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SENATE HANSARD 08 JUNE 2021 VOL 30 NO 42

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 8th June, 2021

The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:

CHANGES TO THEMATIC COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I wish to inform the Senate that Hon. Sen. Mabika has been re-assigned to the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security from the Thematic Committee on Human Rights.

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Senators are reminded to put their phones on silence or better off switch them off.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL  (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA):  I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

ADMINISTRATION OF FOOTBALL IN THE COUNTRY

HON. SEN. FEMAI:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House:

MINDFUL that owing to its popularity, football is affectionately referred to as the beautiful game because of its unifying effect as it draws fans from all walks of life regardless of their colour, creed, race, religion, political, social, economic persuasions and affiliations;

FURTHER MINDFUL that football has become a cash cow for local authorities who rake in handsomely huge sums of money whenever popular soccer clubs like Dynamos, Highlanders, Caps United, among others, play matches at venues under the jurisdiction of the respective Councils;

NOTING with disapproval the rampant chaos bedeviling the administration of football in the country resulting in top flight football players retiring into abject poverty after their playing days are over;

NOW, THEREFORE, CALLS upon the Executive to;

  1. a) Ensure that Football Clubs such as Dynamos and other community teams are adequately resourced from the fiscus in view of the revenue that they bring in whenever they play at venues administered by local authorities.
  2. b) Consider bringing normalcy in the administration of football in the country considering that our national team has become our flag bearers by qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) showcase.
  3. c) Put in place legislation that caters for the welfare of soccer players after their playing days are over.

HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA:  I second.

HON. SEN. FEMAI:  Thank you Mr. President.  First of all, I decided to move this motion on football in Zimbabwe because I have seen what is faced by people playing soccer.  Most of them are struggling whilst they are prominent people in the society.  I saw it fit that we must discuss about this issue of soccer in our country.  Many countries take playing soccer as a business and the players have got managers just like what companies do, for example, Liver Brothers but for this country, it is different.  Soccer players in other countries have got assets including beautiful houses.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the grounds used to be full to their capacity with people who would want to watch the players like George Shaya. When the country attained independence, many people would rush to the stadium to watch George Shaya playing soccer.  Sadly, a few months ago, I heard George Shaya had lost his leg through amputation and this has worsened his situation, despite the fact that during the 1980s and 90s, he was a very prominent soccer player; five times soccer star of the year consecutively in Zimbabwe.

In other countries, people that have been soccer stars on such numerous occasions own substantial businesses and have corporate sponsors.  This is not happening in this country.  It is only former chairpersons of such football clubs that you find driving motor vehicles while players wallow in poverty.  Football is very important Mr. President because it is a unifier of all the people regardless of their political and church affiliation.  For example, if a goal were to be scored by George Shaya, all the Dynamos supporters will celebrate regardless of their political and church affiliation.  Even after the match, all the people will be discussing about how the match will have been played and how their good players will have performed.

At the end of the day these same players who are entertaining the people have nothing to show for it.  I will give you a brief testimony of what transpired in football matches.  The biggest crowd pullers who can sustain themselves through gate takings in Zimbabwe are Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United.  After the stadium would have been filled to the rafters, the Sports and Recreation Commission gets 6% of the gross gate takings, the same for ZIFA and ground rentals 20%. After all the other expenses would have been deducted, their players are virtually left with nothing to take home to their families.  Once you find players from big teams such as Highlanders and Dynamos boycotting training over non-payment of their dues. It shows that things are not well.

There is a huge racial discrimination in football so much that the President of the Second Republic has shown people that he does not condone it all because he picked the former Olympic swimming Gold medalist, Kirsty Coventry and appointed her the Minister of Sports.  By so doing, the President showed that crooks and bad apples should leave football alone and that there should be no discrimination and everyone should enjoy sports.  I am glad that it appears that there is light at the end of the tunnel after all.

Former players should lead football, be they European, British Indian; they should come and lead football and people would be happy as this will also lead to the development of the country through sport.  If there is no football or sport, there will be no development.  Football is both therapeutically and recreational.  A lot of social ills can be avoided through attending soccer matches or sport.

Furthermore, the match expenses amounts to 21% of the gross. Referees are also paid, the same applies to ZRP who get 15 to 20% of the gross.  In the past, we used to have free ambulances from the Red Cross Association but today, everything is now commercialised. The club will remain with 40% which is divided by the two clubs, that is the home club will get 30% and the away team will pocket 10%.  The 10% is insufficient to buy diesel to take the team back to Hwange and as a result players will not be paid hence they will remain wallowing in poverty in their mother land.  This has forced the majority of our players to ply their trade in South Africa.

