the voting process or in the electoral process. The process of voter education would empower the people so that they appreciate that those voter registration slips do not in any way impact on the electoral process.

However, what they have said, we have already indicated to ZEC that they have to scale up their voter education campaign so that the people understand the process and that those slips do not in any way impact on the electoral process and will not be used in the voting process. I thank you.

*HON. MUNENGAMI : I thank the Hon. Minister for the response. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is an important issue on what is happening in our nation concerning registration. It is not the mandate of ZEC to see to the submission of registration slips. What is happening now is the issue of intimidation that is being brought about by the way people are being forced to submit their voting slips. We have evidence of such things happening especially in Hon. Saruwaka’s constituency. This is happening in rural areas.

The issue that we are seized with – I request that if we do not do justice to this matter, it will not assist us at all because His Excellency the President said we want peaceful elections. So, if we want to evade this issue on what is happening, I have notified you that it is happening in rural and urban areas. There are people who are demanding registration slips.

My question to the Hon. Minister is - that what is it that he has put in place to ensure that this practice does not persist because since the day we raised this it seems like the situation has persisted. What has he put in place as a Ministry? I thank you.

*HON. ZIYAMBI : The Hon. Member has said that it is not the ZEC’s mandate but on Section 239 of the Constitution, preparations, implementation and also to see that elections are conducted free and fair, it is written in the Constitution that it is the mandate of ZEC. I said that we engaged ZEC and we agreed that those who are not comfortable with this situation should engage those who are doing this to stop the practice.

What I have said is that election preparation, implementation and supervision is the mandate of ZEC. ZEC is supposed to carry out the campaigns and should lead the process in educating the people that if there are people who are doing certain practices that might affect the credibility of elections, they should publicise this. That is why I said we need voter education for people to know how elections are run. We also need people to be aware on what can disturb elections. ZEC ensures that all this is done. As I said, we engaged ZEC that they should make people aware of what should be done and what should not be done when people are registering. I think I have done justice to the question. I thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

MINISTERS WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE

THE HON. SPEAKER : In case I was going to forget, Hon. Gonese raised the issue which Hon. Ministers tendered their apologies. The list is as follows:-

Hon. Kazembe Kazembe, Minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation; Hon. Rtd. Lt. Gen. Dr. S. B Moyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation; Hon. Chinamasa, Minister of Finance and Economic Development; Hon. Bimha, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development; Hon. Shiri, Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement and Hon. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate. Can you proceed now with your supplementary.

*HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question to our Minister is - what the ZANU PF people are doing moving door to door - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - we should not evade this issue because we need to correct issues. This is a known issue and is also in the media. We need to address this issue because the President said we are going to have free, fair and credible elections. Such issues which we may consider as small may affect the credibility of elections.

My question is, what the leadership of ZANU PF is doing in Zimbabwe as a whole moving door to door and taking down people’s serial numbers after they have completed voter registration, is it lawful? This is because to be forewarned is to be forearmed. In previous elections during the old Government, we faced a problem of people being removed from the Voters’ Roll –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you ask the question and not debate. I think you have asked the question.

*HON. ZWIZWAI: It is alright Mr. Speaker. I just wanted to elaborate. However, in the interest of time, I just want to know if what the leadership of ZANU PF is doing is lawful, getting into people’s homes and taking down serial numbers from people? I thank you.

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

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, because of the importance of the question now, our time is over quarter to four and in order to enable us to answer the question by the Hon. Minister, someone must have to move for the extension of time.

HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker I move for the extension of time for Questions Without Notice.

HON. RUNGANI: I object – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. GONESE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to pronounce myself in terms of the procedures. Time for Questions Without Notice had expired and there was a request for extension and there was an objection, so we cannot proceed. What is your point of order?

HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. When there is a question which has not been responded to, we do not need to ask for an extension of time, but it is like someone was in the middle of a sentence and it is quarter to 4 o’clock p.m. It will be ridiculous for the Speaker to interrupt someone who is answering – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – By the same token Mr. Speaker, the question had already been posed before the time expired and I believe that even if there is no formal extension of time, at least that question which had already been asked must be responded to but we cannot have any further supplementary question or new questions. That is my point of order Mr. Speaker. It will be flying in the face of logic for us to say that someone is in the middle of a response then it is quarter to 4 o’clock and he is interrupted. I do not think that there is any procedure which can allow for such a process. Therefore, I suggest that the question must be responded to but there will be no further supplementary or further questions.

THE HON. SPEAKER: It now behest me to make a ruling. The Hon. Minister was about to answer and after his answer, no further debate.

* THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question which I want to respond by saying; everyone, regardless of which political party they belong to, if they act unlawfully, there are police officers who are assigned to protect and ensure that the laws are not – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, do you want a reply or not?

HON. ZIYAMBI: So, if there are any unlawful actions being done during voter registration, the police officers will be there to do their work and arrest unscrupulous persons who disturb peace – [AN HON. MEMBER: Is it lawful?] - What is lawful in terms of voter registration is written in the Constitution – [HON. MEMBERS: Is what is happening lawful?] – If there is something that you notice is unlawful, the ZEC officials will be present for you and the police officers will also be there – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Lawful actions should therefore be followed which is according to the statutes – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. The Hon. Minister is clear, yes, let the police do their job. Thank you – [AN HON. MEMBERS: The question is, is it lawful?] – Order. The lawfulness of the issue will depend on police investigation. Thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

POLICY ON INFORMAL SECTOR WORKERS SOCIAL WELFARE

1. HON. MANGWENDE asked the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare to state the policy in place to cater for the Social Welfare of workers in the informal sector.

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. KAGONYE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you Hon. Mangwende for the question. My Ministry joined hands with the then Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and crafted an informal sector strategy which seeks to protect workers in the informal sector. This strategy was approved by Cabinet. The formalisation strategy policy, among other objectives, seeks to deal with decent work deficits in the informal sector. At the centre of the strategy is the deliberate desire to ensure that we create decent jobs in the informal sector as they transit to formal enterprises.

It is our hope therefore that this will advance opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Plans are also – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order. Can we please lower our whispers so that we hear what the Minister is saying? Can you please proceed?

HON. KAGONYE: Plans are also at an advanced stage for the inclusion of those in the informal sector under the social protection programmes, under the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) as we strive to ensure we have a social protection floor that covers all workers in Zimbabwe including those in the informal sector – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKR: Order Hon. Matangira with your colleague, please.

HON. KAGONYE: The Ministry is reorienting the inspectorate to ensure that they also cover the informal sector within the dispensation of the formalisation strategy. This will ensure that the fundamental rights as well as occupational safety and health of the workers in the informal sector is protected and guaranteed.

HON. MLISWA: On a point of privilege Madam Speaker. First of all, I want to bring to your attention once again, the non-commitment of the Members of Parliament from ZANU PF who are already moving out. They have no respect for the two Vice Presidents who are here. They were elected to represent people. They do not even have respect for the two Vice Presidents who are committed to the cause. I do not know how serious they are in discharging their duty.

Secondly Madam Speaker, there is the aspect of agriculture where there are no rains. It is important that the Minister of Agriculture and Lands gives us a Ministerial Statement pertaining to the mitigating measures he intend to take in view of that. I see us heading for a drought but it is up to him now to inform this House on the way forward pertaining to the climate conditions as I see all maize and crops are drying up and so forth. It is important that he issues that statement tomorrow. Madam Speaker, may you through your Chair, instruct that the Ministerial Statement be read out tomorrow so that people prepare for the worst.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank you Hon. Mliswa. To begin with the last one, I can see the Minister of agriculture is not in – ooh, there is the Deputy. Aaah, there is someone who is talking on the phone and I could not see the Hon. Deputy Minister. I think you hear the request of the House that a Statement be prepared to the House so that the whole country understands what is going to take place after there are no rains.

The first one is about our Hon. Members who are moving out after questions without notice. I think I request the Chief Whips to go around and see what the Hon. Members are going out to do. What are they going to do outside there? Can we please proceed with question number 2 – it seems Hon. Mackenzie is not in the House – [HON. MLISWA: He walked out again when he asked a question.] – it is now my duty Hon. Mliswa. You are now taking my job. Hon. Minister of Health, would you submit your answer to the Hansard.

GRANTING OF PERMITS TO PRIVATE PHARMACIES IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS

3. HON. ZHOU asked the the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House the criteria used to grant permits to private pharmacies in government hospitals like Harare General Hospital, Parirenyatwa and United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) and to further indicate who the issuing authority is.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Zhou for this very important question. Central Hospitals are run by Hospital Management Boards and these have put in place mechanisms to ensure that they deliver health services to the public. Generally, Central Hospitals have not been able to maintain acceptable availability levels for medicines due to fiscal constraints. The Boards explored solutions including establishment of private pharmacies operated by the hospitals, but this was abandoned due to the following reasons: Poor staff attitudes, there was negative stakeholder perception of creating a shortage in the main hospital pharmacy while concentrating on the cash pharmacy. There was also a shortage of pharmaceutical or pharmacist supervisors. Another option for a Private Public Partnership (PPP) were proffered as a private organisation to set up retail pharmacies within the premises of the hospital so that they pay rentals. There was some justification for this and this is being looked into. Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. MUSANHI: I want to ask the Minister of Health and Child Care whether he has received anything, to-date from the funds that were raised by the Minister of Finance for health funding, because we see no change on the drug supply.

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that supplementary question. We have had a Health Levy Fund where we take five cents of every dollar to those who are using cellphones. So if you phone and your bill is a dollar, we take five cents from there and put it into Health Levy Fund. To date, this has raised $22 million and we have taken up to $11 million, to date now, $16 million to purchase drugs and other accessories. These are now mostly, at the national pharmaceutical company. A lot of them have started being distributed. I am quite certain within the next few weeks, there will be a sizeable difference in terms of supply of medicines in our institutions. We are benefiting. The challenge that we have is that we could have used more money but the constrain has been foreign currency allocation. I thank you Madam Speaker.

DRUGS AND CONSUMABLES PURCHASED BY THE MINISTRY VIS-A-VIS PRIVATELY PURCHASED

4. HON T. ZHOU asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House how the hospital security personnel are able to distinguish drugs and consumables purchased by the Ministry from the ones that are privately purchased.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank again the Hon. Member for asking this very important question. When medicines are supplied or delivered to health institutions from suppliers, they are accompanied by a commercial document with invoice delivery notes which are matched against copies of purchase orders. Medicines purchased privately by relatives would bear the label with the name of the supplier. Those from the Ministry, should be packaged in hospital packages which would identify the hospital. For security, therefore, they would identify that this particular medicine has come from the institution. Madam Speaker, we believe that a lot pilferages that occur may be occurring this way, so we do need to put up systems that catch those particular pilfers.

*HON. T. ZHOU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to ask the Minister - can we use other health facilities like the Private Public Partnerships and have speciality services and surgeries like what is done at pharmacies to augment our medical field.

*HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Hon. Zhou, the issue of Private Public Partnership started long ago but it was not visible. We had started off by having hospital canteens and privatized those as well as the security. Those who wanted to do security we invited them to come and that began way back in 1990, but now we are going towards services that are very commercial such as pharmacies. We did that with Chitungwiza Hospital and we have now got to a stage whereby we want to make an evaluation to see whether it is benefiting the hospital and the people or it is only benefiting those who are investing.

So, we have suspended the private public partnerships at present. The question that you have asked Hon. Zhou, we are waiting for a review of the documentation to see whether we should expand this programme or suspend it. We are waiting for that report to make an informed decision as to whether we can continue with public private partnerships.

HON. DR. LABODE: Mr. Speaker, going back to the private public partnership at Chitungwiza, Minister I do not know how you are reviewing because I think the people who should tell us whether that institution is working for them is the poor person in Chitungwiza who has no access to Chitungwiza Hospital and there is no other hospital. The only hospital yaanayo yave private. If we are reviewing, let us not look at how much money Chitungwiza has made. Let us look at whether the people from Chitungwiza can afford to go to Chitungwiza Hospital. We know there is an influx of people from Chitungwiza coming to Harare Hospital because they have no access to Chitungwiza. So in your review, please can you ensure that you protect and ask the ordinary Chitungwiza person whether they actually have access to the institution, not how nice it looks, no. Thank you.

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: I want to thank Hon. Ruth Labode for her observation. That is why we are reviewing it. We want to see if it is benefiting the majority of our people or whether it is benefiting the investor. We are well in line and we will be asking the consumers whether they are benefiting from this. I thank you.

REPAIR OF THE DYSFUNCTIONAL CT SCAN AT MPILO GENERAL HOSPITAL

5. HON. ZHOU asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House the measures that the Ministry has put in place to ensure that the dysfunctional C.T. Scan that was installed at Mpilo General Hospital fifteen years ago and broke down after working for only less than six months, is repaired so as to provide health services at a

lower cost.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Again, let me thank Hon. Zhou for this very important question about scans. The C.T Scan at Mpilo Central Hospital, which was a very old one was replaced by a new one. We also were supplied with a second one under the Zimbabwe-China Loan Agreement. This particular unit, the Chinese one has been commissioned and the users are now being trained on how to use it properly, but we are quite certain that these two scans will provide the services that are needed for Mpilo Hospital. There are mammogram machines at all our central hospitals which were procured by the National Aids Council in 2017. For screening at lower level hospitals and clinics, we are going to be riding on the cervical cancer programme. The Ministry has no active screening programme for breast cancer at the moment.

CURBING OF ILLICIT IMPORTATION OF DANGEROUS DRUGS

6. HON. THEMBANI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House what the Ministry is doing to curb the illicit importation of dangerous drugs into the country.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking this important question on the illicit importation of dangerous drugs into the country. The Ministry, through the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) is empowered by the Medicines and Allied Substance Control (Import and Export of Medicines) Regulations, SI 57 of 2008 to control the importation of medicines in and out of the country. This has seen the designation of seven (7) ports of entry for medicines to enable control of illicit trade in medicines through porous ports. Legitimate importers are granted permits to import specific medicines listed on their permit and when consignments of imported medicines arrive at designated ports of entry, they are verified by the MCAZ inspectorate or trained port health authorities such as port health authorities we see at our borders.

The system ensures that only legitimate importers are cleared at the seven designated border posts. Medicines that try to enter the country through non-designated border posts will be refused entry. However Madam Speaker, the real challenge is smuggling of medicines and illicit drugs. Smuggling by its clandestine and criminal nature is difficult to detect and control. This problem transcends the mandate of a single Ministry and we jointly respond through Home Affairs, Justice, local authorities and civil society to curb the indiscipline that is targeting the core society, especially the young and therefore, the health of our nation.

Our Ministry however, enlists the expertise of CID Drugs Squad in curbing smuggling and trade in medicines and illicit drugs in illicit channels. Joint MCAZ and CID Drugs Squad blitz enforcement activities in illicit channels like street markets and flea markets have been undertaken and culprits brought to book. However, the existing penalties have not proven to be sufficient deterrents to repeat or would-be offenders.

We have also supported initiatives to increase public awareness on the dangers of drug abuse and purchasing of medicines from unauthorised sources. Public awareness campaigns have emphasised on communities taking charge of their health. The initiatives include Pharmacists against Drug Abuse (PADA). This is a multiple-stakeholders arrangement to increase awareness of the dangers of drug abuse and illicit trade and advocacy for stiffer penalties for offences related to illicit drugs and selling of medicines in illicit trade markets.

