Mliswa Demands COVID Tests For All MPs
5 August 2021
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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 28th July, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of clarity Hon. Speake online, wait to be recognised. We have the last supplementary, so there is no room for any further supplementary questions.
Hon Minister, will you clarify, there appears there is confusion between trauma and mental health.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Mr. Speaker Sir, it is very difficult in terms of semantics because what I tried to say is whatever happens which disturbs your mind, I am defining it as mental health – whatever might have caused it. In this case, we are talking about stress that might have been caused by the issue of COVID. As I said, we have enough policy – we do not want our people to be stressed. Issues to cater with psychological services are also with clinical psychology, it is there in our ministry. In terms of policy presence, it is there. The issue on whether we are doing enough given the amount of stress we are having is what we should be positively working on. In terms of legal instrument, we have enough legal instruments. We are not short of them.
r. I want to thank you for the response.  You made a detailed response pertaining to the issue in terms of the welfare of Members of Parliament.  Mr. Speaker Sir, you clearly hit the nail on the head.
The truth of the matter is really beyond you but it is the Minister of Finance and Economic Development who, for many times has not been able to do what is expected of him by passing the budget.  We are guided by the budget. When we ask for these figures, it is not coming from our heads.  It is the budget that we pass in this House and for as long as we pass a budget and there is no seriousness in the execution of the budget, then it renders the budget useless and not only that, it is incumbent upon him to review the figures according to inflation.  We hear him talking about the inflation coming down but we do not also see the results on the ground.
The Information Centres were a result of the budget and for me to also talk about offices that are not there and Information Centres, I then commend that in the next budget, Hon. Members, there is no point in applying for Information Centres because the structures are not there.  Unless you actually turn your cars into Information Centres but with what was given by the Hon. Speaker, we must also review our demands.  You cannot have an Information Centre if you have no structure, so we need to review how we present.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of the medical aspect, you were right to say that, yes PSMAS does help and you have reviewed that.  How great it is to review other sectors but the welfare of the Hon. Members is never reviewed.  The Hon. Minister has not come to tell us the review of that and as a result, people will default in payment because our remuneration has not been reviewed – I have not heard him.  It goes hand in glove, you cannot be increasing things and then at the same time you are not giving people what is supposed to be done in terms of review.  So may the Minister of Finance and Economic Development review everything?  You cannot review things piece-meal. The National Budget requires him and I am pretty serious about this because I have put my mind to it, that a review of the National Budget requires him to come here and tell us that I have failed to do A, B, C, D because of this and that but he does not respect this House. When it comes to issues of monies which he then comes to seek condonation to, if that money is available. When it comes to the Drax money for the drugs and everything, the money is available. This money, through the Auditor-General’s office, has also been attacked that due diligence is not followed. The Auditor-General has been very clear on how Government is supposed to handle its funds–
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, are you seeking clarification or you are debating.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, as you can see, each point is seeking clarity.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, you are debating.
HON. T. MLISWA: I will stop debating and just say finally, it is the same as the devolution funds. The Hon. Minister J.D. Moyo is the only Minister who gets devolution funds and determines where it should go. He can take it to Vungu or wherever, devolution funds are for everyone. He cannot decide who to give it to. At times you give it to ZANU PF aligned councils then leave out the opposition. Devolution funds come in once and must be disbursed at once. Unfortunately, he is not here. It is a matter that I have asked him that why are you disbursing funds without following the Constitution in terms of how the structure should be?
So, he is never here and like I said, he behaves like a Prime Minister and maybe he is a de facto Prime Minister, I do not know but him being a senior Minister must lead by example. Even the former Minister Chombo, one thing you can give to him is that he would come and answer questions despite whatever. This becomes the worst Cabinet ever, some of them in terms of their performance, the Auditor General’s office and from the people point of view; from the constitutional view, they have let the President down and the people and they have let the Constitution down, shame on you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Right Hon. Member, next time, learn to ask questions for clarification – [HON. T. MLISWA: Inaudible interjections.] – No, you were debating. I was very indulgent in future, I shall not be indulgent. The first part of your question on review, I thought you were following newspaper narratives that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is going to give us a review tomorrow. You might have missed that in the newspaper but he is doing that tomorrow and you will have the opportunity to ask questions accordingly, some of which are quite pertinent –
Hon. Togarepi having stood up
Hon. Member, I am speaking. Be procedural – [HON. T. MLISWA: Inaudible interjections.] ­– Hon. Mliswa, I thought you were expecting my response and therefore, you should be silent. Some of the issues that you raise will be, I think, clarified tomorrow when the Hon. Minister gives us his budgetary review statement. The question of the amounts allocated to the PCICs, the responsibility is ours here in the National Assembly in terms of ensuring that the figures that may meet the requirements of the construction of such information centres and constituency offices are also met. It is a matter that can also be raised tomorrow to see to what extent the Hon. Minister is thinking ahead along those lines.
