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SENATE HANSARD 08 OCTOBER 2020 VOL 29 NO 58
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 8th October, 2020.
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM HON. MINISTERS
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have got a list of Ministers who send in their apologies, who are attending some business in Manicaland. Hon. Dr. Nzenza – Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Hon. Dr. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. Matiza, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development; Hon. Mohadi, Vice President; Hon. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services; Hon. Marapira, Minister of State in Vice President Mohadi’s office.
We only have two Ministers in the House at the moment. We have Hon. Minister Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs and Hon. Minister Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. We just hope that we are going to get more Ministers.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. SEN. P. MPOFU: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. How far has the Ministry gone with the process of transforming the university curricular to become Education 5.0 compliant?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Madam President. I wish to thank Hon. Sen. Mpofu for that question. Education 5.0 compliant means our education is geared towards producing goods and services which is for the industrialisation and modernisation of this nation because we say no nation can develop faster than the development of its education. To this end, we have asked Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education, first of all to make sure that all degrees in this country have got minimum bodies of knowledge. They must tell us, for every degree what skills the students will learn and what knowledge they would acquire. These bodies of knowledge have now been approved by the Council for Higher Education. You would remember that we delayed the opening of First Years, this year. We did not have a March intake. We are actually having an intake now because we were preparing all degrees to make sure that these degrees have got minimum bodies of knowledge.
What is also important in terms of how far we have gone is that we have transformed universities and we would know from yesterday’s newspaper that the University of Zimbabwe has introduced a whole host of new programmes. In other words, 80% of the programmes that are being offered at the University of Zimbabwe are new. Just as an example, the Medical School or the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, now will not only produce doctors, which it has always done. It will also produce pharmacists who can make drugs; not the ones who can just sell; who can make drugs. It will also produce bio-medical engineers who are able to make assistive devices of medical devices and as you know this country does not even make clutches – madondoro chaiwo. So we believe that this will then make it possible for this nation to be able to use this education to cater for its own people becaue education must be equal to development, not educating a person who comes from school after we have finished all our sheep and goats, then they say what can I do. We hope when they were in school, they were doing something and we are not finished yet. We are still doing it; we have to keep focused and humble but this is what we have done so far in terms of transformation.
I think you might have also seen that the capabilities that we now have, for example at Chinhoyi University of Technology, is an example of how far we have gone. Tomorrow we are at Harare Institute of Technology and you will be able to see how far we have gone. We are inaugurating a new innovation hub that we built just in one year. Buildings used to take years for them to be complete but we are now using even the apprentices to do the work. They are actually the ones who are building that, which basically means we are training people in skills. They are very young people who are building there. This is how far we have gone with the transformation but there is still a lot of work which basically we need to keep focused on and keep humble. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. My question is on the graduation of students who have completed their education at universities. How are they going to graduate as we are facing this pandemic?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Madam President. I wish to thank the Hon. Senator for such a very important question. We are carrying on with graduations but in a very different way. We are limiting the number of students that come for the actual physical graduation. All of them are graduating but we are making sure that most of the students are on a virtual platform, just like we are right now. Because the graduation is a legal process, all of them will be online while His Excellency the President who is the Chancellor of State universities is legally conferring them with their degrees. So, we are having very minimal numbers that are physically present. We already started it at Chinhoyi last week and it was successful. We keep on refining our technique and we believe that through this way we are able to live with the pandemic and still be able to carry out our activities in the new normal. I thank you Madam President.
HON. SEN. DUBE: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development. Hon. Minister, what is the Government’s plan for re-engaging STEM programmes so as to promote learning of sciences in secondary schools, especially in rural areas?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Madam President. I wish to thank the Hon. Senator for such a very important question. We have never disengaged from STEM. We are doing STEM in a very big way. The only issue is that we have re-organised the way we offer our education into the Education 5.0 Model and in terms of capacitating our students in the rural areas in the areas of science technology, engineering and mathematics, we have now taken a different format. For the first time, we are increasing the number of STEM teachers because we believe that it is the teachers who will then teach the students. What we have done is, in the past only Hillside Teachers College, Belvedere Teachers College and Mutare Teachers College were teaching science teachers but what we did was to make sure that we increase the number of science teachers. What did we do then? We made sure that Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic is now teaching science teachers. They are in their third intake now and they are taking 120 at a time; with Mkoba Teachers College it is the same, Masvingo Teachers College, it is the same. Also this year, we started with Marymount Teachers College. It means we have increased the number of teachers colleges that produce science teachers.
