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SENATE HANSARD 14 JUNE 2022 VOL 31 NO 48

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBAWE

Tuesday, 14th June, 2022

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

PRAYERS

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

          ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

CHANGES TO THEMATIC COMMITTEES MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I wish

to inform the Senate of the following changes to Thematic Committees membership:

(a)  Hon. Sen. E. Baipai moved from the Thematic Committee on HIV and Aids to the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security;

(b)  Hon. Sen. T. Chisorochengwe moved from the Thematic Committee on HIV and Aids to the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development; and

(c)  Hon. Sen. S. Cheza moved from the Thematic Committee on Human Rights to the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  I move that Orders of the Day,

Numbers 1 to 5 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 6 has been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SCHEMES TO REDEEM THE NATIONAL HERD FROM DEVASTATING AND DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the effects of

drought on the national herd in the dry regions of the country.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. DENGA:  Thank you Hon. President.  I also want to add my voice to the motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. Dube on the issue of challenges being faced by people and wildlife in this country.

          Hon. President, we request the Government, through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to puts in place policies that will address the issue of the challenges that people and animals are facing in Regions Four and Five which has resulted in the loss of animals, leaving people with nothing to survive on.  Most people in rural areas survive on farming, and their domestic animals – such animals require water and pasture.   For the people to survive, they need water because water is life, and they also need water for their irrigation purposes.  So our request is that Government assists, through the Ministry.  We know that in these regions, there are rivers that cannot keep a lot of water.  We therefore request that measures be put in place for the construction of dams like what is happening in other provinces where there is irrigation.  Through these dams, there can be irrigation that can produce fodder for the animals or produce that humans can consume. 

Mr. President, if you look at regions such as Matabeleland North and South, Masvingo and areas like Chivi, Mwenezi, Beitbridge, and some parts of Manicaland; there is not enough rainfall.  In Mashonaland East, if you look at areas like Mudzi and Mutoko, most of those areas have rivers but they cannot retain water for long.  So we request that Government looks into the matter to ensure that people in those areas, since they survive on their domestic animals, be assisted.

Hon. President, I am also of the opinion that in areas that are close to these provinces, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement should investigate on areas that are suitable for growing grass so that they can bale the grass which will then be transported to areas where there is no grass and fodder for their livestock.  As the Hon. Minister was speaking here in the Senate, he alluded to the fact that permits are being awarded to companies that are into livestock feed production to enable them to import raw materials from outside the country for animal feed.  Our request is that the Hon. Minister expedites this process.

Mr. President, you are aware that people do not have disposable income to buy such food with the high prices.  So we look forward to the Government subsidising for this feed which will enable us to restock, and also enable us to get cheaper meat because the cost of beef has gone up. It is as if we are importing beef.  This is not the livestock we used to get from Cold Storage Commission.  It will also enable us to get foreign currency as we export beef to the European Union and also Egypt and other Asian countries will also import their meat from Zimbabwe.  So we request that the Government look into this matter because it is an issue that can bring sustenance to our country.  However, we also realise that when we do our budget, this is an issue that is rarely looked into.

On the issue of livestock, the Government should ensure that the dip tanks are available and at the right time because in other areas in the past months, some livestock would go for four months without being dipped.  Now we see that there is progress as livestock is being dipped every week.  Most of the diseases that livestock is exposed to is encountered because the dipping system was not being done regularly.  I request the Government to look into this so that our livestock can be dipped every week.  With these few words, I would like to thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Dube who brought this important motion.  I have a few words because a lot was said by my colleagues. I would like to talk about the challenges being faced by our livestock.  Mr. President, in this country, we faced challenges through droughts that occur and have an impact on people as well as livestock.  In the past years, we faced challenges in terms of livestock diseases.  It is now the fifth year recording of the number of cattle dying because of diseases and the national herd is now a challenge. 

As a Government, we delayed the process of addressing this issue.  Most people in this country no longer have livestock and this has been recurring over the years.  As I speak, the Government has delayed in addressing this issue and we have failed to address it so that it does not continue.  Livestock is like the people’s bank because if a person has livestock, they can sell it to buy food and even pay school fees for their children.  So most people lost their banks and it was worsened by the drought; it has made life unbearable for the people.  My request is that the department that looks into the welfare of livestock be capacitated.  Most people ended up using poles from their cattle kraals as firewood and they no longer have livestock for draught power to enable them to farm.  Others are also failing to pay school fees for their children because they have no other sources of income. 

