PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 3rd February, 2016
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Why do you stand up after I have asked and put the matter before the House for Questions Without Notice, you should have done that before?
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I have a point of order which is …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, you should have done that before.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I did not know that was the motion that was coming.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You rise and get recognised.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I just have a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. I think it is a privilege that I am entitled to raise a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: May you sit down. I am not denying you your privilege – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Order at the back there. I am not denying you hon. member, your privilege. I am saying you should have risen before, that is all.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I was according you respect so that you complete the process that you were working on as my Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought you simply say, my apologies.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My apologies Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, you may proceed.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe this is 2016 and we are in a new year of which this country has a lot of challenges. Today is the day that is bestowed upon this House to ask hon. Ministers of this country, the Republic of Zimbabwe, about issues to do with policies with regard to challenges and many other issues that people want to have answers to.
It must be noted today, that in this House as we speak, we have a full bench of Deputy Ministers who will not, at any given time, sit in Cabinet nor have access to be in acting capacity in their respective ministries as they will always stand as Deputy Ministers.
I sincerely request Mr. Speaker Sir, for us to consider the importance of having Ministers to respond to questions from the House. I thank you hon. Speaker and believe you will sincerely respond to this concern with the element that it deserves as compared to the period that we had where we had challenges. I thank you and the House.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Deputy Chief Whip, can you take your seat? Sorry Hon. Members for the delay in responding to the point of order. I was consulting with administration. We have three names of Ministers who have sought apology. The rest, I am not aware of what is happening. My ruling is this, this becomes the last appeal. In future – in future means next week, we will then proceed with Contempt of Parliament in terms of Section 107 (2) of the Constitution. – [HON. MEMBERS:Hear, hear] –
Hon. Maridadi having raised a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Do you have a point of order?
HON. MARIDADI: No, it is an inquiry and I need your guidance. In the absence of the Leader of the House, do we have an acting Leader of the House that we can pose questions to, in the absence of other Ministers, like the obtaining situation now?
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Leader of Government business… Hon. Chibaya! Can you focus your attention this side. I was saying to Hon. Maridadi, the Leader of the House is outside. He should be coming in any time. He should be able to help us.
HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Could you please update this House on what programmes are in place in order to feed the people and livestock that are starving?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We have several programmes that are running at the moment. We appreciate that the number of people that we are attending to are on the feeding programme from last year. We have the numbers we got from last year ZIMVAG Report. I am happy to tell this august House that we did another survey, which started in January and it should be complete by end of this month, where we are going to find the additional people who need food aid compared to the numbers that we had from last year.
The numbers we had from last year were 1.5 million. This number has since increased. What we have been doing now is on an ad hoc basis, reaching out to people who are in urgent need of food aid. So the programmes from last year are continuing but over and above that, we have some ad hoc assistance that is going to the districts as we speak. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Deputy Minister, I think you did not quite get the input of the question. The question is, what contingency plans are in place now?
ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As we speak right now, Government has managed to avail US$200 million specifically targeted at acquiring maize to address the urgent requirement because of the El Nino drought induced situation.
HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker. What I was trying to find out is that, we read in newspapers of the US$200 million which was allocated towards this, but till now, people are starving in their homes. I have watched on television where people are saying, they go to the bush to get derere in order for them to survive. I am trying to find out from the Minister when this is supposed to get to our different constituencies so that people can be fed. I have seen also cattle and donkeys dying. They cannot talk for themselves, and then we are the representatives. I only wanted to find out what is in place and when is this programme actually starting. It is not the allocation I am talking about, I am talking about when is the programme actually starting? Thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Like I said earlier on, we actually have maize that is in GMB Depots countrywide. The scenario that is pertaining on the ground is we have had some logistic challenges in terms of availing and transporting the grain bags to the required people. We have since appealed to Members of Parliament in this august House and we are on record Mr. Speaker of doing that, asking Members of Parliament to assist us in the distribution exercise to get the maize to the people – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.].
I gave a figure of 1,5 million people whom we are reaching out to. I have said that number has since increased. We are in the process of identifying the people who require ad hoc assistance. I can tell you that there are places like Hurungwe and Magunje that have received ad hoc assistance as we speak right now. What we require is, if there is input from the Members of Parliament, if they can come up with specific cases where there is urgent need, yes the Ministry is geared up to assist in that regard – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.].
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Deputy Minister, if you are not sure of the answer, why do we not defer that. Perhaps the Hon. Leader of Government may assist you because for you to say you have appealed to Members of Parliament, that sounds like a joke. What the questioner is saying is a national strategy – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes.].
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Mr. Speaker, the figures I am giving you are exact figures. The initial figure that Government had availed in terms of maize was 45 000 metric tonnes, of which we have distributed 32 000 metric tonnes. Yes, we have appealed to Members of Parliament to assist in the distribution process. That is a fact – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.].
HON. MLILO: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is; what is the Government policy with regards to drought relief food aid being distributed in urban areas, seeing that in urban areas the poverty level and rates have increased with the high level of unemployment? What mitigation or strategies do you have to combat the drought that is there?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. On drought mitigation we have two programmes that we run as a Ministry. In the rural areas it is called Harmonised Cash Transfer and in urban areas it is called Public Assistance Programme. That programme is there and you find people on Public Assistance Programme benefitting to the tune of $10 per month. So, the two programmes are currently running but the people who they might want to be beneficiaries might not be on that programme because this is a special area in that the requirement right now goes beyond the initial people who were captured.
HON. ZINDI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the …
THE HON. SPEAKER: This is not a supplementary?
HON. ZINDI: No, it is a new question – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Zindi, what is the problem? I said you will get the next chance once we have finished with supplementary questions. Why are you addressing yourself to the members across?
HON. ZINDI: Hon. Speaker, my apology to you for disrespecting you but I was responding to the honourable across the bench who was just interjecting during your ruling. I did not like it and that is why I reacted. It was natural for me to have reacted that way.
HON. SARUWAKA: My supplementary question to the Deputy Minister is, can he please share with the House what measures they are putting in place to make sure that the identification and distribution of the food is not done in a partisan manner. What measures have they put in place?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. There is a Committee that has always been there, the Inter-Ministerial Committee that comes up with the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report year-in, year after and that is non-partisan and that position holds.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Deputy Minister, the question is straight forward, identification of those people in need on the ground. That is all.
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: There is a committee on the ground comprising the District Administrator, Social Welfare and community leaders who go out and identify the underprivileged. They cut across the political divide. So, that Committee is not partisan in anyway.
HON. ZINDI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. What is the policy in regards to teachers being recalled from vacation leave and the pending abolishing of the vacation? Also, what is going to happen to the temporary teachers who had been engaged in order to fill the vacant positions which had been created by the teachers who had gone on vacation, now that they are being recalled, are the temporary teachers are equally being recalled as well? So, what is going to be their fate and is this not breaking the labour law since it is the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services that has got to uphold the labour laws of the country? Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Hon. Member has asked a very pertinent question and very tropical at this point in time. After the audit on the Civil Service, we did realise that there were a lot of temporary posts which were being taken up in the teaching fraternity. This was as a result that every time that a teacher goes on leave, a teacher goes on a three months leave. Unlike other positions in the public sector, where somebody goes for a month on leave and you do not necessarily have to get a replacement, in that Ministry you need to have a replacement.
