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SENATE HANSARD 13 APRIL 2022 VOL 31 NO 35

          PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 13th April, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: May I remind Hon. Senators to put their cellphones on silent or better still switch off their gadgets.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Mr. President.  I move that Order of the Day, Number One be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          .

MOTION

MEASURES TO RESUSCITATE THE ECONOMY

 

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

    Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. DENGA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.   

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th April, 2022.

MOTION

EFFORTS TO CURB CORRUPTION

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion to introduce deterrent sentences for those engaging in corrupt activities.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. CHISOROCHENGWE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th April, 2022.

MOTION

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

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

Question again proposed.

          ^^HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to say a few words on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Kambizi on the impact of COVID-19 on HIV/AIDS patients.  These two diseases are deadly even though they are not the same.  What we have figured out is that if one is affected by both diseases, it becomes a challenge.

          The Ministry of Health has always been indicating that when one has HIV/AIDS, they are supposed to visit health institutions to make sure that they are checked.  For those that have other health issues like HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 becomes a challenge to treat.  Therefore, let us see to it that our people visit hospitals each time they are affected by any of these diseases. 

          Mr. President, each time we talk of HIV or COVID-19, especially regarding rural communities where most of them stay far away from health institutions, they face challenges of getting health treatment.  In most cases, their treatment is unavailable.  We have also realised that at times they fail to get money to access drugs that they need at any particular time.  Looking at their health needs, we realise that besides transport and being far away from health institutions, the road network is in a sorry state.  Our plea is that if only we could get our roads rehabilitated so that people get to hospitals quickly and through better means.

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to encourage people to go and get vaccinated.  We also realised that people who are visiting health institutions for vaccinations are increasing.  When we talk of the booster vaccine, we realise that people are no longer interested in going to health institutions for the booster drug because they are saying up until when will people continue visiting health institutions for these vaccination?  COVID-19 is still within us and therefore, we need to make sure that we follow all the health guidelines like putting on masks and washing our hands frequently. 

          If we tend to relax on following these guidelines, we will find that infections will keep increasing.  Today, one of us or someone who is not part of us here, their child or one of those they stay with maybe found to be COVID positive.  We therefore need to ensure that we take this pandemic seriously.  Let us continue to put on our masks and promote social distancing so that we are not infected. 

          Speaking of HIV/AIDS, some people are reluctant to visit health institutions when they are supposed to go for their ART drugs.  Each time they go there and are feeling a little better, they stop visiting health institutions, yet it is supposed to be a lifelong treatment that they are supposed to be taking.  The moment you stop taking medication thinking that all is well, you are only lying to yourself.  If one defaults, it will be a challenge to recover. 

          Looking at those that take a lot of alcohol, we urge them to drink reasonably and know that drinking too much can lead to one’s death.  Even those that smoke, we encourage them to reduce the number of cigarettes that they take because they affect us health-wise, especially with regards to other health problems like tuberculosis. 

          With these few words, I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi who moved this motion.  We support the move that this would help reduce the impact of these two diseases.  We need to make sure that we follow the stated health guidelines so as to survive.  Talking of HIV/AIDS, we have realised that quite a number of people can go up to 30 years whilst they are positive if they take their drugs accordingly.  Let us try and see to it that we support each other in taking these drugs continuously because most people have children that are still young who need support.  Mr. President, thank you very much. 

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi for raising this pertinent motion on HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 and how COVID-19 disrupted a lot of things including those who are taking ARVs.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, order.  You are not connected Hon. Member.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi for raising this pertinent motion on those living with HIV in this COVID-19 pandemic.  This pandemic disrupted the efficient supply of ARVs to patients because most of the people were failing to go to hospital to take their medication.  The health facilities are far away and some failed because of restricted movement during the pandemic.  Some failed to obtain letters to enable them to travel to their health centres.  This affected the efficient supply of drugs and many people defaulted during the pandemic, which led to the suffering of HIV patients.

