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Thursday, 11th May, 2023

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



THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators, today is Thursday and in terms of our procedure we start with Questions Without Notice and in the Senate today we have Hon. Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity, Hon. Kindness Paradza; Hon. Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Edgar Moyo; the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Culture and Heritage, Hon. Ruth Mavhunga-Maboyi; the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. Marian Chombo. Those are the Ministers who are present today. I am sure other Ministers will join us. Thank you.


*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President for giving this opportunity. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Minister, students are being turned away from school with an instruction to tell their parents and guardians that they should pay fees in USD currency. What is Government policy on that?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very Mr. President and thank you very much to the Member who has fielded the question. The issue of payment of fees is guided by our policy as Government that all currencies that are legal tender in the country must be used and the school heads know that very well. If they are transgressing and departing from what is policy, then they are committing an act of misconduct which is chargeable in terms of our disciplinary procedures. So, if that is happening and you could give us the name of the school and the head, our officers normally will be sent to the school to investigate and disciplinary procedures will be instituted against the offending school heads.

Last week we resent out that circular which speaks to the payment modes that parents should follow. If they have US dollars that is fine it is acceptable. If they have Zimbabwe dollars, that is fine and it is acceptable. If they have swipe or Ecocash, whatever mode is acceptable. We would very much be happy to know the schools that are offending. Already, we have received some from Hon. Members here, I think two days back, I had some senators in my office who brought that to our attention and we sent officers to investigate. They have found those offending heads and disciplinary measures are being instituted right now. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to raise a question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What measures is the Government putting in place to curb accidents that are killing a lot of students on trips.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: About road accidents, I do not know whether there is somebody from the Ministry of Transport. Hon. Moyo, would you like to answer that question?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very Mr. President. I will answer that from the perspective of the Ministry in terms of our policy guidelines on travel by students. The policy stipulates clearly that where children are supposed to be travelling, the bus that they are using must be a licensed public transport licensed operator. Secondly, that transport must be fit for purpose and we also advise our schools not to travel students at night. That must be done during the day. Modes of transport are different, sometimes schools have got their own buses and sometimes they hire out their buses. So, the other aspect of road worthiness and other things to do with laws and transport are better handled by the Ministry of Transport. They must also be insured vehicles. In brief that is how far I can go regarding that. We are very worried as a Ministry about the prevalence on the accidents involving our students. Thank you.

+HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President of the Senate. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. The Ministry did well with the introduction on CALA but however, it seems CALA is involving elders more than the children. The children do not know anything but others are more involved in CALA. What can you do to reduce the burden on parents because of CALA? I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very Mr. President. I would also like to thank the Hon. senator for asking that question. This question has come at the appropriate time when schools are just opening and whilst we are also preparing for curriculum review. In 2015, in accordance with the Nziramasanga Commission, we realised that the education we are obtaining now is not commensurate with what is obtaining in the industry and elsewhere. We decided to change it so that it is in sync with what is obtaining. It was clear that the curricula which was in place was more of desk learning, not thinking, so we had to change it. We were now putting a competence-based curriculum so that children learn how to do and to critically think. CALA was another way of assessing the children. On the assessment model, we used to have a summative model without looking at what the child had been engaged in prior to that.  Now CALA is therefore the formative assessment. It is there to help summative model and, in that way, CALA came in.

Teachers were taught how to apply CALA, approach this CALA and how to distribute it to the students. The child should be helped by the parent or guardian. The child is required to discover things and look for knowledge elsewhere, not only from the teacher. If at all under CALA, children are burdened with a lot of things, that is wrong. It should be done bit by bit throughout the term. In the curriculum review we are looking at right now, we look at the CALA and when we establish when we are going to do this, we will inform you of the dates and places so that we get input from all stakeholders  for us to be able to help all the children. I thank you.

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. The country is going to hold general elections sometime in August on a date that is going to be decided and announced by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Previously, our elections have been assumed not to be fair for reasons valid and not valid, also including violence. ZRP is a key stakeholder in this regard and is the enforcement mechanism of the Government. May the Hon. Deputy Minister honour this House by explaining the state of preparedness of our police force to ensure elections are run peacefully, policing is thorough and that the elections are peaceful following His Excellency’s mantra, no to violence in August.      

