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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 05 DECEMBER 2018 45 NO 23

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

         THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): I have received some apologies from the following Ministers; Hon. Matemadanda, Hon. J. Gumbo, Hon. Coventry, Hon. Ncube, Hon. Mutsvangwa and Hon. Matuke.

         HON. MUTSEYAMI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  In terms of Standing Order Number 68 (d) which has to do with the notice that I need to give to the attention of the Speaker – we wrote a letter to the attention of the Speaker and the Clerk of Parliament.  I am just putting it here so that it will be recorded in the Hansard.  This has to do with death threats that were received by Hon. Members from my side.  These are Hon. Tabitha Khumalo, Hon. Amos Chibaya and myself – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

         THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order in the House Hon. Members – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order Hon. Members.  Order in the House Hon. Members.   Can you go ahead Hon. Mutseyami?

  HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you.  An important item to take note is that the death threats that we received emanated from an official platform of the Parliament of Zimbabwe which texts messages to Members of Parliament. That is the platform which texted messages to us. I am sure the Speaker and the Clerk will have to check as to really what happened because this is a platform which is officially used by Parliament to communicate to parliamentarians with regards to parliamentary business.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear hear.] –

Hon. Chikwinya having stood up.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  I have not yet responded. Hon. Mutseyami, I take note of the fact that you said for the purpose of note for this Parliament.  When you presented your letter to the Clerk yesterday, I believe there were some discussions that took place and you were informed that the platform that was used is a public platform, but I do understand and take note of what you have just said.  Thank you.

HON. SIKHALA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not think Hon. Members should be concerned about those people who engage in verbal insults in the House because at the end of the day, we are going to be judged by the content and substance of what we contribute in this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear hear.] – 

My point of order concerns this particular day.  Today, it is a Wednesday and in terms of the Standing Orders and Rules of this Parliament, we expect that Hon. Members of Parliament are given a platform for them to interact and interrogate the Executive in terms of issues that concerns our country.  We are expecting our Ministers to be present.  Today, we have got only the Leader of the House and a Minister of State who in terms of the Constitution cannot answer questions from Hon. Members of Parliament. 

Why are Ministers not taking parliamentary business seriously?  The Leader of the House cannot answer all the concerns of the Members of Parliament.  Several times, Hon. Members of Parliament have raised this concern and it seems that Ministers are not taking parliamentary business seriously.  Whom are we going to ask questions today because the front bench is empty?  That is my point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon. Sikhala.  Your point of order is highly noted – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order.

I have also received the following apologies from the following Ministers; Hon. J. Moyo, Hon. Muchinguri, Hon. Matema, Hon. Ndlovu and Hon. Chitando.

          HON. GONESE:  On a point of clarification Mr. Speaker, maybe the Minister can give a comprehensive response.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I have noted the apologies which you have read out and my concern is that in the past we have received some apologies.  However, as you will note from the list of apologies, it is not exhaustive.  What it means in short is that there are Hon. Ministers who are not present and who have not sought leave of absence.  In terms of the Standing Orders, it is contempt of Parliament. 

What I would like to find out from the Chair, because it is this august House which can then invoke those rules whereby those Ministers who are in contempt of Parliament in terms of our Standing Orders can then be brought to account.  My worry is that in the past, the Chair has taken note of truancy and delinquency on the part of the Hon. Ministers concerned but nothing has actually been done to rectify it to ensure that they are brought to book and ensure that they do not continuously and habitually breach the rules and violate the provisions of Section 107 of our Constitution.  So, this is the point which I need clarification from the Chair as to why we have not cracked the whip when this House has the power to do so.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Gonese but like I rightly said in the first point of order that was raised by Hon. Sikhala, I actually said that I have taken note of that point of order and, maybe at the moment could I ask the Leader of the House to intervene.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I just want to respond to the Hon. Members and indicate that Ministers according to the Constitution are appointed by the President and they serve at the pleasure of the President.  The Hon. Members do not recognise the President - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  and I am surprised.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members, Order Hon. Members!

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We cannot continue in this House with hypocrites.  You cannot on one hand say you do not recognise the President and you expect a Minister who has been appointed by the President to answer questions – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  I request Mr. Speaker Sir that from today until they issue a public apology to the President, no Minister is going to answer a question from this side of the House.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order in the House Hon. Members!  You are too noisy.

          HON. SIKHALA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to say that the Leader of the House is a legal practitioner, he is a lawyer.  Mr. Speaker Sir, he knows in terms of the law that there is a de jure and a de facto President.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:   Order, order Hon. Members.  Members on my left, order.

          HON. SIKHALA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the statement by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is not doing him any good - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Because, he is confirming that there is a dispute over the issue of the presidency – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  In terms of the Constitution Mr. Speaker Sir, Ministers are public servants who are using taxpayers’ money which is the oversight of this House.  So, we are entitled as long as they are drawing from the public purse to ask them questions in this House. 

So, the Minister must stop politicking over very important national issues.  What we want are Ministers who are getting paid through the public purse, for them to come here and answer the concerns of Zimbabweans through their Members of Parliament they elected into this House.  I thank you Mr. Speaker. 

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. MUSABAYANA: We are quite happy because of the improvement in the issue of fuel. Most service stations now have fuel. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development - [HON. MEBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. My ruling is that both sides have made their point. I must say that we have come here for Parliament business. Each one of us who is here has come for the business of Parliament. Today is question time, so we need to go ahead and ask questions.

          *HON. MUSABAYANA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development. What measures have you put in place to ensure that there is sufficient fuel during the Christmas holidays? I thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Let me thank Hon. Musabayana for his question which is in line with the provision of fuel in Zimbabwe. As he has already mentioned, fuel is now going into the service stations and plans are underway to ensure that there are adequate supplies until after the Christmas period into the New Year. We expect that the fuel situation is going to improve and that the queues that you are seeing will disappear. The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Dr. Gumbo is going to issue a Ministerial Statement as regards the fuel situation in the country. I thank you.

          HON. MURAI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to pose my question. In the absence of the Minister of Health and Child Care, I will direct my question to the Leader of the House. Doctors are on strike at the country’s referral hospitals over the deterioration of the health system and poor remuneration. What measures are you putting in place because the situation is not looking good in our hospitals?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Like I said earlier on, I am unable to respond until the recognised authority  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker Sir, a question was posed to the Hon. Minister and he has not answered the question posed by Hon. Murai.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, I think you have heard what the Leader of the House has said. You cannot force the Leader of the House to respond – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Order Hon. Members. Sit down Hon. Members.

          HON. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am back again here on a point of privilege. Surely Mr. Speaker, I am shocked to the core, that we have Members of this Parliament who call us names.  Hon. Chinotimba has just called me a hure, that is in Shona, in English - a prostitute. This must stop.  I do not care who says what, this is wrong.  It is not a crime for a woman to stand and debate or challenge a situation, whether my challenge is wrong or right, no one has a right to call me names.  Hon. Chinotimba has no right to call me a bitch.  I am not a bitch, I am an Hon. Member who was brought to this Parliament by Zimbabweans and as a woman I want to be respected – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  He must withdraw that statement.  Mr. Speaker, He must withdraw because if he does not, I am taking him to court.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Chinotimba, I did not hear you saying that statement, if you said that statement, can you please withdraw that statement.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I retaliated because of the words she said to me.  She said ‘get away from here, you are a bitch.’ – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – If you say so, I withdraw – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I withdraw my statement.

          HON. MURAI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My question was that the doctors are on strike, Hon. Minister Ziyambi over poor remuneration and the deterioration of service delivery. What measures are you putting in place and what plans do you have to rescue the situation?

          HON. KASHIRI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Before the Minister responds to the question, we have Members of the other side who are sitting on the wrong side. May they go back to their places? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Please Chief Whip, ibasa renyu gadzirisai. Hon. Mutseyami, Hon. Mutseyami! Okay you can occupy the floor Hon. Minister.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir...

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: You are in the House Hon. Sikhala!

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member and Hon. Members for accepting that we should proceed and they recognise the Government of the day. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          An Hon. member having stood up to make a point of order.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: No, I cannot take that point of order now. Please go ahead.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you. In that regard, I think we are in the spirit of uniting our people and I am very happy to proceed to answer his question. Indeed, we have problems with the doctors. They have indicated that they are disgruntled with their conditions of service. The Minister of Health and Child Care to date has met the representatives of the doctors and they are negotiating so that we can come up with a solution to the crisis. As you know, we had challenges with foreign currency and we are trying to capacitate NatPharm so that we have sufficient drugs to ensure that our hospitals are well catered for. I thank you.

