The Norton MP Temba Mliswa has announced saying the government heavy handedness is responsible for the corrosive brain drain among teachers and nurses. Speaking in parliament, Mliswa confronted the government saying its disrespect of teachers and health workers is what has caused a massive flight of experts from the country.
He said the brain drain wreaking havoc across the country is caused by Government abuse of teachers and nurses.
Below is an abridged version of the proceedings:
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 16 FEBRUARY 2022 VOL 48 NO 21
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 16th February, 2022
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Point of order when there is no debate!
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: It is quite important in terms of the attendance of Ministers, and Members of Parliament as well whom I think in a way are not – if you look at the participants…
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is your point of observation.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: There are only 131 participants yet we are supposed to be 270. The Ministers should attend – we cannot start the year on such an attendance, most of the Ministers who hold key positions to the transformation of this country economically are not there. It is important that they respect this House by attending such a session, which is the first after the festive season. It is also good to see their faces, whether they are well or not.
*Sometimes it is good to greet others and check if they are okay or not. Members of Parliament are running away; only 131 are attending Parliament, they are given data, why are they not coming? Thank you very much.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Hon. Members of the Executive I have announced are on national duty and the majority have travelled with His Excellency the President on an international engagement. As for the MPs, others are following proceedings from their hotels. We have limited the number of those who should attend physically to 80 in the National Assembly and 80 in the Senate. So the attendance is fairly good and we are quite happy about that. As to whether they are well or not, why do you not send them some WhatsApp messages and talk to them individually, I am sure they will be happy to receive some compliments of the season from Hon. T. Mliswa.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
(v)HON. MUCHIMWE: Point of privilege Hon. Speaker.
HON. T. MLISWA: It was in terms of the rule of law, I do not know which ones fall under him but can he coordinate it as well because the rural roads are looking so good while some may not be under him, he is a competent Minister to be able to speak to the line Ministry in terms of local authorities because rural roads are also in a bad state. If he can also bring a record as what Hon. Markham asked for the rural roads as well.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I do not want confusion here, let the Hon. Minister stick to his portfolio. If you want rural roads, that fall under rural district council or local authorities. You ask the appropriate authority accordingly, who is the Minister of Local Government.
(V)*HON. T. MLISWA: It is only that he does due diligence to his work and I applaud him for that.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, he is very good in doing his work and we must not ask him questions that do not pertain to his Ministry
HON. T. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. What is being done in order to address the issue of the welfare of teachers?
HON. MATUKE: Most of the issues which were affecting the teachers were addressed. The teachers were awarded 75 USD for COVID allowance and on top of that they were given 100 USD to supplement their salaries. Above that they were given 20% increment and in addition, the Government is going to pay for three biological kids school fees. The other issue which is very important which was added again to the teachers is that they are going to get duty free vehicles. The scheme was already in existence and is going to be speeded up so that teachers get their vehicles as soon as they pay for them duty free.
There may be a question as to those teachers who could not turn up for duty. They have been given up to 22nd February, 2022 so that if they do not turn up for duty, then they are deemed to have been fired by the Public Service Commission. Teachers who will be reporting for duty and just sit without teaching, will also be treated the same. I thank you.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: My supplementary question is, the Hon. Minister has spoken about the package but as usual, nothing gets to the people. The USD$75.00 allowance and USD$100.00 allowance baffles my mind when the Government has RTGS Zimbabwe Dollar. They seem to have more USD$ than the Zimbabwe Dollar. Is the Government not supposed to pay them in RTGS because by paying them in USD$, you are more or less saying that the USD$ is the currency of the day.
It invites a further question that why do we not dollarise but more importantly, why has the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education fired the teachers when the Hon. Minister himself has admitted that the Public Service Commission is responsible for that? The firing of the teachers is by the Public Service Commission and not the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
I need him to clarify that and I hope the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will issue a statement and Mr. Vincent Hungwe, who is the key person there. So there is some confusion as to who they report to and who fires them.
THE HON. SPEAKER: On the first part of firing, I thought that the Hon. Deputy Minister was very clear. He said that all those who suffered some disciplinary action are given up to 22nd February, 2022 – so no action has been taken so far. So wait for 22nd February and see what happens according to what …
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the brain drain that we talk about in the country is as a result of the Government being heavy handed in firing teachers and nurses.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order! Please accept that no teacher has been fired until 22nd February. That is the reply from the Minister responsible for hiring civil servants. So that is clear, there is no debate on that one.
Perhaps the Hon. Minister may want to comment on the issue of mixed payment in USD$ and RTGS.
HON. MATUKE:Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I think the Government was responding to a request that was put forward by the different unions. I think the teachers and civil servants had been appealing for a mixed bag so that they are not affected by the fall of the ZWL$. I think we should thank the Government for providing such a good reward. I do not think, going forward, we will get teachers complaining but as our economy improves, I think we will still revert to our Zimbabwe Dollar 100%. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: So it is an admission Hon. Speaker Sir; clarity. It is an admission that the ZWL$ has failed and the USD$ is stronger. So why do you not just pay them in USD$ all the way?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa … – [(v)HON. CHIDAKWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!] – Order Hon. Chidakwa! Please listen carefully to the responses by the Hon. Minister. If the teaching fraternity has agreed to the mixed bag, what more is required? –[(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, they have not agreed. It is being imposed on them.] – [(v)HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order!
Hon. Mliswa you can submit a written question for further clarification next week – [(v)HON. CHIDHAKWA: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir!] – I had recognised Hon. Maphosa there. – [(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, can we get a Ministerial Statement from the Hon. Minister?] – Hon. Mliswa, I advised you to put your question in writing for next week. It will be dealt with accordingly.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE), the House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.