So, my request is that people who look into the welfare of livestock should be aware of such issues and should be proactive.  If we cannot address or have no idea on how we can address the issue of diseases affecting our cattle, we can obtain that knowledge from outside the country.  The people of Zimbabwe look up to the Government to address such issues and right now with the challenges people are facing in both urban and rural areas, we are in trouble.  There is also drought that has resulted in hunger and poverty. 

Most of the people in farms are not producing, they only engage in farming for their own sustenance.  So our request is that we come up with measures to curb issues of loss of livestock and also issues of drought.  For example, construction of dams will be helpful when there is drought where farmers can engage in irrigation farming to sustain livelihoods.  Mr. President, I humbly request that as we have water that flows along the Zambezi River, what if we come up with an initiative to dig a trench from the Zambezi River and divert the flow of water, it can be 40kms to 50kms so that we bring water into the country.  After a period of 10 years, that water will be flowing to as far as Harare. 

So our request is that the relevant ministries look into that, it is not a one-day project but if we take it upon ourselves that we dig maybe 20 metres to 50 metres, we will surely get to Harare after some years.  That water can have tributaries that will serve different areas.  Those are measures that will alleviate the poverty and address issues of hunger and drought.  Even as our children grow up, they will also appreciate what the Government will have done and we will have left a legacy that they can look back on and applaud us for the work done.  However, right now the situation we have, where we do not have a plan of where we are going to get water is not ideal.  Let us harness water from the Zambezi River.  Some countries are doing that and they are surviving yet we are not doing anything.  It is something that the Government can do; it is not a once-off initiative but it can be done over a period of time.  I thank you Mr. President.

ÙÙHON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President.  First and foremost, I would like to thank Hon. Sen. A. Dube who introduced the motion to this august House.  Allow me to express my concern on the drought that affects our livestock in region 5.

Mr. President, the drought that affects our livestock is the same as the drought that affects human beings.  Region 5 is one of the regions that receives very little rainfall.  This is below the average rainfall that a region should receive annually.   In region 5, the boreholes do not have sufficient water and the water table is very low.  Even though they dig boreholes that are more than 100 metres deep they are not able to reach the water table at times.  The livestock in region 5 are also affected by the water table.  This causes a challenge to the livestock because there are a lot of problems when it comes to getting water.  Even the people in region 5 appear as if they rear their livestock for business because it is impossible for them to do crop cultivation in those areas.  From their fields they just harvest a little that they can just consume with their families. 

When it comes to livestock in Matabeleland region, it is now a business because that is where they get a little income, enough for their families.  Even the pastures for the livestock are not that good.  As I am speaking right now, the livestock are in danger of dying from drought.  We are kindly appealing for assistance in the cultivation of banner grass in region 5, not only banner grass but even fodder crops.  These can boost the livestock feeds, especially during the dry season where the food for the livestock is limited.  How can this be done since we mention that the issue of water is also a challenge?  There is Zhove Dam and Manyange Dam in Gwanda. There should be piped water that assists in irrigation schemes.  People cannot only irrigate fodder crops but they can also include farming crops to feed their families.  I also appeal to the Government to provide us with supplementary feeding.  This can be brought to places that are closer to people so that people who have funds can buy supplementary feeds for their livestock during this drought season.

In areas like Chivi which is region 5, there is need to create water sources to harvest water so that the little rainfall that they receive can be harvested and conserved in these water sources so that people can use and also provide their livestock with drinking water.  There are some rivers that cannot store water.  People dig shallow wells along the river banks so that they can get clean water for both domestic uses and for their livestock. 

We are also appealing that new dams be set up in region 5.  This could ease the shortage of water because it is impossible for the shortage of water to be totally eradicated.  This could help the people in region 5 to make sure that they do not lose much of their livestock to drought.  If you look closely you will find out that in the past two years there was drought.  People had now large herds of livestock amounting to around 300 to 500 cattle.  Currently, no one owns such large herds of cattle.  People lost most of these during the drought, now some have nothing and others have around 50 to 100 cattle left.  There is no business that people can do because the herds that are left are only for feeding the family.  If everything was in order as before the drought, they could sell some of their livestock to raise income for businesses and slaughter some for food.  We are appealing to the Government that this situation in Matabeleland be looked into closely. 