          HON. G. K. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question to the Leader of the House is that...

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. My point of order is that Hon. Sikhala is insulting people by saying stupid satan. If we have the unity of purpose, he should also withdraw just as I have done. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order in the House Hon. Members! Hon. Sikhala, if you have uttered those words, please withdraw?

          HON. SIKHALA: I never said those words but however Mr. Speaker, if he wants me to withdraw that he is stupid, I withdraw. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          *THE ACTING SPEAKER: Please take your seats. Hon. Sikhala, we respect you. The manner in which you responded to the Hon. Member is not right. You had initially withdrawn but please, withdraw the words that you are stupid. Please do so.

          HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker, Hon. Chinotimba has confirmed to me that he lied against me. I withdraw. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Order in the House!

          HON. G. K. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Leader of the House is that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: May the Hon. Member be heard in silence please?

          HON. G. K. SITHOLE: My supplementary question is that since the doctors are on strike and we hear that nurses will be on strike as well as teachers, these are multifaceted economic problems which have resulted in political problems. I would want to know his position from the ruling party. What political solution do they have in place to ensure that these economic problems are solved? Thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I indeed alluded to the issues pertaining to doctors but I will not speak about rumours. I indicated that concerning doctors, the Minister of Health and Child Care was engaging the representatives of doctors. I am not aware of any issues with other Government workers. However, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development brought a budget and he put in measures that we believe as we move forward, will cure some of our economic problems. I thank you.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Leader of the House is whether he can give us some timeframe, some indication as to how long they expect to resolve this problem because you know that the generality of Zimbabweans, the majority of the people are going through very serious challenges because of this strike. They are not getting attention and people are dying in our hospitals. It is important for the Hon. Minister to give us some guidance as to when we can expect to have a resolution of this problem which is very serious? Thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I indicated that the Minister of Health and Child Care has engaged the representatives of the doctors and a negotiation process, I cannot give a timeline.  Perhaps as we speak they have concluded the negotiations, I would not know.  So, I am not in a position to give a timeline.  Thank you.

          HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  I would like to find out what policy they have in allocating rural police stations with police vehicles for duty work because most rural areas police stations do not have vehicles.  They travel long distances to attend to cases.

          HON. SIKHALA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  The same question the Hon. Member has asked was once asked by Hon. Chinotimba.  He must re-visit the Hansard, it was comprehensively answered by the Minister of Home Affairs.  If the Member of Parliament missed that, one same question cannot be asked in the same session over and over again.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are informed to refer to the Hansard for your answer.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines.  Hon. Deputy Minister, we are currently going through the budgeting process with the Minister having presented his proposal on 22nd December, 2018.  One of the pillars which anchored the budget is that we are negotiating with investors and we have rebased our economy and our GDP as per those investment proposals.  Section 315 (2) (c) of the Constitution states that “an Act of Parliament must provide for the negotiation and performance of the following State contracts - (b) contracts of the construction and operation of infrastructure and facilities; and (c) concessions of mineral and other rights.”

          With particular reference to Section (c), when are we going to have this Act of Parliament which provides for Parliament to have oversight over the negotiations of contracts which benefit our country?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Minister Chitando is compiling a list of all agreements and concessions which were negotiated by His Excellency, and  He will be bringing them to Parliament very soon for consideration. Thank you.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: With all due respect to the Deputy Minister.  I think he missed the point.  The question is - there must be an Act of Parliament that empowers Parliament to provide oversight over the concession of minerals and other rights.  When is that Act of Parliament in liaison with the Constitution going to be brought before Parliament so that, that Act will be within the confides of the law not the agreements?

          HON. KAMBAMURA: Thank you Hon. Member for that question.  The principles of that Act have been sent to the Attorney General.  Once he is done, they will be brought here for consideration.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.  Minister, STEM was introduced by the Government, is it going to be reinstated?  The people back in the constituencies are asking as to whether it is going to be reinstated so that those who will be doing well in sciences can have their education paid for by the STEM project through the Government auspices.

          It was also said that students under the STEM project will have their university education paid for. Our constituents are concerned as to what is going to happen as regards those students who are on that project.  Is it going to be reinstated because that was a good thing?

          *THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  First of all, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  These subjects are not going to be dropped.  They were never dropped and they will not be dropped in future.  Our Ministry oversees higher and tertiary education and it also looks at polytechnic colleges and universities. Scholarships that were being offered to ‘A’ Level students were discontinued in term 3in 2018. There was misuse of the funds in the name of STEM scholarships. Therefore, we have since stopped it.

          The money was being misused; it was used to pay private institutions and because of that issue, we are saying that we continuously urge the studying of science, technology, engineering and mathematics using other means but not through giving scholarships to ‘A’ Level students.  At university level, we have the intention of securing loans to give to students so that they can pursue their education.  We will also secure loans on their behalf.  Currently, we have secured a lot of money; $50 million was set aside by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and $10 million was set aside in South Africa. 

          The problem was that the banks were asking students for pay slips yet it is not every student who can produce the pay slip.  We are urging the banks to change some of these requirements so that they can be user friendly to the students.  So in brief I am saying that STEM was known as a project for students that are doing science at ‘A’ Level.  STEM is a large project. As we speak right now, we are having projects under STEM that include the manufacturing of fertiliser and or using coal, it also involves the issue of extracting oil through coal, and it can be oil or fuel.  It also talks about innovation hubs...

          *AN HON. MEMBER: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *THE ACTING SPEAKER. What is your point of order?

          *AN HON. MEMBER:  It seems baba ava is now doing a Ministerial Statement – [Laughter.] –

          *THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister.

          *AN HON. MEMBER:  Hon. Minister is giving a Ministerial Statement and not answering the question.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Point of order overruled.

          *HON. PRO. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  The issue of STEM is an ongoing issue but ‘A’ level scholarships are not for students doing ‘A’ level, we are in Higher and Tertiary Education and we do not have scholarship for A level students, so we stick to our mandate of tertiary institutions without misusing money or losing money. I thank you.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker, when the Minister was giving his response, he said when STEM was done, this was a way of abusing funds. Can he tell us what he is doing to ensure that the money that was misused is returned to Government and who took it?  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for that question.  We did a forensic audit, I am answering in this fashion as a result of the findings of the forensic audit.  There are some people who are appearing before the courts in connection with allegations of abusing funds.  So, if the matter is before the courts I cannot comment because it is subjudice, I thank you.

          HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House.  What is Government policy on the issue of enrolment for Form 1 students?  I understand when schools are enrolling these children they are asking for 5 units and my understanding is not all of the students can get 5 units and parents are  complaining that they want to know whether it is Government policy or not because they are having problems to enroll children to schools of their choice.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which is very important and indeed what she is saying is what is obtaining within our schools.  What the Government is doing is that we are coming up with an Education Bill and in that Bill we are going to insist that all those learners within a certain area must be given first preference.  If they cannot get a position in that particular school that is near to their homes the school authorities must then issue a letter so that they can go outside their zone. Once we have finalised that Bill we hope that we will cure this problem whereby some learners are told we cannot take you because you have 10 or so points.  We want learners to be accommodated near their homes.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank Hon. Speaker the Government about 3 years ago came up with a tool and internet based tool of Form 1 enrolment. This tool enshrines that students indicate the schools where they intend to enroll.  As of today Hon. Minister, the results showing on that tool that is the acceptance or rejection, the status is pending but enrolment is expected to begin today.  What is the recourse for students, now that the status is pending no one has been accepted but enrolment is supposed to begin?

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I believe that is now a very specific question that deals with a tool and how many students have been accepted within that tool I would not be privy to what is happening as regards that specific platform.  What I know is that generally we have had problems like what Hon. Karenyi alluded to which we hope that if we put some legislative measures to help our learners, it will solve the problem.  As for that problem I think you can put it in writing so that the respective Minister can investigate whether the platform that they put in place is working according to their specifications or not.  I thank you.

          HON. KABOZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me this opportunity to add my voice in this august House.  My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Artisanal miners, just like any other players in our economy contribute quite a lot to our economy, but are taken for granted. They are not recognised at all.  Is there any Government policy measure in place to formalize their operations so that they become legal miners, not illegal miners as we are all accustomed to calling them?  Mr. Speaker Sir, these artisanal miners are in dire need of Government support to produce more.  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As you are aware, the Mines and Mineral Act is being amended – [AN HON. MEMBER: He is not aware.] – very soon we will be going out with the parliamentary portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development to sort out issues that were raised by His Excellency.  After that, the Bill will be brought back to Parliament.  In that amended Bill - that is where the small scale miners will be recognised.  I think the Bill will be brought to Parliament very soon for consideration.

