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SENATE HANSARD 06 APRIL 2017 26-48
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 6th April, 2017
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair) ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Hon. Hlongwane. May you kindly update this House and nation on the latest developments on the national paralympic games?
THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON.
HLONGWANE): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Sen.
Shiri for the question that she has posed. This coming weekend, on the 7th to 9th of April 2017, we are going to have the national paralympic games in Mashonaland Central Province, particularly in Bindura. The preparations for the national paralympic games are on course. As a Ministry, since Monday, we have dispatched a team of officials led by the Principal Director responsible for Sport Development and Promotion, to situate in Bindura to make sure that they assist with the final stages of the preparations. I must also state that all the preparatory meetings that were held since the beginning of the year, our Deputy Director responsible for the northern region, Mr. Mashatise has been attending and liaising between the local organising committee and the Ministry.
Our parastatal, the Sports and Recreation Commission is also on the ground to make sure that we are able to deliver much better games than those that we delivered last year in Matebeleland South province. It is all systems go; there is cooperation at institutional level between the Ministry, the SRC as well as the Minister of State responsible for Mashonaland Central province office. We are expecting teams to start arriving in the province today until tomorrow morning so that they are on time for the games.
The funding for the games is usually a challenge. As you know, we get the funding from the Treasury. We get the funding as and when we apply for it and often, we run through the predicament of the fact that the funding comes when the games are already closed. In respect of the games for last year as well as for this year, we are working very hard. I have had discussions with Minister Chinamasa yesterday to say that funding has to be released to the games so that service providers are paid on time and that we do not run into problems of provisions for the athletes as well as the officials that are running the games. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Mr. President, could I ask the Minister of Agriculture to clarify to this House, the various contradictions that we hear about plus or minus $200 million having been put to the command agriculture and the initially advised $500 million.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
(LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. President. I thought you were going to protect me Mr. President, because I do not think this is a policy matter at all. However, I am not aware as well where the different figures and contradictions are coming from, unless I am made aware that the contradictions are coming from which source. From a Government point of view, the Vice President responsible for that initiative clarified it that initially, Government had earmarked $500 million but because of the cost of money from other quotas who wanted to contribute to the coffers which was higher than expected, it therefore ended up being about $250 million or so. That is what I know, from a Government point of view.
*HON. SEN. BHOBHO: Thank you Mr. President. I am directing my question to the Minister of Agriculture. What is Government policy regarding the assistance that you gave through the command agriculture? What plans have you put in place, now that we are going to have a bumper harvest because Zimbabwe has got a lot of maize? What measures have you put in place to help these farmers who have gladly accepted this gesture, in harvesting the maize?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
(LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Indeed, Government has identified a certain number of combine harvesters around the country that are in working condition and those combines that are not in working condition, we are currently taking steps to repair those combines to make sure that the harvesting of the crops is done in time to preserve losses of the said commodity. This will allow speedy going back of farmers into winter cropping. Further to that, Government has also identified working driers around the country and non-working driers that Government has also started initiating to repair them to make sure the crop which does not meet the right moisture is also dried before it is send to the silos. I thank you.
HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President. My
question goes to the Minister of Agriculture on the issue of animal husbandry. There is command agriculture but we have not heard how we can go about on livestock command agriculture for livestock farmers.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
(LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank the Hon. Senator that if I come here and she does not ask me questions, I do not feel good at all. Surely, you have not heard anything regarding livestock command agriculture because the document has not been finalised yet but it is Government’s intention that the command agriculture scheme be extended to livestock farmers, particularly farmers in Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, part of Midlands and Masvingo Province where livestock is the mainstream activity of agriculture. I have no doubt that Government is irrevocably committed to making sure that happens as quickly as possible. We have done the document but as I said, it has not yet been approved. Therefore I cannot say out the timelines. What I can certainly say is that Government’s wish is to make it happen as soon as possible. I thank you.
+HON. SEN. BHEBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. Is there a law that is in place, particularly on how the police operate? I am asking this with regards to the people in Bubi where the police were involved in gold panning.
+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): I thank you Mr. President. The law is there in the Standing Orders of the Commissioner General of Police and that the police should not be involved in pirating taxes or gold mining. On that, we need to work together as a forum and the community if we see such people doing that and inform the Commissioner General of Police so that the person may be guided or disciplined in line with the law. If we say these people are in charge of implementing the law and they are the ones found breaking the law, it does not work out well. Even the residents can help us so that those who are involved in such activities, we take measures against them so that the law is upheld. I thank you.
+HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you very much Mr.
President. Hon. Minister, looking at what you have just said, I see that the police are being allowed by you to be involved in such activities. It seems this policy is double-edged. If you do not allow that, the police would not be involved in such activities. We do not want to have the police at all because you have corrupted them. As peacemakers, you have allowed them to be involved in that. Even if you see them doing such activities, you will not arrest them. What are you going to do?
HON. MGUNI: I thank you Mr. President. What is good is that everyone who has been chosen by the people, either here in the Senate or in the National Assembly, has a right to correct anomalies. What she is saying is good but I believe that she has seen that those who were involved initially in Bubi we arrested and they have since been discharged from the service. If we find a police officer involved in such activities, we discharge them from service. We do not allow them to be involved in corrupt activities. If an officer disobeys the law, we will reprimand them. We have laws to correct such anomalies. We are there for them.
+HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. There are officers called neighbourhood watch who work within districts arresting criminals. From my observation, they are not incentivised. What programmes do you have as Government to help these people?
+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): We started a new programme in Kariba just last week which we call “Police is the community and the community is police.” This programme involves the police working with the community in their areas. It is important that there be people who come from the communities who should be involved in police programmes to see what activities are happening, what needs to be done and the challenges. This will enable the community and police to work together and assist where there are challenges.
We have seen that these people are very helpful. Some of them have got the requisite qualifications and age and we are incentivising them. We have recruited them to join the police force. Some are old and do not have the requisite qualifications. We sat down with them and highlighted this. They understand this but we go a step further and give them uniforms and shoes to wear during their voluntary operations.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. Do you have a policy that allows our police to stop commuter omnibuses and small vehicles using spikes? Is it lawful in this country?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): A boom gate, a spike, a drum and a mobile plastic wall which is usually yellow are all called security barriers. They are used to stop or control traffic – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- The bone of contention is how they are put on the road. Spikes should be laid on the road so that an offender or any motorist stops and obey what the police want.
However, I have physically gone to where the police have been carrying the spikes. I have seen some taxi drivers driving over the spike which is laid and he will be carrying passengers. He may run for a distance with punctured wheels whilst the passengers are in there. You will see how those passengers are traumatised. I think that we need to educate the nation that they should not always try to break the law. When the police stops you, stop and comply. That will make no conflict between the police and the society. I thank you.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: A few days ago, I actually saw a police throwing a spike whilst the commuter omnibus was moving. The omnibus swerved and almost killed people. Is that how it is mearnt to be?
HON. MGUNI: We are in a world where people can capture a lot of incidences through the gadgets they are carrying. We have already dismissed a lot of police officers through the help of the public when they record indecent acts which are not professional.
If the police officer threw a spike onto a moving vehicle, that is not correct. If we can get such evidence, we will discipline the police officer because the spike must be laid down. It is used to control traffic, for motorists to stop and obey the instructions.
*HON. SEN. MUGABE: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. What is Government policy regarding pest control in farming this past season? We noticed that the maize crop and horticulture crops like tomato have been attacked by a lot of pests for example chilo worm, army worm and other strange worms. Some of these pests migrate from other countries. Do we have plans to fight off these pests that must have laid eggs in our lands?
*THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK)
(HON. ZHANDA): It is true that in this cropping season, a lot of pests attacked our crops and they were coming from other countries. We have some chemicals which I cannot mention at the moment which are used to fight these pests. When we are looking for the ideal chemical to eradicate these pests, it takes time. It may take up to a year or two because before you use any chemical, you need to carry out some research to establish if the chemical is compatible with what you want. That chemical will then be imported and be registered in the country so that it can be used legally in the country. At the moment, we are still in a trial and error situation.
On the chemicals which are used to fight pests that destroy tomatoes. We have different specialists who supply these chemicals. All one needs to do is to go to the particular vendor who sells that chemical and tell them the kind of worm or pests which we have. They will give you the appropriate chemical.
The other advice I may give to farmers is that let us scout our fields, after growing crops, we need to scout and check for the pests which could be destroying our crops. We can then look for the chemicals which will fight them. We have some farmers, when they saw these pests, they thought it was the normal army worm which we knew and used that chemical but it failed. Thank you.
+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the
Minister of Sport and Recreation. Hon. Minister, males have their own league and they play football up to I do not know. We also have the Mighty Warriors, they have their national team and their league but do you have a league for netball?
THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON.
HLONGWANE): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank Hon.
Sibanda for her question. Did you want to ask for football or netball?
HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: Netball.
+HON. HLONGWANE: It is true Hon. Members. We have a
netball league here in Zimbabwe, which is quite popular but it is different from football because very few people are interested in netball. With football, a lot of people support it, reporters, companies and the corporate world are interested in football. Netball in Zimbabwe is quite advanced, I would like to inform this House that as I am talking, our national team for netball won the gold medal for Africa, last year. In the whole of Africa they are number one.
I would also like to inform you that, that particular team has qualified for the world cup netball which will be held in July 2017, in Botswana. Also, our under 21 for netball in Zimbabwe has qualified for world cup again, this year. So, netball is popular and has structures across the country. We have teams in the rural areas, urban areas, army, police and in other municipalities. I thank you Mr. President.
+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: You have mentioned the army, rural
areas and the police, do you also have players from prisons because there are women as well, so that you encourage them to associate with others and realise their talents? There are also some women who are good at playing guitars, do you also approach prisons?
+HON. HLONGWANE: Thank you Mr. President. Thank you
again Hon. Member. Yes, prisons are among the organisations which give us players for netball. Quite a number of our netball players come from prisons. In our national team, there are three players from prisons. Even in the Mighty Warriors, prisons supplies players in that team. I would like to inform the House that prisons are involved in sports as well. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: My question is directed to the Minister of Sport and Recreation. Hon. Minister, you are on record talking about sport development. What measures are you putting in place to develop coaching, so that we avoid firing the coaches after every loss at major matches? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON.
HLONGWANE): Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Hon. Member
for the good question. Your question elicits an answer that is multifaceted, in the sense that at policy level, our job as Government is to regulate provisioning of coaching education across all sport codes in the country. That takes various forms. As Government, we are very much concerned about the quality of service provided by those who are entrusted with the task of making sure that they assist our athletes in the country, especially those athletes who are within the elite sector of sport development.
To intervene and mitigate on some of the confusion that may come out of the absence of requisite skills, one of the things that we have done, working together with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development is to introduce diploma and degree programmes so that we have a cadreship of administrators as well as technical officials that are trained in both the theoretical and practical aspects of coaching and administering sport.
The National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo provides a diploma to those students who do not have 5 ‘O’ Levels but would want to supplement for the deficit in terms of their subjects, so that at the end of a three year programme they are able to be given their diplomas. It also provides a degree in sport science and coaching.
Bindura University of Science Education is also in the same area as well as the Zimbabwe Institute of Management. We have developed a programme together with the Sports and Recreation Commission that tries to fill that skills gap within the sports and recreation sector. As far as coaching in particular sport codes is concerned, that is regulated by International Confederations of those sport codes.
In the case of football, it is regulated by CAF and FIFA. In the case of rugby it is regulated by World Rugby and so forth. What we have advised the National Sport Associations is to make sure that they do not expose our athletes to inadequate skills in terms of those skills that are provided for by coaches. Therefore, as we speak now there is a movement within the National Sports Associations to make sure that those who are going to be coaching a particular sport code have the requisite skills that are accredited with the national, regional as well as the international confederation. That is definitely a requirement.
This is very important because if we do not do that we will find that substandard skills would be interacting with our athletes. A product can only be as good as how it is being produced. So, it is a very important question that you ask but I want you to know that it is a matter that we are dealing with and it is being handled at the highest level.
*HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Mr. President. My
question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Minister, what is Government policy regarding the deaths which occur in accidents on the roads like the accident on the bus going to Beitbridge on the road to South Africa? The road is very narrow and people are dying. There was an accident in which many people died just last night. Then, what are your plans regarding the correction of these problems on this major highway?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):
Thank you Mr. President and I thank Hon. Chabuka for this pertinent question. As a nation, we are very much grieved by the accident which occurred and we lost so many people. This is regardless of the condition of the road but what really hurts us as the Government of Zimbabwe is the deaths on such accidents. We have just received a police report that confirms that they are now 17 people who have died and at the same time, we have some other people who were injured in this accident who are critical. This really touches me since this problem is part of my purview and one of my jurisdictions.
I am talking of the road which is from Beitbridge to Chirundu, as I have told this august House before that we have sourced for a loan from a company which is prepared to help and to partner us and this company is called Geiger International from Austria. Geiger International is going to construct and repair this major highway and shortly we will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony. When you are coming from Masvingo near Chaka Growth Point, there is a river there and you will see that we have already started on some work there. That is where we are going to do groundbreaking. We want to start the programme of constructing this road and it is a very busy road which is used by people who would be going to do business in South Africa.
It is a main artery road which is very valid in our economic situation. As a result, we have divided the development project into six sectors and each sector will be given 100 kilometers long to work on that road. Because, we feel that if we give many companies, each one of them will be responsible for a particular potion, we can complete this job within two years. I am sorry about what happened.
The main problem which we were facing is that we did not have enough money to construct or repair these roads. Consequently, we have had to borrow money from outside. We borrowed an amount of $998 million which is nearly $1 billion and we are saying, we need to go to Chirundu and we are looking for a further $886 million which is another billion dollars. So, these are two billion dollars which are needed. Since we started working on our roads, we have never used such an amount and the amount which we need is $2.1billion dollars. We may not have that money as a nation but we have friends who are prepared to lend us that kind of money and we are very sympathetic to the people who passed on on our roads.
On the other hand, we are begging Hon. Members to talk to the drivers in our constituencies and please, advise drivers to drive carefully on the roads because some of these accidents are caused by man fault.
We have just launched a new Highway Code and it has been shown that 99% of our accidents are mainly caused by human error. These omnibus drivers should be aware that they are carrying valuable human lives on board, hence should avoid recklessness.
+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: Minister, many accidents are caused by haulage trucks and recently we lost one of our cadres from our party because of the haulage truck. When are you going to make matters well in the railway line so that we remove the haulage trucks from our roads? Can you explain to us when they are going to remove these haulage trucks from our roads?
I would like to explain so that you understand. The haulage trucks destroy our roads. When are you going to repair the railway line and how long will it take you to repair it? Are you not disturbed by the deaths of people in these carnages?
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: Hon. Senator, it is a
supplementary issue, so let us be brief please.
+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: It is painful Mr. President. I am sorry.
*HON. DR. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. President. It is not a supplementary question but it is important.
Firstly, the question is two pronged. She is talking about removing the haulage trucks from the roads and also about the national railways. When we construct roads – dualisation; from Bulawayo, we want to construct it from Beitbridge to Victoria Falls. When we dualise, and have more lanes, we hope that it will help in reducing accidents but it does not mean that we will not have accidents completely. Haulage trucks cannot be removed from the roads because some of the things cannot be transported using other modes. They will always be there but the drivers have to exercise caution on the roads.
As she is talking about the rehabilitation of the railways, our railwayline is now dilapidated of which poor management and over employment are the causes. Cabinet has now given us a go ahead for us to source some funding to resuscitate our railway lines. Regarding the resuscitation of transport, the Private Public Partnerships (PPP) or other external donors who may come and assist us. We need to look at all those ways of resuscitating the railway system. Unfortunately, the accounting system or the balance books of the National Railways have been so badly managed that we do not have any partner who may come into the country and gladly come into partnership with us after observing that. Now, we are in the process of sourcing for partners who can help us resuscitate the transport and the railway system in Zimbabwe. I am begging you Members of Parliament to please assist us in sourcing for this assistance.
We have had enquiries coming from people and we know at times we have overuse of the roads, which is at times caused by the poor railway system. These heavy trucks will then destroy the roads. +HON. SEN. NCUBE: My supplementary question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Gumbo. What measures are there concerning these haulage trucks to push a time frame that by such time, haulage trucks should stop moving? We have realised that most of the accidents happen at night. I thank you.
*HON. DR. GUMBO: Thank you Senator Ncube for the
question. Some people are calling for haulage trucks to be barred from moving on the roads at a certain time. We do not have that particular law which says we set time that these heavy duty lorries should only travel at some particular time. We have insinuated that after 6 o’clock in the evening, we should not move these lorries. Unfortunately, some of our drivers do not listen to some of these laws which are made at an ad hoc basis. We have noticed, as the law makers, that if you continue guiding people through using the laws, there may appear to be a problem. You may seem to be a nuisance to such a case that when these haulage truck drivers are driving after 6 o’clock and they are arrested,
we may find that we now have problems and corruption may creep in because a driver would be apprehended for driving after 6 o’clock in the evening.
As legislators, we are aware of our situation and if you feel it is valid that we really set a law which says these heavy duty tracks should not travel after some time, we need to work together so that we do not apportion blame whenever there is anything which may happen in future. I may be a Minister today but tomorrow it could be you. I am very grateful for the question which has been asked. We do not have laid down rules and regulations saying these heavy duty trucks should not move after such a time. We may need to have lay byes or places whereby these truck drivers should put up and rest in places such as Mvuma and Mutendi. These drivers move in the evening, put on some flash lights, which may blind other people. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President. My question
goes to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock), Hon. Zhanda.
We are heading for a bumper harvest in this country and we thank God for that. However, I have come across information that Government is intending to bar private millers from buying maize from producers directly. You are on record in this House encouraging that this country and economy or the market is going to be on a ‘free buyer - free seller’,
‘willing buyer - willing seller’ basis, which was a good thing. Can you tell the nation why the Government is intending to run away from that position which I think is very advantageous to the population?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
(LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. President. I want
to thank the Hon. Senator for the question. Let me also clarify probably what I said and what I meant. Maize is no longer a controlled commodity; it was de-controlled. When Government decontrols a commodity, it means that Government is not only the buyer. Anybody can buy because it is legal for anybody to buy maize. That is what I meant.
However, I did say that Government offers $390, a price that you cannot see anywhere, as a way of incentivising farmers to produce what can be adequate to us as a country and that is what has happened. I am happy that you also see the way we have seen it as Government that the Command Programme has produced results. I am not talking on whether it is $4 million, $3 million or whatever it is but we are on the right track in terms of self-sufficiency or producing what is required for
I think you are aware that the Command Agriculture Scheme is not meant for free. It is on a full recovery basis and the only way as Government we can recover what we have advanced to farmers is to encourage them to market their produce through GMB. Moreover, that is where they are paid more than anybody and one would be surprised why one would opt to sell it through a private buyer who will obviously offer them less. In my view, if you find a farmer who wants to sell to a private buyer who offers them less, it means obviously he is trying to circumvent paying what he owes or has been advanced under the
Government has considered that obviously because of the $390, which might be perceived to be a bit higher, will encourage millers and stock feed manufacturers to buy from GMB at import parity, which means it would be probably less than $390. So, the import parity figure will be a figure that has to be agreed. Therefore, I do not see anything wrong with that.
One would have also wanted to encourage that this is why we had a demise of the cotton sector in this country where COTTCO was the only financier of the growing of cotton. Other ginneries came and wanted to buy what they have not invested in. At the end of the day, that is why you saw cotton was no longer being grown by other farmers because of side marketing. Therefore, all those private companies as well, one would think that they should also not come at the middle of the value chain. They must start at the beginning by wanting to cause maize to be grown on their behalf and not to come and buy what has been financed by others.
From a Government point of view, I think for this Command Agriculture to go ahead because Government borrowed money; this scheme was not financed by Government, it was financed by money from the private sector and that money has to go back. Therefore, it is prudent and important that the money must be paid back in order for the programme to go ahead for the next seasons to come. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: I hear you Hon. Minister and I thank you for agreeing that Government has changed goal posts because we were looking at the same buyer. Remember our country is made up of
70% of rural people, most of whom are not on the Command Agriculture Scheme. We expect also those people to benefit by selling directly through the ‘willing buyer - willing seller’ scheme which is very profitable to everybody and it is quicker. Hon. Minister, I think you should look into it again. How about re-looking into that so that most of our people who will benefit from selling to private people can continue benefiting - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] - Can you protect me. There is a lot of disturbances from that corner. I think it is Hon. somebody there.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is no
longer a question, you are now…
HON. SEN. MARAVA: Yes, coming from you it is alright but not from him.
HON. ZHANDA: I think I did explain the reasons very well. As I said, if a commodity is deregulated, Government is not saying it is law but is encouraging people to market their produce through GMB, for the purposes that I have explained. As I also alluded to, if you look at the record this past rainy season, every farmer was paid within a specified period, the US$390. Therefore, I do not think it is in the interest of this House, given the example that I have given you on cotton and the same with maize as well as alluding to what you have actually acknowledged that this Command Agriculture has produced results, which are for the benefit of this country. So, we would wish and want the programme to continue in the years to come but if we allow the side marketing of that crop and avoid paying back from where we got the money, I really do not know what this House will stand for. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I move that the time for Questions Without Notice be extended by ten minutes.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
*HON. SEN. MUMVURI: My question is directed to the
Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Let me start by thanking you and Government for the good work of commissioning the Victoria Falls Airport. A lot of airlines are now using the destination when coming into our country, which is helping our country in line with ZIM ASSET. As Air Zimbabwe, where are we placed? We are not increasing our flights outside to bring tourists here from Britain though some other countries like Rwanda have come in. Where is Zimbabwe placed in such a scenario?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): I
want to thank Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for the preamble that he has given. For sure, we have so many planes coming into Zimbabwe and next month we will be having Kenya Airline. We have negotiated with a number of countries to also fly into Zimbabwe. However, in terms of Air Zimbabwe – colleagues, the Ministry of Transport is a difficult Ministry. The things that they need to have are not cheap. The railway and the roads are not in good shape and even the aeroplanes are not in good shape but when given a job to do, you have to do it. Let me assure you that we are working at it squarely and what is on the ground is that we have plans for Air Zimbabwe. We can equate it to what the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) was but we have been given permission by Government to work on it. We are far ahead in our plans for the Ministry of Finance to take over the debt of Air Zimbabwe. This will enable us to streamline the Air Zimbabwe management and look for new aeroplanes to help alleviate the plight of Air Zimbabwe. The plan is still in its infancy stage, so I cannot divulge much because there are still
more things to be done but I just want to assure you that before we get to July, you will see a lot of Air Zimbabwe aeroplanes flying. We will be going to Brussels on 26th April to try and service our debt so that we will get our planes flying to London and other routes. So, I think you can hold your horses a little bit because in the near future, things will be alright and we will be running a competitive airline. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: My question is directed to the
Minister of Sport and Recreation. We know that ZIFA was instrumental in campaigning for the CAF presidency and we are proud that you allowed it. However, the ZIFA President made a diplomatic blunder when he made a press conference after Ethiopia when he said; we wanted somebody whom we could control. Is it in your policy that you go about controlling people of other nations in terms of sport?
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Was it
the Ministry which made that statement or it is an individual?
THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON.
HLONGWANE): The thing about sport in general is that sport has its own democratic structures that should be allowed to evolve and express themselves. Football in particular, is one such sensitive sport that we try as Governments across the world to maintain a distance from in respect of issues to do with staffing. When they play out, ordinarily governments do not want to publicly take a position or express themselves to the extent that this was an issue to do with the election of the CAF President and to the extent that regional and national confederations as well as FIFA were involved. I think that our position as Government is that we allow those matters to situate firmly within the purview and domain of football democracy. So, I would not want to make a comment that maybe misconstrued. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: I would like to find out from the
Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development if it is possible to have a 24 hour shift in the repairing and construction of our roads. I am saying that because the road construction is likely to progress in the evening where there will be less traffic. Could you also consider working in the evening instead of during the day?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):
Your question can be divided into two. Our roads are in four levels and I think you are talking about roads in town where there is very heavy traffic during the day but when we refer to areas such as Tsholotsho, Chiendambuya and Muzarabani, we do not have a lot of traffic and therefore, people can work at anytime.
I believe the Hon. Senator asked this question with the current disaster that occurred on one of our roads in mind and I am saying, we are talking about the State Procurement Board which has since given us the permission to do whatever we want. They have said we should not burden ourselves with that problem but source for people who can do the job. We have since selected service providers who can do the repairs maintenance of these roads.
I know in some areas, we have roads which have been washed away by rains but now that we have procured services of these service providers who will be working during the day, I will talk to my colleague, Hon. Kasukuwere regarding roads in the urban areas so that the repairs and construction of roads can be done during the evening when there is less traffic. We will definitely communicate. Thank you very much.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE
TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing
Order No. 62.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
MEASURES TO PROSECUTE SHOP OWNERS WHO CONTINUE
TO SELL ARMY REGALIA TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
- HON. SEN. MAWIRE asked the Minister of Home Affairs to explain to the House the measures that have been put in place to prosecute the shop owners who continue to sell army regalia to members of the public, defying the directive that prohibits civilians from wearing army regalia.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): Firstly, allow me to straighten some misunderstanding relating to army uniform. While Section 99 of the Defence Act, Chapter 11 paragraph 2 prohibits the wearing or selling of army uniforms in terms of clothing that so nearly resemble uniforms supplied to members of the Defence Force, the conduct complained, in most cases, pertains to the clothing resembling army uniform and not the Zimbabwe Defence Force camouflage itself. The influx of such material comes from imports and in most instances, such materials do not resemble army uniform in those countries.
The police and relevant Zimbabwe National Army units have and continue to carry out joint awareness campaigns on the provisions of the Zimbabwe law. I am sure you are also aware of statements that have been made by the Hon. Minister of Defence, Dr. Sekeramayi relating to the same issue including the few arrests that have been made. We are quite happy that the generality of the populace have heeded to this advice and very soon this will be overcome.
In conclusion Hon. Senators, may I point out that the ZRP is committed to respecting and upholding the rights of every citizen and infrastructures that belong to the owners and citizens of Zimbabwe. This may result from resource constraints if some of the duties are not performed in full. Our police officers will always try to provide satisfactory and human service to all the people of Zimbabwe. Police is community and community is police. I thank you.
CHALLENGES POSED BY STREET PEOPLE WHO HARASS
MOTORISTS IN THE PRESENCE OF POLICE OFFICERS
- HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Home Affairs, the role of the police in addressing the challenges posed by street people who harass motorists in the presence of Police Officers manning traffic along Samora Machel Avenue and the corner of Leopold
Takawira street, and seem oblivious of the growing illegal menace by such street people and beggars.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): First and foremost, I wish to acknowledge the problem of street people and those who beg for alms in our cities. This is a multifaceted problem that requires a holistic approach by Government, local authorities and leadership in various positions. However, be that as it may, the Zimbabwe Republic Police will not stand aside while such persons commit criminal offences or harass members of the public. We remain pretty aware of the nagging nature of some of these people as they plead for powers, particularly those who are in the habit of taking intoxicating substances and end up harassing motorists and other road users. At times, their activities are no different from touts. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has not turned a blind eye to any touts, vendors, street persons or beggars who contravene the law by harassing passersby or motorists.
