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SENATE HANSARD 02 JULY 2020 VOL 29 NO 42
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday 2nd July, 2020
The Senate met at Half -past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Today is Thursday and in terms of our standing orders it is Questions Without Notice time. I do have here apologies from Hon. Ministers who cannot attend today’s sitting. Hon. O. Moyo the Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; Hon. Prof. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development; Hon. Dr. K. Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation; Hon. Prof. Mavima, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and Hon. Kazembe, Kazembe, Minister of Information, Communication Technology and Courier Services. Those are the apologies which I have.
ORALS ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. SEN. CHIEF. NGUNGUMBANE: Thank you Mr. President. I would want to direct my question to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development. Minister, can you brief this House on the shortage of fuel on the market. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question. The shortage of fuel in the country has been ongoing for some time now. The reason behind the shortage is that we need to import fuel from outside the country and we need foreign currency to do that. Although we have got fuel in the country, as usual at our tanks, we cannot however download that fuel and take it to the service stations because we have to make payment upfront. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF. NGUNGUMBANE: Thank you Mr. President. Can the Minister clarify the position of garages that are now selling fuel in foreign currency?
HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Mr. President. I am sure during the lockdown period, there was a directive that retailers can sell their products in foreign currency if the people who want to buy the product have the foreign currency to do so. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: We have been joined by two more Ministers; Hon. J. B. Matiza, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Hon. J. Moyo, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. We have an apology from Hon. S. B. Moyo who says he may join us later.
HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. President. I will direct my question to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Hon. Mangwiro. Hon. Minister, how safe is it for people to use the face shield during this Covid-19 period? Does it serve the same purpose as a face mask and how is it cleaned to make sure that it is not contaminated? Is it advisable to use it as a face mask?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. MANGWIRO): Thank you Mr. President. I also want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Face shield – I am sure you are referring to these long translucent or transparent things, glass or plastic like that is placed on the forehead and covers the front of the face. It does not serve the same purpose like this mask. The mask I am putting on properly covers the nose and the mouth. That one is there for splashes; let us say a doctor is doing something or cleaning around. It shields against those splashes that might happen, so it does not play an equal role to this mask. It helps to add on to the protection of health care givers while they are doing procedures where there might be splashes of fluids. There are stages and sessions where they are supposed to be used. Really, we do not encourage that they be used in place of the surgical masks like the one I am putting on. We normally use it when we are doing procedures in hospitals but moving around in the streets with it is not encouraged. There are special cleaning material and methods that we use to clean it. Thank you Mr. President.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I am very much worried about the safety in terms of the pandemic, which is prevailing in this country and the way our Hon. Ministers are sitting, I am sure Hon. Mangwiro agrees with me that it is not very safe. I urge you Hon. Ministers to give yourselves some reasonable distance. The rule of thumb is supposed to be one metre so that you remain safe. Keep your masks tight to your faces; we still need you.
We have also been joined by Hon. Chasi, Minister of Energy and Power Development; Hon. Mathema, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. Matemadanda, Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans, Hon. Dr. Kanhutu-Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. Mavima, Minister of State for Midlands Province; Hon. Gwaradzimba, Minister of State for Manicaland; Hon. Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Hon. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. Chombo, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works and Hon. Ziyambi, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care. What steps has the Government taken to secure our borders to restrict border jumpers who may want to come into the country through illegal points? Thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Thank you Mr. President. Indeed, we have a problem with people who cross from illegal crossing points because we do not know where they will be heading to and their health status in terms of COVID 19 cannot be ascertained. So, the department that is helping us in terms of securing our borders is Home Affairs so that they may increase their patrols and prevent people from entering the country through illegal crossing points. We kindly request the Home Affairs Ministry to secure our borders. We only screen people who cross through legal crossing points at the borders. Thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care. I am aware that there was an announcement that everyone must put on a mask but we realise that people put on those masks in various ways. Some do not cover their noses but just cover their mouths. Are there plans to educate people on how to put on those masks properly so that they work effectively to protect the citizens?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): May I take this opportunity to explain why we should put on these masks. What happens is, the virus can spread, just like I am talking. It can be airborne through talking or coughing. So the mask is supposed to cover the mouth and the nose; not just covering the chin. What also happens is, if I am COVID 19 positive, I become a carrier of the Coronavirus. So, by putting on this mask, I will not spread the virus as I speak or cough. As I speak right now, I see some noses that are not covered. I think we should start right here to educate people so that they understand. We are going to have programmes through radio and television to educate people. Also, I would like to talk to you Senators to be aware and educate people that the Coronavirus can be airborne. It can be spread by people through the air. I would like to urge everyone to put on those masks properly. As a Ministry, we have radio and television programmes where we educate people. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Today is a Thursday and Hon. Senators are winding up their work here. We cannot travel back home. What are your plans in terms of fuel? Some of us are actually hitch-hiking yet private transporters are charging foreign currency that we do not have. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): I thank the Hon. Senator for that question but I think that question is multi-dimensional. It touches on paying for private transport, it also talks about foreign currency and fuel for Hon. Senators. In terms of availability of fuel for Senators, that is an issue that is being handled by the Clerk of Parliament. As Government, we said we await to hear what we should do so that we take measures at our service stations namely Genesis and Petrotrade so that we can assist the Senators. I thank you.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam. President. My supplementary...