In the old approach that the Ministry used to use, it was giving students money to go and do science subjects but a simple question is, being taught by who because we have a shortage of science teachers. It is always a learning curve. So, after learning that the model was not addressing the real problem, we started training science teachers. We expect that by 2024 or 2022, we would have trained in excess of 5500 science teachers that will then go and teach students in the secondary schools. By that, we are increasing access to science education because science education is not increased by giving people money but by training teachers in science so that they can teach science. This is the approach that we have taken to make sure that every student to the best of our ability has access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for the purpose of modernising and industrialising this country by taking new degrees at our universities and also diplomas at polytechnics within the Education 5.0 Heritage Framework. I thank you.
HON. SEN. GUMPO: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. In the past, there was a noticeable number of students in agriculture on attachment in the fields but of late, it seems to be quiet. What has happened?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Madam President and I wish to thank the Hon. Senator for the question about agriculture education. We are refocusing our education so that it becomes practical. We should not talk about crops only. We should talk about them and grow them at the same time. We should not talk about cattle only. We should talk about cattle and grow them. We should not talk about chickens. We should talk about them and grow the chickens as well.
We are aware that our Education 3.0 design was mainly about teaching, research and workshops, which means there was no time that was taken memorising things rather than being in the field. Our new design of education will increase the number of students who will touch the soil, plant in the soil, touch cattle dung and grow cattle. We expect that the new design as we go forward will make people love soil, love production and love livestock. Like I was saying, our capabilities for example if you go today to Chinhoyi University of Technology, we have started with a dairy project of 65 cows that we bought during COVID and 50 of them are already in calf, which means we are starting a dairy call there for our students and we expect them to be able to be practical.
We are starting a complete beef industry where we are producing pedigree bull semen for farmers to make sure that production happens across and that the students are participating in that. The students are doing very well. If you go to Chinhoyi – I am using that example because we graduated last week, you will see that they have 300 hectares of wheat in the fields. This is what we are expecting as we go forward. If you go to the University of Zimbabwe today, that farm this year produced 2000 tonnes of soya beans, 3500 tonnes of maize and also they have got about 40 hectares of onions in the fields – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - which basically is telling about the refocus of our people to a real education. A real education is not seen by what you say, it is seen by food, industries, work and jobs. So we believe that as we go forward, you will see more students in the field. You will see them touching the soil, loving water and loving plants.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: I would want the Minister to probably inform this House and the nation what is actually being done to agriculture because it forms part of our economic revival. The issue is before the 5.0 which the Minister is referring to, we used to have colleges like Chibero, Gwebi, Mlezu which produced practical agriculture. The problem at the moment is our students when they are recruited into these tertiary institutions, lack the practical component, which is the attachment because we do not have farmers who can absorb all these. What is the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education doing to equip. That is where the problem is, the 5.0, yes, we need it - but we were producing practical people before the 3.0.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you very much Madam President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mavetera for that very good question. Agricultural colleges are the ones that transformed themselves from 5.0 to 3.0 because they were practical, they were doing 5.0. Madam President, 5.0 is just a framework of understanding. Before agricultural colleges were very practical and you know that they were a preserve of the few in the past because some people were doing productive education while we were doing the education of remembering.
For now, it is about rediscovering, so our agricultural colleges and faculties of agriculture at universities are going 5.0 and the agricultural colleges have to revert to 5.0 because they were now on 3.0. That is why they were no longer going to the field. So, 5.0 was the one which was being practiced by those colleges that they must go back to that. Madam Speaker, 5.0 can sound very nice and sophisticated but it is a very simple concept - it basically means ‘use your mind and your hands at the same time’. If you use your mind and direct your hands to do the right thing, you are likely to have a developed country. In actual fact, development is predictable when people are not just using their mind but they are using their hands too in combination.
My issue is that those colleges which were producing graduates that were practical where practicing education 5.0 but they had reverted back to 3.0. Now, we are taking them back to 5.0. I hope this explains this seemingly difficult situation. Education 5.0 just means education that produces goods and services not education to speak in English because people can do things when they are speaking in Brazilian, Shona, Ndebele, Venda and so forth. Education is not good English, education is thinking and practicing for production, industrialisation and modernisation of our own country. I thank you.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: If I may remind our Hon. Senators that we have to observe social distancing, especially Hon. Senators on my left. Please if you cannot fit in the Chamber, you can go up to the galleries. We have enough space at the galleries. Can we please correct that. Thank you.