          HON. MAYIHLOME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is a follow up to the question on the answer proffered by the Minister of Mines.  What compensatory plans does the Ministry have for those whose land gets affected by the activities of the small scale miners, particularly those who are not registered.  What compensatory plans do you have in mind? I thank you.

          HON. KAMBAMURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Mines and Mineral Act say that the small scale miners whenever they are doing activities, should reclaim the land on which they are working on.  So, it is a matter of policy implementation and follow up through our Ministry and EMA to see that the land they are working on is reclaimed. 

HON. HAMAUSWA:  My supplementary question is with regards to what has been happening in the 1990s where there were pilot projects to ensure that small scale miners operate without affecting the environment, especially those who were extracting gold on the riverbeds.  Is that issue being considered in the new mining policy?

HON. KAMBAMURA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  In the amended Act, it was suggested that the small-scale miners who are working on riverbeds should do so about 200m away from the riverbed.  Like I have indicated, the Act will be brought back to Parliament for consideration and such issues will be ironed out.  I thank you.

*HON. MATSUNGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House.  I want to find out about the Grade 7 students who could not collect their results because they were on the BEAM project and that they owe the institutions.  What is Government’s policy as regards such students?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for such a good question.  Government’s policy is that children’s education should not be disturbed.  They should proceed with their studies.  Those that were denied their results should simply write to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education or go there.  They will give you assistance because it is not Government policy that results are withdrawn because money has not been paid, because they are on the BEAM project.  If you put it in writing, you will get a better response.

*HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Hon. Minister for your response.  My supplementary question is that this issue we are discussing has been taking place year in, year out.  Would it not have been possible Hon. Minister, as the current state of affairs in the country and this is a nationwide problem where Grade 7 results are being withheld.  As the Leader of the House, why do you not get in touch with the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education so that circulars are written to all schools in Zimbabwe that students should access their results instead of having this issue attended to piecemeal.  I thank you.

 HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would want to thank the Hon. Member for his suggestion.  It is acceptable; I will have a discussion with the relevant Minister of Primary and Secondary Education so that he addresses this problem to the Headmasters so that they desist from such a habit.  I thank you.

*HON. HAMAUSWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary question is about the withholding of results.  The universities are talking about the issue of registration fee.  Other universities are separating between tuition fees and registration fee.  The registration fee ensures that the child is recognised as a student at a university.  Can the Minister fully explain how a student is said to not have been registered and is denied a chance to write the exams.  What measures have they put in place to ensure that Government’s policy that children cannot be denied access to writing examinations?  It could be Government policy but without implementation, nothing good will come out of that.  We urge Government to practice what it preaches.  I thank you.

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The first question that has been asked was in line with the primary school children.  If you look into our Constitution, you will observe that a child is entitled to basic education provided by the State.  In my response, I responded pertaining to the primary issue where the Minister of Primary and Secondary School is in charge and is not in the Chamber.  I said in my response that results should be withheld but the supplementary has nothing to do with the two questions.  This is a new question and it requires response from the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education to respond.  I thank you.

*HON. NYABANI:   Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My name is Tendai Nyabani from Rushinga Constituency.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House.  A lot of Members are misusing the House’s time, what measures is Government going to put in place to ensure that Parliament upholds the dignity of the people – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

*THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Allow the Hon. Member to be heard in silence.

*HON. NYABANI:   A lot of time is wasted in this august House bickering.  What measures is Government going to put in place so that we have an orderly Parliament. 

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question that most of the time, a lot of tomfoolery takes place in this House or child’s play, especially by Members sitting on that side of the House.  They are even found refusing to stand up for the President of this country.  In the next breath, they ask that Ministers come here to answer questions, that is being childish.  The question is with regards to Parliament Mr. Speaker Sir.  As Administration of Parliament, they should sit down and come up ...

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point or order Hon. Chikwinya?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  For the Leader of the House to refer to Hon. Members as zvehupwere is unparliamentary.

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I said that Hon. Members behave like children, I did not said they behave in a childish manner.  Allow me to proceed Mr. Speaker Sir, that the Administration of Parliament indeed should come and review our Standing Rules and Orders to ensure that such Members are brought to book.

HON. MADZIMURE: I want to thank the Hon. Minister of Justice for climbing down from his previous stance that he was not going to answer questions and be a bit realistic. Hon. Minister, can you explain whether the Government is really serious in fighting corruption considering that we have had so many arrests of people who are charged with corruption but if you look at the conviction rate it is almost zero. Can you explain to this House whether it is deliberate or the Government has no tools to fight corruption?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I understand the question was asked last week and it was duly answered in my absence. In the same vein that Hon. Sikhala referred the other Hon. Member to the Hansard, I indulge him also Mr. Speaker Sir that he refers to the Hansard.

HON. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker, the question was asked to the Minister of Home Affairs who referred the question to the Minister of Justice. If he reads his Hansard he must have gone through that or else he is hiding behind a finger.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I thought a precedent had been set but I do not mind to repeat. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question and it is a very important question. Indeed, the Government is committed to fight corruption. We have cases that have gone before the courts. We have arrests but we do not seem to be having convictions. As the Executive, we have the Judiciary that is independent from the Executive and we expect that when cases are before the courts, they are done impartially and judgements are given that are fair. It is our hope that the concerns that are coming from the public, the Judiciary is going to take them into consideration ensuring that most of the cases that are pending are expedited. Where people are supposed to be convicted, they are convicted. I must add that we should not just convict for the sake of convicting. The Judiciary should look at the facts and convict according to the facts that are presented. Thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE: If I heard the Minister well, it seems the Minister is not confident in the Judiciary because he has squarely put the blame on the Judiciary that is not prosecuting. Mr. Speaker, the onus to prove the innocence of any individual accused of corruption rests squarely on the person. Minister, have you engaged the Judiciary to understand why there is no conviction or there is also corruption within the system?

HON. ZIYAMBI: The prosecution is responsible for bringing cases to courts. In other words, they decide whether to prosecute or not and nobody can interfere with that decision to prosecute. The Judiciary only deals with cases that are brought before them and my reference to cases were to cases that are before the courts but have not been completed. What I said is, we have a drive to ensure that we retrain and retool our magistrates and prosecutors so that they are capacitated to deal with corruption cases, but I added that we should be cautious in our fight against corruption to influence because we have this appetite to see convictions and we influence the Judiciary to make unnecessary convictions. Cases should be looked at according to the evidence that have been presented.

HON. GONESE: In your response Hon. Minister, you talked of capacitating the National Prosecuting Authority. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is whether the engagement or establishment of a Special Prosecution Unit located in the Office of the President is an indication that there is lack of capacity in the NPA and if there is such lack of capacity, can the Hon. Minister tell us what they are doing to ensure that prosecution or prosecutorial functions are located in the organ or unit which is established in terms of the Constitution.

My other concern Mr. Speaker, is whether this has got any budgetary implications because the prosecutors who are engaged in the Special Prosecution Unit are coming from private practice and the assumption will be that they are being paid at a higher rate than that which is being paid to the prosecutors who are actually employed under the NPA. If the Hon. Minister can respond to those concerns.

HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I want to state that the first part is not a Special Prosecution Unit in the President’s Office. We have a special unit that deals with corruption cases in the President’s Office. What they do is to assist investigators in completing the dockets. Once the dockets are complete and handed over to the Prosecutor General, it is up to the Prosecutor General to engage any of them should he want. So, the unit is not about prosecution. Prosecution is entirely vested with the Prosecutor General.

The rationale was, we wanted to have a scenario where cases of corruption are investigated expeditiously and they are prosecuted. So, the President in his wisdom believed, stopped that; let us  have a unit of experienced lawyers who have been prosecuted before to assist in completing the dockets but once the docket is complete, it is entirely up to the Prosecutor General either to give them authority to prosecute or to use the prosecutors that he has. If he decides to engage them then there are necessary procedures according to our laws that have to be followed when he is engaging them.