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I am not Madam I am Mr.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Ndati Madam? Sorry I withdraw. Thank you Mr. President my supplementary question is on the availability of fuel, not necessarily for Members of Parliament but for every other citizen. I see so many queues every day, if you want to fly across in a helicopter you see as many queues as possible. People will not be able to do much work because they will be looking for fuel for hours to no end. I have been looking for fuel myself as a Member of Parliament for more than 3 months; I still have coupons from Parliament which are 3 months. Also we are looking at the public and the business community, how are we planning to service everyone with reasonable supplies of fuel?
HON. CHASI: Thank you very much for the question, I think the nexus between the availability of foreign currency and the availability of fuel in the country is known to all of us. It is also common cause I think that over the number of months foregoing since the commencement of this pandemic, our capacity to generate foreign currency for our own purposes as a country was very much heavily affected. All that being said, Government is working day in day out to ensure that we put facilities in place for the importation of fuel and with the recently introduced foreign currency auction system we think that there will be greater capacity also to acquire foreign currency for purposes of fuel. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. President, my question goes to the Minister of Health and Child Care. We did capture a person who illegally escaped from South Africa in Masvingo and we wanted him to go and be tested. We dialed 2019 and there was no response - at first they used to respond but now they no longer answer. I once used this number and they came and took the suspected persons twice. This weekend we tried the number and Harare answered and refereed us to Masvingo, we did not get any response from Masvingo. We took the patient to the police station and the police refused to accept that person, they said dzokerai naye, dzokerai naye. We phoned the police for two days they did not come; we then hired a car and to took that person to the hospital where he was admitted. I hired a car, where do I go to claim my money? My question is who do we call for help in situations like this?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Thank you Mr. President, I apologize for what you did encounter. I would like to appreciate the action that you took, however, the police denied to help you and you ended up taking the patient to hospital. Yes, there are numbers that you can use but if you fail to get through those numbers, you can take the patient to the nearest hospital. I urge you to report police officers who do such things to their seniors. If it is hospitals that are not cooperating for every district, there are senior doctors and nurses you can go and report. If you are in Masvingo there is Dr. Shamu who is the head of the province and other senior nurses.
What happened is not something that we look forward to. If you are helping to find those boarder jumpers and taking them to police and hospital, you are doing a very good job in reducing the number of infections. I therefore ask you to see me after the Senate has adjourned so that we can investigate the matter fully. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. We are having problems with illegal settlers and villagers are blaming it on traditional leaders. What is Government policy regarding illegal settlements because people are now migrating from the urban areas to rural areas? They just come and settle without consulting anyone - the council does not help but they say they want to regularize so that the people can stay legally. Can we now say people must just come and stay then we regularise later? Are we not promoting illegal settlement? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Chief who asked such a question. The law regarding resettlement in communal lands is under the purview of the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural resettlement, but if you are talking about people who are illegally settled and are saying this is now a town, that is administered by my Ministry. If people are being settled in terms of my Ministry’s mandate, if it is communal lands, there should be proper planning done by the department of Spatial Planning formal known as Physical Planning. The plans are referred to the Rural District Council or the Urban Council. As they carry out these plans they should involve all the parties especially the Chiefs and inform them that they now want to urbanize certain section so that it becomes a town, so that there will be an excision; they cut out that piece so that it no longer is part of the rural lands but an urban settlement. While they do that, it enables those that want to develop that area to have title deeds to the land that is going to be allocated to them so that they will be in the same position as those that are in towns. That is the legal position.
