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SENATE HANSARD 13 OCTOBER 2022 VOL 31 NO 74
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 13th October, 2022
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Today is Thursday; in the Senate we start with Questions Without Notice. I have a list here of Hon. Ministers who have tendered apologies and I will read out the list.
Hon. C. D. G. N. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. J. Mangwiro, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. J. G. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Hon. E. Ndlovu, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Prof. M. Ncube, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Prof. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Hon. K. Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Hon. K. Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. P. Mavima Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. S. Kanhutu-Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon. R. Modi, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon. V. P. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Hon. D. Marapira, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Hon. D. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Hon, C. Chiduwa, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. F. M. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Some of the Ministers never come to this House. We have never seen them.
PRE-BUDGET BREIFING SEMINAR
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to remind the Senate that there will be a Pre-Budget Briefing Seminar on Monday, 17th October, 2022 at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, Harare in the Main Auditorium.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to inform the House that Parliament of Zimbabwe is currently conducting a customer satisfaction survey. Head Hunters International was engaged to conduct the said survey on behalf of Parliament. The main objective of the survey is to solicit for feedback from all key stakeholders with regard to service delivery so that Parliament continuously improves processes to meet stakeholder requirements. In this regard, all Hon. Members are kindly requested to cooperate during the said exercise. Consultants from Head Hunters International will be administering questionnaires in the Members Dinning during sitting days and at the 2023 Pre-Budget Seminar. I thank you for your usual cooperation.
MINISTERS PRESENT IN THE HOUSE
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: In the Senate Chamber today, we have the Hon. Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa who is also the Leader of Government Business. We also have the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. F. Mhona. These two Ministers always come for Question Time and I would like to applaud you. Hon. Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. E. Moyo, again someone who comes regularly to this House. We commend you, the three Hon. Ministers.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
+HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President Sir. I would like to direct my question to the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa. It has been a long time…
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I am sorry I do not understand.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Maybe if you can try English.
HON. SEN. KHUMALO: I do not know English. I am afraid I will make too many blunders.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. E. Moyo will translate for you.
+HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Please, thank you very much Mr. President. I would like to direct my question to the Leader of the House. It has been a long time people seeking death certificates especially in Bulawayo. The question is that, crucial documents like death certificates which are necessary for the children of a bread winner who would have passed on, to get death certificates and to process different monies, if those documents are not found, you will find some children suffering. Hon. Minister, may you intervene so that this problem is addressed? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you very much. I am sure that question was for the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs. In his absence, I will answer that question from Hon. Sen. Khumalo, it is a very important question. Mr. President, you know that any kind of I.D is very important and the policy of the Government of the Second Republic is to make sure that our citizens do have access to their documents, be it a passport, birth certificate and also in this particular case death certificate. We know the importance of a death certificate as she rightly says that it is the only way those survivors can actually access whatever the deceased would have left.
In this particular case, as a policy of Government, we have actually decentralised. You have seen the Minister himself moving around addressing these issues and the mobile registration which is being carried out countrywide. We have actually made sure that certain areas which had been marginalised for a very long time, we made sure that there is at least mobile registration going on in those areas. Instructions have been given to the Ministry of Home Affairs that these documents which the citizens are entitled to are given to them without much delay.
Mr. President, I would like to know the area with that problem so that at least I can pass that information to the Minister of Home Affairs and that they deal with that problem as quickly as possible. The policy of Government is to make sure that all our citizens have access to birth certificates, death certificates and all other documents. Ooh she mentioned Bulawayo, so that is the place with that problem; it is because I was relying on my interpreter. I will pass on that information to the Registrar General to make sure that at least people access death certificates of their deceased relatives.
HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Mr. President, since I am talking about important documents, what mitigation measures can we put in place so that families can access monies from their deceased relatives’ work places? It is a dire situation, people are going hungry. They want to use the death certificates to get their birth certificates, money and other important documents.
