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SENATE HANSARD 08 April 2021 30-32


Thursday 8th April, 2021

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






Questions Without Notice, I have a list here of Ministers who sent in their apologies:

Hon. Mavhima, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Hon.

Mhona, Transport and Infrastructural Development; Hon. J. Moyo, Local Government and Public Works, but we have the Deputy Minister here; Hon. Chitando, Mines and Mining Development; Hon. Muswere, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services;

Hon. Haritatos, Lands, Agriculture, Water Climate and Rural

Resettlement.  We have Hon. Prof. Murwira, Higher and Tertiary

Education, Innovation, Science and Technology; Hon. K. Coventry, Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation; Hon. N. M. Ndlovu, Environment,

Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Hon. S. Nzenza, Industry and Commerce; Hon. P. Kambamura, Deputy Minister Mines and Mining Development.

Before we proceed, I think I have to register my complaint or disappointment on behalf of the Senate.  On this list we have Ministers who have never stepped their feet in the Senate, as though they take Senate as nothing.  What we are going to do, I think with your support, we are going to mark registers of those who attend Senate and those who do not attend Senate so that when we complain, we will be supported by those documents.  I thank you.

We are going to proceed with Questions Without Notice but I think

I need to tell you the Ministers who are present here.  We have the

Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs who is walking in.

Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi you are welcome.  Hon. Minister Kazembe,

Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Deputy Minister of

Energy and Power Development, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Province, Hon. Mavhunga.


+HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  In Zimbabwe we have a problem of armed robbers.  The frequency of these armed robbers we are seeing homes being destroyed, large sums of money being stolen and cars being stolen by armed men and women.  On each and every group that is involved in armed robbery, it is said there are serving policemen and serving soldiers.  This is now a very big problem in Zimbabwe.  We would like to ask what measures the Government has in place to fix this topical and problematic issue.


would like to thank Hon. Sen. Komichi for his question.  Indeed, what he has asked is a very critical question.  It is indeed true that most of these cases of armed robberies are being done by armed men and women from the police force as well as the army.  I would like to emphasise and indicate to him that Government is indeed working on that, but I would also like to indicate that such cases have decreased.

Some who resist arrest are being shot. We have two or three cases like that; the recent case, that of eight, a group we arrested recently.  We have many groups that are involved, but I am happy that police are doing all they can to fix this issue.  The issue we had which was a problem was an issue of resources, but now it is going to be a thing of the past because that problem is now being fixed.

Recently we had those who were arrested in Beitbridge and the Government is seized with such cases.  They are working very hard to put to an end such cases of robberies.

As police, we were having a problem of resources especially vehicles.  Transport is a critical issue for us to attend such cases.  I am grateful to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, he provided us with vehicles.  Resources are critical for police to react to such criminal offences.  We have a lot of training programmes; we are training our police officers.  We also have an integration programme and because of the technology which was passed by Government, I think this will go a long way in assisting us.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: The involvement of army personnel as

well as police personnel in the robbery cases, is it not a salary issue?  Is this not being caused by the fact that civil servants are crying foul because of the low salaries?

*HON. KAZEMBE:  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Komichi for his

question.  Let me say when people are being enrolled in the Police Force, they take oaths that they will discharge their duties.  We do not expect them to complain when they are in the system.  Madam

President, even if we are to give them fifty-fold salary will they abide by the rules and regulations governing the Police Force?  They should know that we started with stabilisation programme for us to stabilise the economy because it was in bad shape.  This is what His Excellency did when he assumed his duties.

Madam President, let me give an example, if someone gets injured and starts bleeding at times people expect stitches.  When you get injured when we were still young boys, our mothers would apply salt and spirit on our wounds.  This is what the Head of State did because we were coming from a bad economic environment.  His intention was to fix this.  TSP was done and we have passed that phase.  Right now the economy is changing for the better.  It is our intention to change their salaries and reflect the development and the positive change in the economy.

*HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI:  Yes, you have said that you

want to put to an end to armed robbers in this country.  Are you also looking at minor cases of thefts that are taking place?  For police to act on such cases they will tell you that they do not have the resources.  They will ask you to give them something, that is corruption and we do not know what to do now because you have to pay them for them to take action.  I have more than ten cases that have not been attended to.  Do we really need transport to investigate such small cases?

HON. KAZEMBE:  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to

thank Hon. Sen. Mudzuri for his question. Yes, indeed all the cases need police to take action by way of moving from point A to point B. 