However, people are even coming without the knowledge of the chief or the rural district council and settle themselves and later on arguments arise. Can we evict them or regularize them? The truth of the matter is that it is illegal. What is illegal is that people should be properly settled in an urban setting or rural setting. Those in rural settings will be on par with those that are in urban centres through the issuing of title deeds. This is the planning that goes into it.
A growth point has boundaries. At times when rural district councils want money, they will encroach into the chiefs’ areas of jurisdiction and resettle people. That is illegal and should not be condoned at all. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. President. Hon. Minister, you have said the truth. Those who are in the department of physical planning, when they carry out their duties outside Harare, they first publish their notices in the Government Gazette. Unfortunately, the rural folk are never informed about such developments, since gazetting tended to favour the whites who have a culture of reading. It is advisable that proper consultation be carried out before they embark on this exercise. What I have observed in the communal lands most of the time is that the community members are ignorant and are seldomly consulted. How best can we inform those that are in the townships so that they can go and make their own representations? I thank you.
*HON. J. G. MOYO: It is now an issue of how people can be enlightened when such a law is brought into effect. The council is informed so the good thing is that all councillors are made aware of such developments by the Chief Executive Officer so that those in the communal lands would know this is what is going to take place in their area. What is also key, is the relationship between the chief and the councillors in that area so that they can work harmoniously in order to avoid aliens to do as they please.
The law says there should be full consultations so that people can raise objections. As we look at the approval of the plan, we look at the objections and those that are in favour of the approval. It is the same criteria that those technically minded will also use in guiding them to come up with a proper position on whether to approve or not. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: The Minister hit the nail on the head. Can the Minister state what measures he is going to take in ensuring that either his Ministry or that of Agriculture, Lands and Resettlement has allowed that there should be settlements at growth points?
How is the Minister going to ensure that the land use around urban settlements like Harare has been so demarcated? Furthermore, that they are clear about the expansion of the towns and that the Minister of Lands has agreed that this land has been set aside and can be annexed to Harare.
*HON. J. G. MOYO: All towns must have a master plan. A Master Plan is drawn when there is consultation and there will be a boundary on the master plan. When there is local planning and construction, they look at the master plan of Harare for instance. The master plans that we now have are ultra vires the Constitution. The boundaries of our urban areas and so forth will be intact until 2023, even if Harare wants to expand to Caledonia.
Caledonia is still under Goromonzi Rural District Council and people then see settlements coming up in Harare South believe it is still part of Harare but in terms of the Constitution, at the moment we cannot change those places to become part and parcel of Harare. Although it is an urban area which is in Harare and people still assume that it is part of Harare, the correct position is that it is part and parcel of Goromonzi.
So, we believe that when the Delimitation Committee sits to deliminate the land, consultations will take place as to whether Caledonia should remain under Goromonzi or become part and parcel of Harare. The master plans help us in determining these boundaries. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: I accept the responses that have been given by the Hon. Minister. With respect, he did not respond to what we should do because of illegal settlements that are now on the increase. I am the chief for Goromonzi that you are making reference to. In Domboshava, there is haphazard settlement, there is no sewer system, the situation is just as bad as that one in Mbare, there are no areas that have been reserved for schools. The question that begs an answer is what role should traditional leadership play in such circumstances? Should we go and demolish these settlements?