There is a forum in place for quarterly National Management Meetings for all the levels from district to central hospitals, including uniformed forces and information of stockholding with offers of excess stocks and redistribution modalities being made. Furthermore, ICTs have been exploited and electronic media deployed across all levels. Monitoring mechanisms continue to be strengthened to ensure implementation.

HON. MUSANHI: My supplementary question is, given that the country has a serious shortage of foreign currency, why are we not importing raw materials to support the local facilities we have in the country to manufacture drugs.

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Let me thank the Hon. Member for that follow up question. It is true that we really have a shortage of medicines and we need to import more, particularly if we can bulk purchase them that would help us a lot. If you bulk purchase it is much cheaper, but the real answer is to be able to manufacture a lot of our own drugs in this country. Unfortunately, a lot of the raw materials that we need for manufacturing actually need foreign currency also. So, in the end it comes back to the issue of resources and foreign currency being wanted.

*HON. PHIRI: My supplementary question is on the issue that the Minister has admitted that there is an influx of illicit drugs and most of our young people, if you go to high density areas, you find them taking those and they are under the influence of those drugs. Most of them, nowadays you find them in hospital and having psychiatric disorders. I am sure most Hon. Members in this House know quite a number of children who are psychiatric cases. My question is, do you think the Government is doing enough to curb this serious menace that has befallen our children. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): I agree with the Hon. Member that a lot needs to be done to assist our children who are now under the influence of drugs and substances like musombodhiya and glue. This cannot be done by the Ministry of Health and Child Care or the Government alone, but it needs a collective approach by the NGOs, the family and community. So, we need to work together.

The issue of drugs - it is true that it has psychological effects. So, let us assist each other as a nation, not just Government, but a collective approach towards the fight of drug abuse. I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE: My question is with respect to aphrodisiacs that are flooding Fifth Avenue and I think that it is a fact that the blitz that you referred to Hon. Minister, has never visited that place. If it is the CID Drug Squad, then they are possibly the suppliers themselves. Therefore, is it possible to reinforce that maybe, by enlisting the assistance of the army because young men, way younger than me, whose virility should not be under question, are using drugs. Almost every airtime dealer, including females, is also in the business of selling these drugs.

DR. PARIRENYATWA: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that observation. It is true and let us warn each other that aphrodisiacs which are drugs meant to enhance your virility, especially among men when they want to sustain or to start an erection, sometimes they use these aphrodisiacs but they are not always safe. Usually, if you obtain them from streets or from unregistered handlers, then it becomes doubly dangerous. It can affect your heart. Some people actually can collapse after taking those aphrodisiacs and I am aware that it is true that they are being peddled in the streets. So, yes, the appropriate action, I am not sure about just involving the army, but I think it is the whole community again, to make this awareness especially in schools and night clubs because this is where I think people also get this stimulation. So, we really need to have a movement and I believe that it is a correct observation. Thank you Madam Speaker.

ELECTRIFICATION OF EMGANWINI IN NKETA CONSTITUENCY

20. HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House when ZESA is going to electrify Ward 26 at Emganwini in the Nketa Constituency of Bulawayo.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question and would like to inform him and the House that the areas in question could be Emganwini, Masotsheni, Marula or Mbundani. All the four areas are partially electrified.

Madam Speaker, the rate of electrification country wide is being affected by the availability of financial resources. The material, especially conductors and transformers, that had been procured for network expansion have had to be used to restore electricity supplies to areas affected by vandalism. Vandalism of lines and transformers has recently increased and the ZETDC is battling to maintain electricity supplies to its existing customers. Not only is vandalism a dastardly drain, but it is a serious drain on resources which could have been used in areas which are currently not serviced with electricity. Equally, it is difficult to plan because no sooner is power equipment installed than it is vandalised and thus needs to be replaced. Alarmingly, Madam Speaker, it is replaced and soon after it is vandalised yet again, thereby setting in motion a vicious circle.

Madam Speaker, there are a lot of reticulation and electrification projects country wide which are at various stages of construction that are being affected by resource constraints. As a result, ZETDC is currently pursuing a scheme that involves contributions by beneficiaries of the network. These schemes take time to produce results as communities must buy into them first and then start making contributions in cash or materials. Please note that in the past, such projects were funded by grants and loans that have been difficult to secure lately.

Madam Speaker, efforts are being done by ZETDC to procure materials to complete current projects (work-in-progress) and then to expand the network into new areas. Accordingly, it is anticipated that meaningful progress in Ward 26 will be noticed during the period June to September, 2018. I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. NDEBELE: Mr. Speaker, if you may indulge me, I appreciate what the Minister has said about vandalism making it a battle for ZESA to rectify lost supply of power to customers. My concern is about turnaround time. What is the minimum number of months that customers should expect ZESA to restore supply? I speak with reference to Shashani Secondary in Ngezi that has gone for six years with a broken down transformer. This has resulted in the Ministry of Education moving away the only teacher that was there to teach computers because without electricity, there was no point. I have also taken this all the way to the top management at ZESA. If such things do not speak to the deliberate exclusion of Matabeleland, then what does Hon. Minister? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your question was very good from the beginning but that last part.

HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO: Madam Speaker, my Ministry covers the entire country and therefore the challenges we face in the Ministry are challenges which affect the entire country. The major challenge I said earlier to my answer to Hon. Masuku is that we are faced with financial resource problems and of course transformers as the Hon. Member has asked in his supplementary are not manufactured here. If they are, very few are, but we have to import the raw materials for those transformers, which raw materials are in short supply. On the importation; we have already done that for transformers to come into the country and is underway. I am aware that those companies which worn the tender to import them are struggling also with foreign currency problems as I speak but they are doing their best to bring them. This is why I say in answer to Hon. Masuku earlier that we are encouraging those who can bring them on their own, we can compensate them and this is the scheme we are working on as well.

Bear with us that there is no area we are neglecting. We are taking this as a serious matter affecting the entire country. I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. NDEBELE: With all due respect Madam Speaker, I do not want a one-on-one with the Minister but kindly allow me to state that transformers are indeed manufactured in this country as well as in Bulawayo. Whenever one wants to be connected privately, they are asked to purchase a transformer but immediately there is no compensation for that and immediately the transformer becomes the property of ZESA. Let me take this opportunity to implore the Minister to kindly look into the Shashani Secondary School issue because more than four times after the Shashani transformer broke down; barely a kilometer away, the DA’s Transformer broke down and it has been replaced four times ahead of the school.

HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO: Madam Speaker, if transformers were manufactured in this country, there will be no need for importation – [HON. NDEBELE: They are manufactured here.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no. Hon. Member we do not operate that way. I allowed you to stand up and speak but now you cannot shout at the Minister. Hon. Minister, I think the Hon. Member is saying he can tell you where.

HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO: I will invite him to my office that we go together to all those areas where they are manufactured.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister.

ELECTRIFICATION OF MARANATHA SUBURB IN HARARE WEST CONSTITUENCY

21. HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House when Maranatha suburb in Harare West Constituency will be electrified after residents supplied poles and other materials?

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank again the Hon. Member for the question and I would like the House to note that ZETDC which is our transmission and distribution company, a subsidiary of ZESA, has already the construction of the high voltage network and expects to complete the work within two weeks. We hope to secure transformers from ZENT and energize the network within four weeks, ZENT has ordered some transformers and we expect them to expedite this challenge.