In terms of the second part of his question, it is also part of capacity building in that if we engage experienced lawyers who are in private practice who have prosecuted. When they are doing these investigations and completing the docket, they are also assisting our prosecutors in capacitating them to be able to deal with those cases.  We also have applied to Treasury so that we can have more posts within the Prosecution Unit.  Once we have improved our establishment and we have more prosecutors, we are engaging other countries so that we can have trainers coming into the country, sending some of our prosecutors so that they can also be trained in dealing with prosecution cases.  I thank you.

HON. MADIWA:  May I know the Government position in terms of making sure the national action plan for ending child marriages is implemented.  The plan is in place but to my understanding, it has never been implemented.  May I know the Government position in making sure that that plan is implemented?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Indeed, we are going to have legislation pertaining to child marriages being brought into this august House for us to deliberate and we come up with a law that will cure the problem.  I thank you.

HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is, may the Minister please appraise us on the domestication of the SADC model law on the eradication of child marriages.  Thank you

HON. ZIYAMBI:  My understanding is, it is a model law.  It does not need domestication, but we need to incorporate it into our own laws.  So, we are coming up with a Bill where we will incorporate most of those issues, which is exactly the answer I gave to say we are working on that and we are going to incorporate most of those issues.

HON. J. CHIDHAKWA:  My question is directed to the Leader of Government business.  What is Government policy on debt audit?  This is necessitated by the fact that we now have internal debt which is huge compared to the external debt.  So, it is important to have an audit so as to ascertain which debt is legitimate or illegitimate so that we do not burden the ordinary Zimbabweans with debt that they did not even benefit from.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I did not quite hear his question in that if we have a debt and it is an acknowledged debt, I am not sure what audit needs to be done on a debt that he has acknowledged.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  In other words, Leader of the House, you are asking the Hon. Member to raise his question again.  Please can you come again and try to be very clear in your question.

HON. J. CHIDHAKWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is important to us in that the debt that we have is made up of what.  That is what the Minister has to explain.  We need to know which debt is legitimate or illegitimate.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  This is not a policy question.  I cannot be expected to know the exact figures of who we owe – we owe IMF so much, we owe so and so so much, I cannot.  Perhaps if he can put that in writing and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will be able to answer the question.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, you are advised to…

HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  I have not actually made a ruling on that one Hon. Sikhala.

HON. SIKHALA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not know why the Minister is trying to be confused with a very straight forward question – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member is asking a very simple question to the Minister, that the internal debt of our country is ballooning each and every passing day.  The Government can only borrow with the authority of this House.  So why is the Government continuing on a borrowing spree without seeking the authority and condonation of this House.  This is a simple question that he is asking.  Answer Hon. Minister.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am surprised that Hon. Sikhala has suddenly become the advocate of the Honourable and he is asking the question on his behalf.  It is neither a supplementary question nor the original question.  The original question was, he wanted the debt to be audited and I said I do not understand what he wants.  He then went on to say that we need a breakdown of the debt to say so and so is owed so much and I said I am unable because it is not a policy question.  What Hon. Sikhala is now bringing in is totally different from what the Hon. Member said.  I thank you.

HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Hon. Leader of the House.  What is Government policy on the provision of transport and housing for the Defence Forces.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking a very important question.  The policy of Government is that our defence forces must be provided with accommodation, preferably within the barracks.  However, we have been unable to provide accommodation for all of them because of the economic situation, but the ideal situation is that all of them must be provided with accommodation.

HON. N. NDLOVU:  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Welfare.  Since he is not in the House, I will refer my question to the Leader of the House.

What is Government policy on dealing with the legacy debt?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I believe that is very specific.  Can the Hon. Member please put it in writing and specify the legacy debts she is referring to and I will gladly forward it because I do not know which legacy debt you are referring to.  I can then ask for a comprehensive answer in that regard.

HON. N. NDLOVU:  Supplementary.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  I think the Leader of the House has been very clear when he said that is a specific question and I do not understand how a supplementary question can arise after the Minister has stated that it is a specific question and you need to put it in writing.  That is his request.  I have made a ruling.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  On a point of privilege – section 69 as read together with 69 (d), we now have about three questions that have been thrashed but we believe that they are questions related to policy. 

I raised a question about the issue of fees and students are being affected.  The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education is here and the question was thrashed.  I wonder what the Minister is doing because we need answers so that when we go to our constituencies, we are able to respond to the people who voted for us. 

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Alright, overruled.

+HON. MATHE: My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. Since she is not present, I will direct the question to the Leader of the House.

In 2017 and 2018, we did not have sufficient rains in the whole of Zimbabwe.  In other areas, they never harvested anything.  They were severely affected by the drought.  The country is aware of this.  As I speak right now, the social welfare is giving maize to those that are in the old registers.  These people on the registers are the ones which were seen to be vulnerable.  What is going to happen to those that suffered from the effects of drought in 2017 and 2018 because the rains came late?  The President has said no one is going to starve.  What is Government’s policy with regards to that issue?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Every week on Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare brings figures to indicate the manner in which food is being distributed, especially when we are in a drought situation.

There are different groups of people.  Vulnerable people receive food in either situation.  When everyone is affected, there are also some people who benefit.  The Social Welfare Department must work with the local leadership such as councillors and village heads so that they can come up with a list of people that should benefit the food.  Such arrangements have also spread to cities or towns because there are also vulnerable people in the cities and towns.  The councillors are also going to be involved as well as the social welfare department so that they assist the most vulnerable groups.

If there are certain areas where vulnerable people are not receiving the assistance, the Ministry in question should look into the matter because it is Government policy that everyone should benefit if there is a drought.

+HON. MATHE: These old lists that were compiled long ago have names of the same people that are benefiting whilst the new ones are not.  People are starving in our constituencies.  We want this exercise to be re-undertaken because there is the element of the drought and people do not have sufficient food.  We urge you to come up with a new list that involves all the people.  I thank you.

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  This issue now applies to a specific area.  I explained the Government policy that if there is no drought, we give food to the vulnerable groups and when there is a drought, we open up to the people who are supposed to benefit from this exercise.  If there are specific areas where old people that are on the old list of vulnerable people – it is now an issue that requires the Hon. Member to put it in writing, making specific reference to specific areas.  If there are other Hon. Members that are in similar circumstances, they should also approach the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and ask for assistance or have the issue corrected.

Government accepts that we did not have good rains in 2017 and people are supposed to receive food aid in the areas they live.  The Hon. Member can put the concern in writing and the Department of Social Welfare can attend to it.

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

WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Speaker, I realise that you identify the Ministers who are present and then they respectfully answer so that we do not waste time.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Chikwinya, thank you very much for your suggestion.  It is noted and we are complying.

          HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Whilst I appreciate the point raised by my colleague, obviously, it is good for expediency.  However, there is an important aspect which I want to raise.  The first aspect is that, if you look at these questions, they were deferred in previous weeks for instance; the questions relating to the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Welfare were deferred from the 21st of November. 

Hon. Speaker, written questions are prepared well in advance and the Hon. Ministers have advance notice of questions which had been posed to them.  They have Ministry officials and procedurally, what they are supposed to do is for their Ministry officials to prepare responses and through the Leader of the House, identify Hon. Ministers who are available who can then read the answers on their behalf.  So, I would like to say that whilst for expediency we can skip those questions where the Hon. Ministers are not present, I think that as a housekeeping issue, they Chair should direct the Hon. Leader of the House who is conferring with his officials there that he must ensure that Hon. Ministers and Ministry officials ensure that responses are prepared and handed over to those Ministers who are available. This is done so that we do not have a situation where questions are continuously deferred.  Sometimes the questions actually lose the purpose for which they were intended because some of them may end up being overtaken by events.  That is my point Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Your point is noted Hon. Member.  We will inform the Leader of the House since he is not in at the moment. 

TABLING OF THE CHIHAMBAKWE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REPORT ON GUKURAHUNDI MASSACRES

          12.  HON. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to state when the Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry Report on the Gukurahundi massacres will be tabled in Parliament.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMAENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker Sir, this case is standing before the courts and as such, we will await the determination of the court as regard the outcome of this case.  I thank you.

ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON UPCOMING ELECTIONS

          13.  HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs what the Ministry is doing to ensure Zimbabwe Electoral Commission runs the upcoming by-elections and elections as stipulated in Section 239 (a) of the Constitution, considering the challenges which were lodged during the 2018 harmonised elections which ended up with the results being challenged. 

          TH MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe that this question was overtaken by events.  The by-elections have since been conducted and they were conducted hassle free and it is now behind us.  I thank you. 