*HON. J. G. MOYO: Thank you Mr. President. His question is pertinent. In the communal lands that he has made reference to that there should be reorganisation and resettlement, I said it is under the purview of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. However, the Goromonzi Rural District Council in conjunction with the chiefs should be telling people that they settled illegally. The Government will come and help them. So, I am saying, Chief, let us unite with our councils and find ways of resolving illegal settlements, that is the power which was given to Rural District Council and Urban Councils through devolution so that they sort out these issues. They do not act on their own but they work hand-in-glove with the police or at times with the courts or Ministry of Local Government or the Ministry of Lands so that a resolution can be given. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care. Hon. Minister, we have problems pertaining to Covid 19, especially looking at the returnees, those who are coming from foreign countries. We have got a problem, especially us coming from border towns. We have a lot of returnees who come and they are sent to quarantine centres. When they get there, most of them are not Zimbabwean citizens, they will be on transit. If some of them are found to be Covid 19 positive, they go for quarantine, but they give us problems when their days exceed the stipulated time for them to travel to their home countries. You find that some of them end up overstaying at the quarantine centres. What is the Ministry doing pertaining to these people? I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. MANGWIRO): As a Ministry, what we encourage is that those who are in transit, once they are quarantined or if isolation days are up, we encourage them to proceed to their respective countries and we engage their embassies if they have any here. We get assistance if we have problems from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. However, there will be difficulties here and there for some of these people who will be on transit. So, we really want to make efforts so that as soon as their days are up, we make them proceed to their respective countries. We do not encourage them to continue staying beyond what is necessary once they are done with it. Thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Hon. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. My question is that, we know that chain stores like OK procure their goods from South Africa. With what is happening at the borders in mind, is it still possible for them to do that or there are some mechanisms because we are afraid that our shops might run empty as a result of the lockdown due to Covid 19?
*THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question. The Statutory Instrument has allowed the essential goods and services to continue operating. So, that has not changed, it is still ongoing. What is going on is that things are going up and we are trying to talk to them and other chain stores not to increase the prices of their goods. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President. We have Members of the army who are moving around in lorries. They charge fines to people who will not be wearing masks and get out of their trucks whilst they will not be wearing their own masks and beat the culprits. Do they not have adequate resources to have the masks in place? I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for her question, which I believe is an isolated case. It requires us to carry out an investigation as to where exactly this took place and who are the alleged culprits where soldiers are moving around in truck loads and assaulting people. There might be an instance which she might have seen; she can report that so that it is investigated. However, the law does not allow people to commit such offences and whoever is the culprit should be arrested because they committed an offence.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. We are aware that Zimbabwe has its own wealth by way of wildlife, ivory; we have a lot of elephants in this country. What is the position of CITES regarding allowing Zimbabwe to sell its own ivory? Secondly, how safe is our wildlife in terms of security? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M. NDLOVU): Mr. President, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The first question is on the current of CITES in as far as the country sells its ivory stocks.
Mr. President, we were allowed a once off opportunity to sell our ivory. I think around 2009 after which we were given a moratorium of nine years where we were not supposed to request to sell our ivory, which moratorium expired in 2017 and it was our expectation that in COPE 18 which was held last year, we will be given permission to sell our ivory. Ivory stocks have accumulated, I think we now have more than 120 tonnes of ivory but that was not to be the case. It was felt that the issue of disposal of ivory contributes to poaching, so all our proposals were turned down. Since we are a member of CITES, we are bound by the decisions of CITES.
I may add Mr. President that we then as SADC bloc deposited a reservation that allows us, for that particular species, to trade outside CITES but we can only do so with countries that have equally deposited a reservation. Unfortunately, there are only two certified buyers by CITES, of ivory which is Japan and China and they did not submit the reservations. Meaning, much as we have deposited the reservations – there is still no market for that. So, the long and short is that we still cannot legally dispose of our ivory.
Mr. President, I might request that the second question be re-asked because I did not get it quite clearly. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: The essence of the second question was, what are you doing to protect and preserve our wildlife?
HON. M. NDLOVU: I want to believe that it is a projection from poaching which is being referred to. Mr. President, we have Parks and Wildlife who have invested heavily in anti-poaching through training of the rangers but also through partnerships with multi-lateral organisations who continue to support us. Suffice to say that the business of anti-poaching is very expensive. Poachers are investing in more sophisticated equipment and with limited support it is becoming more difficult. More so at a time when we are confronted with climate change, our habit is dwindling at the time also when our wildlife species are increasing. We are facing those challenges.
