Covid-19 Stalls Delimitation Of Chiefs’ Boundaries

Covid-19 pandemic is stalling the delimitation of chiefs’ boundaries, a development that has seen a number of village heads remaining unregistered, Local Government Deputy Minister, Marian Chombo, told Parliament Wednesday.

Boundaries for chiefs have been a contentious issue in Zimbabwe especially in cases where a chief’s area of jurisdiction goes beyond one district or province.

Speaking during a question and answer session in the august House yesterday, Chombo said her Ministry can only be able to register more village heads once boundaries have been done.

“Right now we have a programme which has been hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic whereby we are going to do the delimitation and the boundaries so that each chief knows where his boundary starts and ends,” said Chombo.

“The finances we have been given, but because we cannot conduct those exercises during this Covid era; we have been delayed, but it is being addressed.”

She said there are about 27, 000 village heads that are registered with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
“Most of the village heads that are not being paid are not officially installed or sworn,” said Chombo.

“All those village heads that are official are getting their allowances every month. I think there is also the problem of boundaries. Some of the chiefs appoint village heads in anticipation of the upcoming delimitation of boundaries. Once they are formally installed, the village heads are paid every month on time.”

She further explained the issue of chiefs’ boundaries: “The process is once you install a chief, he installs the headman and the headman is given a boundary, and according to the number of houses, the headman appoints the village heads. If there are no boundaries yet set, there is no way we can recognise those village heads. It means they have not been officially appointed for them to be registered with the Ministry.” —CITE

Covid-19 Disrupts Sanitary Wear Distribution In Rural Schools

The closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the distribution of sanitary wear for girls in rural areas, Parliament has heard.

Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi made these remarks during the Question and Answer session, Wednesday while standing in for the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Cain Mathema.

He was responding to MP Tatenda Mavetera who had asked whether the government had put any policies in place to ensure that girls access sanitary wear during periods when schools are closed.

“Madam Speaker, the proposal is very difficult to implement. When learners are at home, you do not know where to follow them. The programme was targeted for the period when schools are open that then they are able to access sanitary wear,” said Minister Ziyambi.

“Unless if an arrangement can be made. I will request the relevant Ministry to find out whether when schools are closed they can then have a mechanism for those learners going to school to access the sanitary wear. The policy generally is they have to have access to the sanitary wear.”

MDC-T Legislature Dr Thokozani Khuphe emphasised that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should be consistent in disbursing sanitary wear funds.
She said most girls in rural areas do not afford hygienic commercial products hence they end up resorting to ones that may compromise their health.

“Honorable Minister (Ziyambi), 72% of girls in rural areas do not use commercial sanitary wear. However, they resort to unhygienic means. At the same time, 62% of girls miss school every month while menstruating. Has the Minister of Finance and Economic Development released adequate funding for sanitary wear in line with the Education Amendment Act on the provision of menstrual health facilities to promote menstrual health?”

Minister Ziyambi explained that schools that had not collected their funds were encouraged to liase with their respective offices to do so. —CITE

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