The question of assigning funds to the health sector, I think everybody must believe that our health is a number one priority and from what has been said by the African Centre for Disease Management, Zimbabwe is number one in dealing with COVID-19 and Government must be appreciated for that – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Some of the developed countries cannot match what Zimbabwe has achieved in terms of the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines. So, chakanaka chakanaka mukaka haurungwi. Yes, we have done much better than some of the developed countries in Africa and outside Africa for that matter. Thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: I am happy this is a Parliament of records. This question was asked to the Deputy Minister of  Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement before harvesting  time on how well prepared they were logistically.  He said they were prepared and now I am shocked to know that they are not prepared. Why are you not following your plan in calling Grain Marketing Board?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, you did not listen carefully to the Hon. Deputy Minister’s response.  The Hon. Deputy Minister indicated that as you are the representative of the people, if you have specific areas where there is a problem, please bring that information to the attention of the Ministry.  As far as the Ministry is concerned, payments are done within 72 hours.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I totally agree with him but the onus is for them to check with GMB if that is being done because it is a national issue.  The issue of payment, I have discussed with the Minister….
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa take your seat. If you have got farmers who have been affected according to what Hon. Kwaramba is saying, please bring that issue to the attention of the Minister – [HON. T. MLISWA: Inaudible interjection] – Order Hon. Member, bring the list and we will know.  You are politicking in reverse gear, just bring that list Hon. Mliswa and say here is what I have been talking about, Minister can you explain and then from there if there is any prevarication you will raise the issue of politicking.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: Before I ask my supplementary question, let me appreciate the role played by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, led by the capable Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Hon. Rtd. General Dr. Chiwenga; his Deputy Minister, Hon Dr. Mangwiro and Permanent Secretary Rtd. Air Commodore Chimedza. I say this because in Norton, the programme was excellent. The PED, DMO, the District Nursing Officer at Norton itself in no time when I communicated with the Permanent Secretary that we needed more vaccines, I am proud to say in the rural of Norton, there were vaccines put there and the health staff of these institutions in Norton…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, whilst the commendation is good, you can only do so as a matter of national importance. Please ask your question.
HON. T. MLISWA: My supplementary question is: what policy do you have for those people who have suffered COVID post COVID, because there is a lot of trauma that they go through and I think that is the biggest problem we have. What mechanism have you put in place for the people who suffered COVID and now are off it because even my own personal assistant has suffered a lot mentally. What have you done to try and rehabilitate those?
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: I wish to thank Hon Mliswa for the supplementary question on post traumatic stress that might result from having COVID. We have our Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare who are mainly responsible for that welfare but we are also responsible for mental health. Our mental health statutes are very clear on what we can do with people that have problems mentally as a result of some trauma that might have happened to them. In terms of the presence of policy – whether it was caused by COVID or by something else, we have enough legal backing.
We are saying that we have enough policy on mental health. Government policy on mental health is very clear and in terms of looking after people who have post traumatic stress, maybe as a result of COVID or anything else, we have a mental health policy as a country. That is what I just wanted to say.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of clarity. Mental health and post traumatic stress are different –[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- The professor is good at that but his explanation was not that of a professor. He is a man I admire but today vanzvenga. Mental health, is it going to Ingutsheni or not? If there are no such centres, may you start telling us so that people can get counseled?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Members

HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order is: can the Minister furnish us with the dams which are increasing and what you have done. Can you give us documentation showing statistics of dams that you have rehabilitated and the letters you refer to? Can we get that because it is a point on oversight and dam rehabilitation. Can we get statistics, constituency by constituency?
*HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. We can bring the statistics to Parliament. The letters are coming from the people in appreciation of what we will have done but we can also bring and read them here in Parliament.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, as requested by Hon. Mliswa, you can make available the detailed statistics or documentation showing which dams have been rehabilitated.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Please may you unmute your gadget Hon. Ndebele.
HON. TOGAREPI:  Madam Speaker, point of order.
HON. T. MLISWA:  Point of order chief whip.  You are not the Speaker.  The Speaker is there.  You have been standing there attacking the Speaker.  You cannot.  I am protecting the Speaker.  Sit down and she will recognise you.  I am now going to whip you because your party cannot.  You were not elected by the party to be a chief whip, you were appointed.   That is where your problem is.  You sit down and the Speaker will choose who she wants.  Thank you very much.
You belonged to G40 and you moved around with Mrs. Mugabe.  You were G40 original.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Togarepi, you cannot raise a point of order on top of another point of order – [HON. T MLISWA:  Inaudible interjections.]- Order Hon. Members!
HON. NDEBELE:  I am on the floor Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Ndebele, please may you approach the Chair.
*HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Togarepi you were a member of G40 while I was working with Hon. Mutsvangwa and Chriss Mutsvangwa. I know the history.  We are the original Lacoste from 2004.  You came in going to Mrs. Mugabe and moving around in Mazowe.  You used to move around with Mazowe orange crush saying we will crush you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 67.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.