However, I want to assure the House that we continue to solicit for support including from Treasury, for us to be able to manage the situation. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President. My supplementary question is, ever since I grew up as a young boy in primary school I heard that there is CITES and we remained as members of CITES. What benefit are we deriving from being a member of CITES if we are foremost looking after our elephants and rhinos yet we get notes from people who do not even have a single one of those animals?
We were given immense wealth in terms of wildlife by the good Lord. It is my plea that there are certain things that we are ascribing to without actually making a decision in groupings where we benefit nothing. What are we benefiting from CITES Mr. President? May the Hon. Minister please explain?
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator, that is not really a supplementary because it is a completely a different question to what the Hon. Senator asked. However, I will let you get away with it. – [Laughter.] – Hon. Minister.
HON. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President, I thought you were going to protect me– [Laughter.] – I want to thank the Hon. Senator for the question. I think that he is saying - why are we still in CITES given that as a people who are living with the elephants mostly and bearing the brunt of the human/wildlife conflict, we are getting notes from people who do not have the species?
Mr. President, part of our arguments in the previous CITES had to do with one; the inclusion of communities living with the wildlife species in the sub-committees so that they also contribute towards decision making. Also and most importantly, that we transform CITES into a scientific based institution in terms of decision making. Currently, CITES relies mostly on voting on critical issues and we feel that voting does not necessarily lead to decisions that are to the betterment of the wildlife species.
We believe CITES is an important institution which is a platform for nations to exchange notes of the conservation of our flora and fauna. There are so many species that are discussed there and yes, we are not satisfied with the way our elephant species are being handled. We believe that we still remain as a source for inspiration to most of these countries on how they can conserve wildlife. Depositing reservation was a clear signal that as a country we are not happy – well, not just as a country but as the whole SADC region, with the way that they are treating Zimbabwe and other countries to do with CITES. We believe that the decision on whether or not to exit CITES is one that will require the Head of State but I do not believe that it would be the best decision Mr. President. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. I have observed that commodity prices are being changed on a weekly basis. A loaf of bread today was selling at ZWL$100.00. I do not know what the prices will be like next week for basic commodities.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think you really want to address that question to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Yes, I am sorry; I was a bit confused on that. Thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order! I will ask the Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce to respond to the pricing part of it.
*THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The prices are actually going up and when we ask the retailers they say it is because of the foreign exchange. I ask them how best we can deal with this and so, I ask Hon. Prof. Mthuli to assist me in that regard.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Minister, we need to reach some finality on this because it is very important.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. NCUBE): Hon. Nzenza, I have heard your request. The question is about the prices that are being impacted by the exchange rate and linking that to the auction, how is that working. What is the intention there? As authorities, we took the view that we cannot leave the leadership of the determination of exchange rate to the parallel market to shadowy people selling foreign currency in our streets. Rather, we needed a more orderly system. We introduced this auction system which is just a variation of what we have already introduced, which is willing buyer-willing seller system.
Even in the auction system, there is still a willing buyer willing seller but what happens here is that all the willing buyers place their orders in terms of the amounts that they are bidding for and prices as well. So, someone who bids at 1:100 and someone 1:35, naturally the one who bids at 1:35 will have done some very smart bidding and they will get their forex at a cheaper rate than someone who has bidded at 100. In fact, that is what has been happening in the last two auctions. The intention is to give leadership to the market and then stabilise the market in the process. Once the market is stable, at what level that should translate to the movement in prices where the movement in prices will also be curtailed,that will deal with inflation. That is really the intention of the auction system to give better price discovery.
You find that in terms of allocations, most of the allocations so far they tend to go to the raw materials, equipment and the productive sectors, and that is the intention to support the productive sector through this mechanism. It is our fervent hope that the exchange rate will stabilise now that we have provided leadership to how it ought to be determined.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Hon. President, today we are very happy to see so many Ministers. It has never happened and I think we should give them a pam-pam. Can we have an extension of another fifteen minutes, especially since the Minister of Finance is around just to make sure that we have certain things done?
HON. SEN. M.R. DUBE: I second.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think ten minutes is fair because the Leader of Government Business has some urgent business to conduct.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Hon. Minister for your response on the pricing. My supplementary question is - when are we likely to dollarise because from your explanation, we started on 1:1 and we are at 1:100, and you say when the time comes. There might never be that time because already we are using dollars and local currency, you have already admitted to that. When are we dollarising so that we do not have two market forces on the same floor?