Corruption has become cancerous when it comes to bribes that we hear they are asking for.  I would like to say to Hon. Sen. Mudzuri, all of us as citizens, we have an obligation to put an end to this cancerous issue of bribes.  I would like to inform everyone that whenever there is a case, police is ready to fix that.  We are saying zero tolerance to corruption.  For corruption to take place, it needs two people.  It is my request that you should take pictures of such characters in the Police Force.  You will see that we act swiftly and put them behind bars.

Madam President, the other problem is that some of us are involved because you are giving them money, do not give them money. A very good example is that of a woman who was abused by touts in Beitbridge, it was mentioned on social media and circulated everywhere and police reacted quickly and the touts were put behind bars.  Let us work together as a nation so that we do away with corruption.  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI: Does the Minister know that

some of the artisanal miners are members of the Police Force.  If you call police to react to violence amongst artisanal miners, they will tell you that there is nothing wrong and there is no fuel.


HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam President. This

question is in two parts, on fuel I do not know if the depot has fuel or not but I think it is an issue that we can actually look at if it comes in writing.  On Police officers being part of artisanal miners, if we have evidence we will act accordingly.  No one is above the law be it a police officer or a magistrate, if we have evidence we will act on that and put people behind bars.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Sen. Ntabeni, you

can put in writing the other part of the question.

*HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI:  My question is directed to the

Leader of the House.  Is it Government policy that banks refuse you a chance to bank, the reason being that ‘you are politically exposed’.  An example is that of Standard Chartered Bank where we have been denied a chance to bank, reason simply being because we are politically exposed.


Thank you very much Madam President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mudzuri for his question.  I think in order for us to thoroughly deal with this issue, we need to have the question in written form to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

We know that internationally, there are such laws and we are also victims of such acts internationally.  In order for the Hon. Senator to be fully assisted, he needs to put the question in writing with all the details on what really transpired.  The Minister of Finance and Economic

Development will zero in and assist him effectively.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Maybe if you could put

it as a written question so that it is explained in this House for the benefit of everyone. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE:  Thank you Madam President

for giving me this opportunity.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House in the absence of the Minister of Primary and Secondary

Education.  What is Government’s policy pertaining teachers especially in Government schools.  They are not teaching these children but simply give them the option of extra lessons so that they charge them in USD$.

It is only a few parents and guardians who have access to United States Dollars.  What then is Government policy in such a scenario?  We are killing a generation of these children.  Inasmuch as we acknowledge the fact that because of this pandemic, we had a serious problem and children did not get an opportunity to learn, is Government aware of such a scenario that is taking place in schools?

Recently I was in the rural areas getting information from parents that school children are not learning and are being asked to bring USD$5.00 on weekends for extra lessons.  What is Government saying?

What is Government’s position in regard to that?


Thank you very much Madam President. I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Hungwe.  This is a very worrisome issue and I would like to acknowledge her work with regard to such issues.  I would like to state that Government is keenoin seeing children getting their education.        Government has put in place all the measures to make sure that schools resume learning.  We are not only looking at urban schools but also those in rural areas.  Government is making sure that they have electricity and even the option of them having solar as a source of energy and provision of gadgets like computers and phones.  They should have access to all these gadgets.  Even those from the ICT Department should make sure that school children are connected to the internet.  This is all to make sure that school children get the opportunity to learn.  Government does not want anyone to miss their education, are keen on everyone having access to education.

Government is making sure that everything is in place i.e. funding, electricity and gadgets so that there is no digital divide between urban and rural schools.  Due to the Covid pandemic, we were seen being pushed back and learning had stopped, but we are known for providing education to everyone.  We are doing everything possible to make sure that is done.  Government is in discussion with all the stakeholders to make sure that everything is in place.  Government values its employees in the teaching fraternity.

The other issue of teachers demanding money for extra lessons, I think this is now a criminal activity because that is not allowed.  This is not their mandate and not what they are supposed to be doing.  We can never deprive children of the opportunity to learn, then we have teachers who do not teach – that is unacceptable because our children are supposed to be learning.  If there are teachers who are getting into class and not doing anything, I am sure that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has inspectors amongst them.  I think it is a report that should be brought forward so that such characters are dealt with.

