PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBAWE
Wednesday, 1st March, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
ABSENCE OF WATER IN THE BUILDING
THE HON. SPEAKER: There is currently no water in the building and the whole of the Central Business District due to a major breakdown at Morton Jeffrey and Warren Hills Control. Harare City Council has since rectified the problem and will start pumping water later in the day. I implore Hon. Members to bear with us during this period.
PETITION FROM THE YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
THE HON. SPEAKER: May I also advise the House that on the 15th of February, 2017, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Young Entrepreneurs Development Association appealing to Parliament for a review of the policies that are hindering the implementation of the Socio-Economic Blue Print – ZIM ASSET. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.
LEAVE TO MOVE ADJOURNEMTN OF THE HOUSE ON A DEFINITE MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I seek leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance relating to xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
LEAVE TO MOVE ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE ON A DEFINITE MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE: XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS IN SOUTH AFRICA:
HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker, I seek leave to move the adjournment of the House on a definite matter of urgent public importance relating to xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
THE HON. SPEAKER: In terms of Standing Order No. 59 (1), the matter raised by Hon. Maridadi requires the leave of the House. I accordingly ask all Hon. Members who support the application for leave to rise in their places.
Hon. Members rose in their places.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The number of Hon. Members who support the application is more than 25 and in terms of Standing Order No. 59, the leave of the House is accordingly granted and the matter proposed by the Hon. Member, Hon. Maridadi will be debated at a Quarter-past Five o’clock p.m. or sooner on adjournment.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I rise on a matter of privilege just to acknowledge and appreciate the bi-partisan attitude that has been exhibited in this House in relation to the motion raised by Hon. Maridadi. I would like to have this spirit to obtain all the time when we discuss matters which affect our nation and citizens. I would like to have this approach to be adopted when we come to national issues all the time Mr. Speaker.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I must say when I walked into Parliament, I nearly fainted when I saw the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs. True to your word, he is here and we would like to welcome him to Parliament, especially today when the xenophobia debate has been moved – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Mliswa, this matter was discussed yesterday and I do not think there is any point in trying to embarrass the Minister. Your point of order does not stand.
HON. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I rise on a point of privilege for Members of Parliament in general to say, can we have it as a culture that whenever we have things like the disaster happening in the southern region and probably things like xenophobia, Ministers make it a point that they come up and bring a Ministerial Statement on what is happening so that MPs will have knowledge of what is happening since they liaise internationally and locally.
*HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I have stood up with a very pertinent issue and also to acknowledge that the Vice President is here. I went to the hospital today with someone who fell sick in my constituency. The situation that I witnessed is a situation that if it was possible, it would be good for us as Hon. Members to visit Harare Central Hospital and Parirenyatwa Hospital and have a tour. The situation is quite bad.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. You should ask a Question Without Notice. Thank you.
Hon. Chamisa having given notice of motion in respect of Standing Order Number 62.
THE HON. SPEAKER: My response to that is that the Office of the Vice President through the Minister of State in his office had approached Parliament and asked for that indulgence. So, the point is correct but there was a discussion before. That is why we allowed that to be tabled.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. S. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Dr. J. Gumbo.
What is Government Policy regarding protecting the health of officers manning the toll gates considering that they are daily exposed to poisonous fumes emitted by vehicles passing through the toll gates especially the officers that are inside the cubicles?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, I did not comprehend the policy question. Can it be repeated?
HON. S. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is; what is Government policy regarding protecting the health of officers manning the toll gates considering that they are daily exposed to poisonous fumes emitted by vehicles passing through the toll gates especially the officers that are inside the cubicles?
HON. DR. GUMBO: I want to thank Hon. Mpofu for that question. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is a question that relates to the health of our staff. I think I will do justice to that question if it is put in writing so that I can even consult the Minister of Health and Child Care in order that we come up with an answer that can be of assistance to our members.
As far as I am concerned as a responsible Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, I would have answered and probably said that the operators are housed in the cubicles as she said and also that they are clothed in good uniforms. That is what I would say but regarding health matters, I have to research. I insist that this is a very important question and I think it will assist us even as a Ministry and Members in the House if it can be put in writing so that I can do some research.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services. He seems to be absent together with his Deputy. I will re-direct my question to the Leader of the House.
May you bear with me because I have a background to the question?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: May you pose the question?
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: DSTV contracted all the commercial banks to collect their revenue for subscriptions. It does not have pay points like ZESA whereby you can go and pay on your own. The money that is charged on individuals is $32.98 and then the bank withholds $2 from the person who will have paid the subscription to DSTV. Is that not daylight robbery to the citizens of Zimbabwe to be forced to pay $2 on top of the DSTV subscriptions?
*THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I want to thank Hon. Chinotimba for the question that he raised. I am delighted to note that he thinks I know what happens in the operations of DSTV. However, I am sorry to say that I do not know how they do their business. Can I ask the Hon. Member to put his question in writing so that the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services can be informed so as to enable him to investigate what is happening and give a convincing answer because Hon. Chinotimba’s concern is for the protection of all the citizens of Zimbabwe.
HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: There is no point of order. You have been requested to put your question in writing because your question is detailed. That will enable the relevant Minister to respond to your question convincingly.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: I heard that but my point of order is on a different note.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no, I did tell Hon. Munengami that I will not entertain any more points of order and we are going to the questions.
*HON. MAPIKI: I would like to find out from the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development what Government policy is concerning the use of our own resources against procuring tar from outside the country which is not durable? The experts who are doing research in terms of resurfacing are saying that the tar is taking very little time for it to be damaged and our own local tar is durable.
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): It is true that the tar that we are using and the tar that he is referring to, that should be used on the roads is concrete which is durable. There is no debate there, but it is true from what he said and as a Government, we will look into it and consider if we can use the concrete to surface the roads to ensure that our roads remain durable.
HON: KHUPE: My question is directed to the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development. We are all alive to the fact that Zimbabwe is highly informalised, with more than 5.4 million people in the informal sector. Out of those, 78% are women. What progress has been made with regards to the operationalisation of the Women’s Bank, to ensure that women have access to capital and are able to grow their businesses so as to contribute effectively to the development of this country?
THE MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA): The Hon Member has asked her question at the right time when progress has actually been made in that regard. Let me assure you that we are aware of that problem, that 75% of those that are in the vending sector and those that are really struggling to make sure that they live are women. It is not an easy situation but we have come up with the women’s bank and I want to let you know that we now have a board in place, an acting Chief Executive Officer and have been advanced $10 million by our Minister of Finance and Economic Development so that we start operating. We also now have banking halls and training of those that are going to mann the bank is in progress. For those that are stakeholders, we will be approaching you to ensure that everyone who would want to put money in the bank does come on board.
Having said that, we are sincerely hoping that on the International Family Day, which is 8th May, 2017, we should be launching the bank and finally ensuring that those women that need the money, with the help of every stakeholder who would want to put money in the bank, will start accessing funding and ensure that the problem that you have just alluded to is taken care of. I thank you.
HON. ZWIZWAI: I want to thank the Minister for that response, which was informing the nation on the progress of the Women’s Bank. What is of concern to us Mr. Speaker is that the Minister is talking about the training of staff …
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member can you pose your question?
*HON. ZWIZWAI: My question to the Minister is that there are a number of women; young women and girls and a country that has pledged $10 million to finance the bank, where is this coming from that people are being trained to operate the bank and yet it was not advertised in the papers that there are vacancies for the Women’s Bank.
* HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker sir. There are different sectors which do that. There are experts who are capable of running that bank and they are the ones who do that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Those who look for the people to mann and work in the bank are the board members and the CEO. That is not the work of the Government.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. My point of order is to the effect that the Hon. Minister has not done justice to the question. The issue from the supplementary question is very straight forward Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Gonese, if you are not clear can you ask a supplementary question?
HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question is - in view of the fact that you want to have things done in a transparent and open manner, can the Minister elucidate on her answer and clarify for us about the process which was used to recruit those people who are already being trained. The nation wants to know the process which was used to identify the members, even of the board how they were recruited so that we do our things in a transparent and open manner and not in an opaque way.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, what I said is they are in the process. If they are in the process, there are procedures that they are supposed to take. What he has just talked about, if it is part of the process that they are supposed to adhere to they will do exactly that. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]–
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I am not allowing any supplementary question because the Hon. Minister says the due process will follow. Can you wait for that due process? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. ZWIZWAI: I have got a point of order Mr. Speaker.] – I have ruled there is no further question. No. – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Because the Minister is lying under oath. She is said that they are already training and now she is changing the statement.] – No. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Sit down. Can you sit down! Hon. Minister, can you clear the air.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Everything that is happening with the bank now is an interim measure. The CEO, like I said is an interim CEO and that post is still to be advertised - but for the sake of progress, somebody had to be in the office. The CEO is a board member and among the members of the board – the interim CEO is part of the board and amongst the members of the board, there should be somebody who can actually run the programme in the interim while they are going to advertise for a substantive person who is going to be the CEO.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: The question is perjury. It is not a question of the CEO, it is about the training of the staff that we want clarified.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, she has clarified that.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: She is not telling the truth, she said it is already in progress but now she has changed and we have a voice recording and a Hansard recording – [HON. ZINDI: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Zindi can you please take your seat. There is a dispute here about what the Hon. Minister said originally. So, I want to look at the Hansard recording and then I will make a ruling tomorrow – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, you must listen very carefully, I said there is a dispute of what the Minister said and I want that studied as to what has been recorded in the Hansard and therefore, we cannot proceed debating on that matter.
HON. GUZHA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and in his absence I will direct my question to the Leader of House for Government business. We have quite a number of students who wrote their Grade 7 examinations, they cannot access their certificates because they failed to pay school fees during the term. These results are being withheld to the extent that they are now not able to go and attend Form One. What is Government policy in regards to these students? Should school heads continue to hold results for these students so that they fail to attend Form One class?
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker, from a Government point of view and from a policy view, we have directed that students or pupils will not be denied their results on the basis of having failed to pay school fees. I thank you.
*HON. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We have students who wrote their Grade 7 and Ordinary level. When they went to collect their results it was written ‘missing’, what is Government doing about it to enable them to proceed with their education?