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MAVHUNGU-MABOYI):  Well, we are very much prepared. Why am I saying so? Because our police are a disciplined police force. At the same time, we are trying to make sure that they go for some exercises to prepare for riots and those who make noise and so forth. We are doing that. Now, on peaceful elections, it is all about us together because police can come in but if we do not talk to our supporters as political parties, including us as Members of Parliament, to talk to our people back home but everything is ready. We are ready for that as you can see that we are also ready on issuing I. Ds and so forth. We are on the ground observing what is happening. So, we are ready Hon. Senator. Thank you very much.                                   

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Information. One of the topical issues in this country is the compensation of victims of political violence. I would like to know how far the Government has gone in compensating victims of political violence. These include the victims of Gukurahundi. In your answer, may you also address whether the Government has any intention of compensating victims of the 2008 violence. How far also has the Government gone in implementing the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission regarding compensation of the victims?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. PARADZA): In all fairness, this question is beyond my purview, it is not for the Ministry of Information. I think it is for other ministries, not Information.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Mwonzora, I suggest you put that question in writing. Perhaps, the more relevant Ministry is Ministry of Justice or the Leader of Government Business but if you want a detailed answer, I would urge you to put it in writing.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: I stand guided, save that I thought that one of the Ministers present would be the Acting Leader. I assumed that my friend, the Minister of Information was probably standing in for the Leader of the House.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Is there anybody who has been delegated to be Leader of the House?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. PARADZA): On my side Mr. President, I did not get that brief from my boss.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Mwonzora, I urge you perhaps to wait for the relevant Ministry to come across or to put it in writing, whichever you choose.

         *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President Sir for giving me this opportunity to debate.  I wanted to direct my question to the Minister of Energy and Power Development but he is not in the House.

         *THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Paradza, as the Acting Leader of Government Business will take the questions.

         *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: We have a serious problem in various places with regard to transformers that are being installed by ZESA.  They are being stolen as soon as they are installed, a transformer along Mazowe Road close to the New Parliament Building where I stay was installed but after a few days, it was gone.  Residents contributed their monies to buy another transformer and again it was stolen.  What is the problem, Hon. Minister?

         THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: That is a very specific question that requires the Hon. Minister to research concerning that particular area.  So, I will not burden Hon. K. Paradza on that one.

         Before I give the floor to Hon. Sen. Chief Nhema, let me take this opportunity to allow the Hon. Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. E. Moyo to speak.  Last time he promised the Senate that he was going to look into an issue that was raised by Senators on State assisted education.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very much, Mr. President of the Senate.  I want to make reference to the last adjournment of the Senate where the issue of State-funded education was raised and reference to the constitutional provisions regarding that was made here.   I think the Hon. Member who raised the issue suggested that in terms of Section 75 (1), every child in Zimbabwe is supposed to receive State-funded education.

 In Section 75 (1) (b), he read that further education which the State through reasonable legislative and other measures, must make education available and accessible and that was the point of departure where reference to that shall be only placed where the progressive realization of education in plight was in relation to further education.

However, this section is worth noting that Section 75 must not be read outside the other subsections.  I will read the whole section so that we all understand; -  ‘Section 75 of the Constitution provides that every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to (a),  a basic standard State-funded education including adult basic education and (b) further education which the State, through reasonable legislative and other measures must make progressively available and accessible.  Every person has a right to establish and maintain at their own expense, independent educational institutions of reasonable standards provided they do not discriminate on any ground prohibited by this Constitution.  Subsection 3, the law may provide for the registration of educational institutions referred to in subsection 2, and for the closing of any such institutions that do not meet reasonable standards prescribed for registration.

         Now, the qualifying clause which I want to make reference to, that is subsection 4, the ‘State must take reasonable legislative and other measures within the limits of the resources available to it to achieve in the progressive realization of the right set out in subsection 1’, which is our emphasis. This is where we have been talking about the progressive realization of State-funded education.  So, I wanted to make that clear that in the last discussion, the Member only read subsection 1and he did not go up to four which then qualifies how the State must progress with State-funded education.  I thank you.

         *HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: My question was directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  Turning to the GMBs, we have transporters who ferry inputs and all Government things. The Government cannot timeously pay, and we understand that the Government has challenges with its own finances. When are those that worked in August last year going to be paid?  I thank you.

         THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Honourable, would you want to attempt that?

         *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. K. PARADZA):  What I would want to advise Hon. Chief Nhema is that our senior who sits in Cabinet is now here and he will respond to that question.

         THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Kazembe, would you want to respond to that question to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development relating to transporters and their payments?  Apparently, there are some outstanding payments dating back to last year. 