We expect those who are supposed to teach to teach.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU:  Thank you very much Madam

President.  My question is on the number of days that children are supposed to attend school, because some are saying only two days in a week - even when it is not a holiday.

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Sen. Chief, this

is a different question. I was expecting a supplementary question.

Instead, I will allow the Minister to respond to your question.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  Thank you very much Hon.

President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Chundu for his question.

We have measures that have been put in place by the Ministry to make sure that children return to school and resume learning.  They have protocols that they are supposed to abide by and these have been put in place to safeguard and make sure that school children are protected from the pandemic.  When the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education went around engaging various stakeholders, the issue was to make sure that every school has access to clean water, school children are able to wash their hands and to make sure on how they can maintain social distancing – that is very important. Inasmuch as we need progress, there is also the issue of safeguarding school children from dying from the pandemic.

The other issue is the critical challenge of the pandemic.  It is important to know which school is saying that schoolchildren should attend once or twice only a week.  It is very important for us to have that information.  It may be hot sitting but we understand all the children should attend classes.  I thank you very much.

*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: My question goes to the Ministry of Local Government.  What is Government policy concerning the rehabilitation of roads because the roads have seriously deteriorated?



President.  During the rainy season, main roads were destroyed and the Government started the road rehabilitation programme which is being spearheaded by our Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Hon. Dr. Chiwenga.  They they will be working hand in glove with the Ministry of Transport.  Right now they have begun the programme of looking at all roads and giving them priority.  They have also accessed funds from the devolution so that they can rehabilitate all roads without discriminating that these are rural roads or urban areas.  They are looking at all roads in broad terms.  Therefore, I expect all councils to benefit from this programme.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Madam President. How is the

Government improving ICT in rural areas in order to facilitate online learning as there has been a significant drop in Grade 7 pass rate?

Aspiring student nurses are required to apply on line, what is the Government doing about improving ICT?



MUTSVANGWA): I thank you Madam President, there is a lot of work which Government is doing, ICT is the way to go and digitalization has become the norm.  We all know that even in our homes our children are sticking to their gadgets all the time.  It is important to make sure that we bridge the gap between the rural and urban, this is critical because the Second Republic considers that every Zimbabwean is important and there is no one who should be left behind. That is why we are making sure that the children in the rural areas also have access to these gadgets.

I earlier on talked about the importance of all schools having electricity, computers and connectivity.  These 3 things are very crucial because we do not want to leave our children behind.  Our rural people are very supportive of the Government as much as the urban areas.  So we want to make sure that we remove that gap between the rural and urban.  Ministry of Finance did put a good significant amount of money so that at least the ministry of ICT can continue with this very good project of making sure that there are those communication centres.  It is not only in the schools but those out of school who are looking for opportunities out there, like she clearly mentioned the nurses, everything is now done on ICT.  This is what the Government is doing through the Ministry of ICT and the budget was actually allocated for that to be done.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU:  I am glad that the ICT Ministry is doing what the Minister has just mentioned to advance our schools through modern computers.  My question is do we have the capacity in terms of infrastructure to withstand what we are looking for in terms of digitalizing all schools and all the places.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Hon. Sen. B. Mpofu.

The issues of digitalisation are issues which the Government is seized with.  For those who watched, the President launched the National Data Centre, it is all about digitalizing information where at least our citizens can just go and get all their database.  There is a lot which needs to be done in this country.  It is even emotional to the history of this country that we have not actually put records of all that happened in the liberation struggle, and that is again something which is being done at the same time.  Digitalisation as I said, this Government realizes the importance of it to a point where they actually set aside recourses.

As I said that if we do not move away from analogue to digital information, it means that information we have cannot be manipulated and it cannot be accessed.  In our case as a Ministry, we now need information which is in digital form, so that we actually give our children their history.  If we do not do that as a country, somebody will fill that gap - that means our children will depend on other sources of income. So the issues of digitalisation are important that it is a multisectorial approach which the Government has done, even the Ministry of Home Affairs, their papers went through Cabinet where they want to make sure that they digitalise the whole Ministry and make sure that everything is done online, and you can get access to CVR and passport issues online.

There is money which has been put into, a budget has been put but we cannot achieve all this in one day. I talked about the Ministry of ICT putting transmitters because 3 things are required for e-learning at any particular schools, it is electricity...