Mr. Speaker, that now strains the fiscus space because every time a teacher goes on leave for three months, you now need to have somebody coming in to replace. The position we have taken now in the interim is to suspend all teachers going on the three months leave. You need to appreciate this from a perspective that unlike other Public Service members who go on one month leave per year, teachers literally go on three months leave per year. After six or seven years, they then go on a term’s extended leave. I am giving this background so that Hon. Members appreciate where Government is coming from.
So, the policy right now is, suspend all leave, see where the vacancies are, then revert back to the temporary teachers who are there if there are vacancies; once all teachers are on their posts. The Labour Act is very clear on that one. What we have now done is that exercise has gone through; proper communication went through to the teachers before they went on leave that that exercise was going to go through starting in January, 2016. That adequately addresses that point, so as we stand right now, there are no positions for temporary teachers in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
HON. ZINDI: May the Deputy Minister clarify on the position in terms of the law, in regards to the three months vacation, whether it is not a violation of that law?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Mr. Speaker Sir, the point that the Hon. Member is alluding to has been established by precedence. It was established by precedence from the perspective that in the past, prior to independence we had teachers coming from abroad for example United Kingdom, India and so on. It was a requirement that they be given time to go on extended leave. That is really on precedence. What we have now said is let us defer this in the interim, we defer this for now. Let us see how the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is structured. What numbers are in there and we take it from there going forward.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Deputy Minister, the supplementary question was: is that arrangement lawful, as simple as that. Is the arrangement lawful?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. There is no policy on cancelling. I made reference to a deferment and I believe at law, we are allowed to defer. So, we have not spoken about cancelling that condition of service.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can I help you Hon. Deputy Minister. I suggest that you request leave of the House to find out the legal position – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I take note and standing guided, can I please have that in writing and we will respond in detail – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Deputy Minister, do not criss-cross my ruling, I said, seek leave to go and research and come back.
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: I stand guided and seek leave of the House to go and research on this.
*HON. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Dr. Chombo. We all know that, it is lawful that if you fail to produce a driver’s licence, you are given a ticket that allows you to produce that licence within seven days to the police. My question is that, Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba of Police says that there is a spot fine. If you fail to produce your drivers licence you are supposed to pay a spot fine. What I want the Minister to explain to the nation is; what is the difference and what is it that we are supposed to follow? Are we supposed to stick to the seven days or we have to pay the spot fines? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I had to seek translation from my colleagues and I am sure the translation given to me concurs with what was said. Let me try to restate what I understand she said. She said that Mrs. Charity Charamba, ZRP Spokesperson, is demanding finds on the spot. What has happened to the seven day period whereby an individual would be allowed to seek or to bring in the relevant monies or drivers licence, if it is the offence that the individual has committed?
I want to seek leave of the House to go and double check so that I am sure. Double sure, like Shakespeare said; that is it still the law and then I will come here on Thursday afternoon and explain that point because it is a very pertinent point. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Matangaidze. What is Government policy regarding schools in resettlement areas whereby you have a school with a total student population of 700, but there is only one teacher teaching all these pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 7? What is Government policy regarding the pupil to teacher ratio in resettlement schools?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Dokora, I will ask the Deputy Minister and if you could assist because it is a double edged question.
*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): I thank the Hon. Member who asked the question about a school with 700 learners and only one teacher and also talking about the teacher student ratio in the country. The plans which are there between the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and also the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services is that the Public Service Commission has asked us to look at the number of children in the schools so that we have the total population of learners. The Public Service will then allocate teachers according to the student population.
We realise that if we were to do the pupil teacher ratio at the start of the term, the figures would be distorted because of late registration and late intake of the teachers. This would present problems in that in some cases we would have very large classes and few teachers. Therefore, what is now taking place is; they are working on the pupil teacher ratio between the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services and my Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
+HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dokora. If you look in our Constitution, which is the Constitution of the country it is stating that all the 16 languages that are in the Constitution are supposed to be used at par. What I want to find out from the Minister is; what happens when we have a situation whereby the teacher who is teaching in that district is not able to speak the language that is spoken in that area? What is the policy of the Ministry regarding such a situation? We have realised that this has caused a low pass rate, especially in such areas and most of the time it is people who are coming from Mashonaland who are deployed to teach in Matabeleland. I thank you.
+THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Mr. Speaker I will try to answer in Ndebele. Our Constitution … – [Laughter.] –
The Constitution is as old as 2013. It is in that Constitution that the 15 languages plus one, which is sign language, are acknowledged. The education system is quite clearly much older than the Constitution which has just come in. As a Ministry, we have taken the necessary first steps and already we have slightly over 322 teachers who are under training through the Great Zimbabwe University in their various languages – Chichangani, Chitonga, Nambya and so on. Because we do not ourselves discriminate between saying are you a mother speaker of Nambya or are you a mother speaker of Ndebele to train to become a teacher in that particular area. We take a national outlook because those that qualify and satisfy the entry requirements of the sister Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education in these institutions proceed to register and we are happy ourselves to use those kinds of human resources. As part of a process the training of the 322 will add more teachers in the course of this year.
I want to hasten to add though, that to associate language and failure on a one-to-one relationship is misleading and is not educational in terms of an analysis of this phenomenon of pass rates or performance of learners. If it were true that it is on a one-to-one relationship, I would be getting 100% passes in those areas where the teacher is a mother language speaker of that area. We must disabuse ourselves of that conception. While I have a lot of sympathy for the infant school module where I am conscious of that fact that we must communicate to these children in as homely and appropriate language as we can, it cannot be done in a dramatic fashion. I particularly noted the use of the word “ukuxhotshwa”. I do not think as a country we can actually say “abantu kabaxhotshwe” on account of language.
+HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Supplementary. What I am asking from the Minister is if he can explain, for example, if referring to pre-schools whereby the students are supposed to be taught in the language that they understand and there are no teachers who are speaking the same language and the parents are not happy with that development. My question is that if we have such cases whereby from Grade 1 to Grade 3 we have a teacher who is not able to speak the language that is being spoken in that community, should the teacher remain there or is supposed to be changed or what is it that the parents are supposed to do. I thank you.
HON. DR. DOKORA: I did say that the process was triggered in part by our accession to the new Constitution in 2013, and that the matter of training teachers while it resides in the other Ministry for us as the user Ministry we appreciate the fact that it is a process and I have indicated that as a line Ministry we have gone out of our way to look for resources to support those teachers and allow them to proceed along those lines.