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: I hear what Hon. Sen. Khumalo is saying that it is a dire situation and that they desperately need monies and other things. This is now a question of implementation but as a policy, I have explained clearly. I will pass on the information to the Registrar General so that he can see how he can deal with the issue. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Leader of the House. There are a lot of veld fires. Some people are being arrested but the laws are not punitive. There are a lot of people who are dying and some are dying trying to put out fires. What is Government’s plans regarding perpetrators of arson so that they get deterrent sentences and that such cases are expedited in courts because in traditional courts, we deal with such cases but we are not seeing justice happening in the magistrates courts? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Mr. President. I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Chundu for the pertinent question, particularly looking at this very week, those who watch television, Cabinet took quite some time looking at the effects of veld fires. Veld fires are now prevalent and there is loss of lives, property, wildlife and domestic animals. In the last few weeks, we saw in Matabeleland South, loss of lives. There were a lot of damages ranging from paddocks and we lost ten people; these are quite young people aged 20 to 50 years. We also noted that throughout the country, we have lost a lot of fields, some with wheat. As a country, we are proud of the wheat production and we are looking forward to have a good harvest but because of such fires, it is painful that people who perpetrate this arson are people who do so for very petty reasons like those who will be hunting for mice. As Hon. Sen. Chundu said, he is the custodian of the area, this is quite a painful issue, and our traditional leaders tell people not to start veld fires. You find old people losing their homes, 200 hectares of wheat was destroyed by fires. So, EMA through the Environmental Management Act which was enacted by Government and which looks at perpetrators of veld fires, that they are prosecuted. I understood what the chief said that traditional courts deal with these cases but when cases like those of arson are brought to the Magistrates Court, they are not dealt with in a just manner, especially considering that such people would have destroyed people’s lives and property.
This Act will have to be looked into so that it comes back to the august House to ascertain whether the law is prohibitive, but we need to ascertain whether the law is punitive enough so that when people have participated in arson, then they will be deterred by heavy sentences. Let me end by saying that I thank you Mr. President Sir, and I also thank Hon. Sen. Chief Chundu. I am going to engage the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi so that the Act should be looked at. Even the Attorney General should look at the law and the law will be brought to this august House so that it is reviewed or amended. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHUNDU: Hon. Minister you spoke well. Whilst we are waiting for the law to come to this august House, is there no provisional action that can be taken maybe through the Executive using the presidential powers because if presidential powers are used, you find people will be deterred from participating in arson. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Chundu who is really concerned with the issue of arson and we understand it. Cabinet is really seized with the matter. We spoke at length concerning the issue and the suggestion will be taken up to Cabinet but we emphasise and we understand this issue. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President. My question was supposed to be directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. However, I would like to direct the question to the Leader of the House. We are heading towards the rainy season and we are not seeing the different activities that are normally done by farmers. The fear is, will people be able to farm this year like what they normally do? We have heard that the President is going to distribute Pfumvudza inputs, so what is the Ministry of Lands doing so that the prices of inputs are reviewed or that people can afford such prices? Sometimes there is need for surety and you find people getting 120% interest for loans – I do not think it is viable. Thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe for his pertinent question regarding the rainy season. Indeed, we are in October and he expects to see the Ministry of Lands preparedness towards the farming season, not only for Pfumvudza beneficiaries but for the rest of our commercial farmers, A1 and A2 and other big farmers. Let me say that food security in our country is quite important to our Government. Every Tuesday in Cabinet, the Minister of Agriculture gives a report to demonstrate his preparedness towards a successful farming season so that there is food security in Zimbabwe.
Firstly, there is the Pfumvudza initiative which the distributions are already ongoing so that when people have started cultivation – when rains come they will be prepared. We know that the Land Bank and Agribank is busy assisting those who use tractors during land preparation. We also note the issue of loans which is being looked at by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development through the Land Bank. We are looking forward to farmers being assisted. Money might not be enough to cater for all the farmers.
We do not want to import food from other countries. Zimbabwe is capable of producing wheat. We have produced a lot of wheat and we have surpassed the period since 2004 where we have been harvesting 2/3 months of wheat but this year we have surpassed that standard. This means this year we are not going to import but our foreign currency, instead of importing will be used for other purposes in Zimbabwe. So because of that, when looking at our staple food which is maize, we want to plough enough maize so that people would not die of hunger.
Let me also say that because we have tilled our land and we expect to have a bountiful harvest, this is important to us. In the past season because of Pfumvudza, we had grain reserves. Right now as a country, we do not want to import because we have grain reserves of what we got during the past year.
So Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe, I would like to promise you that Government is seized with the matter of agriculture and a lot is happening. This is quite important because I believe that the Minister of Lands, Dr. Masuka should come with a ministerial statement to this august House explaining everything that is happening and the state of affairs regarding the preparedness of his Ministry.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Leader of the House for the response. The problem is banks because the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is charging 120% interest rate. In addition to that, some equipment was looted at some farms after the Land Reform Programme because we do not have title deeds which are required by banks for us to access loans. Most of the people that have housing stands in urban areas were built through cooperatives and they do not have title deeds. What are people going to do to produce enough food because people are going to starve and they will not be able to farm because they do not have title deeds that are required by our very own banks?
*HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: This is not a supplementary question but a totally new and different question which is very important. We are going to request the Minister of Agriculture to come, respond and clarify on these issues. The issues that were raised include prohibitive interest rates that are a hindrance for people to access funding from the banks. The other issue that was raised is collateral. Most of the people who are into agriculture do not have the requisite collateral such as title deeds. I hope that the Minister of Agriculture will come into this House to respond to those issues and cover all those points.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Could you explain or update the House on the strategies and plans being implemented by Government through your Ministry to improve access to quality, equitable and inclusive education as envisaged in NDS1 by disenfranchised populations that are found in remote places and overcrowded places in urban areas.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): The mandate of the Ministry is to provide quality, equitable and inclusive education to the population of Zimbabwe. Government, through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, is doing everything possible to achieve that. I will just enumerate a few things that we do to achieve that equity, quality and inclusivity.
First of all, our enrolment policy is an open one, right from ECD up to ‘A’ level and we do not bottle-neck at any point in our system. That is on access. Coming to quality education, we have rolled out competence based curriculum which is intended to transform our education system from the yesteryear learning where we emphasised on remembering to a situation where we are concentrating mainly on problem solving, analysis and innovation. Our philosophy in education at the moment is science, technology and innovation. All that embraces what I have spoken about in terms of quality.
You cannot have quality education without quality teachers and we also have a staff development programme or human resources development programme supported by Government partners where our teachers go for upgrading to different universities where they acquire degrees particularly in the sciences where we have a huge deficit of teacher supply. Such universities include Bindura University, University of Zimbabwe, National University of Science and Technology – these are some of the examples where human capital development is being done.
The other element is on the use of ICTs. We know that with the advent use of ICTs, they have become very important. We know that our connectivity is not universal in the country but we are trying to partner with service providers so that access to internet is provided. With the collaboration and working together with the Ministry of ICT, we have seen the rollout of ICT gadgets in our school system. It is a slow process but we will get there.
Coming to equity, the issue of equity becomes very important where we want to equalise opportunities to our children in both rural and urban areas. Currently, on the ICT front, you will see that a lot of issuance of ICT gadget is happening largely in the rural areas where there are underprivileged communities. That is where it is mainly happening. The Ministry is also in collaboration with other partners producing textbooks which help particularly the disadvantaged communities so that they have access to textbooks.
Our schools are divided into three categories. The primary school sector is divided into three categories where there are P3 schools. These are very rural and disadvantaged schools. Then we have P2 schools – P stands for primary and 2 is a code talking to the geography of the school. These are peri-urban schools and also western suburbs schools. Then we have the P1 schools, these are largely in the former Group A schools that are largely elite. We concentrate very much on the P3 side of schools and these are the schools that are receiving a number of complimentary grants where if parents are constructing a school and they reach a particular level and after prioritisation, they are given grants. We are currently giving grants to such schools to compliment the efforts of parents in the construction of schools.
When schools are being built, communities contribute monies and Government also gives grants and our partners also give grants. We have, as a Ministry, also invited partners to come into the education sector in the provision of infrastructure, we have churches, private individuals and trusts coming in. These are some of the efforts to achieve quality, equitable and inclusive education.
On the inclusive part, we are also aware that in our school system, we have included in our curriculum, all the languages that have been included in our Constitution. You find that those communities whose languages were marginalised previously are now included in the school system by way of curriculum including their languages. Our children from ECD to lower levels like Grade 2 are taught in their local mother tongue and that is a way of including them. Yes, it might not have reached 100% but all efforts and those small steps every year, we are trying to achieve to achieve that goal. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MANYAU: The Minister spoke of inclusive education - are you aware that with regards to inclusive education, children are disadvantaged because of their different abilities. Many schools are now doing away with special classes. You will find that where there is a class of 50 pupils, it is not possible for slow learners or mentally challenged pupils to be able to cope with the rest of the class. They are being put in classes that are not proper. Some of them are being placed in very bad classrooms, for example in Norton, they were put in a storeroom. In Chinhoyi, I heard that pupils who understand sign language were gathered in a classroom where there is no learning because the teacher does not even know sign language. So as Government, is there any follow-up that you are making? Is the inclusive education that you talk about working or the children are just being taken hostage by force?
