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SENATE HANSARD 12 MARCH 2024 VOL 33 NO 31

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 12th March, 2024.

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

HEALTH, MENTAL AND WELLNESS PROGRAMME

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Good afternoon Hon. Senators.  I have the honour to inform the Senate that Parliament’s Health Services Department, in conjunction with the Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), will be conducting a Health, Mental and Wellness Programme from Tuesday, 12th to Thursday, 14th March 2024.  Each day will begin with a presentation from 0900 hours to 1030 hours in Special Committee Room Number 2 on the ground floor.  Thereafter, the screening programme for blood pressure, diabetes, breast, prostrate and cervical cancers will be held in the clinic area, Rooms 113, 116, 117 and 137 on the First Floor.

          Hon. Members and staff are urged to attend the screening process which will take place throughout the whole day on those days.  Cancer is a silent killer and Hon. Members are urged to take this announcement very seriously.

CLIMATE CHANGE SENSITISATION WORKSHOP

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I also have to inform the Senate that Parliament, in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife, will be conducting a Climate Change Sensitisation Workshop for all Parliamentarians on Friday, 15th and Saturday, 16th March, 2024 in the Multi-Purpose Hall at Parliament Building starting from 0800 hours each day.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  Mr. President, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day on today’s Order Paper have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION FOR THE 2023 HARMONISED ELECTIONS.

          Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for the 2023 harmonised elections.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MUZODA:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate on this motion, a motion that speaks about how the elections were conducted last year.

          Mr. President, I am just following the footsteps of other Hon. Members who debated this motion.  We seem to be agreeing that there seems to be a lot of things that were done by ZEC that are contrary to the expectations of the majority in order for the elections to meet the qualification of having been conducted properly.

          Firstly, the delimitation issue was very controversial according to me.  It was not conducted properly since it left out some people who then were unable to exercise their rights to vote because they were unable to find their names on the voters’ roll.  This shows that ZEC did not conduct the election properly. They were supposed to ensure that everyone, during the delimitation process, was afforded the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.  Some found their names outside their wards or their constituencies, hence people were unable to vote for their choice because their names were not on the voters’ roll.

          I want to proceed and say preparations for elections were not conducted properly, according to my view, as parties were campaigning because ZEC was unable to give support to political parties accordingly. 

There is the issue of media, our media did not conduct itself properly.  In some areas, political parties were not allowed to conduct their rallies freely.  Hence, that is one of the reasons why we say ZEC did not conduct the elections accordingly.  Our expectation is that ZEC is an independent body that is supposed to conduct elections as well as preparations in this country.  They were supposed to go, probably in the residential areas because sometimes people do not gather.  They were supposed to conduct door to door voter education because some might have been voting since 1980, yet there were also some first-time voters.  In all truth, ZEC was unable to conduct door to door election voter education and inform the public what election is all about and the advantage of voting.  Some people do not even know that it is their right because when it comes to election time, people are told where to vote.

          It is true – why do I say so? Voting is not conducted at a gathering, but people are invited to a gathering and they are told where to vote.  If ZEC had conducted door to door voter education, I do not think we would be having problems.  Yes, we say elections were conducted peacefully, but peace only takes place when there is no one provoked. There are a lot of places where we saw chaos, where we come from, but there were no subsequent arrests for that violence.  That is a blame that I put on ZEC.  When they prepare for elections in future, they must be independent according to their mandate.

          Now I want to talk about what happened on election day.  When you travel during election day, or if you once travelled around and saw what was happening, you would say this was a free and fair election, but that was not the case.  I would like to analyse one organisation which I do not know where it belongs.  Does it belong to the Government or ZEC? An organisation called FAZ; we used to find them at polling stations where they would put their table, yet they had political parties’ regalia although they claimed to be apolitical. I wish ZEC would explain what FAZ is all about so that people will understand as we go for elections in future, so that people will understand whether it is a ZEC organisation or a Government organisation.  Many people were left without knowledge of that organization.  People were left in fear because they were supposed to first of all go to that table and register their names.  After voting, they were supposed to pass through that table.  That is tantamount to intimidation.  So I think ZEC did not conduct their job properly.

          Inside the polling station, where I come from, there was no problem with the delay of ballot papers.  They were there, but there were a lot of mistakes.  The candidate’s names had mistakes.  You would see on the ballot paper, for example at one Ward, Masasa in Chikomba, the name was of a council candidate in Chivhu, although the picture was of a candidate who was supposed to be voted for at Masasa.  When we asked, we were told that people know the person whom they want to vote for.  That started in the morning and continued like that until election ended.  Such things must be corrected so that we may not blame ZEC of being biased towards a certain party.  ZEC must be independent and conduct elections in this country clearly and transparently.  They must be able to explain to anyone that violence is not good and people are entitled to voting because that is what the liberation struggle was all about.  We fought for two things, our land as well as our voting rights.  So if a person is no longer able to vote freely, we have a problem.

 People continue complaining and that breeds voter apathy.  People were told not to go and vote before passing through certain individuals.  It did not matter who had told that person to come and vote through.  In this august House, we can only say that must stop because that affects the Zimbabwean citizens.  This leads to perpetual disputed elections because people will have a lot of complaints.  We want to build this country through elections.  If we cannot build our country through elections, we must come together and reason together. If we have ZEC and nothing is done to ensure that it becomes independent, I believe that we must do away with them so that we bring a totally independent body that will not be biased in conducting elections.  I thank you.

          ^HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Mr. President for awarding me this opportunity to add my voice on the issue of ZEC report concerning the elections which were held last year.  ZEC did their job perfectly.  They started with the delimitation process.  The process is done after a certain number of years and they notified everyone. Every Zimbabwean citizen was aware of the process; nothing was done in private. 

          Each province, district and even in rural areas and the traditional leadership were notified. They were also told the places where they were supposed to go and look for their names and register their names for those who were not registered.  Everyone was aware of the process, no one can say they were not aware of the process.  They told us if the delimitation did reach a certain number, they joined such areas with other people and that is what exactly happened.  The process was done rigorously and perfectly.  ZEC people are God-fearing people who worked tirelessly and made sure the process was easily accessible to everyone.  Everyone was notified to go and look for their names in the voters’ roll.  Those who did not participate in the process ignored the call by ZEC.  For all of us to be here as Members of Parliament, it is because of ZEC who did their job diligently.   