The police are, however, unaware of any complaints of harassments committed by beggars at the point mentioned, which is at the street operating at corner Samora Machel and Leopold Takawira street. May I however, take this opportunity to assure Hon. Senators and the nation at large, that the Zimbabwe Republic Police remains committed and ready to weed out any social delinquency, regardless of their status in society. Certainly, the group is no exception. Should they thwart the law, the ZRP will decisively deal with them. Members of the public should therefore report any delinquencies to the police. I thank you Mr. President.
APPLICATION OF THE PUBLIC ORDER AND SECURITY ACT
- HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Home Affairs, to clarify how the Public Order and Security Act is applied given the fact that the Police all over the country demand to authorize the holding of private meetings of political party leadership at private venues and if the Minister could cite the specific provisions of the Act used to determine the holding of such meetings so that confusion between notification and seeking police authority is clarified.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): The Public Order and Security Act, Chapter 11:17 was enacted primarily for the purpose of providing a legal framework for the maintenance of internal security and order. One area of life which was targeted for the regulation was public gatherings after it was shown that there was a tendency for such events to quickly degenerate into violence, resulting in loss of life, injury, malicious damage to property and looting. The Zimbabwe Republic Police as the law enforcement arm of
Government has in most cases enforced the provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) to ensure that law and order is maintained at all times and at all places. Sections 24 and 25 of POSA require that convenors of public meetings give notice in writing to the regulating authority for the district in which the public meeting is to be held. This is the requirement of the law and not the police. The police are there to enforce what is in the law.
Section 2 of the same Act defines a public meeting as follows:
“any meeting of more than 15 persons in a public place or meeting which the public or any section of the public is permitted to attend whether on payment or otherwise”. The definition extends to exclude a meeting of any organ or structure of a political party or other organisation held at a private place. I deliberately cite this definition for its importance in answering the question raised by Hon. Sen. Chimhini. The meetings that are not notified to the police in terms of Sections 24 and 25 are those that do not fall within the scope of public meetings and such meetings are exclusively for organs or structures of a political party held at a private place.
It is critical however, to underscore that, if members of the public are allowed to attend such meeting, then the provisions of Sections 24 and 25 would apply. In such circumstances, the convenor would be required in terms of the law to give notification of the meeting to the regulating authority. A suggestion is made that police demand to authorise the holding of private meetings. I do not think so. Where conveners of meetings and gatherings adhere to the provisions of the law, police will readily facilitate such meetings.
The police have over the years noted that political leaders and their followers tend to choose which laws to obey and which laws to disregard. Under such a scenario, the police would have no option since they are mandated to enforce the law as it is and not as it ought to be. My appeal to Hon. Senators is for them to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the law so that whatever they do is within the scope and limits of the statute. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Minister, the question wants you to explain the point of notification and authority. There is something wrong with the law, if it is notification, it is simply informing the police. We are not seeking authority and I would want the Minister to respond
HON. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. President. I think the Upper House and Lower will have people that are representing the people. It is the law that says you have to notify the police. As police when we are notified, we do what we call risk assessment. Previously, if a similar gathering caused harm within the society, we may stop it because we know that these conveners, when they convene such a meeting it ends up causing looting, destruction of shops, not creating a peaceful environment among the community. Therefore, the reason to notify the police is for them to know and make a profile of that gathering whether it is a threat or not. If it is a threat, the police will stop the meetings.
HON. SEN. MAKORE: I want to find out, is it logic or it is written in that law?
HON. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. President. It is driven from the Constitution and any Standing Order that will come, even from the
Commissioner General, we have to see that it is linking up with the Constitution. Remember, there are other people who are not in a meeting, who are in their houses, who do not want to be offended by unpeaceful methods and by looting of their property. So, as police we need to protect everybody. We need to facilitate the gathering whilst protecting other people who are not in that gathering. As long as the Constitution allows us to provide peace to those who are not in that gathering, we must look for an instrument that will protect those that are not in the gathering, so that everything is peaceful.
POLICY ON TREATMENT OF SUSPECTS AND ACCUSED
PERSONS IN POLICE CELLS
- HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to explain to the House;
- Government policy on the treatment of suspects and accused persons held in police cells, particularly at Mutare Central Police Station where up to ten inmates can be held in a cell without any flush toilets, water, toilet paper and have to use stinking blankets infested with lice.
- Whether this does not constitute inhuman treatment, in view of the fact that these arrested suspects or accused persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): The Zimbabwe Republic Police is a creation of the
Constitution and as such, is obligated to uphold all Fundamental Human
Rights and Freedoms enshrined in Part 2 of the Constitution. Among these rights are the rights of arrested and detained persons. The constitutional provisions spell out and lay a firm foundation of Government policy regarding the treatment of arrested and detained persons. All other statutes such as the Police Act and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act build onto this foundation.
May I also assure Hon. Senators that our systems provide for sufficient checks and balances in the protection of the rights of arrested and detained persons. For example, Section 21 of the Schedule to the Police Act, Chapter 11:10 makes it an offence to neglect or to ill-treat in anyway any person in custody. The Hon. Senator makes specific reference to Mutare Central Police Station cells which he alleges have no flush toilets and that detained person at Mutare are treated inhumanely.
It is unfortunate that most police cells were built before independence with external flush systems. Government is doing all it can to keep the flushing systems in good working order and making the necessary renovations so that they meet modernity. The only major constraints are limited resources, but in order you for you to get a deeper understanding of how the ZRP safeguards the interests and rights of arrested and detained persons.
Allow me to give you a brief insight into police operations and administration. In their day to day operations, police stations are guided by the national laws, the Constitution being the supreme law, the Police Act and Regulations; in addition, there are standard operating procedures that include the Police Standing Orders issued by the
Commissioner General of police in terms of Section 9 of the Police Act,
Uncoded rules, the Client Service Charter, Guiding Principles, Station
Orders and Routine drawn by each Officer in Charge of a police station.
These instruments are vital in spelling out the Dos and Don’ts at police stations. Some of these Dos and Don’ts relate to the treatment of arrested and detained persons, their general up-keeping while in police custody and the general maintenance of the police cells. Police stations maintain the following records in relation to police cells:
A register of cell visits, the officer or a Member- in- Charge of the station where or a shift leader or a relief officer is required to visit each cell after every thirty or fifteen minutes in a rural or an urban police station respectively. The purpose of the visit is to check on the welfare of detained persons.
A visit register is also maintained for members of the judiciary. Magistrates and judges carry out announced and unannounced visits to police cells to check on the detention of arrested persons.