*HON. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Mudyiwa. What is Government’s plan for the future so that we get solar energy to enable us to engage in agriculture and revamp our industries.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Madam President, I want to thank the Hon. Senator for her pertinent question, especially during this time when we are still faced with the problem of electricity. As a Ministry, we are encouraging people to use clean energy which is solar energy. The plan that we have as a Ministry, I think you are aware that we launched the National Renewable Energy Policy in March which was launched by the President. This policy is encouraging people to go renewable so that we do not rely on electricity which is generated from Kariba and Hwange but that we should use solar because we have a lot of sunshine in Zimbabwe. In that policy, there are incentives for solar products like solar panels, lithium batteries and all the things that are used when you are coming up with solar. The prices should be low and that they should be duty free. That is the plan we have with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development so that all solar products should enter the country duty free so that the prices can be affordable to each and everyone who want to put solar energy in their homes. As a Ministry we do not have money to engage in those projects but we are encouraging investors, those who have their money that they should do it on their premises as companies. Those who have buildings like ECONET, they are generating their own energy from solar. Those who have excess, we encourage them to sell the excess to ZESA, especially in the afternoon like this because if you have generated a lot of electricity through solar, you can sell them to ZESA and then ZESA will sell to the public which means you buy electricity at a low price.
So we are really encouraging people that they should have solar plants and those who have fields, if they can engage in solar farms, we are encouraging that. They should approach our Ministry and we can help them on how to do it. Even industries who are able to farm solar, they are encouraged to do that. When they face any challenges, they can approach our Ministry and we can help them on how to do it.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Madam President. I want to thank the Minister for her encouragement of people engaging in solar energy but my question is, you are saying people should approach your Ministry. All the people cannot travel to come to your Ministry because of the challenges that we are facing. Are there any plans to ensure that people are be educated like in the rural areas, when you go there and make awareness campaigns for people to know how to go about it when they want to engage in solar projects?
*HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam President. We have offices in all the provinces. They can approach them and be taught how to do it. Here in Harare, they can approach the Ministry. We have a department in our Ministry which is called Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy. That is the department which looks at that. Sometimes they hold workshops with NGOs. We are doing that with people who are involved in the solar harvesting.
We have Rural Electrification Agency. They are also involved in electricity generation. They do not only generate electricity from solar but they also have bio-digesters which they use to generate energy for domestic use. REA has offices all over the country in provinces and districts. People can go there and enquire on how these work. Therefore it does not mean that people are limited to coming to our offices in Harare only. Our officers in these provinces can help them.
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think the question was more do you have any plans to have officers or teams that go around the country teaching people than them going to your offices.
HON. MUDYIWA: We do not have teams that go around teaching people as yet. So as I said, we have workshops that are held in provinces and we have NGOs that we are working with us on the issue of electricity generation through solar. Unfortunately we do not have the funding for teams to go around teaching people, but if there are groups of people who feel the need to be taught, they can approach our Ministry and arrangements can be made for them to come and be taught. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Madam President. I want to ask ion that a few days ago, we were told that electricity was being generated at Kariba and Hwange. We want to know whether it is still continuing or we are waiting for the rains.
*HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam President. I think this is a different question. In Kariba we received more rains. The level was up to the extent that by this time last year, we were about 17% but this year, we have 30% water. So we have increased our generation in Kariba but we are channeling the electricity at peak hours, evening and morning and in the afternoon we will be using Hwange which is generating electricity. However, we also have a challenge because our machines are obsolete and always breakdown. So in Kariba we are just generating electricity. So we are just praying for a good season so that we will be able to continue generating electricity.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam President. My question to the Minister is we have heard about this issue of promotion of solar use within the general populace and we have been promised that we will soon have duty free for all the accessories but it has taken so long. Can the Minister tell this august House what the bottlenecks are which are making it difficult for them to give duty free to solar gadgets because just a lithium battery and probably a charger is not enough. Right now it is actually more expensive to have solar than before we started to introduce that.
HON. MUDYIWA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. It is very true that we are still having challenges on implementing that policy of importing all the components of setting up a solar plant duty free.
