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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 45 NO 32

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

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

                                                     PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

INVITATION TO A YOUTH INDABA

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that the Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD) is inviting all Hon. Members and youths from their constituencies to a youth indaba to be held in Norton at Pakare Paye Arts Centre from 8th to 9th February, 2019. The Theme of the Indaba is  - ‘Africa Youthwave: The Quest for Youth Inclusion: Receiving the Heart of Nations; Academic, Social, Economic and Political Breakthrough’. The cost of attendance is $250.00 for the full package and $50.00 for attendance and meals only.  Members are expected to meet the cost of attendance.

APOLOGIES FROM MINISTERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have received apologies from Hon Ministers who are out of the country on duty; Hon. Z. Ziyambi; Hon. J. Moyo is indisposed; Hon. Deputy Minister Modi; Hon Dr. J. Gumbo; Hon. Dr. O. Moyo; Hon. Prof. Murwira; Hon. S. Nyoni; Hon. P. Shiri; Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube and Hon. Prof. Mavima – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  On a point of Order Mr. Speaker Sir. In the Cabinet of today, we have more than 22 Ministers and the Ministers who have sought leave on this list with the addition of the Hon. Minister who is here, Hon. O. Muchinguri-Kashiri – we have 11 Ministers.  The other one Hon. Modi is a Deputy Minister who does not sit in Cabinet meetings.  The rest of the Ministers have not sought leave and it has been traditional that they do not …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  But I am not even done yet – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, I have ordered Hon. Mutseyami to sit down so that I correct you.  Deputy Ministers, in terms of Section 107 (2) of the Constitution must be here in the House to attend Parliament and their Committees.  So you cannot say the leave of absence is misdirected – that is all I wanted to correct you on.  You can proceed.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Much obliged Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker Sir, you have to take note that ever since we started the Ninth Parliament, the absence of Ministers has now become a song.  It looks like now whenever Ministers are not here, we somehow have apologies.

          Last week we had apologies then all of a sudden two Hon. Ministers who had given apologies suddenly came in.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Like now Hon. Prof. Mavima has just jetted in but he had given an apology.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, you may proceed.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, we also had Hon. Dr. J. M.  Gumbo who has just come in.  So Mr. Speaker Sir, you have to take note that somewhere somehow, someone is taking this House for granted putting an assumption of apologies that do not exist.

          So, Hon. Speaker, please if we could have the best interests of this House to be addressed in the correct manner.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon.  Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans is Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.  I will ask and request the Hon. Acting Leader of Government Business to take note of what the Hon. Member has advised.

          When the Chair is given names, like you correctly indicated Hon. Prof. Mavima, I cannot refuse the name.  So I accepted the name in good faith. When I am given a list, I accept in good faith.  The Hon. Minister of Defence and War Veterans as Acting Leader of Government Business, I think that this matter should be impressed in Cabinet.  We start here at 1410 hrs and Hon. Ministers who have got national duty to perform, we should be advised accordingly so that we avoid the embarrassment.  We have now wasted not less than 20 minutes of Question Time and I am sure Hon. Minister, you will help us accordingly.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. NDUNA:  My question is prefaced by that there are teachers in private institutions who are paid by Government.  My question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is - what is Government policy relating to teachers who are teaching in institutions that are not Government institutions, that is council and private institutions who are paid by Government?

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, let me thank the Hon. Member for the question.  We migrated all private institution teachers from the Government payroll some two years ago.  The only teachers who are still being paid by Government are teachers in church-based and Government institutions.  Government institutions include central and local Government institutions which are the bulk of our schools. 

          So to the best of my knowledge, we do not have any teachers in private institutions that are being paid by Government. If there is a case like that, I would be happy to know of that case so that we can deal with it.  We migrated teachers in private institutions from Government payroll to private payroll some two years ago or so.  I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Would it not be prudent to then abdicate that responsibility and give it back to the churches and central Government, that is local authority seeing that Government is laden with a lot of responsibilities and these local authorities and churches should take care of their responsibilities?

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  I think some decisions and recommendations need to be well considered.  If for example, we say Binga Rural District Council pay the teachers of the 200 or so schools that operate in that district, that would really be a disaster unless this august House comes up with arrangements for revenue sharing where there is transfer of resources from Central Government to local authorities to cater for this responsibility; it would be disastrous on our part to do that.

The second aspect related to church schools – you find that there is a big disparity between what church schools, even those with boarding facilities charge compared to private schools.  That concessionary levy or fees or boarding fees is a result of the fact that their teachers are subsidised by Government.  It makes education affordable in some of the top notch church based schools.  We have to make all those considerations before we can actually remove the payment of teachers from Central Government responsibility.  Maybe within the context of devolution when there are actual arrangements for proper revenue sharing that takes care of these responsibilities, it would be very difficult.

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

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The answer given by the Hon. Minister is very comprehensive.  We do not need to waste time. 

HON. T. MOYO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What policies and interventions are being put in place by the Government in redressing imbalances in land ownership?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  Government wants to see a situation whereby there is fairness in land ownership.  I will give an example of what is currently obtaining in our Ministry.  There is a land audit that is currently underway.  We expect to get the finalisation of the exercise by end of March.  The Land Commission will play a critical role in deciding what has to be done to the land which is going to be identified. 

Currently, we have people who own land but they are not fully utilising that land.  We have people who have been offered land but they are absent from the country.  Government may come up with two scenarios. The first scenario is that Government is going to keep that land as state land for future development programmes. The other option is that Government may decide to distribute this land to landless people.  In the event that Government decides to distribute this land to people, it is Government policy to make sure that the redistribution exercise is done fairly. 

The redistribution is not going to look at the colour of the farmer.  It is not going to look at the political inclination of an individual neither is it going to look at the religious affiliation of the farmer.  A farmer is going to be looked at as a farmer who has capacity and competence. The essence is that we want to produce enough food for everybody as a country and surplus for export. 

In short, Government is looking at ways that are non-discriminatory in terms of allocating land to those people who want land. 

HON. P. MASUKU:  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What is Government policy with regards to creating the climate change fund in the country?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  I would like to inform the House that currently, my Ministry is consulting various stakeholders.  We are currently crafting a policy on how to raise funds for climate change and mitigation and other various interventions.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Supplementary Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I hope your supplementary will really give us some sense of direction because his answer is comprehensive.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I appreciate Hon. Speaker.  As the Ministry is still crafting a policy and coming up with means to get the funds, Zimbabwe is expecting rainfall that is below normal this season.  In the short term, what is the Ministry doing to mitigate the risks that come with low rainfall to our agricultural production?  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought you were going to come up with something more creative – [Laughter.] – the Hon. Minister is very clear, they are in the process now...

          Hon. P. D. Sibanda having remained standing.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Please take your seat.  The policy making process is on now, so it is part of the mitigation process.

          HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Roads – [HON. MEMBERS: Roads, there is no such Ministry.] – [Laughter.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  Hon. Members, all of you, can you be familiar with the correct nomenclature of ministries.  The correct name is Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development – [AN HON. MEMBER: KuZANU zvinorema izvozvo.] –

          HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  What is the Ministry’s policy and process to be followed on uncompleted national roads for them to be completely tarred – [HON. MEMBERS: Taura neShona, ndokutii ikoko?] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, please do not make me agonize; the Hon. Member’s question is an operational question.  It has nothing to do with policy.

