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Parliamentary Roundup Bulletin No. 9 - 2011
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
March 11, 2011
of Assembly Plenary
Only a handful
of Ministers attended the sitting on Wednesday to respond to questions
by backbenchers. This was despite Deputy Prime Minister, Professor
Mutambara's assurances to the House that he would ensure that Ministers
attended question time sessions. As a result of absence of the majority
of Ministers, backbenchers only raised a few questions for those
Ministers who were in the House.
- Essar Deal
Hon Edward Cross
enquired from the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon Welshman
Ncube, on the ZISCO-Essar deal on how it would affect the livelihood
of workers and also if the workers would be paid their outstanding
salaries. The Minister informed the House that government of Zimbabwe
and Essar were taking over all of ZISCO's debts including outstanding
Hon Fred Kanzama
asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce to comment on the closure
of big companies due to lack of support from central government.
The minister informed the House that companies were closing chiefly
because of the absence of long-term credit facilities.
of Foreign Owned Companies
to a question by Hon. Settlement Chikwinya on government policy
regarding threats to repossess close to 500 British and American
owned companies in the country as has been recently announced by
ZANU PF, Prof. Ncube assured the House that there was no such government
policy to repossess those companies and that Cabinet had not discussed
the issue. He went on to say that if one party intended to repossess
companies this did not make it government policy.
of Sugar Estates by War Veterans
of Industry and Commerce informed the House that the sugar industry
was critical to the economy and hence government would not welcome
its disruption. He was responding to a question by Hon. Festus Dumbu
who wanted to know what government's position on the take-over of
sugar estates in the lowveld by war veterans was.
Hon. Paul Mazikana
sought to find out from the Minister of Labour and Social Services,
Hon. Paurina Mpariwa government efforts on alleviating the plight
of Zimbabweans who are facing drought due to insufficient rainfall
particularly in Mbire and Rushinga districts. The Minister informed
the House that government together with the donor community would
ensure that no one starves in the country. She said Government would
embark on the food for work programme.
on Outstanding Water and Electricity Bills
Hon. Gift Dzirutwe
enquired from Professor Mutambara on progress by the inter-ministerial
task force set up by government to investigate the issue of outstanding
water and electricity bills which were resulting in these services
being cut off. The Deputy Prime Minister informed the House that
the task force was still carrying out its investigations and as
for the issue of services being cut off the responsible ministry
was better placed to answer the question.
utterances by the Commissioner General of Police
Matibe asked the co-Minister of the Organ on National Healing and
Integration, Hon. Moses Mzila Ndlovu to comment on the recent utterances
by the Commissioner General of Police that the investigations for
the June 2010 atrocities were now being carried out by the Organ
on National Healing and Integration. The co-Minister informed the
House that his ministry was gravely concerned with the spectra of
violence in the country and that an inter-ministerial meeting would
be held on Thursday 10 March 2011 to map the way forward. The Minister
further informed the House that the Commissioner General's utterances
were unfortunate and they undermined the work of his ministry.
of SMM Workers
Mungofa enquired on steps being taken by government to alleviate
the plight of Shabani and Mashava Mines (SMM) employees and on what
was being done to resolve issues bedevilling SMM Holdings. The Deputy
Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Gift Chimanikire
informed the House that the question would be better handled by
the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs as he was the one closely
dealing with the SMM issues.
Hon. Paul Mazikana
asked the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs on
the ministry's plans to settle COPAC outstanding debts arising from
the outreach phase, in particular what was owed to individuals who
participated in the programme. Hon. Adv. Eric Matinenga informed
the House that the Ministry of Finance had availed $5 million dollars
to COPAC to settle its debt amounting to $4.12 million.
Lessons by War Veterans
Mushonga enquired from the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and
Culture government's policy regarding the training of youth brigades
in schools and the teaching of war history by war veterans in rural
schools and in particular in Mazowe Central at Kakora School. Hon.
David Coltart informed the House that government policy was that
only qualified teachers should teach at schools. He urged MPs to
desist from politicizing education as it was critical for the development
of the country. He appealed to all MPs to safeguard education for
the benefit of children.
of Examination of Papers
to a question by Hon. Edward Musumbu regarding the continued leakage
of examination of papers, Hon. David Coltart informed the House
that the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) had improved
its security of examination papers but the challenge was now at
of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and National Housing
of the Public Works and National Housing Portfolio Committee, Hon.
Lovemore Mupukuta presented the Committee's report on the need to
constitutionalize housing. The report is based on the observation
that the committee made after touring Epworth and Kariba local authorities.
The Committee observed that in only 1% of houses in Epworth meet
the laid down housing standards. The Committee further noted that
65% residents in Epworth town were informally settled and the problem
was more pronounced in ward 7 where all the residents were informal
settlers. In the light of the problems it observed during its tour
of housing projects in Epworth and Kariba towns, the Committee is
urging the government to constitutionalize housing and treat it
as a basic human right.
Bills are before the House of Assembly at various stages as shown
Protection Corporation Bill (H.B. 7, 2010) - Second Reading
- Small Enterprises
Development Corporation Amendment Bill (H.B. 9, 2010) - Committee
Laws Amendment Bill (H.B. 8, 2010) - Second Reading
Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill [H.B. 10, 2010]
- under consideration by the Parliamentary Legal Committee (Referred
9th March 2011).
The House of
Assembly ratified the following two Agreements on Wednesday 9 March
2011in terms of Subsection (1) of section 111B of the Constitution
Agreement on Cultural Co-operation concluded in Brazil, on 16
Convention against doping in sport signed on 19 October 2005,
in Paris, France.
The House of
Assembly adjourned to 22 March whereas the Senate adjourned to 29
March 2011. Committees will continue with their business.
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