Parliamentary Round Up: Bulletin No. 23 – 2017

Introduction

The National Assembly sat on Wednesday 27 September 2017 for the question and answer session. Parliamentarians bemoaned nonattendance of the Executive during this critical session. The Deputy Speaker of the House Hon. Mabel Chinomona however was quick to defend them saying they were attending a Cabinet meeting and had sent apologies. The debate on non-attendance of Executive raged on resulting in Hon. Innocent Gonese (MDC-T Mutare Central) asking the Deputy Speaker to defer the questions without notice time until Ministers entered the House, but Hon. Chinomona shot down the proposal.

Question and Answer Session

Hon. Mubvumbi Mawere (ZANU PF Mutoko South) directed a question to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement on Government policy with regards to deceased estates following reports that children were being abused and chased away from their deceased parents’ properties. In his response Deputy Minister Hon. Berita Chikwama indicated that Government’s policy does not allow a deceased person’s land to be taken away by anyone and if there are such cases, the victims should report them to the relevant Ministry. She added that some victims who had their land taken away had since had their rights to the land reinstituted.

Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Hon. Aldrin Musiiwa said that Government is now focusing on cancer treatment and has invested in both chemotherapy and operational guidelines both in Harare and Bulawayo. He said this while responding to Hon. Thokozani Khupe (MDC-T Bulawayo Metropolitan) who wanted to know what measures Government is taking to improve cancer treatment.

Hon. Phanuel Phiri (ZANU PF Kadoma Central) asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to clarify on the timeline pensioners were given to re-register using the biometric registration given that some are in remote areas where they do not have access to relevant information. In response, Hon. Matangaidze said the programme had been ongoing for a year and that the Ministry had made efforts to reach remote areas. He urged Parliamentarians to submit areas that they felt were left out so that a team can be dispatched and attend to pensioners who had not yet registered.

Hon. Sarah Mahoka (ZANU PF Hurungwe East) asked Deputy Minister of Home Affairs on the registration of births and the securing of identity cards where one parent was a citizen while the other was a foreigner. Hon. Mahoka wanted clarification on whether these children are also regarded as aliens. In his response Deputy Minister Hon. Obedingwa Mguni said children born of a Zimbabwean and a foreigner were eligible for Zimbabwean citizenship adding that the Zimbabwe Citizenship Act needed to be aligned to the new Constitution.

Hon. Joseph Chinotimba (ZANU PF Buhera South) sought clarification on fees being charged for registration of birth certificates and identity cards despite a directive from the registrar general’s office that the process was for free. In response Hon. Mguni said the registration was indeed for free and the Ministry has requested the teams to go back to areas that were affected by the initial fee direction and continue with the exercise.

Conclusion

The National Assembly adjourned at 13 minutes past five o’clock and will meet again today in the afternoon at 14.15 hours.

Source: Southern Africa Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST)