|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
1. Mrs LGB STEVENSON asked the Minister of local Government, Public Works and Urban Development to:
a) provide the House with the minutes of the meeting held by the Commission running Harare during which it resolved to implement “Operation Murambatsvina”;
b) explain why alternative housing, factory shells and market stalls were not constructed before destroying people’s homes and livelihoods;
c) explain why vendors with valid licences trading at authorized market places erected by the City of Harare using ratepayers’ money were arrested and their goods confiscated;
d) inform the House the number of people who have been removed from their so-called illegal houses and where those people are now living;
e) inform the House whether stands at Hatcliffe Extension site-and-service scheme funded by the World Bank will be reallocated, the criteria that would be used for selection of the new beneficiaries, or whether the scheme would now be used for a purpose other than low-cost housing.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for this multifaceted question.
a) The clean-up Programme is a national programme encompassing the whole country. As such, decisions regarding the implementation of the programme have been taken at Central Government level and not by individual local authorities.
In general, though, local authorities have welcomed the initiative and have said as much.
The Chairperson of the Commission running the affairs of the City of Harare has publicly indicated her support for this long overdue operation.
b) As I have already indicated to the nation, alternative housing and factory shells and market stalls are being provided.
It must be noted though that prior to the commencement of the operation, factory shells in a number of urban councils stood vacant as did many market shells nationwide with potential users of these facilities electing to use pavements andstreets for their various activities.
c) It is conceded that there may have been excesses on the ground. This is regretted and corrective action has been taken as appropriate.
d) Given the magnitude of the operation and the fact that the operation is still on-going, it is not possible to talk figures at this stage.
The requisite statistical information is being compiled and appropriate action taken thereon. As a result, this is a very fluid situation.
Those who require assistance are being rendered such assistance at Transit Camps where the latest figure stood no more than 2 000 households.
e) Residents of Hatcliffe Extension have already been offered alternative residential stands. Regrettably, for reasons best known to some of them, they seem reluctant to take up the offer Government has made to them.
It is intended to re-plan the area so that it is in keeping with the major uses of its geographical setting. This is in keeping with Town Planning practice the world over.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion: the Clean up Operation is about
· Public health
· Human decency and dignity
· Acceptable housing standards
· Compliance with the law and by-laws
· National peace and stability
· Ridding the country of criminality, corruption and unethical behaviour.
We stand at the threshold of creating decent housing and work spaces for our people. To this end, we urge all patriotic Zimbabweans to join hands with Government.
Mrs STEVENSON: The Hon. Minister says that the people from Hatcliffe Extension are not going to be relocated at Hatcliffe Extension. My question is, he says it is going to be re-planned for something else. I would like to point out to the Minister that Hatcliffe One is a high density area. Could the Minister explain why people are not going to be settled in the extended high density area? Why has it suddenly been considered geographically unsuitable when ten years ago this area was laid out as a site-and-service scheme? A lot of donor funding went into providing water mains and sewage works for low cost housing. What is the rationale for the sudden change?
:Dr CHOMBO: I do not want the House to be confused and be derailed from what is supposed to be a noble cause. The Hon. Member, I have accused her in this House of mangling and placing people on that squatter camp. It is our duty and moral right to make sure that those 1 200 people who were put there because they have been put in that awkward place, are gie stands. The government has made its obligation and has given each and everyone of them and it is assisting each and every member to build.
The issue she is talking about does not arise because government is going to provide water, sewer and roads wherever they are going. The people are better served by following the government programme. When you look also at the planning of that general area, there is our Major Research Centre. Major Research Centres for any country are very secure areas where you do not allow any other person to have easy access into. We are also going to put the professors at the center within that general vicinity.
Secondly, there is a police boarding school situated in the area. The teachers from that boarding school will be given houses there so that they are near their institution. Zimbabwe Open University, our largest institution with25 000 students on their register, is situated in the area and they are also going to benefit in that area so that they can work nearer where their institution is located. ! 200, whose names were published last Saturday, have been re-located to Hopley and they are extremely very happy except a few who were carried to that place last week on Monday by the Hon member and stage managed for the chairman to see. Those are unhappy.
Mr MZILA NLDOVU: Hon Minister, you have already used part of that money to build two model houses on privatrely owned land in White Cliff. Do you want to tell us that the government has a policy of erecting illegal structures on illegal properties when the High court has issued an Order prohibiting to carry on with the process?
