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SENATE HANSARD 11 DECEMBER 2019 29-12
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 11th December, 2019.
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF
BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the
Senate that I have received the Coroner’s Office Bill, [H. B. 5A, 2019] from the National Assembly. I urge Hon. Senators to check in their pigeon holes and read the Bill.
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also wish
to remind the Hon. Senators to put their cellphones on silent or better to switch them off.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me
the opportunity to add my voice on the President’s Speech. Can you allow me to start by saying what the President said about the farming issue, looking at the fact that we were supposed to consider putting our land under irrigation. When the President was talking about the irrigation scheme of Tshikwalakwala in Beitbridge- Tshikwalakwala is being looked down upon as this community is a minority group and developers hardly go there. It looks like there is no activity there but the truth is the community of Tshikwalakwala is confused because they were not getting enough support from Government.
Now since the President has talked about the Tshikwalakwala Irrigation Scheme that it was still among 100 irrigation schemes which are within the current budget of 2020. I would like to thank the President because he has the people of Zimbabwe at heart. He supports farmers by giving them inputs so that they can produce more food for the benefit of the nation.
He also talked about the livestock issue, I am from Matabeleland South Province, which is Region 5, we receive very little rains below average hence people there engage mostly in animal husbandry. The President talked about the challenges being faced by the farmers losing their cattle. He said that people lose livestock due to lack of grazing land and water because the area is not getting enough rainfall. We have lost more than 10 000 herds, when talking of those that were recorded but there are some cases where cattle died and were not recorded, meaning the number can be more than 10 000.
On the issue of Command Livestock, the President talked about Matabeleland South, he said that those people were not participating when it comes to crop production because they receive very little rain hence they only rely on farming of cattle and goats.
The President also touched on the climate change issue. We have been hearing a lot about the climate change but we were not aware of how it affects our environment but now we see it. The climate change is a real thing. As I am talking right now when I am looking at Matabeleland South Province, people have not yet received any rains and this may cause severe drought on Matabeleland South Province. Again as we are talking about the drought issue, we also realise that livestock are not getting enough water and grazing land. People of Matabeleland South region have not started ploughing because they have not received any rains. If the rains come the community cannot go into the fields, they cannot start farming because they do not have inputs and they do not have seeds and fertilizers. As I am talking right now, the Matabeleland South region is also facing this challenge of not getting enough rains. As we are here in the House, we are supposed to be helping each other on how we are going to help these communities to get enough grazing land and also to get enough food.
Looking at the road which stretches from Beitbridge going to Chirundu one can see that the road is not yet good, but I can say we are improving because we have seen that some of the roads are being tarred. They are also looking at finishing this project but lack of resources is hampering them. By revamping these roads we can reduce the number of accidents which are always common in Beitbridge - the road which stretches from Beitbridge to Chirundu. After the roads we are looking at the people, the drivers will be safe when they are driving along this road.
The other issue I can talk about is the education sector. When you look at the places where people were resettled, the school children are travelling long distances to get to the nearest schools. They travel almost 20km to 25 km from home to school. This is a very big challenge because these children when they are travelling long distances they can face challenges like being murdered or even raped along their way to and from school. In this case, I am worried about the girl child. When she is walking 20km to 25km, it means this girl came from home as early as 6.00 a.m. and she will be hungry as she would not have eaten anything. Even when she gets to school she will be tired. She will be facing challenges. You can see her sleeping because she is very tired and hungry.
When we are talking about breakfast and the lunch issue these children, these girls and boys do not even know about it.
Hon. Sen. Timveos’s cell phone having rung disrupting proceedings.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order!
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I am sorry Mr. President Sir.
THE HON.DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You may
++HON. SEN. MOHADI: These children know that there is supper only. They do not have time to prepare breakfast and lunch, they depend on supper only. At the end of the term these children will not perform very well at school.
Now when looking at the challenges these boys and girls face, they end up crossing the borders and going to South Africa where they will be looking for jobs. They end up facing challenges because they do not have proper papers and certificates because he or she did not do well at school. They end up paying so that they can cross the Limpopo River without passports. Those who will be helping these girls to cross the Limpopo River end up raping them. Some of them lose their lives while crossing the Limpopo River.
