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Parliamentary Roundup Bulletin No. 22 – 2011
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
July 20, 2011


Yesterday, the House of Assembly continued with its debate on the “unconstitutional statements by Service Chiefs”, which was introduced in the House by Hon. Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T Mbizo Constituency).

House of Assembly Plenary

Debate on the Behaviour of Service Chiefs

The House of Assembly continued with its debate on the motion regarding the behaviour of the military Service Chiefs. In fact, that was the only motion Members debated. The debate was very partisan and heated. MDC Members condemned the press utterances attributed to the service chiefs towards the PM and his party. They said these service chiefs should be reigned in as they were in breach of the Defence Act and the Constitution. They further argued that if the Service Chiefs wanted to dabble into politics, they should first resign from the army and form their party or join parties of their choice. MDC Members dismissed the notion that the motion was not supposed to be debated in parliament.

On the other hand, ZANU PF Members tried to disassociate their party from Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba's utterances by saying that he was expressing his personal view; not the view of ZANU PF or the army. They said in that respect, he was expressing his democratic right of freedom of speech.

The Minister of Defence and the Prime Minister were present in the House during the debate. They did not take part in the debate, except for Hon. Mnangagwa who objected Hon. Tongai Matutu’s statement that Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba was an idiot. Thus, Hon. Matutu was asked by the Speaker to withdraw the statement as it constituted unparliamentary language.

Announcement by the Speaker on Hon. Chinamasa's Breach of Privilege Case

The Speaker made an announcement in the House regarding the report of the Mines Committee, which alleged breach of privilege by Hon. Patrick Chinamasa and Mr. Gwaradzimba. During the presentation of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy on the State of Affairs at Shabani-Mashava Mines on 13th July 2011, the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Chindori-Chininga, raised procedural issues on which he asked the Chair to make a ruling. He stated that the Committee noted that two of the witnesses, namely, Mr A. Gwaradzimba and Honourable Chinamasa breached provisions of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [CAP 2:08]. The Committee noted that Mr Gwaradzimba was at fault for publishing a potentially defamatory statement in the Newsday on Friday 4th March 2011 thereby demeaning the proceedings and the character of the Committee.

The Committee further noted that Hon. Chinamasa could have lied under oath regarding the possession of bearer share certificates that he promised to avail to the Committee. The Speaker informed the House that he was going to study the Committee’s report and all the evidence gathered by the Committee and make a ruling on the matter in due course as to whether there was a prima farcie case of breach of privilege or not as alleged by the Mines Committee in its report.

Today's Agenda

On Wednesdays, private members business takes precedence over executive business. Hence the first segment of the sitting is devoted to questions without notice where backbenchers quiz Ministers on policies under their responsibility.

The second segment of question time relates to written questions with notice. Some of the questions have remained unanswered as far back as November 2010. Find below questions on today¦s order paper.

Hon.Saruwaka: To ask the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain to the House when the rockfall that covered the Jombe Road, in the second week of January 2011, is going to be cleared as the boulders still lie on more than one lane of the road which makes driving on the road a real hazard for cars , especially lorries and buses that ply this steep and winding route in the Mutasa Central Constituency and whether the Ministry was waiting for an accident to happen before responding to the numerous pleas that have been lodged with Provincial Offices in Mutare.

Hon. Sululu: To ask the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development if the Ministry is aware that four serious accidents involving buses occurred due to unmarked potholes and dips along the Silobela and Kwekwe Road.

  • Explain why the US$68 000.00 allocated to Zibagwe Rural Council in 2010 was given priority to develop the unpopular and unknown Sherwood road yet most of the rural roads are dilapidated.
  • Explain the criteria used for allocating money to Rural District Councils

Hon. Mushonga: To ask the Minister of State for State Security in the President’s Office to explain to the House whether Central Intelligence Officers are allowed to hold positions in political parties, as is the case with Deputy Director General Elias Kanengoni who has been appointed as a Central Committee Member for ZANU PF.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 17th November, 2010]

Hon. S.S. Khumalo: To ask the Minister of Energy and Power Development to state:

i) the Ministry’s position regarding ZESA’s actions in forcing un-metered clients to pay bills in full yet there would be receiving no electricity due to load shedding; and
ii) the Ministry’s position on the high electricity tariff rates which are unaffordable to many Zimbabweans considering their meagre. incomes.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 10th November, 2010]

Hon. Mangami: To ask the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain the Ministry's Policy regarding the alleviation of problems arising from load shedding in Gokwe which is seriously affecting the town's water system.