In those areas where we have deficit for the infant school module, it is still far much better to have a trained human resource manning that class than to have a zero human resource or simply say to kids, stay at home. The trained human resources will find ways and means including the use of the English language in limited vocabulary range as they train and interact with the children in the infant school module. But to expect an instant solution over a span of two years, I think it is to be optimistic. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I think as a former school teacher myself perhaps we could have a tete-á-tete. We did have a solution to that but I cannot speak from the chair.
+HON. T. KHUMALO: Supplementary. My question is directed to Hon. Dr. Dokora. My question is that when you are saying that you are training the teachers at Great Zimbabwe University to come and teach in Matabeleland South, are you saying that you could not get people from Matabeleland South to go and train at Great Zimbabwe University?
+HON. DR. DOKORA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think this question is supposed to be directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. On my side I have responded.
HON. DR. SHUMBA: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and in his absence I would want to direct the question to the Leader of the House. Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa. The country is currently facing a serious challenge of liquidity. Given that we are in an impecunious situation, what is Government’s policy regarding curbing some glaringly obvious expenditure that relate to the entrapment of capital.
I will specify this Hon. Vice President – the importation of second hand vehicles mainly from Japan. Zimbabwe has over 6000 of these vehicles all over in homes, garages and so forth. If you look at an average price they range from $2000 to $50 000, if we average only 6000, you will find that Zimbabwe extract over US$4bn in wasted depreciating second hand vehicles from a country. What is Government’s policy regarding that because I believe that it has an immediate impact in creating liquidity.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA): I thank the Hon. Member for asking that pertinent technical question. I think it is proper that he puts his question in writing. It is very involved and it requires statistical answers relating to what he has said. I therefore, request that the Hon. Member should put his question in writing and the relevant Minister or Ministries together, because the question cuts across several Ministries, will be required to do research and give a sound answer to a sound question. I thank you.
*HON. MAJAYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Is it Government’s policy for it to deduct pension funds from workers without informing the people concerned; only to discover that their money has been deducted?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, yes it is indeed Government policy that we should deduct pension money. I think what people need to know is that, there was a period, when people were not receiving a salary but an allowance, immediately after the dollarization era. So, at that point during that period, people were not getting their pensions deducted but it is Government policy for pension to be deducted. Right now, people are getting salary that has to go through. Adequate notification went through the APEX Council and they were notified that that process of pension deduction will be coming through. So, civil servants were indeed notified of that.
*HON. MAJAYA: My supplementary is, where was it publicized because even us we were not aware of it. Where was it publicized?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Your supplementary verges on disputing the integrity of the Minister’s answer. The Hon. Minister has indicated that discussions did take place with the APEX Council leadership and they were informed accordingly. So, we cannot doubt that, if not then you can go to the union that you know and confirm whether that was done or not.
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate. Minister what is the Government policy on the drying up of boreholes. The people in the rural areas like in Mamhera – the water table is very low. So, we do not know what the Government is doing so that people get water. Some are getting water as far as 10km from their homes.
*THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Mr. Speaker for that pertinent question. Looking at climatic change, our water tables are now very low. The Government policy is that it is everyone’s right to get water, that is why we sink boreholes but they are drying up because probably they were not sunk deep enough. So, my ministry is busy buying machinery, we ordered some so that we sink boreholes. I think this year, since we are faced with a drought, we are going to deepen boreholes and also sink new boreholes because we do not want people to suffer because our policy is that everyone should get water. I thank you.
HON. KANHANGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. Hon. Minister what is the Government policy on the sale of our soccer players to the foreign clubs and in that process, does Government receive any revenue? I thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (HON. HLONGWANE): Thank you Hon. Speaker, I thank you hon. member for asking the question in respect of sale of players to foreign based clubs. Our interest as Government is around the protection of the rights of the players, when they get involved with the issue of contracts for engagement of their services, be it local or in other words movement of players from one local club to another local club or be it the sale of players to foreign based clubs; we have directed ZIFA through the SRC to strengthen the aspect of protecting players as far as their rights are concerned. We are also working together with the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe to enforce those kinds of protections to make sure the safeguards are in place, et cetera, as a way of protecting our players. By and large this is a question that falls firmly within the realm and purview of ZIFA and we think that they are working on the matter currently. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon Minister you did not answer the question. When there is any transfer especially foreign, does Government get any revenue at all, that is the question?
HON. HLONGWANE: That is the second part of the question, I thank you Hon. Speaker. The question of the taxability of the income that is generated out of the transfers of players or the sale of players to foreign lands is not a matter that we have dealt with. I am therefore going to consider the suggestions that he has made and engage with the fiscal authority as well as the football community and look into the feasibility of how to structure an arrangement of that sort. Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
HON. MAONDERA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEKAER: What is your point of order?
HON. MAONDERA: My point of order is that I am happy the Vice President is here and I know he is not the appointing authority but I think he can go and recommend the caliber of some of the Ministers because the number of those excused on sick leave is so many and I think we need people who have got a lot of knowledge about their ministries not to stammer on the asked questions. They will be wasting time and the nation wants to know what is happening. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. member, your point of order is misdirected. We must applaud the virtue of humility. When a minister who is not omniscient, does not know, he has a right to seek leave of the House to find correct information. So, I stand down your point of order.
HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I will direct my question to the Leader of the House Hon. Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The Constitution of this country is very clear that the Prosecutor General is independent. What is the Government position on his arrest given that no one should interfere with his prosecutorial roles? I thank you.
HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I have heard that the hon. member has asked that question. Of course, he has exhibited his knowledge about the Constitution in relation to the Prosecutor General. The small extinction he has not got in his vocabulary is that when a case is in court, it is sub judice for debate. I thank you.
HON. CHAMISA: It is with a heavy heart that I have to come to an opposite conclusion with my learned colleague who happens to be the Vice President of the Republic. What is sub judice is not what is being asked. It is the practice which has nothing to do with what is under consideration of the court.
What is being asked by Hon. Chibaya is what we associate with- the practice of the infraction and perforation of constitutionalism. I think the Hon. Vice President knows that it is a very serious issue. Section 119 of the Constitution gives the power to Parliament to make sure that constitutionalism is respected, is a religion, is a practice and is a habit. What we are seeing is a negation of that principle. What Hon. Chibaya seeks to know is where does that leave us as a country when we begin to behave in a manner that causes breakdown of rule of law and constitutional order. That is his question. I think the Hon. Vice President will do justice to us as Minister of Justice to give us a just answer. I know we cannot expect anything less than justice from the Minister of Justice. Thank you very much.
HON. E.D. MNANGAGWA: The hon. learned junior colleague of mine has spoken very well. He has said that I am the Minister of Justice and he has all that respect. I do not know why, if he respects me, he does not respect my advice that the matter currently, is sub judice and cannot be debated. Time will come when we can debate those issues. But for now, the matter is in court – which means that we respect the rule of law.
*HON. A. MNANGAGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Sport and Recreation. Which is the national sport because soccer is not performing very well and what is your Ministry saying in case they go for finals, our soccer team should play with neighbouring countries?
*THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON. HLONGWANE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. In Zimbabwe, we have got about 59 different sports. Out of these sports, we rank them. On top of the ranking is soccer, cricket, rugby and the rest.
It is true what the hon. member has said that at the moment, soccer is not performing very well when it comes to results based. That is what we are working on. Last week on Monday, we had a meeting with all the national quota systems so that we get some information why our sports are not performing very well. We are not performing well because of the arrangement that is there. This means that our National Sports Associations are not taking talents from the grassroots because they are not getting there.
Looking at soccer, the matches that take place on the grassroots level are spontaneous and are not organised. That is what we directed to ZIFA – we are saying that their structures should go down to the grassroots up to the wards. We have given them up to June to work on that so that each national sport code should organise their sport from the grassroots. We think that this is very important.
Secondly, it is very true that when we are going for international games, there are a lot of preparations that should take place. The preparations are different. Some of them mean that we have to play against other countries or even clubs, depending on what our technical team has chosen and which way they would want to take in order to prepare.
As a Ministry, we did not get any request from ZIFA or their technical team through SRC that they want to engage other countries before playing against Rwanda.
Hon. Hlongwane having walked back to his seat.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I did not say sit down. I just wanted you to speed up and to debate looking at me.
HON. HLONGWANE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Our aim as Government is that when all national teams are going out, they should be adequately prepared. That is our policy. We support all the National Sports Associations – that is our desire so that they are adequately prepared.
*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I can see the Minister of Agriculture has gone out. I will now direct my question to the Leader of the House who is the Vice President.
As Members of Parliament in our rural constituencies, we are not like the local businessmen. Facing the challenges of hunger that we have, what is the Government policy – we have seen cattle dying in Masvingo and being sold for US$20. In Chipinge, they are selling at US$15. In Manicaland, a bucket of maize is buying a cow. In the constituencies, the people are saying can we put our cattle together before it is too late so that the Cold Storage Commission can buy. Can we get maize with the importing price because as Members of Parliament, we cannot get permits to import maize as millers so that the country will say there is no money because we are the Government.
*THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member has asked a very pertinent question by giving us answers to help in the alleviation of hunger and I welcome the wise words. If we can have more people who can give us ways on how to curb this. I thank you.
*HON. CHAMISA: My supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir is the idea that I would want to proffer since the Hon. Minister has asked for more ideas to alleviate this problem. I do not know what Government will say on the idea that I have. All over the world, whenever a country is faced with drought and starvation, the country with the population that is suffering declares a state of disaster. When they have declared that problem as disaster, other countries will come and assist. I am asking whether the Government is in a situation to declare the state of disaster because we know that once that has been declared, the United Nations and its agencies will come to the rescue of Zimbabweans. I am glad our Hon. Vice President accepts ideas and he will readily accept my idea.
* HON. MNANGAGWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am very grateful to the idea that has been proffered by the Hon. Member. He has added on to what we have already done in alleviating the problem faced by the country and we are also saying there will be need for us to declare a state of emergency. This is in the pipeline and when we have set the date, we will declare that date as the idea proffered.
HON. MURAI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Would you first of all allow me to pay my tribute to Hon. Chamisa who has just turned 38 years? To Hon. Chamisa, I say happy birthday to you.
My question goes to the Leader of the House. Mr. President, may you please clarify on the issue of bonuses? The nation is still waiting for their bonuses since 2015. Should they continue to wait or it is now water under the bridge?
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the question is a concern, not only to Members of the House but is a concern to the entire public service because Government pronounced itself on this issue and said that we are going to pay bonuses to civil servants. The question is when and not whether it is going to be paid. I believe that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services have both made it public that they are committed to paying bonuses. I thank you.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary to the Vice President, Hon. Dambudzo Mnangagwa is, may you tell the nation in this National Assembly as to whether it is true or otherwise that regardless of civil servants, up to today, having not been paid their bonuses, outside the box, the Central Intelligence Organisation have since been given their bonuses in December?
HON. MNANGAGWA: I am aware that bonuses have not been paid to civil servants. I am not aware of the particular payment which he knows and I am not aware that that has happened.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am not allowing any supplementary questions. According to my list, members of on my right, I am guided accordingly and the next person is Hon. Nduna.
*HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dokora. We talked about hunger and starvation and the most affected are the school children. In my Constituency, Chegutu; children travel long distances to school. When they arrive they will be tired and cannot absorb education. Some of the children have since stopped going to school because they cannot travel on empty stomachs. As a Ministry, what steps are you taking to alleviate the hunger problems for school going children?
*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DOKORA): I thank Hon. Nduna who has raised this question. It is true that there is starvation and hunger in the country and Government is looking for food to distribute amongst the citizens of this country. As a Ministry, we are also aware of the fact that school children are facing starvation and at times they only have one meal per day and they spend the whole day without eating anything. The only exception is learners in boarding schools who have their three square meals.
As the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, we have asked Government to come and assist after we have noticed that the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Education went to a meeting which was held in Brazil. It was related to feeding school children or learners in their schools. I will give a full report on this feeding scheme for the children. What I can probably reveal is that when Cabinet held its meeting, they accepted the idea that we hold a feeing scheme which will be called Zimbabwe School Feeding Programme. As I have stated, as per modus operandi, we will say in the near future. I thank you.
HON. A. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. In the usual absence of the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, I have a question for the Hon. Vice President. The World Bank’s EITI programme is a transparency initiative that affords nations to publicly declare what they earn from mining. I wish to find out from the Vice President what policy circumstances are blocking Zimbabwe from becoming a member of this initiative. While at that, could the Vice President also kindly furnish the House on reasons why mining companies in this country are not making public their accounts? I thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon. Member. The first part, he has talked of a company with initials which I do not know. I would have wanted him to tell me what the EITI stands for, then I would know whether I understand it or not. The second part that companies are not declaring their accounts, that is in violation of the Companies Act, they ought to do so, but the best thing is to state the companies which have not done so in violation of the law. Otherwise they are required to do so in terms of our law. I thank you.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I have a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. With all due respect when we started this session I presented the aspect of Ministers having not been here but now, those few Ministers that we had way before we have even finished, have already left the House, midstream the question time. Where are we heading to Hon. Speaker?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mutseyami, I get your point of order. I think it stands and I will ask the Vice President and Leader of the House to respond.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to advise the House in response to the matter raised by the Hon. Member that the observation by the Hon. Member is apt and is well taken. I believe that it is necessary that Ministers should sit through until the end of the question time. So, I will advise my colleagues that they should observe that requirement in future. I thank you. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
CORPORATE TAX AND DIVIDENDS FROM MARANGE DIAMOND PROCEEDS
1.HON. MARIDADI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development how much money Treasury has received ever since diamonds were discovered in Marange in terms of corporate tax and dividend.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will respond to the question from Hon. Maridadi on behalf of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Members, mining companies extracting minerals are subject various taxes and levies. The following taxes and levies are charged on mining operations:
- Mineral royalties
- Corporate Income Tax
- Value Added Tax
- Customs duty
- Capital Gains
- Withholding taxes on technical fees, remittances, royalties, dividends, interest earned on local deposits
- Fees and charges which include among others; application fees, mining fees and charges, etc.
