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SENATE HANSARD 14 NOVEMBER 2023 VOL 33 NO 13

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 14th November, 2023

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE

SUPPORT FOR HE-FOR-SHE MANTRA

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI):  I have to inform the Senate that all male Hon. Members of Parliament who are interested in supporting female Members of Parliament as He-for-She Champions should visit the Women’s Caucus Office in Room 133 to register their names. 

VACANCIES IN THE SENATE

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Section 129 (l) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that: “a seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the Member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a Member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate as the case maybe, declare that the Member has ceased to belong to the party.  I therefore wish to inform the House that with effect from the 10th of November 2023, the following Members ceased to be Members of Citizens Coalition for Change political party.

  1. Sen Webster Maondera Harare
  2. Sen Jameson Timba Harare
  3. Sen Editor Matamisa           Mashonaland West
  4. Sen Vongai Tome Harare
  5. Sen Ralph T Magunje Mashonaland West

Accordingly, if the aforesaid five Members are in the House, may they respectively leave the House now.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

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

          HON. SEN. GOTORA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2022

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for the year 2022.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. NCUBE:  I rise to add my voice on the report by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.  Firstly, I would like to congratulate the former Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo for the good work she did at the Commission and also for the promotion to the post of Prosecutor-General of Zimbabwe. 

It is quite clear that corruption affects all levels of society, particularly the poor.  They are the ones who mostly bear the brunt of corruption.  We have seen in the report that the bulk of people who are accused of corruption are mostly based in Harare.  However, let me hasten to say that the number of reporting stations within the Anti-Corruption Commission should be increased so that they are in each province. 

From what some Senators who spoke before me said, I notice that there are no offices in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Matebeleland North and also Matebeleland South.  You will find that in those areas where there are no offices, the number of reported cases are very few.  There is one for Matebeleland South and maybe two for Matebeleland North.  You will not expect somebody who is based in Binga to catch a bus and go all the way to Bulawayo to report a case of corruption. So, it is mandatory that the Commission should increase the number of reporting stations or offices. I had already mentioned that the bulk of the reported cases are in Harare, maybe because it is the capital city of the country, it also has become the epicenter of corruption. Land barons are concentrated in Harare. All vices are in Harare, but most importantly, the Commission should be able to foster support from the general public. That is the core mandate of the Commission, hence they need to completely decentralise and even have some small cluster offices like the Beitbridge Border Post so that corruption cases can be quickly reported. Every case which has been reported must be vigorately investigated without fear or favour.  

          I have seen it has been reiterated that Zimbabwe ranks are very poor on the anticorruption index, possibly number 157 out of 180. What might be the major reason? Is it that we are very corrupt compared to other countries? I went out to research and found out exactly why we are so poorly rated. In my view, the major issues which actually draw us down are mostly to do with service delivery and sanctions also. I will tell you why. Let me start with service delivery. I will not dwell too much on the police because we know the situation, there is a major contributory factor in terms of our poor rating, the police including local authorities, particularly urban local authorities. Service delivery is virtually non-existent there. I will give a graphic example, fortunately one of the members is here. It is difficult to talk about Members who are not here because they will not be in a position to answer for themselves.

          In Gweru, Hon. Zvidzai who is here used to be Mayor of Gweru around 2004-2005 and he realised at the time that there was a big problem with the water. He was able to bring consultancy to look, analyse and technically investigate why there was a problem of water. He identified the water problem for the City of Gweru and brought in some consultancy. I was the leader of the consultancy, an M.P in ZANU PF working for a mayor in the opposition and we were able to identify the problem. Every time we had a meeting, he would come and we would sit together. At no one time did he ask for money either from ourselves or contractors. Together, we were able to sort out the range booster which was the major constraint for the delivery of the City of Gweru water supply. As soon as he left, a couple of buccaneers came in.  You go there, you put in an invoice they want a portion of it. The contractor works, they want a portion of his money.

They started to interfere with the procurement of chemicals, they also wanted a portion of that and areas which used to have water consistently in 2004-2005 under Hon. Zvidzai now would be lucky to get water once in three months. Some of them have never had water for the last 15 years since he left. Service delivery, particularly for the City of Gweru is just a graphic example of what happens in service delivery. You see what is happening within the City of Harare; mountains and mountains of garbage, no provision of water and then when we get rated badly, they say it is Central Government. Let us be fair, the urban local authorities are in the control of others and those authorities should be able to make sure that service delivery is there, but it is not there anymore.

My second point Mr. President is on sanctions. As Zimbabwe, we are supposed to sell some of our diamonds, these are not blood diamonds from Chiadzwa and other places. From somewhere in Zvishavane, in Chief Mazvihwa there, all the outlets are closed to us as a country. If we want to sell them at properly regulated markets, nobody wants to touch them. So, as a country, we have to find ways and means of selling those diamonds, and because of that, we are rated poorly as a country due to sanctions. Our voices should be loud, strong and clear when we talk about corruption and equally when we talk about sanctions. I heard some friend of mine including Hon. Zvidzai, talking very strongly about corruption. He should equally speak very strongly about sanctions because they affect all of us. They affect the whole country and are a major contributory factor in us being rated poorly in terms of the anti-corruption index. It affects all of us.

Mr. President, I thought I would say one or two words on this important subject which is cross-cutting and mostly affects the poor. It is basically perpetrated by people in high offices and some elected Members. Thank you.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th November, 2023.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY FOR THE YEAR 2022

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the National Prosecuting Authority for the year 2022.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this important motion. I must commend the National Prosecuting Authority for its sterling performance in ensuring that cases are effectively and efficiently handled in discharging its prosecutorial functions.  I must also commend the NPA for abiding to Section 262 of the Constitution, which mandates the Prosecutor-General to submit to Parliament its Annual Report.  The report, as you may all be aware, was comprehensive and outlined key issues which are of critical importance to this august Senate.   I identified the following four key issues;

High Labour TurnoverThe Annual Report underscored a notable concern regarding the organisation’s human resources. In the course of the year, a substantial turnover of personnel was observed, with 41 public prosecutors and three administrative staff members tendering their resignations. The significance of this high labour turn-over cannot be understated as it has the potential to exert a detrimental influence on the National Prosecuting Authority’s operational efficiency and overall effectiveness.  The loss of experienced staff members can disrupt the continuity of legal proceedings, investigations and case management, thereby impinging on the organisation’s ability to deliver justice effectively.

Inadequate Budget Allocation - one of the overarching challenges that the National Prosecuting Authority confronted during the year was the inadequacy of the budget allocation.  The report revealed that the financial resources earmarked for the NPA in 2022 were insufficient to meet the organisation’s comprehensive operational and capital expenditure requirements. This budgetary inadequacy in turn, had cascading effects on critical projects vital for the NPA’s functionality.  Notably, initiatives such as computerisation and the acquisition of essential office furniture and equipment suffered due to the lack of adequate funding. These projects are essential for the modernisation and efficiency of case management and overall service delivery.

Limited Internet Connectivity and Computerisationanother significant challenge highlighted in the report related to limited funding and budget allocation for projects concerning internet connectivity and computerisation.  The NPA found its ambitions for improving technology infrastructure hampered due to constrained financial resources. Enhanced internet connectivity and computerisation are paramount for streamlining case management, facilitating more efficient investigations and ultimately ensuring the effective delivery of justice.  The inability to invest in these essential technological upgrades represents a significant obstacle that must be addressed to keep the NPA’s operations aligned with contemporary standards.

Insufficient Training and DevelopmentWhile the report acknowledged the existence of various training programmes, it also underscored the constraints faced by the NPA in conducting comprehensive training.  These limitations stem from both financial resource constraints and the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Training and development initiatives are pivotal for enhancing the skills and capabilities of the organisation’s workforce, ensuring they are well-prepared to execute their duties effectively.  The report underscored the need for resource allocation and strategies that adapt to training programmes, to the evolving circumstances, ultimately reinforcing the NPA’s workforce and improving its ability to discharge its responsibilities adeptly.   In view of the foregoing, it is my considered view that the following recommendations can be adopted to enhance the overall effectiveness of the NPA.

Measures to Improve Staff RetentionIn response to the formidable challenge of high labour turn-over, the NPA should implement measures aimed at enhancing staff retention. Beyond remuneration and benefits, the organisation must address broader staff welfare considerations.  This includes creating a work environment conducive to the well-being of its employees, attentively listening to and addressing their concerns and ensuring that they have the requisite tools and resources for their roles.  The NPA should particularly focus on retaining experienced personnel to maintain institutional knowledge and proficiency.

Increased Budget Allocation - to overcome the pressing issue of inadequate budget allocation, the NPA should engage actively with relevant authorities to secure a more substantial financial allocation. This allocation should be meticulously calculated to encompass, not only the organisation’s day-to-day operations, but also critical capital expenditure requirements.  The organisation should advocate for budget allocations that reflect its indispensable role in the justice system and the broader societal interests it serves.

Prioritise Internet Connectivity and ComputerisationRecognising the critical importance of internet connectivity and computerisation for the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations, the NPA should accord top priority to these projects. To secure the necessary resources, the organisation may consider exploring external funding sources, engaging in public-private partnerships or leveraging partnership with technology companies.  These projects are central to modernising the NPA’s operations, enabling seamless case management and improving the overall delivery of justice. 

Enhance Training and DevelopmentTo address the challenges posed by limited resources for training and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPA should employ innovative strategies.  Blended training approaches, combining in person and online modules can ensure continuity in staff development while accommodating current constraints.  Additionally, the NPA should establish key performance indicators for training effectiveness and allocate resources accordingly, to adapt training programmes to evolving needs. This commitment to continuous learning and development will empower staff with the skills required to excel in their roles, furthering the NPA’s mission to uphold justice.

