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SENATE HANSARD 11 MAY 2022 VOL 31 NO 40

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 11th May, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 6 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day Number 7 has been disposed of.

MOTION

SCHEMES TO REDEEM THE NATIONAL HERD FROM DEVASTATING AND DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT

      HON. SEN. A. DUBE: I move the motion standing in my name that;;

       CONSCIOUS of the destructive impact of drought on our national herd in the dry regions of the country;

-of the large numbers of cattle that have perished in the past and those likely to face the same fate under similar conditions this year as already evidenced by the massive wilting of crops in the dry regions of the country;

        This House strongly urges Government to:-

- Urgently design and implement practical schemes to redeem the national herd from the devastating and destructive effects of drought; and

        - Urgently comes up with mitigatory measures such as winter cropping and drought relief programmes which will alleviate the impact of drought in all affected areas of the country.

        HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

        HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to move my motion which is particularly on the drought we are facing this year. It seems there is going to be drought throughout all the districts. We had rains but when people started to do their farming, the rains ceased.  The crops were very much affected and a lot of them wilted.

      We realised that there will be a serious hunger throughout the country.  Dams have no water, particularly those areas in the region where people depend on livestock.  Last year in that region, a lot of livestock were lost. As a result of the looming draught, it is likely that the livestock will die again, whereas people in the rural areas depend on those livestock to pay school fees and when there is a drought like this, they usually sell livestock in order to buy food commodities elsewhere.

        All places around the country are dry and they are affected by draught.  The livestock we have right now are not dipped and they are affected by those common diseases.  People are no longer taking cattle to dip tanks because of non-availability of chemicals.

          When we look at the current situation, people are desperate almost everywhere because of this drought.  As such, because of this drought, criminality and other dubious behaviours will thrive.  A hungry person can do anything so that food can be put on the table.  Therefore, if measures can be put in place to help the rural communities cope with the prevailing drought.

           Of course, the NGO’s help us; however, sometimes they use that food to divide the people in the community.  They change their mandate and end up engaging in politics.  People will end up not appreciating their assistance because of their involvement in politics.  Yes, they help during these difficult times of drought but they should be vetted properly whether they are the right people to give assistance during these hard times.  There is need to put in place terms and conditions of service.

      We have some dams which need to be de-silted, even though we have some rains but these dams will not have sufficient water because they are silted. When there is hunger, it is important that people have access to potable water for domestic use and livestock.

        This year, there is going to be a lot of challenges, even water is going to be a problem.  The rains have been away for a long time, so, for us to get to the next season, people are going to suffer.  In most communities, people are suffering because of hunger. 

         Traditional grains in region 5 used to help in alleviating hunger in time of drought. Now, this year, because the rains ceased, even   the traditional grains were adversely affected.  Government should therefore help to conserve the few livestock available by taking these livestock to dip tanks.  I remember sometime last year, a farmer lost 22 beasts and they were affected by storm thereafter. Such domestic animals are our assets. When there is a drought, these beasts are sold and people source food elsewhere. Government should see to it that we have irrigation all over the country.

          We commend the President for coming up with irrigation systems. In Lupane, he opened irrigation there and that irrigation has about 400 families so that they can realise something to live on. If all places can have irrigation schemes, that will alleviate the situation of droughts. If irrigations could be resuscitated everywhere and people be conscientised on winter cropping so that they can do the winter crops, maybe we may reach another season where we will farm again properly.

          We realise that maybe next year we will have some rains but we are looking forward to our Government to intervene this year. Programmes like drought could be brought back so that people can access food. It is necessary for that food to be given to the needy ones and that food should be distributed to the actual beneficiaries so that people can be helped this year.

          I have said before Madam President, that during drought or hunger, and as a result of these droughts, criminality thrives. It baffles the mind that each time when we go for elections, we have these droughts. The Government should help the people. We are happy because the President says no one shall die of hunger. He is aware that hunger is there with the people. Whatever he will put in place, we request that it be done properly and go to the needy people. If a hungry person is given instruction, he will comply even though it is not clear as to what exactly the instruction is for.

          We request therefore for Government to intervene because there are fears of drought in the communities because as we talk, people are hungry. Whatever little they get, sometimes they want to buy ten kilogrammes of mealie-meal which goes for ZWL2 000. Prices are being increased and it affects people psychologically and in such scenarios, disputes thrive and people find no place for respite. We know that the President promised that no one would die of hunger and we request that relief food be distributed accordingly and properly so that it benefits everyone because everyone is affected by this drought. It knows no religion. I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to second the motion brought to this august House by Hon. Sen. Dube. Cattle play an important role in our society and in our well-being. Long ago, rich men were identified by the number of cattle they had or a big herd of cattle. When we grew up, our fathers were telling us that most of the mothers we see today, lobola was paid using cattle. Hon. Sen. Dube has said that it is important to preserve the national herd and I agree with her because in our society, we sell cattle to pay school fees for our kids and to plough our fields.

          We can even sell cattle to buy some farming implements, seeds or fertilizer. I agree with her sentiments that we must design and implement practical schemes to serve the national herd from the effects of drought. We will urgently need some supplementary feeding for our cattle and some vaccines to serve them from various diseases. I know that our listening President will introduce various schemes to assist various communities to preserve and serve the national herd from perishing. A lot has been said by the mover of the motion, not forgetting that we used to get the much needed foreign currency from the sale of our meat to the European Union and other countries before sanctions were imposed on our beautiful country Zimbabwe. With these few words, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my views on this important motion that talks about drought. We know that drought is a very bad thing that brings diseases into the country.  It leads to death of livestock, it also destroys the economy of the country. 