This has tended to create a myopic vision on the abilities of the majority of our players since they play in the South African league and they never excelled in European leagues.  How do we expect ourselves to qualify for the world cup when the majority of our players are playing in the South African league?  Their skills cannot match those of say, Cote d’Ivoire which has 200 players plying their trade in the top European leagues, and have great players such as Didier Drogba.

There is no transparency in how the teams are utilising the funds that they get.  It then begs the question why these players are entertaining such huge crowds and at the end of the day have nothing to show for it in monetary terms?  In European leagues they now bend a knee as a sign of kicking out racism in sport. In Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe, there are no Europeans, Indians or where there are whites playing sport, there are no blacks.  We urge this august House to assist us in overturning this racial discrimination in sport and football in particular.  There are no Zambians, no Malawians plying their trade in football in Zimbabwe.  Our coaches and players are looking for greener pastures in countries like South but they come back without anything. We do not qualify for CAF but only qualify for AFCON games which are played by local players. We do not qualify in other tournaments because what we call our international players are only regional players from neighbouring countries like South Africa. We do not have players in countries like Spain. Therefore Mr. President, we must sit down and put our heads together to solve this vice. The Government must also be able to scrutinise what is happening so that they can have first hand information and they can investigate what is really happening, what causes someone who has been a soccer player for many years to end up being poor.

The Government must also investigate on the associations and commissions that continue to take money from these sporting fraternities whilst players do not get anything.  George Shaya’s leg was amputated after he had diabetes. Five times Soccer Star of the Year is poor, has nothing and is wallowing in poverty but if we look at the administrators from the 60s, 70s to the 80s during George Shaya’s era of being the best soccer player, those administrators have mansions. Some of them have good big cars and others own companies but when it comes to players, I can hardly point a finger to a player who played soccer during that period who has a single bicycle. What causes that situation?

Hon. Members, when we come here to Parliament and say our five years term has elapsed without even a bicycle, how do we feel? When people see us they say Honourable and they will be very happy. We will also be happy but at the end of the day we have nothing. As Honourable Members, how do we feel? It is something which is very difficult. I am therefore encouraging people to have one vision on improving our soccer and sporting fraternity. Those who played soccer in the yesteryears, Government must gather them and choose people who are going to be trained in the diaspora, in the European countries where big matches are played like the World Cup so that people can gain enough qualifications to be called a sport administrator.

When they finish their courses, Government must put enough resources to the soccer fraternity, for example a five year plan. They inject money without taking anything whilst sports improve. The teams which are already available will be improving and the new teams will also improve. When everything is settled, Government will see that it is now time to harvest or take something from the sporting fraternity. It helps in the development of the country.

When we grew up we expected that during this period of 2021, Zimbabwe would be able to go to World Cup tournaments, but it is unable to go as a country because of the challenges faced in the football environment, the reason being that we do not accept people from other races who are good at soccer. For example from India, South Africa, Zambia or Europe, the people will not last two months if they come to administer soccer before we hear that he has been fired.

Some will be surprised why Senator Femai has spoken about soccer so much whilst we have the COVID-19 pandemic and other diseases. There is no disease which is more than not being able to access your funds which you are supposed to get because of some corrupt people. At home you will be sleeping on an empty stomach without eating anything whilst you would have spent the whole day playing soccer and the ground will be filled to maximum capacity. The overseas players are protected by security personnel because they are celebrities.

Here in Zimbabwe, for us to go and watch soccer at the National Sports Stadium against Cameroon, the police cash in a lot of money whilst the flag is up. They collect 20% for doing their duty. They are hired and the players will be given 20% which they have to share among themselves and all the bills have to be paid from that money yet the money will not be enough. Are we promoting sport or we are just saying by words?

I saw it fit to raise this motion that there is fire on the mountain as things are not well in the sporting fraternity. If you do not know if what I am saying is true, let us go and see George Shaya - Henry ‘Beefy’ Chari - when he used to play soccer everyone praised him but right now, he has nothing and looks like an ordinary person.

I plead with you Hon. Members and Mr. President, for this motion to be discussed in this House with all expertise knowing that what is happening here and what we are doing concerns the future of our children. When things were normal, kids used to name each other after the names of soccer players because things were good. Some parents used to emulate these soccer star players to the extent of even buying balls or naming their children after those prominent soccer players. I plead with you Hon. Members to debate and discuss with one vision, that these soccer players of yester years, today and the future are our children.  So, let us consider about them and their future.  For example, Highlanders or Dynamos teams, we cannot say these teams belong to one person but the teams belong to the community.  How can that team have an individual owner?