         *THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE):  Good afternoon, Mr. President Sir.  I would like to sincerely thank the Hon. Chief for his pertinent question and also thank the Deputy Minister for deferring the question to me.  His question is very important and hence it requires an equally detailed response.  All I can do is request the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to come and respond to the question for the satisfaction of this august House.  I thank you

         THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I think that is only fair, that the Hon. Minister comes and address the issue on the rampant price increases.

         (V)HON. SEN. S. MPOFU:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. E. Moyo.  What has the ministry done to assist schools that have always produced zero percent pass rates in Grade Seven (7) examinations?  Thank you.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO):  Thank you very much Hon. President of the Senate and thank you very much to Hon. Mpofu for that very important question.

         The issue of zero percent pass rates in our schools is very much concerning. There are a number of variables.  We have carried out some researches and investigations as to why there is that prevalence.  The question really says, what are we doing about it?  We are currently in partnership with Lupane State University, with their Department of Education.  They have conducted researches on the possible reasons and solutions to address that problem.  Some of the problems are beyond the capacity of schools to address and require a national effort especially when we look at the issue of infrastructure, resources at their disposal, and human resources, teachers for example.

         What we have done is to run workshops for those schools to try and enhance their performance.  One thing that is very difficult at the moment is the issue of viability of those schools.  Some of the schools have as few as three to four teachers running nine classes from ECD to Grade Seven (7).  Then you have composite classes to that situation.  Honestly, the quality of education in that environment is seriously compromised.  So, we need to have viable schools. 

         What do we mean by viable schools?  We need schools with sufficient enrolments so as to attract a good number of teachers to teach each class of their own but that is not happening because some schools have such low enrolments as 30 to 35 and so forth, particularly in the resettlement areas.  The other problem is the issue of infrastructure; we are currently working around the issue of infrastructure.  We are building some classroom blocks here and there but still have about 30 or less schools with bad infrastructure at the moment.  We have engaged some of our partners to assist us to lift the level of infrastructure in those schools.  

         The schools are also receiving grants from our partners which we call School Improvement Grants (SIG) so that resources like books and other requisite equipment are procured for the benefit of those children.  Now, if a school is not viable as already illustrated, it means that the school is not registered and it cannot have a substantive head and we have a teacher-in-charge of that particular school. The quality of education there becomes a problem. We are trying to build infrastructure, register those schools, attract sufficient teachers and students so that we can address the issue of zero percent pass rate.  We are doing everything we can and within our powers.  I want to assure the august House that we are running several workshops all over to try and improve these pass rates.  Thank you.

         THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you very much Hon. Minister for such as explanation.

         *HON. SEN. CHINAKE:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education about CALA, which has now been ongoing for quite some time, is it useful or not or you expect to review it or remove it because a lot of parents are struggling to meet the requirements of CALA?

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO):  Thank you very much Mr. President.  The issue of CALA was addressed earlier, however, let me add some more flesh to it.  CALA is not really a subject area, it is an assessment area; we call it Continuous Assessment Learning Area. The question is, do we see it as valuable in the system?  We find it very useful because it then assists in the teaching of critical thinking of our children, our children must be trained to critically think.

         Secondly, they must learn to be innovative and must be given tasks to find solutions to problems within communities.  It also trains our students the skill of enquiry to keep asking questions to know more and for that reason, we find it quite useful.  I stated earlier that we are trying to depart from a model where our children are only taught to remember.  Which is the longest river in Africa?  When they say, the Nile River, we say, very good you have passed.  We are trying to run away from that. 

We give assignments to our children to say, go home and enquire about this phenomenon?  For example, in one area you may find that there are a lot of jackals, what can be done?  What is the problem with jackals?   Then they can enquire how we can curb the problem.  So, these are problem solving skills that we are trying to inculcate in our children.  Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  Hon. Senators, we have been joined by the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, in case you have questions directed to him.

HON. SEN. NDIWENI:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Moyo.  Last term, there are piles of questionnaires called, Profiling Kits that we were made to complete…

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, order, you are not connected Hon. Senator – [HON. SEN. NDIWENI: Sorry?] – You are not connected.  You may proceed.