          Right now, we are here as Hon. Members of Parliament, so let us stop blaming ZEC because it did their job diligently.  What exactly did we expect from ZEC? We were told that for councils, there was need for a certain number and the same applied to Members of Parliament.  Each place from ward level, district level and province, everyone was notified about the elections and all the processes were done.  We are aware that after 10 years, there is a process which is supposed to be done by ZEC and after five years, an election is supposed to be conducted. 

          Elections are done each and every five years. ZEC did their job properly. I do not understand those who are condemning ZEC, I do not know if they wanted ZEC to carry them on their backs to go to registration centres and participate in all processes that were held.  Let us not lie, ZEC did a very good job.  Let us unite and focus on the development of the country and the future.  ZEC did a very good job, even the voting process was done smoothly unless people were expecting ZEC to knock on each and everyone’s door to tell them to go and vote. 

          Mr. President, I want to thank the Government of Zimbabwe and ZEC because everything was done properly and according to the Constitution.  Our registration was done and even the period for registration was extended. What exactly did you expect ZEC to do because some people ignored the call by ZEC to go to designated centres and register yet they want to blame ZEC? 

          ZEC did a very good job. If you as an individual are failing to manage your affairs and doing your part, what exactly do you expect ZEC to do because as far as I am concerned, ZEC did a very brilliant job throughout the country, rugare – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -  Hon. President, I want to thank ZEC because at our area, everything from registration up to the voting was done smoothly hence ZEC executed their job perfectly. I thank you.  

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March, 2024.

MOTION

PROGRAMME ON CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move the motion standing in my name that:

AWARE that Zimbabwe is party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement that commits to mitigating challenges of climate change;

          WORRIED that climate change continues to be a global concern with detrimental effects on human, health, food and environmental security as well as economic development;

          FURTHER WORRIED that there are poor social protection measures for victims of climate disasters such as drought, cyclones, floods and global warming;

          CONCERNED that the country lacks effective climate change adaptation strategies;

          NOW, THEREFORE, resolves that-

  1. Parliament expeditiously enacts legislation to augment existing policies to combat the impact of climate change;
  2. Adequate resources be allocated towards supporting climate mitigation efforts such as research, development of technology, investment into infrastructure and capacity building of communities on climate change adaptation strategies;
  3. The Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife should access international climate financing such as the Green Climate Fund and secure private sector investment for climate friendly large-scale projects;
  4. The Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife should invest in Early Warning Systems (EWS) that aide in timely preparations for extreme weather conditions, e.g. droughts and cyclones; and
  5. The Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife should roll-out a programme on climate smart agriculture to provide technical support to farmers to comprehensively assist them to transition to drought resistant crops, water efficient irrigation schemes and improved soil management techniques.

HON. SEN. MALULEKE: I second.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to move a motion in my name on the effects of climate change in Zimbabwe.  Mr. President, climate change is not a stagnant issue but rather, it is a constantly evolving process taking place world-wide, affecting everything from our day to day experiences. 

          Mr. President, some of the main objectives are as follows:  Seeking opportunities to inform the community in decision making on potential climate change; promote collaborations to raise awareness about climate change; promote attention to climate change issues and lastly, to build community resilience.    

          Mr. President, in order to effectively combat the impact of climate change, it is critical that you take swift and decisive action to reduce our carbon emissions.  This can be achieved through the implementation of a comprehensive climate which would establish ambitious targets for emissions reduction and outlying clear strategies for national mitigation efforts. 

          Furthermore, strengthening existing environmental regulations, particularly in regards to deforestation, land use, waste management and industrial emissions is essential, decreasing overall contribution of green-house gases.  Additionally, promoting renewable energy through the implementation of policies and incentives can attract the much-needed investment and accelerate the transition to the inner and more sustainable sources of energy such as solar, wind and hydro-power.  These measures combined with a dedicated and focused effort towards tackling climate change, can help create a more resilient and sustainable future for generations to come.

          Mr. President, let us come together to promote sustainable funding practices.  This includes implementation methods like conservation agriculture, crop diversification and utilising climate resilient crop varieties.  These innovative measures can significantly lower emissions from the agricultural industry to effectively combat climate change. We must also allocate ample resources to support climate mitigation efforts which include dedicating funds towards extensive research, developing new technologies and investing in critical infrastructure projects.

          Furthermore, we must not limit ourselves to domestic funding sources only. Accessing international climate finance mechanisms such as green climate fund and securing private sector investment can help finance larger scale projects with global collaboration and financial backing and that way, we can make meaningful strides towards a more sustainable future.

          Also enhancing capabilities in Early Warning Systems (EWS), is a crucial and effective nip preparing for extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and cyclones by investing in a stronger EWS. We can mitigate potential damage by enabling timely preparations. In tandem with this, it is vital to promote climate smart agriculture, providing support to farmers as the transition for resilient practices which include implementing drought resistant crops, water efficient for irrigation methods and improved soil management techniques. Together, these adaptations will help us combat the challenges of changing climate.

          We should take action to safeguard our communities through social protection measures by implementing programmes such as social safety nets for those impacted by climate shocks and insurance schemes for farmers facing crop losses. We should provide safety nets for those most vulnerable. Moreover, it is essential to invest in the development of climate resilience infrastructure by building dams, roads and bridges that can withstand extreme weather events. It is also crucial to invest the capacity building of Government officials, community leaders and farmers by providing training on climate change, adaptation strategies and empowering them to implement local solutions.

          We should foster resilience within our communities and promote sustainable practices for the future together by taking comprehensive approach to addressing climate change. We should protect our community in building a more sustainable future for all. Climate change impacts in Zimbabwe are significant and they relate among other things, to water supply and food security. Droughts have become more recurrent over the past two decades. The geographical location of the country in the tropics makes it vulnerable to shifting rainfall patterns due to El nino and osculation. This cyclone climate phenomenal significantly impacts rainfall across Southern Africa including Zimbabwe.

          El nino years often bring drought while la nina years can lead to increased rainfall and flooding. The Indian Ocean Dipole IOD, this osculation in the Indian Ocean temperatures also influences rainfall patterns in Zimbabwe. Positive IOD events are associated with the drier conditions while negative IOD events can bring more rain. Furthermore, Zimbabweans become more vulnerable to climate driven health impacts for diseases such as Malaria worsened.