          When they eventually did, they also faced problems since most of the hospitals were in short supply of the second line drugs. When we visited hospitals, we found out that many hospitals do not have Cotrimoxazole drugs.  If it is possible, it is my wish that certain drugs be manufactured in this country because trade and transportation of goods were disrupted during the pandemic, hence the shortage of drugs in the country.   If we as Zimbabwe were able to manufacture our own drugs then we would not go out of stock of any vital drugs.  Many people’s health has been affected because of the COVID-19 restrictions.  People are no longer receiving six months supply, they reduced this to three months and some hospitals were charging US$5 in order for patients to be given a six months supply.  This compromised the health of the poor.  Some patients travelled long distances and cannot afford to come to the centre monthly, these are the patients that benefited a lot from the six months supply.  If they fail to go then they will have defaulted.

          Health facilities must desist from corruption, so may this issue of corruption be investigated so that it can be addressed.  The perpetrators must be apprehended.  My plea is that our country must be able to manufacture some of the vital drugs so that we desist from depending on other countries. Those countries which we are relying from, if one day they decide not to help us, it means that many people will suffer.  Yes, we might need help but we must also work very hard on improving our health sector.  As a country, I do not think we can fail to manufacture Cotrimoxazole as our country is well endowed with minerals. 

          I am also encouraging that hospitals must have CD4 machines and other machines that can help people so that everything will be done under one roof.  In some areas CD4 is done at one facility and for results the patient is referred to the other district.  Some patients will fail to go there because they do not have money for transport.  Some patients are requested to come back after some weeks and some die during the waiting period.  It is my plea to the Government that at least each centre must have one CD4 machine so that everything can be done under one roof.  

          We have our youths who are illegal gold panners, they move from one place to another in search of gold. This becomes very difficult for the health officers to follow them up to see if they are taking their medication well or why they stopped.  When they visit the addresses they would have been supplied with, that person will no longer be at that address and this becomes a problem yet they will continue to infect others with the disease.  Some of our youths who take drugs like marijuana and mutoriro, when they are drunk they forget to take their medication or even fail to use protection when they engage in casual sex because they will be under the influence of drugs and they will end up spreading the disease wherever they go.  With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.

          +HON. SEN. G. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity.  I want to debate on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Kambizi.  I had the opportunity to be amongst the people who visited hospitals with the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS.  We found that some hospitals did not have CD4 count machines; they said they take samples and send to other health facilities.  Sometimes the results take three to four months and sometimes the results are lost or sent to the wrongplace.  We encourage the Ministry of Health and Government to look into this issue so that all hospitals have the CD4 machines.  People are being given dates to come back for the results but when the day comes, sometimes the results will not be available and yet they would have travelled long distances to go to the centres.   During this COVID-19 pandemic, they find it very difficult to travel to get their results.  I felt very sad when health workers told the Committee what they go through - there is no medical equipment, no drugs and this makes it difficult for them to carry their duties efficiently. With these few words, I would like to thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to debate.

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Kambizi.  This motion is very pertinent.  COVID-19, when it started, was a small thing but the laws which were stipulated by the authorities for example lockdowns - many people failed to understand what that meant.  This led to the interruption of the smooth flow of many things.  Some people lacked food and those who are into vending failed to get food because they were not allowed to sell during that period.  All the people stayed at home and nothing was happening that brought food on the table.  As time moved on, many people began to die from COVID-19 and more lockdowns were imposed in order to protect the people.  It became difficult for people to go and collect their anti-retroviral drugs from health facilities because of the lockdowns.  Some of the health facilities were very far and transport became a challenge also.  Some of the people tried going on foot but some of the health facilities were closed.  Our country’s laws say you are not compelled to reveal your HIV/AIDS status but during that period, the regulations demanded that if you wanted to go and collect drugs, a letter had to be written for you stating the reason for travelling and this ended up exposing people’s privacy. This led to the violation of people’s rights. 

Even schools were closed as COVID-19 wreaked havoc in the country.  Schoolchildren were at home and boys and girls started spending a lot of time together and it ended up with a lot of pregnancies.  COVID-19 caused a lot of harm to schoolchildren whom we look up to as the future leaders.  Also for parents to stay together at home day in day out caused a lot of gender based violence, lack of food and lack of money.  As fathers, we agree that the wives cater for the father and the children and it became difficult for them to find food to cook but the husband expected to see food on the table - hence the violence as there was no food on the table.  Lockdowns resulted in increased pregnancies even in married families because women failed to go and collect their family planning tablets. 