Hon. Baloyi:
To ask the Minister of Information and Communication Technology to inform the House the progress made in rolling out the expansion of the communication network to rural areas such as Malipati and Sengwe to date and also the utilization of the universal fund.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 10th November, 2010]

Hon. MangamiI: To ask the Minister of Health and Child Welfare to state the Ministry’s policy on donor funds, that are contributed towards salaries, with reference to the Ministry of Health's donor funds which are not being given to ancillary staff.
[Transferred , Wednesday 15th December, 2010]

Hon. Chitima: To ask the Minister of Health and Child Welfare to inform the House:

i) whether the Ministry is aware that the mortuary at Chipinge General Hospital has not been working for more than six months and what the Ministry is doing to rectify the problem; and
ii) whether the Ministry is aware of the shortage of blankets and mattresses in Chipinge General Hospital and what the Ministry is doing to address the challenge.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 9th March, 2011]

Hon. Sibanda C.C: To ask the Minister of Public Service what the Government policy is regarding the trained Nurses and Teachers who are not employed after completion of their courses.

Hon. Sibanda C.C: To ask the Minister of Health and Child Welfare to inform the House;

i) What the Government Policy is on the bonded nurses who are not employed due to the freezing of job posts.
ii) Why the Ministry is not scrapping the bonding of the nurses who are not employed to allow them to seek employment elsewhere.

Hon Chimhini: To ask the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities to state the current state of the transfer of the Garikai /Hlalani Kuhle houses to the relevant local authorities and to state the total number of housing units to be transferred to local authorities.

[Transferred, Wednesday 13th July , 2011]

Hon. Baloyi: To ask the Minister of Education Arts, Sport and Culture to inform the House on the progress made in the teaching of Shangani and other indigenous languages and to state the roadmap to promote the teaching and learning of these languages at all levels of the education system in Zimbabwe.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 15th June , 2011]

Hon. Saruwaka: To ask the Minister of Education, Sports, Art and Culture to explain to the House what happened to the BEAM funds paid out during term two and three of 2010 amounting US$1 058 purported to have been deposited into ZB Bank Barnabas Primary School in Mutasa, Account Number 4530517138080 Rusape Branch.

Hon. Mudiwa: To ask the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs if they are aware that the people in Mutsago, Mukwada and Chiadzwa are walking distances of 20km to get to and from their homes when travelling to and from Mutare because the police are denying public transport entrance into these areas.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 15th June , 2011]

Hon. Sululu: To ask the Co - Ministers of Home Affairs to comment on the measures that the Ministry has put in place to assist poor citizens in remote areas to quickly acquire their long birth-certificates, lost and new identity cards without incurring prohibitive travelling costs or waiting for long periods to get the long birth certificates.
[Deferred from, Wednesday 15th June , 2011]

Hon. Cross: To ask the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to make a comprehensive statement to the House on the theft of the cables from the railway line from Gweru to Harare, the value of equipment stolen, the subsequent investigations, if any, and the progress of Police inquiries to date.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 15th June , 2011]

Hon. Sululu: i) To ask the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development to state how much has been disbursed to Kwekwe District under the Women Development Funds, and a breakdown for each constituency.

ii) to explain the criteria used to select the beneficiaries of the fund.
iii) to advise the House on the control mechanisms put in place by the Ministry to recover all loaned funds, combat corruption, fraud and bias and;
iv) to state the job description of ward dip officers in the Ministry in terms of where they operate from, whether their performance is supervised and how they contribute to the achievement of the ministry's goals.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 15th June , 2011]

Hon. Baloyi: To ask the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co- operative Development to explain to the House the following; i) What promotion investment growth has been done at growth points such as Chikombedzi and the surrounding business communities.

ii) How much funding was advanced to Small and Medium Enterprises at Chikombedzi and surrounding business communities.
iii) Whether or not there is any funding for Small and Medium Enterprises this year, and if so , how much and what procedures are there for accessing such money given the fact that the Ministry's offices are only found in Masvingo city and not the surrounding areas. [Deferred from, Wednesday 15th June , 2011]

Hon. Shirichena: To ask the Minister of Public Service to inform the House what agreement there is between between civil servants representatives and the government with regard to their salary increments as a way of ensuring that the workers do not go on strike.

[Deferred from, Wednesday 15th June , 2011]

Change of Venue for Harare Public Hearing on the Human Rights Commission Bill

The venue for the Harare Public Hearing on the Human Rights Commission Bill has been moved from Cyril Jennings Hall (Highfield) to the Senate Chamber (Parliament Building).

Members of the public who wish to attend this public hearing are asked to use the Nelson Mandela Avenue Entrance. The date and time remain the same; Saturday 23 July at 1000 hours.

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