The issue of duty is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. So we are liaising with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. There are issues where some equipment that is used for generating solar is also used for something else. So there is need to really verify that this is being imported for solar only and not for anything else. So I think that is where the problem is, but we have been liaising with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development so that ZIMRA can implement that. What I know for sure is that some solar panels and the lithium batteries are usually meant for solar generation. So those are exempted from duty but for some of the other equipment, there is an issue of verifying whether they are really for solar use.
That is where the challenge is. We submitted our presentations to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Probably sooner or later it would have been rectified.
HON. SEN. DR. B. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. Why are Diasporas not getting I.Ds, from the countries where they are through the Embassy?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): To be perfectly honest, I was not aware that they cannot apply for their I.Ds. What I know for a fact is that foreign embassies used to have what they would call a bag which would bring the letters and everything else on a regular basis and people who wanted I.D.s and passports would send in their applications through that bag and at some point that had been discontinued due to economic challenges but I think the Minister of Foreign Affairs would be able to answer that but we are in the process of trying to resuscitate that so that we can assist our Diasporas. I thank you.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Did you hear that Hon. Senator?
HON. SEN. DR. B. MPOFU: Yes Madam President. Thank you.
+HON. SEN. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam President for the opportunity. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. Why is it that police officers especially those working from the rural areas are not given transport to use in their line of duty? Most of them are found using their own means or at times using bicycles to look for criminals and at times they end up finding those criminals gone. So, why can they not even get bicycles or even motor bikes from the Government? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Hon. President. Let me start by thanking the Hon. Senator for such a pertinent question. My sincere apologies – I am still taking my Ndebele lessons. I am not there yet but I will get there. It is indeed a challenge but as you would appreciate, let me start from a little bit back. As you would appreciate, in this new dispensation, we started by embarking on a transitional stabilisation programme which was meant to stabilise the economy. That meant we had to start by ensuring that there is fiscal discipline in our Government. We had to spend only that which we had and not what we did not have and not what we did not have which has now resulted in surplus. Why I am I saying this – it meant we could not invest in vehicles and bicycles as we would have wanted.
I am sure you will understand where we are coming from as a nation. Our economy and the challenge that we have faced, I am glad to say that now that the economy has stabilized, we can start moving forward. As police, we have challenges in as far as vehicles are concerned but I am glad that Cabinet made a decision and Ministry of Finance is seized with that matter to try and assist our police to avail vehicles and motorcycles. I hope I managed to answer the question. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. What plans do you have in terms of our police road traffic? They do not have ablution blocks and in this challenge of the COVID pandemic, they will be stationed at one place. What plans do you have to resolve the issue of ablution facilities at roadblocks?
*THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam President. Let me thank the Hon. Senator for her question because she has a caring heart for what we can do for the police. Firstly, it is a challenge. This pandemic has befallen us when we were unaware and that is why we had to put up a lot of roadblocks in trying to curb the movement of people. Normally we do not have so many roadblocks but it came around because of the pandemic.
We saw it fit that we should have more roadblocks because of the pandemic but we try by all means that they should have shifts so that they have time to go and relieve themselves. Some of the roadblocks are near the police stations like the one in Marlborough and in other cases some people have opened their homes but it is not a permanent thing that we have so many roadblocks. I think I have managed to answer your question.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation. Hon. Minister, what policy is there which can assist us to generate revenue from the Arts sectors in the country to boost our economy? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): Thank you Madam President. My device is being connected – thank you Madam President for your patience. I thank the Hon. Member for that question. Right now, there is no direct policy for the arts to generate actual revenue. It is all being very informal. So, what we are working on at the moment is putting together principles that I will take to His Excellency and Cabinet to put in for an Arts Bill that will allow us to legally be able to support the arts and create cultural industries and to be able to give them the proper recognition in terms of what value they add. Right now there are investigations and the CCIs already add about 6% to our GDP but it is informal and there is no correct database for us to gather that information, it is just being done through investigations through the Ministry. Once we have the legislation that will allow us to put into place the right data collection in terms of simple things when we have tourists who cross the border, what they buy and what they are spending as soon as they buy anything from our CCIs, it could be tabulated so that we can show the revenue that is driven by our CCIs. Thank you Madam President.
*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. What plans do you have looking at the welfare of our police officers because you find a policeman living at a rented house from which the home owner’s child is involved in drugs and they are not able to prosecute the perpetrator for fear of being send out of the house.
*THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for the question which is very pertinent. Yes, what she said is very true. I also travelled around looking at the way our police officers are living; even those who live in camps, some of them are not good at all. I think when I started, I said we all know that our economy- when the New Dispensation was ushered in, our economy was not in a good state, it was really bad. This means that what was needed was fiscal discipline which was done by Hon. Mthuli Ncube so that we start doing everything and concentrate on widening our target.
However, now our economy, seems to be stabilising. From henceforth, I think it is a thing of the past because we are not looking at our police renting lodgings in the local suburbs because they cannot prosecute criminals who are giving them accommodation or food. Our President is aware of the challenges. It is not only the police but all the civil servants, even the teachers; that is why he started by putting in place a Ministry headed by Hon. Garwe which is looking at the construction of housing. Recently, he came with a plan of constructing houses for the Government employees, starting with police and soldiers. What was also agreed is that we should have a stop gap measure so that the police and the army get homes. Plans are there for coming up with fabricated houses but we want to engage into uprising buildings so that we use small space which can accommodate a lot of people. So Cabinet has welcomed that and it is in motion right now. We think that our workers, the police and the army will be allocated homes very soon. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President. I was happy when the Hon. Minister was saying our economy is now stable. What I want to know is that; we have talked about homes but the police are having challenges – the rains are upon us, they do not have transport.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. President Sir. Yes, I had responded to a question similar to that. The question was, people are taking time to get to crime spots and there is a challenge of transport in order to get there. However, because our economy is now stable, things are getting better. The Cabinet has agreed that Hon. Mthuli Ncube should start buying vehicles for the police little by little. Other vehicles have already been purchased but these plans are in place. We have been given a target of 500 and we are looking around for the funds. Funding is needed in a lot of areas; we have COVID 19, we are now in the rain season and we need the inputs. Plans are there so that our police officers will not be exposed to the rainfall. I thank you.
HON. SEN. DENGA: Thank you very much …
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order. Those Hon. Senators who have their gadgets, when you stand up to ask a question, switch on your gadgets and speak into it so that those who are following this Session online can also follow whatever you are discussing.
HON. SEN. DENGA: Thank you very much Hon. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Hon. Kirsty Coventry. We are hearing that there was money which was donated for clubs by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and the money was not properly accounted for. What is the Ministry doing about that issue?
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I thank the Hon. Senator for his question. The Sport and Recreation Commission has been hearing of these allegations and they are looking into it. However, as the Hon. Senators and Mr. President Sir, you know that the Government is not allowed to interfere with any potential monies that come from FIFA. That being said, we will ask FIFA to just confirm whether or not these monies were sent and for what use that money was sent for to ZIFA.
As far as I am aware, there was money sent by FIFA to ZIFA in order to resume the game of football and help in terms of testing players. Since that resumption is still under consideration, that money has not been released to the clubs as yet. I thank the Hon. Senator for the question and will follow up and hopefully be able to come back with some more information. Thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA: Thank you very Much President of Senate. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Hon. Minister, in provinces like Matebeleland North where there is plenty of methane gas deposits, what policy or plan is in place for the harnessing of methane gas to generate energy and how far are we?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for such a pertinent question. Yes, there are some programmes to generate energy from coalbed methane but the problem is that we are still at the exploration stage which is under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, exploration to determine how much methane we have underground. There are plans towards that to use coalbed methane for the generation of electricity. I thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
CONTRIBUTIONS BY FOREIGN OWNED BUSINESSES TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY
- HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain to the House how many foreign owned businesses are contributing to the economic development of this country and to state the measures being taken by the Ministry to ensure that these operators deposit their monies into local banks.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the question. Zimbabwe is an open country in terms of investors, therefore businesses that are owned by both foreigners and locals are free to invest in our country. Generally, the laws guiding operation of businesses are similar for both locals and foreign investors. Foreign investors, like domestic investors make immense contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), export earnings, employment creation, skills development and technology transfer and taxes to Government and the fiscus. All businesses, foreign or domestic owners are expected to operate within Zimbabwean laws. Naturally, foreign investors have freedom to
repatriate proceeds of their investment activities.
Regarding banking of proceeds, we have the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act [Chapter 24:24]. It promotes the use and suppresses the abuse of the local financial services system and requires that all businesses operating in the country ought to have a bank account with local banks. This is enforced by the Central Bank (RBZ) and other security institutions including Financial Combat Institutions. Similarly, both foreign and local businesses are required to adhere to the anti-money-laundering (AML) and combating of financial (CFT) terrorism standards and guidelines.