However, Madam Speaker or Madam President, Mr. President Sorry – [ Laughter.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to inform the House, my apologies Mr. Speaker – [THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): That is ok.] – I had not noticed that you were there. I would like to inform the House as I have said that the ZETDC has already started the construction of the high voltage network and expects to complete the work within two weeks. We hope to secure transformers as I have indicated from ZENT and energize the network within 4 weeks. However, I should mention that connections to the houses will depend on the availability of prepaid metres, which at the moment, are in short supply due to foreign currency challenges. We expect to connect 30 thousand prepaid metres by the end of April 2018 under the 100 days Rapid Results Initiative (RRI).

Further, the Regulatory Authority, ZERA is licensing private agencies who will sell prepayment meters to the public under the Customer Supplied Meter Scheme. Under this scheme, ZETDC will set a maximum amount of money to be reimbursed to customers by crediting their accounts for the cost of meters. This programme will augment the meters to be supplied by the two companies which won the tender; that is Paramount and Solutions for Africa (SFA). These companies have already been contracted by ZETDC to supply 130 000 prepaid meters. To date, Paramount has delivered only 14 166 prepaid meters with a remaining balance of 75 834 prepaid meters. SFA has delivered 20 000 prepaid meters with a remaining balance of 20 000 prepaid meters again. All these constraints are due as I said earlier, to foreign currency scarcity. We hope that as we have discussed with the Governor of the Reserve Bank, we shall at some stage, see the speeding up of the production of these prepaid meters. I thank you.

HON. MLISWA: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I say this in a very serious manner – that this whole nation expects us to be working in this new dispensation. I did implore that the Chief Whips of the two parties ensure that Members of Parliament are here. This information on energy is critical to their constituencies but they are not here. I even say that the two Vice Presidents are sitting here but still there seems to be no discipline.

I tend to invoke Standing Order Number 56 so that a quorum can be there. As a result, I am going to invoke that now so that people learn that they must come to Parliament. If they are not in Parliament, it is important that the Chief Whips call them to a Caucus of their parties and whip them because this is uncalled for unnecessary wasting of tax payers’ money. As a result, Standing Order Number 56 calls that the quorum be 70. May Hon. Members present be counted. I thank you.

[Bells rung.]

[Quorum formed.]

DAMAGED BRIDGES AND ROADS COUNTRY-WIDE

23. HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to appraise the House on the capacity of the Ministry to repair damaged bridges and roads in the country; and to state whether there is any collaboration with the Zimbabwe Military Engineers Company in that regard.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, the roads sector has the technical capacity to carry out repairs to all the damaged bridges and roads in the country. This capacity is harnessed from the private sector and Government arms namely the Department of Roads, DDF, Urban Councils and Rural District Councils.

During the on-going emergency road rehabilitation works, local private contractors were engaged to carry out repairs where Government agencies did not have the technical capacity. An example is the repair of the Nkankezi Bridge approaches which was done by a local contractor. Zimbabwe Military engineers have also assisted with technical expertise to put up temporary bailey bridges. The speed at which repairs are being carried out is limited by the finances that have been mobilised to date. I thank you.

MEASURES TO ADDRESS FAILURE TO OBSERVE THE HIGHWAY CODE BY COMMUTER OMNIBUS DRIVERS

24. HON. THEMBANI asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture to explain the measures that the Ministry has put in place to address the issue of commuter omnibus drivers who do not observe of the highway code and drive recklessly leading to the loss of lives on the roads; and to further explain how the Ministry will deal with conductors and touts who recklessly hang on the commuter omnibus bumpers.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU): The Ministry of Home Affairs is concerned with commuter omnibus drivers who disregard the Highway Code and flout the road traffic rules and regulations willy-nilly. Let me make it clear that all commuter omnibus drivers just like any other drivers are supposed to observe all road rules.

The issue of reckless driving is mainly an attitude problem amongst our drivers, hence the police regularly conduct awareness campaigns to educate drivers on the need to observe road rules and regulations. We also educate passengers and the motoring public to report reckless driving through the Police National Complaints Desk or provincial hotline, WhatsApp numbers, the Ministry or ZRP websites.

The police as a law enforcement agent always arrest any driver found driving recklessly on our roads. Where necessary, the police will make follow ups to arrest errant drivers. Whilst the police continue to arrest these drivers on a daily basis, we feel at times the fines are not deterrent enough.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police has always dealt with conductors and touts who recklessly hang on the commuter omnibus bumpers through arresting the offenders and normally make them pay fines or appear in court. Currently, there is an operation which is being conducted in Harare called ‘Operation Sunshine City’ which is aimed at arresting errant drivers and touts. In dealing with the menace, the police work in partnership with stakeholders such as Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and local authorities. The police also make traffic enforcement deployments along highways and feeder roads to ensure that road rules and regulations are observed. Regular operations are carried out to arrest errant drivers and touts and the owners of the vehicles will be called to account for the actions of their drivers.

On average, police are arresting 50 touts per day in Harare and in most cases, they pay deposit fines of $20 per individual and go back on the street. Recently, some touts were arrested and were sentenced for three months in prison. However, we feel the law should be tightened so that deterrent sentences can be imposed on anyone found hanging on bumpers of moving vehicles.

Police are conducting awareness campaigns on the dangers of hanging on vehicles’ bumpers. However, members of the public are urged to report anyone found flouting road rules and regulations to the police on the following numbers; Harare Operations (04) 748836 or Bulawayo Operations (09) 885479. In dealing with this menace, police officers are at a disadvantage as most of them would be on foot whilst trying to deal with moving vehicles. Owners of commuter omnibuses are also urged to reign in their drivers at all times to ensure order on the roads. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for the answer but my question borders on the thousand vehicles being registered each month and there is 1.5 million motor vehicles nationally. How far has the Hon. Minister gone in terms of computerising law enforcement in the traffic section and also crime detection in the same way? This is because if we had to employ traffic policemen, we would employ more than 1.5 million to police that automobile. So, how far have we embraced technology in order to avoid the delinquent behaviour of the motorist?

HON. DR. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question. The registration of vehicles is the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport, but we collaborate on policing the behaviour of motorists. That is where we come in and as I indicated earlier on, we are currently modernising the operations of our police services. I can assure the Hon. Member and indeed this House that funding permitting, we will certainly want to modernise the operations of the police and also the tracing of vehicles that are not supposed to be on the road.

It is quite an exercise. Harare has had an increase into the traffic due to various reasons. I think even Bulawayo and many of our major cities have experienced an increase of vehicles in the cities. So, together with the Minister of Transport, I think we have to agree on a process that will ensure that we stamp down all those illegal operators within our streets. Thank you Hon. Speaker.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

DOCTOR FOR SIAKOBVU HOSPITAL

2 HON. MACKENZIE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care when Siakobvu Hospital will have a doctor given the fact that two years have elapsed since renovations on the doctor’s house were done.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): The province is failing to get doctors who are willing to go to Siakobvu because of the following:

1. Infrastructure: the hospital infrastructure is inadequate and dilapidated that no doctor is willing to go to Siakobvu as this limits their practice.

2. Erratic electricity supply: the hospital sometimes goes for three months without electricity.

3. Poor road network: the road that links Siakobvu to Kariba is very bad and the boat has not worked for years. This makes the area hard to reach with no significant hardship allowance.

4. Lack of social amenities:

a. There are no social amenities noting that most of the doctors are young.

b. No good schools nearby for their children.

5. Private practice: there are no opportunities for locum and private practice.

6. Plans are underway to recruit a doctor/manager with a passion for improving undeserved areas/remote areas.

I have visited Siakobvu Hospital and we are busy reviving the proper running of the hospital.

