Parliament question and answers

Extract from Parliament Hansard

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hon. P. D. Sibanda having remained standing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE HON. SPEAKER: You got it.

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

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