          I would like to applaud the new dispensation that in this country even if we face drought, Government manages to fend food for the people to survive, even if that may lead to disturbances of progress with regards to other projects such as roads, schools, clinics or bridge construction.  Such projects are usually suspended when there is a drought so that resources are channeled to sourcing food.  Just like what Hon. Sen. Dube alluded to, indeed we need a lot of dams in this country because drought has taught us that if we do not have adequate dams, we will not be able to fend for our people by providing enough food.

          I would like to applaud the New Dispensation led by President E. D. Mnangagwa because if we look at this country, he saw that long time ago that drought caused by climate change is supposed to be planned for well in advance for its mitigation which is exactly what is happening.  When it comes to dams - as we speak in Mount Darwin there is Semwa Dam.  It is a very huge dam, we have not seen such a dam before.  Mazowe dam is actually multiplied by two.  This will help Mount Darwin as well as Rushinga to provide water for irrigation as well as other uses.  We would like to thank the Government that in those districts there are committees that deal with droughts.  Towards harvesting time, those committees go around the fields to assess potential yields and then they present those reports to Government stating the situation with regards to expected yields so that Government plans properly.

          Mr. President, I realised that in places like Zambezi Valley, places like Guruve and Muzarabani where crops do not grow properly, Government usually encourages people to grow small grains.  Yes, those were crops grown traditionally but the current generation does not like to grow those crops, they want to grow maize yet Zambezi Valley is good for crops like sorghum and millet.  It is very important because those are drought tolerant crops, they can grow well in those areas.  People should be encouraged to grow those crops and if they do not want to consume those crops they can go to the GMB to exchange such crops and get maize instead. 

          Mr. President, let me say leading hungry people is very difficult because it leads to a lot of chaos and violence but I would like to applaud the Government because no one has died of hunger. I would like to applaud the Government for taking the role especially with regards to drought mitigation.  Indeed, livestock has not survived during time of drought because pastures may not grow well.  Indeed, like what Hon. Sen. Dube alluded to, livestock is essential for farmers because even for us as women, for lobola we want quite a good herd of cattle such as 15 but because of drought we rarely get herds of that magnitude, we just receive few US dollars.  With those few words, I thank you.  

^^HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Dube for raising a pertinent motion. We know that there are some areas we are harvesting very well but in some areas there is drought because of erratic rainfall especially in regions 5 and 6. I also thank the President of our country, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa because he makes plans for all areas and there is no one who dies because of hunger.

On the issue of drought facing the country, I plead with those responsible on issues of climate change to look at our area in Chikombedzi to come and study the weather pattern and help the locals to know how to tackle certain situations. I plead with the Ministry of Lands to work with the communities in fighting drought.

 Long ago people used to look for wealth before one married her daughter to a certain family. It was not possible to allow your child to get married to a family without livestock because your child would suffer from hunger. In the recent years they believed that a proper homestead must have livestock. We lost a lot of livestock due to diseases and lack of food. We plead with non-governmental organizations to help with livestock feeds. Our Government will help by providing food to its people. We would like to thank our Government for sending drought relief food to all people in the country. When the Government provides food, may the traditional leadership sit down and make sure that everyone receives food without living anyone out. Our President is not selective, he wants everyone to benefit. I plead with the Government to swiftly intervene in our area. There is not even grass for livestock, hence both humans and livestock are suffering. May the Meteorological Department try by all means to give us the correct weather forecast? This year they said rains will end in April, hence we continued planting but the rains ended in January. As a result, we lost a lot of inputs. May the relevant ministries help us on this issue?

The second issue Mr. President, may those who are responsible for distributing farming inputs give us the small grain seed which is red in colour because they are not affected by birds? The white ones are destroyed by the birds. We are at the boundaries.  There is a law which says we must not kill these birds but they are destroying our grains and at the end of the day we harvest nothing regardless of the hectares.

The relevant ministries must consult us the locals on the types of small grain seeds which we want before distributing because we know which type perform well in our area. They must consult. In some provinces they are not affected by birds but in our province Masvingo, there are many birds which devour the small grains.  Finger millet or mashia are heavily affected by the birds.

 In Masvingo, there is drought we did not harvest anything. Our President is very clever and considerate, because under his leadership he managed to build Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam but the dam is supplying water to the commercial farmers. I pray that the rural councils do construct small dams for irrigation in the rural areas so that we mitigate drought and venture into irrigation and planting crops which are short season varieties such as cow peas, beans and other short variety  season  crops.  Tokwe-Mukosi should continue to supply water to commercial farmers who are farming cotton and sugar cane. In addition to that, the dam is very far away from our rural homes.

