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Tuesday, 14th September, 2021

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





THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the Senate that there will be a Roman Catholic Church service tomorrow Wednesday, 15th September 2021 at 1230 hours in the Senate Chamber.

All Catholic and non-Catholic members are invited.



HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 3 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 4 has been disposed



Motion put and agreed to.








HON. SEN. CHIEF NDLOVU: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Joint Report of the Thematic

Committees on Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and Gender

Development on the Implementation of National Gender Policy in the

Small Holder Irrigation Rehabilitation Schemes and Pfumvudza/Intwasa

Agriculture Programme aimed at Eradication Hunger, Sustainable

Development Goal 2. 

HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  I second.

HON. SEN. CHIEF NDLOVU:  Madam President, I rise to give a report of the Joint Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable

Development Goals and Gender Development on the Implementation of the National Gender Policy in the Small Holder Irrigation Rehabilitation Schemes and Pfumvudza/Intwasa agriculture programme aimed at eradicating hunger, SDG 2.

          1.0 INTRODUCTION

The Government of Zimbabwe has given priority to food production and eradication of hunger through the small-scale farmers across all eight rural provinces by implementing the

Pfumvudza/Intwasa, a climate-proofed upgrade of the Presidential

Inputs Programme. The Government is also implementing the Smallholder Irrigation Rehabilitation Schemes for crop production during off-rain season in all arable provinces. This development was expected to give households not just food security, but also income from surpluses and cash crops to boost national standards of living. In June 2021, the joint Thematic Committees on Sustainable Development Goals and Gender and Development conducted a joint inquiry into the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 through the above-mentioned agriculture programmes aimed at eradicating hunger and also assess the extent to which they adhere to the National Gender Policy.


  1. To assess the progress towards the attainment of Sustainable

Development Goal (SDG) 2 on ending hunger in all its forms.

  1. To assess whether the following Government Agriculture programmes aimed towards eradicating hunger in the country were gender responsive and inclusive according to the National

Gender Policy:

  • Pfumvudza /Intwasa Programme
  • Small holder irrigation rehabilitation schemes
  1. To assess the general challenges being faced by women, men, people with disabilities and youth in the agriculture sector, particularly in Small Holder Irrigations and the

Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme.


In May 2021, the joint Committee invited the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, for oral evidence on sustainable food production and resilient agricultural practices aimed towards the implementation of SDG 2 on the eradication of hunger in the country. The Permanent Secretary updated the Committee on deliberate efforts made by the Ministry to ensure that women, people with disabilities and youth benefited under the Pfumvudza and Small Holder Irrigation Schemes and gender disaggregated data on beneficiaries.

The joint Committee also received oral evidence from the Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers Trust on the challenges encountered by women farmers in accessing the Pfumvudza/Intwasa and small holder irrigation programmes. It is against this background that prompted the Committee to conduct verification visits and consultations to farmers.

The joint Committee visited different Small Holder Irrigation

Schemes from 21 -25 June 2021 and received submissions from

farmers in the following areas; Banga Irrigation Chivi, Kufandada

Irrigation Bikita, Tshongogwe Irrigation Lupane, Silikwe Irrigation Gwanda, Wenimbi Irrigation Marondera, and Hopewell Irrigation in



According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2020 extreme hunger and malnutrition remain a huge barrier to development in many countries. Worldwide, there are 821 million people estimated to be chronically undernourished as of 2017, often as a direct consequence of environmental degradation, drought and biodiversity loss. Undernourishment and severe food insecurity appear to be increasing in almost all regions of Africa, as well as in South America. Sustainable Development Goal number 2 is aimed at ending all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, thus making sure all people have sufficient and nutritious food all year. Some of the targets under this goal include, ensuring sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that will increase productivity and production, strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought and other disasters. The National Gender Policy seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, people with disabilities and youth. It also targets to undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property.

As weather patterns continue changing and droughts are becoming more frequent, Zimbabwe has failed to produce enough grain to meet domestic demand. Despite interventions by the government, the country’s national production has been failing to meet or match domestic demand for grains, among other key food items, and the recurrent deficits have been increasingly met with food imports.