PROMOTION OF GENDER EQUALITY
- HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to appraise the House on initiatives being taken by the Ministry to promote gender equality.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Hon. President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the question. Mr. President, a comprehensive response would ideally come from the Minister responsible for Women’s Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprise Development.
However, as Treasury, we promote and support implementation of gender sensitive programmes and projects through gender budgeting. Treasury also supports gender empowerment initiatives through capitalisation of various institutions which support women, youth and medium and small scale enterprises such as the Women Development Fund, Community Development Fund, Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank, SMEDCO and Empower bank.
In addition, Treasury encourages private sector financiers such as banks to also prioritise gender sensitive programmes and projects. I thank you.
PUBLIC SENSITISATION ON BENEFITS OF USING MONO CURRENCY SYSTEM
- HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain to the House on measures being taken by the Ministry to sensitise the public on the benefits of mono-currency system and to further state endeavours put in place to curb the use of multiple pricing regimes by some business operators.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. NCUBE): Mr. President Sir, in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, there is a dedicated Communications Unit (though recently established and still being capacitated), which publicises policy pronouncements by the Ministry to the public, thereby creating awareness.
The unit carries out roadshows, organises meetings with the public and also takes advantage of many ICT platforms, including Twitter, social media channels to promote Government policies.
With regards to the use of the mono-currency and curbing use of multiple pricing regimes by some business operators, the policy position is that the local currency remains an official exchange regime. The use of free funds was however introduced in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic to allow supply of goods and services under the difficult environment.
We have set up a toll free number at RBZ so that anyone can make a call to report any deviation from policy that seeks to promote mono-pricing or unitary pricing. Also, we have come up with a new rule in terms based on moral suasion that whenever a corporate is awarded foreign currency at the auction, they ought to sign an undertaking that whenever they sell goods arising from production activities due to the award of that foreign currency from the auction, they will price their goods at the prevailing inter-bank or auction rate. The Central Bank working with the Police and the Financial Intelligence Unit, conduct and try to enforce the rules around making sure that everyone sticks to the mono-pricing system as opposed to practicing multiple pricing systems. We know it is not an easy area to police and to enforce but we encourage the public to come forward and report such people or businesses to the Police - as well as make use of the toll free number supplied by the Central Bank. I thank you Mr. President.
POSITION ON RE-DOLLARISATION
- HON. SEN. S. MPOFU asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain Government’s position on re-dollarisation which appears to be market led, considering the fast depreciation of the value of the Zimbabwe dollar against other currencies.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. President. I thank Hon. Sen. Mpofu for the question. I suspect this question was posed when our domestic currency was still depreciating and has since been overtaken by events. Of course, I never had the opportunity to come much earlier to explain this question. We are aware of what is going on. We took action when the Zimbabwe dollar was depreciating. We have introduced the Dutch auction system, which allows you to express your wish in terms of the exchange rate at which we wish to buy foreign currency. So there is a range of exchange rates. What we publish every week is the average of the exchange rate at which transactions are done. This system has really worked well in stabilizing the exchange rate in narrowing the gap between the official exchange rate and the power rate. This has the impact of stabilizing prices overall. This is what has happened Mr. President Sir. The question has been overtaken by events but we are pleased with this situation that has emerged. I thank you.
POLICY ON ENHANCING DOMESTIC RESOURCE MOBILISATION
- HON. SEN. TONGOGARA asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain the Government policy on enhancing domestic resource mobilization through beneficiation of the country’s natural resources.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Our strategy Hon. President on resource mobilization is multi-faceted. First of all is the sourcing of financial resources from the public through the normal taxation system. That is the first way to do it in a very direct way. We have done a lot in the last two years in terms of fine tuning the tax system. You will be aware that we did introduce for both corporates and individuals the IMTT tax, the 2% tax. I think that is what everyone calls it. Everyone knows what you mean when you say 2% tax. That has been very helpful in mobilising domestic resources.
The second approach is to enhance the productivity and the value chains in various sectors; in the mining sector and the manufacturing sector. So we have been promoting these sectors to make sure that there is sufficient beneficiation taking place in the mining sector. What we are finding is that corporates that are in the platinum space, for example, have all been told that they ought to build refineries and they have been doing that. We did impose a 15% penalty tax for not doing so. They have complied and we are very pleased with the results so far. This has resulted in us obviously moving up the value chain, enabling us to harness more resources from taxing these minerals.