HON. MNANGAGWA: Mr. Speaker, he spoke well that there are others who could not get their certificates or results. The Government does not plan for one’s results or certificates to be missing. We actually want everyone to get their certificates. If there is a school that is like that, it is important for you to write to the Minister articulating the schools concerned for the Minister to take action on why students did not get their certificates because it is fraudulent for you to get a certificate that does not belong to you. I thank you.
HON. K. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate. I would like to know the plans in place by your Ministry to secure development partners to carry out capital projects that cannot be sustained by the fiscus like the construction of dams, with reference to Gwai-Shangai Dam, also can you highlight on the ...
THE HON. SPEAKER: How many questions do you want to ask?
HON. K. SIBANDA: Just one.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Just one is enough.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Sibanda for that very important question. Government’s policy is that our Ministry has the responsibility to construct one dam per district and where Government cannot on its own construct such dams, we do approach donor agencies where possible; a case in point is the Kunzvi Dam where we have invited the Chinese to partner with Government in order to construct Kunzvi Dam. The same goes for Kondo Dam which is under consideration where private partners have indicated an interest to participate in a BOT programme.
So, yes we do allow donors or partners to partner with ZINWA in order to construct dams. Specifically on Gwayi Dam, Government has already allocated USD$3m this year to ensure that we commence the construction of Gwayi-Shangai Dam. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MUZONDIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. In his absence, I direct my question to the Leader of the House. May I know what is the Government policy regarding the issue of victimization and torturing of people who will be under investigation by the C.I.D.? I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMEINTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon. Member for asking that question. It is not only Government policy but also legislation and we are party to the treaty against torture. So, both in terms of policy and in terms of the law, we forbid the administration or application of torture on anybody. If there are any specific cases, I would recommend that the Hon. Member should approach the Ministry of Home Affairs so that the matter can be investigated. I thank you.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir. I just want to get clarification from the Hon. Vice President as to whether Zimbabwe has now ratified the convention against torture because my recollection was that in past we had not done so. I just want the Hon. Vice President, to clarify whether in fact this has now been done.
HON. MNANGAGWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member is correct. The Republic of Zimbabwe is party to the treaty but the process of ratification has not been carried out. I thank you.
*HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Vice President Hon. Mnangagwa. I want to know what measures the Government has put in place concerning the resuscitation and construction of bridges that were washed away? We are now in the tobacco selling season and people need to take their tobacco to the tobacco auction floors. We want to know what measures the Government has put in place to ensure that that the roads are passable. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank Hon. Mukwangwariwa for the question that he has paused which was directed to the Vice President and later redirected to me. Hon. Speaker Sir, the measures that the Government has in terms of addressing the roads and the bridges that were washed away by the rain season are that we are working together with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing where they have come up with a programme on the dangerous roads and the bad roads that are now in the urban areas as well as the rural areas. The Government has a Committee with members from the President’s office, Local Government and the Transport department and we are organising to source funds and put funds together; about a hundred million, which should be used to rebuild the bridges and address the road network.
This was done considering that farm produce will need to be taken to the market. The Ministry of Finance has also set aside US$15 million that is earmarked for the work that we are talking about of addressing the roads. We are also trying to acquire loans as ZINARA about US$50 million to add to that US$15 million. We now have Bitumen which is going to be used to work on the roads and we have US$5.5 million worth of Bitumen that we were given by the Government of Japan that will be used to address the road network.
For those of you who watch TV, I am sure you have seen a number of Ministers of Government going to several areas to assess the damage of the roads and the bridges. We are working together as Government to ensure that we address the road network in the country. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MLILO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Minister, alive to the fact that most intercity roads that we have in the nation, alive to the fact that most highways in the nation are under your direct purview and also to the fact that most roads that are within metropolitan suburbs or areas are under Local Government and the City Councils; what then is the Government policy with regards to metropolitan roads being declared a state of disaster for them to benefit from these funds that you are talking about? I thank you.
HON. DR. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I did allude to the fact that working in conjunction with the Minister of Local Government, the Hon. Minister Kasukuwere, we have together, come up with a policy to repair, rehabilitate and to attend to roads throughout the country. I am referring to all roads. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Minister of Local Government did, through the President, make a recommendation which was published in the Gazette or was Gazzeted declaring that our urban roads and also our rural roads are in a state of disaster. So, all the areas are covered and there is no discrimination and this is a disaster. We cannot only attend to the rural roads which are under the purview of the Ministry of Transport. We are also looking at urban roads and for those staying in Harare and other towns, they have already seen us starting to assist the City of Harare in rehabilitating some of the roads in the City of Harare, working together with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and I have already stated that the Committee that has been set up involves my Ministry and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. It shows that from those areas or those roads that are under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and those under the purview of the Ministry of Transport we are attending to them all. I thank you.
HON. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I need clarity here. As much as I appreciate what the Minister is explaining I also need to know that has it been declared as a disaster or if it has not when is it going to be declares as a disaster?
HON. DR. GUMBO: Mr. Speaker Sir. The initial declaration was done and tomorrow you can lookout at another widened declaration because the disaster has now outgrown the areas that we thought it had only covered. So, I want to thank you. If you look out tomorrow, you will see that it has been widened. I thank you.
*HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Hon. Minister said that ZINARA is in the process or has acquired US$15 million to help towards addressing the road network. We all know that ZINARA is collecting money from the tollgates and also from vehicle licences. My question is, why is it that ZINARA is acquiring loans yet it is collecting money from tollgates – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I think when you were asking your questions I was listening. It is also my turn to ask my question, so instead of them making noise Mr. Speaker, they should listen so that I finish asking my question. If you see people making noise, it means the question is inquisitive and they are aware that if the Minister responds, it will be an issue. Thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, do not be preemptive of what the Hon. Minister will say. Allow the Hon. Minister to state his case.
*HON. DR. J. M. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for the question that was raised by Hon. Munengami. It is a pertinent question and I want to enlighten the nation so that they can understand. The money that ZINARA intends to borrow, I did not say it has been borrowed already. I said we want to borrow some money amounting to US$50 million through ZINARA so that we assist in taking care of the disaster in our roads which we are facing as a nation.
If we had not faced such a disaster, ZINARA was not going to borrow. Borrowing means that the income projections by ZINARA are very little. There are only 26 tollgates the whole country and those tollgates are not bringing in a lot of money and we are only three months into the year. The budget we have is based on the annual income, which runs until December of each year. We are not yet in December, but we intend to construct our road network today. For this reason, we intend to borrow so that we will be able to pay back the loan up until the end of the year but with a well constructed road network including bridges. The cash collected by ZINARA is inadequate in terms of reconstruction of our roads which are in a state of disaster – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order please.
HON. DR. J. M. GUMBO: I stood in this House Mr. Speaker Sir and submitted some figures to Hansard, it is there, showing the amount of money we collect. I also indicated that, this year, if ZINARA manages to collect enough money, it will amount to about US$200 million. On this US$200 million, most of that will be channeled towards paying up the debt for the construction of the Plumtree – Mutare Road and for other administrative issues. I also indicated that the money which is paid to our road authorities will not even amount to US$100 million, it will be less than that.
All the Hon. Members in this House Mr. Speaker Sir, from 9 to 20 January, we moved around all provinces and showed all the Members of Parliament and local authorities the money they were going to be allocated for this year’s budget- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*HON. CHAMISA: Hon. Speaker Sir, in your rules as stated in the Standing Rules and Orders, it is allowed to stand on a point of privilege. Mr. Speaker Sir, there is a question which was brought here concerning US$15 billion and the Hon. Minister of Mines and Energy gave his commitment. He was asked for the first time and he promised to come back and for the second time he again promised to come. So, I am requesting you to remind him concerning the US$15 billion. What is it that he is still looking for such that the answers are not found or he might give us information on what should be done.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: We will ask the Hon. Minister.
HON. A. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. May I ask the Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing; the floods have occurred almost everywhere in the country. How much is our Government prepared in terms of giving food, shelter and all the necessities to the affected people?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Mnangagwa for a very important question relating to the state of disaster that has visited our country. I want to confirm that, and I will use what Hon. Gumbo said earlier on. Initially, we had declared a state of disaster to limited areas in the urban centres. However, from tomorrow, we are going to expand that scope so that we cater for all the affected districts in the affected parts of our country, Matebeleland, Midlands, Manicaland and so on. Our forecast is that, we are likely to have these challenges in the northern parts of Zimbabwe.
In terms of our state of preparedness, I want to say that we have been working closely with the Ministry of Defence which has been providing us with equipment and men and women who have been able to rescue a number of our people. For example, in Tsholotsho, over 859 people were rescued to safety and that process is continuing. We have had challenges around the Tugwi River, Lundi River, schools and other areas where people have been rescued. Unfortunately, we also lost lives along the way, but the state of preparedness – the Civil Protection Department has been up to its game.
I also want to confirm that the Ministry of Health and Child Care has come on board and has been supporting most of our people. There are those who have lost their RTVs and they have been supported. We also have the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, which came with us when we went to Tsholotsho, the integration of children whose schools might have been affected. We also have the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, which is making sure that food is available.
So, we have a number of Ministries which are involved in this exercise and each family is being supported to a minimum of US$200. However, we are going to step up our effort of raising support so that we can be able to help families to reconstruct their homes in places which, hopefully, will be much safer than where they are currently or where they had to face the disasters. Ordinarily, I want to confirm that a lot has been done by Government and we are on top of the situation. Thank you very much.
*HON. MLISWA: I would like to ask the Minister that, there are those who have built in wet lands with the authority from your Ministry. In Norton, where I come from, there are houses that were built in wet lands. As Ministry of Local Government, what is your plan about those houses?
*HON. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I thank Hon. Mliswa for his question, though he is not dressed in a suit. We have a number of houses that were built in wet lands. We are advising people in those areas to come and tell us so that we work together with EMA to ensure that we address the situation and ensure that those that are affected, measures are taken to protect them. We also want a situation whereby if there is a lot of water, they are not affected by the rains. There some areas in which people build in wet lands but the houses are built high up the ground to ensure that there is no inflow of water. As Government, we should not allow people to build their houses in wet lands.
Right now, we have a number of homes that were destroyed. I am sure you witnessed Borrowdale, where some homes were washed away and also along the Chitungwiza road. We are engaging the affected people to try and relocate them so that they do not experience such problems in future.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you for recognising me. Could the Minister clarify if there is a standard food package that is given to rescued households. I ask this question in light of media reports that rescued households in Matabeleland received bottles of cooking oil only from the Ministry.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question. No, we provide everything from mealie-meal, the proteins including of course the cooking oil. There is no way we can provide cooking oil without the other requirements. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
*HON. NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. You said we should not talk about the bank but I thought I should congratulate the Minister on the progress. My question is, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs has registered a company known as Mambokadzi. People would want to know the role of this company known as Mambokadzi and how it will operate.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Is that a Government policy?
*HON. NYAMUPINGA: It is a Government policy question because we have not heard of a Ministry that registers a private company. We want to hear from the policy point of view what the private company will be doing in partnership with the Ministry.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Either you rephrase your question or I shoot it down. Can you rephrase your question.
HON. NYAMUPINGA: The question is referred to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is the policy question?
HON. NYAMUPINGA: The policy question is, is it Government policy for a Ministry to register a private company. If so, what is the mandate of this company?
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is better.
*THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Companies Act allows the Ministry to have a Government company that should be in partnership with others to run the company. We have not done it but these are plans that we have to form that company.
*HON. MAHOKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to Hon. Mzembi. We have seen from the media that he is moving ahead with his campaign and we want to know how far he has gone with the campaign. We would also want to know what benefit that does have to the country. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. ENG. MZEMBI): Thank you Hon. Member. Mr. Speaker Sir, in responding to the question ....
HON. CHAMISA: On a point of clarification. Minister, are you saying that this whole thing about the campaign ....
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have not recognised you. Hon. Minister, proceed.
HON. ENG. MZEMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, in responding to the question by the Hon. Member, let me characterise it upfront as a national project. I am not on an individual campaign...
HON. KWARAMBA: On a point of order. The question was asked in Shona Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. ENG. MZEMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I have opted to respond to the question in English and I think it is allowable. Having said that Mr. Speaker, I want to say that this campaign is not an individual project but a national project endorsed as such by His Excellency, the President who has proceeded to authorise the setting up of a national committee that is running the campaign effort. It is led by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, who has delegated Ambassador Comberbach on the campaign effort. At any one time, when we are reaching out to the world, we are a delegation of five or six members that are engaging the world.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Parliament may wish to know that the UNWTO is one of the 17 specialised agencies of the United Nations. What we are seeking to do is to run that specialised agency. Today, it is overseeing the administration of tourism sector globally and tourism is now the third global export earner at 1.5 trillion income per annum and 8 trillion gross domestic product. Now, this is exactly what is characterising the nature of the campaign and those that it has attracted into the elective field. So, Parliament may wish to know that we are five candidates to date and the official closing date of submission and acceptance of candidatures is on the 11th of March but so far, we are five in the field. The countries that are competing against your candidate include South Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Georgia, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe. Thirty three countries will vote on behalf of the 160 member body. Ten votes are allocated to Africa out of the 33 votes; ten votes to Europe, five votes to the Americas, five votes to South Asia and the Pacific and three votes to the Middle East. So far, my chances are above average and I think that I am the guy to beat in this election judging by the character of the elective field as it stands now.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Members may wish to know that the benefits that will accrue to Zimbabwe, first and foremost relate to brand recognition. Zimbabwe is the country that is sponsoring me in the same manner that you associated the tenure of Ban ki Moon during the time that he was United Nations Secretary General with South Korea. And, in the same manner that you associated the tenure of Kofi Annan, when he was Secretary General for the United Nations to Ghana. It is the same brand recognition and nexus that will bring brand Zimbabwe to the fore of global geopolitics and international diplomacy through my deployment. Also Mr. Speaker, just to conclude by saying that, if I succeed which I hope to do on the 11th of May when these elections are held, I will be presiding over the third global export earner in the world. That in it will bring attended benefits to your country. I thank you so much.
HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended as we have already discussed with the Deputy Chief Whip of ZANU PF that we extend Question Time until all the Members you had nominate have asked their questions.
*HON. MAHOKA: I second.
*HON. MAHOKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question is that, the candidates that he mentioned, we want to know how many countries are concerned and how many candidates and who they are and our chance – where we stand as Zimbabwe. Do we have any chance? I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Ataura, ataura.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order. In the interest of time, I want to give those Hon. Members that I had recognised.
*HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Hon. Mzembi’s response is very important. It is only that it came in as a question but the fact that it is the nation at large that we are talking about; we should support the nation at large and not political partisanship. So, my request is that the Minister should bring in a Ministerial Statement. We do have friends and we know that all the whites listen to us. So, we want to say that if such words come to us or are informed to us, we should use patriotism and also diplomatic relations with the countries that he mentioned; it is just one word and they will listen to us.
So Mr. Speaker, I want to thank him for that and it will assist us as a nation. Whatever is good for the nation, is good for all of us. It is not about political parties but it is about the nation. Even though Hon. Mzembi is from the other party, we should look at the importance of the nation. What is important is the nation of Zimbabwe. So, Hon. Mzembi, we request that you give us a Ministerial Statement stating the benefits of the nation for us to ensure that all this works together for the good of our nation. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Is the Hon. Minister prepared to come and give a Ministerial Statement?
HON. ENG. MZEMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to complement the Hon. Member for recognising the importance of this project and how national it is – its national character and how it crosscuts across parties. I make the undertaking that at the earliest possible opportunity, I will come and present the Statement to Parliament. I thank you.
*HON. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Leader of the House. My question is - Hon. Vice President, we once talked about the liquidity crunch or lack of cash that is in the economy. Is he aware that the US dollar and the bond note are competing against each other because I asked the other time and we were told that it had been legislated that the bond note and the US dollar are equal. But in town now, you cannot get US dollars. People are selling bond notes and getting US dollars and when they go and buy, some shops do not want the use of plastic money and they give a limit of say $100 to use the point of sale machine. So, what is Government policy in addressing the equivalence of the US dollar and the bond note to ensure that people transact their businesses?
*THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he posed. I believe that he is aware of the fact that he once posed the question and I responded. I will respond with the same response. It is true that we have brought in the bond note and it came as an equal measure to the US dollar. As I said earlier, the bond note is backed by the US$200 million facility; the bond notes in circulation do not even amount to that US$200 million. So, the speculation that goes around in town remains speculation but in terms of policy and legislation, the US dollar and the bond note are equivalent. I thank you.
*HON. SITHOLE: My supplementary question is that since the coming in of the bond note was a measure to attract more foreign currency, I would like the Vice President to confirm the reports that for people in the diaspora who are bringing in foreign currency, but it is being said if that person does not return home in five years, his/her citizenship will be revoked. We heard from the media that you, Vice President gave that statement. Thank you.
*HON. MNANGAGWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, it is true that the Vice President asked this question and I responded to it. What the Hon. Member said that there are people whose citizenship will be revoked if they do not return home in five years is news to me. I am hearing it from you. What I know is that those who will have sold their produce outside Zimbabwe will get 5% incentive in bond notes. This will assist the exporter to use those bond notes to buy local goods and will use the US dollars to buy more products for export. The issue of citizenship being revoked after five years, I am hearing it from you.
As the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, we do not have such legislation. If there is something that happened of that sort, I will ask the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Even at Cabinet level we never discussed such an issue.
*HON. ENG. MUDZURI: Hon. Vice President, my request is that we need to speak in unison in order to address this issue. You are saying that if people misbehave there is nothing that we can do. I asked about the policy position that how then do we harness the fact that the US dollar is being made extinct by the bond notes. What then do we do, when I go to the bank, my daily withdrawal of bond notes is also limited. I cannot withdraw the amount I want. What is Government policy? How are you assisting us because we have money in the bank?
*HON. MNANGAGWA: I will stand by my position that the bond note and US dollar are equivalent in value. It is equivalent in terms of law. We put law and legislation for people not to steal but you find people stealing. When people go and buy from shops, whether you buy using US dollars or bond notes, it is supposed to be equivalent. If there are others who are not adhering to the law, it is not Government policy. Government policy is that if you have either bond notes or US dollars, you are supposed to be given equal status in transactions.
On the withdrawal limit in banks, that is not Government policy. That is administrative, from the bank. So, let us understand that when such challenges come, they should come at administrative level, it is not a policy issue, so that these issues can be addressed. On the issue of policy and legislation, it is very clear.
HON. P. D SIBANDA: Thank you Speaker. It is correct Hon. Vice President that your policy as Government says that bond note is equivalent to US dollar but the reality that is prevailing on the ground and in the market is that the US dollar and the bond note are no longer at par. Therefore, what practical measures is Government going to undertake to ensure that these market deficiencies or instability on the market are addressed? Thank you.
HON. MNANGAGWA: The Hon. Member wants to know reality. One way of knowing reality is to take a five dollar note (US$5), to the bank and change to get bond notes. You will be given an equivalent or you do the reverse. You take five bond notes and exchange for US dollar, you will be given the equivalent. That is reality.
*HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order. The Vice President is not responding to the questions that are being posed to him.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): You are out of order.
*HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Vice President, Hon. Mphoko. When you were appointed by His Excellency, the President to be the Vice President of this nation, one of your major duties was to deal with matters of national healing, which is an agenda which was put by His Excellency after realising the violence that occurred during elections. We want to know that since you were appointed, what progress have you made in terms of national healing as we approach 2018.
There is also the issue of national branding that was mentioned by Hon. Mzembi and Hon. Chamisa, to ensure that during elections there is no violence. What measures have you put in place in order that national healing is at district, ward and village level to ensure that there is no violence in the communities during election period? I thank you.
+THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank the Hon. Member for asking the question which is very important. I would like to indicate that the Act is coming next week to Parliament. What is important is that what the Member of Parliament is asking is where we are exactly. I would like to indicate that we have five major points that we are looking at as the Minister responsible, which is what we refer to as the scars of Gukurahundi. The five major points...