After crossing these boys and girls do not have accommodation over that side in South Africa. They end up engaging in commercial sex work being abused by old men on the South African side. Even if he or she is looking for a job without the proper papers, she will end up paying those people. What else can you expect from a girl who does not have proper papers and who does not have education but wants to work? She will end up engaging in commercial sex work so that she can earn a living in South Africa of which it is a foreign land.
Can you allow me to assist when I am talking about the children, especially the children under the Matabeleland South Province? The children are facing challenges because most of them drop out of school in large numbers. Some of them end up dropping out from school because their parents cannot afford to pay school fees for them. Some of them are orphans; they do not have anyone to look after them or to pay for their fees. I urge the Government to help in increasing the number of schools in this area and I urge the Government to make it a point that these children do not walk a distance which is more than 10km to and from school because some of them are still of a tender age. They need to be assisted especially when they are crossing roads and when they are crossing flooded rivers.
I have seen this in one of the resettlement areas in Beitbridge whereby children are walking long distances to and from school. When they get to school there is an arrangement where children that are about four years old live together. They will be cooking together and looking after themselves, of which it is a hard situation. They are still too young to be doing that.
I will talk about our life issues. I will still refer to the Matabeleland South region. Looking at health facilities, people are walking long distances. I am talking especially about women and children. When someone is pregnant and needs to go to the nearest hospital, she will end up delivering at home because there is a long distance from home to the nearest hospital. This makes it difficult for the women to make it. They face challenges while giving birth because they need a doctor and a qualified nurse.
I would like to thank our President who when he was talking about the 2020 budget said we will have a fund whereby the girl child will be assisted by getting sanitary wear. I am talking about the girl child when she reaches her teen age since they will not be having sanitary wear. Some of them end up dropping out of school especially if you look at the time that they will be sitting for their examinations…
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order,
order, your time is almost up Hon. Senator.
^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you. I am almost done Mr.
Those girls end up dropping out of school because they feel ashamed as they will not be having sanitary wear. When they are provided with sanitary wear – it will help these girls to proceed with their education because they will not be ashamed about their situation. I would like to commend the President of Zimbabwe. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you
Hon. Sen. Mohadi for your contribution. Hon. Senators, if I get any more disturbances from your any phone, you are going to go out. I am not taking this anymore.
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST
PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MUNZVERENGWI): Mr. President, I
move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th December, 2019
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 45TH PLENARY
ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HELD
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 45th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. HUNGWE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th December, 2019
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE PAN-AFRICAN
PARLIAMENT HIGH LEVEL SUMMIT ON HIV AND HEALTH
FINANCING IN AFRICA
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Delegation to the Pan-African Parliament High Level Summit on HIV and Health Financing in Africa held in Brazzaville, Congo from the 11th to 12th July, 2019.
Question again proposed.
+HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you very much Hon. President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution. I am grateful to the Hon. Senators who tabled this motion and those who have debated
I want to talk about the people who are afflicted by the HIV virus. They should know that they are suffering from an illness that is similar to anybody who is sick. I also want to urge Government delegates that when they travel outside the country it should not just be a foreign trip. They should go there to represent the people who sent them because when you travel on such trips, we need to see the results.
We have had petitions from people saying that our hospitals lack medication. I am hoping that when the Government delegation on health goes out on business abroad – they will go and make a full time engagement so that we see the benefits of such visits upon their return through having a healthy nation. It is quite a pity that in rural areas people end up travelling long distances to clinics, get diagnosed and no medication is provided.
We are aware that people who suffer from HIV have challenges in accessing their medication because there is a danger once they default. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President… Phone rang and Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe switched it off.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order,
order, apologise chief.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: I am sorry Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President for
giving me this opportunity to contribute in response to a motion that was tabled by Hon. Femai on the workshop that was attended in
Congo, Brazzaville when they were discussing the prevalence of the HIV Aids pandemic. They also looked for ways of funding these health programmes especially in the African countries where we have challenges in funding such health projects.
Mr. President, the workshop had a lot of ideas that we may have to implement as Members of Parliament and the third arm of the State. We should create legal aspects that lead to more finances being added to the health sector so that people lead healthy lives. When we talk about the welfare of our country – people should be healthy and when we talk about families even if you are wealthy but cannot take care of your family members then such a family has no happiness. Hence Mr. President, I am urging you as Hon. Members of Parliament to work hard so that we improve the country’s health delivery system.
As a country, we also supported the Abuja Declaration that whenever there is budget – there should be a quota system that should be set aside for the health sector; 15% of the National Budget should be put in the health sector. When we look at the recommendation, we are not told as to how much we are supposed to put in the health sector. When we invest more funds towards our heath sector, we are going to have a health nation and hence I am supporting all the ideas and privileges which were discussed in that country. At the moment, as the legislative arm of the State, we are talking about the budget of the nation. Let us put our heads together and follow what we recommended. Abuja Declaration states that 15% of the national budget should go towards the health sector, we need to implement
Hon. Sen. Femai said it was quite a pity that most of the countries in Africa failed to stick to the recommendation of the Abuja Declaration in funding their health. When we look at the amount of wealth in these countries, we noticed that there was a growth of 4.6% in wealth and we could not invest in health. What this shows is that we do not have a political will to look after our people because the money is there but our priorities are upside down.
Either this week or next week, we will be debating the budget and we must be careful in following the Abuja Declaration. As a result, let me not repeat on what is happening in the country especially when we look at the health sector. I look at a situation where main State hospitals are not functioning simply because there is no budget to support the hospitals. Therefore, I am also hoping that as Hon. Senators, when we debate the budget we should call for more support on the health sector so that when people are sick and need attention
in health institutions, they will get 100% treatment. Health institutions need to be fully capacitated in human resources and medication.
Medical personnel are always on industrial action because they are not content with the working conditions. As Government, we need to look at ways of solving these problems. We seem to be lacking political will as a Government. We were given a vision that by 2030 we should be a middle income country. As far as I am concerned at the pace which we are going, these are simply dreams. Maybe if I can go further, I can say this is simply a nightmare especially when we fail to support our health sector. There is no country that can become a middle income country when we have people dying of diarrhea because water borne disease shows that no matter how much we try and make up for that, you will be regarded as the poorest country of all the countries.
In Zimbabwe, we annually have outbreaks of these diseases and they attack the vulnerable groups in our society and hence I am calling upon for unity of purpose. You only realise that we have problems when we have a member of the family or any one of us falling sick; that is when we will start clamouring for more funding of health institutions.
Mr. President, when we look at illness such as HIV and AIDS, it is quite painful to notice that in a country like Zimbabwe, we know that 80% of the funding of this HIV/AIDS programme is donor funded and as a country we are only putting 20%. The first case of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe attacked in 1982 and surprising enough, since that time, we have not been able to put up a fund which can fight that. We only depend of donors; we are now suffering from a donor syndrome. Makorokota, if this is a bad omen let us work hard and pray so that we overcome this.
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: They are no
makorokotas here, we have Hon. Senators in this Senate.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: My apologies Mr. President, that is why I am begging my fellow Hon. Senators that when the budget
is debated we should debate it constructively because we are representing people who elected us to come into this august Senate. When we are talking about health, we are talking about issues that have an effect on everyone of us. If you are not infected, you are affected, that is why I am saying let us walk the talk.
Zimbabwe is very popular because we are able to carry out our health programmes and fully utilising donor funds on health. Let us be proud of funding these programmes on our own because relying on donors, there is going to be times where they will withdraw their funding and if they do that, we are treading on a security risk because some of these people can simply impose mandatory sanctions. If they do that, we will have problems and many people will die. I am saying let us prioritise health budget above everything else because we are aiming at 2030 being a middle income country. We cannot achieve this if we still have a poor health system such as attacks of dysentery and typhoid. Let us take care of our people. I thank you
HON. SEN. FEMAI: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th December, 2019.
REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND
DEVELOPMENT ON THE PLIGHT OF PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES AND CHALLENGES FACED BY WOMEN AND
GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES IN ZIMBABWE
Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on the plight of people with disabilities and challenges faced by women and girls with disabilities in Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
++HON. SEN. NYATHI: Thank you very much for giving me the
opportunity to make this contribution. I am one of the people who moved around with the Committee looking at the disability problems. Some of the things which we observed are surprising that they are happening in a country like Zimbabwe. When we are talking about progress in Zimbabwe, it really is a surprise that some of these things can happen to us.
Mr. President, as we travelled around, visiting the disabled, one does not choose to be disabled, all of us seated in this august House have relatives who are disabled. As Senators seated here, if it was possible that we may all agree, there is not so much to debate about, we should all agree because disability affects everyone. It does not choose according to one’s standing in society or their status. If it was possible Mr. President to scrutinise, why are disabled people not given an opportunity to say what they want so that it is given priority? First preference should be given to them. For instance, when the budget is set, some of the people have dysfunctional limbs and we should also
look and consider if they were born disabled or it happened later on in their lives.
Mr. President, we should also consider that this thing can happen to anyone any time that one can become disabled. When we visited Gweru, they said that the problem they have as disabled people is; they are invited and told that there are papers which need to be signed but the offices may be found in the sixth floor but there is no way to get there. They are then asked to send someone to look for the person in the sixth floor and then told that the person is not in. You are misinformed because even if that person may be there in the office, the fact that you are unable to get there, you are told otherwise. However, let us consider that those people may be breadwinners.
One of the most painful things which I discovered is that even in Harare, on the streets, I have realised that some of the people are not respected. Sometimes when certain things happen on the streets like riots and chaos, we forget that there are some disabled people in the streets. Some of them are not even able to stand up and run, so what happens to those people? We should also consider that there is something that drives those people to be on the streets and we should consider that as Members of Parliament and Hon. Senators in this House. Let us join our hands together to consider that it is a very serious issue because nobody chooses or plans a disability, it just happens in
Sometimes there are a lot of accidents which take place, people get maimed and lose limbs. So, there is nothing to debate about disability, it is something that affects anyone in one way or another. Even as we are seated here, we have in one way or another, a disability. Sometimes you see someone just sitting and they start dosing off, what is that? Sometimes that person will be having a problem that needs to be considered, scrutinised or examined, that is a form of disability. There is nothing more I can say. The Hon. Chairperson spoke a lot about disability, but what we should seriously consider is that disability does not choose colour, creed or political party but it is a natural phenomenon that can happen to anyone. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution regarding people living with disability. We attended a certain workshop where females came to give facts. These women were visually impaired. They were saying they are looked down upon as inferior people. They gave an example of a situation whereby when they ask for condoms, the nursing staff would ask them why they want condoms. It seems as though if you are disabled you are not supposed to be sexually active, and yet disability does not mean you are not a human being - you are a human being.
They should be aware of the fact that whether you are on a wheel chair or you are visually impaired you also have those sexual feelings. Medical personnel should look at us as whole human beings and not half human beings they really ask a lot of questions when you go for contraceptive assistance at these health institutions. At times, that is why some of us shun going to those places.
If you are a woman living with disability and you ask for no plant, they again will start wondering as to why you want to have that. One other thing which they brought out was that if you are a disabled woman and you have a gentleman who wants to marry you and they take you to their parents so that they can see their future in law, there will be chaos. They will fight you off because they do not want to see you. This is because they say it is a bad omen to marry somebody who is living with disability but it is a different case with men. A disabled man can even take a beauty queen and it is accepted.
When someone falls in love and does so in secret, the moment parents know that you are dating somebody who is disabled, there will be a problem. The biggest problem comes at a time when you fall pregnant. They will force the young man or the gentleman to divorce or reject you and you will have a problem with the offspring which you bring as a disabled person. The women we met at that workshop pleaded with Members of Parliament and said please go and plead with the population of Zimbabwe that they should accept women living with disability as normal human beings like anybody else. They have feelings and activities that they want to perform.
They said it is always a problem for somebody who is on a wheel chair, for the relatives to accept a man to marry a woman who is living with disability. So please people of Zimbabwe, do not interfere with the love affairs of people who are living with disabilities. When you bring a lady who is living with disability, your relatives start asking - how is this woman with such a disability going to wash for you? How is she going to perform in bed and how is she going to perform some household chores yet with the man it is a very different story. The people who use wheel chairs had problems in moving around. So they said please look into that one.