I can give an example of a company like Zimplats. Of course, we know it as a company that produces platinum but actually it produces palladium, which has a higher price than platinum. It also produces iridium which has even a much higher price than palladium and platinum. So, in terms of revenues you find that these two additional minerals contribute quite a bit to its revenue but for us to know how much they are producing and the value of these minerals, this only took place because they were able to do some processing and some beneficiation to the level of the what they produce like black flour; that is what it really feels like. They are small particles. It is only that sense that we are able to tell what is in that mart because we have done some beneficiation.
Then we are able to raise enough resources from taxing each mineral on an ad valorem approach as opposed to a quantity approach. We use value of each of the components of that mart as opposed to just the volume. That is what we are doing. This really we want to push right across all the sectors because beneficiation does not only improve productivity, creates jobs and generate revenue for the GDP growth for the country. It also generates direct revenue for Treasury. So, this we are promoting. I thank you.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE NINTH PARLIAMENT FOR THE LIAISON AND COORDINATION COMMITTEE
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Annual Report of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament for the Liaison and Coordination Committee.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President Sir, I wish to thank Hon. Senators although they were very few who contributed to the debate of that very important committee, the Liaison and Coordinating Committee; the reason being that the report was quite thick. Unfortunately, administration did not post that huge report on our Ipads. However, I am hoping that in the near future, Hon. Members will be able to have sight of that report but I want to thank my seconder Hon. Sen. Dr. Mavetera and a few other Hon. Senators. With those few words Mr. President, I move that the report
That this House takes note of the Annual Report of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament for the Liaison and Coordination Committee be adopted.
Motion put and agreed to.
THIRD REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON DOMESTICATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Third Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the Domestication of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President, I wish to wind up the debate and again thank very much the many Hon. Senators who contributed to that very important report. I hope that the domestication of the convention on people with disabilities is going to be looked into very soon. We hope that as soon as we come back, the Act which has been outstanding, as indicated since 2013 will be in place. I now move that the report be adopted:
That this House takes note of the motion on the Third Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the Domestication of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Motion put and agreed.
REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs) AND GENDER DEVELOPMENT ON THE ENQUIRY INTO PEOPLE’S ACCESS TO CLEAN, SAFE AND PORTABLE WATER
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Thematic Committees on Human Rights, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Gender Development on the enquiry into people’s access to clean, safe and potable water.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President. I support the motion which was brought by the Hon. Senator regarding the provision of clean water. It is a concerning issue, particularly the issue that was raised by the Hon. Senator who said that for the disabled, it is really difficult for them to go and fetch water. It is quite difficult and sometimes you wonder how they live. My point is that all the water points that are no longer productive like dams, there is need for them to be resuscitated and refurbished so that they provide water. This pose risk to people because we know that people fetch water where wild animals also drink from.
Mr. President, at times we farm on river banks and this ends up leading to drying of water points. Some people go to fetch their water from such places and this poses a risk to human beings. In towns there is shortage of water whereby residents only get access to water once per week, from daybreak to evening. Some people face different afflictions, at times you live with a disabled person then you wonder where such people would get water and how they are going to fetch that water and how they are going to carry the bucket of water if they are disabled. So, I am saying that water points that have siltation need to be scooped so that people have access to water. At times people let that water out of dams so that they do fishing activities. Water is crucial, it is critical. My desire is that Government should address the challenge of shortage of water in rural areas even in urban centres.
This means that some people travel for about 10 kilometres to fetch water. In some rural areas, some people are forced to travel these long distances. At times it might be a woman who is also expected to perform household chores of cooking, washing and making sure that some people bath, yet you discover that the men are found not to be active with some household chores. Boreholes that are not working need to be fixed because they might not be a budget for sinking new boreholes. However the existing boreholes need to be fixed so that people have access to water. Water is critical to human beings. When God created man he also created water which means that water is important and no one can live without water. Without water, then your life will be difficult. I believe that there is need that dams and boreholes get fixed.
Mr. President, if you go to high density areas you will find some women fetching water at these boreholes around 12 midnight. For example in ZIMRE Park, you will discover that you will find many cars by the borehole, you will end up wondering how a woman would fetch water under such a situation. At times men fetch water and sell that water using different vehicles. Women are facing challenges of water shortages. At times we end up fearing for our daughters who risk being raped. At times we are forced to fetch water at 2200 hours and this exposes them to risk. My desire is that there should be enough water. I thank you.
