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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 26 jULY 2017 VOL 43 NO 80

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 26th July, 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

ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received non-adverse reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the following:-

(a)     Minesand Minerals Amendment Bill   [H. B. 19, 2015]

(b)     Statutory Instrument Numbers 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77 and 78 of 2017 gazetted in the month of June 2017.

(c)     General Notices 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 307, 308, 309, 310A, 311, 312, 313 and 314 of 2017 Gazetted in the month of June, 2017.

NOTICE OF MOTION TO BE PRESENTED BY HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA

THE HON. SPEAKER:  As I call for any notices of motions, allow me to inform you that there is a notice to be presented by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira on an issue that affected Hon. Members in this House and the other House.  He was chosen by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders to be the Chairperson of that Privileges Committee.  If you so please, may I call upon Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira to give his notice of motion. 

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I stand on a matter of privilege. I raise this because it links very much to the Question Time that we are going into right now and I am really sad that I have to raise it in the House. Mr. Speaker, you expect us in the House when we raise questions to be clear and to have properly researched questions. Your Research Department just does not respond. It does not respond to things, it does not even have the courtesy of coming back to an Hon. Member when you call and say, please can you find this for me because I intend to raise this question in the afternoon.

          I have had conversations with them a number of times and raised complaints and there has not been any change in that behaviour. I thought I needed to have it formally raised in here so that it can be put down. I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga. I thought such a matter first and foremost should be raised with the Clerk of Parliament who is the direct administrator of all staff here in Parliament. If that had been done, the next port of call if there was no joy was to approach the Speaker as the overall head of Parliament to take corrective measures. I do not know whether this was done.

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I take your point Mr. Speaker Sir. I think it is generally the frustration that people who are working here, they need to be servicing Members of Parliament and I think there are basic things that need to be done. It does not take somebody being a very good person to just come back to an Hon Member and say – let me just give you the example that I am giving to you.

          I phoned because I have a question that I want to raise around issues of aliens. All I needed was a phone number for the Registrar General’s Office. First, the response that you get is that “handina number yacho” and then I am like you are the Research Department, find it for me and get back to me. I am not asking you to phone the Registrar General, I am merely asking you to find the number for me.  When you do that you then say, here is my number come back to me - absolutely no joy.

          I think I raise it out of frustration because I can give you a whole lot of other testimonies around the service that you get as Hon. Members. I get where you are coming from, it should have formally been put to the Clerk. I will do that but I raise it as a matter of frustration. I am sure many other Hon. Members have found service from members of staff sometimes very missing and disrespectful to say the least.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga, I agree with you. I take responsibility and I will investigate the matter in collaboration with the Clerk of Parliament. Thank you.

          HON. MLILO: I rise on a point of privilege that I think is very vital for the well being of Members of Parliament. Earlier on, I have raised a point with regards to the pedestrian crossing that we have got along Nelson Mandela Avenue opposite our front entrance; sorry, my voice is a bit mumbled because of a terrible cold that I am suffering from.  Just to today, I had to rescue Hon. Mliswa when he almost got struck by a car there.  I have talked about this issue 3/4 months ago, and I think it is high time administration takes this seriously, because the welfare of Members of Parliament is paramount.  They represent constituencies here as well as their families.  We cannot have Members of Parliament being struck down by errant drivers.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mlilo, you have raised a very important question of security and safety of all of us, including myself, because I was also once threatened.  So, we shall first of all, paint the Zebra line crossing and liaise with Council and perhaps put some humps.  However, I have heard someone whispering that we could also have police presence there to assist in the control of traffic, which is very true.  I will definitely look into that with the Clerk of Parliament as a matter of urgency.

          HON. MAJOME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir about that intervention on the point of priviledge of Hon. Mlilo. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Ncube and your friend there, please listen!

          HON. MAJOME: Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for your concern about that issue but I would hope that you would reconsider the planned intervention, lest it appears that possibly  Members of Parliament  are concerned only concerned about the road safety of Members of Parliament.  I have noticed that the reason why motorists just fly past the zebra crossing at Parliament is because that is what they are doing everywhere else.  Zimbabwean motorists seem not care about pedestrian crossings, school children have been run over even in my constituency. It is a general problem of a breakdown of the rule of law in traffic.  So, I am hoping that as we consider measures for our own pedestrian crossing, we also do something as Members of Parliament to ensure that motorist respect Zebra crossings.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I will take that to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.

          *HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I have heard what you said that it is Question time but it seems we have a challenge here.  You would notice that we only have three Ministers, two deputies and the Hon. Vice President.  However, yesterday, even those who were not feeling well attended because they wanted to vote.  It is very important that we take Parliament business seriously because now we want to discuss about the challenges people are facing, yet there are no Ministers. 

          This session is very important as shown by the presence of the Hon. Vice President but the Ministers are not taking it seriously.  Members of Parliament are here but there is no one to direct their questions to, yet this is a day reserved for Ministers.

          Mr. Speaker, the Standing Rules and Orders state that Ministers should take Parliament business seriously, if they do not, they are charged with contempt of Parliament.  So, it appears like we are toothless dogs.  This is very serious business, we are using tax payers’ money to come and sit here but we are not getting answers from our Ministers.  Those Ministers who are not present should be charged with contempt of Parliament. If they do not pay the fine, then it will simply prove that as Parliament we do not have powers. 

We cannot keep protecting Ministers who are not serious when we were sent by people to work for them.  If they cannot work, we have capable Members of Parliament who can run those Ministries like Hon. Chinotimba.   We have serious MP’s who want to see our country going forward.  I think we should evoke our law if these Ministers come late or they do not come at all, they should be charged with contempt of Parliament because no one is above the law. The law should be followed and every contravention of the law has got a charge.  I think we should bring out all our weapons so that we curb the errant Ministers.

          I have just submitted this to you so that you look into it.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I will ask the officials to take note of those Ministers who are not present without authority but here are the following Ministers who have given official apology:-

 Hon. Deputy Minister Madanha, Hon. Deputy Minister T. V. Muzenda, Hon. Deputy Minister B. J. Mlambo, Hon. Deputy Minister Dr. Marapira, Hon. Deputy Minister P. T. Zhanda, Hon. Deputy Minister Mabuwa, Hon. Deputy Minister Mguni and Hon. Minister Prof. Moyo.  That is the list that I have.

          The others will write down and give us the reasons as to why they are not here.

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Sorry, Hon. Chinamasa has just gone to give Notice, he is coming back.

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir, just as a follow up and also to get some clarity.  You have indicated that the officials take note of those Ministers who have not sought leave of absence.  At the moment, I note that from the list that you read out, it is only Deputy Ministers who have given apologies for today and I noticed that we have got one or two Ministers …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  And Prof. Moyo.

          HON. GONESE:  And Prof. Moyo, which means to say that the vast majority of the Ministers have not sought leave of absence.  In particular, I take note of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mbengegwi who is a perennial absentee and Hon. Parirenyatwa who is usually also not present in this august House.

          I would like to find out whether in terms of the ruling or what you have said, we are now going to do something tangible?  I think time and again, we have raised these issues and I think the Chair, including the Deputy Speaker and members of the Speaker’s Panel have agreed with the sentiments raised by Hon. Members of Parliament.  What has been lacking is concrete steps being taken to ensure that this problem is nipped in the bud.  I think we have pointed out before and I think the Hon. Vice President of the Movement for Democratic Change has pointed out the fact that we do have powers in terms of the Standing Orders.  The provisions are clear that those Ministers who are truant are guilty of contempt of Parliament and I think the time has now come Mr. Speaker Sir, to crack the whip so that Ministers become aware that being truant is going to be visited with appropriate punishment as prescribed in the Standing Orders of this august House.