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you very much Mr. President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Manyau for the follow-up question. People with intellectual challenges, largely in a school system, are screened. Our Ministry runs from head office up to district level. We have got a department called Learner Welfare Special Needs Education Department. So, they are supposed to screen learners for intellectual disabilities so that special classes are created and then special strategies that are commensurate with those incapabilities are then attended to by special teachers.
Our special teachers are trained, largely at United College of Education in Bulawayo. Yes, granted we are not so many as to satisfy the needs in the country. However, in our Inclusive Education Policy, our teachers are expected to do some targeted teaching so that they do not leave anyone behind in their teaching strategies. However, those with severe challenges are then supposed to be taken to special institutions where specialists and perhaps peers are present and then those can be assisted.
There is the issue of the hard of sight children, some can see but they cannot see properly. One of the strategies that we have for those challenges is the enlarged print. That enlarged print is applied for. Last week we assisted some two students at Solusi Secondary School with a similar problem through our Learner Welfare and Special Needs Department. Once those difficulties are identified, we encourage that the heads of schools notify our offices and then a budget is always provided by Treasury every year for devices to assist those who are not so hard-hit and those who are so hard-hit are expected to be housed in special institutions.
In the case of examinations, when grade 7, form four and form six students are being entered for examination purposes, they are supposed to indicate the number of students who require large print and then ZIMSEC provides that large print. I thank you.
HON. SEN. C. NDLOVU: Thank you Hon. President. Hon. Minister, you talked about ICT devices which are being distributed in schools. Do you have percentages or figures of how many schools have received those devices in rural areas, especially so that we know we are not leaving anyone behind?
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you very much Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I may not have figures. I would not want to thumb-suck figures as I will be saying the wrong things. However, from a cursory point of view, what I would say is, there is some distribution taking place. I think it is significant in some cases. I will cite an example; about a month or two ago when the President was opening the Beitbridge Border Post where 10 schools were chosen from across Matabeleland South and each one given 30 computers. I know it is happening and last week I think they were in Manicaland. Also some schools benefited from that exercise but I cannot give the percentage but we are walking towards that.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. My supplementary question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is that you mentioned that you are looking at quality education at each and every primary school. How do you then achieve quality education where we still have schools that are built with dagga and others using old farm houses as classrooms?
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Hon. Sen. Mohadi. Yes, we have in the country some schools whose infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired but I would like to focus more on what we are doing to eradicate that than to magnify it. It is a problem yes, but every year we are putting into action some programmes to address those problems. Going to Mashonaland Central, I think it is Mbire District, we saw a few years ago those kinds of schools but some proper classroom blocks have already been built in some of those schools. Yes, we still have a deficit but we are walking the journey.
We also want to encourage our local authorities to also use devolution funds for the construction of those schools because education is a very important service to our communities. So, all funds, CDF funds, MPs should come on board and also assist in those areas so that it becomes everybody’s responsibility to ensure that quality infrastructure is provided and therefore quality education. We have a deficit of over 3 000 schools currently and some effort is being done to reduce that deficit but it requires that all of us put our shoulders to the wheel to ensure that we achieve that level of quality through various funds that we have within our communities. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. What is the state of preparedness for the nation to end violence like the violence that happened at Mupedzanhamo so that people are confident that during the 2023 elections there will be peace? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Mr. President. I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for that pertinent question regarding the nation’s preparedness to a peaceful nation without violence. The Government did a good job and had a workshop in Kadoma with both the public and private media and political parties in order to come up with a charter regarding reporting and positive portrayal of issues, which is based on facts. This brings harmony and is quite an important issue. We know that as media, we have a responsibility of educating, informing and entertaining people. With that in mind, towards the 2023 General elections, we urge those who will be participating in elections to speak words that are constructive and not words that destroy. Everyone should give factual information, without lying and insulting others, especially considering the election period.