I used to be a Dynamos Chairperson for 17 years and the person who used to be the patron of the team is also here in this august House.  Players used to play soccer and they used to get their incentives, but nowadays there is nothing like that.  When our children are playing soccer, those soccer players will ask parents to remain behind so that they can talk to you.  However, when they engage you, they will highlight issues to do with lack of funding and resources yet those funds would have been taken by some corrupt people.

Let us take this motion seriously so that we can debate about it and find better ways to resolve the problems faced by the sporting fraternity.  Zimbabwe must be a prosperous country when it comes to soccer.  Our country used to be the best country in terms of soccer, right now, it is ranking at the lower bottom.  I would like to think that this is being caused by racial discrimination that if a person comes from another country to play soccer, they are not accepted very well and at the end of the day, they are forced to return to their countries.

We want our Zimbabwean players to be the coaches, though most of them are not good because of lack of motivation and remuneration.  We do not have international players; our players play soccer in neighboring countries like South Africa.  However, the countries we compete with for example, Cote d’Ivoire, and their players are in the international teams in European countries.

Mr. President, I encourage this House to debate on this issue of sport and take it very seriously.   Yester year’s player’s welfare and living conditions should also be looked into.  I thank you

*HON. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President.  I would also

Want to thank Hon. Sen. Femai for the motion, despite the fact that I do not have experience in playing football, I understand some of these issues.  I empathise with young people who play football, travelling to other countries for football and coming back with medals and trophies.

However, football is facing a big challenge because of corruption; we always talk about corruption in this august House.  I felt pity hearing that prominent yester year’s soccer players like George Shaya was amputated.  It really pains me that despite the fact that at one point he was popular, now he is a destitute.

When people spoke about Zimbabwe, such gold stars would be mentioned.  In terms of sports in Zimbabwe, at one point people used to talk about Kirsty Coventry who was and has vast experience in swimming activities.  The good thing is that she was promoted to become a Minister.

At times we hear things that are sad with regards to the gold star holders in our country that they do not even have decent accommodation.  At times they play soccer but coming from uncomfortable environments.   However, these are people who raise the Zimbabwean flag.  When you see international players in the football fraternity, you emulate what they are and it encourages one to play football.

We have got a lot of talented young people in Zimbabwe who are in schools in the rural areas and different communities but because there is no remuneration, some of them end up not exploring their talents.  For example, if you are given medication by someone who is not a nurse, you would not have faith in that person.  However, when you are given by a professional, then you have confidence because you know that they know much better.

This should also apply to football administration so that those who are qualified and experienced should take up such responsibilities.  No one knows where football players will be at some point in life.  It is painful that corruption is destroying a lot of things.  You find young people playing soccer but not being remunerated, so they will end up quitting the profession.  It also discourages upcoming players; this means that Zimbabwe is also being retrogressive in that aspect.  Young people should go out and play soccer properly equipped.

There are also some musicians who are also dying; you end up wondering seeing that they die as paupers.  Some young people play cricket and they raise the flag of Zimbabwe by bringing medals and trophies.  Even that Mujaji raised the flag of Zimbabwe despite his disability.

Therefore, football should be played accordingly and young players should be remunerated.   Even myself at my age, I cannot just come here without adequate resources for example without fuel, I will not be able to come to Parliament.  You find that whenever there is a soccer match, the stadium will be filled yet these soccer players are not benefiting anything from these matches.

Corruption is a cancer which is affecting different facets of the society.  You will discover that football pitches are filled up but the players are not given anything.  Sport is an important thing and we have a lot of talented young players who do not get the support they need.  Sometimes they feel discouraged to continue.  Therefore, there is need to encourage young players; I remember at one point there is a country which was respected.  In this country there was a lot of domestic violence but when there were international matches, domestic violence cases reduced because men were watching football.  This is quite pleasing, some women ended up saying that they wish these international matches could be played often.  Football is uplifting; it is a game is loved by many.  It is a game which unites people.  We need to support all sports in Zimbabwe.  I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI:  I would like to thank the mover of this motion and the seconder.  I would like to add a few words to this motion.  I believe that this august House should take this motion seriously because our country is deteriorating because of lack of support for sporting activities.   As an august House, we should make sure that different supporting activities are supported. If I recall well, Nigerians are benefiting from films or dramas that are promoted in their country.  That industry is thriving.  I remember the Mukadota, Paraffin and many other dramas – the actors were not just acting but they were teaching and promoting the arts in Zimbabwe.  I urge this august House to support this important motion.