SHORTAGES OF PRE-PAID METERS

19. HON. S. CHIDHAKWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to appraise the House on the steps that the Ministry is taking to alleviate shortages of pre-paid meters.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. AMB. S. K. MOYO): I would like to inform the House that since 2012 when the prepaid meter installation Programme started, 610 341 metres have been installed as of 8 December, 2017. Two companies, Paramount and Solutions for Africa (SFA) were awarded contracts to supply 90 000 metres and 40 000 metres respectively in 2015. To date, Paramount has delivered 14 166 metres with a balance of 75 834 metres remaining while SFA delivered 20 000 metres with a balance of 20 000 metres remaining.

Foreign currency allocation from the RBZ remains a major challenge on the implementation of the prepayment metering programme. Letters of Credit (LCs) were drafted and Afreximbank engaged RBZ to discuss the LCs. Batches of 20 363 metres from Paramount and 9 000 metres from SFA are ready to be airlifted once the RBZ approves the relevant Letters of Credit.

Further, a tender was floated on 16th October, 2017 by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) for the expression of interest from companies which can supply prepaid meters to individuals. Under this Customer-Supplied Meter Programme, ZETDC will set a maximum amount of money to be reimbursed to customers by crediting their accounts for the cost of the metres. There will be a compelling need to select only a few companies who can be monitored to minimise corruption and unlawful installation of these metres. Regulations to manage this process will soon be promulgated through a relevant Statutory Instrument.

Madam Speaker, when we had adequate forex, we were installing a good 4 000 prepaid meters per week. Regrettably, the situation has changed now with a few hundred meters being installed per week. As indicated above, we shall continue exploring other ways and means of procuring these meters so as to effectively meet the demand.

REMARKING OF ROADS COUNTRY-WIDE

22. HON. CHIDHAKWA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House what plans are there in place to re-mark roads in the country considering that some markings are no longer visible at night.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry is carrying out the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme which is addressing the state of the roads country-wide. Provision for road markings has been made in the programme as it is one of the safety features that we prioritise in road maintenance. For example, Enterprise Road has been recently resealed and carriageway markings have been done.

Further to that, the Department of Roads acquired a state of the art road marking machine which is currently being used in Mashonaland West Province along Darwendale Road. Plans are underway to procure two more road marking machines to cover other provinces.

MUGGINGS OCCURRING IN BROAD DAY LIGHT AROUND CHINHOYI STREET AND THE GULF COMPLEX

25 HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture to explain measures being taken to curb acts of muggings occurring in broad day light in areas around Chinhoyi Street and the Gulf Complex and to identify the police post that service the areas.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU): Mr. Speaker Sir, the area around Chinhoyi Street and Gulf Complex is generally characterized by commuter omnibus termini, flea markets, vendors and other individuals who conduct their informal businesses on the streets. The area is generally congested.

It is true that some members of the public have fallen victims to thefts and other dubious deals conducted in the area. The ZRP deploys police officers both in uniform and civilian attire to patrol and arrest criminals. Police presence to a certain extent deters these criminals from engaging in their nefarious activities. The police also conduct awareness campaigns to alert members of the public on issues pertaining to common crimes such as mugging, pick pocketing and plain robbery that occur in the mentioned area.

As a proactive measure and to be more effective, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has established police bases around the city centre of Harare to improve police visibility. For purposes of accessibility to the police services, a police base was established at Market Square bus terminus and is manned by police officers 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

One major challenge that the police face in this area is the dense population compared to police presence. Resources permitting, consideration will be made to deploy more officers.

PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT GIVEN BY POLICE OFFICERS TO MOTORISTS WITH VEHICLES BEARING ZANU PF INSIGNIA

26. HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture to explain the reason behind the preferential treatment given by police officers to motorists with vehicles bearing ZANU PF insignia when enforcing traffic laws along the roads.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU): The ZRP is mandated under Section 219 of the Constitution to detect, investigate, prevent crime, maintain law and order, uphold the Constitution and enforce the law without fear or favour .

It is against this background that the ZRP enforces the law without fear or favour regardless of race, colour, creed or political party. It is also in the interest of ZRP to be furnished with specific details where the police have discriminated in favour of or against individuals or political parties during traffic enforcement duties. Currently, we do not have any cases of that nature that have been reported to the police and once we receive such complaints, they will be investigated expeditiously.

Let me also point out to this august House that the ZRP has since reduced the number of roadblocks on our roads in line with the new administration’s vision of promoting peace, security and economic development.

UPDATE ON A CAR CRASH WHICH OCCURRED ALONG LOMAGUNDI ROAD RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF THE LATE MR WASHINGTON MANDEBVU

27. HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture to give an update on a car crash which occurred along Lomagundi Road in Harare, resulting in the death of the late Me. Washington Mandebvu and was reported at Avondale Traffic Section on 14th September, 2017, as Case No. RRB 3304661.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU): Mr. Washington Mandebvu aged 57 years, was killed in a fatal road traffic accident which occurred on 14th September 2017 at around 1330 hours, at the intersection of Lomagundi Road and Fordham Avenue, Avondale, Harare, when his Toyota Vitz, Registration Number CAN 4283 was involved in a head on collision with a Toyota Hiace commuter omnibus, Registration Number ADZ 2613 which had two passengers on board.

The other party, Daniel Duri aged 27 years was arrested and is being charged with various offences which include;

i. Contravening Section 49 of the Criminal Law [Codification and Reform] Act, Chapter 9:23 - “Culpable Homicide”.

ii. Contravening Section 12 of the Road Motor Transportation Act 01/97 - “No passenger insurance”.

iii. Contravening Section 12 of the Road Motor Transportation Act 01/97 – “No route authority”.

iv. Contravening Section 13 of the Road Motor Transportation Act 01/97 – “No certificate of fitness”.

v. Contravening Section 13 [4] as read with Section 7 of the Road Traffic Act 13:11 –“No medical certificate”.

vi. Contravening Section 15 [1] of the Public Service Vehicle Drivers Statutory Instrument 129 of 2006 – “ No retest”.

vii. Contravening Section 4 [b] of the Public Service Vehicle Drivers Statutory Instrument 168 of 2006 – “No defensive certificate”.

The docket which is pending trial was forwarded to the court on 23 rd January, 2018 after a delay in getting a post-mortem report from the Government Medical Officer. The post-mortem report was received by the police on 22nd January, 2018. It is in the interest of this august House to consider formulating deterrent laws which assist to curb fatal road traffic accidents on our roads as most of these commuter omnibus drivers do not respect road rules and regulations. They are defiant and disobey lawful orders given by police officers on the roads.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER, in terms of Standing Order Number 64

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am also informed that we have got two Ministers who would want to give Ministerial Statements. I do not know whether they are still around.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

CHOLERA ALERT

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to give a Ministerial Statement on Cholera to Parliament. Hon. Speaker, cholera outbreak has been reported in Chegutu Municipality in Mashonaland West province and this was reported on the 18th January, 2018. To date, there are 65 suspected cases, three confirmed cases, three probable cases and we have had four deaths. We think the index case, when we say index we mean the first case was an eight year old female who succumbed to the disease at home on the 8th of January 2018 after she had been to a private clinic, was discharged and she died at home.

Subsequently, people who attended this initial funeral and other subsequent funerals linked to the initial case started presenting for treatment at the hospital. Now, it is a cholera treatment centre. A cholera test was done on the 19th of January, 2018 on one of the deceased and it confirmed cholera vibrial ogawa. Two other samples also tested positive for the same strain of cholera. All these tests were confirmed by our National Micro-Biology Reference Laboratory.

May I remind the House that Chegutu district was one of the districts worst affected by the 2008/2009 cholera outbreak. So, it is on the minds of the people of Chegutu so much. On the 8th of January 2018, an eight year old female sought treatment from a private clinic for diabetes, hypertension and watery diahorrea and was sent home where she later died the same day.