Our police will continue training so that they can apprehend culprits who should go through the court process. They should be prosecuted to stop violence. As Zimbabweans, we are a very peaceful nation. We are known for being peaceful and we urge people to continue being peaceful. We do not want violence. Elections are something that we agreed as a nation. They must not bring violence because when there is unity, the nation will have economic development. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Mines but during his absence, I would ask my question to the Leader of Government of Business. In Chegutu, there are reports of the “mashurugwi” or people who move around with machetes. Does Government know about these “mashurugwis?” Are they Zimbabweans or they are people from outside Zimbabwe? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Moeketsi for her question which shows that she is concerned with what is happening in Chegutu. I believe the issue of machetes is something that we have read about. I do not know whether it only happens in Chegutu but we have heard reports from different parts like Kwekwe and other areas. This is a painful issue for the people of Zimbabwe who are known for being peaceful and for respecting the sanctity of life. What really has changed in our ethos as a people? We continue educating people that we need to value human lives. These issues I believe are specific. There is need to specify the areas so that police is deployed to such areas. The Government policy is that anyone who uses a machete is committing a crime. One life is important just like the lives of many. Government policy is that this issue should be stopped forthwith and eliminated from our society, a society which is known for uniting people and respecting human lives. I do not think that this is an issue of mines but this is an issue of violence and lack of respect of human life among illegal panners. The Ministries of Home Affairs and Mines have to work together in order to eliminate this issue. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you very much Mr. President Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs but because he is not available, I will direct my question to the Leader of Government Business who had a very busy day today. Mr. President Sir, after the 2018 elections, various observer missions - including the Common Wealth, the EU, SADC, AU and even the Motlante Commission, made specific recommendations about reforms that were needed to make Zimbabwe’s elections free, fair and credible. Has the Government done anything about these recommendations? If so, what is it that the Government has done seeing that we are going into elections in 2023?
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you very much Mr. President Sir. I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Mwonzora for that important question. I am surprised Hon. Sen. Mwonzora is not aware of what Government has done, being a member of POLAD himself. I just want to say after 2018 elections, various observer missions, especially the Motlante Commission made recommendations. There has been an Inter-Ministerial Committee which has been looking at all those recommendations. Each particular institution of Government has been given their part, for example has been training. I talked about it earlier. They have been training on how to deal with people during elections. There has been training of media, training of our journalists on how to report during elections. ZEC themselves have a lot which they are doing to just make sure that at least our elections will flow smoothly. There has been a lot which has been done to make sure that we have gone through all those specific recommendations and as I said, every institution which had some work to do in order to make some improvements, that has been given to them. There has been a lot more training, just making sure everyone is ready to carry out their tasks, their mandate, to make sure that at least we have got free, fair and credible elections as we go to 2023. I thank you.
Questions without notice interrupted by the HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 67.
HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Hon. President, I move that Question Time be extended by 30 minutes.
HON. SEN. PHUGENI: I second.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Komichi, I will only allow an extension of 15 minutes.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Minister, I want to thank you for the answer to my question, but in your answer, you concentrated on the training that is being done to law enforcement agents, but some of the recommendations include specific measures to make sure that all Zimbabweans are enfranchised and some of the recommendations are that Zimbabweans who were hurt or harmed as a result of violence that emanated from elections be compensated. Has this been done, if so what has been done?
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you very much Mr. President. I think that is a very specific question. I think he has got more information and I advise Hon. Sen. Mwonzora to put it in writing to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Mwonzora, can you put your question in writing and direct it to the responsible Minister.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you very much Mr. President Sir.
*HON. SEN. MANYAU: Thank you Mr. President. My question goes to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, but since she is not in the House, my question will go to the Leader of Government Business. As people with disabilities, we are affected by the issue of drug abuse. People with disabilities take drugs not because they want to but because they are trying to run away from the reality that they are facing in their lives. As Government, are there strategies to deal with those with disabilities against taking drugs?
If you address this issue just like what you do with the youth on the issue of drug abuse, it is actually different because they have different reasons why they are engaging in drug abuse.
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Manyau for a very important question. It is a very touching question on the issue of those who are living with disabilities who are being seen taking drugs. The issue of drug abuse in the country is a topical issue. It is a troubling issue in our country. We are actually wondering that as a country, what exactly is it we are supposed to do. We are supposed to put our heads together so that we come up with a sustainable solution against those who are abusing drugs. Some are university going people, others are elders in the community and others are those living with disabilities. We are a concerned Government because this has reached alarming levels as a country.