HON. SEN. NDIWENI:  I was saying there were piles of questionnaire forms that we were made to complete last term called, Profiling Kits where we were asked about the child’s growth, development, health, family setup, religion amongst other questions working with the clinics and teachers for some of the information.  What is the ministry hoping to achieve by gathering that information?  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Profiling means capturing data about a particular child, a complete data set. What we hope to achieve is to have a complete understanding of the children that we teach so that we can build their profiles as they come into school, grow in the school and as they exit. When they exit the school, we hope to computerise that data so that when they exit as part of a transfer or exit note, we can transmit that information to the next level. We used to call that child study some years back. Those of you who went to school many years back like my Hon. Deputy Minister here who was a teacher, she knows what I am talking about.

When you are going to teach a child successfully, you need to understand every characteristic about that child; their health issues so that you know how to treat them. Sometimes you give them difficult tasks which they cannot manage or they have some health problems then you make them run, they collapse and die and you face a problem. Once you have all that information proffered about the student, then you understand them. Their behavioral traits, who they stay with at home and sometimes you observe weird behaviour, you need to understand why they are behaving in that manner.

You do not necessarily have to go home and ask the parents each time something weird happens. You need to have all that information and then go back to your database to say, okay this child is behaving this way because of that. How can we assist that child? So, it is really meant to understand a child fully so that you can package your teaching programmes to suit that particular child.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: My question goes to the Minister of Labour. The pensions that our pensioners are receiving, be they from the private or public sector, are extremely low and they cannot sustain themselves using the pensions. Is Government making any interventions in this regard? If so, what are those interventions?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for a good question. The pension funds mostly depend on the contributions which are made by the employees whilst they are at work. However, because of inflation, you find most of the pensioners do not get sufficient funds to sustain their livelihoods but a lot has been happening. Every time there is an increment on the salaries, they also review the pensions. You review the pension contributions because it is based on a certain percentage but when there is inflation, there is always some reviews. Like last time, you find the pension funds in terms of disbursements were slightly increased, so we continue doing that.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. We used to have the feeding scheme in schools but now we are seeing that in some schools, children are still getting food while in others, they are not. Those are the children who will faint because they would have gone to school on an empty stomach. What measures are you putting in place so that this feeding programme is available to children in all schools?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): I think she is talking about school feeding – the home-grown school feeding programme that is run in the country. Yes, some schools are currently feeding their students and others are not. What has been happening is that Government, through the fiscus, provides a budget for school feeding but there have been delays in terms of procurement due to audits to check value for money. I am sure we are all aware about the value for money audits because our pricing system for these tenders should not be different from what obtains in the market but then you find that when tenders are floated, people come up with wild charges.

So, we have been going backwards and forth regarding the procurement of food for school feeding. We have gone through four provinces as of now and we hope we are going to be getting deliveries to schools in those four provinces very shortly. With the other six provinces, we have re-tendered so that we get that value for money that we are looking for. This is the effort that we are doing. Those schools that are feeding now, some of them have been able to secure partners who have assisted them in funding school feeding.

Other institutions have found innovative ways of growing their own food within the school’s environs or the parents are providing for the schools. It is noted that we really need to feed our children because it helps in the retention of students at school and also maintain the health of our students while in school. It is something that we are working on but being slowed down because of procurement processes. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: My question goes to the Minister of Home Affairs. Hon. Minister, the equipment or let me say tools of trade of police officers seem to be below par. It seems they do not have vehicles and other equipment. What is the cause and what is the Government doing about it?

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mwonzora for such a pertinent question. We are aware of the challenges as Government that the police are facing and before I even proceed, I would like to sincerely thank them for a splendid job that they are doing given the circumstances. I would like to believe that Hon. Senators would subscribe to this statement that they have done a wonderful job to maintain peace and security in the country in the circumstances and we want to applaud them. However, Government is seized with the issue that has just been raised to ensure that our police are well-equipped.