          I believe that we should go a step further in that your office, Mr. Speaker Sir, must actually take measures and implementing mechanisms to ensure that this problem is dealt with once and for all, so that we do not continue coming to this august House to raise the same issues and then sound like a broken record by repeating ourselves.  We do not like to do that Mr. Speaker, and I think it is now time for us to do something concrete and decisive – those are my submissions Mr. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Appreciated and fully noted by the Chair.

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

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Is it a point of order?

          HON. MLISWA:  I think mine Mr. Speaker really is to support what they are saying, but more important.  You said you had written to His Excellency the President and Commander in Chief about the performance of his Ministers who are not coming because in their not coming, they are certainly not doing what they are expected to do.  When they are appointed by the President to be Ministers or Deputy Ministers, they are actually representing the entire Executive which is headed by him.  You have not told us of the response of His Excellency the President in that regard, because if His Excellency who is the Head of State, Judiciary, Executive and Parliament does not respond to that, it also shows the attitude the Ministers have.

          My question to you is that when you wrote to His Excellency the President, did he respond to the letter that you wrote to him pertaining to the performance of his Ministers in Parliament?

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, the broken record which Hon. Gonese plays every Wednesday with regards to Ministers,  it is not the first time that this issue has been raised.  I can assure you that Hon. Ministers are fully aware that on Wednesday like today, they should be here.  This is why I am wearing this, I have just been released to come to Parliament and the rest of my colleagues are at this function of the Executive.  I have been released to come and attend Parliament.

          If they are free and whenever they are free, they will do their best to come to Parliament.  In most cases you at least have four to six Hon. Ministers who will come to Parliament and they are adequate to deal with issues of policy covering the spectrum of Government.  When I am present here, in fact, let the Hon. Members ask any question, I have the capacity and capability to deal with issues relating to the policies of Government which are articulated in Cabinet.  Question Time is based on the principle that Members of Parliament would want to know Government policies on various issues of concern and a policy is not a line Ministry aspect alone.  It is a broad Executive issue that can be dealt with by myself in the Executive.

          With regard to the two names that have been mentioned that is the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Generally I would suggest to Hon. Gonese that with respect, the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs is generally not in the country.  When he is in the country and if it is a Wednesday, he might be in the country and just comes in for Cabinet but he is usually outside the country.  So that one, I would plead with Hon. Members of Parliament that they should be more lenient with him.

          With regard to the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Parirenyatwa who is a Senator.  He also has business in the Senate so he doubles both in the National Assembly as well as in the Senate, but if there is duty in the Senate, his first port of call is the Senate.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order I appreciate the response by the Hon. Vice President but we still will proceed to find out about the absence of those other Ministers who may not be at the function where the Hon. Vice President was.

          Secondly, I would like to inform the Hon. Vice President that every Ministry has a Liaison Officer who liaises with Parliament.  Where Hon. Ministers are engaged, the Constitution and Standing Orders are very clear, they are absolved from attending.  It is those Liaison officers under the charge of the Permanent Secretary who should advise and simply to advise that I am engaged or I am not available and we record through the Papers Office that the Ministers not present have given their due notice of absence. 

          I thought the Hon. Vice President was going to assist me to explain the response of His Excellency, the President as far as the communication that I did.  I thought the matter was discussed in Cabinet.

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E.D. MNANGAGWA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I had assumed it was a privileged communication but now that you mentioned it, I can share it with Members of the House.  It is true that the President felt unhappy that the absence of Ministers in the House prompted the Speaker to write to the President which rarely happens.  So, he was appealing to Members of Cabinet that they should attend Parliament.  Where they do not do so, most of our colleagues have Deputy Ministers, they should have Deputy Ministers coming to attend on their behalf. 

Also as you mentioned, there are liaison officers who should be able to inform the House if the Minister is engaged.  So, the President did actually appeal and informed us that we have a duty first to our representatives as we represent constituencies to Parliament and we have a duty in Parliament, a constitutional duty to be present and to explain the mandates which they perform as Ministers.  I thought I would share with you Mr. Speaker Sir, that the President indeed probed us to attend Parliament.

HON. ZWIZWAI:  I have a point of clarification Mr. Speaker. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have not recognised you.  You just stand; you do not say anything.  Please sit down.  I was about to thank the Vice President for his explanation.  I think communication has been given and responded to by His Excellency, the President.  Do you want to have your point of clarification?

Hon. Mliswa having stood to make a point of order.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Sorry, I have not recognised you.  In terms of Section 110 of the Standing Orders, I shall not allow repetition on an issue.  I think the Hon. Vice President comprehensively answered your query, so I will not allow any further debate on that.  Yes, your last point of clarification.

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would like to get some clarification on policy from the Leader of the House, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa.  We have been told of what was said by His Excellency on his complaints against Ministers who are not attending to their parliamentary duties.  Hon. Vice President, when you responded to the first question on a point of order raised by Hon. Gonese and Hon. Chamisa, you talked about a broken record whereby you were referring to what is happening.  It seems your response was at tangent with what was said by His Excellency.  From your response, you did not seem to support His Excellency and you seemed not to care about what is happening in Parliament yet you are the Leader of Government business – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -  Why such a negative response? 

*HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, we discussed these things and have different understanding and perceptions of issues.  We have some people who have just come into this House – [HON. ZWIZWAI:  Inaudible interjections] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.

*HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA:  When you were debating Hon. Member, I was silent and I was listening to what you were saying.  May you please give me the same attention? 

When I responded to a question asked by Hon. Gonese, I gave a response which was equal to him – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

*HON. MUNENGAMI:  On a point of order Hon. Speaker, from what the Vice President is saying, he seems to be saying we may be Members of Parliament but we are of different levels and he is insinuating that Hon. Gonese is inferior.

HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA:  Now, let me explain.  I responded to a question which has been asked and I will not respond to something which has not been asked.  The Hon. Member does not seem to understand why I responded in that way.  When you later clarified on the issue, you told us that you have a letter which you had written to His Excellency and I am not sure whether I can stand up and respond to that issue.  I said I may not be able to comment on that because it is an issue which is dependent upon two seniors; the President and you Mr. Speaker Sir.  However, I can now respond to what was said by the President in Cabinet to all members who were present.  That is what I can debate and is within my level.  I thank you. 

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. MAPIKI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am directing my question to the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Hon. Hlongwane regarding his Ministry because there are some sporting activities which are not played or performed in rural areas but are prevalent in urban areas.  These include boxing and swimming.  What is the Government policy regarding the spread of such sporting activities in rural areas? 

          *THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mapiki, can you repeat your question?

          *HON. MAPIKI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Sport and Recreation.  There are a lot of games which were introduced in cities such as boxing, rugby, tennis and many others.  However, in rural areas, these sporting activities were not introduced yet we realise that some of the students who are involved in these sporting activities are getting scholarships to study abroad.  How can we spread these sporting activities in rural areas so that learners and others benefit also?

          THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON. HLONGWANE):  Thank you Hon. Member for such a question.  In Zimbabwe, boxing is in two sections.  The first one is called amateur boxing which is under the Sport and Recreation Commission.  The second one is the professional boxing which is the Zimbabwe National Control Board. The amateur boxing is prevalent in the urban areas. In trying to uplift the boxing sport, cricket, rugby, hockey, including tennis, Government policy is that these sports should not only be confined to urban areas, but should also be found in rural areas in the communities through the community sport and club recreation system. Right now, we have engaged tennis Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education that each and every school in Zimbabwe should have a tennis court, so that the sport of tennis should be found in the 9000 schools. 

          The other sports that I did not mention by name is that there are clubs that are being formed in the rural areas so that these clubs will link with the National Sports Association of the relevant sport or the discipline for the training of coaches and trainers so that they will also be found in the rural areas. So there is a lot that is happening in trying to take these sports to the rural areas. Thank you.

          *HON. WADYAJENA: My supplementary question is not on boxing but that the Minister has promised to give us a statement about policy issues concerning Magaya’s support of soccer. So we wanted the Minister to explain what Magaya is doing especially forcing people to attend his services. Can he shade light in that area?

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: That is a distinct separate question. It is not a supplementary question.

          *HON. MAHOKA: My question is directed to the Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa in the absence of Hon. Dr. Made. What is

Government policy in terms of the maize that is being delivered to GMB concerning the transporters and this issue of stop orders, so that the stop order facilities are in place in order to deliver their maize to the GMB? When people take their maize to the GMB, the transporters want $150.00 which the farmers do not have and they end up taking the maize at $3 a bucket of which the farmer will end up losing out. This is because if he delivers five tones, the farmer has to pay one tone to the transporter. I do not know when the law will be put in place for stop orders to be effected.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. On Thursday last week we had 19000 farmers who had these stop order facilities. I think by now, we have surpassed that number. These stop orders are being used by those who are under the Command Agriculture. Those who did not participate in this command agriculture do not have these facilities. It is because those who are under the command agriculture have loans to the Command Agriculture Programme. We do not have any challenges with that because people are being issued with stop order forms and they have been distributed throughout the country. As I have said before, last week, we had 19000 and by now I think we have surpassed that number. I do not know whether I have answered the question fully because I had to leave so that I attend to the Senate. If she can repeat the question that will be helpful.

*HON. MAHOKA: I am referring to the money that is paid to the transporters when they have delivered the maize to the GMB. The transporters charge $1.50 per sack; when the farmers have delivered, because there is no stop order facility for everyone as he is saying. Long back GMB had this facility for everyone who transported maize to GMB despite participating in the command agriculture. But now, that facility is no longer there for everyone, and farmers are losing out money to the transporters who are charging $3.00 per bucket.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANANGAGWA): This is an administrative issue. I think the transporter is the one who registers himself with the GMB so that he collects his dues through a stop order. So, it is just a question of entering into a contract between the GMB, the farmer, and the transporter. This is not a policy issue but just an agreement between the players because on delivery, the farmer does not have money. 

          HON. L. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Vice President Hon. Mnangagwa. What is Government policy with regards to voter registration for prisoners and those abroad?

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANANGAGWA): The concept of prison is that after you have committed a crime, you forfeit the rights of a free person. If you are a prisoner, all these fundamental rights which everybody enjoys as a citizen are now forfeited. So, our prisoners do not vote.  Thank you. 

          HON. GONESE: I have a supplementary question Mr. Speaker...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Tshuma, if you want to ask a question, you will be given time to ask a question.

HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  The question was in two parts.  It referred to prisoners and also those who are abroad and I think the second part was not answered.  I also wanted to supplement the one on the…

THE HON. SPEAKER: No, I correct you there.  There was no question on diaspora.

HON. GONESE: It was there.  I also have a follow up on the – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I have no problem with the question, but the initial question did not cover diaspora.  However, I can reply – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – On the diaspora issue, they are allowed to vote.  Everybody who is a citizen and is in the diaspora is completely and 100% allowed to vote. If he puts his address in Chipinge, he must come to Chipinge and vote. If he puts his address in Highfield, he must leave Haiti and come to Highfield to vote.  So, they are allowed.

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

THE HON. SPEAKER: How can you ask a supplementary question twice?

HON. GONESE: No, I did not ask twice.  What I did Mr. Speaker -  before he leaves, can I just ask the supplementary ?– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.

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

THE HON. SPEAKER: No, I am not allowing that point of order.   You are taking much of your time.  You will have time to ask questions.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Mine is a point of order.

THE HON. SPEAKER: In terms of what Standing Order?  – [HON. MUTSEYAMI: These things of referring to Standing Orders simply because I have stood up is not fair.] – then sit down.  I was very kind to you, sit down. – [HON. MUTSEYAMI: But Speaker, munenge makuzoti Mutseyami haanzwisisi.] – Please, sit down. 

*HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am directing my question to the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  What is Government policy regarding council workers who, after retiring are not able to access their pension for a long time and they will be staying at home as destitutes?  What is Government policy regarding Pension Fund for local authorities’ retirees and pensioners?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO): Thank you Hon. Mupfumi for that question.  When we look at the issue of pensions, this is administered by the Pension Fund which is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  I am saying, if we have any retirees or pensioners who have not received their pensions, may you please submit their names to the Ministry and thorough investigations will be carried out.

HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Local authority employees have a Pension Fund which is under Local Government.  That is why I had asked the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain as to how those funds are disbursed to the workers when they go on retirement because it is money which is deducted from their salaries?

*HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I will respond to the question raised by Hon. Mupfumi.  I had misunderstood that question because within the council employees are some who receive their pensions from the Pension Fund and yet these ones whom you are talking about have their own Pension Fund which is administered by the Government.  Let me say; there are problems because the money which is supposed to be disbursed is very little and not enough for all the needs.  If we have any retirees who are in dire situations, may they please come forward and submit their names and investigations will be carried out as to why they are not receiving regular pensions.

*HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am directing my question to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  What is Government policy regarding the payment of civil servants?  We have noticed that the pay dates start with the army, the police and at the end of that group, we have the pensioners and yet these are the vulnerable group which may need that money more than these other people.  Why should the pensioners be paid last and yet they should be paid first because they are the vulnerable group from the people who receive payments from the Treasury?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Hon. Saruwaka for this question.  This question would have been relevant if it was asked when we started laying out these dates.  We noticed that the pay dates have been fixed in such a way that people receive their salaries on regular dates.  If Members of Parliament are paid on the 2nd of every month, that is what should be happening.  If we are to change the pay dates, it may mean that the cycle will be disturbed because some people will be paid within a week or others within two weeks, which may create problems.

*HON. SARUWAKA: Hon. Minister, my question is related to the motive behind, putting pensioners last when they are the vulnerable group.  If you remember well, nurses used to be paid later than almost everybody else but because their condition was reviewed, they are now receiving their pay at a better date.  Now we are saying, may we please start by paying the pensioners first because they are the vulnerable group and they are in need of these monies because of their status.

           HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  When we work out these cycles of the payment of salaries, we look at the availability of funds for the payment and the biggest group which receives salary from Treasury is that of teachers whose number is over 140 000.  So, the bulk of the workers in Government are teachers.  Therefore, when we look at what is happening, the way we get the funds from the revenues and the Treasury, that is what will determine in putting out the payment dates.  That depends on how we get the monies and that makes it easier for us to disburse the funds because we will have looked at that.  That is how we apportion those monies and those dates. I thank you.