The other issue which was asked by these women that should be looked into by the Hon. Members was the beds in the labour wards. They were saying the beds are unfriendly and so need to be looked into so that they can be user friendly.
The other problem again was with drivers in the streets. They are impatient with people living with disability when crossing the streets. I remember there was a time whereby I encountered a problem when I was moving on crutches. I had problems with drivers on the road. They even disregard the zebra crossing which is at Parliament along Nelson Mandela and Third Street. There is a zebra crossing but the motorist wants you to run. They come in such a way that if you do not run, they definitely will bump into you and you may end up getting more advanced disablement than you have been.
There is the rule of the law which says ‘give way to pedestrians’, but are they saying pedestrians are the only people who are able-bodied and people living with disability are not pedestrians? When they see you they know you will be moving on crutches or wheel chair. There is a visually impaired lady whom I usually see moving around and when she is crossing the road, whether there is zebra crossing or not drivers are so impatient. They want the disabled to move around as fast as they can since they will be hurrying going nowhere. I thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on this motion.
*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I am
worried about what you said when you started debating. You said you would like to thank Mr. President for the little time that he gave you but
I have given you enough time to debate. –[Laughter.]-
^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: I would like to say thank you to Sen. Ncube who brought this motion in this House. When we are talking about the disabled persons, this comes in different ways. Some are blind, deaf and others cannot walk. Many things are happening when you talk about the deaf. The first thing that I want to talk about is that these disabled persons want to be loved and supported. We are not supposed to be hurting or discriminating the disabled persons. They are just like any other person. When we are talking about the disabled persons, they are disabled in their bodies but have five senses like any other person. If they have five senses like us, it shows that these people have the right to living just like any other normal person. Everyone should support and love the disabled persons as we are looking at the fact that they are disabled in different ways. In this House, there are some of us who are disabled, so we are not supposed to be hurting the disabled persons.
When I am talking about the rights of the disabled people, they have the right to education. There are some people who do not want their children who are disabled to go to school. They hide them but we are not supposed to be doing some of those things. We are not supposed to be hiding the disabled persons. They have got the right to go to school, education and need to be supported. Wherever they are, they are supposed to be going to school. We are saying these disabled are the ones who are clever at school and are the ones who are clever and genius when you look at the education system. They can do different things like ploughing, agriculture and anything. Their minds work very well. When you talk of farming, it is not like we are not supposed to be digging all the time but they can be ploughing their lands or be involved in the agricultural sector, whether they will be using their minds and some other staff to assist those people who are not disabled or handicapped.
Yesterday when I was in this House, I went to Hon. Sen. Khupe and gave him my report asking him to second me and he did so. I do not have much to say in this House – let us show love and support the disabled; let them feel that they are loved. They are just like any other person. Thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. TIMIRE: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak on this motion on people living with disability. I have noticed that people living with disability are made to feel inferior because if a woman gives birth to a disabled child, they are accused of being witches and some other things which make them look bad. Even in the areas where they live, these people who would have given birth to disabled children are mocked. They are given derogatory names and in most cases they are labelled witches. We have noticed that people living with disability especially if they are women suffer from injustices such as lack of access to education or lack of access to social amenities and social life with other people because people feel communicating with those people make them inferior and therefore shun people with
Some people will have been denied a chance to get their education.
This means that when they grow up they have no profession because
they would have been denied that chance of going to school. We know when they go seeking for employment, the human resources personnel do not look at the qualifications of somebody who is living with disability but what attracts them of which they base their judgement on is the fact that this person is living with disability, hence they may not perform as much as they are and yet people living with disability need to be independent. They do not need to live on donor funding, on charity or at the mercy of other people.
We have noticed that when they are given a chance to perform, they can make a very good handicraft. If you go to a place called Henry Marie in Masvingo or Jairosi Jiri, the products manufactured by people living with disability are export quality but just because we have that prejudice, we do not see any beauty or quality in products manufactured by people living with disability. They should be given chores that are according to their disability so that they perform according to their capabilities. We are calling upon institutions to give a chance to these people living with disabilities.