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please.
+HON. MPHOKO: The five points – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order please. Hon. Vice President, please address the Chair.
+HON. MPHOKO: Those boys are giving me a problem. I have said there are five scars of Gukurahundi. The first one is death and birth certificates. The second one is the reburial of people especially those who had bones that are still visible outside the graves. The third one is empowering the people. We have already drafted – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
+HON. MPHOKO: I come from a disciplined area. I am not used to what these boys are doing. Mr. Speaker Sir, those five points are critical because we have already spoken to the Minister of Home Affairs about it. We will make an announcement and we will have mobile stations in all the areas all over the country for people to get birth certificates. The second one is where we will be dealing with the open graves and those are the only points we will dealing with. We cannot go to the mass graves and start digging. It is not in our African culture. What we are only going to do is to put a big plug which will indicate that there are people who were buried there. Those with bones that are visible by the grave site, we will take the bones and rebury them properly. It will be done within the law. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Order Hon. Members. In the interest of time, I will only allow Hon. Zwizwai to ask a supplementary question and that is all.
*HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Vice President, when the National Healing Programme was launched during the Inclusive Government, it was being spearheaded by the then Vice President J. L. Nkomo who said peace begins with me, you and all of us. On all the issues that you have mentioned, you have not mentioned that National Healing...
Hon. Paradza having passed between the Speaker and the Member speaking.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order.
*HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. You talked about Gukurahundi and also made reference to reburials. You have left the issues of National Healing from the violence during elections which is an issue that National Healing which we came up with during the Inclusive Government. We want to know what you are doing as Government to ensure that your National healing for those people who were burning each other’s homes, giving each other long and short sleeves; what structures and mechanisms have you put in place to ensure that we have free and fair elections and there is no repeat of what happened last time?
HON. MPHOKO: Hon. Speaker, structures are in every one of us here, to do the right thing - clear and straight forward. When people decide to fight during the elections, you will be doing your own things, but I know people who have done it in the last elections, even though I was not here, they were done - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chidhakwa.
HON. MPHOKO: People can conduct elections without fighting. It has nothing to do with what happened last year during the war. We all have a responsibility to conduct our elections peacefully. That is all. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
POLICY ON COMPENSATION OF PEOPLE DISPLACED FROM THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY
- HON. P. D. SIBANDA asked the Minister of Environment, Water
and Climate to state whether the Minister has a policy to compensate the people who were displaced from the Zambezi Valley during the period 1955-1958 to pave way for the construction of Kariba Dam.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have answered this question before but I would not mind presenting the same. I had hoped that I had adequately answered and I had referred the Hon. Member to the relevant Ministry, but I will present my response again.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Kariba Dam is under control of the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), a bi-national governmental body between Zimbabwe and Zambia created to develop and administer the Kariba Dam and reservoir and in Zimbabwe ZRA falls under the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. I am therefore not in a position to respond to this question. I would like to request that the Hon. Memebr direct the question to the relevant authorities.
However, what I would like to emphasise is that it is Government policy where we are constructing new dams that we compensate all those communities that are within the dam parameters. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister, Hon. Sibanda are you agreeable to the fact that this question was already responded to? If it was, then there was no need for the Minister to go back but she tried to add some more information to the previous answer that she had given.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, there was no answer that was given to this question previously. The Hon. Minister simply deferred the question to another ministry but I am sure it is somewhere in the offices that are responsible for allocating questions. I still remember at one time, this question had come under the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing then the following week it was referred back to the same Ministry. I am sure the Government office that is responsible has got a strong feeling that this question falls rightly under the purview of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate.
Again Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Minister indicates that they are doing compensations to people who are being displaced in areas where dams are being constructed now. I wanted to say that the people on the other side of the Zambezi River that is in Zambia were compensated during the construction of this dam. Therefore, if the Ministry has got a policy currently to compensate those who are being affected, why can it not look into the needs and requirements of those who were affected in the previous construction? As a Government, I believe they have got a responsibility.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, are you positive that you have already responded to this question? – [HON. MUCHINGURI: Yes, Mr. Speaker Sir.] - If so then I do not see why we should go back to this. We have other questions that have not been attended to. - [HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Inaudible interjections.] - You may not ask on this question but raise another question.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Mr. Speaker, I do not understand what you mean when you say, the Hon. Minister has positively responded to the question because those who have asked this question are still waiting for answers. So, I do not know what you mean when you say she answered it positively.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Your question also touches on the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. Therefore, it would be very unfair if you would ask her to respond to issues under the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. So, it will be transferred to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and the Minister will respond to your question. Thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – We said this question has been dealt with before, we are now going to refer it to the relevant Ministry – [HON. GABBUZA: I wanted to seek clarification.] – No, no clarification over this, wait until the question comes to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.
LEVEL OF PREPAREDNESS FOR THE GREEN ECONOMY
2. HON. TARUSENGA asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to state the level of preparedness for the country in terms of moving towards the green economy.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe’s Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, indicated that the country is an emitter of greenhouse gases with the major contributors being fuel combustion or energy which accounts for 68.5% of all emissions, agriculture accounts for 22.35%, industrial processes account for 5.21% and waste handling accounts for 3.93%. Over and above, our forests which act as carbon sinks continue to disappear through indiscriminate cutting down of trees and veld fires are also a source of emissions.
In order to prepare the country for a green economy, my ministry has just concluded development of a Climate Policy that sets the pace and guides the actors towards accelerated mitigation measures by adopting and developing low carbon development pathways in the industrial, energy, waster, agriculture, land use, land use change and forestry sectors among others.
The Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, with the guidance of the Office of the President and Cabinet, developed the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) which was launched in 2015 to guide national response measures in addressing the impacts of climate change. Development of the National Climate Change Response Strategy is a direct commitment by the Government to develop a climate-resilient nation.
The strategy is very clear on promotion of resource use efficiency and less carbon intense pathways in all economic activities. It emphasises the development of a climate change resilient energy infrastructure that is not carbon intense. It also guides development of climate proofed and environmentally sustainable transport systems that are less carbon intense, at the same time, addressing climate change through evidence-based research, technology development and transfer.
Greening the economy will also be propped up by the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement as well as Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) which have been singled out in the strategy as a step towards low carbon development strategies. The NAMAs are also included in the Energy Renewable Policy, which is at an advanced stage of development. NDCs policies, strategies or actions that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to climate resilience.
However, the transition to a green economy will not be simple. The challenge lies so much in developing new ideas but ensuring the necessary change in mindset and behaviour. I thank you.
RATIFICATION OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT
3. HON. TARUSENGA asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to inform the House when the Government is going to ratify the Paris Agreement so that the country starts to access the “adaptation fund” which other countries are already accessing.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Mr. Speaker Sir, the country has already signed the Paris Agreement and the process of ratification is currently underway. His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, Cde. R. G. Mugabe joined other Heads of State in New York on the 22nd of April, 2016 to sign the Paris Agreement which was endorsed in Paris at COP 21 at the end of 2015. This event was at the invitation of the Secretary-General of the United Nations who is the Depositary of this Agreement. The Paris Agreement has gone through all the processes towards ratification which is Cabinet and now awaits a date for presentation and approval. It will be there after being presented to Parliament by the end of this April. I thank you.
MEASURES IN PLACE TO ENSURE THAT WATER BODIES ARE NOT WASHED AWAY IN TIMES OF FLOODS
4. HON. MUKWANGWARIWA asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to inform the House what measures the Ministry is putting in place to ensure that water bodies are not washed away in times of floods as was the case at Jonga D. Farm, in Zvimba East Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): The Minister, through ZINWA, is carrying out dam safety assessments and remedial works in order to ensure that dams are not washed away by floods. During the 2017 budget, the Ministry allocated US$2 million for dam safety and maintenance programme in the country. I thank you.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary to the Hon. Minister is with regards to assessment across the country. What systems are you putting in place to address these challenges assessing them across the country bearing in mind that there are no longer bridges and roads? How do you move to assess those areas currently to get the bigger picture of the challenges that you have?
HON. MUCHINGURI: The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development did brief Parliament on the measures that they are taking to ensure that there is mobility within Zimbabwe. Let me also emphasise that ZINWA has structures at provincial level. It also has catchment area offices and sub catchment area offices that are dotted around the country who have the sole responsibility to ensure that within their confines, this assessment is done. Yes, I appreciate that there are these challenges but we do have people that are at every local area and they are seized with the matter as requested by the Hon. Member.
HON. GABBUZA: Supplementary. Most of these floods are caused by the reduced channel which is due to siltation but EMA is discouraging people from removing sand from rivers so that flooding is reduced. Is there any thinking of changing of policy so that people are encouraged to remove the sand from rivers so that we reduce the amounts of floods?
HON. MUCHINGURI: One of the responsibility bestowed upon ZINWA is that of desiltation, recognising that because of the lack of a master plan on land use and also stream bank cultivation, tampering with environments has resulted in silt ending up in our rivers. It is our responsibility to ensure that we do take care of that silt by either providing permits to companies – those that want to engage in construction – but I need to emphasise that we do discourage people who venture into panning because that causes serious damage to our rivers and it also causes desiltation. We did ban gold panning but I know that we still have illegal panners who still continue doing that but we do have committees that ensure the panners are removed from the rivers.
I must say that last year, Government embarked on a food for work programme with Social Welfare to make sure that desilting programmes were introduced on most rivers, weirs and small dams. I want to say that regrettably, the silt has come back as a result of lack of a proper master plan. I want to thank Cabinet that they have put in place an Inter-Ministerial Committee that is working 24/7 to make sure we come up with this master plan so that silt will not go back. Desilting will not succeed as long as we do not address illegal settlers, those that live on top of mountains and those that do not construct contour ridges. So we have to address the causes of desiltation. I thank you.