          HON. KABOZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this chance to express my view in this institution.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Mr. Speaker Sir, recently the Government introduced or gazetted the fares for commuter omnibuses. Up to now, they have not heeded that call to change their fares and people are being forced to pay exorbitant fares, especially in rural areas. What is the Government policy in bringing back sanity to the transport industry because people are being overcharged?  All this has a negative impact to our ruling party because people are crying in rural areas.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, can you move forward we did not get your question.

          HON. KABOZO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Transport – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  Hon. Kabozo, please can you clearly state your question.

          HON. KABOZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Recently the Government gazetted new fares for the commuter transport operators but up to date, they have not heeded that call by the Government to charge those gazetted fares.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: So, what is the question?

          HON. KABOZO: Is there any Government policy measure in place to make sure sanity is restored in the transport sector because people in rural areas are being charged exorbitant fares right now and they are crying. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. END. MATIZA): Mr. Speaker Sir.  Maybe if you may allow the Hon. Member to repeat the question, I must apologize – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Please let us be fair.

          An Hon. Member having explained to Hon. Muchinguri-Kashiri.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You got it.

          HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Government did put in place a programme which is targeted first to address the transport challenges in urban areas and the public was informed about this programme through the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  This is the first phase and it is a trial programme, a private public partnership and Government at the moment is reviewing to see the challenges that surround that programme; the success stories with the hope that the buses that were secured by the President from his recent trip will cater for the rural areas.  The bus fare that he has referred to is only applicable to urban areas and when we are now ready to launch the rural programme, definitely, prices will be assigned to that programme.  So, until such time we introduce this rural programme, we will have to be there with the Government but at the moment, it is only the urban programme.  I thank you.

          *HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  I want to find out what programmes have been put in place in terms of constructing foot bridges since school children are being washed away by rains.  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MATIZA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking a very pertinent question which touches on children who are being washed away by water because there are no footbridges to cross through.  I want to say that the responsibility for the construction of footbridges and related programmes falls on local authorities through their councillors and Members of Parliament.  Communities are expected to work towards the success of such small programmes to assist the Government.  Currently, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is launching a Food for Work Programme; I do not want to preempt but these are some of the programmes where able bodied citizens should participate.  I am therefore encouraging that Members of Parliament who may be interested in such programmes can also work with the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

+HON. M. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to direct my question to the Leader of this House.  What is Government policy on youth who are being used; for example those who were used on the violence which occurred on 16th January, 2019.

          +THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, ask your question.

          HON. M. NKOMO: What is Government policy on youth who are being used for violent activities like what happened on the 16th of January, 2019?

          THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The question that has been posed is a very important one.  It is important because the youth are not supposed to be used by organisations or persons in participating in such bad cases.  International law and our own Zimbabwean laws do not allow people to use the youth or children in demonstrations.  It is a practice that is frowned upon, that of abusing children.  It causes the Government to take stern steps because it is the Government’s responsibility as the custodian of children who are below the age of 18 years.  If they are abused, the Government will take steps, should they be organisations, individuals, it is an issue that is punishable at law.  We urge that if there are such children, they should report such persons so that they can be dealt with according to the law.  I thank you.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The Government has the responsibility to ensure that children are in schools and that they are taken away from the streets.  Why is the Government failing to take the children out of the streets so that they can go to school and their fees paid so that they cannot be used?  What is the Government doing to ensure that the children are not abused?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: That is a different question altogether.

          +HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.   Is it Government Policy that a private developer allocates houses or stands to individuals?

          +THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. MHLANGA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Member for her question.  The Government policy is that we have to plan and fully service the area…

          The Hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing having been addressing the gallery.

          +THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please address the Chair.

          +HON. MHLANGA: After stands are fully serviced and there is sewer and water, people can then be allocated those stands. 

+HON. TSUNGA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary question is - suppose people have been given the stands by the developer, what is it that is supposed to be done?  I thank you.

+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. MHLANGA):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the important question that he posed.  What we do is once those steps have been taken, we then come up with a development committee or people from the Ministry to also assist so that they can correct all the steps that were not followed properly.   We will be looking for those who were supposed to benefit and at the end of the day, the Government has to come in and assist those who were supposed to benefit from that.  As a way forward we are actually discouraging people to occupy stands without following proper procedures.  I thank you.

HON. CHINYANGANYA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.  However, in his absence I will direct it to the Acting Leader of Government Business. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, what is Government policy on students enrolled in foreign universities so that they have access to foreign currency to pay for their fees?

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I think generally there is provision for parents who want to pay for their learners who are outside the country to access foreign currency.  We have had problems recently not because there is no Government policy.  There is Government policy but there have been shortages of foreign currency, hence it has taken long for parents to access that foreign currency.  So it is mainly an issue that has to be dealt with administratively in terms of prioritising certain things in the allocation of foreign currency, but there is nothing in our policies that prevents parents from applying for foreign currency in order to provide for their learners outside the country.  Thank you.

HON. CHINYANGANYA:  What the parents need to understand is who do they approach because they have been funding from their pockets when dollarisation was still in existence.  Now that they are being paid in bond notes, it is now a challenge.  So who should they approach - their banks or the RBZ?  That is the clarification that I need.  Thank you.

HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  The application process is through their banks and that application goes to the RBZ.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is to do with the allocation at RBZ.  Right now across the countries Australia and South Korea, students that are there right now are having a challenge with regards to the fees.  Why? Because the RBZ is responding to the parents with the excuse that for now accessing foreign currency from RBZ is not a priority for students who are abroad and this has stretched on from last year.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the question?

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  My question is, what measures are you putting in place, bearing in mind that our children out there, as we speak,  are suffering because there is now a backlog of two terms and the argument straight from RBZ is that it is not a priority.  So, when will it be a priority for our students out there to have access to their school fees?

HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  This is an issue that we should bring to the attention of RBZ itself through our technical staff within the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and we will do that immediately.

HON. PHUTHI:  my question is directed to the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.  What is Government policy regarding accreditation or registration of Non Governmental Organisations and monitoring of their programmes through the memorandum of agreements that they enter into as they tend to delve into the business of becoming extension offices for foreign governments through operations that seek to promote, amongst other things, regime change agenda which becomes a necessary security issue to be checked in this country.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  That question is rightly directed to the Hon.  Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Government has in place the PVO Act and in that Act it quite clearly states the mandate of NGOs.  However, recently we have witnessed situations where some NGOs have not complied with the mandate.  So, we are currently in the process of reviewing the PVO Act to ensure that the NGOs operating in this country comply with the PVO Act.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, what exactly is it in terms of their policy that they intend to achieve by changing or amending the PVO Act.  Is it that they are finding the NGOs to be hostile to the interest of the citizens of the country or it is that the NGOs are being hostile to the interest of the Executive?

HON. DR. NZENZA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, in every country we must always review an Act to achieve adherence to the policy.  One does not change a policy because there is hostility to it but one changes a policy to ensure that it remains in alignment with Government strategic direction. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The legislative process comes to this House and if there are intentions as you suggest or otherwise, it is the role of Members of Parliament to critique that piece of legislation accordingly and at that stage the Hon Minister will answer accordingly.

          *HON. NYABANI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  I would want to know what Government policy is regarding the deadlock between Government and the Civil Servants.  It is now detrimental to the rights of children and other people in the Health Sector.  What plans does Government have to ensure that the acrimony between Government and its workers comes to an end so that people enjoy their life?