I concur that young players playing in Zimbabwe are our children.  I also have a nephew who plays soccer locally. He wakes up early in the morning and goes jogging.  We also have supper but he would have gone back for training again.  It is important that we support our young people and our sporting activities.  There are a lot of international players and because they are being supported, they are where they are and doing what they are doing because of the support they get from their countries – that is their employer.  For our young people who are engaged in different sporting activities, sporting is their employer; because of that, we might get foreign currency if we develop that. Let us not ignore the talent.

I appreciate what Nigerians are doing – when you look at the different age groups that are found in the arts sector there; some people are supposed to be retired but because at whatever age and in whatever they are doing, they get paid and they survive on that. I emphasise that it is important to prioritise sporting activities in Zimbabwe.  As Hon. Members, the onus is upon us to make sure that we lobby for support of sporting activities.  I thank you.

*HON. CHIRONGOMA: I thank you Hon. President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this motion raised by Hon. Sen. Femai and seconded by Hon. Sen. Chifamba.  I would like to weigh in on the issue of sports.  All sporting activities are good for the country of Zimbabwe.  It is good to go for soccer.  I used to play for Kelly’s and Dynamos when we were young.  It used to be a joy to provide recreational sport to the people.

Football and other sporting activities can develop the country.  The country will be developed because people will be employed and others will be selling goods and wares and irk a living out of that.  Sport is recreational especially for business people; once you go to sport, you forget how tough business can be.  Indeed, I truly support this good motion.

Be that as it may, we need to remind one another that in the second republic, we have witnessed the support of Government on sport.  Hon. Kirsty Coventry was a swimmer who earned Olympic gold medals and was appointed Minister.  That on its own also raised the bar on how deserving sport can be.  As a country, I would want to tell this august House that sport...

As a country, I would like to tell the august House that sport is good for everyone but because of the pandemic that we are currently under, we have undergone a lockdown.  Lockdown was introduced as a measure to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19 and should our God allow us and there is a subsiding of the numbers of those who are afflicted by COVID-19 as is expected, our country will return to normal.

The big teams are not the only players that were entertaining people.  Even in the communal areas, teams were entertaining people at provincial, district and ward levels and even at the lower echelons.  Young boys would also be observed playing plastic balls – that is how they start and this is how we should start sporting development.  Even our girls and young ladies were going from one country to the other to play sport and it was good for our country.  At the moment because of the lockdown, children now know a lot of these international players by name because they observe them on television, which shows that sport especially football is entertaining even to children.  We therefore shall not succeed due to funding.  The figures of those who are affected have declined.  There are well funded businessmen who would want to lead particular teams and plans to encourage children to play sport are in place. Even in the communal lands and constituencies, Members of Parliament were holding several tournaments to ensure that children also participate in football and netball and that is a good thing.

Let us urge the Government and support this motion and also ensure that it comes to fruition.  Let me reiterate that our biggest stumbling block is COVID-19.  Once the numbers become manageable, our Government through the various ministries will be able to put in place the roll-out programme.  I have observed that grounds are being maintained and upgraded, the same applies even in the communal lands where we are coming from so that people are involved in various sporting disciplines that are entertaining people.  With these few words, I support the motion before the House.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN.  GWESHE: Thank you Mr. President.  I love soccer so much.  There are some things that really touched me, so I am not going to repeat what has already been said.  Playing soccer is very risky and one can break a limb or back yet one will be representing the country.  Some time ago, a Zambian plane killed the entire Zambian soccer team.

In Zimbabwe, we have children who have gone abroad with CAPS United.  We were embarrassed during that year and others will recall what I am talking about.  Some of the children disappeared soon after their tour of duty.  Why were they running away?  Had everything been good in Zimbabwe, they would not have run away and disappeared.  I urge Government to look into the issue of sport or soccer as it is a risky business and children will be risking their lives.  Those who remained there are now leading better lives and are laughing at those who returned home.  I want Government to look into the issue.