I want to thank our health workers who worked very hard during the pandemic.  Many people who got COVID-19 went to health facilities and the health workers were always there to assist despite being exposed to COVID.  They worked very hard to help the sick.  I would also like to thank the doctors for working very hard and saving people’s lives as they struggled with COVID.  We got to a very painful period during COVID when many Government officials succumbed to COVID.  Our Government officials died painful deaths and we could not all go and lay our loved ones to rest because of the restrictions on numbers.  Only a few people or family members were allowed to attend funerals. 

In rural areas, our culture was violated due to COVID-19 because all people come together to commiserate with the bereaved but funerals became COVID super spreaders and many people contracted COVID and died.  We tried to educate people to understand that only a few people had to attend funerals but it was difficult to reduce the numbers in the rural areas due to cultural beliefs.  You cannot prevent someone from coming to a funeral, hence people continued to go to funerals in their numbers and the virus spread quickly.  COVID-19 also caused many diseases which I am not able to mention.  Some people died because of lack of drugs because one drug would be found at this facility while the other would be found at another facility.  I want to thank the Ministry of Health for putting in place measures to ensure COVID-19 treatment was provided everywhere and they were working at ensuring that at each hospital, all the machinery would be there.  We encourage the Ministry to continue to work hard so we continue to achieve better health facilities in the country.  I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to debate. I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi for raising this pertinent motion because it touches everyone in the country. Many of the things have been raised but I want to say at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies in the country downsized their operations and some of them closed. This development was not only in this country but the world-over. When these companies closed, many people lost their jobs, which means that their families suffered a lot because what they used to get, they were no longer getting. Many countries suffered a lot especially those which were not prepared for the pandemic. Many people who died did not get the right for a decent burial.

          This disease brought many problems to many people of all age groups. Some people divorced because of COVID-19. Some died due to hunger and lack of food. Some people who died failed to get proper burial space. Some countries had death tolls reaching one thousand per year. Some people who died were not buried according to their cultural wishes. Some were buried in mass graves. COVID-19 disrupted the way people used to live. Some of the Senators mentioned that some girl children were impregnated and they suffered a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

          Some natural calamities like these happen without proper preparation. When pandemics like these come, we must get prepared that if we face something similar to this in the future, we must have a proper way of solving this. We heard that there is another wave which is coming from Botswana. When you listen to the news on radio, you hear that one person has died today and a certain number are not feeling well. We must follow all the COVID-19 regulations and guidelines in order to overcome the disease. Yes, we have been vaccinated but there are other people who are not vaccinated. Let us protect ourselves by wearing our face masks. Let us get vaccinated because we do not know who has the virus or not. It is very important to protect ourselves, especially us the older people who are mostly affected by the pandemic. We must listen to WHO COVID-19 protocols so that we can be protected. We must follow all the procedures because COVID-19 is still with us and it has not ended. The former Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon Sen. Dr. Parirenyatwa also mentioned that we must follow what is required of us so that we can protect ourselves. I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th April 2022.

MOTION

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

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the implementation of the anti retroviral therapy (ART) roll out programme in the selected health institutions in Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th April 2022.

MOTION

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

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

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MALULEKE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th April, 2022.

MOTION

PREVALANCE OF DRUG ABUSE BY YOUTHS

          Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the devastating effects of drug abuse by youths.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me an opportunity to add my voice on this pertinent question.  It is painful that our children whom we expect to be the future leaders end up being drug abusers without meaningful life.  We need to find a solution on how best we can help our youths because some of the drugs are imported illegally through our borders. So it is very pertinent to see that the law enforcement agents look into the issue. We must eradicate corruption.  Wherever you go you come across people who are demanding money in exchange of services.  This issue must be looked into to see how best we can be able to help people as a country.  We should curb smuggling of drugs. 

          Mr. President, not all drugs are imported in the country but here in this country, there is something which is happening where youths are doing experiments, for example they use diapers.  They go to the dumping site and collect those diapers and start making drugs and end up drinking those drugs.  In the end they abuse their parents and kill them because they will be under the influence of drugs.  They must also see that as a country there is what we call peer pressure.  These children play together and end up imitating each other.  Even in schools, there are school children who are using drugs.  Parents will think that a child has gone to school but they do not get to school, they begin to use the drug after getting them using illegal means. 