          *THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Government gave cushioning allowances covering January up to March that translates to $63 million. We did not end there because at the moment Government has also availed an envelope of $300 million.  The disagreements that you are talking about are still being negotiated by the APEX Council.  With APEX Council we understand one another.  The APEX Council works hand-in-glove with the Joint Negotiating Council.  At the moment we are still to find each other and have not as yet reached a deadlock.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. MLAMBO:  My supplementary question is that today 70% of teachers did not teach in Chipinge.  What are you doing about it to ensure that the workers are given their dues in time?  I thank you.

          HON. DR. NZENZA:  Mr Speaker Sir, the 70% that he has given as regards Chipinge is incorrect according to the information that I have of the number of teachers that did not go to school.  Let me clarify the point and say that in our deliberations, two unions namely ZIMTA and PTUZ are urging their members to go on strike but the majority of teachers are teaching.  I thank you.

          *HON. KARENYI:  My supplementary question to the Minister is that it is correct that they are having discussions but what about the rights of the children to go to school - they are being abused though the parents have paid school fees for their children.  We need a time-frame as to when our children are going back to school and learn.  Furthermore what are you going to do about the time that our children are not attending school?  Are you going to reimburse us as parents?   I thank you.

          HON. DR. NZENZA:  As I have earlier on indicated, we are still negotiating.  It is our wish that we come up with solutions as quickly as possible.  That is why we are collaborating with the unions.  You should encourage them to negotiate with us so that our children can all go to school.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  My question is to do with those children that will have passed science subjects and whose fees used to be paid by STEM.  Now that the Ministry is no longer paying for STEM what measures have you put in place so that those specialising in science subjects are assisted.  Even the poor people were benefitting out of that, hence my question.  Out of the one billion that you were given, are you going to be assisting these children or you are going to talk to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education so that one of you can continue doing this since you are same line ministries in Government. 

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (PROF. MAVIMA): Thank Hon. Speaker.  The STEM programme that was being run by ZIMDEF was discontinued because it was being done unprocedurerally.  Be that as it may, we are pursuing the intention of ensuring that science subjects are taught.

          Looking back at the history of how the STEM programme started, there was no agreement between the ministries because in our Ministry, we were saying that the STEM project was targeting school children who already have opportunities to do STEM and leaving out the disadvantaged – those who are on the peripheral areas and did not have such opportunities. 

          We should now avail such STEM opportunities on equal basis.  We are putting up science laboratories in schools even in remote peripheral areas.  We are even putting science laboratories in primary schools.  We have a comprehensive programme to develop STEM.

          *THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, you are vacillating from English to Shona.  You are now confusing those who are recording, please stick to one language – if it is Shona, let it be Shona.

          *HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Hon. Speaker, we are running with the programme of teaching science and technology subjects.  We are ensuring that we put the adequate infrastructure in the schools.  We have 60 schools where we are putting laboratories and 700 primary schools where we are putting mobile laboratories.  So the STEM project has not died but we are doing it in a transparent manner which ensures that all children get a fair chance to be involved.  I thank you.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO:  My supplementary question is, I did not ask about science laboratories.  You can go ahead and do them.  I asked if the Ministry will continue paying school fees for the disadvantaged who were now happy because of the STEM programme even if it had been done unprocedurerally.  Unprocedurerally, it may have been why it has stopped because the entire country is complaining about this issue.  I thank you.

          *HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Hon. Speaker, my direct response to the question is that we do not have the money to pay for such children but we have a programme that will ensure that the objectives of that programme are fulfilled through the construction of science laboratories.

          HON. NDEBELE:  I have a request Hon. Speaker, but I do not know how to couch it.  Is this not the opportune time for us to politely request the Hon. Minister or the two ministers involved to give us a Ministerial Statement on STEM detailing the successes of the programme as well as its weaknesses, for only then can Hon. Members be able to make meaningful contribution on future interventions.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, are you agreeable?

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Yes, Hon. Speaker Sir. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will be able to detail the STEM initiatives that we are engaging in.  I will definitely engage my counterpart within the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development in order to furnish the requisite statistics and also to detail the pros and cons of the previous programme that was terminated – that can be done.  It can be done within the next two weeks, I know that the Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development will be back in the office on the 8th.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister for that agreement.

          HON. D. TSHUMA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for the opportunity given.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Hon. Minister, it is on record that a number of schools in Matabeleland region failed to register a pass – that is to say they registered 0% in the Grade 7, 2018 examinations.  What Government policy is in place to arrest the anomaly as we speak? 

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am aware of the specific schools in the various provinces that registered 0% pass rate at Grade 7 – [HON. MEMBERS:  Matabeleland North!] -  It is not just Matabeleland North but the rest of this country but what I am happy about is that it was a minute percentage of schools that did that.  In Matabeleland North, if I am not mistaken, it should be about four schools that registered0%  pass rate.  I said four is not acceptable, therefore there are specific programmes that the Ministry is undertaking in order to address that situation in those specific schools.

          One of them which Hon. Members will be aware of is the recruitment of teachers and we are targeting those schools that did not have sufficient numbers of teachers to teach optimally.  We also have two programmes that we run within the Ministry – one is called Performance Lag Address Programme (PLAP) and the other one is called ZELA, which deals in making sure that there is sufficient ability to read and understand at schools. So, it is a multi-pronged programme. 

I am glad that we now have the nationwide statistics of the poorly performing schools and we are targeting these programmes to make sure that we bring the performance of those schools to levels that are optimal and acceptable. It is not proper for the education system to be a warehouse of failure.  We are not accepting that. 

          HON. TSHUMA:  My supplementary question to Hon. Prof. Mavima is that we have seen in the past that your predecessor allocated his province a reasonable chunk of money when resources were availed at the expense of the struggling provinces.  What is the benchmark of your Ministry? Does it play a role in the allocation of these resources which will be accrued by the Ministry?

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  We have a robust programme for gathering and garnering resources to put into schools.  Our policy has been to look at the most disadvantaged schools and those are the schools that we target first.  We have what are called P3 and S3 schools.  P3 are primary schools and S3 are secondary schools.  The totality of P3 and S3 schools is about 3500.  When you look at school improvement grants, for example, the amount that we give to schools for self improvement on an annual basis has targeted these schools. That is the equity issue that we are dealing with.  We look at disadvantaged schools and those are the schools that we allocate resources.  Even the distribution of teaching and learning materials that is currently going on has targeted the same schools.  When we escalate and when resources are available, we reach something like 6 000 schools as targeted schools and we look at resource availability at those schools – looking at their ability to raise local resources as the main criterion for allocating additional resources.  Our school improvement grants, our teaching and learning material distributions have all been guided by that criterion.  There is a lot of equity considerations that we make.

          HON. MADZIMURE:    This is not the first time that we have had zero passes especially in Matabeleland South and North.  Can the Minister give us the progress that he has managed to achieve to those schools that scored a zero pass last year. What specific measures are going to be taken at those schools that also recorded a zero pass this year.  Would it not be prudent for the Minister to come and issue a Ministerial Statement as to the reasons why we have schools that score zero percent pass rate?

HON. PROF:  MAVIMA:  I would have to go back to my technical people for the comparative information especially the numbers but I can assure you that generally, the Grade 7 pass rate was better this year than last year.  Like I said, there is also very few schools per province that have scored 0% pass rate this year.

With regards to programmes, definitely that recruitment that I referred to addresses the issue of teachers – that PLAP programme also addresses issues at specific schools but each and every one of those schools will have to be looked at as a specific case in order to come up with interventions for that specific school.  It is not something that I can tell you now because I will have to go back and if need be, we can deliver a Ministerial Statement on that.  I would welcome that.