          Members of this august House are aware that the survivors of Cyclon Idai that struck four provinces of Manicaland, particularly Chimanimani and Chipinge, Masvingo, Midlands and Mashonaland East in March, 2019, continue to require humanitarian assistance, particularly internally displaced persons in temporary camps and living with most families. The impact of the storm was devastating with over 220 000 individuals affected and a staggering death toll of 341 people. The destruction left was widely spread with 17 608 households left without a home, and 12 health facilities in need of repair and vital water, sanitation, hygiene and infrastructure damaged.

As a result, 139 000 schools were affected with 33 primary schools and secondary schools being forced to temporarily shut their doors, disrupting the education of 9 084 learners. Agriculture also suffered greatly with more than half of the land dedicated to maize, bananas and tuber grass destroyed. Additionally, 18 irrigation schemes were damaged and the loss of 362 cattle, 514 goats and sheep as well as 17 000 chickens further compounded the devastation. Even the road infrastructure was not spared with over 90% of roads in Chimanimani and Chipinge damaged, and a total of 584 kilometers of roads affected for a landslide.

The demand for shelter remains at a critical level, particularly in Chipinge and Chimanimani districts. This underscores the need for more intervention to address this pressing issue. The assessments conducted revealed that many of the damaged houses were constructed with substandard materials such as poles and mud in this district. Therefore, there is a crucial need to prioritise building household resilience in cyclone prone areas to mitigate the effects of these shocks. It is imperative to swiftly escalate emergency assistance in efforts to support affected houses.

Mr. President, the school-age population is faced with various challenges when it comes to accessing education such as financial limitations, difficult terrains, lack of necessary learning materials, and competing family obligations.  To address this situation, it is crucial to implement interventions that provide financial support for tuition fees as well as raise awareness among the target age groups of 13 to 17 years old. Similarly, when it comes to accessing social infrastructure, most villages rely on their local leadership to report security incidents due to the absence of police stations. 

Due to El Nino, Zimbabwe and several other Southern African countries are expected to suffer drought conditions in the annual rain season from October 2023 to April 2024 which coincides with the regional summer cropping season.

El Nino refers to a cycle of warming and cooling events that happen along the equator in the Pacific Ocean leading to the increase in sea surface temperatures across the Pacific.  During this agricultural season, the El Nino poses a threat to the agricultural livelihoods of millions of people globally, including Southern Africa and Zimbabwe across the sectors affecting the most vulnerable communities. Mr. President, let me hasten to remind the House that Zimbabwe’s contribution to global emissions of burning house gases is very small.

Mr. President, global climate change is revealed as a serious issue by the Government of Zimbabwe.  The Government of Zimbabwe signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNSCCC0 in 1992 at the Real Earth Summit and ratified it in November of the same year.

Zimbabwe ratified the Paris Agreement in 2017 which requires parties to report to their National Determined Contribution (NDC).  I would like their commitment to mitigate climate change and limit global temperature increases to well below two degrees Celsius. 

Mr. President, the driving forces behind this concern stem not so much from problems of reducing Zimbabwe’s emission of greenhouse gases but rather, the potential serious impacts that global climate change might have on the country.  By including climate change issues in the 1996 review of environmental legislation, Zimbabwe intends to incorporate climate change policies in its national development plans.  Zimbabwe, like the rest of Africa, is constrained in its inability to put appropriate measures in place to respond to climate change requirements because of a lack of human institutional and financial resources.

Mr. President, Zimbabwe is vulnerable to climate change with substantial impacts on crop production forecasted with two-thirds of employment in agriculture.  In recent years, farmers in sub-east Zimbabwe have been getting a good harvest once in five to six years.  Vulnerability drivers identified include heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture and natural resources, poverty, increasing frequency of drought, population pressure, poor climate risk management services from the local authority’s policy support.

Mr. President, Zimbabwe is a signatory to the following multilateral environment agreements among others, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and its Cartagena on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  In addition to the UNFCCC and its key Kyoto Protocol, the national climate policy was put in place to create a pathway towards a climate resilient and low-carbon development economy in which the people have enough adaptive capacity and continue to develop in harmony with the environment.  To achieve this, the National Climate Policy is supported by the National Climate Change Response Strategy, Draft National Adaption Plan, the low Emission Development Strategy, National Environmental Management Policy and Strategic Document as well as other policies aimed at achieving sustainable development.

Mr. President, the policy and legal framework drives from international treaties and agreements, international resolutions provide a forum for dialogue and coordination, fostering partnerships and facilitating the exchange of ideas and financial resources by working together, countries can achieve more significant and lasting results.

Mr. President, in addition to mitigating the effects of climate change, international agreements also prioritise the development of effective adaptation strategies.  For instance, the Warsaw International mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impact aims to understand, action and assist in areas such as early warning systems, disaster readiness, and risk insurance facilities in developing countries. 

Furthermore, international agreements advocate for the integration of adaptation measures in development planning to promote long-term sustainability and resilience.  These solutions stress the significance of integrating adaptation strategies into development agendas, urging countries to give priority to resilience-building measures in areas like agriculture, water resources management, infrastructure development, and urban planning, not only to mitigate emissions but also to boost resilience and capacity. 

They acknowledge that effectively addressing climate change calls for a comprehensive approach that integrates both mitigation and adaptation strategies.  

Mr. President, Zimbabwe is committed to reducing the vulnerability of rural communities by developing plans and guidance documents for local governance for mainstreaming and planning the climate change adaptation.  Mainstreaming climate change means incorporating climate risks into all development decisions and development planning.  When climate risk is explicitly considered and incorporated into policies, plans and practices, development efforts are more resilient to climate uncertainty and more likely to reach their objective.

As Parliamentarians, we should focus on the following three areas.  Firstly, increased access to water for agriculture through climate resilient irrigation systems and water source management.  Secondly, scale up climate-resilient agricultural production and diversification through increased access to climate-resilient inputs, practices and markets and lastly, improve access to weather, climate and hydrological information for climate-resilient agriculture.  We can, together, achieve these key objectives through Parliamentarians working with communities and local leadership to address the following current environmental problems which include deforestation, soil erosion, land degradation as well as air and water pollution. 