          HON. CHIDZIVA:  On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker.  The Minister has skipped ‘and elections’.  It is by-elections and elections.  So, it is not only about by-elections Minister.  Thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We do not have elections this year.

          HON. CHIDZIVA:  Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I think the Minister is not being serious on my question because my questions is saying, what is the Ministry doing to ensure that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) runs the upcoming by-elections and elections as stipulated in Section 239 (a) of the Constitution, considering the challenges which were lodged during the 2018 Harmonised Election which ended up with the results being challenged in courts.  We do not want our future elections to be challenged again.

What are you doing to ensure that there is effectiveness on elections? 

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is an independent Commission that gets its budget directly from Parliament.  So, as we deliberate the budget, I believe that the Hon. Member will then have to watch out for the ZEC budget and ensure that all the essential things that they require to operate independently are catered for.  I thank you.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Madam Speaker, my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is to do with an issue to address laws that have to do so much with the election.  Then, you prepare those laws and those Bills come from the office of our esteemed Hon. Minister here and I am sure that the Minister is very much aware of how to respond to this.  Because, I have heard him in other fora when he is talking to international communities – he says all these things which need to be addressed to have an election which will not be disputed.  These are the questions that you are expected to respond to and you have the answers Hon. Minister, please Hon. esteemed Minister.

HON. KASHIRI: On a point of order. Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Hon. Member of Parliament has just said the elections were disputed. That is not a fact. The Hon. Member needs to clarify - what does he mean by elections were…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): There is no point of order. May the Hon. Minister respond?

HON. ZIYAMBI: The question is referring to Section 239 (a) and it pertains to the functions of ZEC. Section 239 says “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has the following functions; to prepare for and conduct and supervise elections” The elections that they do they list. My Ministry is not supposed to interfere with the business of running elections. The section so cited is referring to functions of ZEC.

The question is insinuating that the Ministry is supposed to do something to add the function of preparing, conducting and supervising. I put it to the Hon. Members that ZEC appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Budget is going to be debated here. We have a chance because their budget is not appropriated through the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs but directly to ZEC.

The moment that Hon. Members entertain ideas of me superintending over ZEC, I will be interfering with their independence. I believe that insofar as conducting by-elections that were done in November, we did not have any incidences. I responded accordingly to say that part of the question has been overtaken by events. We do not have any other election except by-elections this year. My other answer was we do not have elections.

As to the other functions of ZEC, they are supposed to prepare a budget of whatever they want and the law even says I cannot bring a law into this august House without ZEC having motivated or consulted them. ZEC has to motivate whatever those laws are. The House and Hon Members can also do that. In consultation with ZEC like Hon. Mutseyami has said, we are going to look at other areas that we need to improve within our laws.

HON. CHIKWINYA: My supplementary question emanates from the issue of by-elections. The Budget Statement proposes two options; the first option being that we have by-elections once annually or the second option being that the political party that would have lost that particular Member replaces without necessarily going to a by-election. Hon. Minister, with regards to these measures  suggested by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, what is the Ministry of Justice’s position?

HON. ZIYAMBI: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question and highlighting the proposition by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development which is not yet law. We might need to amend our electoral law if we are not to have any by-election according to the stipulated timeframes. That is up to the House. I thank you.

HON. GONESE: My point of clarification arises from the Hon. Minister’s previous response in regard to the original question. In terms of the question which was asked, it related to both by-elections and elections. It is common cause that ZEC does not have a right of audience in this august House and when they prepare reports in respect of elections, they are tabled by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Any issues which relate to the administration of ZEC Act are actually channeled through the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. I believe that in this regard where there have been issues relating to elections being challenged or concerns which have been expressed, the Hon. Minister is the rightful person who can then respond as to what position the Ministry is going to take because it is an interested party and the vehicle through which this august House communicates with ZEC. That is the reason why the Portfolio Committee which has got an oversight role is the one which also engages ZEC. So, there is this intricate web linking both the Ministry, the Portfolio Committee and ZEC.

I want to reiterate that the Commissioners do not have a right of audience in this august House. If we have any issues which we want to raise, we raise them through the Minister. I believe that the Minister should do  justice to that part of the question which relates to future elections so that the last aspect whereby Hon. Chidziva wants to know what the Ministry is going to do to ensure that some of those challenges which were experienced in the last elections in 2018 do not arise in the future. I believe that he must respond.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. I think the Hon. Minister has rightfully explained his position as a Ministry and for us to continue duplicating and continue saying that we need to be clarifying, we are actually going more than that. Let us continue for now and go to the next question.

IMPROVEMENT OF WORKING CONDITIONS FOR OFFICERS OF THE NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY

          14. HON DUBE asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to state when working conditions for officers of the National Prosecuting Authority will be improved, including provision of decent offices?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Let me start by underscoring that the improvement of working conditions of officers of the NPA is an ongoing exercise. In order to reduce the backlog of cases awaiting trial, the NPA has recruited 105 new prosecutors. Thirteen senior prosecutors have been promoted to higher and more challenging positions and this indeed has a motivating effect.

          Further to that since the establishment of the NPA, the Administration Department has been assisted by seconded staff. Interviews for these administrative posts have been conducted and the members will assume duty in the near future. This will thus enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the NPA.

The NPA will also align the salaries of its officers with that of officers in the Judicial Service Commission.  Currently, NPA officers are earning less than Judicial Service Commission officers; hence this alignment will bring them at par with the Judicial Service Commission officers.

Madam Speaker, as you may be aware, the justice sector is working towards the decentralisation of courts to areas where there are few or no courts in order to enhance access to justice in line with Sustainable Development Goal No. 16.

Resultantly, there is need for the establishment of offices in those areas. Therefore, in some areas, we are still overcrowded and sharing offices.  It is therefore vital that new offices be constructed within the court complexes in order to ease the accommodation challenges.  The NPA Board is currently seized with the matter.  I thank you.

The Temporary Speaker having deferred Questions Numbers 19 to 72

HON. CHIKWINYA: Madam Speaker, I stand guided by the rules.  The deferred questions are written that they have been deferred from the 21st of November.  I have been attending Parliament and I have never skipped any session. My question has been deferred from the 25th of September.  The Order Paper is not reflecting correctly on the deferment date.  I propose that the deferment date be as stated on the day which the question was presented to Parliament so that at least people can see that this question has been on the Order Paper for too long. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Chikwinya, but the response is that we usually defer questions when the Minister is not available.  What usually happens is that if we do not get to that question on that particular day, which means it will only be deferred until it is said on the day. For example, today we have not reached question 93, which means that it will be deferred until today because we did not get to those questions.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Speaker, I still stand guided.  The manner in which the questions are put on the Order Paper are that they are clustered according to the Ministry.  So, you will find that the number varicates from one number to another.  It is not in ascending order like if you have dealt with questions 1 to 69, it means that next time, question number 1 will be number 70.  They are clustered according to the ministers.  So, if the Minister of Home Affairs is going to have the first set, it means that every other question, even if question number 101 is falling under the Ministry of Home Affairs, it can actually become question number 2 because it will be within the Minister who will be on the first cluster. 

What I am seeking Hon. Speaker is that the Order Paper must reflect the day on which my question was put on the Order Paper so that at least we can track that this question has now overstayed. It can only assist us Hon. Members to be able to track – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much for noting that Hon. Chikwinya.  I am sure the Clerk is going to take note of that so that at least the question will reflect the real day it started.

TRANSFORMERS AT MBAMBA AND CHEFUNYE BUSINESS CENTRES

          74.  HON. Z. SIBANDA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when it plans to replace transformers at Mbamba and Chefunye Business Centres in Tsholotsho which have not been replaced for the past two years.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking that question.  I would like to inform the House that ZETDC is currently having challenges replacing vandalised and faulty transformers with a current backlog of 1664.  The rate of vandalism is over 560 annually, which is way above our current capacity to replace.  ZESA Holdings manufacturing subsidiary, ZESA Enterprises (ZENT) is not able to meet the backlog.  ZENT is in the process of manufacturing 400 transformers which are expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

Madam Speaker, rural institutions and service centres require 230 transformers.  These institutions, including Mbamba and Chefunye Business Centres in Tsholotsho are going to be prioritised in transformer replacement when ZENT transformers are delivered.  Thank you.

HON. GABBUZA: Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is, the question identifies this institution to have been off the grid for two years, but we get some other institutions whose transformers are damaged within a year and replaced within a few months.  What criteria do they use, should they not prioritise in terms of ‘first to be damaged and first to be replaced?’

HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Member.  As you have rightfully mentioned, the first transformer to be damaged should be the first one to be replaced, but if they have got any specific areas, then – [HON. CHIKWINYA: Imi hamuzvizivi here?] – I am responding to the question.  If there are any specific places where such issues have been raised, I think you can raise the issues with our Ministry.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you madam Speaker. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is to do with the transformers, bearing in mind that technology is moving. Do we not have the best art to manage these transformers, a tracking system which reports instantly the moment these people come to tamper with the transformer - looking at the level of the losses that we have from these disruptions that are done and mostly, it costs business, it costs money and takes lives even of people in hospitals?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Yes, we have the technology that can pick up wherever the transformer has been damaged, but the rate of replacement is where our issue is. This is because we do not have enough replacement transformers as they are vandalised.    

          DIESEL FOR WHEAT FARMERS

77.    HON. CHOMBO asked the Minister of Energy and Power development to explain whether the Ministry is aware that wheat farmers are facing challenges in accessing diesel for wheat harvesting and if so, to state measures being taken to ensure that they access diesel and harvest wheat before the rainy season.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to advise the Hon. Member that the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water Climate and Rural Resettlement is working closed with the Ministry of Energy and Power Development in identifying farmers with fuel storage facilities throughout the country. Once identified, fuel for farmers will be taken to these facilities from which farmers will pick their fuel. Since farmers on the Command Agriculture Programme are issued with coupons, they merely redeem these from the sites. The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) was engaged and had no objection to the use of these storage sites for fuel distribution to other farmers.

It is important to note that farmers under the Command Agriculture Programme are set to benefit from a 20 million litres per week facility that has already been availed by the Government. The RBZ has been alerted of the arrangement and is waiting for the estimated fuel requirements of the farmers. The fuel will be released through Puma, which is handling the Command Agriculture Programme.

There are also a number of fuel supply facilities which have already been put in place by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to improve the fuel supply situation in the country. Some of these facilities are already operational whilst some are still work in progress. There is already an improvement in the fuel supply situation due to the implementation of various fuel supply facilities. I thank you.

HON. CHOMBO: Madam Speaker, of course I have heard of the contingency measures that you are putting in place but in  Zvimba North in particular, where we have a lot of farmers, we have not heard of such a programme. As we speak, we have farmers who have not been able to harvest their wheat.

HON. MUDYIWA:  Madam Speaker, I think those are isolated cases, if any, they should be brought up with our Ministry so that we pay attention to that.

INSPECTION OF SCHOOLS BY ZETDC

79.    HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain to the House why it is taking more than three (3)months for Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) to inspect schools, clinics and individuals’ buildings in Silobela after tubing to facilitate connection to the national electricity grid.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that Silobela area is serviced by ZETDC Nkayi Customer Service Centre. The process of inspection after customers have completed tubing of their houses ordinarily takes less than a month as a standard. Customers in Silobela notify Nkayi Customer Service Centre of the requirement to have their installation inspected for safety. I m reliably informed such inspections are being done within 30 days. Even when such inspections are done and fail, the re-inspections are also done within the stipulated time of a month.

If there are any installations awaiting inspections or re-inspections, I urge the affected customers to approach Nkayi Customer Service Centre to check the status of their applications as there could be unforeseen exceptions.

HARMONISATION OF THE MINES AND MINERALS ACT [CHAPTER 21: 05]

110.    HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House when the Mines and Minerals Act {Chapter 21:05] would be harmonised so that miners can seek approval from respective councils when pegging claims.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Madam Speaker. The Mines and Minerals Act is being amended and I think it was once brought to Parliament before and His Excellency noted some points which he wanted them to be looked into. So we will be meeting the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development after next week to deliberate on some of those issues. After that the Bill will be brought here to Parliament for consideration. Thank you.

FORMALISATION OF ARTISANAL MINERS ACTIVITIES

111. HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development what plans are in place to regularise the activities of artisanal miners to formalise the activities of artisanal miners so as to reduce adverse impact on other sectors of the economy particularly agriculture, the environment and the social order.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVLOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA) Thank you Madam Speaker. The artisanal small scale miners are being recognised in the amended Mines and Minerals’ Act, which is yet to come here to Parliament for consideration.

          HON. GABBUZA: On a point of order.  Madam Speaker, just for procedural clarification, when written questions are submitted, should we not expect written answers because I realise the Minister is just answering like they are Oral Questions.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What we usually do is when we do not have the Hon. Member asking the question, then the Minister will submit the response - but if he is available, the questions can be responded to orally.  May you check your Order Paper for today, page 271 so that we clarify that.  If you note very well it is written Questions for Oral Answers.  So, they are in two phases, 1. Questions without Notice and 2. Questions with Notice.  So, if the person is not available, the Minister then hands over, but he/she can actually respond orally.  That is what the Order Paper says.

          HON. KASHIRI: On a point of privilege, I just want to share with my Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order!  May the Hon. Member be heard in silence?  Hon. Kashiri, is it a point of order or a point of privilege?

          HON. KASHIRI: It is a point of privilege.  My point of privilege is Hon. Gabbuza was asking the Minister of Mines and Mining Development that he should respond in writing and the Minister had indicated to Hon. Gabbuza that the Bill is coming to Parliament.  His answers are the ones therein, so there is no need for him to write.

          THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Point of privilege overruled.  May we kindly proceed?

NETWORK COVERAGE IN MATOPO HILLS AREA

          103. HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Information Communication and Courier Services to inform the House when the Matopo Hills area would receive cellular, radio and television network coverage?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking that question.  It is within the mandate of the Ministry to ensure that all areas have network so that our people are not left behind in terms of information.  To that effect the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), NetOne, Econet and Telecel are on the ground working hard to meet the demands of the people in as far as network coverage is concerned.

          Umzingwane Constituency has about 60% of the Matopo Hills area.  The area is mountainous and spacely populated, which makes it very expensive for individual operators to construct base stations.  The Regulator, POTRAZ is currently working on a programme under which MNOs construct shared base stations in identified unserved areas around the country under a Build Transfer Operate (BTO) arrangement.  CAPEX incurred by operators will be credited to their Universal Serves Fund (USF) obligation and the sites will be handed over to the USF.

          To mitigate the network problems being experienced in the said constituency, Econet Wireless was assigned two sites at Nswazi and Mapholisa areas.  Preliminary work has already started.  It is hoped that on completion, these base stations will ease network challenges in the constituency whilst work on the USF base station will be progressing.

          As for the radio and television network, may you kindly refer the question to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  I thank you.

CONNECTION OF THE DENDERA NETWORK BOOSTER

     104. HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services to explain why Dendera Network booster has not been connected to improve accessibility and connectivity to the Silobela community.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question which to me shows concern for the general populace. 

In Silobela Constituency, there is one booster that was constructed under USF.  The site is referred to as Donsa and is close to Dendera.  My understanding is that the site referred to in this question as Dendera is the one that operators refer to as Donsa.  On the issue of connectivity, the base stations was connected in August this year, 2018 but it is experiencing some technical challenges.  As we speak right now, there is a technical team working to address the problems.  I thank you.

MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT LEVY

137. HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to explain:

(a) why the Ministry continues to overburden companies with a Manpower Development Levy that is no longer relevant;

(b) give a breakdown by sector and province of the students or employees who benefited from the Manpower Development Fund and the collections made per year from 2015 to 2017.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I wish to thank Hon. Mayihlome for asking the question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the levy is relevant as it is the source of the modernisation and industrialisation of Zimbabwe, through Education, Science and Technology Development.  Our literacy rate is at 94%.  However, our skills levels are at 38%. Our education has to produce goods and services, thus we are reconfiguring it from 3.0 to 5.0.  ZIMDEF is therefore important to support the reconfiguration. A nation is a helpless being.  A nation is a canoe, industry therefore is supposed to also contribute to its development. Industry does not fall from the sky, it comes from knowledge and skills.

          ZIMDEF MANDATE

·       The Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) was established by Section 23 of the Manpower Planning and Development Act, 1984 (now revised Manpower Planning and Development Act, Chapter 28:02 of 1996) with a broad objective of financing the development of critical and highly skilled human resources in Zimbabwe.

·       Currently the country is suffering from high deficiency of critical skills as shown in the recent National Critical Skills Audit where it is averaging 95% deficit in STEM fields.