          I want to thank the Government for working towards the eradication of this problem.  The Government has opened a youth bank - may that bank begin to function so that the youths can access loans to start doing their own projects so that they can get empowered through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises.  This will enable them to get proper help and stop abusing drugs.  Some of them come from decent homes but because of peer pressure, they end up into drug abuse.  We must see how best we can help our youths through the programmes being put by Government.  How best as Senate can we help our kids to improve their livelihoods so that they can desist from drug abuse? 

          Mr. President, right now there is a programme for Young People for Economic Development.  We must make sure that this programme  reaches all areas of the country so that our children get occupied rather than focusing on drugs.  I want to thank the Government because our President noticed that we have a problem of drug abuse in the country. It is no longer a small problem, the whole nation is affected, and there is now need for collective responsibility.  The President formed the Inter-Ministerial Committee which is responsible in seeing how best we can work as a nation to eradicate drug abuse.  When the problem of drug abuse began, many youths started to take these drugs and the President set a Committee to look into the issues and how children can be helped.  I am appealing to the Inter-Ministerial Committee to come   and inform this House on what they have done since its inception and how to eradicate the problem of drug abuse.  These youths and kids are the future leaders.  Thank you Mr. President. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President Sir, for affording me this opportunity. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Dube for raising this pertinent motion that our kids have been destroyed because of drugs.   Many parents are crying because our kids are indulging in very indecent activities due to influence of drugs. If you hear that there is someone who has been beaten or killed, during investigations, you will find out that the perpetrator is a drug abuser.  There are also rising cases of rape due to drug abuse.

          It is very painful; many people are being killed and raped by drug abusers.  Our kids use drugs, they are experimenting using those drugs.  They take a substance from those globes which we use for light.  If you see these kids when they are high on drugs, they will be laughing and talking to themselves.  You will see that this kid cannot control himself at all.  After they are affected by these drugs, they do not even check the road when crossing roads, the motorists will have to avoid hitting them.  When they are affected by these drugs, they will not be functioning properly.  Our kids are doing much of the bad behaviour because of drug abuse.

          There is another girl who was broadcast on social media, saying that I can leave prostitution but I cannot stop taking drugs because it is difficult to live without taking them.  When we look at the issue of rehabilitation facilities for drug abusers, it is very expensive to take your child to those facilities.  Sometimes these kids really need those facilities so that they can be helped to stop drug abuse but they cannot afford them.  These facilities are very expensive, hence kids end up continuing abusing drugs because they cannot just stop on their own.  They have nothing to do, so in the morning they just go out and sit on the bridges and start taking drugs because they will be stressed due to idleness.

          Right now we know about diapers and globes but they also know about tablets which they can take for them to be drunk.  There are also some people who are well established.  They import drugs into the country and these people are not apprehended by the law of the country.  Those who are caught by the law are the abusers only, those young people in the streets.  It means that there is corruption at the border post where these drugs get into the country.  These people import the drugs and distribute the drugs to our youths but they are not being caught by the police officers. 

          If you walk during the night and see some of the activities being done by the youths, you will be hurt because they will be under the influence of the drugs.   Some of them will be sleeping in the open, whether it is raining or it is sunny.  They do not feel anything because they will be under the influence of drugs.  Drugs are one of the problems slowly taking over the country.  Those who are importing drugs into the country must be arrested and be jailed because they are destroying the future of this country. These kids, under the influence of drugs end up raping, killing and doing all sorts of bad things.  When they are in jail, they will not be aware how they committed these crimes because they were under the influence of drugs.

          We have got a man called Zhandale who is abusing drugs.  He is raping and killing people.  I do not think a normal human being who is not under the influence of drugs can kill more than 20 people for nothing.  This person is being encouraged to perform those heinous crimes because of drugs.  There are some other illicit beers, coming from countries like Zambia and Mozambique, they must not be allowed in the country.  These beers and drugs are being taken by the kids and they end up in crimes under the influence of these substances.  Some school going children are being involved in drugs.

          There is a school in Zimbabwe, which has got school children who are abusing drugs.  They are encouraged to smoke or taste a little bit and then they do not know what they are doing.  They can do anything under the influence of these drugs.  Even girls are also involved in these drug abuses.  It is very painful because these girls are the future mothers of the country.  I do not know how best we can do to solve the issue of illicit drugs being imported into the country.  The problem is when these people approach the border post, they bribe relevant authorities on their way to cross the border.  Sometimes a person carrying drugs worth US$100 000, can bribe by giving the authorities US$5 000 and they will be released.  Those who are selling drugs must be given stiffer penalties. 