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I thank Hon. Senator Mudzuri for the question. There is one exchange rate between the Z$ and the USD. So it is not that we have two currencies. It is only one exchange rate and our aim is to make sure that there is a unified and stable exchange rate. That is our aim. Why did we allow for the use of free funds because that is what we allowed? We allowed it during this COVID time really for two reasons. First, to give consumers and citizenry flexibility when they go about shopping and paying for goods and services and secondly, as a way to manage money supply growth by allowing into circulation and transaction activity what you already have in your pockets.
We do not have to print the Z$ as a substitute. That helps us manage money supply because we are aware that as we try to stabilise the currency, at the same time we are injecting cash which we have been doing. If we over do it, that will cause further weakness in the currency and cause inflation. It is a mitigatory measure designed to manage inflation and exchange rate volatility and all that. We are very clear that the target is to stabilise the exchange rate and we have got only one exchange rate that we focus on.
*HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: We have heard the Minister. He is saying that they are floating the exchange rate, what measures he is going to put in place to alleviate the plight of civil servants who are being affected by the floating of the exchange rate because the floating of this rate has now become a security risk for the country and there are a lot of strikes. What measures does he have in place to ensure that we live in a secure manner as a result of his policy? What is in store for the civil servants?
HON. PROF. NCUBE: The security risk to the country is the speculators and those who are dealing in the power market, those who are involved in illicit activities. That is the truth and that is my first point.
The second point is for the civil servants more directly which is his question. We are doing various things. Firstly, we have increased by 50% and this is temporary cushion while for normal adjustment, that is taking place as we speak. It is on the table. We have also added an allowance which is the US$75 for all the civil servants and again, that is meant to be an inflation protector during this difficult time. That is what we are doing but Hon., the negotiations on salaries are going on as we speak. This is just a gesture from the employer to the employee to cushion them against vagaries of inflation. To be clear, the saboteurs are the people in the parallel market and not the policies. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. M. R. DUBE: I want to ask the Minister of Energy and Power Development. He talked about Genesis and Petrotrade who are being issued with Puma coupons. In Bulawayo we are not getting fuel and when we get to Sunhill, you spend 40 days; you will not get to Harare. It is inadequate and there is no fuel in Harare. Why should we not get coupons from Petrotrade and Genesis as Government? Others failed to go to Gwanda last week as there was no fuel. Give us a dedicated petrol station. When we ask for diesel, they tell us that you are the Members of Parliament who are coming up with rotten policies. You are not going to get anything Hon. Members, use water. Thank you Mr. President.
*THE HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Mr. President. The question was earlier on responded to by Hon. Minister Chasi, that we have Genesis and Petrotrade. These are the companies that are under our purview as a Ministry. Puma and other petroleum companies are independent players. We have no control over them and we cannot direct them as to whom they should sell fuel to. Petrotrade and Genesis can be given instructions to behave in a certain manner. The Minister did clearly answer the question by saying that it is an issue between Parliament and the Ministry. If Parliament approaches us and measures are put in place, it can be done. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I will add more clarity on that issue. Hon. Sen. Dube, your question is very valid, and I know it is affecting all Hon. Members of Parliament in that the coupons that they are receiving for Puma – Puma is not having fuel in its service stations. It is a domestic issue which the Clerk of Parliament is handling right now and the Speaker of National Assembly is addressing that issue. We are trying to make some arrangements with the help of the Hon. Minister of Finance and see if we can get a more workable solution which will provide fuel to Hon. Members.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
RE-CALLING OF A MEMBER
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: On 30th June 2020, Parliament was notified by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party that the Hon. Sen. Phyllis Ndhlovu (Matebeleland North Province) among others had ceased to be a Member of the MDC-T party and therefore no longer represented the interests of the party in Parliament with effect from 30th June, 2020.