          *HON. CHIBAYA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Matangaidze.  The policy question is, is it Government policy of giving false information regarding the increment of the funds paid out to pensioners?  Is it the policy of his Ministry to tell lies to this House and to the country regarding the increment of pay-outs to pensioners?

We were informed in this House that at the end of June, the pensioners would be paid $80 and towards the end of the year, they would be given $150.00 but, we later realised that they have been paid $80.00. So, we want them to explain here because the pensioners were listening and they heard the information from the Ministry.  I thank you.

          *THE TEMPORAY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO:  Hon. Member, may you please withdraw the statement that the Minister is telling lies.  That is uparliamentary.

          *HON. CHIBAYA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I withdraw those words but we are saying the Minister said something which was not fulfilled.  I thank you.

          *HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  On the question which was raised by Hon. Chibaya, it is true that as a Ministry under Hon. Sen. Mupfumira, everything was stated because of the way we wanted things done and the way pension had to be paid out.  We had looked at the money which was being paid, they were receiving $60.00 and we said $60.00 was too little.  We felt that it was not enough to meet the daily needs of these pensioners, hence we said it should be raised to $100.00 or even to $150 if possible because it will be a better living wage.

We have noticed that NSSA does not have enough funds to pay these people because we have people whom we call actuaries.  These actuaries give us information on the payments which we make.  We then make our payments regarding the actuaries so that we do not deplete our funds in NSSA.  The information given to us was that, if we move payments to increase them from $60.00 to $80.00 and then increase the age of retirement from 60 to 65, the amount is going to last us until 2045.  Hence, instead of going to $100.00, we have to increase from $60.00 to $80.00 but it is the Ministry’s wish that the pay-out should be increased should funds allow.  When we get to that stage, we are going to inform you.  I think that it will be bad for us and a bad move to increase the money regardless of the information which has been given to us.  I thank you.

          *HON. CHIBAYA:  My question is very clear.  We have been informed that the money was going to be increased and what he is explaining now is, they told us that they were going to be giving the pensioners $100.00.  It means that investigations and research had been done, there had been conclusions that Government was going to pay that amount and they had the capacity to pay out because I do not think that they can come and issue a statement without a thorough research or investigations.  I am saying so because I represent the people of Mkoba and some of these pensioners came to my house and made enquiries and said, ‘we were promised a $100.00 but, we have only been given $80.00 – why?’  That is why I have come here.

          *HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Hon. Speaker, I have already responded to that question and I said Hon. Mupfumira came and gave projections of the payments.  These were only projections and it was not a commitment.  She said her projection and her wishes were that we could increase that money to the amount that we want.  That is why I still continue saying that our wish is that funds allowing, we need to pay livable pensions.

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, the question is saying, why did you not make adequate research before issuing out a statement on payments and you give out a statement which you are now contradicting?

          *HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE:  The point that I am making Mr. Speaker is very clear.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am responding to this question – when the Minister issued a statement, she was talking about her wish that when we give our pensioners $60.00, this is not adequate for anybody to eke out a living because at times, there were problems in the cash flow and pensioners would travel long distances and a long time in such a way that when they finally get their monies, it is not worth the travel that they would have journeyed.  That is why we said our wish was to increase these pay-outs on a small scale going upwards. 

Then, we had to go to the actuaries for more information and they had to give us advice on how we could go out with these payments so that we do not destroy our funds at NSSA because we will have exhausted the funds.  We also asked for investments which we could carry out so that we have more money and increase the pay-outs from the current $80.00 for the pensioners and retirees.

          *HON. S. CHIDHAKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am saying, the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services seems to be …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You said you were issuing a point of order and now you are asking a supplementary question.  If it is not what you are saying, I will make you sit down.

          *HON. S. CHIDHAKWA:  When the Minister delivered that speech, she did not say it was her wish.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You said it is a point of order.

          HON. CHIBAYA: Unogara panzvimbo yaVP uri ani – [HON. TSHUMA: Get away.] -

          HON. J. TSHUMA: These people are so disrespectful and they are not honourable at all. He insulted me and I do not know how I am supposed to withdraw an insult from the person. He insulted me. So, he should withdraw. I know it is your nature to be insulting.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Tshuma, we are in Parliament, please take your seat. Hon. Member, if you said so, can you withdraw. I do not need any explanation. You say you did or did not.

          HON. J. TSHUMA: For the sake of sanity and for you people – she is calling me a Councillor. Can you see how these people are? I am a reasonable person and I will withdraw whatever they think I have said.

          *HON. A. MNANGAGWA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Women’s Affairs. She talked about a women’s bank and I would like to know how far she has gone with the establishment of this bank. Is it now in operation so that women may start accessing funds to eke a living?

          *THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA): We have gone a long way in establishing this women’s bank. We have established our base at Trust Towers along Samora Machel Avenue. We have acquired furniture and now we need to have the monies in the bank so that women can start to borrow, because it is important that cash is first deposited into this bank. In order for you to access any funds with any bank, you have to open up an account - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          As I was saying, in order for anyone to access money from any institution, you have to open up an account and then deposit the funds. I will further explain and say when this bank is finally launched, we expect women to open their accounts with this bank. At the moment we are looking for offshore funding. We have Members of Parliament both in the opposition and ruling party who are working at getting funds for this bank so that women can access the funds. What we are talking about is resource mobilisation but as far as putting down the infrastructure is concerned, we have developed it. What we are working on at the moment is the ICT infrastructure and this may take some time. As far as we are concerned, we are at an advanced stage in launching this bank. The workers who are supposed to work in this bank have been recruited. I thank you.

          *HON. A. MNANGAGWA: My supplementary question is that the Minister informed this august House that the bank had been given some $10m so that women can access it. Now she is saying we cannot borrow that money and yet there is $10m which has been injected into the bank.

          *HON. CHIKWINYA: The $10m which was given to this bank was supposed to be used for procurement of services and licence fees. We have not used up this entire fund. We still have some funds which are available. From what I have observed pertaining to the needs of the women, we have about $6m and I believe it is not enough for the needs of women and that is why we are talking of resource mobilisation. What we have is only a drop in the ocean and may not meet the needs of women. I thank you.

          *HON. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It is surprising that before a bank is in operation, we have already used $4 or $5 million.   We saw the bank carrying out a lot of activities whereby some women were also given some aphrodisiacs.  Was that part of the money which was used to assist the women?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Sithole, let us be serious with our business here. 

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

          HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  I am seeking an extension to Questions Without Notice.

          HON. MLISWA: I object.

         

          HON. DR. SHUMBA: On a point of order!  The objection was simply a disruption to process.  The Hon. Member that objected exited the Chamber and therefore, his objection is not valid.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have already made a ruling, I did not realise that he was going out.  In future, Hon. Members, it is not proper for an Hon. Member to stand up, object and then go out – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order!

          HON. MAJOME: On a point of order.  Mr. Speaker Sir, this question has been on the Order Paper for a long time.  I have posed this question much earlier than is indicated on the votes.  It was posted before the 3rd of May, 2017.  I am concerned that, again, the same issue that surely, if the Hon. Minister of Health is unable to answer the question, he has a deputy Minister who also does not come to answer the question.  Also, surely, if neither Minister nor deputy Minister is unable to come to the House, surely, they have the duty to prepare a written answer and ask their fellow Hon. Ministers to answer the question.  In my view, I think these Hon. Ministers are in contempt of Parliament and this should not go on like this.  I seek your assistance in having the Hon. Ministers either to come and answer my question or prepare the answer and give it to another Hon. Minister to answer the question.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The Minister of Health has been absent in this Chamber for a very long time.   I am sure we are going to liaise with him and make sure that he will be here next week to answer these questions.  If he is not here, the deputy should come to stand on his behalf.