My nephew used to play for Dynamos Football Club but later on passed away.  The Dynamos team came and was ashamed to see some of the former players who were wallowing in poverty.  I urge Government to look into the welfare of such players that are exposing themselves to the risk of playing soccer.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. FEMAI:  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN.  CHINAKE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  Mr. President Sir, I move that Order of the Day, Number 6 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 2021 VIRTUAL HEARINGS AT THE UNITED NATIONS ON FIGHTING CORRUPTION TO RESTORE TRUST IN GOVERNMENT AND IMPROVE DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS

Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of

the 2021 Virtual Parliamentary Hearings at the United Nations.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President, I move that the debate do

now adjourn.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, Order! Hon. Tongogara!

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  My hand was up.  So may I then

proceed?

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Yes, that is why I had to stop Hon. Senator.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  I just want to add my voice to the report that was brought by Hon. Sen. Muzenda that shows that corruption is now endemic, but not just in Zimbabwe but it is in the SADC community because the SADC Parliamentary Forum is now being disturbed by the scourge of corruption.  That has turned out to be detrimental to the development of the countries.  In that regard, we now need to interrogate the issue of corruption and also be alive to the fact that it is not only found in Zimbabwe. We need to come up with a way to stem out this endemic of corruption.

I am grateful that His Excellency the President has come up with a Zimbabwe anti-corruption Commission so that they can eradicate corruption.  What is happening is that we hear that people are being arrested for abuse of office, they appear in courts and we hear that once they have been arrested and appear in court, that is the end of it.  No one is found guilty so this then turns out to be a catch and release way of doing things.  We urge the judiciary to be judicious in dealing with their cases and that cases are completed so that those that are guilty are convicted and incarcerated.  During these cold months they will be in a position to have learnt a lesson because cold months will act as a deterrent and public funds by their very nature should not be misused.  We should not have things hanging in the balance but have finality to some of these cases where people are arrested for corruption.

What also emerged from the report is that there should be a strengthening of what is already in place and should be safeguarded, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic so that whatever it is that is being done will be above board.  I am grateful that the Hon. Speaker was the head of delegation and at that forum he did explain the measures that our government had taken in order for us to alleviate and control the spread of COVID. I am grateful and want to thank the government and His Excellency, the President Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa that we are a people and a country that is among the first few to be vaccinated.  I thank him for his visionary leadership as he discerned that this COVID-19 would be on us and we should take up corrective measures and we are now all going to be vaccinated.  A lot of people have now been vaccinated in this country and we have documentation to that effect that shows that they have been inoculated from that Covid-19.  I thank you for affording me the opportunity to add my voice.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE KHUMALO:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. FEMAI:  I second.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 9th June, 2021.

MOTION

ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING CASES OF ALLEGED MISCONDUCT BY MDC-ALLIANCE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on the report of the Privileges Committee Investigating Cases of Alleged Misconduct by MDC-Alliance Members of Parliament.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. TONGAGARA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs) ON VELD FIRE MANAGEMENT

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on the Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Veld Fire Management.

Question again proposed

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE PARLIAMENTARY LEADERSHIP FOR THE 2030 AGENDA WEBINAR SERIES: COVID-19 RESPONSE - LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND

Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on the Report on the Parliamentary Leadership for the 2030 Agenda Webinar Series: Covid-19 Response - Leaving No One Behind

Question again proposed

HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. FEMAI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE JOINT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION AND THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE STATE OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES, THE EMPOWER BANK AND SPORTING FACILITIES

Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion

Question again proposed

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to say a few words regarding recreational sporting facilities and training centres which we toured.  I just want to point out a small issue that I noted when we were moving around sporting facilities.  I noted that our government after recognising that our young people are not all gifted intellectually, which culminates into degrees and other qualifications, noted that it is important to create vocational training centres (VTC) which will empower them with skills that will give them income.

Government invested a lot in building such centres with a vision of bettering their lives, but it is sad that despite the fact that such centres were muted and built, we went to Filabusi, the VTC was put in a complex where there were other activities.  Now, this infrastructure is obsolete, despite the fact that nice houses were built.  At times we believe it is better that such houses can be converted into VTCs.  Sometimes you wonder how people who oversee such places and the recommendations they put to government allow the dilapidation to continue.

This pained us a lot as we found goats being reared in that VTC. They said it was difficult for them to train young people because they are illegal gold panners in that area.  At the end of the day, you end up wondering why some are being constructed whilst others are being destroyed.  Does the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development allow people to mine in VTCs and such centres because it is important that after constructing such centres they should be looked after well so that our children have a future.  The infrastructure was intact so we cannot allow it to disintegrate while we are watching.