A blankets laundry schedule and register; blankets in cells that have been issued out for use are washed every seven days and such action endorsed on both the laundry schedule which is normally pasted on the walls of each cell and on the appropriate register. These records are available for inspection.
All police cells are guarded by roving patrols and toilets are flushed every 15 minutes or earlier upon request by inmates. Further to these efforts, police cells are cleaned twice each day; once in the morning and once in the afternoon and upon request or as directed by the Officer-in-Charge when such need arises.
All detained persons are issued with toilet paper upon detention using scales that are stipulated in the Police Standing Orders. Some of these good practices have been copied by regional Police Services for implementation in their own countries.
With specific reference to Mutare Police Station, our checks revealed that there are seven police cells at the station. The station on average detains ten accused at a time and has 44 blankets in use which may be increased when need arises. It can be increased to 50 blankets, as we have 50 blankets in stock. As indicated, the blankets are washed as per set schedules and are not lice infested as alleged.
For the avoidance of doubt, there may be a few occasions when the sewer system is faulty or when the water supply is cut, particularly at stations that rely on water from local authorities. In such circumstances, police readily provide alternative sources of water and the Police
Construction Unit in each province gives priority to faulty sewers. I personally visited the cells at Mutare and found out that the water was cut. I managed to call the Mayor and he cooperated and water was reconnected because even the police officers did not have water in their hostels. They had to walk for five kilometers to go and fetch water when it was cut.
The ZRP is in the process of upgrading its cells and other infrastructure and we are hopeful that the flushing systems at all police cells will be gradually improved to allow flushing by the user or by electric sensors. In the meantime, the ZRP will continue to maintain the facilities in a humane and habitable state that is possible.
I went to Kariba where the community and the business forum saw that the toilets and other facilities were not good; they contributed. That is why I was saying “police is community, community is police.” The community there with the business people cleaned the station. US$3 500 was also raised from the fund raising dinner that was held to fix the cells and toilets at Kariba Police Station.
May all Zimbabweans be in that mood so that we make our police stations a home and place to report cases and have good administration.
I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: I want to believe that when Ministers come and give responses, they say things as they are. We want the truth. Anybody who has been detained at police stations knows very well that there is no toilet paper in the cells but for the Minister to come and say cells are checked after every fifteen minutes does not serve the country. All I am simply saying on a point of order is that Ministers must come and tell the truth because we have been there and we know what is happening. The truth has to be told. Thank you Mr. President – [HON.
SENS: Hear, hear.]-
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT (HON. SEN.
TAVENGWA): Order, order. I think you should withdraw the statement that the Minister is not telling the truth. Maybe in order of their standard operating procedures, that is what should be done. If then the officers at that station are not applying that, then that is something else.
HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: I am not accusing the Minister because I want to believe that the Minister is given a report by the officials. I am saying the officials who gave that report to the Minister are lying because I was in those cells. I am not accusing the Minister. I am accusing those who gave the Minister wrong information. They are lying to the Minister – [HON. SENS: Hear, hear.]-
HON. MGUNI: I went physically to Mutare cells, as I have indicated. You can even phone the Mayor, the Propol for Manicaland but there was not water. Even if they knew that I was coming, the municipality had cut the water. We had to meet with the Mayor and we solved the problem amicably and the toilets were cleaned. I thank you Mr. President.
MEASURES TO CURB THE RAMPANT STEALING OF MAIZE
FROM THE FIELDS
- HON. SEN. GOTO asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House what measures the Ministry has put in place to curb the rampant stealing of maize from fields, a concern that is seriously affecting the programme of Command Agriculture which was embarked on by the Government.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): I am sure that most of the Hon. Members and myself included, are farmers or somehow have relatives who are into farming. I am also confident that those people will readily attest to the ZRP’s readiness and commitment to the success of Government programmes, including the land reform exercise and all its intended activities.
From the onset of the Land Reform Programme, the police established police posts and bases in all resettled areas in order to bring police services closer to people. Police regularly complement these efforts through mounted cycle, vehicle and foot patrols in a bid to curb criminal activities that could impede on agricultural activities.
In addition, most farming areas have active neighbourhood watch committees and Home Affairs offices for police like bases and police stations. These schemes that involve policing with locals must be manifested and promoted through each community in that separate area. All these initiatives are among a host of proactive crime fighting strategies provided by police in farming communities.
Let us all rally behind these efforts and safeguard our agricultural produce. So far, crime statistics from the police on theft of farm produce do not suggest anything sinister. I wish to give modest assurance that our harvest is safe. Let us not tire in giving the police the necessary support and information to bring the culprits into books. Thank you Mr.
DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION OF SPORTS
- HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Sport and
Recreation, to state the plans that the Ministry has to develop and promote sports in Zimbabwe.
THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON.
HLONGWANE): Thank you Hon. President. I stand guided Hon.
President by the limited scope of the expected parameters of the question I am addressing which is demanding an outline of plans by the Ministry to develop sport and recreation in Zimbabwe. However, I must make clear pronouncement that beyond plans and planning, the Ministry of Sport and Recreation has already effected some functional frameworks for the betterment of our sport and recreation sector in the country. To avoid deviation from the given question, there is need to inclusively outline both the Ministry’s intended and implemented strategic course to develop the sport and recreation sector in Zimbabwe.
Against this background, it is worth noting that our drive to develop sport and recreation has been guided by the Ministry’s national sport and recreation policy campus which was adopted by Government in August, 2016, which seeks among other things:
- To bring the marginalities of the past to rest by mainstreaming all sport codes practiced in Zimbabwe with a noble intention of fostering mass participation by all Zimbabweans.
- Enhancing the monitisation of sport and recreation with a strong bias of making the sport and recreation industry an alternative source of employment for the people of Zimbabwe, in other words integrating sport and recreation to the real economy of the country.
- To lobby for the widening of access to recreational facilities in a bid to promote and strengthen social coercion, nation building and manufacturing patriotic consent; at the same time, cultivating a robust culture of fitness and wellness across the country.
- To serve the mandate of promoting investment, marketing and consumption of sport and recreation services; and finally
- To develop a sustainable funding model for sport and recreation in the country.
In respect of the practical steps that we have taken as a Ministry, since the consummation of the national sport and recreation policy in August 2016, the following operational policies have been elaborated on and are currently under implementation.
- THE COMMUNITY SPORT AND RECREATION CLUB SYSTEM.
The community sport and recreation club system has been operationalised to assist the Ministry of Sport and Recreation to create sport and recreation clubs in marginal communities and rather all communities across the country. The conclusive aim of this programme is to promote mass participation by all in sport and recreation.
The community sport and recreation club system is an effective platform for stimulating inclusion and participation by all in recreation, including our youths, women, persons with disabilities and the elderly in order to address issues of discipline, employment patriotism, gender, health, lifestyle tolerance of different community development fairness, culture, nationhood, social coercion and generating a productive working class, thereby contributing towards the economy of Zimbabwe.