·       This deficit is negatively impacting industry which is the beneficiary of such skills. Critical skills development has been identified as one of the key pillars in achieving the country’s vision of being an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

·       The long-term prosperity of our economy will require people who are not only highly skilled but who have the right skills which are appropriate to the fast changing economy.

·       For our nation to attain the vision of an upper middle-income economy by 2030, there is need for a holistic skills development plan which is at the present moment supported through ZIMDEF with the aim of empowering our workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to attain vision 2030 and beyond.

·       Our country’s greatest asset is its people who are renowned for their hard work and unquenchable zeal for education.  An organised system of skills development will enable Zimbabweans to have the opportunity to master new skills, contribute their full talents to our economy, and be rewarded for it.

ZIMDEF KEY STAKEHOLDERS

·       Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development

·       State Tertiary Institutions

·       Employers

·       ZIMDEF employees

ZIMDEF OVERAL FUNCTIONS

·       Mobilising resources for human capital development [Sections 47 (3), 48 (2) and 54 (3) through the collection of 1% training levy from eligible employers.

·       Development of skilled human capital in Zimbabwe [Section 47 (2)]

·       Management and disbursement of resources as directed by the Trustee under the advice of NAMACO [Section 47(4).

·       Funding infrastructural development to promote Human Capital Development [Section 48 (2) (h), (i) and (r)].

·       Funding of research programmes in institutions of higher learning.

USES OF ZIMDEF FUNDS.

·       Payment of allowances for apprentices

·       Payment of tuition, catering and accommodation fees for apprentices

·       Payment of rebates for trade testing facilities, and for the release of employees for part time lecturing at Ministry’s training institutions

·       Purchase of training equipment and consumables for all polytechnics and training colleges

·       Development of infrastructure

·       Payment of skilled worker expenses – these include upgrading training courses

·       Payment of B-Tech allowances to B-Tech programmes lecturers.

·       Purchasing of textbooks for institutions

·       Purchasing and funding of training incidentals which include awards and prizes.

·       Offering grants to non-governmental training institutions.

·       Payment of industrial attachment allowances

·       Payment of insurance cover for apprentices on attachment.

SOME PROJECTS FUNDED BY ZIMDEF

·       Chinhoyi University of Technology Hotel

·       Hotel St. Patricks’ (Bulawayo) refurbishment.

·       Kwekwe Polytechnic engineering workshop

·       ZIMDEF Masvingo Students hostels.

·       Harare Polytechnic Library

·       National University of Science and Technology DNA testing equipment

·       Chinhoyi University of Technology Artificial Insemination Project

·       Lupane State University

·       Zimbabwe Defence University Innovation Hub

TRAINING OF SCIENCE TEACHERS

          Three teacher training colleges namely Mkoba Teachers College, Joshua Mqabuko Teachers College have been identified and have since enrolled science teachers. The fund will finance the equipping of science laboratories at these institutions so as to enhance the training of these teachers.

          ESTABLISHING AND EQUIPING INNOVATION HUBS AT UNIVERSITIES

          The Ministry is currently establishing innovation hubs at 6 state universities; 1 University of Zimbabwe. 2.  Midlands State University.  3. Chinhoyi University of Technology. 4. Zimbabwe National Defence University.  5. Harare Institute of Technology. 6. National University of Science and Technology.  Midlands State University has since launched their innovation hub.  Eight more innovation hubs at the remaining State universities shall be established in the next budget cycle.  The equipping of these innovation hubs shall be funded through ZIMDEF.

          FINANCIAL PERFOMANCE

          The fund’s finances are audited annually and the reports are published in the Auditors General’s annual report. We have also provided because if I read it, it might take an hour but I have put everything in writing on the breakdown by sector and province of the students and employees who benefited from the manpower development fund from 2015 to 2017, I have all the statistics here Hon. Speaker.

          HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Madam Speaker, what impact have the funds had on our national GDP for the past two or 3 years, I thank you.

          PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker and I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question on GDP which actually needs very meticulous calculations.  However, I want to say in general that I think most or all of the Hon. Members in here who have gone through higher and tertiary education in one way or another have benefited from ZIMDEF funds in terms of laboratories, benches but I cannot at this moment say exactly what figure or what percentage it is of the GDP but what I know for sure is that human resources development is of prime importance if this country has to move forward.  Therefore, any GDP that you see in this country is due to its education.  I thank you.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary emanates from Section A of the question where the Minister and I want to agree with him that the manpower development levy is relevant.  I locate my question on the basis that two weeks ago the Ministry advertised for 2 000 apprentices, direct Government apprentices, I want to thank him because that was a follow up from our pre-budget conversation in Bulawayo.

 Now, my question is - what is then your policy with regard to making sure that pupils or young pupils in every district benefit?  I take this question on the basis that other Government departments when recruiting have a direct policy of decentralising this recruitment policy.  The Speaker, when we were in Bulawayo actually mentioned this policy to the extent that the Army, ZRP and Prison Service have got this biased policy which makes sure that every district or pupils from every district benefit.  So, whilst the Manpower Development Fund is going to be used, how are the particular districts going to benefit so that at least this fund is distributed all over the 63 districts

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, we are quite aware of the need to spread our fund throughout the country without concentrating it on particular areas, districts or regions.  To this end up, to 2000 or even 3000 apprentices that we are going to recruit by January are going to be distributed by province because the provincial Manpower Development offices are going to be taking the applications.  So, they are not just distributed by adverts; they are per province.  So we are going to take that into consideration.  I think it is very important in the spirit of our spreading opportunity throughout the country that we take heed even of that question while we process.  I thank you.

          HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  Of course, I am encourageD by what the Hon. Minister has just said in regard to spreading the fund to cover virtually all parts of the country but my supplementary question relates to the discretional powers of the Minister in the application of ZIMDEF funds noting that previously we have seen the funds, used to develop a particular constituency.  Can we be clear that the discretional powers that the Minister has in regard to application of those funds does not prejudice deserving students.

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for asking that question on discretion.  I am really aware that discretion does not mean carelessness.  I believe that when we are doing our job we have to do that diligently, honestly and make sure that we uphold the laws of this country.  I am not going to comment about what previously happened for obvious reasons.  What I can tell you is that we have been talking to MCOs in the past two weeks reassuring them that we are not going to abuse any funds.

 I want to be on record for having said there was a line in the ZIMDEF budget every year for years which was called Minister’s protocol which was costing something like between 100 and 250 thousand.  Since we came into office, I made sure that that section was struck off and there is nothing which goes to the Minister’s protocol.  In other words, what we are saying is zero tolerance to corruption in terms of the use of funds and our job is to develop our students, and to develop our students we have to do so in a very pointed way without trying to have self interest overcome national interest.  

          I can give you my word that is not going to happen, we are going to do our things honestly.  If there is anything that you see amiss, I think that is the job of Parliament to oversee, tell us and we will comply.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

CONSTRUCTION OF A COURT IN CHIMANIMANI

          18.  HON. SACCO asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs whether the Ministry has plans to construct a court in Chimanimani district to ensure that the course of justice is not compromised.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for posing such a pertinent question.  Access to justice is every citizen’s constitutional right.  This question comes at a relevant time when the justice sector is working towards a vision of achieving accessible world justice through providing an accessible, efficient and effective justice delivery.

          Section 69 (3) of the Constitution provides that every person has the right of access to the courts or to some other tribunal or forum established by law for the resolution of any dispute.  It is ideal for every district to get a court.  The Judicial Service Commission is working towards decentralising of courts.  This can be evidenced by the opening of Mutare and Masvingo High Courts and many magistrate courts around the country.

          Chimanimani District has no permanent court, though we have established a circuit court which sits once a week.  In our 2019 budget, we have no plans to construct a permanent court.  However, let me assure you that as soon as funds are available, we are going to establish a new court in Chimanimani.

OWNERSHIP OF ROSKATE INVESTMENTS

          73.  HON. MADZIMURE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development;

a)  to inform the House on the ownership or directorship of Roskate Investments t/a R and S Crane Hire which ZESA hires for carrying and drilling electricity pole holders;

b)  to explain why ZESA is failing to buy its own equipment.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): I would like to inform the House that;

a)     ZESA has not engaged the said company for services, and;

b)   ZESA has so far procured 4 augers.  Due to the volume of work, ZETDC is in the process of acquiring 11 more units of this type.

I thank you.

