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Parliamentary Roundup Bulletin No. 31 - 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
July 13, 2012

Introduction

On Wednesday, backbenchers were only able to field questions to a few Ministers who were in the House. On Thursday, the House of Assembly passed the following Bills; Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Electoral Amendment Bill and the Older Persons Bill. Much of the debate in the Senate on Wednesday 11 July 2012 centered on the motion by Senator James Makore on the alleged existence of ghost workers on the Public Service Payroll.

PLENARY PROCEEDINGS IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY:

Policy Questions Without Notice:

Indigenization Policy in Education Sector

Hon. Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T Mbizo) asked the Deputy Minister for Youth and Indigenization, Hon. Tongai Matutu, on what government seeks to achieve by extending the indigenization policy to the education sector. The Deputy Minister evaded answering the question as he requested that it be put in writing.

Selective Application of the Indigenization Policy

Hon Fani Munengami (MDC-T Glen View North) enquired on whether it was government policy to apply the Indigenization Act selectively as Chinese companies appeared to be spared as evidenced by ZIMASCO in which the Chinese had 73% ownership. The House was informed that the law was not being applied selectively and ZIMASCO had submitted its proposal even though management was arguing for exemption on the basis that Chinese were friends of Zimbabwe.

Lack of Agricultural Colleges in Matabeleland

Hon. Wesley Sansole (MDC-T Hwange East) enquired from the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hon Seiso Moyo, why there were no agricultural colleges in Matabeleland. The Deputy Minister informed the House that the matter was under consideration in the ministry as the ministry wants every province to have an agricultural college.

Plight of Cotton Farmers

Hon Ronald Ndaba (ZANU PF Chiredzi North) enquired from Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe on steps being taken by government to alleviate the plight of cotton farmers. The House was informed that government was concerned with the current producer prices for cotton and efforts were being made to negotiate with the farmers and ginners in order to arrive at a fair price.

National Sports Stadium

Hon Jeffryson Chitando (MDC-T Masvingo Central) sought clarity on measures being taken by the Ministry of Public Works to ensure that the National Sports Stadium met international standards. The House was informed by the Minister, Hon. Joel Gabbuza, that the ministry was commercializing the stadium in order to generate revenue for its maintenance. The Minister further informed the House that the Chinese contractor who had been engaged to repair the stadium had imported lawn which failed to thrive under local weather conditions and the ministry was making sure that local varieties were used. Hon Chikwinya enquired why the ministry allowed non-sporting events like church gatherings to be held at the stadium as these contributed to the deterioration of the stadium. The House was informed that the ministry had ceased the hiring out of the stadium for non-sporting activities.

Local Authorities Clinics

Hon Masaiti enquired from the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Urban Development, Hon. Sesel Zvidzai why most clinics owned by local authorities were ill-equipped to deal with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The House was informed that the local council health facilities had not been spared from the effects of the economic melt-down. However, the ministry was making efforts to rectify the shortcomings in service delivery.

Maternity User Fees

Hon. Thamsanqa Mahlangu (MDC-T Nkumanane) asked Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Khupe when maternity user fees would be scrapped off. Hon. Khupe informed the House that maternity fees have since been scrapped off and the government was currently working out modalities of distributing the subsidy funds to hospitals and clinics across the country.

Ministerial Statement by the Minister of Energy and Power Development on Energy Generation

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Elton Mangoma made a ministerial statement in the House of Assembly on Thursday 12 July 2012 on energy generation. He informed the House that his ministry was making efforts to ease the power shortages in the country. He cited lack of maintenance, unviable low tariffs in the past years and low funding from treasury as having contributed to the demise of the energy sector. The Minister further informed the House there was need for Hwange Colliery to be revived as well as massive investment in the energy sector if the electricity problems were to ease. The House was also informed that other forms of energy like solar and gas were being pursued.

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