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Minister please

address the Chair.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Three things are required for

children to study online that means a school must have electricity and I spoke about the importance of making sure that if REA is not able to put electricity there, at least Zimbabwe is lucky to have more than 8 hours of sunshine and that is needed.  The Ministry of Energy has been given a mandate to make sure that there is more investment in solar energy so that at least schools will have solar which will enable them to operate computers.

The issues of computers, recently we saw our President went to launch a Zimbabwean Company ZITCO which is producing locally with a Chinese company.  They are producing desktops, laptops, telephones, and soon they will be producing set of boxes so that at least we cover the whole country.  So these are all the efforts to make sure that there is access to all our people in the country.  From my Portfolio Ministry, the Ministry of Information, again, radio has got a wider reach.  So, we have already started licencing more radios, community radios to make sure that we can reach out to a wider population.  Nobody should be left behind and Government is actually putting a budget; it cannot be done over-night but this is the process which Government is doing.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. M. R DUBE: Thank you for this opportunity that you have given me.   Why are we not being given fuel when the First Lady is coming to Bulawayo?  We also want to go around with her and participate in her projects.



Thank you very much Madam President.  It is our desire that we have sufficient fuel at any given time.  We should take note that now fuel is being sold in foreign currency, that is USD as well local currency. What we might have failed to do is to balance the supply and demand. That area has not been pleasing at all.

However, what I can assure you is that our team at CMED is working round the clock to make sure that there is sufficient fuel at any given time. That is our main goal.

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business in the House because I realised that the Minster of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation is not in the House.

Mr. President, the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation previously established country and community sports clubs throughout the country.  However, as I speak, these have become defunct and they are not operational.  Some of the buildings have been taken over by individuals pursuing personal interest in that most of these buildings are now being used to store crops while others are being used as beer-halls.     What does the Government plan with the idea of reversing the adverse developments that I explained earlier on with a view of operationalising those community sports clubs and country clubs to benefit all the citizens and athletes of this country.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: I would like to thank Senator

Kambizi for that very important question in regards to the community sports centres which had become defunct which should be there to help the community.  A healthy community gives a healthy nation and the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation is working hard to make sure that access to sports is given to all children. Talent can be anywhere, it does not have to be in towns, it can be somewhere in the rural areas there and the way to identify that talent is to provide the community with those community sports centres.

It is unfortunate that these community centres which have been there have been left to deteriorate and are now defunct as he rightly said.  Certainly, the policy of Government is to make sure that they are resuscitated and those who have taken position of these community sports centres should be moved out.  These are community sports centres and they should provide that recreational to the communities.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: I would like to ask my

question to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  as A chief I am the custodian of culture in this country.   My reference is to the law with regards to the freedom of expression; the manner in which the youngsters are dressing exposing themselves.   To them this is how they justify their actions because of freedom of expression but as a custodian of our culture and heritage, there is a conflict of the law with that regard. This is how the children, the young generation is expressing themselves and on the other side as elders, we reprimand them but the law comes into conflict.



President.  I also thank the Hon. Senator for the pertinent question he raised on what can be done where there is conflict between laws.  My question is, as a chief what can I do if I see children doing bad things, whilst they have that right.  I want to say in our Constitution, there are two chapters which cannot be amended before we go for a referendum; that is, Chapter 4 and Chapter 16.  The other chapter is on oversight of human rights and the other one has to do with resettlement.  These laws cannot be changed without going for a referendum.

Looking at Chapter 4 as you mentioned, it gives the right to children, which means if we have two laws which are competing, it is said that a law favours to give rights than taking away those rights.  So,

Hon. Sen. Chief, if you are suggesting that children’s rights should be taken away, they use the law which favours them in terms of rights.  Therefore, it implies that we must go back and reconstruct our Constitution and remove those rights.  There will be a problem and it is something which is there nowadays.  Hon. Sen. Chief, we signed an agreement with other countries that we have to put into consideration issues to do with human rights, especially children’s rights.  When we grew up, we used to be canned but right now to can your child, you are told that you have violated the child’s rights.  Right now, what is in the Constitution is what we voted for.  Therefore, our hands are tied; we cannot do anything except following the rights which were given to children in the Constitution.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA:  Thank you Mr. President.

My supplementary question is should we let these children walk around improperly dressed. Imagine if my jacket was a dress, as short as it is and a girl sits at the Chief’s court, what are we saying Mr. President.


Chief Chikwaka, I think you are merely repeating your question and the

Minister has already answered it but I will give him benefit of the doubt.