Poor mining practices have led to toxic waste and heavy metal pollution, especially in the more arid parts of the country.  The growth of the urban populations has also led to the pollution of water sources.  As populations continue to expand, the strain on our water resources intensifies and results in a dangerous tendency to overuse our rivers, dams and aquifers.  As a consequence, these sources become depleted causing a reduction in natural pollutant dilution.  In response to the growing demand for water, treatment facilities are forced to work at full capacity or even beyond it.  This can lead to overloaded systems that struggle to effectively eliminate all harmful substances, ultimately putting our water quality at risk.

Mr. President, Zimbabwe has 20 million mega litres of total annual renewable fresh water available.  The water is largely replenished through rainfall and then runoff into rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs, aquifers and freshwater aquatic systems such as wetlands.  The country relies on surface water resources for 90% of its requirements while groundwater supplies the remaining 10%.  The estimated groundwater resources available to exploitation in Zimbabwe are 8 million mega litres.  There are several water catchments in the country namely Manyame, Mazowe, Gwayi, Runde, Sanyati, Limpopo, Save and Umzingwane.

Additionally, the construction of 12 high impact dams in Zimbabwe is making good progress.  As of the end of 2022, Gwayi-Shangani was 68% complete.  The project involves constructing the dam and laying the 252km pipeline to Bulawayo.  With a maximum height of 72 metres, the dam’s current height is 31 metres.  One hundred and forty kilometres of the pipeline’s course, on the other hand, has been cleared and 9km excavated.  Pipeline trenching is ongoing.  Zimunya Dam in Nkayi is 8% complete.  For this, the Government of Zimbabwe should be applauded.

Mr. President, with this information that I have presented we all have to brace up for climate change because it is clearly with us and we have to find means and ways to reduce this climate change which has caused havoc in our country.  With these words, Mr. President, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHITSAMBA:  Mr. President Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this motion on climate change raised in this august House.

This climate change has caused a lot of problems, especially for women.  It has led to unpaid for care work, it has led to dry dams, no more firewood and crops are not growing well.  Therefore, Government should increase social welfare food and must sink deeper boreholes.  Government must also provide solar powered boreholes and give women opportunities to work.

There must be a policy on protection of trees and Government must come up with a policy of giving alternative sources of energy for cooking, such as LP or biogas.  There is too much heat now that leads to a lot of diseases.  Women must be taught on the effects of heat wave.  If you teach a woman, you have taught or assisted the whole community.  If you assist a family, you have assisted the whole village.  If you assist the whole village, you have assisted the whole country.  I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Senator who came up with this motion.  This is a very important motion.  It must be placed on the top priority list of motions because climate change has caused a lot of problems to us.  It is also affecting food production and many other things.  This issue must not only be debated and end here.  Senator Mohadi, before this motion is closed, may you please assist us, do not just come and agree that this motion has been debated enough and close it yet there is no food out there.  We must come up with a way forward as well as recommendations.  It must assist us to move forward.  We are now at UN COP 28, which recently ended in Dubai.  It was because of this.  All the countries gathered in Dubai and spent three weeks, after meeting in Cairo COP 27.  People spent three weeks or so there but recently, I read that the temperatures are increasing.  We are going further up. So, these are not motions that we can only say it is over, when the problem is still live and affecting us. 

          Hon. Sen. Mohadi, you have given us this opportunity to debate deeply.  If it means having another opportunity outside Parliament where we can invite experts, we meet and proceed because the people that are at grassroots are the ones who are being affected by this issue.  Most of them have not been given an opportunity to speak on climate change.  We come across these issues in workshops and conferences.  It is rarely spoken about in the wards or villages.  People out there are seeing all these things, yet we have not come to that stage where we involve the villagers as well as the village heads where these discussions are made to come up with the resolutions can be done. 

          The heat we are experiencing right now, we have not felt it before.  We have not experienced such heat before.  What does this mean?  If this type of temperature keeps on increasing, we will end up hearing that someone has died here and there.  I think that is where we are heading to.  However, let us not get to that extent, that is why I am saying Hon. Sen. Mohadi, this motion should not just close without proffering solutions.  Right now, my fellow Hon. Sen. Chief Nyangazonke who has just left this august House is complaining about livestock that has been affected.  Usually we start facing problems of water and food around July/August and we say may be two/three months, we may be able to persevere until the rain comes.  Here, we are in March and we can only expect rains in November.  It means we have a big problem here.

With regards to food, Mashonaland Central, some of them were saying they are expecting something like 30% yield.  Mashonaland West, it is very bad.  Mashonaland East as well as Masvingo where those are traditionally drought prone regions and the fields, even those crops that are supposed to take them to the shortest winter season, but now the maize is not even available to purchase.

          Right now, a bucket of maize is going for $9 in March.  By the time we get to November, I am sure it will rise to $20 or so this year.  In this Senate, we are the elected few so that as some remain in the villages and our homes - Madam President, I am sorry, such respected posts means whenever there is a problem in this country, people look up to us.  That is why they put us up there.  I am glad this issue has been brought into this august House, but I am sure people out there will be happy that we are debating about how drought relief can go about.

          I am glad that His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa said no one is going to starve.  We are going to get enough food.  Even if we expect to receive drought relief from the President, what are you doing?  Ask yourself wherever you are, what are you doing on your part despite the solutions coming from His Excellency the President.  Wherever you go to the village head, chief, councillor, Member of Parliament or Senator, if we all come up with solutions to assist His Excellency the President, I am sure we may be able to bring relief to some of these problems.

          Hon. Senators, from today on, should say yes, there are a lot of motions that have come into this House but there is one outstanding.  Even if we go out for weekends, we must be able to ensure that we proffer solutions before we rest.  If we do not find solutions, it means domestic violence will increase between husbands and wives.  I am sure even street kids will increase because there will be no food in the homesteads. Indeed, we need to robustly debate although we cannot solve it today but I am sure we can be able to get a solution.  Let us not expect developed countries to proffer solutions yet they are the ones who cause these problems because of the gas emissions from their factories.  We see that in many conferences, we only see debates about things that may be international.  Even the language has been internationalised so much that you cannot find the rightful words to interpret it to local context.  The problem is, we do not have the solutions.  So as Members of Parliament and Hon. Senators, let us work hard because we need to come up with solutions to the drought facing us.  It is also affecting livestock.  Even if we talk about climate change, you can also feel it from the heat, let us unite as Senate so that this motion cannot just go by without proffering solutions to climate change.