Talking of vehicles, yes, we are aware that they do not have the vehicles that they would require but I can assure you that the Government, through the direction of the President, Dr. Emmerson Mnangagwa, has already embarked on that exercise to retool them in that regard. Treasury has already made arrangements to procure, in fact, they have already procured vehicles for them which we have already started receiving. We received the first batch and we are in the process of receiving more. Incidentally, we were in a meeting this afternoon with the officials from the Ministry of Finance to finalise purchases of other equipment that they require. So, I can assure the Hon. Senators that Government is aware and is seized with the matter. We should start seeing some changes in the near future. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. In 2013, we adopted a Constitution which provided for devolution and the establishment of provincial councils. People were elected in provincial councils in 2013 but they were not sworn in. In 2018, they were elected also in provincial councils but up to now, they have not been operationalised. We are going to a third election after this important phenomenon came to our political and constitutional landscape. Is there any commitment on the part of Government to implement devolution and in particular, to make provincial councils work? If so, what are the plans?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you very much Hon. Sen. Mwonzora for that question which has been asked so many times in both Houses. When we did the elections in 2018, it was in anticipation that the Bill would have sailed through but it had not gone through. We started working on the Bill to align it to the 2013 Constitution and I am happy to say the Bill is in the Attorney-General’s office, and they are trying to speed it up so that it will sail through before the elections. If you noticed, we have not even finalised on the quota system for the female councillors and it is also enshrined in that Bill. We are speeding it up so that it will be completed before we embark on the 2023 elections.

Also, on the devolution issue, for us to make sure that it was in use, we are trying to satisfy Chapter 301 of the Constitution where we have to disburse 5% of the GDP. We had to make sure that it goes on to the ground and the only way we could do that was through the local authorities. Rest assured Hon. Senator that before we go to the 2023 elections, we should have the Bill signed, I hope.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Hon. Minister, I do appreciate the answer that you have given to this question. Maybe you may want to shed light for the benefit of Zimbabweans on why it has taken 10 years after the Constitution came into operation to draft that law. Why has it taken that record time?

HON. CHOMBO: You know, after the 2013 amendment of the Constitution, we had a lot of laws that were supposed to be aligned and this one definitely is one of them. We had the Urban Councils, Traditional Leaders and a lot of them. So, it is not that we have neglected that one. It is also important but it is only that we depend on the Houses when they sit for us to be able to make sure that it sails through. There is a lot that is involved. We have to do the consultations, principles and so forth to get them approved by Cabinet.

I know we have not done it with the speed that you would accept but we have tried our level best. Also, there has been limitation of staff at the Attorney General’s office but I think from what the Minister of Justice has been saying, they got a green light to recruit more staff to make sure that they speed it up. So, very soon I think it will sail through. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Now that elections are approaching, what assurance does the Government have on NGOs that they will not destabilise the country through influencing our people?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Matters to do with NGOs and how they work when we are looking at elections, I believe that you are aware that we had an exercise prior, where a lot of NGOs were no longer operating according to their mandate. We had that problem. The registration would say something different from what is obtaining on the ground and being done by the NGOs. We saw that they had deviated from their mandates and most of these NGOs failed when it came to re-registration. We also had a problem of NGOs operating without registering in that the registration would have expired but they would continue operating without interfering with our nation.  Those who would have deviated from their mandate we are looking for them.  If there are NGOs who are going against their mandate, kindly let us know so that we cancel their licences. I thank you.

         Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No.  67.

         HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by fifteen minutes.

         HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I second.

         *HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I would like to commend the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities on its work of trying to ensure that our employees will have decent accommodation.  Is there any priority for the uniformed forces to get accommodation, especially those who do not have houses in the barracks?

         *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES: Thank you Mr. President and I thank the Hon. Sen. Tongogara for such a pertinent question.  The Hon. Sen. is much concerned and worried about our security personnel in terms of accommodation. 

         The Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities is preparing homes for everyone, we have priorities and programs set aside for each sector.  We toured the police staff quarters, and barracks for soldiers as well as teachers. If you go to Tomlinson depot, you will find there are flats under construction and are at 97% completion.  We are putting all efforts and resources to construct more barracks for our uniformed forces.  

         The land developers give 10% of every land that they develop to the Ministry of National Housing. So that is the land set aside to construct flats for our government workers.  Therefore, I would like to assure the Hon. Sen. that the Government, through the National Housing Ministry is prioritizing residential places for our civil servants. I thank you.

         *HON. SEN. CHINAKE:  Our Government hospitals are running out of medicines all over the country, and people are now using private pharmacies.  What are the measures being taken by the government to correct this situation?

         THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Hon. Senator for the important question that you have raised.  For a long time, our country has been experiencing a shortage of foreign currency because our industries were not performing.

         However, I would like to commend the Second Republic, led by His Excellency Hon. E.D Mnangagwa which came in and alleviated the situation.  We are now seeing a lot of changes happening in terms of stabilizing the economy that will also lead to the re-stocking of medicines in our hospitals.