ELECTRIFICATION OF SCHOOLS IN ZAKA WEST CONSTITUENCY

75.    HON. MURAMBIWA asked the Minister of Energy and power Development to outline Government plants to accelerate the electrification of schools in Zaka West Constituency to facilitate the use of Information, Communication Technologies (ICTs) in learning processes.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that while it is the Government’s responsibility to provide electricity to rural institutions through the Rural Electrification Fund (REF), the available resources have not been enough to meet the expectations, hence creating a huge backlog.

          Currently, REF has been implementing the Rural Electrification Programme in consultation with Rural district Councils and their Provincial Administrators in coming up with priority projects considering the project cost, equity distribution within the provinces, resource availability and most importantly, the socio-economic benefits of the project.

          It must be noted Mr. Speaker Sir, that REF is in the processof finalizing the Rural Energy Master Plan (REMP) which will act as a guide in implementing the Rural Electrification Programme. REMP will consider factors such as resource availability, equitable distribution thereof and socio-economic factors.

Mr. Speaker Sir, once the REMP has been finalised the Electrification of rural institutions is expected to be accelerated with the schools in Zaka West Constituency included. With specific focus on Zaka West Constituency;

1.                The electrification grid network was extended in 2017 to all the institutions listed below. However, due to unavailability of meters in the country, the institutions could not be energized immediately. ZETDC is now in the process of installing meters and connecting the institutions. These are as follows:

(a)             Magura Secondary School

(b)   Zinguwo Primary School

          ©      Nyakunhuwa Clinic

(d)     Charingeno Primary School

          (e)     Mutonhori Secondary School

          (f)     Harava Primary School

(g)     Harava Clinic

(h)     Mudavanhu Primary School

          (i)      Veza Clinic, AREX & DDF

     (k)     Murembwa Primary School and

(l)      Jinjika Secondary School

2.    Two institutions namely Njiva Clinic and Musenyereki B Secondary School will be electrified in 2019.

3.    The remaining instituison will be electrified as from 2020 onwards. The pace of electrification will depend on the availability of financial resources for the rural electrification programme. The institutions are as follows:

(a)             Mudzara School

(b)            Mushaya Primary and Mushaya Clinic

(c)             Musenyereki Secondary School

(d)            Musenyereki Primary School

(e)             Charuka Primary School

(f)              Chipfuti Primary School

(g)            Mujena Primary School and

(h)            Njiva Primary School

ELECTRICITY TRANSFORMERS FOR SCHOOLS AND CLINIC IN ZAKA WEST CONSTITUENCY

76.  HON. MURAMBIWA asked the Minister of Energy and power Development to state when electricity transformers at Zenguwo Clinic, Vhudzi Primary School, Dekeza Primary School and Dekeza Secondary School in Zaka West Constituency which developed faults three years ago will be replaced?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Madam Speaker, I would like to urge the Hon. Member to refer to the response that I have already provided in Question 68.

AMOUNTS OWED TO ZETDC BY MINISTERS AND MPS

78.    HON. GONESE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to state the amounts owed to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) by Government Ministers and Members of Parliament in unpaid electricity bills.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that ZETDC cannot disclose the status of private accounts to third parties without the express consent of the account holders. The Ministry is however on record that ZETDC is owed large amounts of money by individuals, corporate, local authorities and Government departments.

ELECTRIFICATION OF SCHOOLS AND CLINICS IN TSHOLOTSHO NORTH CONSTITUENCY

80.    HON. S. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when the electrification of schools and clinics in Tsholotsho North Constituency will be completed after power lines were installs in 2012.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that out of the 58 schools and clinics in Tsholotsho North Constituency, grid electricity lines were extended to 29 of the institutions between 2000 and 2018, while solar mini grid systems were installed at 9 of the institutions from 2010 to 2014. Grid extension works are in progress at 3 institutions and work is expected to be completed in 2019. Madam Speaker, the remaining 17 institution will be electrified between 2020 and 2030 as dictated by the Rural Electrification master-Plan and subject to availability of resources. Thank you.

RADIO AND TELEVISION SIGNALS IN MUZARABANI

102.   HON. ZHEMU asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services to state the plans the Ministry has to ensure that Muzarabani receives radio and television signals?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE): Thank you for asking the question Hon. Member.  May you kindly refer the question to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. M. Mutsvangwa.

CYBER ATTACKS ON GOVERNMENT ICT NETWORKS

105. HON. CHIKUDO asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services to provide statistics of Government departments and State Enterprises that are using a protective domain name system in view of high risk cyber-attacks on Government ICT networks and to state measures being taken to mitigate against such risks.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What we do as a Ministry, we write to Ministries to buy the SSL Certificate for their websites and we write to them as well on issues to do with Cyber Threats, giving them direction on what to do to mitigate Cyber attacks.  Our role as a Ministry is to monitor websites in liaison with G.I.S.P. on their maintenance.  To the Ministries we communicate to them through their focal persons on what needs to be done on their sites, be it updating of information and the like.  We do not have statistics now.  We will gather the statics

          BENEFITS TO COMMUNITIES FROM RESOURCES MINED

112.   HON. SACCO asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House what the Government is doing to ensure local communities benefit from resources being mined by mining companies from their communities?

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHITANDO): Investment creates jobs and infrastructural development.  In the mining sector Government encourages mining companies to employ locals in communities they operate in. particularly for those posts that do not require specialised skills.  Government also encourages mining companies to develop infrastructure in communities they operate in through Corporate Responsibility (CSR) programmes.

Through these interventions, a number of mining companies have successfully implemented CSR projects that range from social infrastructure development to provision of livelihood opportunities to local communities.  It is however, important to take note that size and quality of investment determines ability of mining company to invest in meaningful CSR projects.

CONSTRUCTION OF STUDENTS ACCOMODATION AT TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

138.  HON. S. BANDA asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to explain Government’s plans regarding the construction of students’ accommodation at tertiary institutions; and whether there are any plans to expand student accommodation at the University of Zimbabwe.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): The Government has signed sixteen (16) Memoranda of Understanding for infrastructure development at institutions of higher and tertiary learning in Zimbabwe.  These understandings are the student accommodation and other related facilities in the form of university cities.  Development agreements have been signed for student accommodation at the following institutions; NUST (for 8064 beds), UCT (for 4068 beds), BUSE (for 5040 beds) and GZU (for 8000 beds).  The Ministry has also secured 150 million for student accommodation from CBZ. Negotiations are in progress between CBZ and the institutions which include the three new universities.

Concerning expanding accommodation at the University of Zimbabwe, amongst the MOUs that were signed by the Ministry there are plans to build student accommodation at the institution.  Negotiations are in progress between US and the investors for joint venture agreements on the expansion of student accommodation.

POLICY ON FUNDING SUPPORT TO STUDENTS PURSUING TERTIARY EDUCATION

139.   HON. MLAMBO asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary

Education, Science and Technology Development to explain Government policy on funding support to students pursing tertiary education.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Government has developed a policy on student loans.  Financiers have been identified and engaged on the matter.  The Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with FUNDI, a company incorporated under the laws of South Africa for student loan financing.  The Ministry is also engaging other local and foreign financiers for student loan financing in an effort to provide conducive and enabling conditions for students at higher and tertiary institutions.

          The only hurdle is that the interest rates offered by our local financing banks are too high.  My ministry is in the process of engaging the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe on other conditions which are still too stringent for most students, for instance the type of security required in the form of pay slips which most guardians who are not formally employed cannot meet.

STATISTICS OF GRADUATING STUDENTS BY UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE EACH YEAR

140.  HON. CHIKUDO asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology to provide statistics of students by university or college and gender who are graduating each year over a period of the last 10 years and those that have been absorbed into formal employment.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have provided tables for the answer.

          Please be advised that the Ministry has no tracer study to see the absorption of its graduates into formal employment. However, it is prudent to inform the House that our higher and tertiary education graduates are provided with technical, vocational, and professional skills for self-employment, decent work, employment creation and sustainable lifelong living.  Our graduates are therefore artisans, technicians, technologists, scientists, teachers and other professionals with relevant skills to drive the modernisation and industrialisation agenda for the country.  These graduates are employed in various sectors where they are contributing in making Zimbabwe a middle income economy by 2030.

HON. KARENYI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  May I refer you to Question 51; I think the Hansard must correct my spelling there.  It is Karenyi not Karenyu.

HON. KASHIRI:  In the same vain Madam Speaker Maam, I would like the Hansard to correct the grammatical error on my question on 149.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Kashiri, may you kindly go to Papers Office so that you can correct that. 

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA), the House adjourned at Five Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.

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