          *HON. SEN. MUZODA: Thank you Madam President.  I would also like to add on to this motion that is being debated by Hon. Senators.  Firstly, climate change is real, we must live in acceptance that indeed this is a reality.  On the other hand, I would like to start off by saying as I debate this motion, we are also the source of problems because we no longer observe our culture, especially the Chiefs.  May we stand up strong in our areas and ensure that sacred areas remain reserved.  You may look down upon that, but this will cause perennial droughts.

          There are a lot of areas that were believed to be sources of rituals for rainfall, we need to preserve those areas.  Let us not go into sacred pools and rivers and start baptising people.  Indeed, we do not forbid praying or good things because traditionally, we know there is the most-high, who is God as the Creator, the one who will provide rainfall the very day of the rain making ceremony.  Indeed, climate change may cause us a lot of problems in our families, including the Gender-Based Violence that the Hon. Sen. Chief was trying to allude to.  If there is no food in households, even here in Senate, if we are not paid as Senators for two months, there will be chaos in this Senate. It is when we know that people are knowledgeable that our finances as a country do not permit, there will not be any peace.   Even in debates, the contributions will go down.

          So what should we do as a country because this problem is not only affecting us, but are saying we have our traditional practices that bring peace and rain in our country?  So what should we do? Let us preserve our culture, let us preserve our areas.  This will assist us in future for the better of our country.  We want to venture into agriculture for this country.  We enjoy looking at the land that we cannot fully utilise in this country.  There are a lot of water bodies, if you tell people from other countries that we are starving here, they will laugh at us because we have a lot of rivers and dams that can sustain us for the whole year without facing starvation. 

          Madam President, agriculture needs unity and proffering solutions as a united front, so that those who have power can ensure that the land is being utilised adequately.  Let us also know that if we bought land or a farm, we did not do it to only produce food for a household.  Commercial land must be considered as intentions for venturing into business, farming is business.  Our agriculture is not all about utilising land along the highway so that people may see that you have tobacco.  We are talking of production that is supposed to benefit the nation.

          Hon. Sen. Mavenyengwa, I want to come and procure maize because you have a farm… - [Power outage] -

Power having been restored

*HON. SEN. MUZODA: Thank you Madam President, as I proceed debating on climate change, I would like to say let us consider that the most important thing that can lead to a war in a country is sadza which is our staple food. Our farmers must be able to proceed and work viably and productively.  Madam President, we also affect the environment around us, be it in the urban areas or the rural areas because of unhygienic practices.  Climate change goes hand-in-hand with hygiene. Our industries are emitting a lot of gasses that affect rain conditions.  We need to adapt and move along with times so that we do not lag behind.  If you look at countries that are affected by lack of rain, they are not so many, but let us consider the livelihoods of those countries affected.

          There is a lot of garbage that is disposed and being burnt, some of the garbage is disposed of in water bodies to the extent that the water bodies can no longer hold water to the next season.  Right now, as we live in our countries, let us be careful of such things and let us have enough power to control the environment and preserve the environment as well as empowering people to enforce that. I believe those are the few words that I wanted to add onto this debate, as I emphasise that let us go back to our traditions. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Madam President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March, 2024.

MOTION

STRATEGIES TO MOBILISE RESOURCES FOR THE NATIONAL CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the National Clean-Up Campaign.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. KATUMBA: Thank you Madam President. I would like to say it is good that our urban areas be kept clean as well as our surroundings. Looking at the urban areas and the environment especially with regards to litter, I think if it were possible, refuse bins are very important and they must be availed in households. When the cities or towns were made, the population was still low. I think we have retrogressed instead of increasing the facilities. Garbage trucks must be able to collect twice or so per week and I think that will lead to a difference.

Sometimes in a week, you do not even see them and there are no litter bins. One may use a plastic bag and when it is full, they just throw it anywhere. Let us also consider the problem of sewage. When these systems were put in place, the residential areas were still small and the pipes have not been replaced. The pipes are now old. If we look at road networks, we see that there is rehabilitation taking place and I believe the sewer system must also be revamped to ensure that we get bigger pipes in accordance with the increase in population.

I think this would lead to cleaner environments in our surroundings. Looking at the local authorities, they are policy makers and implementers. I believe that the policy makers are doing their job but the problem is implementation. It is important that our Minister must look at the implementation part and find out what the problem is. If it is lack of resources, they must be able to increase them so that our environment is clean. I thank you. 

*HON. SEN. HUNGWE: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to add a few words on this motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mavenyengwa. It is a very important motion since it emphasises the importance of hygiene and it gives us a bigger lifespan, but if there is lack of hygiene, we face a lot of problems such as diseases that we are encountering these days. I am a Senator representing an urban area and I do not know anything about RDC’s because I am an urban person.

Since 1980 when we got independence until 2000, the town was very clean. There were blacks ruling but from 2000 to 2001 up to now, it does not mean that in the past there were no people. People were always there. We knew that when you go to council offices to pay rentals, you would be given a litter bin, but now there is nothing like that.

As a country and in this august House, we agreed that we must conduct harmonised elections.  The President, Members of Parliament, and Councillors must be voted for on the same appointed date although they have distinct roles.  Local authorities have budgets, here at Parliament we also have budgets, which means local authorities are an important body because they have their budgets.

          Urban dwellers pay rates and pay for their houses, if you read that receipt, it tells you that you pay for sewer and garbage collection, and you also pay for street lights and roads.  As I said earlier on that I am an urban dweller, still I do not know where the collected revenue goes.  I once worked in the City of Harare, and all these things that I am referring to are things that I know.  Our city fathers that we have these days, I do not think that they ever consider what their responsibility is, which is the day-to-day welfare of people to ensure it is clean everywhere.  I think our councillors need to be taught because there is nothing that we can do without litter bins.  If you go around residential areas, you find litter everywhere.

          I would like to thank the Government because they have availed garbage collection trucks.  However, they are supposed to be provided by local authorities.  When you see the Central Government coming in, it means there is a big problem, and they will be trying to avert the spread of Cholera and other diseases.  So we need to look into the local authorities and check whether they are working or if they are aware of what they are supposed to be doing.  As it is, it means they do not know their job.

          Right now, all these roads that are being rehabilitated do not belong to the Central Government, they belong to local authorities.  The Government only comes in after realising that there is a serious problem. 