Royalties are levied in terms of Section 244 of the Mines and Minerals Act, whilst the royalty rates are fixed through the Finance Act. Royalties are levies on the gross mineral value and withheld at source. Currently the royalty rate for diamonds is pegged at 15%.
The general corporate tax rate for all mining companies is 25%. However, proceeds from holders of a special mining lease are levied corporate income tax at a special rate of 15%. Revenues collected from the mining sector for the period from 2009 to 2014 are:
Hon. Members, as for the diamonds, I am currently compiling it from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, that is the Minister of Finance, Zimbabwe Mining Development Cooperation and the Revenue Authority. From the foregoing, it is apparent that Government’s take from the mining sector is collected by different arms of Government and when all the data has been availed to the Minister of Finance, he will make it available to this august House. I thank you.
HON. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, what I seek to get from Government is the ball peck figure of how much money has been realised from the diamonds fields, whether it is $25 million in terms of corporate tax. Every money that is due to Government, excise duty, royalties, corporate tax, I want a ball peck figure so that when I explain to my grandmother in Mabvuku, I am able to tell her that since diamonds were discovered in 2009, Government has realised such an amount. All these other figures, yes fine. I do not want to necessarily break down but I want the ball peck figure so that we are able to see whether or not diamonds have made any difference to our coffers at all.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA) on behalf OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Thank you Madam Speaker. I appreciate the follow up question from the Hon. Member but would like to say that following all the detailed information that I gave, the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development has concluded by stating that you should appreciate or you might have appreciated in the presentation that the sources are different and once the collection of the data has been done, he will come to this august House and provide you with the data that you have specifically said you wanted it said for the diamond mine. I thank you.
HON. MARIDADI: Indulge me to say this. If you visit Botswana website you are able to see how much money the Government of Botswana realised last year, but what the Hon. Minister is telling me is that Government does not know how much money came from diamonds. That is what they are telling me. The Minister responsible for Treasury is not in the know of how much money has been realised from the diamonds. That is what the Minister is telling me. Is that correct? Does Government know or does Government not know? That is the answer that I want.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member that is the answer which is coming from the Minister, that after he has used whatever way of coming up with that figure he is bringing into this House. So, can we please proceed with other questions?
HON. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. The Minister has a duty to give a comprehensive answer. Specifically when the question was asked in October. This is now January. If the Minister is going to take more than four months to bring an answer, honestly, what will Parliament be doing to wait for a new answer; compiling data for more than four months from another Ministry. I think we are not doing this Parliament a good service.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think the Hon. Minister who is giving answers is acting. Now that the substantive Minister is not here, can we please wait for him so that all those questions go straight to him. Can we proceed with other questions?
HON. MARIDADI: The question has not been answered, can it be answered by the substantive minister next week. Can it be deferred to next week?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member you have a particular requirement so put it in writing again. The part which has been answered has been answered; the one which is not answered put it in writing.
HON. MARIDADI: It has not been answered, I am not going to write anything else, the question has been written and it has not been answered, I expect an answer. Thank you.
DISBURSEMENT OF 95% BUDGET ALLOCATION TO THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
3.Hon. Chikuni asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development when the Ministry will disburse the remaining 95% budget allocation to the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development to enable them to execute their mandate.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA) on behalf OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Thank you Madam Speaker. I have the honour again to represent the Minister of Minister of Finance and Economic Development to respond to Hon. Chikuni. I wish to respond to the question by firstly informing the House that Government prioritises support towards empowerment of women as a strategy to promote gender equality. To this effect, as at 31st October 2015, disbursements to the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development stood at US7.1 million, representing 53% of the Ministry’s total budget of US$13.4 million.
The low disbursements on programmes are on account of the need for the Ministry to finalise the operational framework for the Women’s Development Bank, which accounts for 78% of the non-wage re-current expenditure.
Operations and maintenance
The budget provides for US$1 million for operations, of which US$300 000 is for service providers which is ring fenced, with a balance of US$700 000 for the other operations. As at 31st October, 2015 US$436 039 had been disbursed towards other operations against a budget of US$700 000 representing 62% of the allocation.
In view of the Government’s commitment to promote gender equality through empowerment of women, The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, would like to urge his colleague Hon. Minister N. Chikwinya to expedite the finalization of the operational framework of the Women’s Development Bank to enable Treasury to avail the resources towards capitalization of the bank. I thank you
TOURS OF PROVINCES BY THE FIRST LADY
- Hon. Cross asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development whether the recent tours to the provinces by the First Lady were catered for by the state, and if so to state the expenditure incurred and also if the Minister could report to the House the extent and justification of such expenditure.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA) on behalf OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): thank you Madam Speaker. I seek leave of the House for a written response to this question, hence I ask for deferment. I thank you.
INCUBATORS AND ELECTRICITY AT RURAL CLINICS
- Hon. KAUNDIKIZA asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to state the Ministry’s plans to ensure that all Rural Clinics have incubators and electricity to prevent newly born babies from dying needlessly.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Member of Parliament for asking this question.
Currently, Rural Health Centres do not have baby incubators as baby incubators are used to treat critically ill new-born babies and are therefore operated by highly trained nursing staff and doctors and such personnel, is not yet in place in our rural clinics. However, we have in place Baby Corners where critically ill babies are resuscitated and timeously referred to either District or Provincial hospitals for specialised treatment.
We hope that all our Rural Health Centres will be electrified under the Rural Electrification program because this is a pre-requisite for the placement of incubators. I thank you.
*HON. KAUNDIKIZA: Minister, is it not possible for your ministry to train health personnel to assist in these Rural Health Centres? Currently, nursing mothers have to travel fifty to sixty kilometers to referral centers. When these health personnel are empowered, they will then be able to assist nursing mothers within their communities.
*HON. DR. MUSIIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to respond to this important question on the training and empowerment of personnel in maternity.
As the Ministry of Health and Child Care, we would like to reduce the distance that is travelled by patients to health centres. We would like to have a clinic in every ward so that patients travel short distances. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to establish such centres. Not only that, most of these rural centres are not electrified and the incubators that the hon. member is talking about can only operate where there is electricity.
Therefore, we look forward to a time whereby we will be able to electrify these health centres and hence install incubators.
REVIEW OF VILLAGE HEALTH WORKERS’ ALLOWANCES
- HON. VUTETE asked the Minister of Health and Child care to explain the plans in place to review the allowances of the Village Health Workers which are currently pegged at $14.00 per month and further state the measures the Ministry is putting in place to improve their working conditions.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you again Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Vutete for asking this very important question.
Our Village Health Workers are our contact personnel with the population and are very important cadres. However, they are volunteer cadres.
Village Health Workers are Community Based workers who are volunteers. They work for two to three and half days a week. The $14.00 per month that they are paid is not coming from Government but is actually coming from development partners, the Global Fund and the Health Transition Fund.