          *HON. MACHINGAUTA: On a point of priviledge where we are requesting for the Ministerial statement from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education regarding the issues which I raised in this House, which include the use of schools property by political parties and forcing of school children to go to these rallies and also the use monies in schools.  It is supposed that some of these monies which are raised by parents are then going to be used by the Minister, but this is not in line with what the parents expect.  Therefore, may the Minister bring a Ministerial statement so that these issues are clarified on whether it is true that the  Ministry is going to use the SDA funds or it is just information from the social media?  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The Hon. Member has mentioned about three issues...

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, are you not fluent in Shona, the Hon. Member has asked his question in Shona.

          *HON MAVIMA: The Hon. Member asked three questions.  The first question was on the utilisation of school property by political parties and we responded to this question.  The second question was on the attendance of rallies by teachers and pupils at schools.  The third was that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is now grabbing funds from the SDA funds and I am saying we are going to issue a statement regarding these three issues. I thank you.

*HON. MACHINGAUTA:  Can you tell us when you will issue such a statement so that we can expect it?

*HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am sure we can respond within a fortnight. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  The Minister of Justice has gone to the Senate.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  Hon. Speaker Sir, I have the authority of the Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to respond to those questions.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much.  So, we allow you to answer questions on behalf the Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

CURBING OF FOOD SHORTAGES IN ZIMBABWE PRISONS

10.   HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House of Government’s plan to curb food shortages in Zimbabwe prisons.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA) on behalf of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank Hon. Masuku for raising such an important question.  Let me first of all highlight that the Government of Zimbabwe remains committed to improving the conditions of prisons.  At all material times, Government makes frantic efforts to provide the necessary financial resources to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the Prisons and Correctional Service Department (ZPCS).  It is, however, unfortunate that the resources remain inadequate due to competing priorities on the Treasury.

In view of the foregoing, the inadequacy has resulted in the Department failing to get enough financial support to facilitate the provision of sufficient prisoners’ rations in conformity with the approved dietary scale.  In an effort to make up for the gap and also address the inmates’ rations and or dietary challenges, I am pleased to report that the state of affairs pertaining to maize meal and vegetable production is sustainably good.   

COMMAND AGRICULTURE IN PRISON FARMS

11.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House why Government is not introducing Command Agriculture to all prison farms?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA) on behalf of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, on maize meal, the stock levels will last until August 2017.  These stocks have also been boosted courtesy of the 300 tonnes of maize received from the Drought Relief Programme.  Furthermore, the same programme gave the ZPCS Department a total of 121 900 tonnes of rice to enhance their dietary requirements.  We are also grateful that the ZPCS identified some farms which have been enlisted under the Government’s Command Agriculture programme.  As a matter of fact, Government has introduced Command Agriculture to selected farms, the programme is being carried out in stages to improve sustainability.  Our stocks of grain have improved significantly due to the inclusion of ZPCS farms under the Command Agriculture programme.

BALANCED DIET FOR PRISONERS

12.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House if prisoners are getting a balanced diet.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA) on behalf of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Department is also producing enough vegetables across all prison stations.  A progressive total of 190 596.6 kgs of vegetables have been produced to feed inmates, whilst a total 9 934.65 kgs have also been preserved as dried vegetables for consumption in times of need.  Such production has resulted in saving a lot of money since the Department no longer buys vegetables.

Mr. Speaker Sir, pertaining to the provision of protein, a number of arrangements have been put in place.  For a long time, challenges were being experienced on the provision of relish, especially meat.  However, these challenges have since been minimized as arrangements are being made with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authorities to ensure the sustainable provision of game meat such as buffaloes and elephants to cater for inmates’ protein needs.

In an effort to address inmates’ nutritional requirements, supplementary feeding to address their nutritional needs has been devised.  One such alternative is of corn soya blend which is being fed to the needy with plumpy nuts being received from the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the International Committee of Red Cross.  In addition, the production of indigenous vegetables (tsunga/munyevhe/chemberedzagumana ) courtesy of the nutritional support for the National Aids Council (NAC) has gone a long way in complementing our inmates’ nutritional needs.  To this end, officers have undergone training resulting with such gardens being established at stations like Bindura, Chikurubi, Marondera and Ridigita Prison Farms.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Government remains committed to ensuring that inmates within the prisons are well catered for.  I thank you.

RECRUITMENT OF MAGISTRATES

13.  HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to

(a)  state whether there is regional balance in the recruitment of magistrates in Zimbabwe;

(b)  explain why 18 magistrates resigned in 2016 and why a total of nine (9) females were discharged against one male as articulated in the Judicial Service Commission 2016 Annual Report.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA) on behalf of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for raising such pertinent issues.

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Section 18 of our Constitution, the State must promote the fair representation of all Zimbabwe’s regions in all institutions and agencies of Government at every level.  In line with this constitutional national objective, the State is obligated to ensure that appointments to State institutions and agencies reflect regional balance.  In keeping with national objective, Section 184 of the Constitution provides that judicial appointments should reflect broadly the diversity and gender composition of Zimbabwe.

The Judicial Service Commission, as the constitutional body enjoined with the recruitment of magistrates, is guided by these constitutional provisions in the appointment of magistrates.  A scrutiny of the regional, provincial and other magistrates that we have in our country will reveal beyond retraction the regional and gender composition of our society.  In all fairness, therefore, the Judicial Service Commission has endeavored to ensure that regional balance is reflected in the recruitment of magistrates. Any practice to the contrary would be an affront to the letter and spirit of our progressive Constitution.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, with regards to the number of magistrates who resigned or were dismissed in 2016 as articulated in the Judicial Service Commission  2016 Annual Report, it is important to note that the Judicial Service Commission is constitutionally obligated to appoint magistrates.  Section 182 (a) of the Constitution categorically states that magistrates shall be appointed by the Judicial Service Commission. Pursuant thereto, the conditions of service and all workplace matters pertaining to magistrates are a purview of the Commission. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the Judicial Service Commission is responsible for taking disciplinary action against judicial officers.  Guided by the principles of administrative justice, the Constitution, the parent Act and its regulations, the Commission can legally take appropriate disciplinary action against a magistrate who is shown to have contravened his or her workplace obligations.  Whether the majority of those who are dismissed after proper disciplinary proceedings, are males or females, is a matter that depends on who would have been found guilty of misconduct at a particular time. 

Insofar as resignations are concerned, all I can say is that this is a matter of personal preference of any employer. In public, quasi-public and private institutions, some employees will inevitably resign for a variety of reasons.

HON. MAJOME:  While I thank the Hon. Minister for graciously standing in to answer questions, what happens with supplementary questions regarding the issues he is raising?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Do you have a supplementary question?

HON. MAJOME:  Yes.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Yes, you are free to ask him.

          HON. MAJOME:  Can I proceed to ask him?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Yes.  That is why he is standing in for the Minister.