 Madam President, I have stood up to add these few words to say let us go and look into our local authorities because they have a mandate that they were given by the people who elected them into office as they were voted for on the 23rd of August, 2023.  They were empowered to collect revenue and fix our areas, that is why they were voted for, but to be honest, they do not care about the people who voted for them.

I would like to say Hon. Sen. Mavenyengwa, you did well with that motion that is why the President has also set aside the first Friday of every month to dedicate to cleaning.  His Excellency was demonstrating to us that we need first of all, to ensure that our household is clean.  We hear other people talking about other countries, I went to Kigali last year and they practice the same.  They also have a day dedicated to cleaning and they do not do any other thing until 1000 hours in the morning.  The President is also making a point that we must be clean.  We need to bath; it is very important.  As we grew up, you would not start cooking without bathing and you would not leave the yard without cleaning the house.  I used to win the smartness competition because I was very smart.  We used to compete a lot.  In Harare, everywhere there is litter and it is not the people’s fault because there are no litter bins refuse trucks.

It was a custom that every week, where you stay, you would just place your litter bin outside, and the refuse truck would come and collect it.  If the litter bin was tattered, they would take it and leave you a new one.  So with these few words, let us go and tell our local authorities to work accordingly and not just to go to the townhouse to make tea or just go for workshops spending ratepayers' monies.  They must consider the environment of the residents as a priority.  

          +HON. SEN.  R. NDLOVU:  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to add my voice regarding litter that we find in our towns.  I would like to debate on a few issues that have been highlighted by the previous Senators.

          Madam President, I am from Bulawayo and there is so much litter in Bulawayo.  Most of this litter is there because councils are unable to do their duty.  In Bulawayo, every street has some vendors operating from it.  If you go to the main markets, there are people that do not reside in Bulawayo who operate from there.  They are now staying there with their children and their husbands.  They are found to be selling their wares from there throughout the day and these people do not reside in Bulawayo. 

Most of the litter found in the streets is litter that is being created deliberately.  Most of the people are operating illegally from the streets.  We have markets that have been allocated legally but people choose to move out of the legal places to operate from outside the markets in an illegal way and each time council comes to these places, it ensures the people are moved from the illegal places, but most of them say that they are protected, so they do not need to be chased away from those places.  I am referring to things that are happening on the ground.

Right now, I am in Harare and pavements have illegal operators there.  As leaders, if we want things to be done the proper way, we need to say the truth but if we do not come out in the open to say the truth, then we are not going anywhere.  We need to tell the truth as it is.  As residents mainly here in Harare, I see what is happening and it is almost similar to what is happening in Bulawayo.  Local government should be empowered to ensure that they remove these illegal vendors from the streets.

If I want a vote as a Member of Parliament, I will entice those people to remain there so that I get my vote.  Right now, even if there are places that are demarcated for the vendors to operate from, they do not want to operate from those places but want to operate from their demarcated places.

One Hon. Member indicated that we pay rates to the City Council.  We have houses in towns, we do not pay to councils.  The reason why we do not pay to councils is that we are told that we are not allowed to be chased away from where we operate from even if we do not pay.  Previously, we knew that each time you do not pay, you would be chased away from where you operate from unless and until you pay but right now, people even get to the point of tampering with water meters when they have been closed and nothing is done to them.

How much is Government owing City Council?  As residents, how much are we owing City Council?  We need to come out in the open and indicate that we owe City Council, which is why it is failing to do its duties accordingly.  Right now, there is the Devolution Fund. May this fund come through so that councils and municipalities can do their duties accordingly.

As the Upper House, we need to support them,  ensure they get their funds on time and have their work done diligently.  As Hon. Members, we need to agree to our short comings.  We agree that most of the vendors are operating there because there are no jobs but this does not allow them to continue to litter our towns and streets.

They are crowding our streets.  Each time we tackle issues like these, we need to say the truth so that we get an appropriate resolution to issues concerning us and our constituencies.  Thank you, Madam President.

          HON. SEN. PHULU: Thank you Madam President for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to the motion that has been brought to this House.  Certainly, I would like to appreciate all the initiatives which have been done.  For instance, the initiative by the President of this country to ensure that there is a remembrance of this issue, one Friday every month so that it remains a topic which is alive for debate.  I am sure if there is one motion where we should all be able to agree, it is this one. If we fail to agree on this motion, I think we should shut down Parliament and go back home. 

Our cities need to be clean.  Our streets need to be clean; our villages need to be clean; our homes need to be clean.  Everyone who is raising this motion wants to move forward.  I have listened to the debate from across the aisle, and I can see that they want a solution and a way forward to take the country forward to ensure that at least, there is cleanliness.  We might be starving; we might be fighting, whatever you name it, but when visitors come, surely, they should find that we are observing the principles of cleanliness.  It is more so with the recent diseases that we are seeing, Cholera and so forth.  All those are indicators that cleanliness is lacking.  Cleanliness takes resources.  People who are starving are the ones who become so desperate that they no longer observe the best tendency of cleanliness.  So there is something to be said to ensure that we address some of the fundamentals that will ensure that the society is healthy and able to take care of some of the day to day things.

I will give you an example, the number of people that were selling in the streets between 1980 and maybe1990, was far less than the number of people who are selling produce in the streets today.  That is certainly going to be one of the issues that is going to contribute to the increase in the refuse that we see.  I can certainly say that the capacity of the cities to take care of the plastics that were there at the time has diminished by the time we are here in 2024.  Therefore, we need to increase the capacity of our local authorities and some of our Government agencies which are also concerned with these things so that our country is able to take control of the large amounts of refuse that we get.  This has been recognised by Central Government itself.  They showed their interventions at Pomona, where they brought forward innovative ways to try and increase the capacity of the city; to creatively find ways to deal with refuse.

We saw the contribution of the vehicles which the Hon. Senator was speaking about; interventions from Central Government, but we must take into account that these interventions have been done in conjunction with the relevant local authorities.  It brings me to the issue of cooperation.  Without cooperation on this issue, we will go nowhere.  Our debate on this issue should reflect that we are willing to cooperate because when local authorities make initiatives to deal with this matter, they are going to need a budget.  Their budgets are approved and disbursed by Central Government.  We urge the Central Government to expeditiously approve these budgets.