As we speak right now, starting September of 2016, the community of sport and recreation club system is being implemented across the country in our communities; in wards. We have an encumbrance which I must state that in terms of the structure of the Ministry, we are not able to reach the wards because our officers are only present at the district level. We are however seeking synergies with those Ministries that have a presence at the ward level to make sure that this programme is a success across the country. We are also developing a cadreship of volunteer corps to make sure that they do participate in this programme with a view to making sure that all the youths belong to one club or the other across the country. This programme is affecting 21 sport codes that have been identified that are not present at the community level.
- TEAM ZIMBABWE NATIONAL SELECTION POLICY
The Ministry of Sport and Recreation has also established a guiding framework in the selection of Team Zimbabwe participants to represent the country in competitions at regional, continental and international levels. The policy framework is aimed at making sure that there is transparency as core principle that guides the selection of athletes as well as technical teams into our national team. This is important in order to prevent nepotism, favouritism, clientelism as well as rent seeking in the selection process and selection criteria.
This has been informed by the fact that previously we had youth that have attained gold Hon. President at National Youth Games but those athletes do not find themselves making the grade into our national teams as a result of the many ills that I have enunciated above.
- POLICY ON HOSTING OF NATIONAL AND
This is an operational policy that serves as a template for Zimbabwe’s bidding and hosting of regional and international games so that we develop our sport tourism in a very big way. Right now we are working on a joint venture project with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry to try to bring to Zimbabwe the ballon d’or which is a prestigious FIFA event recognises the best athletes in football.
- SPORT ACADEMY POLICY
The Ministry of Sport and Recreation Academy is currently working on developing a Sport Academy Policy with biases and interest in forming a multi-disciplinary high performance centre which will work as an incubator for talent identification as well as athletes’ development. The principal objective of this policy roadmap for athletes’ development is to enhance Zimbabwe’s capacity in meeting the required international performance standards. Through this initiative, the Ministry of Sport and Recreation will work in partnership with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to identify universities and colleges which are endowed with the best sport and recreation facilities with a view to accrediting those facilities as district, provincial as well as national training centres. The accreditation process will be code based and standard facilities within a particular given institution.
On the other hand, we are working as a Ministry at the ward; district and provincial levels to make sure that there are training centres at those levels. In this regard, we are working at those levels. In this regard, we are working with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to make sure that we consummate at a macro level or at a national level, a project that we have piloted successfully in Bulawayo.
- The Zimbabwe National Fitness and Wellness Programme
The Ministry has also developed the Zimbabwe National Fitness and Wellness Programme whose main purpose is to promote health, fitness and wellness lifestyles for all Zimbabweans as well as to increase public awareness of the benefits of health. At this juncture Hon.
President, I need to state that 30% of Zimbabwe’s disease burden according to the World Health Organisation, is attributable to noncommunicable diseases. The solutions for these reside in a robust national fitness and wellness programme. The Ministry of Sport and Recreation has now put that in place and we are waiting to launch that programme with a view to rolling it out across the country. This is a programme that we expect every Zimbabwean, regardless of age, to participate in. We have developed manuals that have adapted programming to make sure that those that are beyond 80 also participate in wellness programming. Those that are 60 and beyond also participate in wellness programming. Those that have a disability also participate in wellness programming.
- Sports Medicine Industry
The National Sports and Recreation Policy emphasises the need for the establishment of a sound sport medicine sector. In response to that, the Ministry of National Sport and Recreation has engaged in a bi-lateral understanding with Cuba in this regard. This plan will see Cuban sport medicine specialists coming on board to Zimbabwe to exchange skills with their Zimbabwean counterparts. As such, at the outset of the programme, a seminal approach will be administered in the interest of reducing the financial burden which may result from a conventional exchange sequence.
However, emphasis will be exerted on prophylaxis as far as this programme is concerned. We are worried Hon. President that our athletes get medical attention after they have been injured. We are working on trying to reverse that course so that there is emphasis on prophylaxis and preventive approaches tosports medicine. Athletes must know how to behave when they are on the field of play so that they avoid contracting injuries that may be threatening to their careers.
Zimbabwe is among the 179 signatory nations to the UNESCO Convention, hence the mandatory compliance to anti-doping programming. The same Convention sufficiently serves as pragmatic instrument by which governments across the world should institutionally enact their globally sanctioned obligation to the cause of anti-doping. This is a clear indication of the magnitude of the importance of antidoping and its keynote relevance is at the apex of contemporary global sport development priorities.
In Zimbabwe in particular, the Government is working in partnership with the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee to make sure that an anti-doping programme is administered and this is in fact, something that is already going on. Last month we put in place a National Antidoping Coordinating Committee which comprises of all stakeholders. Plans are afoot to enact anti-doping legislation and the legal department within my Ministry is working on the principles of such a Bill.
- Municipal Sport
We are also working, in short Hon. President, as a Ministry to make sure that we undertake a programme to revive municipal sport and the Minister is going to be visiting all the 32 Urban Local Authorities with a view to lobbying for fledged sport and recreation departments within those municipalities. Sport and Recreation development for all is to be included as well as to make sure that change of land use within the urban local authorities, where it affects sport and recreation is in fact not effected.
The maintenance and servicing of sport and recreation infrastructure - we have seen a deterioration of such infrastructure within our urban local authorities as well as making sure that we revive community sport and recreation activities.
Hon. President, these are some of the activities that the Ministry of Sport and Recreation is engaging in in order to develop and promote sport and recreation in Zimbabwe. I thank you.
LEAVE TO MOVE RATIFICATION OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT
ON CLIMATE CHANGE
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND
CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Mr. President. I rise
to seek leave of the House to move a motion on the ratification of the
Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement as already been approved by the National Assembly today and has a bearing on a United Nations meeting that is scheduled to take place in Washington DC which meeting has already been organised by UNICEF and it will be taking place from the 16th to the 21st of April, 2017. The meeting will bring together Ministers responsible for Finance, Water, Climate Change and Sanitation to discuss issues of financial support to programmes targeted at addressing effects of climate change. Water is a basic human right in our Constitution and its effective supply has been affected by climate change. The meeting will help Zimbabwe to take part in the critical discussion on financing. Mr. President, the meeting will be attended by donors and other development partners and will assist Zimbabwe and other countries to access critical financing. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: With all due respect, we want to give the
Minister’s motion all attention. Looking at the time, I was of the opinion that it can be looked at next time when we come back.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: I know that you are all
eager to proceed home but because of the break, the Hon. Minister is proceeding to present these issues when we are on break. This is why she has requested.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: Mr. President, with all due respect Sir, is that the normal procedure?