          HON. MAJOME:  My supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir is, is he aware that there is a dire shortage of magistrates in the Judicial Service Commission that very many posts are unfilled.  Particularly, I will speak about the Bulawayo Tredgold Building where I have been, you feel sorry for a magistrate.  They work in the bail court, they get into the maintenance court and they go to the deceased estates court, the same magistrates.  They have such a high volume of cases that even for them to write judgements is so difficult. Is he aware that working conditions are that and justice is suffering?  What is it that they are doing in order to ensure that there are sufficient magistrates that are available above the level of the most junior magistrates so that the public encounters justice and that the magistrates who work there are also working under conditions that are bearable?  Thank you.

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I really wish I was the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I have noted the concerns and they would be appropriately responded to.  I would also appreciate it if the Hon. Member could put it in writing so that the relevant Minister, Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa could respond to that issue.  Thank you very much.

          HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, I want in the same vein for the Minister to carry – I know it falls under a separate line but under the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the issue of the prosecutors.  Their conditions are next to deplorable.  They are not even close to their working conditions, including furniture, equipment and their offices.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, can you put that one as a separate question in writing so that the Minister will respond to you.

DEDUCTION OF WORKERS SALARIES

16.    HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to:

(a) Explain why SSB has instituted deductions of the following Government workers salaries without any instructions to do so from the employees considering that they did not take loans from MacDowell Microfinance:

(i)              Moses Hwata I.D. 26- 079 983 G-26, E.C. No. 0891780 A - $100.00

(ii)           William Hamadziripi I.D. 26-101137 A -26, E.C. No. 092 011, deduction $240.00, ref 77704103367, year 2017 and $100.00 thereafter.

(iii)        Innocent Magumise E.C. No. 0894709, March 2012, $145.00, March 2017 $300.00.

(iv)         Mathias Nyama I.D. 26-112682 Z-26, E.C. No. 0196294M, deduction - $100.

(v)            State what kind of action is going to be taken to have the deducted money reimbursed to these employees; and to further state whether the money will be reimbursed with interest.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The four members completed the stop order forms authorizing Salary Service Bureau to deduct loans advanced to them by McDowells International.

The members had entered into a contract with McDowells International wherein their loan applications were accepted.  Pursuant to that, the members completed stop order forms to ensure repayment of their debt to McDowells International.  The stop orders were submitted to SSB which processed according to the agreed terms.

The Ministry has since written to the Secretary General of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe advising all affected teachers to engage McDowells International if they need to adjust the amount of money being deducted on their salaries.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we have records of the schedule of all the agreed forms and the agreements that they signed.  I thank you. 

HON. MAJOME:  I have a point of order.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

HON. MAJOME:  My point of order is that I am just concerned that there is a record of loan agreement between a private person and a financial lending institution.  From the Hon. Minister’s response, he is going to attach the loan agreement and what they signed.  I am just wondering in terms of ethics and confidentiality whether it would appear in the Hansard and everybody in the world can read that so and so borrowed $2 from so and so.  Is there a way that it can be done without unnecessarily infringing on the privacy and confidentiality of people who want answers from Ministers?

          HON. ENG. MATAINGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I do not think that as a Ministry we have any objection to the submission from Hon. Majome. So in that regard, I will submit my answer without the attendant details. Is that acceptable with the House?on. Majome. so, in that H 

          HON. MANGAMI: Of course, I hear her concerns. In this case, there is a dispute where these members indicated that they would want some proof, whether it is their signatures and for those signatures to be verified. They are saying they did not have any loan agreement. Now that those signatures are part of the proof that they have signed when they have not. If they are given like that, they can assess to say are we the ones who have signed. I think for this particular case, I do not have any objection if they are included so that they would see or they can give me per se, to say are they the ones who signed. I am not sure but there must be some indication as to whether they can verify whether it is true that it is their signatures on this particular issue.

          HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think to address both concerns, what I will do as a Ministry is to put the answer without the attendant signed document but I will add on to say that should Hon. Mangami and the affected people feel that they want to come and have sight of the attendant documents; we have the attendant documents that they use to verify. I think that will address the issue.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, I think there will not be any problems since they approached the Hon. Member and they wanted their names to appear in the Press or whatever. So, I do not think there will be any harm on that because they preferred it that way. We cannot deny them as to what they feel the case should be dealt with.

          *HON. NDUNA: I want to hear from the Minister whether there is any reason for civil servants salary to be garnished from SSB which the Public Service can accept? What is the reason for them to agree that there should be a stop order from SSB? Is there a reason so that they would allow SSB to have a stop order? Is it NSSA or if they are many, they should just tell us because people are losing their money from various organisations. I want to know if there are any reasons that the Public Service can agree that SSB should have a stop order.

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, the way you are asking, I think the Minister might not be able to get your point and might not be able to answer you properly. I think what you want is the Minister to tell us the reason why SSB garnishes money for someone.

          *HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. What causes civil servants to have their money deducted in stop orders is because that person goes and gets loans from loan sharks or banking institutions. They come into an agreement and sign a contract. So, the person who is giving out the loan is the one who agrees. They go to SSB and tell them that before your money gets into your account, I get my money. That is how they get into an agreement. When they agree, as the employer, there is no reason for us to refuse because they have agreed. The example that we had is that there are workers who would have agreed with their debtors. So SSB does not have the powers to just deduct money. It is an agreement between the two people and we effect that agreement. Thank you.

          Hon. Nduna having stood up to debate.

          * THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. The Minister has really articulated. What is needed on this special case is that there should be an investigation because it looks like the signatures that are there are not theirs. So, the Hon. Minister is pleading that as a Ministry, you should investigate because the people are saying they did not sign to that. I think that is the issue.

          *HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What we are saying is that the documents that SSB are using are in the public domain. So, the onus is on them to verify whether they are true. If it is not true, it means it is a question of fraud and that has to be investigated by the police, but the documents that SSB are using have been put in the public domain. They should go and investigate whether it is true or not.

          *HON. ZINDI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have got this issue because the deductions that are being made on the workers – the Minister tried to answer but I did not get it clearly. I want it to be clear. Does it mean that there is a law that the Ministry of Public Service who is the owner of  the workers gives consent to the people who own the workers that put their signatures. If you look at the salaries of civil servants, they do not earn $500.00 and that is in the public domain. If someone has $240.00 being deducted from their salaries and there is NSSA and PAYE, how much do they take home looking at the amount of money that the worker would remain with that they would take home?

          *HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. If you look at these organisations that give out loans, banks and micro-finance institutes, they look at your pay slip to see if the money that you remain with, you will be able to survive on that after they have made their deductions. Even if they give you money, you can approach the bank and say you take everything but they do not agree. So, these financial institutions have got parameters on how they work and they have the maximum amounts that they can give you so that you can repay and also survive. Those are the agreements that they get into at that time.

          * THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I think what Hon. Zindi is trying to say is that yes, those who give out loans also check, but there are others who do not care how much the worker is remaining with. Is there protection for workers? That is what Hon. Zindi is asking. From your side as a Ministry, are you protecting the workers?  These are people who want money, so they can end up just taking money.  They do not look at whether the people will remain with a reasonable amount of money to live on.

*HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Can I have the indulgence of this House to that I go and investigate so that I will give you a proper answer next time.

An Hon. Member having stood up to ask a supplementary question.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member.  If the Minister said he is going to do further consultations and research and come back, why should we have supplementary questions?  I will not allow that – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – There is no more supplementary question to this.