 Mr. President, we have a challenge of mealie-meal in our rural areas. The price is too high and we have very big families. A 10kg packet of mealie meal can only last one meal because of the size of our families.   That packet cost around Z$2000 to Z$4000. People do not get that amount of money. In the past, they used to sell their livestock so that they can buy food but right now the situation is different because our livestock died because of drought. I want to plead with shop owners and those who are responsible for pricing and Anti-Corruption Commission to come to our rural areas and help us to solve this issue.  Things are very expensive Mr. President. I also thank the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Dr. E.D Mnangagwa because he encourages us to be united and build our country. That is the only solution to end all the troubles the country is facing right now. May Government help us on the issue of prices? Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Dube.

+HON. SEN. N. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate this very important motion moved by Hon. Sen. Dube. This year’s drought is severe. It has caused destruction in the fields. People out there will die of hunger. People are hungry right now. They have been to Chiadzwa and in that community, the people are angry because of the hunger. When people are hungry, what will happen thereafter? A hungry person is capable of doing anything in order to put food on the table. This hunger will cause criminality to thrive and people will kill each other for food.

          What should happen in this country is that those who know about climate should work. Relevant technology is needed to help them to come up with the right data. Evidence abounds that there is climate change and there is need for us to move with the times.  People used to plough around November/December but we now need to use those machines or technology to change the farming season. This year there was a delay to the start of the rainy season. When the rains came, the crops were already stressed. With the right technology, they would alert the people about what was going to transpire so that they can engage in dry planting so that when the rains come, they would be a step ahead. Unless we do such things, people will die of hunger.

          The national silos should be stocked with food. Right now I do not think that the silos have anything.  If there is nothing in those silos, Government should raise resources and buy the necessary grains for the people. Even if we have diamonds and gold, we do not see the foreign currency that is realised from the sale of those minerals. Government should ensure that everyone has enough food. In the past, we had criminals abusing food relief programme by denying some people food who do not belong to a certain party. We need to look after everyone equally, whether rich or poor. The people did not realise anything from their crops or domestic animals.  Government should encourage people to sell part of their domestic animals to buy food to feed the other beasts so that they can live.  Many people do not want to part with their beasts, they would rather leave that beast even when it is severely ill and try to resuscitate it.  People need to be conscientised for them to understand the benefit of selling one beast in order to buy food for the other remainder of the beasts for conservation purposes.  With those few words, I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. SHUMBA: Thank you Hon. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion about hunger.  There is hunger for every living thing, which means the whole country is affected by hunger.  I want to thank him because there is hunger in the whole country, not only in certain regions.  This year is a year of drought because as we move around, we find that most areas have been affected by drought.  If you look at the fields, you will feel sorry as we do not know how our animals are going to survive because we do not have piles of stock feed.

          People can keep on referring to what the Government should do.  Our Government has a lot of work.  The President said that no one should die of hunger because our granaries are full but the challenge is that we run short of money because the grain will be sold in USD yet we do not have the USD in Zimbabwe.  What really excites me is that during the year of drought, the Lord is very faithful.  He can bring up things which people can survive on.  I remember the other year when we were in Mberengwa, there was drought but that year you would find people picking money even in ashes or on river beds.  So, no one died of hunger because the Lord is faithful.  He is there and he will give us.  However, we are all required to do something.  We should not just look up to Government to provide for us but we should gather the little that we have, it can help us.

          Yes, there is climate change but some of us are crying about climate change and others did not even plough.  They did not go into the fields because they thought that they would buy.  When we have rains, we should make use of it, no matter what time we get the rains.  Some suggested that if we come up with irrigations we can have good yields but we can also drill boreholes so that we set up irrigations.  It is not only dams where we find irrigation schemes.  Like where I come from in Mwenezi, we did not have two successive years of bumper harvest, we always experience little rainfall.  So people are now clever. When we get good rains, we make use of the good rains and harvest those rains.  We should not always look up to Government when there is drought.  These days Government has introduced that we should even farm stock feeds which do not require a lot of rains.  So, we should wake up and open our minds.

          In Mwenezi, we are not surprised by droughts because we are used to them. We farm small grains which are drought resistant.  We also grow round nuts because they do very well with little rainfall.  A hungry man is always an angry man.  So hunger is not good and it is there for sure.  There is nothing that we can do.  I think we now have to just look up to God so that our leaders are given wisdom on how we should live, without getting money but if the Lord gives wisdom to our leaders, especially those good leaders who listen to their people, they will listen to everyone.  We want to thank them because they always say that no one will die of hunger because hunger is bad.

          We want our children and grandchildren to get married but if the cows die of hunger, it means there will no longer be anything to pay.  We just put this in the hands of the Lord so that he helps and that we have wisdom in order to live in times like these.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to also debate on this motion by Hon. Sen. A. Dube and seconded by Hon. Sen. Mathuthu.  We should be debating on such issues because those refer to our status as human beings.  Human beings and animals need food and water.  I also would like to add a few words to this motion, we are now approaching winter and we are harvesting our crops.   Some people will now start to cause veld fires, some will cut down trees causing deserts and this contributes to lack of rainfall.  Sacred places and wetlands are being disrespected, these are very important in our lives and that is why we are now talking about drought. 

All the roads leading to Harare, you will find firewood being sold on the road side.  That actually shows that we are destroying the country as we watch.   We were given this country by God and if we destroy vegetation, it means that we are reducing the chances of getting adequate rainfall.  Of course we are growing crops like tobacco, I would like to say as a leader from an area where people grow tobacco, some people have been growing tobacco for more than 10 years and they get seedlings from tobacco companies. So we are destroying our forests, scientists say wind that blows from trees leads to condensation and eventually rainfall but these days all what the wind is blowing is sand that is very uncomfortable when it enters into our eyes.