Let me also take this opportunity to say that the onus is on us as leaders to really put together our minds and say, how do we continue with this good education system that we have in this country?  How can we even make it better?  I welcome this opportunity to come and talk with this august House about how we can do things better to remove 0% pass rates but we want to go further and say as leaders of this nation, we should put our heads together and say, what do we do in order to make our good education system even better? 

HON. MUSABAYANA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Prof. Mavima.  What is Government’s policy on adult education?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  May you reconsider your question because such a snippet – I do not think anybody can answer to it. 

HON. MUSABAYANA:  I had chosen to shorten it.  I will take it again.  I would like to find out if we still have a Government policy on adult education – [AN HON. MEMBER:  For MPs.] –

- [Laughter.] –

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  Yes, we do have a Government policy on adult education.  Let me explain it.  It is actually called Non-Formal Education Policy.  It has three aspects.  It provides for basic literacy and numeracy which used to be called adult literacy programmes.  It also has the continuing education aspects, mostly academic. The third aspect is continuing education in terms of practical and technical skills.  We have said that all our schools are avenues or centres where this should take place.  Some schools have already organised those classes but other schools have not and we continue to encourage our schools to provide those services but it is there, there is a policy, I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I hope Hon. Musabayana, you will be one of the adults to pursue adult education.

          HON. PHULU:  That is a very important question Mr. Speaker.  I would like to ask the Minister, he said it is non-formal but is there anything that is being done for formal adult literacy.  Also, for those kids you may find a 20 year old or a 15 year old who wants to do Form 1 and they struggle to get into schools because of the way that you have structured the age issues.  Is there anything that you are doing to take care of some of these kids who may have missed an opportunity to go to Form 1 or have failed Form 4 and they want to continue?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I am afraid that question does not arise from adult education.

          HON. PHULU: Education Mr. Speaker, in terms of adults.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: It does not arise.

          HON. PHULU: Allow me to rephrase the question.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, perhaps if you rephrase the question.

          HON. PHULU: I listened to the answer from the Minister with interest, it left a gap to say what about formal education in as far as adults are concerned, is there anything that is being done?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: But a 15 year old is not an adult, he is still under the age of 18.

          HON. PHULU: I have dropped the prong relating to 15 year old and I am leaving it as far as adults are concerned, a 19 year old – [Laugher.] –

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I was hoping that you would allow me to answer that question because the term non-formal education really does not mean that it is inferior in any way.  Also we have used it as a second chance opportunity and we have also used it as a basis to say someone also dropped out for various reasons, can go into non-formal education, catch up there and then be reintegrated into formal education.  Right now, in some of our formal ‘O’ level classes, we have people who are as old as 20 to 21 and in ‘A’ level you get people who are 25 years old still going to school and that is because there is a connection between the so called non-formal education and the formal education.  There is re-integration that takes place at appropriate times.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  What does Government policy say about the elderly, those that have never been employed and those that are non-pensioners?  In certain countries, people receive some stipends from Government whether they were cattle headers or any inferior work.  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The question that he has posed is a good one. He asked it at the correct time because our policy is directed towards the elderly such that we give them a better standard of living like at this moment in time, we are reviewing and working with consultants who are looking into the social protection for the elderly so that we can assess their needs. The needs of the elderly start from their medication, food and shelter. The policy that we are reviewing is directed towards the elderly, I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. TEKESHE: I was saying their policy is just on paper but when we are in the communal lands, it is being politicised, other deserving elders regardless of their political affiliation are not receiving assistance.  May we have a non-political way of disbursing this social services grant?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Tekeshe, as a representative of the people, you can come up with that list of people who are being disadvantaged to the attention of the Hon. Minister.  So, if you were saying you brought the list and there was no attention, it would have been a different matter altogether.  I thank you.

          HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  I wanted to find out from the Minister what the target pass rate for ZIMSEC for 2019 is and what the Government policies are in order to improve the pass rate from the 2018 figure of just around 30% to the figure that you are going to give us for 2019.  I thank you Hon. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I thought the Hon. Minister has answered that already.  Perhaps you missed it.

          +HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Information and Publicity.  The areas where you are not able to broadcast, what are the measures that the Ministry has so that they can correct that anomaly?  So many people are failing even to access television and radio. Most of the times, they depend on social media which will not be correct in most of the times.  There are some areas where you have taken the first step of installing the boosters but you do not finish the project that you would have undertaken. I want to give an example of Nkayi which is one of the constituencies in Zimbabwe.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, did you hear about Amagagasi?          

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I would also want to thank the Deputy Minister who was helping me with translation.  I hope I understood what was being translated.  I want to thank the Hon. Member who asked a very critical question.  I think what she is talking about is what we as a Ministry are concerned about to make sure that all Zimbabweans from all four corners of Zimbabwe are able to access the national television and radio. 

          We have a project which started in 2015, of digitalisation.  Unfortunately, the programme should have been finished by now, but because of shortage of foreign currency in the country, that project is not complete yet.  We have a number of transmitters which are fully digital and what we are trying to do to make sure that in those areas, we are trying to get set-top boxes for our people so that they can access the network for Zimbabwean television and radio. 

          We are doing that all over the country, but what is needed is foreign currency so that all the equipment which is imported can then be purchased and we complete that project.  Last time you saw that the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services visited Binga and this is precisely what we were told by the people there that they are listening to radio and watching television from Zambia and this is what the Second Republic would like to correct.  We want all our citizens to be able to access information from their own Government so that information is accessible to each and every Zimbabwean wherever they are.  This is a project of priority and we are happy that in the last Budget the Minister of Finance and Economic Development set aside some money and we hope to continue and finish the project of digitalisation.  Thank you Mr. President – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  I hope Hon. Minister you corrected that.

          HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am a Senator and when I see a man right in front there, we call them Mr. President.  So, I withdraw, I know I am in the National Assembly Mr. Speaker Sir –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. MATHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is that I am concerned that my question was not fully answered.  My request is that the Minister should indicate on the time frame that they are going to finish that project, especially for the areas where boosters were installed.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I can understand the importance of this subject to the Hon. Member because I know this is a serious problem in her Constituency.  I want to assure her that the Government is alive to the fact that whatever Government does, whatever Government policies, it should be accessed by each and every Zimbabwean wherever they are.  This is a project which is on the priority list but we are all aware of the financial problems, especially when it comes to foreign currency in our country.  As I said, some money was set aside to pay for that project from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and we hope that in between, we will be able to access money to finish that project.  We would like to finish this project as soon as possible.

          HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  As mentioned by the Minister, the digital programme has delayed for long and might take even longer given the fact that we do not have foreign currency.  What are they doing to ensure that when suppliers are supplying equipment, it is up to date because communication technology equipment changes so fast?

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you Hon. Member for the supplementary question.  Let me assure you that the company which was given that project is still the same which is in charge of finishing that project.  So, we do not have that problem as yet and when we commission that project, we make sure that the project is on and our citizens can access television and radio from all corners of the country.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I think the question is; because of the delays, will the equipment not be out of date by the time you try to commission it?

          HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  This is a concern which we have in the Ministry and we continue, together with the companies which were given this project, to make sure that we test our equipment and make sure that this equipment will be able to serve us for what we need.  We understand the equipment which was delivered in 2015, technology is changing all the time and may become obsolete but for this project, we will make sure that by the end of it, when it gets commissioned, everything will be up to date.

          +HON. N. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question to the Minister is that they say there is no foreign currency but they collect television and radio licences whilst they are slow in delivering services.  We want to know if it is not possible to fast-track their services since they are collecting the licence fees or they can stop the payment of licences and resume after installation is finalised – [HON. NDEBELE: We have missed the international deadline, we have missed our own deadline.] – [Laughter.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele, I did not recognise you and you are not supposed to speak whilst seated.

          HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I always have to benefit from the translation from my colleague next door.  I hope I understood the question well.  I do not know whether she is talking about collecting licences.  This is the place where the laws are made.  Anybody who owns a radio is supposed to pay a licence, that is the law – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON SPEAKER: Order, order.  Can I help Hon. Minister?  The import of the question is; the public, especially where they do not have access are paying licence fees but they do not have the service. That is the import of the question.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA):  I do perfectly understand Hon. Speaker, but that is the law that if you own a radio – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  That is the law Hon. Speaker.  You have to pay.  I do understand the concerns, but the law requires that if you own a radio you pay licence fees.  Thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, according to section 141 of the Constitution, public involvement in parliamentary processes is supposed to be enhanced and in the Eighth Parliament it was also said the frequencies and the digitalisation is going to enhance the involvement of the public in parliamentary processes.  Is this also handicapped by the process that is impeded upon by the forex that you are speaking to and about that we quickly enhance the visibility of Parliament and public involvement in its processes?

HON. SN. MUTSVANGWA:  I would like to thank Hon. Nduna for that question.  Yes precisely, if the country is fully digitalised it means that it will enhance visibility of the debates in Parliament.  I remember very well when I was at SADC in Victoria Falls, the speakers from different countries in the SADC region could actually access their own debates in Parliament when they were there. 

So, we would obviously want to make sure that whatever is debated in Parliament, people who elected you - because we have got one of those three mandates of representation, they need to know and hear you whilst you are contributing in Parliament.  So certainly yes, at the end of this digitalisation project, it will be much easier and that will enhance the visibility of the work of Members of Parliament.  I thank you.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO CUSHION WORKERS WAGES

2.  HON. DINAR asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House on the measures being taken to cushion workers’ wages in the hyperinflation environment currently affecting the economy.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  The Government has noted the economic hardship experienced by the general majority due to the rising prices of basic commodities such as cooking oil, sugar and medicinal drugs.  There is need therefore to negotiate and review salaries for the employees so that they can afford Zimbabwe’s decent standard of living. 

Negotiations of salaries in our country are done through National Employment Council structures and we have 48 of these employment councils.  These are formed by employers associations and unions.  Through the collective bargaining process they negotiate for improved salaries and working conditions.  Negotiations are done at the national employment council and if parties reach a deadlock, the matter is referred to a designated agent, a labour officer or an arbitrator for conciliation and arbitration.  The Ministry recently appointed arbitrators throughout the country, both Government and independent arbitrators to deal with disputes which may arise from these collective bargaining processes.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, there is a general need to stabilise the economy so that the values of workers’ wages are not continuously eroded.  Thank you.

HON. DINAR:  My question is what you are going to do right now, not the negotiations.  The Government workers are experiencing hyperinflation every day.  You take three or four months negotiating and what comes out of that is nothing, at the same time prices are going up every day.  I thank you.

HON. DR. NZENZA:  Madam Speaker, as I said earlier the Government did offer a cushioning allowance for January to March of $63 million.  We recently offered $300 million to help alleviate the rising cost of prices.  We are still in the negotiating process.  We cannot move forward unless we negotiate.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is to do with clarity Hon. Minister.  When we talk of $63 million and when we talk of $300 million, what does that translate into in terms of a percentage?  When we talk of an individual civil servant, what are we talking about because when we talk about $300 million it is so good to talk of $300 million to 500 000 civil servants.  When we talk of an individual over a period of 12 months what does that $300 million and $63 million translate to in terms of a percentage?

HON. DR. NZENZA:  Thank you for that question seeking clarity.  On the cushioning allowance it was given on a sliding scale.  It was 22.7% starting from 5% for deputy directors and 22.7% for the lowest paid Government worker.

          Regarding the $300million, I am afraid, at this stage, I am unable to calculate the percentage.  I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA:  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is - is there any non monetary incentive that you are proposing to cushion the multitudes of the civil servants?

          HON. DR. NZENZA:  I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question.  Yes, the Government is giving non monetary incentives.  You would have noticed that we have introduced public transport in the urban areas – that is a non monetary incentive for Government workers.

          At the same time some of you may have noticed that I announced a $60 million housing scheme for civil servants.  This was announced on Tuesday.  

          HON. MADZIMURE:  My supplementary is, the Hon. Minister has always known that when we were going to transition from the US$ to the Bond, the Bond note was going to lose value.  It is common cause that it has lost value by more than 300%. 

What contingencies had she put in place to make sure that she does not wait for negotiations but for the Government to be proactive and afford a living wage to the civil servants?

HON. DR. NZENZA:  Thank you once again for that very incisive.  It all depends on how much we have in the budget.  The Minister of Finance and Economic Development presented a budget in this House and when inflation hit, we took cognizance of that and gave the allowances that I just spoke about.  I thank you.

TABLING OF THE 2017/18 ZIMVAC REPORT

3.  HON. MPARIWA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House when the 2017/18 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment (ZimVAC) Report would be tabled in Parliament.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you Madam Speaker, please be advised that the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare was tasked through a letter from the Chief Secretary to the President.  We were tasked to present the rural Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Report which was done in partnership with our donor partners.

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the ZimVAC Report finally came out and was presented to Cabinet yesterday.  It is now waiting to be tabled in Parliament.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  My supplementary question is, the issue of the ZimVAC Report speaks to and about the vulnerability of the people that it speaks about.  What is it that the ministry is doing or has done?  When the assessment started, up to now and before the assessment report has been implemented on the ground, what has been done in order to alleviate the plight of the suffering, marginalized and the vulnerable community of our society?

HON. DR. NZENZA:  Thank you Hon. Member for the question, as I said, the report was presented to Cabinet yesterday and is waiting to be presented to Parliament. 

In the meantime, we are distributing food on a weekly basis right across all provinces.  I thank you.

HON. MUSHORIWA:  Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Hon. Minister has just stated that the ministry is distributing food on a weekly basis.  I want to find out why there is no food distribution on a weekly basis

in the urban constituencies where we also have vulnerable groups?  We have not noticed any food distribution.

          HON. DR. NZENZA:  The Hon. Member is quite right to say that there is no food distribution in the urban areas.  However, we have numbers of needy households that have been targeted mostly in Bulawayo and Harare. 

I am afraid I do not have the figures with me right now but I can certainly present them to him.  One of our strategies in the three months is to target specifically those households that are in need of food.  I thank you.

WORST AFFECTED AREAS IN TERMS OF FOOD DEFICIT

4.  HON. MPARIWA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to state the worst affected areas by district and province in terms of food deficit and access to clean water and measures being taken to alleviate these challenges.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you Madam Speaker, please note, as I have said before.  We have the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment (ZimVAC) Report.  This report helps us to determine the needy households.

Let me just give you the figures.  Kindly note that between October and December last year, the food insecurity prevalence rate rose to about 20% more than the previous year and during the peak hunger period, which is now, between January and March 2019 our percentage has reached 28% of the rural population.  This is approximately 2.4 million people who are in need of food in this country right now.

The hardest hit districts during this period, I have 25 of them and I will just go through them quickly.  The hardest hit areas are Mudzi; Buhera; Binga; Umguza; Gokwe; Rushinga; Bikita;Tsholotsho; Mangwe; UMP; Bulilima; Nkayi; Masvingo; Chiredzi; Mwenezi; Mutoko; Kariba; Lupane; Mutare; Nyanga; Zaka; Mvuma; Gutu; Beitbridge and Zvishavane. 