MEASURES TO SUPPORT ZIMCARE TRUST SCHOOL

          17.  HON. CHIGUDU asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to inform the House of the measures the Ministry has put in place to support the ZIMCARE Trust School for the disabled and disadvantaged children in Masvingo in the form of food and blankets considering the fact that some parents have started withdrawing their children from the school in order to avert the challenges faced.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The House is alive to the fact that the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare administers the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17:01) and the Social Assistance Act (Chapter 17:06) meant to cater for the needs of persons living with disabilities and other vulnerable groups respectively.

          Empowered by these Acts, the Government is mandated to register Disabled Persons Organisations, (DPOs) and institutions providing institutional care to persons with disabilities, thereby paving way to a multi-sectoral response to the plight of persons with disabilities.  Mr. Speaker Sir, ZIMCARE Trust Schools for the disabled and disadvantaged children in Masvingo is an organisation registered under the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act (Chapter 17:05).

          ZIMCARE Trust, as is with similar organisations, is there to complement Government efforts in social services delivery.  That said, these organistions are assisted by the Government through the disbursement of grants as follows;

Administrative grants

Administrative grants are once off payments made to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) offering services to persons with disabilities to assist in their daily administrative operations.  The grants are paid out on a yearly basis.  As we speak, a total of US$12 150 was disbursed on the 18th of July, 2017 to ZIMCARE Trust Head Office as administrative grant for the year 2017.

Per Capita

Government also supports persons with disabilities in institutions with per capita grants to cater for the upkeep of inmates in the institution.  As such, the institution is paid US$15 per inmate per month upon claim.  The 2017 claims are being processed for payment for all institutions which cater for persons with disabilities.

          It remains the Government’s responsibility to provide social services to persons with disabilities, especially those in institutions.  As such Mr. Speaker Sir, the Government made sure that most of the donations of rice and maize that were coming under the food mitigation programme were channeled towards the care of inmates in various institutions including ZIMCARE Trust organisations.  I thank you.

          *HON. NDUNA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Before you took up your seat, there was a discussion which was held which is of a security nature.  I remember a time when I came across some soldiers who did not receive any finance from their pay slips and they were disadvantaged because the money had been deducted by the money lenders.  If military personnel are deprived of their money, then there is a problem and it becomes a security risk.  I am asking this august House to make a ruling that the only amount which should be deducted from military personnel is 10% so that they do not have zero payment on their pay slips.

          *HON. PHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is a follow up on a question raised by Hon. Chigudu.  I remember that there was the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC), which was established for the sake of assisting the people who were in poverty and mainly were in starvation.  These vulnerable groups were getting assistance in the form of food.  They include school children, the disabled and the aged.  However, we noticed that people in urban areas have not been paid and this has been happening for some time. My question is, why are the aged and vulnerable groups in urban areas not benefitting?  We have approached the District Administrators and other personnel who responded that the ZimVAC Report which was done did not include the urban people who are vulnerable and yet they are equally poverty stricken.

          HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  It may not look like a supplementary but a new question.  However, I will respond.  When we make ZimVAC research, we made two researches, one is based on rural areas and the other based on urban areas.  So, we have since submitted the ZimVAC reports on rural areas.  As I speak, the ZimVAC report on rural areas has already been submitted and it is under review by the Cabinet.  They are checking on its authenticity and some areas which may want some corrections on this report. 

The ZimVAC urban report has now passed because we are now into a new era. I think that by the end of the year, you will notice that we will be distributing food to the vulnerable groups in Chegutu and Kadoma because we were doing some ad hoc responses which made us give assistance where it was urgently needed.  Therefore, we are now awaiting the new ZimVAC report.  As stated before, the only ZimVAC report which is under scrutiny is the rural ZimVAC report which can be actioned as soon as it is scrutinised.  I thank you.

          *HON. PHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, we thank the Minister for giving us such a response, especially on the food which was allocated to the vulnerable in urban areas.  I remember that in urban areas, we distributed rice in those areas.  My request is, the Minister should give us a breakdown of what was allocated to those urban areas and the people who benefitted.

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Your question is now and not within the question which had been asked and you are now digressing further than expected.

PLANS TO CATER FOR THE VULNERABLE CHILDREN’S SCHOOL FEES IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

18.  HON. ZHOU asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to inform the House the Ministry’s plans to cater for the vulnerable children’s school fees in primary and secondary schools since BEAM programme does not cover them.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. ZINDI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  I do not see Hon. Zhou.

THE TEMPORARY SPEKER:  He is there.

HON. ZINDI:  Sorry, my apologies, I withdraw.

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I was proceeding to give our response.  It is one of Government’s major objectives to ensure that the vulnerable children so alluded to, fully enjoy their rights to education.  This has been done through the basic Education Assistance Module BEAM, which is a social intervention programme that was established as a social safety net that would ensure access to education for vulnerable children.  As such, BEAM does not discriminate but benefits all vulnerable children, including those with disabilities.  In order to increase transparency and access by vulnerable children, the operational manual for the BEAM programme was reviewed in 2016 and is since giving good values.

Other than BEAM Mr. Speaker Sir, orphans and vulnerable children committed in alternative care facilities including those under foster care have their school fees and school uniforms provided for using the Children in Difficult Circumstances Fund which is provided by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  There are also a number of civil society organisations that complement Government efforts by providing educational support to vulnerable children.

Government will continue to prioritise-  resources permitting, funding of these important programmes.

ALLOCATION OF LAND AROUND TOKWE-MUKORSI DAM

22. HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate whether Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam has been allocated land around it as a green belt in order to protect it from siltation, and possibly destruction and if so, how many hectares.

       THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Hon. Mangami for the question.

          The country’s ecosystems such as wetlands, mountain ecosystems, rivers, dams and lakes are under serious threat from unsustainable human practices.  The environment, despite its importance in supporting human livelihood and the economy continues to suffer at the expense of development.  To manage these and other sensitive ecosystems, my Ministry ensures that green belts are maintained.  Green belts are a buffer zone to protect fragile eco systems or surrounding communities from externalities that may arise from a project.

          In the case of river systems and dams, these are green areas that are maintained in order to ensure minimal human interference with the ecosystem and prevent urban spill into the catchment.  Dam catchments are fragile in nature and are characterised by unstable soils that if disturbed, they are easily washed into the dam, causing siltation. 

Mr. Speaker, a belt covering 49 000 hectares was gazetted on the 12th of July, 1964 and earmarked around Tokwe-Mukorsi to maintain the dam.  However, in order to protect the dam from siltation, vices such as overgrazing, stream bank cultivation and others need to be curbed.  For this reason, our conservation practices go beyond just dam’s greenbelt, but we will look at the whole catchment area.

        Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministry has put in place an afforestation  programme to enhance vegetation density and diversity around dams  and other sensitive areas.  The active conservation of indigenous trees is happening in most parts of the dam’s catchment area where individual households and schools are trained in order to manage trees around their homesteads and in cropping fields.

A biogas project is also under implementation in Ward 2 to supplement energy from firewood.  In 2016, my Ministry, through the Forestry Commission collaborated with SAFIRE and Care Zimbabwe to train communities in Ward 16 of Chivi district in the moulding and use of tsotso stoves to reduce the amount of firewood used in cooking and heating, hence conserving trees.  The training is currently being expanded to cover all the other wards in the Tokwe-Mukorsi dam catchment area and beyond.