Let us encourage each other to grow trees so that the country will have all the natural resources.  Let us also respect very essential places like wetlands. In the urban areas we see people building houses in wet lands.  Sometimes every year people cry foul that water destroyed their homes but most of the times it is because they build those houses in wetlands.  That has happened in Mutare and other places. 

I noted that most of the times people say that they want Government to do this and that for them but what are we also doing for ourselves?  Are we not being unreasonable enough to be cutting down trees and contributing negatives.  How many eyes do you expect His Excellency the President to have to monitor each and every situation in this country.  Let us play our roles as citizens.  Everyday His Excellency the President says let us build our own country.  One way to do that is by strengthening vegetation, let us plant enough trees.  As Senators, we must be discussing on strengthening legislation that discourages the cutting down of trees. In most of the areas, trees are being cut down.  Some of the places where we used to have trees there are no more. We are making sacred places less sacred.  Some people of the apostolic sect actually do not have respect for the sacred areas because they perform their rituals in there tying red, black and white pieces of cloths in trees and breaking clay pots all over.   All those things are done to lie and instill fear in people so that they pay money to them.

Those are some of the things that lead to famine and this is very bad.  Cattle are used in paying lobola and people fined by traditional leaders pay using livestock; most of the time these days people do not have any livestock to pay.  Sacred areas where our spirit mediums are buried should be respected but people are not respecting those curves and mountains.   We need to respect our culture and abide by our traditional religion to stop drought.  We also need to grow trees to increase vegetation and listen to what the Government says so that we progress.

We need to stop back agricultural practices such as stream bank cultivation or making contour ridges because it leads to siltation in a short space of time.  People in irrigation, sometimes just use those irrigation schemes for two years and after that they relocate and find other places and the deserted areas are no longer productive.  This is a very important motion that I decided to add my voice to because everyone needs adequate food and water to survive.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion by Hon. Sen. A. Dube and her seconder.  This year there is hunger.  We toured the country as a Joint Committee on SDGs. Mashonaland West was a little bit better in terms of harvest, then we went to Mashonaland right down to Mukumbura it is hunger all over.  There is hunger also in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, Mutare and Masvingo, you just see dried crops in the fields. 

The reason why I stood up is to urge Hon. Senators to go and share with your constituents about farming.  We should not give names to the rains that this is bumharutsva, et cetera.  Even if we get rains in November you must start ploughing.  Not that I am showing off but I have never been affected by hunger because I was taught farming by my father.  We used to farm in October and people would laugh at us. In the heat of October, we would put Rapoko on the ground.  With farming, you have to be very skillful. Sometimes, some people will still suffer hunger despite good rains because of lack of skills in farming.  People will cry looking up to the Government for help. Even this year; do you think the Government will afford to give everyone food? We should not give lands to the rains but we should have different stages of maize at least about 3 stages.  For example, this farming season we got our rains towards the end of the season but now I am enjoying green mealies in Macheke at my farm.   The harvest was not good but I got something.

We should teach each other good farming methods.  What Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe said is true that people are cutting down trees and that cattle are also dying because of diseases and of lack of dipping services.  So I feel sorry for these people because they do not have livestock and at the end of the day, I do not even know how I can assist them. 

 I stand to say thank you Hon. Sen. Dube for this motion.  Yes, there is hunger - I do not know whether the Government is going to be able to feed the whole nation. The Government normally looks after the elderly but the able bodied are supposed to fend for their own food.

Last year we had a good harvest but for some to have money to go and buy the maize is very difficult. 

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

HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.

MOTION

POLICIES THAT ADDRESS AND PLUG LOOPHOLES RELATED TO TAX EVASION

Eighth order read: Adjourned Debate on the motion on policies that address and plug loopholes on tax evasions, illicit financial flows and corruption.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to express my views on this important motion raised by Hon. Sen. Chinake complaining about our wealth which is just depreciating whilst we are not doing anything.

Mr. President, the problem that we have here is that indeed we have a lot of wealth but for us to realise the actual value of that wealth is another thing.  We are a blessed nation because we have a lot of mineral wealth as compared to many other countries that do not have a lot of resources.

 Some countries have just a few or one resource that they jealously safeguard and utilise adequately to provide enough for that country.  However, in this country we have a problem of greediness.  Anyone who discovers minerals, people do not want to give value of any mineral discovery to the country but they are personalised by individuals so the country does not benefit at all. 

I do not know what measures can be put in place by this august House to ensure that the country is exorcised of that evil spirit of corruption  so that people will come to acknowledge and appreciate that the country belongs to everyone.  His Excellency, the President said “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” but when it comes to mineral discoveries, they are personalised and benefit a few.  Most of those people who exploit those minerals for their personal gains do not pay taxes and where the minerals are exported to, they benefit those countries whilst we remain in abject poverty.

Corruption has been alluded to in many fora and several times in this august House including those who have spoken well before me.  It has been condemned in this country but I do not know what should be done or what can be done to stop this corruption.  Should people continue talking about corruption yet nothing is being done about it?