On the 9th of January 2018, a home funeral in the community was done where three men were tasked with the burial ritual. I must say that this is a religious group. So, they have got a special way of treating their own burial rights. On the 13th, a second death of a 47 year old man who participated in the burial ritual also died. This particular patient presented to the hospital four days after falling ill and this was a big delay.

A third death of a 72 year old male who also participated in the ritual occurred...

HON. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. This is a Ministerial Statement on cholera which Members of Parliament asked for. In my count, we do not seem to have a full quorum again and I mean this. We implore the Hon. Ministers to come up with Ministerial Statements and this issue of cholera can be in your own constituency. As a result, I am invoking once again Standing Order 56 for every Member of Parliament to be here so that they listen to this statement. I thank you.

[Bells rung.]

[Quorum formed.]

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA (speaking)… the fourth death was of a 71 year old male which occurred on the 18th January and whose funeral was partially supervised on the 19th January, 2018. It is very critical to note that all these suspected cases are all linked to funerals that occurred in the locality. Chegutu Municipality has critical shortage of water due to ageing water reticulation infrastructure like most towns in Zimbabwe and this need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. When clean water is pumped, it tends to mix with sewer due to constant breakdown of water and sewer reticulation infrastructure. This is not happening in Chegutu alone but in many other cities and towns, including Harare. The old infrastructure can no longer cope with the huge influx of people now depending on this old ageing infrastructure which was constructed a long time back.

There is rampant vending in undesignated places, including selling of meat and fruits on pavements. People buy and eat all this on the streets in unhygienic conditions, putting themselves at risk of cholera and other diarrheal and enteric diseases such as typhoid. People should desist from eating foods cooked or prepared in unhygienic conditions. We encourage people to practice good hygiene practices – to wash hands before eating food, to wash hands after visiting the toilet and to wash hands after changing nappies. We urge people to drink safe water which should have been boiled or treated with appropriate treatment chemicals.

Let us also avoid big gatherings during outbreaks such as this one. You are aware that certain church gathering are going to be happening this weekend and we are urging that you inform the Ministry of Health and Child Care so that they are properly supervised and education is given to the people who come to those funerals. We are going to give those particular gatherings particular conditions that they must follow before they can gather. In other words there must be sufficient water, sanitary facilities and funerals should be supervised by health workers.

A recent assessment conducted by my team at the Ministry as well as the City of Harare went to Matapi Flats which I also visited to assess the drivers of typhoid which are the same as those of cholera revealed that the conditions of living for that community at Matapi are extremely deplorable. At Matapi Flats and other flats in Mbare there is human waste, burst sewer pipes, uncollected refuse, litter, rampant vending in undesignated areas of all sorts of food that is taking place. In Matapi people stay there it is absolutely overcrowded and we also managed to quantify in monetary terms what is needed for the time being for repairing of the ageing infrastructure at Matapi Flats, especially sewer pipes, toilets, washing areas and we only need between $16 000 to $25 000. This is something that can be done and will not cost more than $500 000 to the complete the whole infrastructure at Matampi and in Mbare.

The Ministry’s National Response Team were last week conducting cholera prepared assessments at Chirundu and Kariba border posts. We were concerned and we remain concerned that the huge number of travelers to and from Lusaka, Zambia where a huge cholera outbreak has been reported could spread to this country. It was paramount that we put in place screening mechanisms at these borders for travellers to quantify the needs in the event of cases occurring there and also to put temporary holding camps or treatment camps at the appropriate border places. We are also putting commodities and sensitising other Government departments on cholera.

The multi sectoral team and committees have been activated at these border posts and are functional. They meet daily to deliberate on control measures at border posts including Victoria Falls. At Victoria Falls in particular, we have made sure that there has been some drastic action that has been taken where vendors and cross borders come to Zimbabwe from Zambia and we have discouraged that movement for the time being.

Action taken so far to contain outbreak in Chegutu – all the provinces in the country have been put on high alert to cholera and are holding task force meetings in preparation for any cases that may occur in their localities. A treatment camp closer to where the patients are coming from has been set up at Chinengundu clinic in Chegutu. Those that are sick or have signs and symptoms of cholera illness are encouraged to come for screening and treatment. Supplies are being mobilised and transported to the treatment camp and these include adequate IV fluids, antibiotics, disinfectants and other necessary accessories. We have had support from MSF, UNICEF and from other stakeholders and donors.

The preparation and consumption of food at funerals and other gatherings should be supervised by health workers. We urge the population especially in the cholera affected areas to avoid shaking of hands during gatherings to avoid the spread of cholera. We are aware that our custom here in Zimbabwe tinobatana maoko – kubva watobata maoko chaizvo but sometimes that is vehicle of spreading the cholera germs.

Active surveillance including contact tracing of persons who attended funerals of the cholera deaths are being followed up in Harare and other areas. I must add here that when these people died because there was a particular religious sect, there are people who came from all over. Some came from Harare, Chitungwiza, Epworth and attended this funeral. That was the danger that is what we feared that when they left that funeral they could cede that cholera elsewhere. We are following up on those particular people who have gone to Epworth and Mabvuku to make sure that if they have got any symptoms, we are able to manage them.

Control of food vending in undesignated areas is being enforced in Chegutu including inspection of food premises. They have started water tracking with the help of a mining company in the area so that people have clean water for drinking. They bring these big bowsers of water and we are hoping that they can put them into water bladders so that the people there are serviced.

The District Civil Protection Committee in Chegutu has been activated and meetings are being held twice daily and are being chaired by the District Administrator to tackle the cholera outbreak. I must congratulate the Hon. Member for Chegutu who was always with us, Hon. Dexter Nduna – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – he has been with us and worked very hard. The Provincial Medical Director of Mashonaland West Province and his team are on the ground to render support to control this particular cholera outbreak.

The National Response Team which is based here in Harare is also on the ground in Chegutu with the Province and some of the people are here in the House to support us; Dr. Phiri and Dr. Chimusoro from WHO and UNICEF representation. So, they are taking this very seriously. We have activated the Inter Agency Coordinating Committee on Health, which is chaired by my Ministry for resource mobilisation and our partners in health have been mobilised and they are on the ground, World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Belgium, GAA and to some extent Oxfam, European Union (EU) and ECO.

We have also activated thematic committees on cholera comprising of all Government departments, uniformed forces, other donors and partners and these are meeting daily here in Harare and in Chegutu to deal with this cholera outbreak. The committees have been divided into Health and Surveillance, Health Education, Social Mobilisation, Coordination, Logistics, Water Sanitation and Hygiene.

I personally visited Chegutu twice to render support and to get first hand information on the outbreak. We have had meetings with the DMO and his team and the Mayor and visited patients who are admitted in the treatment ward and visited the locality where the cases are emanating from. We have conducted a Press Conference on the 22nd of January, 2018 to inform the nation about the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.

Finally, all of us have a responsibility to contain this cholera outbreak. We recommend that we raise awareness in our constituencies and I think it is very important that Hon. Members and Hon. Senators raise awareness. We are prepared as a Ministry to give you packages of information so that you can disseminate when you go to your particular constituencies. We want you to also mobilise in the villages, schools and wherever we come from so that people get information on cholera. Let us also try very much as a country to have uninterrupted supply of water all the time. This is giving us a huge challenge, if you do not have clean portable water and you do not have appropriate sanitation, we will not win the war against cholera, typhoid and other enteric diseases.

At this time, we urge people, even in Harare to boil their water before they drink it. As usual, please avoid shaking hands at funerals. If you have to do it, please use a fist or elbow and that has stood us nicely. We also urge our radios, televisions and media in general to also talk about cholera in terms of educating our people. We are hoping that this cholera outbreak can be contained and it is really a task for all of us as a nation.