        In addition, community projects aimed at mechanically removing lantana camara, an invasive plant species that had invaded 30 hectares of land downstream of the Tokwe-Mukorsi dam wall are being implemented.  To date, a total of 15 hectares has been cleared.  Lantana camara out competes native species, blocking natural succession processes, thereby reducing bio-diversity.

          Furthermore Mr. Speaker Sir, to protect the dam from siltation, my Ministry is establishing consolidated community gardens and woodlots outside the greenbelt in order to curb stream bank cultivation and tree cutting as communities seek to use tree branches as brushwood to fence off their gardens.  There are also several ongoing environmental conservation programmes and a research project being undertaken in Wards 2. 3, 11, 12, 16, 22, 25. 26, 28, 30 and 31 of Chivi District as well as all the wards of Mapanzure communal areas of Masvingo District.

          I am also implementing land restoration projects that include gully reclamation within the belt. I have noted that communities within the dam’s catchment have not put in place conservation works.  As such, I have engaged the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to ensure that conservation works are constructed. My Ministry is also conducting environmental awareness campaigns to communities adjacent to the greenbelts in order to improve management of the environment in these areas.

          To prevent veldt fires, communities around the belt have been trained on fire management and fire fighting committees are in place. It is envisaged that the engagement of traditional leaders done will see a reduction in the occurrence of veldt fires in the catchment.

          In conclusion, Mr Speaker Sir, it is my sincere hope that all other relevant Ministries will participate in our endeavour to protect and sustainably manage the natural resources within the belt. The Tokwe -Mukorsi dam has potential to boost community livelihood and the Zimbabwean economy if well managed. As we speak, my Ministry is spearheading an inter-ministerial process which seeks to develop a national framework which guides and captures all the anchor activities that will form the Tokwe-Mukorsi Development Master Plan. We are consulting with all key stakeholders to ensure that all our people get benefit from this national asset.

          When ready we expect this plan to dovetail with the national vision espoused in the ZIM ASSET – “Towards and Empowered Society and a Growing Economy”. I thank you.       

REHABILITATION OF DAMS IN MBERENGWA NORTH CONSTITUENCY

23. HON. ZHOU asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to:

(a) indicate when the following dams in Mberengwa North Constituency will be rehabilitated:

(i)              Gambure Dam in Ward 15

(ii)           Fata Dan in Ward 16

(iii)        Neta Dam in Ward 36

(b)            indicate when the planned dam construction (Rusharumwe) in Vumukwana – Danga Ward 16 will commence.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): The Government through the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate is aware of the effects of Climate Change and increasing rainfall variability in Zimbabwe as shown by the perennial droughts over the years, followed by the two contrasting consecutive rainfall seasons of 2015/16 and that of 2016/17.

          In this regard, my Ministry is cognisant of the urgent need to build resilience within our communities through rainwater harvesting. This is why the Government has embarked on the Command Water Harvesting Programme whose goal is to enhance water security in our rural communities.

          This programme is targeting every ward in the country and has the following components

i.                   Construction of weirs and small dams;

ii.                Desilting of reservoirs and rivers;

iii.             Rehabilitation of breached dams;

iv.             Wastewater recycling;

v.                Rooftop or rock outcrop rainwater harvesting.

          The financing model for the programme has been dictated by the current financial constraints Government is facing, and thus calls for partnerships between Government and the local communities supported by the local traditional and political leadership. ZINWA would provide all the required technical expertise.

          As part of the roll out of the programme, the Ministry, through ZINWA has compiled an inventory of all flood damaged infrastructure that includes community dams and water supply stations. Gambure Dam in Ward 15, Fata Dam in Ward 16 and Neta Dam in Ward 36 which are in Mberengwa District, Midlands Province are on that list and their rehabilitation as I have already indicated, will be funded through a partnership between Government and the local communities.

          I need to point out however, that the number of dams and water supply stations that need rehabilitation are in excess of 300 and the estimated cost of rehabilitation is some $67 million. I thank you.

          HON. RUNGANI: I move that time for Questions with Notice be extended.

HON. GONESE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

BOOKS FOR MPOSI HIGH SCHOOL IN MBERENGWA NORTH CONSTITUENCY

32. HON. ZHOU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to:

(a) State when the Ministry will equip Mposi High School in Mberengwa North Constituency Ward 16 with books.

(b)            State when Vumukwana Secondary School in Mberengwa North Constituency, Ward 16 would be constructed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF MAVIMA): With regard to that first part of the question, the Ministry if aware of the situation in some schools concerning the shortage of learning and teaching materials. When we attained Independence in 1980 there were only 157 secondary schools in the whole country. With the massive growth in the education sector, the current figure for secondary schools stands at 2 775.  It has become difficult for the Ministry to provide the schools with learning materials.  The School Development Committees (SDCs) have been given the power to develop and equip their schools.  This does not necessarily mean that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is not worried about equipping the schools. 

          In 2011, the Ministry, through the Education Development Fund supplied all schools both primary and secondary with teaching and learning materials that included textbooks and science equipment and Mposi was a beneficiary.  The District Schools inspector has so far not received any complaint from the school about the shortage of textbooks.

          With regards to the second part of the question which states when Vumukwana Secondary School in Mberengwa North Constituency, Ward 16, would be constructed, in response, Vumukwana Secondary School is not shown in our records as existing.  The district schools inspector is not aware of any plans to construct Vumukwana Secondary School. 

          However, there is Vumukwana Primary School whose learners are enrolled at Mposi Secondary School after they complete primary education.  It is therefore, maybe that there is no authority to construct at the district level, Vumukwana Secondary School.

          HON. T. ZHOU: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Learners have to move 10 km to move from Mposi to Vumukwana.  As a Ministry, what are you doing to construct schools so that learners do not travel such long distances?

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA: As a Ministry, the policy regarding the construction of schools in rural areas is supposed to be done by local authorities.  We usually follow the request from the villagers in those areas.  The Ministry cannot just bump in and start constructing a school without the concurrence of the local authority and local villagers.  Hence, if there are people in these areas, once new schools are constructed, the protocol is that the request is sent through the regional education inspectorate who will come and make the necessary research and inquiries so that they verify the need for such an institution, hence it will be constructed if there is need.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS FOR THE CARETAKER COMMISSION IN CHITUNGWIZA

          28. HON. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to disclose to the House the allowances and benefits that the Caretaker Commission for Chitungwiza is getting.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question. However, let me inform this august House that the allowances for the Caretaker Commission are governed by Circular Number 12 of 2016 of the Urban Councils Act which perked allowances for the Mayor at $600 and Deputy Mayor at $400 per month for a municipality like Chitungwiza. Furthermore, they are entitled to lunch of $20 whenever they are at the City Council.

BILL TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 301 OF THE CONSTITUTION

29. HON. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain to the House when the Ministry will bring to Parliament a bill that ensures that Section 301 of the Constitution is compiled with in terms of the improvement in the revenue collected by the local authorities.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO): I take note and acknowledge that Section 301 (3) of the Constitution provides that “not less than five per cent of the national revenue raised in any financial year must be allocated to the provinces and local authorities as their share in a year”. Mr. Speaker Sir, may I inform the House that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is responsible for coming up with the relevant Act of Parliament.

          On the motion of HON. RUNGANI seconded by HON. MANGAMI, the House adjourned at Five o’clock p.m.

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 26 jULY 2017 VOL 43 NO 80