         We used to import medication because of lack of enough foreign currency due to a lot of challenges.  However, since the inception of the Second Republic, a lot of things are being done in the country.  Just yesterday, the Hon. Vice President Chiwenga spoke of a programme that our country will be cooperating with Egypt on manufacturing medicines in our country.    So in short, the Government is cooperating with other developed countries, and India is one of those countries assisting us to manufacture our own medicines.  I thank you.

         *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  I understand as a Ministry you are in charge of the councillors and local authorities both the rural and urban, they were all given road equipment.  We observe that our state of the roads continues to deteriorate.  I do not know what has happened to that equipment, whether they are still keeping it.  Wherever we come from, there is no action being taken by these local authorities.  I am aware that they have budgets that they make as local authorities which they further submit to the ministry for approval.  These budgets include road maintenance in their areas.

         I once submitted a question in this august House to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  He said indeed, his ministry gave local authorities all the road maintenance equipment but they have not taken any action up to now. Mr. President, I want to find out from the Minister of Local Government and Public Works what exactly is happening with the equipment that they were given by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works?  I thank you.

         *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Mr. President.  I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Chirongoma for that question.  Indeed, it is true that our rural roads are in a bad state but I would like to take him back a bit to consider all the accidents and disasters that happened such as floods.  We were unable to catchup with the requirements of maintaining our roads after such disasters.

         I agree that the local authorities have since received equipment for road maintenance but the thing is, the equipment is not yet enough.  Right now, if you go to the rural areas, you will realise that there is a difference after we recommended that they use devolution funds as well as funds that are coming from ZINARA.  A fortnight ago, we had a workshop and we informed them on how those funds are supposed to be used.  So, you will see a difference in terms of use of funds and progress in the local authorities. 

         Even in the City of Harare, you will also realise that they will be able to collect garbage fortnightly. Very soon, you will see a change in service delivery both in the rural and urban areas.  I thank you.

         +HON. SEN. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  My question is with regards to traditional leaders.  Recently, we realised that traditional leaders were being vetted following a promise that they say was made by Government regarding their welfare.  My question to the Deputy Minister of Local Government is, is anything being done with regards to the welfare of traditional leaders?  Thank you.

         THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI):  I hope you understood the language Hon. Minister.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  I understood just a bit Mr. President.

         THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Senators, can somebody translate the question from Hon. Sen. Nkomo so that the Hon. Minister can respond?  Is anybody prepared to translate?  Can you repeat your question Hon. Sen. Nkomo?

         *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MAVHUNGU-MABOYI):  The Hon. Senator was referring to the vetting exercise that is taking place to the local leadership, that is, the chiefs and headmen.  What is it all about?  Are you preparing to give them benefits?  Is the vetting exercise meant to ensure that they get benefits?

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you very much Hon. Mavhungu and thank you very much Hon. Sen. Nkomo for asking that very pertinent question concerning the welfare of our traditional leaders.

         The welfare of traditional leaders is an issue that has been at the forefront of my department of traditional leadership.  We reviewed the packages for the village heads whereby they are now getting a component of their salaries in United States Dollars and also in the local currency; that figure has been back dated.  It is about USD50.00 per village head and it is back dated to May, 2022.  Correct me, if I am wrong, but they should have start receiving that money end of last month.

         Also, we have had a lot of village heads, due to the resuscitation that has not passed through the Constitution.  We have had some village heads who had not been accredited so there has been discrepancies in paying them because we only pay those who have been accredited by their village headmen and chiefs.  So, there is that discrepancy whereby some of the village heads would say that they are not receiving their salaries and yet they are not accredited in our offices.

         Concerning the headmen, we have had a review and forwarded the request up the ladder.  We are yet to receive confirmation but in general, we have improved the welfare of traditional leaders in terms of their health.  We have a package for medical health, it is coming on board and also the general welfare of the traditional leadership.  We are still a long way but we are trying our best level as Government.  I thank you.

         Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE, in terms of Stading Order No. 67.



         HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 1 to 2 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.

         HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.



Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on sustainable healthcare system in Zimbabwe.

         Question again proposed

         HON. SEN. SIAPNI-HUNGWE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

         HON. SEN. NKOMO: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

         Debate to resume: Tuesday, 16th May 2023.



Fourth order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the sustainable management of waste.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

         HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

         Debate to resume: Tuesday, 16th May 2023.



Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on measures to combat human trafficking.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.


Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 16th May 2023.



Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 145th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Related Meetings held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I would like to thank the Zimbabwean delegation led by the Speaker of Parliament who attended the meeting.  It is so pleasing to us as a nation because those are important forums where we meet other nations to discuss important issues to do with our countries.