One other issue is that these herds of cattle can be provided with doses of vaccines as per the farmers’ calendar.  This is possible if livestock vaccines can be provided in the nearest veterinary stores.  This includes cattle dipping because cattle are supposed to be dipped after every two weeks.  However, it is impossible because our farmers do not have money to go and purchase these medicines.  The basic vaccines like costico vaccine are supposed to be readily available to farmers.  Farmers are supposed to follow their beef calendar so that their herds are not affected by livestock disease outbreaks

Mr. President, I can say a lot because I also reside in region 5 and I know that life in region 5 is difficult.  The economy in region 5 is based on livestock.  It is difficult because in the field they do not harvest much and with the issue of climate change, it has made it even harder because it is even affecting livestock production.  In those areas that I mentioned, there is need to take care of livestock.  Most of their livestock are dying almost each and every year.  This is caused by the drought which is caused by climate change that is an eminent issue.  With these few words, I thank you Hon. President.  This is a motion I feel we should support because people that are staying in region 5 can also get assistance.  I thank you for the opportunity.

          +HON. SEN. D. M. NDLOVU: I would like to thank Hon. Sen. A. Dube for moving such a pertinent motion regarding livestock because I believe that livestock suffer more than people because they do not have an alternative. Whilst people can go to shops to buy food, livestock do not have an option, the only thing that is left is for livestock to die. If there is not enough water, where at times some dams are silted, livestock die in such muddy dams while the owners are watching.  As there is no cavalry, livestock stuck in muddy dams end up dying and people will only discover bones and carcasses whilst human beings are much better as they do not die of hunger but there are several ways of alleviating hunger and poverty.

In most communities, there are donors and even Government departments that give food aid. At times during a drought season, you find Government distributing grain and other commodities. In the past, we have faced drought. Even when people were consuming yellow maize and they did not die but with livestock, it is very painful because they only survive on grazing and browsing. They only drink water from the rivers or dams and do not have an option. For us human beings, even other countries which have bilateral relations with Zimbabwe can chip in to sink boreholes in different areas but for animals, there is no other way.

To me, I believe that the suffering that is faced by livestock is more serious than what people go through because we receive donations as human beings and food aid whilst animals do not have such aid. So, I appreciate that such a motion has been moved – [Part of speech not recorded due to power outage] –

I would like to thank Hon. Sen. A. Dube for taking note of the importance of livestock. In the past, there was this common adage that without livestock then you are not a man and you do not have a bank. For those who were farmers with bigger kraals, they were considered to have bankable wealth. So, for wildlife, it is important to note that wildlife can be consumed just like domestic animals. Some have various purposes like their skins, horns or hooves can be used for different things, especially in various traditional ways. Now we ignore such important tasks. It is important that we recognise our livestock as well as our wildlife, particularly the provision of water.

Even if it is determined that we can sink a metre so that we reach 100 m, so that we can get water for our livestock, then we have to do that. We find some people who smoke throwing cigarette stubs in bushes and at the end of the day, wild fires spread, depriving our livestock and wild animals of pasture. As people, it is our responsibility and we are at fault because we are depriving our livestock. You find some gold panners who at times scoop water from rivers so that they access gold depriving our livestock of their water. This is because of our actions, mostly illegal actions affecting livestock.

 As Hon. Senators, if we take up this challenge that was brought to this august House by Hon. Sen. Dube, then it would be prudent that we work together so that our wildlife and livestock is catered for, especially looking at their livelihoods. The maker knows why he created different things, even the smallest ant has a particular use in the ecosystem. With these few words, I would like to thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.

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

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th June, 2022.

MOTION

POLICIES THAT ADDRESS AND PLUG LOOPHOLES RELATED TO TAX EVASION

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on policies that address and plug loopholes on tax evasions, illicit financial flows and corruption.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th June, 2022.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 50TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HOSTED VIRTUALLY BY THE KINGDOM OF LESOTHO

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 50th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum hosted virtually by the Kingdom of Lesotho from 10th to 12th    December 2021.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th June, 2022.