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: It is procedural. She asked
me and we are in agreement. There is no problem at all. I do not believe that it will take us more than 30 minutes. Please let us consider this issue as seniors and mature people. Thank you very much.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
HON. MUCHINGURI: I move the motion standing in my name
WHEREAS Section 327 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President shall be subject to approval by Parliament;
WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe signed the Paris
Agreement on Climate Change at the United Nations Headquarters in
New York, United States of America on the 22nd of April 2016;
WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of ratifying the
Paris Agreement on Climate Change;
WHEREAS Article 21 (1) of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change provides that the same shall come into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid
Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.
Thank you Mr. President. Zimbabwe participated in the historic
21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) which took place in December,
2015 in Paris. The Conference resulted in the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change. His Excellency, the President, signed the Agreement on 22nd April 2016 in New York, thereby binding Zimbabwe to fully commit to its implementation. One hundred and ninety-six countries reached a consensus on the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, thereby making the Paris Agreement a unifying treaty in the world’s effort to combat climate change. To date, 136 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement with over 30 countries being in Africa. The countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement are already preparing and positioning themselves to benefit from the Agreement’s provision.
What are the overviews of the Paris Agreement?
The Agreement was developed to compliment the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that did not include the developing countries in climate change mitigation, especially with reference to greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Greenhouse gases cause global warming, which consequently cause climate change. The Agreement has an implementation framework that also highlights its objectives. The framework aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. Provisions on the implementation of the nationally determined contributions elaborate their purpose as building climate resilience and contributing towards keeping the global temperatures below 1.5 degrees celsius through mitigation actions.
Zimbabwe’s focus is on energy and agriculture. Climate change mitigation generally involves reduction in human emissions of greenhouse gases. Mitigation may also be achieved by increasing the capacity of carbon sinks through such measures as afforestation, reforestation and reduction of deforestation.
The Agreement encompasses the concept of adaptation with the aim of enhancing adaptive capacities, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Adaptation entails anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimize the damage they can cause or taking advantage of opportunities that may arise. It has been shown that well planned adaptation action saves money and lives.
What are the justifications for the Agreement?
It is from the above background that I recommend to this august House to consider ratifying the Paris Agreement for the following reasons:
- Ratification of the Paris Agreement will allow Zimbabwe to join the rest of the world in implementing the Agreement in order to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
- Being part of the Agreement will ensure that Zimbabwe is eligible to access resources provided for under the different frameworks and mechanisms for climate change adaptation
and mitigation, particularly with reference to the intended nationally determined contributions.
- Ratification will ensure that Zimbabwe can participate in pre 2020 preparatory activities that will define the operational modalities of the Paris Agreement and with other African countries to ensure that these modalities are not detrimental to Zimbabwe’s socio-economic aspirations.
- Benefiting from the multilateral climate funds is conditional upon a country being party to the Agreement. Hence Zimbabwe will be better positioned to benefit by ratifying the Paris Agreement.
I therefore plead with this august House to approve the ratification of the Paris Agreement. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: This is a beautiful piece of Agreement. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing it to this House. I think it was already overdue. It should have been brought here long back because a year has gone. We are only saying that because we need others and we need them more than they need us. We have always said that Zimbabwe cannot be an island. Now that we are realizing it, I think this brings joy to almost every citizen. Let us keep it in our minds that we cannot do it alone. Let us listen to other countries and to the whole world. This is a beautiful piece of document and I am happy that you have brought it to us. I think, Mr. President, you were right that we should look at it right now because it helps the families of
Zimbabweans. Also considering the fact that there are funds that are associated with this piece of Agreement, I think Zimbabweans, poor and hungry as we are, will welcome everything that comes with it. Thank you very much.
HON. SEN. MAKORE: The consequence of climate change is a world concern and its contribution to the greenhouse gas in terms of effects on Africa is greater than in the highly developed countries. In other words, generally they contribute to this infection to the climate. Africa only contributes something like 8% whereas the 92% is coming from all the other countries which are developed. We however, suffer more than those other countries and because of such consequences, we will support this in and out. Generally, the destruction through the climate change which we have suffered as African countries can cost billions. Rather, we will accept that piece of legislation and that we also participate highly in this one because we think that the reparation for the destruction of climate change has to be contributed by such other countries which cause that rather than Africa itself. If you look at the 8%, it is far smaller than the 92% destruction that has been caused by the developed countries.
We would want to thank the Minister for bringing this Agreement to this House. We support it greatly. The reason why we were trying to stand up is that it came late and others were also supposed to have supported this particular Agreement. It is most unusual but we do support the document.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Mr. President. Let me
take this opportunity to thank the two Hon. Senators who have supported the ratification of this very beautiful piece of legislation, the Paris Agreement. Indeed, Hon. Sen. Marava, I want to thank you for supporting this piece of legislation. Zimbabwe is lagging behind. I want to agree that already 40 countries within Africa have already ratified this piece of legislation. We had also, as Zimbabwe, to give ourselves an opportunity to look very closely to the benefits that accrue and also, have an appreciation that as we appeal for funding, there are no conditions that are imposed on Zimbabwe which will undermine our own policies as a country. I want to say that it is better late than never.
We had to make sure that we really tighten all those concerns that we have. It is not to say that we had not started preparing ourselves for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We have moved quite some steps to ensure that we have put in place structures that will be responsible for putting together projects which are bankable for us to be able to tap on the Green Climate Fund and also the Adaptation Fund. So,
Zimbabwe has really moved some steps.
We have put together technical teams which you find in our National Determined Contributions (NDCs). I have already indicated that energy is one such and I am sure you appreciate that Kariba last year was only producing 298 megawatts as opposed to 700 megawatts. So for us, renewable energy becomes very critical. A technical team has already been put together to start ensuring that we tap into resources, whereby we participate like all other developing countries to make sure that rather than relying on hydro, which sometimes during times of drought which is a cause of climate change, that we do have alternatives and these are renewable energy programmes. So, we are already implementing the Paris Agreement.
Hon. Sen. Makore, thank you for supporting this Paris Agreement ratification motion. Climate change, I agree it is real and Zimbabwe is suffering from recurrent droughts which we have experienced in the last ten years. Just this season, we experienced above normal and normal rainfall. We know the floods, whilst we welcomed the rains which we received but we know the damages that came with this normal to above normal rainfall. We know how our infrastructure was destroyed and how we lost 171 of our dams, and now 140 dams are under threat also.
We are saying, whilst we have these problems, we need to adapt to that situation. It is very expensive. We hope that the developing countries which did not contribute much to the problems of climate change would result in most of these African countries tapping on the
$10 billion that already has been availed. You know the target is on 2020 where we expect $100 billion to be availed for developing countries to address most of their challenges, like in Zimbabwe, afforestation problems, harvesting of water and building resilience of our communities to cope with climate change impacts.
At this juncture, I want to thank China which has availed $60 billion under FOCAC which they have availed to Africa for us to be able to build resilience for our countries to cope with the impacts of global warming and climate change. I want to thank the Hon. Senators for supporting this Bill. I thank you
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI), the Senate
adjourned at Eleven Minutes to Five o’clock p.m until Tuesday, 2nd May, 2017.