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Hon. President.  Like I have

already stated, if we say, we no longer want that law, then it means we have to change it.

*HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA:  Thank you Mr. President.  My

question goes to the Leader of the House in the absence of the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Mr. President, teachers are now striking or giving threats.  Some have already mentioned this issue but it is different on my side.  We hear Government saying they are negotiating with their representatives.  My question is, if Government is negotiating with the representatives of workers, are they open to each other because right now people are now tired in the country.  There are endless talks between the Government and the teachers.  If they cannot accept with what is being given by the Government, they must retire and leave an opportunity for qualified teachers who are not practicing.

Mr. President, there is a certain number of schools that attained zero percentage pass rate.  It shows we are killing the future generations.  When is Government going to end the cat and mouse game they are playing with teachers? Thank you Mr. President.



Thank you Mr. President and I would want to thank the Hon. Senator Mavetera for this pertinent question and the wise words.  The issue of education for our children is an issue which must touch all of us as Zimbabweans. If our children fail to go to school, we have failed the generations to come.  Our country Zimbabwe is known for better education.  Those who look on the issue of education, UNESCO has rated Zimbabwe as number one in Africa.  We know that after independence, schools were built by parents.  They could approach the Government after they had already constructed schools to request for teachers.  Therefore, the issue you have raised, we must as

Zimbabweans focus on it so that we know what legacy are we trying to leave for this country.

The Government is trying its level best to see that teachers are well-paid and is open to negotiate with its citizens.  Children must be educated.  Salaries continued to be paid during the Covid lockdown which shows the Government’s commitment.  Therefore, the teachers must also work together with the Government.

Given the statistics with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, some were throwing stones but reports which we are receiving shows that the teachers are doing their best.  The statistics show that 90% of teachers have gone back to work and we are working right now to reach 100%.  We are happy that the teachers are Zimbabweans and they are seeing it very crucial for the students to learn.  Discussion on these issues in this House is something which is important because we are able to make valuable discussions.  I encourage all the teachers and parents to work together for the betterment of education.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA:  Thank you very much Mr. President

Sir.  My question would have been directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans, so maybe I can direct it to the Leader of Government Business.  Hon. Minister, a deadly war has erupted in Mozambique in Cabo Delgado where fundamentalists are mutilating people, decapitating them and there is a humanitarian catastrophe there.  According to experts, this type of conflict has a propensity to escalate and spread. The question is, is the Government of Zimbabwe doing anything about what is happening in Mozambique? If so, what is it doing?


 Thank you Mr. President, I thank Hon. Sen. Mwonzora for that very important question. We are all aware and we have seen pictures which are really devastating, and for those who are easy to cry, you can actually wail because this is deadly. It is truly so – Cabo Delgado which is a humanitarian disaster and this has certainly called for the region to come together to talk about how we can stop this inhumanity. You are right, if it is left without being dealt with, there is certainly propensity to escalate. We are a region and SADC is well-known for being moving as a block. We have seen SADC standing by Zimbabwe and calling for the removal of sanctions and SADC has come again together - we saw the

Chairperson of the SADC Troika. He came to Zimbabwe, President

Masisi of Botswana and now we know that the leaders are in

Mozambique today. So this is being dealt with as per regional level at SADC level.  Certainly, decisions will be taken. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NGEZI: My question is on those who are

imprisoned and those on remand - before they have been sentenced, are the correctional officers allowed to beat them up or torture them?



President and I would like to the Hon. Sen. Chief for his question. We no longer have those we call magadhijeri in the country. What we now have are Prison and Correctional Officers. Those have been well trained and these are now experts who are trained in changing their behavior towards reintegration into the community. One of the main objectives is not about just being guards, it is about having in-depth understanding about the behavior of the inmates and helping them transform. Let us understand that aspect of the people that we now have in the country. They are supposed to be friends and they are not supposed to be torturing inmates. Thank you.

Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 66.



Minister of Education, your question has been on the Order Paper for a long time. I would advise you to prepare to come and respond to it. The same applies to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, I urge the Leader of Government business to advise your colleagues to attend to those questions. They have been on the Order Paper for a long time.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY

PRESIDNRET OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 66.

       On the motion of THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION,

PUBLICITY AND BORADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN.  MUTSVANGWA), the Senate adjourned at Twenty-One Minutes to

Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 20th April, 2021. 

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