I have here the figures of the households desperately in need of food and through our Social Welfare Department at provincial level, we are targeting these households on a weekly basis.  I thank you.

ASSISTANCE TO CHILDREN LIVING ON THE STREETS

5.  HON. I. NYONI asked The Minister of Public Service, Labour

and Social Welfare to state the measures being taken to assist children living on the streets.

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  The following statutes and structures help my ministry to deal with issues related to children working and living on the streets.

          We have the Children’s Act which provides for the welfare and protection of children, including those working and living on the streets.  This statutory provision also provides for the appointment of Probation Officers in terms of Section 46 of the same Act whose principal role is to devise and carryout measures to secure and protect our children.

          We also have Children on the Street Fund which is constituted in terms of Section 18 of the Public Finance Management Act.  We also have the provisional task force on children working and living on the streets.  These are constituted by child related stakeholders and also get support from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

          Finally, the role of these probation workers and other monitoring agents is to continue to assess and help more importantly integrate these children into homes where they can be well cared for.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. I. NYONI:  Madam Speaker, are there any programmes to rehabilitate these street children so that they do not go back to the streets? I have since observed that some of them grew up in the streets and have become street adults.

          HON. DR. NZENZA:  We do have a challenge regarding street children.  There are programmes which are on-going.  We are working with various NGOs and among them SOS.  The programme targets these children to bring them into homes and also to give them education.  However, the challenge that we continue to have is that some of these children have grown up in the streets and despite taking them to homes or institutions, they are there for a very short time and have the tendency to go back to the streets.  So, we are open to solutions on how we can have a sustainable programme that will keep these children in safe places.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. NDUNA:  My follow up question to the Hon. Minister is, when I grew up there used to be a place called probation in Luveve, Bulawayo for such children.  Is there a deliberate Government policy thrust in terms of establishment of safe houses, rehabilitation places, probation places for such children in different places?  I say this cognisant of the fact that there is no such place in Chegutu or in places that I have had an opportunity to be a resident.

          HON. DR. NZENZA:  Placing children in probation centres is not the solution.  However, if there is no other place to place them, Government in the past had these centres.  I know the place in Mt Hampden where we have about 52 of these children.  At this stage, I am afraid I am not able to give the Hon. Member the places where we are placing probation for these children.

          HON. ZENGEYA:  You did say clearly to the House that you are putting these children from the streets into homes where you then give them education.  However, the question that arises is how they are going to pursue and go further with their education without identification documents.  It seems these street children neither have birth certificates nor national identity cards.

HON. DR. NZENZA:  I would like to acknowledge that question because it is very pertinent.  It is an issue that we are beginning to address with the Ministry of Home Affairs, to have these children registered.  It is a problem that we had noted and we shall be addressing it.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, I must confess ignorance, it is my first time to hear about children on the street fund.  Naturally, I am interested in checking with the Minister how this fund is distributed and administered throughout the country, lest we repeat the well known digressions relating to the ZIMDEF.

HON. DR. NZENZA:  The budgetary allocation for these children in 2017 was US$50000, in 2018 it was US$50000 and in 2019, we have not as yet determined the budgetary allocation although the money is there.  It needs to be reviewed in light of the inflation.  I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF A SECONDARY SCHOOL IN ST. MARY’S CONSTITUENCY

          83.  HON. TARUSENGA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when Government will construct a secondary school in St. Mary’s Constituency.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): As the Hon. Member is aware, the Ministry is making efforts to decongest urban schools including those in St. Mary’s Constituency.  A letter was drafted to the Chitungwiza Municipality requesting the council to avail land for the construction of a secondary school in St. Mary’s Constituency but it was realised that the council has no more land set aside for the construction of a school.  The majority of the spaces were taken up by primary schools such as Dungwiza, Chaminuka, Zengeza, Shingirai and Tangenhamo.  For this reason, the Ministry has elevated the only secondary school – Zengeza High 2 to A Level status without the necessary laboratory requirements.  The move was meant to accommodate more learners from St Mary’s Constituency.

          More importantly, learners from St Mary’s are also serviced by two secondary schools.  These are St Mary’s High School (a mission school) and Zengeza High 1, which is about 500 metres though it is in Zengeza Constituency.  However, in the event that land and resources are available, St Mary’s Constituency should have another secondary school.

HON. HAMAUSWA: Is there a Government policy to reserve spaces for future development of public utilities like schools in line with population growth?  I am asking this question because the schools that we currently have are overcrowded.  Some schools are having up to 100 kids. 

HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Whenever planning of residential areas is done, Government allocates spaces for schools, hospitals and clinics.  In many places, we do have that land.  It is unfortunate that with respect to St Mary’s, we have this situation.  We also have the unfortunate situation in some other places like Caledonia for example, where some spaces that had been reserved for schools have been invaded by those who have put in residential construction.  So we need to make sure that we reclaim that land in places where it has been taken over. 

HON. TARUSENGA:  My supplementary question to the Minister is, land was already reserved for a secondary and a primary school in St. Mary’s; that is why I had asked this question. I would like to know what they are doing currently in order to re-posses the land that has already been resettled for residential purposes.

HON. PROF. MAVIMA:  Madam Speaker Maam, you will recall that my written submission had said that the Ministry has written to the local authority to make sure that the local authority avails that land.  We have taken contingency measures including the upgrading of one of the secondary schools into a high school with A-level.  We have also said St. Mary’s can go to Zengeza 1 until the municipality has provided us with the land.  The Ministry has already written to the Chitungwiza Town Council with regards to that.  The onus is upon the council now to make sure that if that land is cleared, we have it and we construct a secondary school in that particular place.

HON. NDUNA:  What is Government’s plan in terms of establishing schools in 2019?  How many schools do you hope to build country-wide this year?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, I think that question cannot be supplementary.  It is a new question altogether.

HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker, I seek your indulgence and that of the Minister.  I wish to quickly check because in the last parliamentary term, we debated and approved an OPEC Fund in this very House.  Can the Minister kindly appraise members as to the progress in the building of secondary schools in disadvantaged areas through that fund?

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  We are building 5 secondary schools under the OPEC fund.  The construction started mid last year, we are hoping to open 9 of the 17 schools before the end of February so that learners can go into those schools.  We hope that the rest of those schools will be done before the end of March but we have made tremendous progress in the building of the 17 schools across the country.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

PLIGHT OF NYABAWA PUPILS

84.   HON. NYABANI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain whether the Ministry is aware that pupils in Nyabawa area are travelling 30km to Chapinduka School to access education and if so, to state measures being taken to address their plight.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Madam Speaker. The Ministry is seized with distances that learners travel in order to access education, particularly in rural areas.  It is now a matter of public record that the Ministry though its 2013 Infrastructure Expo has established a deficit of school infrastructure of 2056 schools.  The number has since increased.

In order to reduce the school infrastructure deficit, the ministry has already rolled out the Ofid Programme and another phase which we call the Joint Venture Partnership is set to begin. These efforts are made to reduce distances travelled by learners and to decongest some schools, especially those in urban areas.

With regards to Nyabawa area, the distance to Chapinduka is long. It is 25km.  All things being equal, there is an urgent need for a school.  However, our district team who looked into the issue have realised that the learner population is so low that constructing a secondary school at Nyabawa might be viable at the moment.  As a measure to assist the communities, the Ministry together with CAMFED has established a low-cost boarding school at Chapinduka to cater for learners who travel long distances.  Over and above, some of the learners have benefited from the bicycle programme that the ministry and its partners have undertaken.