DRILLING OF BOREHOLES IN MWENEZI DISTRICT
7. HON. L. MOYO asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to inform the House when the bore holes which the Minister said would be drilled under an emergency drought relief fund in 2016 would start in Mwenezi District.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): I would like to thank Hon. Moyo for the question. Mr. Speaker Sir, a number of community boreholes have been repaired in several districts across all provinces including Mwenezi, under the drought mitigation programme undertaken by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority to improve water supply in rural communities. These districts include Goromonzi, Shurugwi, Insiza, Zvimba, Vungu, Chirumanzu, Silobela, Shamva, Zibagwe, Makoni, Mudzi, Umzingwane, Bindura, Bubi, Mutare, Mutoko, Mt Darwin, Mbire, Uzumba, Marambapfungwe, Kwekwe, Tsholotsho, Guruve, Nyanga, Umguza, Murehwa, Masvingo and Lupane.
It is unfortunate that the limited resources that were available for this intensive programme could not be spread to all districts and wards. In order to increase the impact of the programme, considering the limited resources, the repair teams targeted quick wins in the areas they were working in, rather than spreading the resources thinly to cover the whole country. The Ministry would have wanted to continue with this programme until more areas were covered. Other partners including DDF and NGOs also covered some work in community borehole drilling and repairs.
On a positive note, the good rainfall season has alleviated the water shortages in most rural communities as communities now have water from closer surface sources for watering their livestock and some boreholes that were functional but had dried up are now yielding water due to the recharge resulting from the rains.
HON. NDUNA: My follow up question is on the districts that you have mentioned, Chegutu district and in particular Chegutu West does not appear. You also alluded to the fact that you have been given $6.5m by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, is Chegutu West going to come in the second phase of borehole drilling and also what is the plan regarding rehabilitation of those existing boreholes in relation to casing and putting of the ancillary that encompasses drawing of water?
HON. MUCHINGURI: My Ministry, including ZINWA, will be embarking on a tour to provinces and I am hoping that on our meet-the-people-tour, the Hon. Member of Parliament will be there because the whole objective is to appreciate those challenges that the Hon. Member is highlighting. It is our responsibility to make sure that as promised, we will touch every corner of Zimbabwe, like I indicated, resources permitting we will undertake all those maintenance work on boreholes as we promised last year. I thank you.
HON. M. KHUMALO: From the Minister’s response, she mentioned some work done in Lupane for the emergency programme. We are glad to tell the Minister that since she asked us to write letters confirming those wards where in each ward one borehole will be drilled, nothing has been done. We are a bit worried that she mentioned Lupane as having some work done there. Can she clarify that one?
HON. MUCHINGURI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I was hoping that the Hon. Member of Parliament was going to thank my Ministry. The fact that we were able to ensure that the dam is supplying water to the university and also to the small town – Lupane. Over and above that, the Wash programme which is also housed under my Ministry is also making sure that boreholes in Lupane are repaired; some were also drilled in Lupane. As I have indicated, I will be undertaking visits to these respective provinces and I will avail all the necessary statistics and data on those boreholes that we have been drilled and repaired. I thank you.
REHABILITATION OF DAMS THAT HAVE SUCCUMBED TO EFFECTS OF INCESSANT RAINS
8. HON. M. M MPOFU asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, to explain to the House what plans the Ministry has put in place to construct\rehabilitate dams which have succumbed to effects of incessant rains resulting in the breaching of many dam walls in Silobela and other surrounding areas in the country.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Mpofu for the question. The Ministry continues to receive information from the country’s seven catchments on dams which are at risk of breaching and those that have been breached.
ZINWA is assessing the breached dams with a view to reviewing the spillway designs so that the dams are competent enough to safely pass flood waters. The assessments include coming up with the scope of rehabilitation works and a budget for the rehabilitation works on breached dams. The Ministry was allocated two million dollars for the rehabilitation of community dams in the 2017 National Budget.
The initial target community dam’s rehabilitation works required a budget of 7 million dollars. ZINWA has since applied through my Ministry for two million dollars to be disbursed by the Ministry of Finance for urgent rehabilitation works for Mayorca Dam in Silobela and other dams in the country, among other flood induced water infrastructure works.
It is important that these emergency rehabilitation works be funded so as to restore these critical water reservoirs. It should be noted however that comprehensive dam rehabilitation works can only be executed after the rain season. I thank you.
WAITING PERIOD FOR TITLE DEEDS AFTER COMPLETION OF OWNERSHIP PROCESS
9. HON. MKANDLA asked the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage to inform the House the period it takes for one to get title deeds after the ownership process has been completed, in view of the fact that 385 houses in Dete under the Hwange Rural District, in the Hwange East Constituency got Phase 1 ownership in March 2006 and Phase 2 in March 2007 but are still yet to be given title deeds.
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A. NCUBE): First of all, I should say the stand should have been title surveyed.
Secondly, an application for title deeds is then made to council. This is then send to the Department of State Land in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing with a recommendation from the local authority for the issuance of title deeds with the following:-
(a) Rate clearance certificate from the council.l
(b) A valid copy of the lease agreement between council and the lease holder.
The Department of State Land in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing then lodges the deeds with the Deeds office and takes around three months, but can take up to a year in peculiar circumstances where title survey diagrams are not clear. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, I have heard what the Minister has had to say but my question borders on the plans of digitalising or computerising that section in order to enhance its efficiency by embracing modern day technologies to move with global day trends so that we can mitigate and eradicate the elongated time of getting these title deeds and also enhancing the efficiency of the department. What are the plans regarding embracing ICT and removing the tag of BBC or born before computers.
HON. A. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I think I cannot say much about the digitalisation. I have already stated that it is under Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. I thank you.
APPOINTMENT OF HEADMAN FRANK TAKURA SARUPINDA OF RUPINDA AREA IN MUTASA DISTRICT
10. HON. SARUWAKA asked the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage when the Government is going to officially install Headman Frank Takura Sarupinda, I.D. – 63 – 029260 – P 50 of Rupinda Area in Mutasa District who has been acting in that position without getting any government benefits / allowances/ recognition since 2008.
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. In terms of Section 8 of the Traditional Leaders Act, Chapter (29:17); a headman is a person appointed by the Minister responsible for traditional leaders after nomination by the chief of that area. Chiefs are merely expected to nominate candidates for appointment but in isolated cases, for example in Mutasa district the Hon. Member is referring, the late Chief Mutasa went about illegally appointing a headman across the Mutasa district.
It may please you to note that besides Headman Sarupinda, the late Chief Mutasa also illegally appointed headman Mukoyi, Sakupwanya, Muchena, Makomva, Chikanya, Hwisa and Nyangani. Therefore, before we can talk of consultations with various stakeholders so as to identify deserving headmanships to be resuscitated; it must be stressed that before headmanship is formally established, we have to first interrogate issues like boundaries, cultural and administrative needs of the communities concerned in the interest of good governance.
So the long and short of it is that Frank Takura Sarupinda is not an official headman until the steps I just highlighted have been consummated. I thank you.
HON. SARUWAKA: I wish to check with the Hon. Minister, how long is the process of verifying going to take place because this is a bona fide headman. It is an area that I grew up in and that headmanship is not under any dispute. I am surprised that he has been mentioned as one of the disputed headman. When is he likely to complete the process so that we can have him installed?
HON. A. NCUBE: Thank you very much for that supplementary question. As far as my Ministry is concerned, we mainly depend on the families. As long as the process is completed early by the family, we do not delay anything. In a majority of cases, some of these problems are caused by some contestations amongst the family members. I thank you.
HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: Hon. Speaker, I kindly seek leave of the House that the time for Questions with Notice be extended by ten minutes.
HON. M. KHUMALO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
APPOINTMENT OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS IN LUPANE DISTRICT
11. HON. M. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Rural
Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage to inform the House when the following traditional healers in Lupane district would be appointed:
a) Chief Gumede
b) Headman Kheswa
c) Headman Matshazi
d) Headman Mbanjwa
e) Headman Ngubo
f) Headman Thebe
g) Headman Joko
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. In terms of the Traditional Leaders Act Chapter 29:17, a headman is any person appointed by the Minister responsible for traditional leaders after nomination by the chief of that area.
It may please you to note that the appointment of Chief Menyezwa Gumede has taken too long due to the fact that there is a dispute amongst the clan members thereby delaying the selection process.
Our database and in concurrence with the Provincial Administrator’s office, Kheswa and Mbanjwa headmenship are not vacant; Mr. Philemon Kheswa and Mbanjwa Ncube are substantive headman Kheswa and Mbanjwa respectively. Headman Ngubo and Matshazi are vacant; appointment of the two will be done at the earliest convenience.
Headman Thebe and Joko do not exist. The clansmen may apply for the creation of the headmanship but the Ministry will however undertake comprehensive consultations with various stakeholders so as to establish whether there is merit in creating them. It must be stressed that before a headmanship is formally established; we have to first interrogate issues like boundaries, cultural and administrative needs of the communities concerned in the interest of good governance.
So the long and short of it is that Headmen Thebe and Joko are not official headmen until the steps I have just highlighted have been consummated.
HON. M. KHUMALO: We are sorry that perhaps the officials gave the Minister wrong inform. All these headmen were substantive headmen and they passed away.
Headman Kheswa passed away four years ago. The appointment has taken too long. Everything has been done but we are not seeing anything happening. Matshazi is a former headman who passed away seven years ago and we are awaiting appointment of a new headman. This has taken too long. Headman Mbanjwa who is in my constituency passed away four years ago and he was an official headman. It has taken long to appoint him. Headman Joko is also in the small farming area, he passed away three years ago. All the necessary procedures have been done but there is no appointment. All these headmen are existing headmen but we are informed that they do not exist. Can we get the correct information from the Minister?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Are you trying to say that the information that the Minister has given us is false? – [AN. HON. MEMBER: Yes, that is what he is trying to say.] – Order, order. Let us hear from the Hon. Minister. Hon. Minister, what is your position on that?
HON. A. NCUBE: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member opposite me is saying I am lying.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Who said the Minister is lying?
Hon. A. Ncube having pointed at Hon. P. D. Sibanda.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Sibanda, may you withdraw that.
HON. P.D. SIBANDA: I withdraw Hon. Speaker.