However, in a letter of the same date, the MDC-T party informed Parliament that due to litigation in the Supreme Court, Hon. Phyllis Ndhlovu had not ceased to be a Member of the party; hence she remains a Senator for the Matebeleland North Province.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I seek leave of the House that we suspend Questions With Notice and move to Order Number 9 and 11 on the Order Paper.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICAN STATES AND THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. DR. S. MOYO): I move the motion standing in my name that;
WHEREAS in terms of the Section 327 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS the Agreement establishing an Economic Partnership Agreement between the Eastern and Southern African States on the one part and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was opened for signature at London on 31st January, 2019 and it will enter into force either on the first day of the first month or on such other date as the United Kingdom and that signatory Eastern and Southern Africa States agree following the deposit of the latter of their respective instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval;
AND WHEREAS the said Agreement establishing the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Eastern and Southern Africa States on the one part and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the other part was signed on the 31st of January, 2019 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;
AND WHEREAS Article 59 (1) of the Agreement provides for signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession;
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be made and is hereby approved.
Motion put and agreed to.
CENSUS AND STATISTICS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 3, 2020]
Eleventh Order read: Second Reading, Census and Statistics Amendment Bill [H. B. 3, 2020].
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. President, I rise to present my second reading speech on the Census and Statistics Amendment Bill. Mr. President Sir, our democracy is based on the principle of one-person-one vote. This is a principle for which we have fought and paid for very dearly indeed as you all know.
The principle of one-person-one vote has two meanings as well as signifying the entitlement of every citizen to vote at local and national elections. It also bears the meaning that one’s vote is equally as important and carries the same weight as the vote of any other person.
Hon. Senator, the importance of this principle in the latter sense is recognised by the Constitution in Section 161. Subsection (3) of that Section provides that “the boundaries of constituencies must be such that, so far as possible, at the time of delimitation equal numbers of voters are registered in each constituency within Zimbabwe”. Earlier in that section, in subsection (1), it is provided that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must, once every ten years “conduct a delimitation of the electoral boundaries into which Zimbabwe is to be divided”, with the rider that such delimitation should fall “as soon as possible after a population census”. If, however, the delimitation of electoral boundaries is completed less than six months before polling day in a general election, then it is provided in subsection (2) of Section 161 that “the boundaries so delimited do not apply to that election, and instead the boundaries that existed immediately before the delimitation are applicable”.
Now, seven years into the new Constitution, we are faced with the undesirable prospect of using the same electoral boundaries as were used back in the 2013 general elections, for two reasons. The first is that the next census is only due to be completed in 2022. Even if all the census data for 2022 was availed timeously, that still brings us uncomfortably close to within the range of six months of the next election in 2023. Secondly, ZEC will simply not have the time to do the consultations, produce the reports and lay before Parliament its preliminary and final Delimitation Reports to enable Parliament and the President to properly consider them. Remember too that voter registration is done on a continuous basis by the Commission.
One solution to this dilemma is to de-link the decennial census from the delimitation exercise, which proposal has been mooted in the Constitutional Amendment Bill No, 2. On reflection, this is the least desirable expedient of all. Given that the voters’ roll cannot be closed before the declaration of a general election, ZEC must be able to depend upon reliable up-to-date census data to complete its delimitation exercise in a meaningful way. Furthermore, a Parliament that does not reflect in its composition as closely as possible the principle of the equal representatively of constituencies, is a Parliament that also compromises the principle of one-person-one vote.
Of the other possible solutions, the only achievable one in the short time available to us before the next delimitation is to amend the Census and Statistics Act [Chapter 10:29] so as to align the taking of decennial national censuses in a manner that will enable the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to take into account census data in timeous fashion. This requires us to curtail for the next election only the period within which the census must be taken. Accordingly, Clause 2 of the Bill before you will require a decennial census to be taken and completed by the 1st July, 2021, and thereafter every 10 years from that date. This, we believe will afford ZEC ample time to delimit electoral boundaries in accordance with census data.
In conclusion, I urge you, Hon. Senators to pass this Bill to uphold our democracy and the principle of one-person-one vote. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: With leave forthwith.
CENSUS AND STATISTICS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 3, 2020]
House in Committee.
Clauses 1 and 2 put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendments.
Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.
CENSUS AND STATISTICS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 3. 2020]
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Thank you Mr. President Sir. I move that the Bill be now read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the Senate adjourned at Five Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 21st July, 2020.