We have heard people being arrested on allegations of corruption but nothing further is done for their prosecution and we do not get feedback on further steps with regards to their prosecution.  They are not sentenced and arrested but if people are arrested because of corruption and convicted especially now that we are facing winter, that would deter people.  People would understand that corruption is bad and it can lead to prison. As a country, I think we can learn from that. If we do not do that, it will be very difficult for us to see an end to this corruption. It will not end because today we hear that someone was arrested due to corruption but the next day they are out boasting on the streets that they are untouchable.

          The other thing that causes that is, people should be scrutinised especially those in higher offices. Those people who boast that they are not being arrested boast that they are strongly linked to people in high offices. Are those people in the high offices above the law? We should be scrutinising such issues if indeed we have the rule of law. The law should apply to everyone regardless of position so that anyone can be prosecuted and arrested and that they serve jail sentences. At least that might be helpful because in this country, the application of the law is very disturbing and upsetting.

          I just wonder what really happens – those law enforcement agents who are paid by Government are just wasting Government money because the people they arrest go scot free at the end of the day since there will be people preventing the prosecution of those corrupt people. Those cases just crumble and disappear like dew. So what that means is that those in high offices continuously benefit at the expense of others yet this country was fought for and people died for this country so that everyone may live happily but nothing of that sort is happening.

          The poor remain in abject poverty whilst those in higher offices are enjoying and benefitting. They walk scot free even if there will be crimes alleged against them and so we should find a way of ensuring that those people are prosecuted and convicted. As we speak, we had a lot of people who were arrested because they were found with huge sums of money. We saw those bags on television but right now what has happened to that – nothing at all. We heard of cases like former Minister Chombo – that information was made public and it was all over the media. We were told that they had huge sums of money in bags but nothing happened to that, the public was never updated on what happened after they were arrested or found with those huge sums of money.

          That could give confidence to the public if only they were updated. Indeed, people went to the houses and discovered hospital beds at the houses whilst patients in hospitals sleep on the floor and this is so disturbing. We are said to be very literate in this country but that is useless because we fail to give solutions to the problems in this country. If only that education could be seen by people in the rural areas or anywhere. When we speak about the liberation struggle that was meant to liberate ordinary people - ordinary people should be happy after being liberated and should be living happily because this country belongs to everyone.

          I remember listening to another preacher saying when the Israelites were told that they were leaving Egypt going to Canaan, they expected that when they get to Canaan, they just fold their hands and find milk and honey flowing, but that was not the case. We have a job Mr. President and we need to teach our people that all good things come from hard work. There were people who had gardens for growing crops – indeed all these good farms that we have are the ones that are meant to give benefits to the whole country. The country should be getting sufficient food. The previous speaker referred to the drought prevailing in the country and we saw crops that did not grow properly. Regardless of that drought, we are the ones who are fools because we bring that drought upon ourselves by cutting down all the trees and causing desertification. 

          When winds come, they just blow away roofs or constructions because there are no barriers as a result of all the trees that have been cut off.  Those are the signs that saw that our country is beautiful when we have vegetation but that has been destroyed by greedy people. My final words are that criminals should face the music for their crimes. We should be updated and told on their sentences or given updates on their cases so that they get to be convicted. At least we can get to know how those who have illegally exploited the minerals need to pay for that.

          Sometimes on the streets, you see someone with torn clothes and looking very shabby and poor but with new brand new bank notes. Where did that person get that money from? That should be investigated where that person gets all those bank notes from. If people are arrested, they must be convicted, imprisoned and given deterrent sentences. Remember that in this country in the past, people used to steal livestock but when the sentence became deterrent enough, the crimes were reduced. That should happen to corruption cases because everyone should be happy and be able to benefit from the resources that this country is endowed with by God. These are God given resources that are supposed to benefit everyone.  I would like to applaud Hon. Sen. Chinake for raising this very important motion. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. President. I also want to add my voice on this motion by Hon. Sen. Chinake which talks about tax evasion, illicit financial fraud and corruption. I was just sitting there observing as the debate was going on and realise that it is a strong debate because it touches a lot of countries.  I think when it comes to illicit financial flows, the former President of South Africa, Mr. Mbeki was once given a job to lead the whole of Africa - if you google, it is there.  It think it was more than USD50 billion per year which was finding its way out of Africa through illicit financial flows, which means that it is illegal.  Mr. President, we are talking of USD50 billion, if you look at how people in Africa suffer, if this money would find its way in Africa I think our hospitals and roads will be in a better state.   

          It is true that tax invasion is caused by people who are here and then corruption.  All this also leads to corruption.  Mr. President, I was thinking that through Parliament, when these issues come to this House, before we close them we should come up with a full day workshop before giving final recommendations and then we are educated on how tax evasions take place.  We should have the facts and figures of Zimbabwe or the whole of Africa.  I think illicit financial fraud is worse than we are debating here.  We should call experts who are in this area to Zimbabwe. 

On corruption, I was thinking that from 2018 we debated this issue of corruption several times.  I do not know how many times it has been debated in this House.  I think we should ask Parliament Administration that motions which were brought to this House when we started in 2018, if they come again we should be reminded that in the last Parliament it was brought in by so and so, it was debated and the conclusion was this so that we go to another step. That is why we should go back to our workshops and discuss these issues and find out what new things will come out. 