The breakdown in terms of numbers – like I said today, the suspected cases are 65, 30 are female and 35 are male, 17 are under the age of 18 and 10 are under the age of 5. So, the breakdown is according to the age and sex and I think we should be able as a nation to be alert to this cholera outbreak. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. First of all I want to thank and applaud the Minister for a job well done on the Ministerial Statement. I also want to applaud the cooperating partners with us, some of whom I see, the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, Red Cross and all other entities that are busy with us on the ground to alleviate, avert and avoid the scourge and the spread of the cholera epidemic.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there are four deaths as we speak and these are too many; if they occurred in this House in the rate at which they occurred in Chegutu, that could have been about 1.5 or two months, all of us would be dead. Be that as it may, I want to also applaud the Civil Protection Unit that is being chaired by the D.A and say Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I have asked for Members who have got areas where they need clarification – [AN HON. MEMBER: Not a Vote of Thanks.] – so please can you adhere to what I have said.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I now want to move on to the resources that are required because I know them personally. I want the Minister to say when exactly we can receive them. We have continuous flow of effluent going into the main pipes of the water system and this sewage is treated by chloride of lime at the rate of 2.5 tons and that is what we require. We also require 5 tons of HTH, amongst other things. The other requirements Mr. Speaker Sir, speak to 30 000 litre bowsers and the number is 15 so that we can cut water to the areas that require clean and safe water. I need to know when we can receive such.

Further to that Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MUNENGAMI: Ooh finish!] – What I am holding here is a borrowing powers – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – which can treat cholera…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, please, I need points of clarification. I think the first point that you have raised is enough. Can you now give the Hon. Minister time to clarify that point. Sorry Hon. Nduna.

HON. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Less noise in the House Hon. Members.

HON. PARIRENYATWA: I want to thank Hon. Nduna for his observations. It is true that we have got some gaps. We need chloride of lime, what we call aquatabs, buckets, gumboots, tents, cannulas, and a whole list of that which we have provided to some of our donors. However, it would clearly be important for people here if they can also mobilise these resources for us, not just for Chegutu but in readiness for where-ever else it can occur, we would be very grateful. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My point of clarity to the Hon. Minister is that; I think the Hon. Minister ought to take note that cholera is a dark-age disease. When we experience cholera in our country, 30 years after independence, we ought to look deeply as to why. So, my appeal to you Hon. Minister, especially focusing on Chegutu, can you look thoroughly through specialists as to where exactly this disease of cholera is coming from. What is the cause, most probably, if we can attack that cause so that we curb it completely.

Whilst I agree with all the presentations from my fellow Hon. Nduna, Hon. Minister, I have heard you, you have put across a lot of things, what measures have we put in place in other residential locations in this country today on local authorities who are selling chicken meats, gizzards, livers and intestines on the floor right now as we speak? All these things of frying pork and all that in townships today, what measures have you put in place so that you put a curb to this whilst we work on a system so that we stop this cholera outbreak throughout the country because it is a problem nationwide. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. ZINDI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. In reference to the Hon. Minister’s speech, when I walked in, he was almost halfway but the point that I have or want to raise with him, when he was talking about the funerals being supervised by medical staff and what have you; the question is, do we have enough medical staff to be able to be supervising. If at all we do not now have enough staff to supervise the funerals, where are they supposed to be conducted with the cholera alert. Can I persuasively ask the Minister to also make a speech or to present his speech on television, on the radio and newspapers and what have you, so that people will appreciate the fact that we should not shake hands because this is a cholera period that we are going through, particularly, when our culture makes sure that we have to shake hands when we lose our loved ones. If he can make that Statement, that can help other people to appreciate when we do not shake hands.

Further, I have seen on television and on social media the water that is coming out of the taps in Harare in particular, making an example of Harare water, this is what I have seen but it could be all other local authorities. What measures have been put in place in order to ensure that the water is clean. It is actually smelling. Ndoti chiiko? Kunhuwa tsvina, dhodhi pariri riri kunhuwa mumvura. Saka cholera yacho inopera sei? What measures, as a system, are you taking in order to ensure that this cholera will not spread countrywide and go back to the issue of, I think it was 2008, something like that. Those are my views. I thank you.

HON. MANGAMI: May I also find out from the Minister the country’s state of preparedness. He has talked about material resources, of course Hon. Zindi has touched a few on the part of my question. What is the state of preparedness in terms of doctors who will be there to attend if there is an outbreak, considering that in some districts like Gokwe Hospital, there is only one doctor instead of five? What will happen if something crops up?

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, allow me to commend the Minister for his two visits to the site. It is commendable and it debunks the myth that the Ministers are sometimes too busy to attend to critical matters like this. Allow me also to refer to the index case that the Minister raised. I want clarification as to whether there are particular standards or set conditions that a doctor must play out particularly on those people who present with symptoms. Your first case went to a private clinic and they were discharged. As far as I think, anyone presenting with such serious symptoms should not have been discharged at all. It is at that point that I want to ask the Minister to clarify, what punishment will visit that particular private enterprise because the medical profession is a closed profession. It is difficult for ordinary people to sue doctors in this country. We need your assistance on that.

Finally, Hon. Nduna raised the fact that as a matter of emergency, there are materials that are needed. What assurance do we have from the Minister that the professionals on the ground are not going to prioritise their personal allowances of visiting Nduna’s place ahead of providing for these materials? I thank you Minister.

*HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Hon. Minister, we want to thank you for the Ministerial Statement. This reflects your commitment and concern over the issue. We heard you talk about the picture that you saw at Matapi. We want you to tell us, is it not that the whole country is Matapi now; there are a few areas that do not look like Matapi. With the research that you did as you explain to us in this House, did you have an opportunity to talk to other Ministries such as the Minister of Local Government because what concerns us is the fact that sewage water and drinking water ends up mixing. Those are the basic social services that people want in this nation. What made the situation to deteriorate to such a state?

Hon. Minister, we want to be clear on what is happening because the engines do not seem to be doing their work. We might go deeper and end up mentioning issues that should not be mentioned. My question is how do the pipes carrying clean treated water end up mixing with the pipes carrying sewerage water? I thank you.

HON. DR. LABODE: I need to stress a point, to stress the need for the public to understand that they have a role to play in controlling cholera. I am going back to the years when I was working for the City of Bulawayo. We once stopped cholera coming into City of Bulawayo. We camped at the bus stop, erenkini and we made sure that every bus that was coming in, we were making people wash their hands. As the buses were going out, we were telling them that you are going to a cholera zone, be careful. This is what we must do. I think let us go to where these buses are moving because buses are very good at carrying diseases across.

So Minister, it is very important to make the public understand. We monitored funerals in Bulawayo the only time we had cholera. I, for one, attended in one day, seven funerals. We would sit there and make sure that there is no food being eaten, there are no handshakes. We told the families that do not cook food for anybody, only for the immediate families. That was not necessarily a cholera case, it was all funerals. We really need to implement those things. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank all the Hon. Members for their very useful contributions. The first question was, what is the real cause, where is this cholera coming from? Why is it continuing? What are the measures in place? The truth is, in Zimbabwe now, although we have cholera in Zambia, Malawi as I speak, Kenya, Tanzania and Angola, that should not be a reason why we should also have cholera but as long as we have what we have talked about, poor sanitation, poor water supply, we will not be able to get out of this. The real cause is our water and sanitation problems. It is a disease of dark ages. It is true but you must have the piping right. What happens with these pipes is, if they get rotten after so many years of use, they leak out water. They burst down there but because of that, they also suck dirty. That is why you find some of the pipes, they bring very dirty water. These pipes are now rotten. You really seriously need to look at the country as a whole and upgrade the whole infrastructure, new piping completely because as it is now, we will not win this war.