Currently, there is no financial input for Village Health workers from the Government of Zimbabwe. At some point, there were plans for the Government of Zimbabwe to pay the Village Health Workers $70.00 a month but, due to budgetary constraints, the money was not available.
At the moment, the Village Health workers attend three refresher courses of two days per year. There are financial constraints to secure money to regularly conduct training to replace the Village Health Worker trainers when they resign. Currently, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is only providing uniforms, floppy hats, raincoats, bicycles and tennis shoes for the Village Health workers. I thank you.
PROVISION OF CD4 COUNT MACHINES
- HON P. MASUKU asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House on measures that the Ministry is taking to provide CD4 Count machines in the children’s Ward at Mpilo Central Hospital.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. DR. MUSIIWA): At the moment, Mpilo Central Hospital has
two big CD4 Count machines that have a very high turnover. They are adequate to provide the necessary tests for the whole of Bulawayo. What you are asking about is what we now call, Point of Sale CD machines within the pediatric ward , and that is not there at the moment.
However, it is also important for me to alert the House that the pressure we had before with the CD4 Count machines has actually gone down. Before, when anyone tested HIV+ we needed a CD4 Count to commence treatment but now the regulations have changed. We have moved to what is known as, Test and Treat. The moment we test and you are HIV+ we go ahead and commence you on treatment without the requirement of a CD4 Count.
It is the same with the pregnant mothers; we have what is known as Option B+, all pregnant mothers who test HIV+ are immediately commenced on HIV treatment without the need of a CD4 Count but we will then need to review the viral load.
Currently, the CD4 Count machines at Mpilo Hospital are adequate. I thank you.
GOVERNMENT ACTION ON ERRANT MINISTERS
- HON. CHIBAYA asked the Vice President and Minister of
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs what action will be taken by Government in the event that a Minister disobeys a ruling of the courts, as is the case with Gweru councilors who were ordered to go back to their offices by the High Court and the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has defied this order.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF
JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Madam Speaker, let me first express my profound gratitude to you for allowing us ample time to investigate the circumstances which gave rise to the question on which Hon. Chibaya seeks clarification. The crux of his question centers on what action will be taken by Government in the event that a Minister disobeys a ruling of courts, in particular in view of the case of Gweru councilors who were ordered to go back to their offices, as alleged, and as is further alleged that the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing defied the same.
Madam Speaker, in my previous response on the 18th November, 2015 in this House, we clarified the position of law in as far as crimes against the administration of justice are concerned, with contempt of court of this nature being one of such crimes envisaged under Section 182 (2) (e) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23]. As a way of refreshing your memory, this Section prohibits everyone from “knowingly contravening or failing to comply with any order of a court which is given during or in respect of judicial proceedings and with which it is his duty to comply”. Failure to adhere to the provisions of Section 182 attracts a “… fine not exceeding level six or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both…” such fine and imprisonment as provided for in terms of Section 182 (1) (b). Upon this clarification in my previous response, you tasked me to gather more information on this matter, which I executed as promised.
Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I would want to set the record straight and assert that it would have helped this honourable House if Hon. Chibaya had acknowledged that the case of Gweru councillors who were ordered to go to their offices, to quote him verbatim, is what is alleged, so that we dispense of our duty as Government to provide facts of what happened. Instead, the Hon. Member packaged the circumstances which formed the basis of his question as facts rather than allegations, or worse still, as a romantic figment of his exuberant imagination as peddled by the euphoria of the press. The High Court never directed or ordered the councillors to go back to their offices as wrongly captured by Hon.Chibaya. Therefore, the allegation that the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing defied the order of the Court is false, given that such an allegation is predicated upon an alleged order that was never given by the High Court of Zimbabwe.
The question by the Hon. Member stems from the Provisional Order that was granted by the High Court of Zimbabwe sitting in Bulawayo on the 1st October, 2015. The Provisional Order was granted as the consequence of the Urgent Chamber Application by the Gweru councillors who were applicants on the matter, with the Minister of Local Government cited as one of the Respondents. This was an Urgent Chamber Application wherein the applicants sought the following temporary relief:
“That pending the confirmation of the Provisional Order the applicants are granted the following interim relief:
- That pending finalisation of this matter, all disciplinary proceedings against applicants that are pending before a tribunal appointed by first respondent are hereby stayed.
- That first and second respondent jointly and severally bear the costs of this application.”
Madam Speaker, while the learned Judge did surely grant the
Provisional Order, which in any event is temporary relief until confirmation of the matter, he did not make any ruling or determination on the suspension of the councillors since that was not the matter before him. What was before the learned Judge was a prayer for interim relief to stay all disciplinary proceedings against the Applicants. The prayer before the Court was for staying suspensions against Applicants, since it was the proceedings by the independent tribunal constituted by the Respondent which were potentially illegal and irregular as alleged, given that no Act of Parliament was enacted to establish such tribunal as envisaged under Section 278 (2).
As we speak, the Provisional Order was complied with as no such disciplinary proceedings were commenced as was the wish of the Respondent as was stayed by the Court. In fact, the Respondent, who is the Minister of Local Government, as a law abiding subject, also awaits the fate of the councillors’ application pending confirmation of the same or otherwise.
With all due respect, if the order of the Court was to the effect that the councillors go back to their offices as alleged by Hon. Chibaya, would they not have made a follow up to enforce the order by bringing the alleged defiance by the Respondent to the attention of the Court, as the law itself frowns upon all those who are contemptuous of its ruling?
In any event, this Provisional Order, unless the Hon. Member is referring to a different order, did not deal with the issue of the restoration of the status of the Applicants as councillors, but with the temporary staying of disciplinary proceedings against the Applicants by the independent tribunal constituted by the Minister pending confirmation of the same.
In view of the facts I have outlined above and sound reasoning by the honourable Court, the Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing was never in defiance of the order of the Court and therefore as Government, we have no reason to be worried. Furthermore, we are happy and fulfilled that there are no lacunas or gaps in law to deal with erstwhile citizens who may want to defy court orders as Section 181 (2) (e) is adequate to arrest such mischief. Since Hon. Chibaya wants to know what action we will take as Government if such contemptuous mischief against the courts takes place, the Government will just invoke the laws in place through its relevant organs, in this instance, the executive law enforcement apparatus which are the police, will cause the arrest of such contemptuous person or persons and the judiciary will apply the relevant laws and determine accordingly as envisaged by our laws. I thank you.
POSITION REGARDING SUSPENSION OF THE ZIMBABWE NATIONAL TEAM FROM FIFA WORLD CUP COMPETITIONS
- HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Sport and Recreation to state the current position of the Zimbabwe National Team in terms of its suspension from FIFA World Cup Competition; and further state:
(a) the composition of the Zimbabwe Football Association Board and whether the leadership issue has been resolved;
(b) how many and how much coaches are owed by the Zimbabwe Football Association; and
(c) the steps that the Ministry has taken to pay the dues owed by the Zimbabwe Football Association to coaches’ institutions, workers and former workers.
THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON. HLONGWANE): Thank you Madam Speaker. Zimbabwe was banned from competing in the preliminary round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup scheduled for Russia, after ZIFA had failed to pay the former National Team ‘the Warriors’ coach, Joe Claudinei Georgini, also known as Valinhos. Valinhos was employed as a national team coach from 2007 and was relieved of his duties in 2008, due to the Warriors failure to qualify for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and 2010 World Cup. At the time of the termination of his contract, ZIFA owed the coach
Following vain attempts to get payment from ZIFA, Valinhos then approached FIFA who then ordered ZIFA to pay the coach or risk being expelled from the 2018 World Cup. ZIFA failed to pay the coach and FIFA evoked the decision in question. ZIFA, however, failed to appeal against the decision within three months. My ministry then sourced the funds to clear Valinhos’ debt which had accumulated to US$83 000 including interest and legal fees by the time the payment was made.
After making this payment, a delegation was sent to Zurich. In view of this development, my Ministry has resolved to focus its energy on the preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar in the middle east.
I am happy to inform the House that the ZIFA leadership issues were resolved on the 5th December, 2015 with the election which ushered in a new ZIFA Board comprising of the following members:-
Dr. Philip Chiyangwa -President.
Mr. Omega Sibanda -Vice President.
Mr. Piraishe Mabena -Board member Finance and Administration.
Mr. Edzai Kasinauyo -Board member Development.
Mr. Felton Kamambo -Board member.
Two more members are going to be co-opted to the board from the Premier Soccer League and Women Football, respectively.
As Hon. Members may be aware, ZIFA debt was reported to be in the region on US$6 million. The accuracy of this figure is however doubtful. It is also not clear whether all creditors were correctly noted, as some might have been paid in the whole or in part, while others might not have been included.
It is for this reason therefore, that my Ministry urged ZIFA and they agreed to conduct a forensic audit of their creditors to come up with an accurate position on this matter. Therefore, my Ministry cannot state with certainty, how many and how much coaches are owned by ZIFA as a result of this background as submitted as an attempt to do so, given the situation highlighted may in fact misleading. However, I would like to assure the august House that this matter is receiving my Ministry’s undivided attention.
My Ministry would also like to state that it is not our responsibility to pay internal and external creditors of the National Sport Associations, ZIFA included. National Sport Associations are autonomous bodies administered in terms of their constitutions and they are legal entities in their own right. They are expected to exercise due diligence in the manner they run their financial affairs. I thank you. Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Question No. 12 was directed to the wrong Ministry, accordingly the question is being redirected to the right Ministry for responds next week. We defer the question to next week.
COMPLETION OF THE GOVERNMENT COMPLEX IN MUTOKO
- HON. HUNGWA asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain when the Government complex in Mutoko will be completed given that it has taken too long.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Hungwa for the question. Madam Speaker, the project like other similar projects in Siyakobvu, Mrewa and Hwedza were earmarked for completion in August 2006. However, due to hyper inflationary environment then, then during the Zimbabwean dollar era in 2006, progress was hindered. The scope of works for the project was to complete one double storey block to accommodate all the Government departments in Mutoko district to address the acute shortage of office accommodation. One of the aims of the project was to decentralise Government’s activities to districts as exemplified by the construction of district registry offices in various provinces which are Manicaland; Buhera completed, Nyanga, outstanding, Masvingo; Mwenezi completed, Chivi completed …..
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, that is a report of the Ministry, the question is when is the Government complex in Mutoko going to be completed.
HON. CHINGOSHO: I would like to indicate that the completion of that project as I have indicated earlier on, it was supposed to have been done in 2006 but this financial year the project is on the Ministry’s budget, we hope if we get the money, it will be done and completed.
HON. GABBUZA: I want to know from the Minister, what strategies are they putting in place to salvage the construction material which is at that particular site Mutoko because it is continuously damaged by weather elements.
HON. CHINGOSHO: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. That problem was noted by the Ministry. It was reported and steps have been taken through our department of public construction to make sure that that material is taken care of.
HON. SARUWAKA: The Minister has indicated that in this year’s Budget there was an allocation of money towards the completion of that complex. Are you sure that the figures that were allocated if they are released are indeed enough to complete that job. Were enough funds allocated for this particular project in this financial year?
HON. CHINGOSHO: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary questions. When we made our estimates as the Ministry, comparing with what was allocated, the funds are not adequate, so we might not be able to complete unless the internal measures we are taking are going to materialise, we will try to first of all give preference to the unfinished projects. That is the arrangement.
CIVIL PROTECTION POLICY
- HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain the Civil Protection Policy on mitigating challenges caused by veld fires.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Member and I would like to respond to that by saying however, the issue of mitigating challenges caused by veld fires lies with the Environmental Management Agency which is mandated to mitigate against veld fires guided by the Environmental Management Act. I thank you.
RECOVERY OF MONEY PAID TOWARDS THE PURCHASE OF AN AMBULANCE AND TRACKERS
- HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to state whether the Bulawayo City Council recovered the money paid in advance in December 2013 for the purchase of ambulances and trackers and to further explain why they paid the amount in full before the delivery of the vehicles.
THE DEPUTY MINISER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO): Madam Speaker on the issue of installation and the commissioning of the vehicle tracking and a fleet management system, council tendered out for the supply, installation and the commissioning of vehicle tracking and a fleet management system in 2010. The tender was awarded to Tracker Engineering Private (LTD). A company incorporated and its address duly incorporated. Its address of service was in Harare.
The contract price was US$501 500 and Council was supposed to pay a deposit of US$100 000 and the balance was to be paid within a period of 36 months. The deposit was paid in the sum of US$100 000 and Tracker then started requesting for extension and relaxation of certain clauses in the contract. Council acceded to some of the requests but turned down some of them. The company then disappeared and its e-mails were bouncing back. Their telephone numbers were no longer reachable. We took the matter to court and have since obtained a judgment which is ready to be implemented as soon as we locate them. Council tried to use the services of a tracking agent, but we reached a dead end. We will continue to search so that the US$100 000 deposit which was paid could be recovered. The purchase price was not paid in full. Council awarded the contract to Tracker because they had favourable conditions and a flexible payment plan. They had a good backup system and had promised to work with the council until the system was up and running.
Madam Speaker, on the supply and delivery of ambulances, council tendered out for the supply and delivery of four ambulances in 2010. The tender was awarded to Access Medical Corporation. The contract price for these ambulances was US$341 844. The terms of the tender were that council was to pay 60% deposit and the rest over 12 months. The 60% deposit was paid, which is US$203 106.40. The unit price of each ambulance was US$85 461 and the deposit paid was sufficient to pay for two ambulances. After paying the deposit the customer kept promising that the ambulances had been shipped, even requesting that council process the duty free certificate.