          Mr. President, these issues of people saying that they are protected by the big fish and that some people have got connections, it has been debated.  So, what is the next stage so that we have value of what we are doing here in Parliament?  I am one of them Mr. President who once sat in the Chair, listened to the debates and I said, yes we are just talking but is there any help.  It is just like an entertainment.   When it is written in the Hansard, it is just a record but the issues will come back.  We do not go further with our issues which we will have debated to find out the outcome of the debates. 

These are difficult issues but the approach that we want is that we have to break and get more information and then conclude these debates after research because what we want is progress.  There are just debates, we talk and talk, we do not know whom we are talking to, we do not know who is listening to rectify the issues.  Thank you Mr. President. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you very much Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira for your thought provoking debate.  Before I give the floor to Hon. Sen. Rwambiwa, I just want to say that for as long as a motion is brought in a different session, it is admissible but what you are saying is emphasising what we have said before.  We have said that when we debate motions here, the relevant Ministers must come and respond to those motions.  This actually will enable some action to be taken in that they will be responding to very pertinent issues raised like that of Mr. Mbeki, the former President of South Africa that he produced a very huge dossier which detailed how much Africa is losing through illicit flows, tax invasions and all those illegal means but no action is being taken. 

Hon. Members in this House, we have debated so much about corruption and the need to have action taken against the perpetrators.  I think it is an issue we must follow up as administration including emphasising the issue of relevant Ministers coming to respond to the Presidential debate and these motions which are being raised by Hon. Members.  Thank you for that very good observation.

*HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA:  Thank you Mr. President, firstly I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chinake for raising this motion.  He did not do it for his personal benefits but for the benefit of Zimbabwe.  As a country, we need to get adequate benefits from the resources that this country is well endowed with.  Those resources should contribute to the development of this country but we realised that we are not benefitting from those resources.  They are being smuggled out of the country.  If we go to those countries where those resources are being smuggled to – we look for employment there and we come back and say we are earning better salaries there yet those countries are benefitting from our resources. 

Looking at this country, all provinces are endowed with valuable resources.  If we were to look at areas like Bikita, there is Bikita Minerals, tonnes and tonnes of minerals are being exploited and taken out yet as people from Bikita we are not getting any benefits at all. There are no schools and hospitals and we are referred to Parirenyatwa or Kaitano Hospitals to get treatment there. I do not know how we can get to a point where those resources benefit local people.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order! I think you are debating a different motion. The issue of locals benefiting from the locals’ resources, yes that motion was once brought into this House. The motion at hand is talking about people who are evading tax. Is Bikita Minerals one of those?  The motion is talking about people who are not paying any taxes.

          *HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA: Thank you Mr. President. Sometimes we get emotional on these issues because all that is caused by corruption. When we do not get any benefits from local mines, we get emotional when we debate because we do not know what is causing all that. Corruption continues because no one is being prosecuted. We cannot pinpoint anyone exactly who is doing corruption but what we know is that there are no benefits translating to people and all the citizens of this country, they are not getting any benefits from the resources.

          *HON. SEN. J. HUNGWE: Thank you very much Mr. President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chinake for the very important motion he raised in this House. The motion is important to this country. With reference to this motion as presented by others, we should look thoroughly at this motion.

          There is the issue of minerals that are being smuggled out of this country and there is the issue of people who are involved in money laundering, channeling all the hard currencies out of this country. The reason why people escape from these corrupt cases is because those who are investigating these cases are not doing their best. There is need for adequate evidence for those who are caught and said to be involved in corrupt activities. People are escaping using loopholes because these cases are not being investigated thoroughly. It is my thinking that Government should be serious when it comes to assigning those who go and investigate these cases.

          If you look further into these people who are being involved in these criminal activities, you will be shocked to hear their background. How did they escape is the question? What I am saying is that Government should assign those who are well trained to deal with such cases. When you look into the manner in which people are being apprehended and released, it is because of our police officers who are not doing their work. They are being given kickbacks and bribes and nothing is happening. People are seeing corrupt activities taking place but there is nothing happening. People are walking scot free. They are gallivanting on our streets freely.

          We have people who are name-dropping. Some are giving reference to our names but we do not even know them. These people are being skilful and getting away with it because of the loopholes involved in investigating these cases. Those who go about dropping names of people should be arrested. Until and unless people are proven not guilty and not involved in such cases, no one should ever be given a chance to just drop a name and get away with it.  The courts cannot allow an individual whether it is a minister or anyone to come through and say you cannot arrest this one because he is one of my networks. That is not acceptable. Those who are investigating such cases should look at that aspect because these people are criminals. We have a case against these people.

          I just stood up to talk about those issues. Government should be wary of such people from CID or whatever law enforcement agency who are given such assignments and they do not do a thorough job. The investigating officers should do their work diligently without hesitation.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May 2022

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 50TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HOSTED VIRTUALLY BY THE KINGDOM OF LESOTHO

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the 50th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum hosted virtually by the Kingdom of Lesotho from 10th to 12th December 2021.

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

          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.

MOTION

MEASURES TO RESUSCITATE THE ECONOMY

           Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to come up with measures to resuscitate the economy.

        Question again proposed.