All the borehole water that we are all proud of in Harare, you find that a lot of them are already contaminated because of seepage underground. Even you, if you have a borehole at home, make sure that you have it tested to ensure that it is safe. Do not be proud of that borehole at all. Go and make sure that it is tested. People who are saying let us sink more boreholes, that is not the answer. The answer must be municipal water from dams, properly treated, piped, safely deposited and all our feaces going somewhere where they are properly dumped. That is what is causing our problem. We may contain this outbreak in Chegutu but it may come out somewhere else because of this infrastructure.

Like I said, when I sleep at home, it is not unusual to get a phone call that there is typhoid here, may you please wake up. This is because our infrastructure is just not ready for it. Mr. Speaker Sir, we need this ourselves as Government. There is an Inter-Ministerial team that is looking at this. It cannot be Ministry of Health alone. It has to be all Government to get involved in this issue.

Hon. Zindi says they may not be enough medical staff out there. What we have done is once we put our people on alert; each Provincial Medical Director takes charge for all the District Hospitals under him. All of those District Hospitals have ana utsanana and these are the core people and they expand from there. They then see logistically how they can manage the situation. In places where there are no doctors for example, you should be able to train the personnel that are there to diagnose properly and act quickly, and refer appropriately so the infrastructure is alerted. In terms of the health system, we need the drugs that we need and remunerate them and give them to the appropriate place to bring those drugs and be at the appropriate centres.

Water from tapes hanzi iri kunhuwa and all that; this is all part of the issue. Water is not being treated adequately. Water chemicals maybe short in some places and that is why they have rationed water. So, we really need to put our money there too in terms of putting foreign currency to buy the appropriate chemicals that are needed to treat our water and make it safe for our people so that we do not have diseases.

Hon. Mangami, you mentioned about the preparedness. Like I said, we really have decentralised and I am aware of the hospital that you are talking about. Already, even in Midlands, they have been sensitized very much and I am proud that our system is up. They need resources and they have told us what they need. Let us just make sure that those resources become available.

Hon. Ndebele you mentioned the issue of the index case, why was patient discharged from private surgery. We are already investigating that, what really happened chronologically. You may be admitted and then discharged because you are better but at that time they did not suspect that perhaps it is cholera. So, we should be able to follow it up and make sure that the appropriate investigation results are made known.

You mentioned about personnel T and S that people may take advantage of. This is a serious issue and I do not think that the people we are deploying there are really looking for T and S. Nobody wants to interact with cholera so much. When you go back home, people ask if you are safe. Nobody really wants to interact with cholera. So, the issue of T and S, I think in this particular case may not arise easily.

Matapi – the fact that Matapi is all over the country; well, this is exactly what we are saying. We just have to be alert as a country. Wherever you come from, water sanitation is poor and we just need to address it as a country. There is rotten infrastructure which we must take cognisant of.

Thank you Hon. Dr. Labode for the good education. This is important education to the public. The public also has a role. Wash your hands tabva muno umu. The more you wash your hands the better, with running water. Haikona kuita zviya zvekugeza mogezera mudish rimwe chete zvataita kudhara dhara zviya. Aiwa, running water preferably with soap and there is a way of washing. Properly squeeze.Vamwe vanongodai. Vamwe vanongoita ruwoko one kungodai so (demonstrating) a-ah, use both hands and squeeze every finger. Rub inside and the wrists. Do not rub and after that wakupukutira pahembe yako futi. No, let the water run away until your hands are dry. So, I think that self education on those matters is also important. Thank you Mr. Speaker and I want to thank all the contributors to this debate.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. We are using 22 mega litres against what is getting to the people which is 3 mega litres – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Nduna. Order, order! Can you sit down Hon. Nduna.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT FUND

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN AND YOUTH AFFAIRS (HON. S. NYONI): Mr. Speaker Sir, the Women’s Development Fund was established in 2010 after Government’s realisation that women continued to be excluded from participating in the mainstream economy due to deeply embedded traditional beliefs that their place was still in the kitchen. Women could not establish their own business ventures as they would not afford their startup capital.

Secondly, banks would not avail loans to women as they would not provide the collateral in the form of moveable assets.

Thirdly, in the few cases where women could avail the collateral, interest rates charged by banks were exorbitant prohibiting the growth and expansion of the businesses established. Rural communities remained excluded as there are no banks in most of the rural locations. The Women’s Development Fund is deliberately tailored to address these challenges outlined therein.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the objective of this fund was to provide financial, technical and managerial assistance for the development of women projects. It was administered in the Office of the Permanent Secretary. The financial resources were deposited in POSB. The loans were disbursed through a Loans Technical Committee. There was also an Advisory Committee that assisted in the process. The guidelines were given. The women who received the money were expected to be in groups of three or more and in order for them to apply, a circular was issued by the Permanent Secretary and it went to all provinces to advertise that the money was now available.

The identification of projects was done by the Ministry staff at ward level. They were also assisted by other Government department and other stakeholders.

Submission of proposals - Provincial Development Officers collected these submissions and made sure that those who qualified were passed over to the headquarters.

Mr. Speaker Sir, let me just inform the House that in 2010, $1 million was disbursed. Nothing was disbursed in 2011and in 2012 another $1 million was disbursed. In 2013, it was $0.350 million. There was nothing between 2014 and 2016 and then in 2017, only $0.2 million was disbursed. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker Sir, most of this money was not paid back. Nine thousand one hundred and fifty women benefited who belonged to 2159 groups.

The Ministry however, is using its structures and community leaders to ensure that bad debts are recovered. I would like to appeal to all Members of Parliament to encourage women in their constituencies who have benefited from the Women’s Development Fund to repay back the loans so that the fund can benefit other women.

The high default rate led to the commendable intervention by the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, which carried out an audit of some of the funded projects and subsequently resolved to recommend to this august House the suspension of disbursements for project support from the Women’s Development Fund.

Let me just say what really contributed to the default rate. Mr. Speaker Sir, between 2010 and 2013, these were some of the contributing factors for defaulting:-

· There was poor identification of projects.

· There was lack of resources for mobilisation and evaluation.

· The pre-assessments before disbursements were poorly done.

· Beneficiaries were not trained in project financial management and,

· The general economic situation contributed to the failures.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am happy to say my new Ministry has taken corrective measures. These involve the following:-

· Key stakeholders, that will be inter-ministerial committees.

· Other stakeholders should be involved and the joint teams comprising of Ministry officials, relevant line ministries, POSB staff to conduct predisbursement visits to confirm beneficiaries assertain the existence and viability of projects before any money is disbursed.

· Beneficiaries need to be trained before they get any loans.

· We also recommend that as a corrective measure, that 75% of the loan should go to purchasing equipment and only 25% be given in cash as working capital.

· That the Ministry will utilise multimedia platforms to call for project proposals and make sure that they are thoroughly scrutinised before they are given any support.

· We are also organising that 50 motor bikes be available to supervise and make sure that there is monitoring and evaluation.

There has been a remarkable improvement in the servicing of loans disbursed after 2010. Mr. Speaker Sir, in view of the aforesaid, it is recommended that the decision made by the Portfolio Committee to suspend loans be reviewed as safeguards for loan repayments have been instituted while all the provinces need to benefit from the facility. Support to project utilisation for the Women Development Fund will contribute to quick wins through triggering community development.

The Ministry’s internal auditors have been assigned to carry out the audit and evaluate the projects that were funded by the Women’s Development fund since 2010. We recommend, as recommended by the Parliamentary Portfolio on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development.

We thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving us this opportunity and hope that this august House allows my Ministry to resume the disbursements, taking into account that we have re-engineered the whole system and we will ensure that these funds are used properly and benefit the women of Zimbabwe. I thank you.

On the motion of HON. MATUKE seconded by HON. MANGAMI, the House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 18:01
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