We also went to Umguza where we toured a dairy project and we were told a sad story but we got similar results from a centre in Midlands, the Kaguvi VCT.  There are power struggles in that VTC which ends up affecting young people who are supposed to be trained in that area.  There is conflict of interest between management, teachers and the Ministry so there is no clarity in terms of the implementation of different programmes in that VTC.   At times you are told that monies that are being paid are not being accounted for.  We noted that there were some dairy cows which were donated by Dandairy and these cows were supposed to generate income for these students but we are surprised to be told that these dairy cows are not producing milk and they do not have stock feed.

This is worrying and it is important to look into the issue because when there is a disease outbreak and the cows are not going to the dip-tank this is worrying.  There are only instructions that there should be slaughtering.  So it is important that the right issues be prioritised so that children benefit from their facilities.  We also went to the stadiums in Gweru.  We went to Ascot and other facilities.  The playground is now dilapidated.  The structures have grass all over the place.  No-one is maintaining the stadium.  The council is not doing its job.  We look at other places that are being managed by councils which were set aside for recreational activities and were given to people as residential stands.  It is surprising that council is parcelling out land which is supposed to be for VTC as residential stands instead of building recreational facilities.  It is important that government looks into the issue as it is quite a disturbing issue. We saw it fit that the responsible Ministry should reverse decisions made by municipal authorities and that they make it a point that recreational centres are maintained well so that they generate income and even bring in foreign currency.

Mr. President, we also saw that other stadiums which are being sub-contracted or contracted to other companies are beautiful and better than those that are maintained by councils. For example, the Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane is beautiful and different from other stadiums, so you end up wondering what the difference is between the management of Mucheke Stadium and Mandava Stadium. At Mucheke, there is grass all over the place as it is not being maintained properly. As a nation, we need to ask ourselves what we are doing when we allow such dilapidation to happen in our infrastructure.

So Mr. President, I stood up to speak about what I saw which is affecting our young people’s careers. Education for those who did not excel intellectually who are supposed to benefit through sport, engineering, woodwork, carpentry and building through vocational training centres, most of these centres are now obsolete and no one is maintaining them. With these few words Mr. President, I wanted to add my voice that, as a nation we need to resuscitate that which is disintegrating because sports are very important as they revive the economy of the country, can be a source of income for families and can also be a source of income for young people who did not excel intellectually. I thank you Mr. President.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. MAVHUNGA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021.

MOTION

MAINTENANCE OF THE ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE COUNTRY

Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the road rehabilitation programme countrywide.

Question again proposed.

#HON. SEN. DUBE: I want to add my voice to the motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi. Let me first say this is an important motion. There is no country which cannot be there without riches because for an economy to strive, it is important to have a good road infrastructure and there must be a good road network. As a result of heavy rains, some roads are badly damaged but we thank our President, His Excellency Cde. E.D. Mnangagwa who took it upon himself to initiate the Road Rehabilitation Programme which is covering most places around the country, even roads that are not major roads.

The road network is part of the wealth of the country because every businessman makes use of the roads. There are a few goods which can be transported by air. Most goods come through our roads, so our roads should be good always. It is my plea again to the leadership and Members of Parliament, to take note that the roads should always be maintained and grass cut along the roads. Communities can do this as it is not necessary for Government to do it. We need to take it upon ourselves because you discover that when there is tall grass, some people can hide in it and perpetuate criminal activities. You find some people committing crimes as our roads are not cleared properly.

We know that there are some activities that can be done like part-time jobs of clearing roads. It is better if our roads are cleared even though there are potholes. We also need to note that roads link up to different countries, for example in our region because there is access to same countries through the road network. Some roads are in a poor state, for example the Victoria Falls – Bulawayo Road which has potholes and there are accidents along that road because of its bad condition. So Mr. President, due to the heavy rains that we received last year, some roads are not in a good condition.

We would also like to request that such roads be rehabilitated including rehabilitating roads like the Tsholotsho-Lupane-Victoria Falls Road which was resurfaced recently. This road has potholes now, which means that those who were given the task of rehabilitating the roads were not using the right mixtures. When rains come, roads are not supposed to be like that if the proper mixtures are used. So it reflects that contractors did not do their job well, whether there was corruption or not or it was the cement quality or other materials, but I would like to urge that those who are responsible for road maintenance should do that.

With the few words that I have said Mr. President, I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about the importance of a good road network. At times you need to go to a clinic or hospital but without a proper road, some people die before they get to a health institution because of poor state of roads. I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI the Senate adjourned  at a Minute past Four o’clock p.m.

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