HON. TSUNGA: Thank you for your response Hon. Minister. Madam Speaker, what is the maximum distance permissible for students to walk from their homes to the nearest school.  If it is 25km and the Minister talks of viability, I think the concerns of the local community are not being addressed.  That also applies in my area where we have a school called St. Augustine High School which caters for students from as far as Muchena in Mutasa South constituency and they are also walking some long distances.  Can there be a way to waiver that condition of viability and take into account the needs of learners and local communities. I thank you.

HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  The permissible distance is, for primary it is 5km and for secondary it is 10km. Our programmes like I indicated are designed to make sure that we construct schools in various areas in order to address that issue.  I think the Hon. Members of this august House will understand that in situations where for example we have only something like less than 50 learners at secondary it might be very difficult to establish a viable school there given the range of subjects that have to be provided and also the facilities that also have to be provided.  This is why as a contingency measure Government has embarked also on a programme for low cost boarding which allows those who would otherwise travel long distances to be housed at the school at a low cost and making it affordable.  I thank you. 

*HON. NYABANI: 63120. I would like to know what low cost boarding means.  Do children have to carry food from their homes and prepare it themselves?  Regarding child protection you did not mention the provision of a boarding master, I want clarity on this low boarding cost.

*HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Low costing boarding is a boarding like the other boarding schools we know the difference is that it will not be as expensive as other boarding schools.  There is no school that providing low cost boarding facility that has children that cook for them.  The school will have boarding school facilities like a dining room; they will be responsible personnel to ensure discipline.  There are rules that are followed to establish a low cost boarding school.

On question 87;

HON. A. MPOFU: Madam Speaker, this question was not accurately captured.  It is supposed to read to ask the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to give an appraisal of the state of discipline in our schools since the banishment of corporal punishment in our schools system. I thank you Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister can submit the answer to question number 87 and then you can ask your question again in writing Hon. Member.

EXTENSION OF SPONSORSHIP TO OTHER SPORTING DISCIPLINES

          117.    HON. BANDA asked the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to state when Government will extend sponsorship from currently soccer and cricket sporting activities to other sporting disciplines such as volleyball to facilitate competition at international level.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Thank you Hon. Banda for the question.  What I can say is, currently, the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has already started to engage with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to start training young children at a very young age, from the school going age in sporting activities such as volleyball.  I understand that previously, as a Ministry, some of these sporting activities such as soccer and cricket were the ones getting funding from the Government and from international bodies such as ICC and FIFA. 

          However, currently, we have tried to create a balance on all sporting activities including indigenous games as well.  So, we have introduced these sporting activities in schools.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I can also say that the new curriculum in primary and secondary education now also includes sporting activities.  So, currently, sporting activities are now examinable.  I am sure this will ensure that as a Ministry, we decentralise all sporting activities to all areas of the country.

          HON. BANDA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  Thank you for the response Hon. Deputy Minister.  If you look closely into sport, you find that if the Zimbabwe national soccer team intends to travel to Ghana for instance, they are sponsored but if the volleyball team intends to go to Botswana, just across the border, Francis Town for instance, they do not get any comfort.  We appreciate what is happening in schools but also relating to clubs and national teams, we need intervention.  I thank you.

          HON. SIMBANEGAVI: Thank you Hon. Member.  The Ministry is actually mandated to sponsor all national associations.  All our national teams when they intend to travel outside the country, the Ministry has to sponsor some of the expenses.  So, I am not sure if the volleyball team had not been getting enough assistance from the Government but in terms of policy, I understand that all sporting associations get a grant from the Government when they are travelling outside the country, be they soccer teams or others.  Right now, the women’s netball team is going to travel to Liverpool in May and the Government is going to assist through the Sport and Recreation Commission. 

So, Hon. Member, as a Ministry, we would also accept any recommendation or information from you as an Hon. Member on how we can also work with you to improve sporting activities such as volleyball that you have highlighted here and we can see how we can help to fund some of these sporting activities if that is the particular question.  I thank you.

HON. TSUNGA: My question relates to the issues we have heard about Zimbabwe hosting the COSAFA tournament.  If the Hon. Deputy Minister could appraise this House of the progress they are making in terms of the level of preparedness to host that tournament and whether funding is going to be availed as requested by ZIFA as we read in the press.  Thank you very much.

HON. SIMBANEGAVI: I thought that question is not relevant.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is true, that question is a new one, it cannot be a supplementary to question number 117.

HON. TSUNGA: On a point of order Madam Speaker Ma’am.  The original question was about funding and there is specific mention of soccer.  Now we are supposed to be hosting the COSAFA which is a regional soccer tournament.  So, the question arises in my view and we need to be appraised and get to understand the level of preparedness of our Government through the Ministry and perhaps this question…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, your question is a new question, you can ask it next time.  May you take your seat.

HON. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, it is a fact that sporting equipment is crucial in the advancement of sport, particularly the discipline of volleyball itself.  A number of Members from my region have been asking this question and I want to believe that it is time that the Minister gives us a Ministerial Statement on this matter so that we put it to rest once and for all.  We held the African Youth Sporting Games in Bulawayo and there was a lot of donated equipment, volleyball, nets, the balls, television sets, air conditioning equipment and a lot of other things. 

Soon after those games, the equipment was looted and we believe this was an instruction from the head office in Harare…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ask your question Hon. Member.

HON. NDEBELE: It is a request for a Ministerial Statement detailing why the policy that this equipment should remain resident in the refurbished sporting facilities such as Luveve, White City Stadium and Barbour Fields was removed and where that equipment has been assigned.  We need a Ministerial Statement because as the province that hosted those games, we feel cheated and there was no accountability in terms of repatriating that equipment to other provinces. 

I could tell you a sad story of an officer that refused – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – It is not a question.  I am asking for a Ministerial Statement, do not be dull – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I stand my ground and I am giving the Minister ground as to what she must cover in that Ministerial Statement.  We do not want a half baked Ministerial Statement.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Ndebele.  You are requesting for a Ministerial Statement, we have heard you Hon. Member, so may you take your seat.  The Hon. Minister will respond.

HON NDEBELE:  Yes and if she could give us time lines as to when she is going to address this because where I come from this is a burning issue – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  I do not speak for you.  I do not represent you wemandebvu.  I represent the people of Magwegwe in this House.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Ndebele order!

HON. NDEBELE:  You cannot tell me what to do.  I am not your child.  I did not come to Harare to be told what to do by you – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order!  - [HON. NDEBELE: Inaudible interjections.]- Hon. Ndebele that is very unparliamentary.  Please, may you withdraw that?

HON. NDEBELE:  I withdraw that Madam Speaker.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI):  I am not sure about what the Hon. Member is referring to in particular, but as a Ministry if there has been such activities, we will also investigate into that and I can also say, Hon. Member, it would be an honour to bring the Ministerial Statement to the House to respond to the issues that you have raised.  Madam Speaker we request at least seven days to be able to bring the Ministerial Statement.

CONSTRUCTION OF SILOBELA VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE

119.  HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to state when work will commence on the construction of Silobela Vocational Training Centre which was pegged in June 2018.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The issue of Silobela Vocational Training Centre – as it is a very specific question that concerns that particular vocational training centre I will also ask for permission to bring particular details that pertain to Silobela Vocational Training Centre, but what I can add is, as a Ministry in our budgetary allocation we have actually been allocated funds to construct vocational training centres in almost every province. 