HON. SEN. KHUPE: Thank you Mr. President of the Senate. As I wind up this important motion, I want to start by thanking the office of the President of the Senate and office of the Clerk of Parliament for having availed resources for the Committees to undertake a fact finding visit and coming up with a report. We know resources are very difficult to find nowadays but the Senate President and her offices found it essential that we go out and come up with this report.
I also want to thank those who participated in gathering the information and I also want to say I am grateful to the seconder of this motion, Hon. Sen. Mpofu. Mr. President and all Members of the Senate, for me it would be a very painful experience if we have such an important report, as I said it was an eye opener, then we sit on it, Government sits on it and nothing happens. Every year we say water, water without taking action. That would be a very painful experience. I hope something will be done about the situation of water in our country.
So having said that, Mr. President, allow me to move for the adoption of this report. Thank you.
Motion with leave adopted.
DISCHARGE OF CHILDREN UNDER CHILD CARE FACILITIES
Fourth order read: Adjourned debate on the need to alleviate challenges associated with the early discharge of youths from child care facilities.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. MATIIRIRA: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Tongogara. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for this important motion in the Senate.
Mr. President, we believe that these children who are in institutions come from different backgrounds. When they reach 18 years, they are no longer eligible to be in those institutions. What I want to say, Mr. President, as Zimbabwe, we have vocational training centres. I urge that those vocational training centres be capacitated so that when these children reach 18, they are not kept in those institutions but they should be sent to vocational training centres dotted around our country. When they are there, they will be able to learn to use their hands.
Our vocational training centres are helping a lot of young people. They are teaching them a lot of skills for them to have a bright future so that when they come from there, they will not go into the streets. These children who are coming from all over the country, some of them are orphans, some have parents but they live in the streets. So I urge the Government that they should capacitate the vocational training centres so that these children will be trained skillfully and also in those institutions , where orphanages are being kept, I encourage that they should not just keep them. They should train them whilst they are there because one day I came and I saw the First Lady. She had children from the streets and she was training them to plant trees and doing gardening so that they will do it when they leave the streets. They will not go back into the streets. With these few words, Mr. President, I support the motion which was raised by Hon. Tongogara because it is a very important one to us as Zimbabweans.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank all the Hon. Members that contributed to this motion because all of us are aware when you are talking about children’s lives, the children are the future leaders. So I want to say that we have heard all the Hon. Members debating on the challenges that the children are facing when they leave the institutions.
So everything that was debated which can help these children when they leave the institutions should be taken note of. Wherever they will be resettled, they should be able to look after themselves so that they will not remain in the streets. We saw our First Lady trying to help these children but this should not be just a thing for one person but all of us should be united and work together because if we do that, it means our streets will only be reserved for cars, not for these children.
Finally, I was looking forward to seeing that when we have motions like this which touch on the nation, Ministers who deal with specific issues are supposed to be in here listening to our debates as the Senate, as parents who have children in the streets. It might not be my biological child but in Shona we say a child belongs to the community. So I am urging that Ministers should look at the motions which come to Senate, then they would come and support us. It would really help us in alleviating the challenges that we are facing so that our children will be helped.
Mr. President, I want to say that I know that our Government has done a lot and it cannot do everything, but if it looks for sponsors who are willing to take care of these children, I am referring to stakeholders who will come and take up the issue, helping each other, our First Lady and the stakeholders, you will find that our children will be looked after properly and our country will not have street children. Thank you Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the motion that this House –
MINDFUL that children under Child Care Facilities are discharged from such Institutions upon attainment of 18 years of age,
ALSO MINDFUL that the United Nations Guidelines and Zimbabwe’s National Residential Child Care Standards 6, recommends for a Discharge Plan for each child before leaving the Child Care Facility,
CONCERNED at the inadequacy of follow up programmes by the Department of Social Welfare in monitoring the discharged youths as a way of preventing them from aimlessly roaming the streets.
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government to partner with other stakeholders and private sector to alleviate the challenges associated with such decisions.
Motion with leave adopted.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. President. With leave of the House, I move that Orders of the Day, No. 5 and 6 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2018
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Annual Report of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission for the year 2018.
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. NCUBE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd October, 2020
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2019
Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Annual Report of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission for the year 2019.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. NCUBE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd October, 2020
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. NCUBE), the Senate adjourned at Quarter Past Four o’clock p.m. until Thursday, 22nd October, 2020.