We need to see increased meetings between local authorities and Central Government on this issue.  We need to see less debate and stumbling blocks when these issues are discussed.  The debate around the Pomona issue became so toxic at one stage, and yet, we were talking about a matter relating to progress.  The Hon. Sen. Ndlovu just raised some critical issues that there is need for political will on both sides and the need to work on an issue to find a solution to ensure that we achieve this cleanliness that we crave for.  The cleanliness that we crave for is connected to our economy.  We would wish to see more people becoming employed.  We would wish to see people on the streets being capacitated to actually come up with their bins.  A lot of the refuse, and I saw it this morning, is coming from people who are selling wares, who are actually doing small businesses.

In as much as the local authorities can provide bins which are very scarce, I must admit, those who are running businesses can surely buy  bins. These are some of the policies that we should see being pushed, and certainly we should begin to have legislation that says if you are selling tomatoes at a market, you should be able to come together and buy five bins.  You should be able to ensure that as you wake up every morning, you clean.  I have seen examples of citizens who do that where they enforce their own the rules of cleanliness. 

In closing, I would like to say that the approach where the Members across the aisle begin to blame each other over such a simple thing of sweeping, it is symptomatic of a very deep problem which we need to resolve.  I am sure that when this motion ends and is concluded, it is going to end with everyone unanimously clapping and unanimously agreeing on a way forward which would see our cities and our villages becoming clean. I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN.  NCUBE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March, 2024.

MOTION

ROAD SAFETY DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the successive road accidents and consecutive days which claim scores of lives on the month of November, 2023.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. PHULU: Thank you Madam President.  I rise to support the motion presented by Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa, on the critical issue of road accidents prevention during the festive season.  This period should be a time of joy and celebrations, and yet for many families, it is sadly not so.  It becomes a time for loss of loved ones and a time for much mourning.  The statistics presented by Hon. Sen. Zvidzai previously when he supported this motion are sobering.  These numbers are not just statistics, they represent fathers, mothers, children and friends whose absence leaves a deep void in our communities. 

          To address this, we must take a multi-faceted approach as suggested by the motion that includes education and awareness.  To increase the comprehensive education and awareness campaigns to foster the road safety that we so need as a society, these campaigns should target all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, children and users of cellphones and social media.  As the motion clearly points, perhaps we need to sensitise people on what it means to see a picture of your loved one, suddenly on WhatsApp, as you sit somewhere eating lunch.  Or as you sit in school trying to do homework, you suddenly see a picture of your loved one; a grim announcement and a sudden one to say that they are no more.  I think education from a very young age, on courtesy and good manners and responsibility in using our gadgets is important.

          May be as time goes on, we might even consider trying to legislate a way to encourage users of social media, cameras and all these electronic gadgets to respect an accident scene. Certainly, ubuntu demands that it must be so.  Is this an indication that along the lines as we embrace some of these technological innovations, we are allowing our ubuntu to slide away and we are losing grip on ourselves. Law enforcement; I think this argument has been made over and over again, perhaps we need to see more enforcement of traffic rules.  We need to see more and more crackdown of corrupt practices that perhaps allow people to get away with bad behaviour on the roads.  Some of the behaviour on the roads is really shocking.  You can see that people have no concern at all about the welfare of other people and the sanctity of life in general. 

          The improvement of infrastructure is another key point that we need to look at. It would be certainly a great day when a person involved in an accident in Kwekwe, could be quickly be rushed to a hospital that would take care of all their needs there in Kwekwe.  Certainly, we should have a minimum distance to which a person should reach a hospital in all our highways around the country and in all our villages around the country. We should have competent hospitals that can take care of road emergency cases that arise.  I know that we are still far from that. A lot of issues arise, issues to do with how much we are investing in health, how much we are investing to the Ministry dealing with roads and how those funds being used, to ensure that they are used effectively to create this infrastructure and to create this health system that can take care of people during these holiday periods when they are involved in these accidents. 

Certainly, when people are involved in accidents, we should have a way of ensuring that they can afford to go into a good hospital because at time people die because they cannot find money at that particular time, during that period of emergency to access a good hospital.  Also issues to do with insurance, which has been raised in the motion are issues we ought to look into as a House, debate and come up with strong resolutions to ensure that our Government is guided by such resolutions and motivated by these strong resolutions to try and deal with some of these issues which arise.  Hopefully, during the next festive season, or in the next five festive seasons, we witness a reduction in these road traffic accidents but certainly, we witness an increased capacity to deal with those injuries, to deal with the cultural issues that arise in the sense of social media being used responsibly for that purpose.

          So, the issue of developing a robust emergency response system to provide immediate assistance to victims, potentially saving their lives and reducing the severity of injuries is something that we must try to attain. 

Legislative measures, considering the operationalisation of the Road Accident Fund to finance a viable road crush emergency framework system is also a point that we must underscore and underline.

          In conclusion, I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa for bringing forward this motion and I would like to thank all those Hon. Senators who have fervently supported this motion.  We must, as a Senate and Parliament, urge all stakeholders through the urgency of the relevant oversight mechanisms available to Parliament.  Parliament should interface seriously with all these stakeholders who include relevant Government ministries, civil society and the private sector to collaborate in implementing the above measures that have been proposed by Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa and the Hon. Senators who have spoken in support of this motion.

          Madam President, together we can work towards a safer Zimbabwe where the holiday season is remembered for its festivities and not for the loss of life on our roads, I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Thank you Hon. President of the Senate for affording me this opportunity to also add my voice on this motion which was presented to this Senate by Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa on persistent issues of road accidents during holidays in our country Zimbabwe.  Every year, Madam President, as families gather and travel to celebrate their cherished moments, our nation has been marred by a surge in avoidable road accidents which cause death to our beloved ones.   Last year was no different, hence it is important for us to pull up our sleeves and try as hard as possible so that we can lower the rate of accidents in our country especially during holiday periods. 

          Madam President, the recent holidays which are Christmas time and New Year witnessed a horrifying escalation in accidents leaving countless families devasted and communities heartbroken due to deaths which were being caused by road traffic accidents.  We cannot become numb to these statistics. These are not just numbers, they represent mothers, fathers, children and friends lost in preventable tragedies.