          Our children and even other men are performing different crimes under the influence of drugs.  Their behaviours in homes, schools and everywhere is uncalled for because they will be influenced by drugs.  In homesteads, gender based violence is being perpetuated by the use of drugs.  Sometimes as parents or as a couple, you can fail to communicate properly because the other partner will be under the influence of drugs.  Most of the times women end up killing husbands as a way of defence or the husband can kill his wife under the influence of drugs. 

We used to hear the issues of drug abuse happening in European countries but right now the issues have escalated to Africa and our country.  Many women are going to die because of drug abuse.  May Government intervene and help to fight the issue of drug abuse.  Many women are suffering because of drug abuse because they end up at the receiving end.  They are raped and killed as well.  Thank you Mr. President.

          ^ HON. SEN. MALULEKE:  Thank you Mr. President for awarding me this opportunity to add my voice on this pertinent motion raised by Hon. Sen. Dube.  This motion is very important because it is a motion on drug abuse. The issue of drug abuse is something which is discussed by other countries as a weapon to destroy Zimbabwe.  They saw it fit to use drugs on youths because these youths are the future leaders and parents of tomorrow. The issue started in other countries where they were singing and planning how best they can destroy our country.  It is very painful to the Head of State the President, the whole nation and us parents.

The issue of drug abuse is affecting the whole country and our future.  Today many youths are being eroded by the drugs. As elders, we are working for the future of our country and we must hand over this future to the youths.  Most of the youths in the country are involved in drug abuse activities. Today at Rainbow, I saw some youths who were under the influence of drugs.  These youths were showing signs that they do not know anything because they were under the influence of drugs. In Chiredzi, there is a spot were youths used to go and take drugs there. As Government, we must work to eradicate the use of drugs in our youths.  The future of our country is in the hands of our youths.

His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe saw it fit to put in place an Inter-ministerial Committee to deal with the issue of drug abuse because it is something which is affecting the whole country. These youths are no longer respectful to their elders.  They commit crimes and do not respect each other. They speak vulgar language and they are not respectful to their elders and fellow youths. 

I want to thank the committee members who dedicated themselves to work on this issue of drugs.  May this Committee work with people from all provinces and districts, teaching them on the negative effects of drug abuse.  I also encourage the Committee to come up with income generating projects aimed at assisting the youths to desist from drug abuse.  The Committee must also teach us how best we can educate our constituents when we get back to our homes.

One day I was listening to a South African radio station and there is someone who was found with drugs. When the law enforcement agencies apprehend perpetrators of drug abuse, they must ask them who send them. This will help in solving the issue of drug supplies.  Drug abuse is killing our country’s future. Drugs came hand in hand with sanctions; those who imposed sanctions on our country are trying to destroy our youths so that they do not talk about these issues. 

Mr. President, a country is called a country because of the youths who are there. The youths must inherit and lead in the future. These youths are the ones who are involved in drug abuse.  I thank the President of the country for intervening.  Let us all unite and fight the drug abuse and let us help the school children and the rest of the people to fight drug abuse.  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE:  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to debate on the issue of drug abuse by the youths.  It is very true, what is being articulated in this House.  It is a problem to us parents that you raise a child with the intentions that he will grow up and raise the family name but to no avail.  I want to say this is bad as we are losing a lot of our future leaders because of drugs.  It can be a boy or girl child.  Whatever is happening is not good.  We have parents who are being murdered by their children because of drugs. 

We have grandparents who are being murdered by their grandchildren under the influence of drugs.  Those who read newspapers, in Buhera last year, a boy murdered six people.  He confessed in court that he killed these people and admitted that he is addicted to drugs.  He murdered the people after coming from the beer hall.  Drugs lead to teenage pregnancies.  We passed the Marriages Bill and we are happy as this will encourage parents witnessing their children getting married so that they get lobola. If a child is under the influence of drugs they do not know the one who would have impregnated them.  As I stand here, there are three women who came to me asking for assistance to get birth certificates. They said they went to parties and drank beer, now they do not know the fathers of the babies because they were under the influence of drugs. 

          As leaders, we must encourage children to behave and not take drugs. As politicians, sometimes we use youths to campaign for us and give them money.  When they receive that money they go and buy drugs to carry out our instructions.  There is nothing bad in buying them beer but we must make sure that they do not take drugs, especially during election times.  Another sad story is that you now find those who are called ‘jersymen’ close to schools and universities selling marijuana to school children.

          Last week I lost my brother.  We bought some light bulbs so that there will be light.  The boys who helped us to take lounge suits and other things outside stole the light bulbs so that they extract mutoriro from the lights.  It is very painful, as elders we might work hard to develop our country but we will not have anyone to leave this country to if we do not teach our future generations that drugs are dangerous.  When parents die, if their children are into drugs they will sell everything that would have been left by the parents and buy drugs.  We must enact a law that bans the use of drugs and the sentences must be stiff. 

          We know that we are living in a global village and we know that we must align our laws to match that of our neighbourhood but we must   remember that we are Zimbabweans. If a person misbehaves, the rod must be used, it is very difficult to discipline a person that claims to know their rights.  We are here Hon. Senators because our parents used the rod to discipline us.  We cannot say we should not discipline our children now - everyone in this Senate is well behaved because our parents used the rod to discipline us and we are all alive, no one died from being beaten.  Disciplined children will be afraid to commit any acts of indiscipline because they fear the rod.  The other thing is that our country is under sanctions and there are no jobs. Most of our children just roam the streets because they do not have anything to do and they engage in all sorts of illegal activities.  As parents, we are also obliged to know the friends of our children.  There is a Shona saying that says rooranai vematongo, meaning to say that if you go and marry someone far away from you, you do not know their traits.  This is done because we will be coming from different backgrounds and towns, you will find that our culture differs as well.  What is more important is that children must be taught our cultural values. 

          In jails, it is not a good place to be because when youths are convicted and imprisoned you will find that instead of them reforming, they will come out hard core criminals because they will meet other hard core criminals there who will teach them to be even harder. Drugs are being sold everywhere, in police stations, and even teachers are conducting lessons under the influence of drugs.  As legislators, we must look at these drugs to see if there are any that are legal.

           I come from Mutare where they brew beer called ‘one day’, and when you drink it, you will become unaware of who you are.  You lose consciousness and some even burn down houses because of this brew.  Drugs also weaken the immune system of a person and leads to heath disorders. If you look at their teeth, they are decaying because of ‘bronco’, this is a flue drug; I think Hon. Sen. Dr. Parirenyatwa is aware of it.  They take it like tablets morning, afternoon and evening.  When they take that drug they lose consciousness, they cannot even do anything. 

          You cannot help them, even by giving them piece jobs because when you give them piece jobs, and when they take drugs, they will not be able to do anything. They sometimes even steal the tools they will be using to go and buy drugs. At the end of day, it is useless even in trying to help them. Stiffer penalties should be put in place especially on those that sell the drugs.  If we deal with these drug sellers then the youths will have nowhere to buy these drugs. 

          As we were growing up, there were places where marijuana was being sold, the police were always there trying to stop this. These days it is like it is no longer a crime because it is being sold everywhere.  Our elders used to take it once in a while for them to become intelligent; not often but here and there, they used it as medicine. People nowadays take it anytime.  Even the way our children are dressing these days, their clothes look tattered and their eyes are red.  A few weeks ago we met boys and girls fighting for a loaf of bread because of drugs. We are losing respect because of drugs.  In our constituencies, if we know of any cases of drug abuse, I think the law enforcement agencies must be informed about this.   They must be arrested and if they appear in court they must not be given short sentences so that this will deter would-be victims.  I think this is our biggest challenge because most of our children are engaging in drugs. So, as parents, it is our responsibility to put our heads together and deal with the issue of drugs once and for all.  Drugs will destroy our history, heritage and country.  Thank you Mr. President.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday 3rd May, 2022.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE AND COMMITTEES

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators, I would like to inform you all that the Senate is going to adjourn today.  What it means is that all Committee business will stand suspended until Monday 2nd May, 2022.

On the motion of the MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA) the Senate adjourned at Five Minutes Past Four o’clock  p.m. until Tuesday 3rd May, 2022.

 

 

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