HON. A. NCUBE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I have forgiven him
–[Laughter.]– Just to shorten the whole story, what I will do from my Ministry is that I will now send a team down to Lupane to find out exactly what the position on the ground is, talking together with members of the families of those respective headmanships so that we come up with the truth. It will be a team from the head office also composed of the Provincial Chiefs Council in Matabeleland North so that we come up with the truth. I thank you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I have a supplementary question which arises from what you said I should withdraw. The Hon. Minister is indicating that he is going to send a team to go and find out the truth. Does it mean that …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Sibanda. Take your seat.
HON. M. KHUMALO: I also want to add a supplementary question that on Chief Gumede, it is true that it has taken long but the problem is not what the Minister is saying. There are only two chiefs in the whole of Lupane. The problem with Chief Gumede is that the traditional function which was done last year, they were waiting for that process and it was done. The fact that there is a dispute does not arise – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
SYNCHRONISATION OF THE RETIREMENT AGE OF ARMY OFFICERS
21. HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Defence to explain why Government is not synchronizing the retirement age of Army Officers, which is 50 years, with NSSA benefits so that soldiers can get their benefits, considering that retired soldiers die before they get their NSSA benefits.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI): Firstly, Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for raising this pertinent matter, which my Ministry has been seized with for several years now. Let me from the onset point out that this issue has been on the table since 2003.
At the Ministry level, we referred the matter to the Defence Forces Service Commission, which has remained steadfast in support of the cause of the ZDF members’ welfare. We have also directly engaged the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, requesting the possible amendment of the relevant sections of Statutory Instrument 393 of 1993, dealing with the ZDF’s retirement age.
The Hon. Member may be interested to know that upon NSSA’s inception in 1993, all Public Service employees and ZDF members were not on its list of contributors but were brought on board through supplementary Statutory Instrument 124 of 2002. However, in bringing the ZDF members on board, the Ministry overlooked their unique retirement conditions, which now constitutes the bone of contention between the two parties.
Responding to our query in 2014, NSSA advised us that it had engaged actuaries to undertake valuation of its schemes and would request the same actuaries to look into the feasibility and sustainability of introducing a pensionable age of 50 years. To date, we are still to be advised of the outcome of this process. Our plea to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services is to consider the plight of these bona fide NSSA contributors, the majority of whom never live to enjoy the benefits of their contributions and to expedite the amendment of the Statutory Instrument as soon as it can be done.
Therefore, to answer Hon. Masuku’s question Mr. Speaker Sir, My Ministry is waiting for the completion of the statutory processes by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services and NSSA, whereupon we will be advised on the way forward. Hopefully, this will be sooner rather than later. I thank you Mr. Speaker and Hon. Members for your attention.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
FUNDS ALLOCATED FOR THE COMPLETION OF DANDE DAM
5. HON. KANHANGA asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to inform the House whether there are any funds allocated for the completion of Dande Dam in the 2017 Budget.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Mr. Speaker Sir, the Dande Dam construction project was not allocated any resources under the 2017 budget cycle. The allocated funds for 2017 were directed to dam construction projects near completion to allow the Ministry to complete some projects before moving to new projects.
PLANS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF WEIRS
6. HON. KANHANGA asked the Minister of Environment Water and Climate to inform the House whether there are any plans for the construction of weirs, since Guruve District has requested to submit possible sites for the construction of weirs as was done the previous year.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry launched the National Desiltation Programme in 2016 which also encompassed identification of silted up dams and weirs as well as identification of potential sites for construction of weirs if funds are to be available. Due to challenges in funding, the Ministry is currently mobilising resources to augment efforts being made under the food for work programme. Furthermore, the Ministry is putting together a team to visit various provinces in order to assess progress on water harvesting projects and desiltation projects being done around the country.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by the TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Earlier on, when Parliament started, Hon Maridadi had proposed a motion on a matter of public importance.
ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE ON A DEFINITE MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE: XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS OF ZIMBABWEANS IN SOUTH AFRICA
HON. MARIDADI: I rise to move the adjournment of the House on a definite matter of public importance. The matter relates to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Mr. Speaker;
GRAVELY CONCERNED with xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa.
FURTHER CONCERNED that Zimbabweans as comprising the largest population of foreign nationals resident in South Africa are targeted the most,
WORRIED by some inflammatory utterances made by South African authorities, in particular, the Mayor of Johannesburg.
NOW THEREFORE resolve that; this House call upon the South African Government to:
· take immediate action to stop these attacks,
· put in place measures to ensure that attacks do not recur and also the South Africans implore their public officials to exercise restraint and desist from making inflammatory statements resulting in xenophobic attacks.
Mr. Speaker, I want to preface my debate as follows; I have an article here which is available and it was written on the 20th May, 1986. It reads as follows;
“Harare: This morning, hours after South African commandos descended on this capital (meaning Harare), glass and rubble littered Angwa Street in the downstream business district. All of it was from the shattered white cement building that had housed an office of the African National Congress (ANC). Away from the heart of the capital in Ashdown Park suburb of Harare, a house belonging to the African National Congress had been reduced to rubble with only part of the side wall left standing. Prime Minister Robert Mugabe who denounced the raids and called for mandatory economic sanctions against South Africa visited the sites of the destruction this afternoon.”
There is a picture of then Prime Minister of this country, Cde Robert Mugabe visiting Angwa Street looking at the ANC offices that had been reduced to rubble. Before that, he also took another trip to go to Ashdown Park where a house had been reduced to rubble due to a raid by apartheid South Africa into Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker, allow me to also say that on the “14th May, 1987 a Zimbabwean citizen, Tsitsi Chiliza who was married to an ANC member was killed by a bomb hidden inside a television set. It is believed that the bomb was meant for Mr. Jacob Zuma. Zimbabwe was an important area of operation for the ANC. This led to the apartheid government attacking ANC members living in Zimbabwe regardless of whether they were South African or Zimbabwean. I want to underscore that regardless of whether they were South African or Zimbabwean. The bomb blasted the second floor of the building which Chiliza lived but the other residents escaped injuries. Zimbabwe blamed South Africa for the attack but predictably South Africa denied they were behind it. The booby trapped television was just one of the many attacks aimed at ANC officials in Zimbabwe. In 1988, the ANC offices in Zimbabwe was hit by a rocket. On another occasion, a bomb injured three ANC officials in Harare.”
Mr. Speaker, the lady Tsitsi Chiliza was a direct sister of Dambudzo Marechera. Tsitsi was married to a South African man, a cadre of the ANC and member of the Umkontho weSizwe. They were living at Earls Court in Fife Avenue. I remember this so vividly because I was a student of journalism. A television was given to Mr. Chiliza as a present for Mr. Jacob Zuma who was then in Mozambique. The television was supposed to be delivered to Mr. Jacob Zuma but Mr. Chiliza put the television in his lounge and connected it to electricity. When he tried to switch it on, it blew up killing Tsitsi instantly. Tsitsi was a Zimbabwean.
The reason I am giving this background Mr. Speaker is to try and show that Zimbabwe bears the scars of the war of liberation of South Africa. The war of liberation of South Africa Mr. Speaker was fought in Zimbabwe, just as much as it was fought in South Africa – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – Mr. Speaker, the economy of Zimbabwe was affected adversely by the war in South Africa. Today Mr. Speaker, South Africa carries about three million foreigners. Of the three million foreigners, only 1,6 million are Africans. Of the foreigners, they include Chinese, Indians and Bangladeshis but Mr. Speaker, the only people that have been attacked in South Africa are black Africans. Those are the only people that have been attacked in South Africa, black Africans and not any other nationality. The Chinese who are living in South Africa are considered to either be South African or tourists.
South Africa has a population of about 600 000 white people who occupy most of the arable land in South Africa and they control 85% of the South African economy. Foreigners who are living in South Africa, Zimbabweans included control less than 0, 0001% of the South African economy. So, the portion of the economy they contribute is insignificant. It is actually the white people in South Africa who contribute 85% of the economy in South Africa and occupy most of the arable land.
Mr. Speaker, what worries me is that black South Africans are turning against their fellow blacks. When South Africans were living in Zimbabwe and I remember, the most senior woman in the ANC, Baleta Mbeke was educated in Zimbabwe. Mr. Jacob Zuma stayed in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Mr. Thabo Mbeki stayed in Harare. I remember as a young boy with my brother in Malbereign. My brother saw a group of men at Avondale Shopping Centre and said to me, mupfana those are South African guys. Those are ANC and that one there is the son of Govan Mbeki. His name is Thabo Mbeki and he lived, I think he lived in Hatfield somewhere there. The late Chris Hani, South Africa’s equivalent of Josiah Magamba Tongogara lived in Bulawayo. He was hosted by the Zimbabwean Government. The person who gave them free passage to stay in Zimbabwe is none other than President Robert Gabriel Mugabe when he was Prime Minister.
The reason ANC Umkontho we Sizwe cadres were refuge in Zimbabwe is because members of the Frontline States said, Zimbabwe cannot claim to have independence if South Africa is still under apartheid. Mr. Speaker, I want to go on and talk about the death of one of the presidents of Southern Africa, Cde Samora Machel. On 9 October, 1986 the Mozambican President, Samora Machel and 33 other passengers died when their Tupolev 134 plane crashed into the Lebombo Mountains, South Africa after allegedly following a false beacon. Machel was a prominent leader of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, FRELIMO and he led Mozambique people into independence from Portugal. At the time of his death, Machel had been in power for 11 years.
On the day of the crash, he was returning from an African Leaders’ Summit in Zambia. The meeting was attended by Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and Dos Santos of Angola. On the agenda of their meeting was the liberation of South Africa, and Samora Machel and 33 others died when leaders of the Frontline States who included our President were coming from a summit to talk about the liberation of South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, it must be made very clear that South Africa is what it is today because of the Frontline States countries. One of them is Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe and South Africa share a lot of things in common because we share a border and the Limpopo River. So, it was very easy for Umkontho weSizwe cadres to cross into Zimbabwe and then cross back into South Africa, and attack strategic positions and cross back into Zimbabwe for refuge.