There was an inter-ministerial committee created to focus on the issue of drug abuse in the country by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. The inter-ministerial committee is meant to look into the issue of drug abuse and what we can do to get rid of that; also looking at the issue of how drugs are getting into this country.
We are also looking at youth, why they are taking drugs. Are there any strategies such as rehabilitation that we can have youth being taken to these rehabilitation centres? Some men are beating up their women after having taken these hard drugs such as mutoriro and guka. We are having a lot of school dropouts as a result of these squabbles emanating from drug abuse. We have teen pregnancies on the streets as a result of these drugs.
As a Government, we are also looking at rehabilitation centres. One of the problems is that some of the rehabilitation centres that we have in the country are very expensive. Government is looking into the issue to say what can be the sustainable solution. We are actually creating employment so that we remove them from this drug abuse system. Their mental health is now a concern. Most of the problems we are seeing being experienced by the youth are actually mental health issues. There is no psychological mental stability with our youth nowadays.
Just like she mentioned, taking drugs is a way of escaping from their problems as most of the youths are refusing to face the reality in their lives. What they are actually doing instead is taking drugs as a solution. The reason is that after taking drugs, they spend quite a number of days away from the problems they see.
This inter-ministerial committee will get in and focus on what the problem really is. They will also look into those with disabilities, assist them, and understand fully how they can be assisted as a people. Their problem is actually different from those who are not disabled. So, we will research more into their issue. We are willing to assist as a Government. It is an issue that is of concern to the Government. We are actually hands on working there to establish what exactly can be done. An enemy can actually use those drugs to disturb the health of our youth, disturb their growth development as a people. This is an issue that the Government is looking into with urgency.
Minister Mavima will look into the issue to say those with disabilities, how can they be assisted, what kind of sustainable solutions can be given to those people so that everyone who has got such a problem will get assistance. I thank you.
HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Hon. President. This country has experienced serious crimes committed by armed robbers, serial killers, rapists and many crimes. These criminals have their rights and they are protected by the State. My question is; these particular criminals that I have mentioned have been given bails, these armed robbers. Today the country is aware of Job Sikhala, Godfrey Sithole and others; is this not a violation of their rights? Is this not selective application of the law and the Constitution? Zimbabweans want to know how the Government is tackling this matter. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. Firstly, let me start by indicating that the question that I am being asked is that I am being asked to interrogate judicial decisions which according to the Constitution, I do not have a right to interrogate neither do I have a right to question them when a judgement is passed. Even when I question, you also indicate that the Minister is now interfering with their area of jurisdiction. However, sometimes I comment as an ordinary citizen who is just aggrieved but not to say that I can get into details of asking why you are giving this particular decision and why you are not doing this particular decision.
However, my understanding is that you are on bail on a specific case and there are conditions that are attached to that. If you violate your bail conditions then the bail will not be granted should you commit another offence. That is the general principle. The individual so concerned, my understanding which I just read, not to say that I was schooled by the Judiciary from going to ask about judicial decision but that is not my duty; the decision of the courts was on the basis of the fact that a bail was granted, bail conditions were violated and that is the reason to deny bail.
Over and above that Mr. President, I would not be very competent to question their decision. A judge or a magistrate, when they are dealing with a case, even their superiors cannot even direct them. They must enjoy their independence when they are dispensing that particular case. So, I submit that the general rule or advice is for us not to play politics but to follow court rules when we are in courts and then when we are outside or in this august House, we can then use the rules that pertain to what we do here. When we are in court, sometimes as politicians, we must refrain from abusing the courts for political expedience. I thank you.
Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 67.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 5 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 6 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 5 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 6 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2021
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for the year 2021 presented to this House of Parliament in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I submit.
Motion put and agreed to.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): People are happy with it. Thank you Mr. President Sir. This is a constitutional requirement that our Independent Commissions must submit reports to Parliament and I am very happy that the Senate has taken note of the report and I so move that...
HON. KOMICHI: On a point of order Mr. President. We are all shocked Hon. President – where is the report? Can we be given time to look at the report? It will be very unfair even for you Hon. Minister. So I suggest that we be given time to debate this in our next session. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Okay Mr. President. I therefore move that the debate do now adjourn. Thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 18th October, 2022.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the Senate adjourned at Six Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 18th October, 2022.