Our wish as a Ministry in the new dispensation is to ensure that vocational training centres are found in each and every district.  So, I am sure that as a Ministry, we have been planning for the construction of Silobela Vocational Training Centre.  Some of our vocational training centres are still on planning level and some are already under construction.  So, I would ask you Madam Speaker to indulge me and allow me to bring the details for this particular vocational training centre to the House next week.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

FOOD SOCIAL PROTECTION SUPPORT PROGRAMMES IN SHURUGWI SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

7.      HON. MKARATIGWA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain whether the Ministry could consider the vulnerable people in Wards 2, 21 and 22 in Shurugwi South Constituency in terms of food social protection support programmes.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Hon. Member, thank you for bringing the above matter to my attention.  Please be informed that my Ministry is ceased with the matter and the relevant officers on the ground have been informed.  I have instructed the Provincial Social Welfare Officer to get the list of those food insecure households in Wards 2, 21 and 22 so that they are submitted to the respective District Drought Relief Committee chaired by the local District Administrator for verification.

Anyone found to be eligible will be included in our registers so that they can benefit from the Food Deficit Mitigation Programme currently underway.  Also, note that basing on the ZimVAC results for the Rural Livelihood Assessment for 2018/2019 season, the number of vulnerable households on our registers will increase as we reach the peak hunger period between January and March, 2019.

REOPENING OF THE SCIENCE LABORATORY AT MANDWANDE HIGH SCHOOL

82. HON. PHULU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to advise when the science laboratory at Mandwande High School in Nkulumane which was closed in 2016 after it was suspected that there was toxic material would be re-opened.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The Ministry has taken all the necessary measures to ensure that the laboratory is used for its intended purpose.  After the suspicion that there was toxic material, a Committee worked together with the Bulawayo City Council and EMA authorities in order to sanitise the situation.  To assure our learners and teachers of their safety, a detoxication exercise was carried out. 

The final recommendation that we got from the lab technician is that the laboratory is ready for use.  However, what remains now is general fear from the Science teachers at the school and we have already deployed our Principal Director in charge of psychological services at Ministry level to work on the issue.

HIGH SCHOOL STATUS FOR KUSHINGA SECONDARY SCHOOL

85.   HON. MKARATIGWA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to state when Kushinga Secondary School in ward 24 in Shurugwi South Constituency will be accorded high school status?

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The Ministry encourages schools that seek ‘A’ Level status to apply. Once that is done, our provincial and district teams are to do inspection and provide a report on the feasibility of elevating the school to ‘A’ level status. 

As a matter of policy, any school that applies for ‘A’ level status must automatically have the capacity to offer sciences at ‘A’ level.  This is in line with the competence-based curriculum which puts premium on learning of sciences.  As such, a science laboratory is mandatory for any school to have ‘A’ level status.  Alongside, the laboratory requirements, the Ministry also considers the qualifications of the teachers, that is, those that have the capacity to teach up to ‘A’ level.

Kushinga Secondary will be granted ‘A’ level status once these minimum conditions are met.  

CONSTRUCTION OF SCIENCE AND COMPUTER LABORATORIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN SHURUGWI SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

86.   HON. MKARATIGWA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary education whether the Ministry could consider constructing Science and Computer laboratories in secondary schools in Shurugwi South Constituency.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): It is the intention of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to provide quality education which is in tandem with the demands of the 21st Century.  For this reason, the Ministry has streamlined the learning of Sciences and Information Communication Technology.

The competence based curriculum adopted by the Ministry in 2015, emphases the learning of Sciences and ICTs in schools from infant to advanced level in all our schools. The Ministry has taken a conscious decision to contract a company that has a capacity to supply modern mobile science laboratory equipment to both primary and secondary schools.  Some schools have benefited from this initiative.  More schools are expected to benefit in the near future.  However, parents and other stakeholders are expected to assist schools in providing ICT gadgets where possible.

USE OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS

          87.    HON. A. MPOFU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to state Government Policy regarding the use of corporal punishment in schools.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVHIMA): Our old Constitution allowed for the use of corporal punishment in extreme circumstances and as a result, Circular P35 was enacted.  Corporal punishment had these conditions:

·       Applied by the head in the presence of a witness

·       A specified type of cane was used

·       Supposed to be logged

·       Applied to boys only

·       Used as a means of last resort

However, the 2013 Constitution provides for a prohibition against any cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.  Specifically, Section 53 provides that, “No person may be subjected to physical, psychological torture or to cruel inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.”  In line with this, some education stakeholders have classified corporal punishment as falling in this category.  Therefore, there is a recommendation to the prohibition of corporal punishment in our schools.  Ultimately, we would like to make our schools child friendly institutions

WAR VETERANS ON ZEXCOM INVESTMENTS

145.  HON. B. DUBE asked the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs to explain why the war veterans were not benefiting from the investments in ZEXCOM despite huge capital investments into the company.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS AFFAIRS (HON. MATEMADANDA):  I would like to thank Hon. Dube for the question.  Madam Speaker, ZEXCOM is a private voluntary organisaton.  Members voluntarily join it and choose their own leadership.  It is not affiliated to the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs or to the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association.  War Veterans affiliated to ZEXCOM made individual contributions to constitute the large capital investments into their company.

However, I am reliably informed that there were problems of abuse of funds by some members of the company who were arrested, taken to court and convicted.  They have since served their sentences.  Madam Speaker, may I appeal to affected comrades to approach the leadership and board of directors of ZEXCOM to establish the way forward regarding their investment as they should negotiate for some form of compensation.

ELECTRIFICATION OF CLINICS IN SHURUGWI SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

146.  HON. MKARATIGWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to state measures being taken to ensure clinics in Shurugwi South Constituency have electricity.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA):  Madam Speaker I would like to inform the House that there are plans in place to ensure the provision of electricity to rural institutions nationwide through the Rural Electrification Fund (REF), although the available resources have not been enough to meet the expectations, hence creating a huge backlog.

However, I would like to draw the House’s attention to the clinics in Shurugwi South Constituency and inform you that there is considerable progress made so far in electrification of clinics in the constituency.  The following clinics in Shurugwi South Constituency were electrified between 2002 to date:-

1.     Pakame Clinic

2.    Rusike Clinic

3.    Gundura Clinic

4.    Gwanza Clinic

5.    Banga Clinic (Mfiri)

6.    Mazibisa Clinic

Marishongwe clinic is targeted for electrification in 2020.  The remaining clinics - Jobolingo Clinic, Gamwa Clinic and Batanayi Clinic are scheduled to be electrified from 2021 going forward.

ELECTRIFICATION OF SCHOOLS, BUSINESS CENRES AND CLINICS IN SHURUGWI SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

147.  HON. MKARATIGWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when Gundura and Banga Schools, business centres and clinics in Shurugwi South Constituency will have electricity.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA):  Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the Rural Electrification Fund completed grid infrastructure at Banda Primary School and Gundura Clinic on 25 October 2015 and 22 April 2016 respectively.  Wiring and inspection of Gundura School was done and ZETDC now awaits the payment of connection fees by the customer for them to be connected.  Banga School is due for inspection this month.  Banga Business Centre and Chinho Primary and Business Centre are targeted for electrification in 2020.

Madam speaker, I would like the House to refer to my earlier response above for the update on status of the clinics in Shurugwi South Constituency. 

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

On the motion of HON. MGUNI seconded by HON. N. NDLOVU, the National Assembly adjourned at Twenty One Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 45 NO 32