When all that was happening Mr. Speaker, there is not a single day that a South African was attacked on the streets of Harare or Bulawayo by Zimbabweans – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – and yet today because the tables have turned, our economic situation is not that good; our people are going to South Africa to try and earn an honest living, South Africans turn around and say Zimbabweans are coming here to steal, commit crime, murder, rape our women and take our jobs.
Mr. Speaker, in Zimbabwe here Harare is one of the safest cities in Africa. A 16-year old girl can walk from the Parliament of Zimbabwe to Market Square at 10 pm and nothing will happen to her. Without police manning the streets, a 16-year old girl in Mabvuku can walk from where Mabvuku starts to where Tafara ends and nothing will happen to her. Why would a Zimbabwean not rape in Zimbabwe and go and do it in South Africa?
Zimbabweans are peace loving people, this is why, after foreigners where attacked in South Africa, Nigerians have retaliated in Nigeria and have started to attack South African owned companies in Nigeria, for example MTN. They are also attacking South Africans resident in Nigeria, but Zimbabweans have not done that because we are a peace loving nation and believe that South Africans are our brothers.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I remember going to South Africa one day. At the border to South Africa, there was a young lady who was probably 26 to 27 years old who was being harassed left, right and centre by people controlling the South African border. I stood there and watched and spoke to the girl later. I discovered that she had a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe. In anger, I approached one of the guys from the South African side and said; ‘this girl whom you are harassing is not going to South Africa for purposes of prostitution; she is probably more qualified than the head of the South African Immigration Department. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, not from any other university but the University of Zimbabwe. When the University of Zimbabwe gives you a qualification, you are qualified, she is not from any of those universities that you see in South Africa and when she crosses to South Africa, it means the situation back home is not good enough and she is going to try and make an honest living in South Africa. So, please do not treat her like a prostitute or a criminal.’
Mr. Speaker Sir, the situation is not helped by public officials in South Africa; the Mayor of Johannesburg, Mr. Herman Mashava for example, made inflammatory statements that resulted in our people being attacked in South Africa. South Africa is not an island; it exists because of other countries’ existence. If South Africa were an island, I can guarantee you that, to date, Apartheid would still be ruling there. Most of the people who are going to South Africa from Zimbabwe are qualified, they have qualifications and they are making an honest living.
South Africans are blaming foreigners for taking their jobs, Zimbabweans in particular. However, here is my response to that; companies in South Africa hire Zimbabweans and no one forces them to do that. The companies in South Africa hire Zimbabweans because they are known to have a high level of hard working and honesty. Zimbabweans are honest, have a very high level of work rate and well-educated – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – In Mabvuku for example, everyone you meet on the streets have completed ordinary level education, whether they have five ordinary level passes is another issue, but they have at least had 11 years of formal education. Completing 11 years of formal education has a more positive impact to you than it will be for someone who fails to complete 11 years of formal education. I am not going to say what the level of education in South Africa is because I will end up promoting xenophobia. Zimbabweans who are living in South Africa are honest people who are trying to make an honest living and South Africa should not attack them.
Further to that Mr. Speaker Sir, South Africa signed some protocols and international conventions against xenophobia and racism. Those conventions have been celebrated in South Africa. Last year, they were celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the signing of a Convention against Xenophobic Attacks and yet today, they attack foreigners. Mr. Speaker Sir, if you go to South Africa today, Midrand or Randburg, they still live as if they were in Stockholm or London when they are living in Africa. Not a single white person is attacked because they are not considered foreigners. Whites are considered legitimate Africans even if they walked into South Africa yesterday, and yet black South Africans are so happy to attack fellow blacks.
However, Mr. Speaker, I want to make a clarion call on the South African Government that, ‘please put measures in place to ensure that foreign nationals are safe. I am glad that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is here. Yesterday we received pictures of a man who was attacked and can be identifiable to say, for instance, this is Peter from Highfield. The only reason he was attacked is that; he left his work place in town in Pretoria and was going to where he lives and a group of five people confronted and attacked him with machetes and knives and his brains could actually be seen oozing out of his head. The mayor of Johannesburg had the nerve to say, “We are only protecting our jobs.” A public official has the nerve to say, “We are protecting our jobs,” when lives are being lost.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the death of one Zimbabwean in South Africa is one too many and we cannot allow it – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Last year when there were xenophobic attacks in South Africa, we were coordinated by one of the Hon. Members of Parliament, I think it was Hon. Mpariwa, Hon. Mashayamombe and Hon. Mudambo to go to the South African Embassy to present a petition. The petition said; “We are urging the South African Government to put measures in place to ensure that foreign nationals are safe and that public officials should exercise restraint when they make statements because some of the statements were inflammatory.” This followed a statement that was made by Chief Goodwill Zwelithini who had said that, “Foreigners must pack their bags and go back home.” Unfortunately, today, history has repeated itself.
There is a South African gentleman who is 37 years old and has lived most of his life in the United States of America. He heads a political formation. He said, “First of all, we must protect South Africans.” Other Africans are coming to South Africa to take our jobs.” This guy’s name is Mario Khumalo and leads one of South Africa’s political formations. When he gave a statement yesterday, that is when South African youths armed with bayonets and machetes marched into residence where most Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals stay, and attacked them. This cannot be allowed to happen. I am glad that the President of Zimbabwe Cde. R. G. Mugabe has called on African leaders or some organisations to convene an urgent meeting to try and stop xenophobic attacks.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in conclusion I want to say, South Africa, you are not an island; you are there because of the sacrifices made by other countries, Zimbabwe in particular. There were sacrifices done by other countries like Mozambique, which lost their Head of State. There are sacrifices made by Angola, you all know the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, where South Africa was trying to impose a regime on Angola in cahoots with the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and we know the number of Angolans who died as a result of that conflict. Angola was then assisted by the Cubans to repel South Africa. We also know how Namibians suffered because of Apartheid in South Africa. The clarion call here is that; please South Africa, exercise restraint, stop xenophobic attacks, you are not an island and you are not a super country and you are an African country like any other. You still have your economic, political and social problems and I dare say, you still need to be independent and, with these words, ‘go ye therefore.’ I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would want to thank the mover of this motion and also want to thank the Members of the National Assembly that they have spoken en masse in terms of allowing this motion to take route as a special motion. Mr. Speaker, I want to say, the exact protocols that the mover of the motion speaks to and speaks about were enacted and were conformed to in Durban, South Africa. They are said to be the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action of 2001. The Durban Review Conference of 2009 and the outcome document in particular was done to avert, reject, remove and to annihilate xenophobic attacks amongst other forms of racism, fascism and all that Mr. Speaker Sir.
The tenth anniversary that he alludes to Mr. Speaker Sir, of the Durban Declaration and programme of Action was also in 2011 where there was also a political declaration of the same. It should only be said that it is a shame that today, we stand here and try and encourage another front line State Mr. Speaker Sir, to adhere to the norms, dictates, protocols and conventions of what was enunciated and enacted in its own country and in its own borders. Mr. Speaker Sir, before we put in these artificial borders, one wants to quickly know that we were Southern Rhodesia and there was Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland and all other countries. In particular, also we were imbedded and enjoined in collaboration with South Africa in its quest for independence that it got from Apartheid in 1994.
What then went wrong Mr. Speaker Sir? When we were growing up, there was this place called Wenela. I remember, my uncles and my grandparents were going to Wenela and would come back to the then Rhodesia which is now Zimbabwe with a ubiquitous amount of wealth in order to sustain the Zimbabweans back home. What then went wrong? Mr. Speaker Sir, one wants to say, as we speak about another African country, we want to say to them, they should be careful to try and throw mud to another African country. If you do that you remain with mud in your hands and your hands will also become dirty in the same process.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as long as it is treating another African brother, we should be very careful how we deal with them. The reason the economy of South Africa is in the state that it is today is because the Boers had said, we will remain here because they believe that South Africa is their own. They believe that it is them, Africanas that invented South Africa. That is the reason why it is still in the state that it is. The former speaker has alluded to the fact that 85 percent of the wealth in South Africa is still owned by the Boers at the detriment and expense of the Africans. Now, the Africans there, the indigenous South Africans believe that the other Africans are the ones that are curtailing their economic progress. Alas, this is not the issue.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to quickly go to one of the agreements that South Africa is a signatory to, in particular Section 109 in terms of exactly, what it is that is causing such mayhem. What is it that is causing such acrimony amongst African brothers? Mr. Speaker Sir, I am going to touch on Section 108 of the Durban Convention on Human Rights, United Nations Human Rights Convention and Protocol that was signed in Durban in 2009. It says there is necessity for special measures or positive actions for the victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances in order to promote their full integration into society. Mr. Speaker Sir, it goes further to say, those measures for effective action include the social measures which should aim at correcting the conditions that impair the enjoyment of rights and introduction of special measures to encourage equal participation of all racial and all culture, linguistic and religious groups in all sections of society and to bring all onto an equal footing. Those measures should include measures to achieve appropriate representation in education institutions, housing, political parties, Parliaments and employment, especially in the Judiciary, Police, Army and civil sector; which in some cases might involve electoral reforms, land reforms and campaigns for equal participation.
The catch word there is Land Reform. Mr. Speaker Sir, as long as there is that inequality that continues to be imbedded in South Africa, in particular in their society where a minority is enjoying 85 percent of economic benefit, there is going to be continued xenophobic attacks against fellow African brothers because they are not seeing the inequality that is there and that is being brought about by the other South Africans in particular, who are the minority. As long as there is that inequitable distribution of that wealth, the other African brothers are not going to see a speck in another African brother’s eye but a log in the skewed economic distribution in their own country,
Mr. Speaker Sir, I make a clarion call, for the South African Government to make sure that they are annihilate and reject such xenophobic attacks in both word and did in all their institutions, Government sectors and their local authority sectors. I want to refer in particular, to the issue that was mentioned by Hon. Maridadi where a youthful councillor or mayor in a local authority stands up with very shallow, oriented semantics, goes on a national television or radio and speaks and spreads venom in terms of calling on another African brother to attack another African brother.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I call on them to make sure that they bring to account such officials that are delinquent and are a runaway gun as regards discipline. What I want to touch on before I touch on the protocols word by word, which South Africa is a signatory to, which I implore and make a clarion call for them to adhere a country is upheld and it is viewed by the way it upholds its Constitutions, Protocols and Conventions that it is a signatory to. As they were appending their signatures, they were not oblivious and were not blind to the fact that they are now going to be bound by those protocols and conventions and agreements, in particular, the United Nations Agreements. Mr. Speaker Sir, in 2010, there was the FIFA World Cup that was held in South Africa and I dare say, without the engineers of Zimbabwe, it would not have taken route. Our engineers from here and I say this as a contractor; they left Zimbabwe en mass to try and build a stadium that is second to none so that our brothers and sisters in South Africa can enjoy unfettered access to a football mania to make sure that they are not disgraced when the other nations come to South Africa for the soccer extravaganza. Our engineers went there en mass. So before they forget, that we the Zimbabweans in 2010 are the ones that made and reproduced a stadium that is second to none.