          Madam President, the causes of this holiday surge are multifaceted bad road infrastructure, lack of proper signage on our roads, in the highways as well as fatigue due to long distance travelled by drivers also contribute among other causes. However, we cannot overlook the human factor like reckless driving, speeding and disregard for traffic regulations become amplified during the holiday rush.  In addition, in our country, a troubling trend of corruptly issued drivers’ licences causes a significant threat on the roads.  Individuals lacking proper training and knowledge of traffic laws can obtain licences through bribes, putting themselves and others at risk. 

          This undermines the general licence system placing unqualified drivers behind the wheel who may be more prone to making dangerous maneuvers, ultimately contributing to the country’s already high rate of road accidents, especially the holidays where roads are crowded by endless travelling alongside many tourists. 

          The holidays need people who are skilled in driving hence those who get licences corruptly fail to this skill.  Furthermore, some officers who also engage themselves in corrupt practices in the law enforcement agencies weaken road surface efforts. Police officers tasked with upholding traffic laws are reported to be accepting bribes from drivers without roadworthy vehicles or those lacking licences.  These unscrupulous officers turn a blind eye to safety hazards allowing potentially dangerous vehicles onto the roads. Instead of issuing fines or impounding unsafe cars, they collect unofficial fees lining their pockets at the expense of the public safety. This systematic corruption forensic fosters a disregard for regulations, creating a dangerous situation on our roads. 

          Madam President, therefore, I propose a multi-prolonged approach to address this crisis.  Firstly, I urge the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to prioritise the urgent rehabilitation of our national roads like they are doing on the Harare/Beitbridge Road, Harare/Chirundu Road, Bulawayo/Victoria Falls Road, thumbs up to our Government for such a wonderful job of rehabilitating our roads.

          Potholes, uneven surfaces and inadequate shoulders create dangerous driving conditions. So, they need to be attended to.  Secondly, Zimbabwe Republic Police must be adequately resourced to conduct heightened enforcement during holidays.  Increased patrols particularly on known accidents black spots coupled with zero tolerance for drunken driving and speeding will send a strong message of deterrence to drivers.  Equipping Zimbabwean law enforcement with proper resources can be a powerful tool in combating corruption and improving road safety. This includes providing officers with modern speed detection equipment.  Ensuring a fleet of well-maintained patrol vehicles and motor cycles for mobility, offering competitive salaries and allowances by addressing financial constraints, officers are less susceptible to bribes. Furthermore, increase visibility through well equipped patrols deters motorists from attempting to circumvent the law. This multifaceted approach can strengthen enforcement, promote adherence to traffic regulations and ultimately reduce road accidents on our roads.

          Thirdly, I call upon the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to launch a comprehensive public awareness campaign. We have the traffic safety bought for that, but however, for effectiveness, the Ministry of Information should also take a leading role in launching campaigns that educate citizens on safe driving practices, highlight the dangers of speeding and fatigue and emphasise the importance of adhering to traffic laws. Let us not under-estimate the power of media in our country, and also engage with transport operators. We must address the pressure that their drivers face to meet unrealistic targets which often incentivises reckless driver behaviour, thus fatal road accidents occur.

          Finally, we must foster a culture of road safety in our nation. This requires collaboration between government agencies, civil society organisations and traditional leaders. Together we can build a national consciousness that prioritises responsible driving and sanctity of human life.

          In conclusion, the loss of even a single life on our roads is a tragedy. Let us act now with urgency and resolve to turn the tide on this holiday nightmare and let us ensure that our journeys of celebration are not marred by preventable loss. Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. ZHOU: Thank you Madam President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion which was raised by Hon. Mlotshwa. It is a very important motion on road traffic accidents on the roads. Accidents happen when people are not prepared and they lose lives. At times they are maimed. I want to stress that these accidents do not just result in the losses of lives, but also people become disabled when they were not disabled as they were growing up. In our organisation, we always say that you should not be proud that you are driving a car because when you go out driving your car, you might come back disabled because of road traffic accidents.

          So we are saying that these accidents are causing hardships in lives besides just bringing death. The other thing that we wanted to talk about is to look at our lives as black people – what is it that we are supposed to do and what is it that we used to do? We want to look at the religious people and the chiefs. Suppose there is a bus which has been involved in an accident, and twenty or thirty people lose their lives, the police will come with their coffins and ferry the bodies. The injured are taken to hospital, but as black people, we should go there with our chiefs so that we do our rituals there so that we do not end up having black spots.

          This means if we end up with black spots, there is something that we are supposed to do, a ritual that we should do to appease the blood of those people as black people so that it does not attract accidents. If you look closely, you find that these accidents happen at certain places. Like the accident that happened at the seven kilometer peg. A lot of accidents happen at that place. The experience that I have with that place is that my car once had a breakdown, but it did not seem like a break down. I asked the driver because the car was brand new. A lady came walking, but the driver said that he was not seeing anything, although I could hear her footsteps at that area where the accident happened.

          So religious people and our leaders should follow these issues. Going forward, this is not the issue of the Minsitry of Transport alone, but it is an issue that should be handled by the law as well, but the way the law is being handled, we see that there is a lax because there are ways of curbing drunkenness. When people become drunk when the police is there, they will know that someone gets to a road block whilst drunk that they cannot even show their licence, but you find them passing through that road block.

          Our laws should be followed and it helps us to curb accidents which are so rampant these days. The other thing that I wanted to talk about is that every car in Zimbabwe should have an insurance cover. It can be third party or comprehensive, but you find that most of the time these insurance companies just take money and if an accident occurs, we do not see those insurance companies. We just see the government chipping in or some relatives and some go about borrowing money so that they will be able to cope with the burials, but we do not see the insurance companies.

          When it comes to collecting money, each time that you renew, the insurance will be there and you pay for the insurance. It can be full, third party or comprehensive. So we should also look at those issues as well. This issue should not jeopardise the lives of people. When people are looking for insurances, they need help so that they get assistance when they get involved in these accidents. I think we should also see that we avoid being disabled on the roads. Some divorces come up as well because if someone is maimed, either wife or husband, they may divorce because of disability. That is what I wanted to say. Thank you. 

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

          HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March, 2024.

MOTION

PROGRAMMES TO CURB DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE BY YOUTHS

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on drug and substance abuse by youths.

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

          HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March, 2024.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Seventh order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

  Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March, 2024.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA, seconded by HON. SEN. TONGOGARA the Senate adjourned at Four Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

 

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