As I conclude, it goes without saying that the NPA plays a vital role in Zimbabwe’s justice system.  It is, therefore, imperative that an enabling environment be created so that it can effectively discharge its mandate.  I thank you Hon. President.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MUNZVERENGWI): Thank you Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th November, 2023.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. RICHARD NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President for recognising me to also add my voice to those who have spoken before me. Firstly, I want to congratulate you Mr. President for your election to that position with your deputies. It is your second term to be re-elected, which is very good. I hope you performed very well in your first assignment. Mr. President, I would wish to congratulate His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for being resoundingly victorious to the just ended elections which took place on the 23rd August, 2023. The environment was peaceful and credible for the elections. We commend His Excellency the President for holding such free, fair and credible elections that can never be discredited by any well-meaning person or nation.

Mr. President, we are in this magnificent House which is a state-of-the-art building that many countries just fancy. Friends like Chinese who heeded the clarion call from His Excellency, have shown their commitment and dedication to their pledge. It is against this background that I hope the Hon. Members will debate in the spirit of togetherness for the purpose of building a peaceful loving nation which is full of opportunities for all. Having said that Mr. President, let me hasten to say a few remarks on issues highlighted by His Excellency in his Speech.

Infrastructural Development

Road Infrastructure

Beitbridge to Masvingo to Harare to Chirundu Road refurbishment is one of the New Dispensation’ state of the art infrastructure which bears witness to the fact that the President wants to end the road carnages which have claimed dear lives of many people and enhanced connectivity across the country. Why road refurbishment? There is wisdom in an ancient Chinese saying that holds the answer which says, “If you want to get rich, build roads first”. These initiatives by His Excellency pave the way to progress and increase in economic activities that lead to the development of the country.   

Beitbridge Border Post

The Beitbridge Border Post which is the face of the nation from the south, is another state-of-the-art infrastructure which is a culmination of the New Dispensation’s efforts to develop our country. This development has eased traffic congestion and expedites the processing at the border post, which in turn brings more revenue to the country. This is a result of the proper use of our own mineral endowments as a nation under the progressive leadership of His Excellency, Cde. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. This is a clear testimony that even without the much-needed credit lines to borrow money from the international institutions Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo.

Dam infrastructure

One major dam of note is the Gwai-Shangani Dam which was mooted decades and decades ago and only implemented after the advent of the New Dispensation. It is expected that this dam will create a green belt and increase commercial activities in the areas along its stretch. That means there will be more jobs and more development taking place. For more than 20 years, Zimbabwe has been under sanctions from the western world but the efforts of His Excellency, Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa have proven that Zimbabwe is going from strength to strength in spite of the harsh embargos imposed on her.

Airports

Under the New Dispensation and able leadership of His Excellency, Cde. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe has seen massive refurbishment of the country’s major airports. The Robert Mugabe International Airport and the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport are a demonstration that Zimbabwe is open for business. The completion of the expansion of these airports has increased their holding capacities and economic growth for our country, which is a major milestone of the new dispensation Government. This aligns with the President’s vision of transforming Zimbabwe into an Upper Middle Income Economy by 2030. This has attracted more international visitors who have boosted the tourism sector.

Education 5.0 Model

The Government led by His Excellency, continues to accelerate the implementation of the heritage-based Education 5.0 model aimed at producing goods and services for our country. This has led to the creation of many tailor-made solutions for our problems. This has seen the emergence of many innovative endeavours and creativity that address the unique needs of our country. This is in line with the President’s vison of industrialising the country and modernising its learning system.

          POWER SUPPLY

          Following the commissioning of Hwange Power station Units 7 and 8, there has been great improvement in the electricity supply and the industrial performance.  This has led to increased power supply even though there is need for deliberate investments in solar supply energy in order to curb and reduce energy deficiencies in our country.  I quote the President’s words, “energy is a critical enabler for our industrialisation and modernisation”.  This also fulfills Vision 2030.

          FOOD SECURITY

          Zimbabwe has managed to increase its food security by the implementation of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme being rolled out throughout the country.  As a result, there is reduced importation of food as most people are now food sufficient and self-reliant in that regard.  This programme is robust and has been enhanced by proper planning, coupled with the commissioning of dams and boreholes being sunk across the country.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Zimbabwe is faced with a very serious drug abuse pandemic mainly by the younger generation.  I have a very strong view that the Government needs to take up a very strong approach under a very watchful eye. Children are our assets, hence the need to nip that in the bud and also to consider massive construction of rehabilitation centres where the affected people would be conscientised, empowered and taught skills that would enhance their autonomy.

WAR VETERANS DEPENDENTS

There have been serious delays in the disbursement of funds for the children of war veterans’ school fees.  As a result, most of the intended beneficiaries have been left demoralized, hence the need to see to it that measures are put in place to expedite such disbursements.  My suggestion is that Treasury must see that these children are suffering and they need to be assisted as quickly as possible so that they are not booed by their own school mates whenever they are at school.  I thank you very much.

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

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Wednesday 15th November 2023.

          On the Motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MUNZVERENGWI) the Senate adjourned at Sixteen Minutes past Three O’clock p.m.

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