        +HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you for the opportunity given to me Hon. President of the Senate.  The challenge in our country started way back, not today.  It started during the country’s independence in 1980 when our Government continued to print money during that time and borrowing money from institutions like the IMF. Since then, the country has accumulated so much debt that has become difficult for the country to clear.  This has made the country encounter challenges that include inflation where a lot of money is being used to acquire a few resources that are available.  This challenge has also seen our country changing denominations every now and then, like bond note and RTGS.  We have now gone back to our Zimbabwean dollar but it is difficult because even though we have gone back to our dollar, we are not seeing any positive move in us using it.  It is not helping our economy develop.

        The challenge associated with this is that it is being used in conjunction with other currencies like Rands, USD and the Pula.  The American dollar is increasing in its value and this creates inflation in our country.  It brings more challenges to our locals because you will realise that commodities continue to fetch more money and the poor continue to be poorer in our country yet yesteryear, people were sitting pretty with everything in good working order.

        What is now required is that the American dollar be abandoned in our country and let it be used in America because it has brought a lot of challenges in our country.  It has made our money lose value.  Therefore, I continue to say let us abandon the use of the USD and use our own money.  For as long as we continue using the USD in our country, our dollar is not going to develop no matter what.  It will not bring sanity to our economy.  This has made people remain corrupt because the change moneys continue to operate from the streets.  These people are being supported by some of our locals who are giving them money to remain on the streets.  This is why we are saying our economy is not going to develop no matter what.        Why do we continue to use the American dollar - it is those same people who have imposed sanctions on our country?  This makes us a laughing stock by other countries. 

        One other challenge that amazes me is that why are these money changers not being arrested.  There was once a law that was put in place empowering the law enforcement agents to arrest those people but we have not seen anyone being arrested.  Why, it is because there are other people, especially leaders in different institutions who are supporting their activities.  People who are supporting these money changers need to be arrested as well and be jailed so that we see positive change in our country.

        Our country is a country that was supposed to be wealthy because it is endowed with natural resources like gold, diamond and the like.  However, people have been left to just mine gold without following stated policies.  If one mines gold like today, they need to take it to Fidelity but instead they take it to the black market.  Once they get to the black market, they do not use proper channels to sell but they sell it corruptly.  Why is Government not putting in place laws and policies that are stringent?  May be it is us here in Parliament that need to put stringent policies to make sure that we do not see leakages in our mineral resources like gold.

        Right now, we have the Chinese who are enjoying in our country, they are mining our diamonds, taking them to their country.  They are keeping our diamonds, they are not even taking care of the community roads where they are mining, just to say thank you to the Zimbabwean citizens. It is very painful because our people continue to wallow in poverty yet the Chinese are getting wealthy from our natural resources. They continue to mine and destroy our environment.  Our rivers have since silted due to their activities.  

Right now we are talking of climate change and the Chinese are part of things that caused the changes that have resulted in drought for our country.  Looking at Umzingwane River in Matabeleland South, that river is now taking time to fill because each time it rains there is need for water to first collect up in the holes that were dug in this river.  It is critical that our Government put in place policies that protect our resources.  Our people are not supposed to suffer like this and to go hungry when we have resources that were godly given. 

Let us look at Botswana nearby, they are enjoying their diamonds and for a long time that we used to visit Botswana, it used to have one round about but right now so much has developed in this country because they are using their resources appropriately unlike us who are not using our resources in the right way.  Our people are suffering when we are supposed to be wealthy because of the resources that we have.

Our citizens continue to go for the remains that are left behind by our foreigners who are coming here to take up resources.  A few days ago we heard that Government has since stopped banks from lending monies but what is bothering me is that Government has quite a number of ways that it can put in place, ways of making money but it has stopped banking from lending money to people.  I do not think this was appropriate in our country.

For our country’s economy to grow, it is critical that Government must stop borrowing and it is prudent that the money that is borrowed by the country is clearly monitored so that it is used for the intended purposes that it was borrowed for?  All gray areas in the leakages of minerals must be looked at and stopped because we are experiencing situations whereby people are looting minerals taking them out of the country for their personal benefits yet the rest are suffering. 

I heard quite a number of Hon. Senators alluding to the point that even if people are arrested, they are let out despite the crimes they would have committed.  People that maybe caught carrying 6 kgs of gold are just left to loiter in the country yet they are supposed to be arrested.  Government also needs to stop giving ministers so many perks because it is destroying our country’s economy at a time when we are looking at developing our country. 

Government is supposed to arrest all criminals, not to arrest them and release them to go back and commit the same crimes that they were arrested for.  Today I was very worried noting that the US$1is fetching 400RTGs on the black market.  Are we saying we are going to get our economy back to normal if we continue to let things go like this going on?  Government should surely take measures regarding such; therefore our plea to the Government is that it must find better ways of getting our economy back to its position.  I thank you.

+HON. SEN. D. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President for this opportunity.  I want to add a few words with regards to this issue.  Other Hon. Senators have contributed quite a lot regarding this issue but I liken this as a chicken which when it lays its eggs it then goes back to feed on them and once it does that, it will not be able to get any chicks from those eggs.  How are the chicks going to increase when the hen is eating its own eggs? This therefore takes me to the point of saying officials are the ones that are protecting those that are found to be committing corruption because they are caught and released and nothing is being done about it.