Mr. Speaker Sir, there are a lot of engineers thereafter who have stood the test of time in South Africa with the rand playing yoyo against the US dollar. They did not forsake that country for want of a better life back home. I say this because those engineers are still there in South Africa and we want to protect our kith and kin. In the same vein, we are asking South Africa to adhere to the principles, to the dictates of the norms, the protocols, conventions and treaties that it appended its signatures to.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as I conclude, the clarion call that I am calling on the South African Government to adhere to the dictates of the treaties should be coupled and augmented by other non-governmental organisations and all other actors, in the same vein of trying to annihilate and completely eradicate the scourge of xenophobic attacks. It is important for enhancing international cooperation.
It is said in Section 109 of this Protocol and Convention of the United Nations Human Rights to promote; a) the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobic and related intolerances; b) the effective implementation by states of international treaties and instruments that forbid these practices; c) the goals of the Charter of the United Nations in this regard; and d) the achievement of the goals established by the United Nations Conferences on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janero in 1992; the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993; the International Conference on Population Development held in Cairo in 1994; the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen in 1995; the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995; the United National Conference on Human Settlements Habitat 2 held in Istanbul in 1996; and the World Food Summit held in Rome in 1996 making sure that such goals encompass with equity all the victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobic attacks and related intolerances.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I say this because we have a national blue print, which is the ZIM ASSET which if xenophobic attacks are not stopped, we cannot then migrate to the SADC industrialisation strategy which can then not migrate to the African Agenda of 2063, which cannot then migrate to the Sustainable Development Goals. So, such actions impede upon the progress of African states in terms of adhering to the dictates of their national agendas, regional agendas, continental agendas and the global agendas. I am aware and alive to the fact that at some point in time, when the Head of State and Government Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe chaired SADC and also in the same vein, chaired the African Union body, he stopped in its tracks the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. He also stopped the implosion in Lesotho and he also stopped the implosion in Mozambique – a war that could have ensued there and an implosion that could have exploded in Lesotho. I say it is possible even after he has relinquished those posts to still stop xenophobic attacks in South Africa for the good order and service of the African continent. I thank you.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon. Speaker, allow me to congratulate Hon. Maridadi for his wonderful debate, very wonderful indeed and from the background that he has given, he just wanted to portray Zimbabwe as a very humble country. It is a country that is receptive and accommodates other nationals. That is why Hon. Maridadi gave some background to his debate. It was so wonderful Hon. Maridadi. I also want to thank Hon. Nduna for supporting the motion raised by Hon. Maridadi.
Mr. Speaker Sir, if we did not want to be diplomatic, we were simply going to tell South Africa to stop it but now that we want to be diplomatic, we are making a call this afternoon in this august House that South Africa, please, please, accommodate other foreign nationals in your country. We are living in a global village and we have quite a number of foreigners who stay in this country but they have never been butchered; they have never been terrorised and they have never been harmed.
I think that South Africa should take a leaf from the hospitality that we have in the country. It is good also that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is in this august House this afternoon, including the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. I think it is incumbent upon these two Hon. Ministers to take it upon themselves to negotiate diplomatically with South Africa so that they understand our plight not only as a Parliament, but as a country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the sanctity of human life needs to be respected. We witnessed disturbing images last year where Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, some people from the DRC and Malawi were being burnt with tyres. Some were being brutalised along the streets, machetes were being used and it was so callous and brutal. I remember very well His Excellency, the President of this country calling upon his counterpart President Zuma to put things to order. So, I want to make an added call to those that have spoken before me that, I think South Africa should exercise restraint. In any event, South Africa owes us quite a lot. We have given them our skills, we have given them our competences, we have given them our strength and we have a lot of our brothers and sisters who are working in South Africa; in any event, promoting the economy of South Africa, and I think that they should be grateful for that gesture. We might be having our own problems politically, around this hour, around this day, around this year but tomorrow, it might also be South Africa with a worse scenario.
So, I think that South Africa needs to take heed. Yes, our economy is not performing well, it happens and it might happen to them as well and I think that we need to live together in harmony like brothers. This is the call that we are making. We understand from a political angle that we have very vocal politicians in South Africa, the likes of the leader of the EFF and I think that it is incumbent upon him to speak loudly against xenophobia in South Africa in Parliament like we see him speaking loudly, perhaps against our leadership in this county. So, Mr. Speaker Sir, the call that we have made as a Parliament is very clear and is very smart. We need to live in peace and harmony. Can South Africa please spare us our relatives, brothers, sons and daughters that are employed or working for the good cause of this whole global village. This is one of the best motions that Hon. Maridadi has brought to this Parliament. I want to congratulate you for that. I thank you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing me to also add my voice to this very important motion that has been raised by Hon. Maridadi. Secondly, let me convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of those Zimbabweans that have been made victims of these xenophobic attacks that are going on in South Africa (SA).
Mr. Speaker Sir, my debate will be part B of what Hon. Maridadi has debated. I think Hon. Maridadi did extremely well, such that I cannot go on to repeat the plea that he has put to the South African Government and the South African people about the need to respect the sanctity of Zimbabweans.
I am not going to speak about other Africans because I do not know much about them. I am going to speak so much about fellow Zimbabweans who are facing xenophobic attacks in SA. Xenophobic attacks are regrettable and there is no way any normal human being can condone the attacks that are taking place in SA. However, I just want to look at certain things. As I was looking at the xenophobic attacks, I realised that SA is almost 23 years old now in terms of its own independence.
Therefore, as they celebrate their 23rd year of independence, it is my view that these attacks are coming against a background of expectations that come with independence. Each country whenever they come into independence, there are certain expectations that the population expect to be delivered by its Government. Without really condoning the actions that the South Africans are doing, I believe that the actions that are taking place are frustrations partly caused by frustrations that are coming from unmet and unfulfilled promises and expectations that the people expected of independence.
We still remember our own independence that during the liberation struggle, we were always aware that when Zimbabwe comes, it is going to become a country of honey and milk. Now, when that honey and milk does not come, frustrations start to crawl into the people. Without really justifying or condoning what South Africans are doing, I am just prescribing what I think could be partly the cause of what is happening there.
These are challenges Mr. Speaker, which are associated with immigration problems. It is important for me to indicate at this moment that emigration challenges are not only limited to the continent of Africa. This time around, they are actually spreading across the globe. If we look at what is happening in other countries, for example Europe because of the influx of immigrants that are going into Europe, from various countries that are facing various challenges, you can see that there is continued lack of tolerance of people coming from other countries into certain countries.
In my view, the challenge has become, to some extend a bit of global. The death of our people at the hands of our neighbours is regrettable. However, Mr. Speaker, it is my view that as a House, I believe that it is also important that, as I indicated that Hon. Maridadi did extremely well to analyse how wrong the South Africans are in whatever they are doing, I think there are always two sides to each and every coin. Therefore, my debate is going to be centred on the other side of the coin.
Traditionally, emigration was an issue of option. It was optional. People would suggest that I am no longer comfortable to live in Zimbabwe, let me go and live in Malawi. Some would move from Malawi and say, I am no longer comfortable to live in Malawi, let me go and live in Zimbabwe. Since time immemorial, emigration has always been there but emigration has always been traditionally driven by that personal opinion; personal option to say, I am no longer comfortable in living in this particular country.
The current challenges that we are facing globally of emigration, is such that if you look at the European challenges for example, immigrants are coming from countries that are in war. Therefore, those people are running away with their lives. It is not really an option. They do not have an alternative. They cannot remain in their countries even if they wanted to.
Then we come to our own country. Mr. Speaker, the number of Zimbabweans that are in SA run into millions. The reasons why those Zimbabweans have decided to migrate to SA are not because they are willing. There are no alternatives that are there. They are refugees, just like the refugees that we are seeing in Europe. However, our refugees are refugees of a different character. They are economic refugees. I developed a number of questions when I saw this motion.
The number of questions that I developed are: – is the rate of pouring of Zimbabweans into SA normal? Does SA not have a right to control movement and the entry of people into its own country? For a long time now, SA has relaxed its regulations pertaining to emigration. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.
HON. MAKUNDE: There is no quorum in the House.
Notice having been taken that there being present fewer than 70 members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not being present, THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER adjourned the House without question put at One Minute past Six O’clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 56.
NOTE: The following members were present when the House adjourned: Hon. Bhebhe A.; Hon. Gabbuza J. G.; Hon. Gangarahwe G.; Hon. Gonese I. T.; Hon. Katsiru L.; Hon. Khanye N.; Hon. Labode Mafoko R.; Hon. Langa A.; Hon. Makunde T.; Hon. Mapiki J.; Hon. Maridadi J.; Hon. Mbwembwe E. N.; Hon. Mguni N.; Hon. Mpariwa P.; Hon. Mpofu B.; Hon. Muchenje S. M.; Hon. Mukwangwariwa F. G.; Hon. Mutseyami P. C.; Hon. Muzondiwa E. S.; Hon. Ncube G. M.; Hon. Ndoro L. F.; Hon. Nduna D.; Hon. Rungani A.; Hon. Saruwaka T. J. L.; Hon. Sibanda D.S.; Hon. Sibanda Dubeko P.; Hon. Sibanda K. and Hon. Tshuma J.