We have had a time where some of these people are abused. When they go to the courts, they have problems because the courts do not deal with them ideally as they should be dealt with. Problems start at the police because the distance from the place of residence to the police is too long. There are relatives who also try and persuade them to go and report cases of abuse especially in a case of rape case. They say the person who raped the disabled is a relative and the bread winner should be protected. When they go to the police to report the rape case, the disabled are told that they should not report the rape cases. They say the person who would have raped the disabled would have done a good service because there are very few men who would approach them for sexual favours. So the rapist would have performed a service. In some instances, when somebody is raped they are supposed to go and have the pregnancy terminated but the legal process takes time – the person who would have been raped end up giving birth to an unwanted child.
Deaf and dumb people also find it difficult to express themselves at the courts or when narrating their ordeal because the interpreters sign language and their ‘family sign language’ will not tally. The interpreters cannot comprehend the sign language that they use because they are trained on sign language which is different from the one used at home. The visually impaired are asked if they know the person who raped them or to identify the person – they will be trying to make that person to drop the case and yet someone living with a hearing impairment has a way of identifying people through touch or voice discernment. They need to be given a chance.
On health and in particular family planning and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases or infections, when people living with disability go for HIV testing, the health personnel ask embarrassing questions. I am fortunate in that I am a Member of Parliament and I am empowered. They will ask you where did you get that disease, how can you get an STI when you are disabled. I then inform them that no, in my case I am a married woman, I am Mrs. Timire and I have a husband at home. I think whosoever is testing me should not worry about whether I am unfaithful or faithful in my married life. So some of the questions which are asked by the health personnel are so embarrassing that people who are not empowered will never go back to that health institution because they feel they are being tormented by these health personnel.
Hence, we are calling upon the people who give these services that they should understand that people living with disabilities are as human as everybody else. They have equal rights like anybody else. They also want to carry out family planning so that they can be able to take care of their family. People living with disabilities, especially women should choose the method of family planning which suits them. If you are someone who is visually impaired and you come with your cane prodding your way into that institution, they will be looking at you and they feel you are doing what you are not supposed to be doing. They will even tell you that no, you are not supposed to take condoms, you are not supposed to take tablets because as someone living with a disability you are not supposed to be indulging in sexual intercourse, but then in my case I tell them I am a human being. I have feelings like everybody else and I need to protect myself. I need to be treated like anybody else.
Let me now turn to sign language which is used by people who have speech impairment. This is quite a problem. Each and every one of us in the august House was elected by the people to come and represent them. If it was a church I would be saying Amen, but now that we are in this august House I will not say that. These people are not given an explanation and yet they are the people who voted us into power. When we are elected to come, we do not go back to the people and give them feedback. Even the language we use in the Hansard cannot be read by people who have got a hearing impairment, but these people have a special language like when they say ‘I am going to school’ the sentence will simply be ‘go to school’ and that would be accepted as a language. Some people do not understand and will say this person is wrong, they cannot communicate. I am calling upon the powers that be to protect these people.
Still talking about sign language, these people are made to feel inferior. They lack dignity especially when they go to hospital. When they go into labour we have heard cases of maternal mortality or women dying when giving birth simply because there is no proper communication between them and the nurse who is giving support on the labour. So there should be a third person who is going to interpret for the midwife so that she knows what is happening and yet we believe in confidentiality when we are talking about health issues. When this has happened the story about the illness of this person with a disability soon goes onto the social media and everyone knows about what they are suffering from.
It is important that people like these midwives learn sign language. As someone living with a disability we have a lot of barriers which we face. We notice that at times we have problems in accessing some buildings because there are no ramps and there are no lifts and hence we have problems. These are some of the problems faced by people living with disabilities where we are calling upon the powers that be, calling upon the Government to make these buildings to be easily accessible by people living with disabilities. I am calling upon Members of this
august House that wherever you are please look for ways of protecting and supporting people living with disabilities. I thank you.
HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 12 December, 2019.
REMOVAL OF ILLEGAL ECONOMIC SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the unconditional and immediate removal of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MBOWA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. S. SHOKO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 12 December, 2019.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR
MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN.
MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Ten Minutes to Four o’clock.