There were several correspondences between the supplier and council and they just vanished after realising that legal action was now being taken against them. Meanwhile, we had handed over the matter to our lawyers after realising that the supplier was not cooperating. Efforts to serve them with summons were unsuccessful because they were nowhere to be found. We will continue searching and using the services of private investigators to trace them. The contract price was not paid in full. It was 60% deposit.
It is important to note that all these contracts were in 2010 soon after the introduction of the multicurrency and council was operating on a cash budget. Council’s cash flows were not good and the idea was to try and buy these ambulances on credit and then pay in installments. All the other tenderers wanted cash on delivery and so we then opted for this tenderer who could give council terms. All the other tenders which came after these were strictly cash on delivery to avoid further loss. I thank you.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, I would like the Hon. Minister to apprise this House as to why we now have this situation whereby these companies are no longer being seen or these land lines being contactable, but you gave us the impression that all procedures necessary to look into these companies with regard to credibility was done. Now we have this situation that these people cannot be tracked and we have even gone further to look for some investigation team to deal with the matter. What really caused these loopholes not to be observed before a tender was approved?
HON. CHINGOSHO: Madam Speaker, I agree with the member’s observation, but as I indicated due consideration and even scrutiny was taken by the Ministry but you cannot tell from their papers, from their submission. It looked as if they were favourable and on top of that they wanted to do that in terms, unlike other tenderers who wanted cash up front. So, it is something we did not predict as a Ministry.
HON MUTSEYAMI: My plea and prayer is for you to respond to the causes of a failure to abide by principles of tendering. What caused that in your Ministry?
HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you very much Hon. Member. Madam Speaker as I indicated that all the scrutiny was taken and according to the consideration at that time, that tenderer appeared to be the best amongst others. All the tender procedure considerations were taken but it is unfortunate that this tenderer did not fulfill what we thought was required. I think all the necessary procedures were taken into consideration.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
FINANCING OF THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
- Hon. Chirisa asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain how the Ministry intends to finance the US$ 300 982 000 total appropriation to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, in view of the fact that the Mid – term Fiscal Policy Review indicated that government has disbursed only US11.8 Million while cooperating partners have contributed US$ 140.5 Million.
- The 2015 Budget provided for $300 982 000 towards financing of the health sector as follows;
- Employment costs US$247.7 million
- Operations and Maintenance US$25.3 million
- Capital Expenditure US$28.0 million
- The US$25.3 million appropriation in support of recurrent expenditures focuses on increasing access and utilization of quality primary health care and referral facilities. This is being done through
- Strengthening maternal and child health services;
- Improving the availability of medicines across all public health institutions;
- Improving immunization coverage; and
- Scaling up anti-retroviral therapy coverage
- The main thrust of the 2015 Capital budget of US$28 million focuses on refurbishment of existing infrastructure and fixed equipment and the provision of water augmentation facilities.
- Budget support to Ministry of Health and Child Care as at June, 2015 amounted to US$164.5 million, broken down as follows
- Employment costs US$145.2 million
- Recurrent Expenditure US$14.7 million
- Capital Expenditure US$4.6 million
- The US$11.8 million alluded to by Hon. Chirisa relates to resources availed in support of targeted recurrent programmes, drawn from the overall recurrent support of US$14.7
- As at 31 October 2015, overall support to the Ministry of Health and Child Care had improved to US$277.5 million.
- The constrained fiscal environment is severely limiting Government’s capacity to fund social service delivery, inclusive of the health sector
- Support from Development Partners amounted by June, 2015 to US$140.5 million, targeting the following programmes:
- HIV/AIDS prevention and provision of anti-retroviral drugs – US$13.5 million;
- Maternal and Child Health – US$16.7 million
- Reproductive Health – US$7.3 million; and
- TB and Malaria interventions – US$103 million
COMPLETION OF THE LUPANE PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL
- Hon. Nkomo Mail asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to inform the House when the Ministry will avail the funds for the completion of Lupane Provincial Hospital.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA) on behalf OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: In order to ensure equitable access to health services for citizens, Government has been constructing health facilities across the country.
- Construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital in Matabeleland North province started in 2003, with the contract being awarded to Zimbabwe Jiangsu International.
- The scope of the project entails construction of a 438 bed hospital comprising the following:
- Outpatient and casualty department
- Dental and eye unit
- Psychiatric unit
- Multi-disciplinary school and
- Staff accommodation
- Due to the economic challenges of the past decade, works were suspended in 2005. At the time of suspension, structures for staff accommodation, OPD, and pharmacy were at superstructure level with the rest of the other structures being at foundation level.
- The project is, therefore, one of the many projects that have stalled on account of resource constraints as the current estimated construction requirement of US$55 million cannot be met from our limited budgetary resources.
- Cognisant of our budgetary limitations, the targeted approach we are implementing in the health sector aims to revitalize services by ring fencing the limited resources towards a few targeted health institutions targeting rehabilitation and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
- As the cash flow improves, Government should be able to direct resources towards construction of the hospital which remains a priority project for the provincial capital of Matabeleland North Province.
MEASURES TO SUSTAIN IMPROVEMENTS IN THE HEALTH SECTOR
*6. Hon. Chirisa asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain the measures put in place to ensure that the improvements that have been made in the health sector through the Health Transition Fund are sustained given that the fund’s life span is coming to an end.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. MUSIIWA): The Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) would like to acknowledge the important role the HTF played in assisting the Government of Zimbabwe in terms of improving the services in Maternal and Newborn Child Health and Nutrition in children less than five years of age. Over the past five years, the Health Transition Fund (HTF) has availed resources in terms of commodities and Maternal and Child Health Nutrition, drugs and medicines, health retention allowances and resources to carry out support and supervision in health facilities.
The support has strengthened health service delivery in the country and as the 2014 Multiple Indicator Clusters Survey attests to, we have seen an improvement in almost all maternal and child health indicators. The maternal mortality rate has gone down to 614 per 100 000 births from 960 per 100 000 in 2009/ 2010. Child mortality has gone down from 89 per 1000 to 75 per 1000 in 2014.
HTF is one of the programme that is assisting the Government of Zimbabwe in availing resources for the MOHCC. From the period 2016 to 2020, the HTF is going to change into Health Development Fund, which is an even broader funding mechanism with the incorporation of other United Nations (UN) agencies and more partners.
Many donors have pledged to pool their resources into Health Development Fund. This will ensure that not only do we sustain the already supported programmes, but also look at other areas for improvement.
Other programmes which also support MOHCC in terms of maternal and child health go beyond 2015. UNFPA has approved US$95 million for the Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) which go up to 2020. The World Bank has approved a US$25 million three-year support programme under Results-Based Financing. The Integral Support Programme (ISP) for family planning, cervical cancer screening and gender-based violence programming goes beyond 2015.
All these programmes support maternal and child health over the above Government support from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
HON. MANGAMI: I move that time for Questions With Notice be extended.
HON. LABODE: I object.
Motion put and negatived.
On the motion of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA), the House adjourned at Twelve Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.
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