MOTION

MEASURES TO RESUSCITATE THE ECONOMY

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

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. President Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support the motion which was moved by Sen. A. Dube. This is a very important motion regarding the resuscitation of our economy as a nation which came about as a result of COVID-19, that culminated in businesses failing to thrive under the prevailing conditions. The lockdown era affected a lot of small to medium enterprises because most of them survived on importing goods which were for resale to local customers. Vendors survived on plying their trade in the streets. Even the suspension of intercity travel and other transport operators affected their businesses. Those who are in communities who were not able to access inputs like fertilizers and seeds could not carry out their business activities properly. This did not only affect them but also transporters who depended on transport for their livelihoods.

One area which I believe was affected drastically is the tourism sector, with a lot of hotels which are not operating resulting in the loss of employment for most of the people who were employed in the tourism sector.  From 2020 to 2021, most hotels were closed but what we note is that with the reopening of such businesses, these tourism operators have not recovered but it is important that they pay for their licences which are expensive and beyond their reach.  In that regard, the Government should consider the tourism players so that licences are reduced.  Such licences to operate tourism facilities are very expensive and beyond the reach of most local business people.  With regards to that, I would like to implore Government to intervene so that permits are affordable. 

In the past two years, we did not receive adequate rains and this has resulted in a lot of our dams not being able to supply major towns.  In the past year, a lot of people tilled their land in anticipation for the rain season but the rains did not come as anticipated.  This has brought drought.  I would like to implore the Minister of Finance to look into the food security of our nation, particularly the provision of grain.  The Minister of Agriculture should also consider intervening so that our people do not suffer the effects of drought.  There is need also for the sinking of boreholes in different communities and dams so that people who are in peripheral areas are able to access water.  In every village, it is important that a borehole is sunk so that there will not be congestion in the few boreholes that are there (Part of speech not recorded due to power outage.)

I was talking about the shortage of water in different communities and I was saying that the Hon. Minister should look into the issue so that boreholes are sunk in every village for the benefit of people and livestock.  I would also like to appreciate the fact that in the previous Budget Presentation, the Hon. Minister spoke about the funding of sinking boreholes in different communities.  I believe this is already happening, particularly in areas like Matabeleland which are dry areas and the water table is very low.  This is drastically affecting the economy of Zimbabwe which then prompts us as this  august House to look into this issue that our communities would be found benefiting from such initiatives.  I propose that the Minister of Finance looks for funds for food aid for different communities.

I live in Nyamandlovu in Matabeleland North.  You find that 300 km from our area, elephants are moving into communities in search of food and during the process they destroy people’s silos and other facilities - which is now affecting people’s livelihoods.  The provision of water in different areas will not just benefit people but our wildlife.  With these few words, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity.

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

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th June, 2022.

MOTION

EFFORTS TO CURB CORRUPTION

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

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday 15th June 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

          Eleventh 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. KAMBIZI:  Thank you Mr. President.  With your indulgence Mr. President, I intend to round off the debate on this motion which talks about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions on HIV/AIDS service delivery.  It is true that the lockdown restrictions impacted negatively on service delivery due to restrictions in movement to an extent that even the patients that were supposed to be moving from point A to B to access their services could not do so because of the restrictions.  However, as I stand here, I am quite happy that restrictions have been eased and service delivery has resumed and is now moving smoothly.  It is only proper that I also thank all the Hon. Members of this House who debated this motion extensively.  On that note, I move for the adoption of the motion that this House takes note of the 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.

           Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

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

          Twelfth Order readAdjourned debate on motion on the Implementation of the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) - Roll – Out Programme

          Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI:  Thank you Mr. President. It is quite true that the antiretroviral therapy roll-out programme was adversely affected during the period that we are talking about in that the antiretroviral drugs were in short supply as resources had to be channeled towards COVID-19.  Due to the shortage of supply, most of the patients suffered drastically.  There was also no secrecy to people who were supposed to be receiving their retroviral drugs.  As they moved from point A to B, they had to carry with them letters that approved their movement and as they got to the road blocks, the police manning the roadblocks demanded those letters to see if the person was genuinely moving from point A to B.  However, I am also quite happy that COVID-19 has slowed down a bit and supply of the retroviral drugs has also improved significantly.  I also want to thank all the Hon. Members who did justice to this motion and on the same note, move for the adoption of the motion that this House takes note of the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on the Implementation of the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Roll-Out Programme.

Motion put to agreed to.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU seconded by HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI, the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.

 

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