Mr MURERWA: I find it difficult, Madam Speaker, to believe as the hon member alleges that the Ministry of Housing would have done that. The Hon members are aware that government has a housing policy – (An Hon member – which government?) – The Zimbabwean government, your government, ahs a housing policy to provide decent housing for its citizens. Resources have been made available for this purpose and clearly the Ministry is just doing its job and I think we should appreciate what they are doing.
MRS MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs . In light of the fact that a lot of people are currently living outside with no accommodation and given the fact that government intends to build houses after some time – is government intending to put up an international appeal to ensure that we get some humanitarian aid in the form of tents and food?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MR MATSHALAGA); The question should be directed ot the Minister of Local Government. With refrence to the question of international aid, the question should be directed to the Minister of Finance.
My question is directed to the Minister of Educatin Sports and Culture. In view of the enormous transport difficulties the country has been going through for a long time, passengers, including children, now have to wait for long hours for their buses, particularly when going home at night. Can the Minsiter inform the House what policy has been put in place to make sure that the children are protected and are not subject to dangerous situations where they get home late at night or not at all?
THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORT AND CULTURE (MR CHIGWEDERE)
My answer is – those children who are traveling long distances in the first palce went against our regulations. We made it very clear from the outset that we are going to encourage and enforce zoning in schools. This means children around Highfield must be enrolled in schools in Highfield. Children in Mabvuku should also be enrolled in schools in Mabvuku.
If a child is traveling from Mabvuku to Chitungwiza or Mufakose – one, that is a minority. Two, those children have gone against our regulations. If they suffer, the fault is entirely theirs because we made provision for all of them. There is no way a child can fail to get a place in Mabvuku if the child lives in Mabvuku.
|Government directive may stop Zimbabwe tour|
|NZ Cricket's Martin Snedden talks to the media yesterday as former Zimbabwe cricketer Henry Olonga looks on. Picture / Simon Baker|
|By Helen Tunnah|
|The Black Caps tour to Zimbabwe may yet be abandoned after
the Government indicated it would issue the cricketers with an instruction that
they should not go. |
Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff is to seek urgent advice from the International Cricket Council about whether such a political directive would be enough to let New Zealand Cricket cancel the tour without facing financial penalties.
He said if it was, that was "precisely what we'll do".
"It will put the onus on New Zealand Cricket to make a genuine decision about the ethics of touring."
NZ Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden would not comment yesterday on his organisation's likely response to what would be seen as a Government or parliamentary order.
However, it is understood NZ Cricket would feel under an obligation to obey it.
Although the position of the ICC on government directives is stated in their rules, and has been raised by the Green Party, the Government has rejected calls to simply tell the cricketers not to go, citing advice from officials that only legal action could stop the tour.
Mr Goff's toughened stance came after the ICC chairman Ehsan Mani yesterday released a letter to the Government saying it was up to politicians, and not the cricket body, to stop the tour.
"It is also recognised that governments will, from time to time, elect to use sporting sanctions as a tool in their foreign policy programmes," Mr Mani said.
"Our members accept and respect that where this clear directive is given by a national government, the obligations of the FTP (future tours programme) will not apply."
It was not clear last night if the Government would announce a policy banning sporting contact with Zimbabwe which would meet the ICC requirements as set out by Mr Mani, and a motion passed in Parliament is more likely.
Governments have in the past avoided banning New Zealand teams going overseas, including during the international boycott of apartheid South Africa.
However, intense pressure was applied by former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon on New Zealand athletes not to go to the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and most did not.
Political parties have already agreed to a parliamentary motion condemning the human rights abuses under Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe, but Mr Goff suggested that the motion could be strengthened to tell the cricket team MPs wanted the tour called off.
"I'm very happy to say there should be a sporting sanction against Zimbabwe if that relieves New Zealand Cricket of the obligation of going there or facing terrible financial penalties."
Green Party co-leader Rod Donald, who has led the campaign against the tour, said the ICC letter should spell the end of the tour.
He said the ICC had made it clear it recognised the rights of a government to impose sporting sanctions.
Mr Donald and former Zimbabwe cricketer Henry Olonga yesterday met Mr Snedden at NZ Cricket headquarters in Christchurch, ahead of an anti-tour rally in Auckland on Saturday.
Olonga said he would take no pleasure in seeing the Black Caps miss out on an international tour.
"From my perspective, it's not like I will be rejoicing if the tour gets called off - I'm a bit torn."
The ICC rules
* Matches can be cancelled because of any action taken by a government.
* Such action, in this case a 'clear directive' or sporting sanction, needs to make it 'impossible' or illegal for the Black Caps to tour.
* If the ICC accepts the Black Caps cannot tour, and the games cannot be rescheduled, no compensation would be paid.