There is this issue of the Chinese that have been indicated, when using Lupane Road turning to the left towards the Lupane University, there is a road there, and the Chinese there have taken control of the timber that side.  No one locally can take part in that business but what is bothering me is that the owners of this timber are small in stature but giants in business; it appears they have taken control of our resources. We have the big five in our country like lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and African buffaloes; these are big animals that you cannot get close to.  These animals are feared but they are being killed by poachers and once you talk about these animals attacking your cattle you may end up in jail. 

Right now if you talk about corruption, we realise that it is the one that is creating challenges for our children. In South Africa, they are being burnt alive and now South Africa is taking quite a number of its resources from our country.  In Bulawayo at Monarch they are producing door frames and quite a number of things using still and zinc.  The doorframes are taken out of the country.  Our trucks are going to countries like South Africa and Botswana and they come back with finished goods.  So, the same resources in our country are not being given the necessary attention.

  You hear people saying I prefer South African doorframes which they pay duty for yet the same goods are being manufactured in our country.  You also find that some furniture is being manufactured here in Zimbabwe and exported to nearby countries and the same goods are the ones which some of us go and buy.

          Coming to the issue of money; in isiNdebele we call it umkhobo which is ghosts and in Shona they call it chidoma, so, I do not know what type of ghosts have gotten into our country to beat us up.  Just look at our own currency the way it is losing its value every day.  Five or so years ago, I also witnessed the country getting to using values like trillions whereby one would carry trillions to go and buy bread.  After that, we used our Zimbabwean currency which had value then but right now, we continue to cling to the American dollar, I do not know whether it is because of sanctions that have made us enjoy that clinging. 

          When I was a Member of Parliament the previous sessions, I heard that money is now being printed and $2 came in huge amounts but we could not see those notes, we could only see them from money changers.  One day when I was boarding a bus to Harare in the morning at around 6 am, there was a lorry that was offloading monies stashed in cupboard boxes. I saw one of the guys who happened to be my neighbour being part of the crew.  His wife is a money changer and he too is a money changer.  The man told me that this is where they were hoarding the money from that truck.  He indicated that top people were also involved in those money scandals.  So, you find that someone who is wallowing in poverty is seen offloading money and you wonder how such people are getting involved with such monies.

People are sleeping at bank queues, one or two people are the ones who get money maybe $200 or so and people spend the night to get that little cash.  Some are coming from the rural areas for their pensions and when they get to the banks, they are told there is no money yet in the streets there is plenty of bank notes. 

Our money cannot go to foreign countries; it is like a chicken closed in the fowl run which can only circulate in that fowl run.  So, our money cannot be changed to any foreign currency be it Rand, Pula or so and once our currency has been changed just like what the previous speaker said that if USD1 is equivalent to ZWL 400, how many 400 RTGS can one use to get fuel from a garage?

          There are reasons why things are happening this way for example if children at home are not getting enough food; they are found to open up reserved food for other days because they would be hungry.  However, once they are fed, they will not be found to do that.  Our children think it is better for them to go to our neighbouring countries and die because in our country it is difficult, they end up spending most of the time seated in bridges taking drugs and other stuff. Once they engage in drugs, they would have released their stress. 

          Robbers indicated that when they go and rob banks using guns, police officers do not take time because they are not the ones who will be in there. These are the gangsters that have gone there to train such people in our neighbouring countries and when they come here, they pretend to be good people. Our children think it is better for them to go to our neighbouring countries and die because in our country, life is difficult for them and they end up spending most of their time seated in the bridges, taking drugs and stuff and once they do this, they relieve their stress.

          I do not know how best we can help each other but in helping each other even though at times it may not work, it is because there are other people that are benefitting from it. The use of law will help us. When gangsters with guns go and enter a bank, police officers do take time because they are not the ones who will be affected. These are the gangsters that will have gone to train in our neighbouring countries and when they come back, they pretend to be honest people who are like horses that should have come here carrying Jesus.

          When our children go to our neighboring countries and learn the gangster’s life, it becomes difficult for them because the ones that are spearheading the law are not doing the best they can. Those that are supposed to be criminalising this or the law enforcement agents are the ones that appear to be perpetrating corruption. I do not know how this is going to end but it has to get to an end. We need to make it a point that we enforce our laws to make sure that our country’s economy is elevated. If these demons in this country can be removed, then we can see a positive change. The demons that are in the top officials can be removed so that we can see a positive change. I do not know if we need to fast as a country for the powerful ones in order that their powers are suppressed so that they can see to it that those that are committing crimes are arrested. Thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.

MOTION

EFFORTS TO CURB CORRUPTION

          Eleventh Order read:   Adjourned debate on motion to introduce deterrent services for those engaging in corrupt activities

          Question again proposed:

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

          HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS ON HIV AND AIDS SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM IN ZIMBABWE

Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions on HIV and AIDS service delivery system

          Question again proposed:

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

          HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.

MOTION

SECOND REPORT OF THE THEMATIC ON HIV AND AIDS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ANTI-RETROVIRAL THERAPY (ART) ROLL-OUT PROGRAMME

          Thirteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Implementation of the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Roll-Out Programme.

          Question again proposed:

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

          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SEN. SIMON KHAYA MOYO

          Fourteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the untimely passing on of the late Senator for Matabeleland South, Hon. Sen. Simon Khaya Moyo.

          Question again proposed:

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

          HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Sixteenth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. A. DUBE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU, seconded by HON. SEN. M. R. DUBE, the House adjourned at Seven Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

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