In the report, 120 countries were represented and the Speakers of Parliaments were 45, and 250 were delegates to that meeting.  It shows that it was a very important meeting.

Mr. President, I would like to thank Advocate J. F. N.  Mudenda who spoke and highlighted all the good things that have been achieved by the Parliament of Zimbabwe that includes the Gender Policy of Zimbabwe.  We know that issues to do with Gender are where we talk of creating equal opportunities for women and men.  It really shows that that policy has worked very well because we were allocated 60 seats for the Women’s quota in the National Assembly.  This time around 60 seats of the quota system will be in the constitution until 2030 and that proves that our country is determined to promote women.

According to this quota system, it is admired very much by other countries when we meet them and they believe it is a very important step whereby we have equal representation through this quota system.  Our women are also allowed to contest in other constituencies besides the quota system.  So, I would like to applaud the step that was taken.

We also have the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus chaired by Hon. Kwaramba which started in 2021, it is mainly seized with women’s issues.  We also have the Marriages Act that was enacted in 2022, it outlaws the marriages of minors.   This is a good law as it protects the girl child from entering into early marriages.  I observe that in most of the communities, child marriages are still prevalent. As parliamentarians, it is our duty to educate our people that the girl child has a right to go to school and when she becomes of majority age, she then can choose to get married.  Our work is cut out for us.  The Government has also come up with the one-third quota system for women representation in local authorities.  There is still a lot of work to be done in that area, since the majority of our women have not yet accepted this new reality. 

I will now turn to the issue of young women parliamentarians, this is a step in the right direction, because we are now getting old and should be in a position to pass on the baton to these young women.  I also observed that the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) is doing a good job by encouraging young women to be Members of Parliament.  We should afford them this opportunity to become Members of Parliament so that they will smoothly take over from us.  We also thank the Parliament of Zimbabwe for the good work that it is doing as regards women’s issues.  With these few words, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to this important report tabled by Hon. Sen. Muzenda about the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) which was held in Kigali. 

Mr. President, I am pleased that as a country, if such meetings are held, we are represented by our senior parliamentarians.  It helps us much as the delegation is ably led by the Hon. Speaker of Parliament.  It shows the competitive advantage that Zimbabwe has as a country at such fora.  It is also important to note that since we now live in a global village, attendance at such meetings ensures that our country is not left behind and as a result, we are putting Zimbabwe on the global map. 

The majority of the emerging issues that were discussed touched on how best to resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict.  Such conflict has a tendency to displace the inhabitants of the countries that are at war.  Hence you see the emerging of refugees who flee their countries to seek refuge in other countries.  The report also highlighted that for peace to prevail, the majority of Members of Parliament should be women…


An Hon. Senator having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Senator on the floor.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  I was saying that the hosts of the meeting, Kigali has 61% women parliamentarians and this is no mean achievement.  It means that they are working very hard and they appreciate and value the role of the women folk, because women are very important since every child is borne of a woman, whether one is a president or in any other profession.  Whenever there are conflicts, it is the women who suffer most. 

Section 17 of our Constitution states that there should be gender balance in Zimbabwean society in all tiers of Government institutions and agencies.  As women, we are advocating for the amendment of that section so that there will be Acts that will align with the Constitution.  The Hon. Speaker and the President of Senate launched the Parliamentary Youth Forum, it bodes well for the future.  Since we believe in the old adage - catch them young because when the head of Parliament consented to the proposals at that meeting, it surely shows that we are moving in the right direction. 

Mr. President, there was also talk about human trafficking.  It is now a problem and we have a motion in this House of which one of the causes is conflict. There are always wars in many countries and that leads to trafficking of people. There are also human rights abuses as a result because all what people will be thinking is to kill the neighbour. So there is no peace in that country.

         Mr. President, I really would like to applaud this report and thank the Government for ensuring that when there is such a big opportunity, we do not remain behind but we are also among the progressive countries that will be admired by other countries. I would like to thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.

         HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

         HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

         Debate to resume: Tuesday, 16th May, 2023.



Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for the 7th May, 2022 by-elections.

         Question again proposed.

         HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

         HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

         Debate to resume: Tuesday, 16th May, 2023.

         On the motion of HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE, seconded by HON. SEN. TONGOGARA, the Senate adjourned at a Quarter past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 16th May, 2023.






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