 5.1  National Gender Policy

5.1.1  Oral Evidence from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,

Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, highlighted that the National Gender Policy seeks to achieve a gender just society where men and women enjoy equality and equity and participate as equal partners in the development process of the country. He indicated that the policy goal is “to eradicate gender discrimination and inequalities in all spheres of life and development.”

In support of the National Gender Policy, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement put in place a gender strategy for the agriculture sector in 2015.The strategy was put in place to enhance equality and participation of all gender groups in agriculture to facilitate delivery of high-quality services, responding to the practical and strategic needs of both men and women farmers and other value chain actors, and ensuring that all benefit equally from the opportunities in the sector. The strategy recognises:

  • that gender equality enhances agricultural growth and improves incomes of farming communities, hence the need to reduce gender inequalities.
  • the need to take into consideration the practical and strategic needs of men and women in order to increase agricultural productivity and production for household and national food and nutrition security, thus making effective contributions to the country’s economy.

5.2   Smallholder Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Programme

The joint Committee was informed by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural

Resettlement that a total of US $18 million was channeled through

Sakunda Irrigation Development Programme in 2 and had a target of

203 000 beneficiaries in all the provinces of Zimbabwe. The Permanent Secretary highlighted that the smallholder irrigation revitalisation programme was targeting 125 smallholder irrigation schemes (6,100 ha), 15,000 irrigators working an average of 0.4 ha, 2,000 youths and 50% of beneficiaries were to be women out of a total of 4266 beneficiaries.

5.3  Climate Proofed-Presidential Input Support Scheme (Pfumvudza /Intwasa)

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,

Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement pointed out that the Climate Proofed-Presidential Input Support Scheme is supporting 1.8 million vulnerable rural households to produce maize, traditional grains and pulses. The input packages availed to each farmer were 5kg maize seed, 50kg basal and 50kg top dressing fertilizers for a standardized 0.06ha plot. The joint Committee was informed that a total of 324 129 farmers were trained on the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme and of these 262 950 were females while 61 179 were males.


6.1 Establishment of Irrigation Schemes

Small Holder Irrigations Schemes are initiatives by Government to enable community farmers to grow crops throughout the year such as maize, potatoes, cabbages, sugar beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and wheat. In all the visited schemes, the Committee noted that the Irrigation begun after the Land Reform Programme in 2000. The areas that were converted into Small Holder Irrigation Schemes were from the land acquired through the land redistribution by

Government. The smallest schemes have an average of between 10 - 45 hectares whilst the largest have an average of 160 hectares. The joint Committee noted from the visits that those irrigation schemes with smallest land size were London Farm, Silikwe and Kufandada which had 10 ha, 19,3ha and 22ha of arable land respectively. Each individual has a portion of 0,2 ha per block out of the three blocks in each irrigation scheme. Tshongogwe, Banga and Hopewell had the largest land sizes with each individual having up to 0,5 ha per block out of the three blocks in each irrigation scheme. For the purpose of water supply, the schemes are divided into blocks and each block is allocated its own time to use water since the pumping system and water supplying equipment cannot service the whole fields at once.

Throughout all the visited irrigations schemes, farmers posited that the Government through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement is supporting all the irrigation schemes throughout the country with farm equipment such as tractors, planters, discs and irrigation equipment which were availed under the More Food Programme.

6.2 Crops grown

The Joint Committee was concerned to witness that at some irrigation schemes, there was lack of knowledge of crops to grow in relation to each season as witnessed by maize which was affected by frost at London Farm and Wenimbi. The Committee noted that at all Irrigation schemes, there were different types of crops that were grown ranging from maize, wheat, vegetables, sugar beans, butternuts and tomatoes. The Committee noted that some irrigation schemes like Hopewell had vast land which was not being utilized and hence no crops were grown.

6.2.1 Crops Grown under the Irrigation Pfumvudza/Intwasa program

During the visits, the Committee witnessed that the Pfumvudza/

Intwasa Programme was also incorporated into the irrigation schemes and farmers were growing maize and wheat. However, at London Farm irrigation, the farmers had not yet planted the winter wheat because of inadequate and late supply of seed and chemicals. The Committee was dismayed to witness that at Wenimbi Irrigation scheme, wheat was still at its germination stage since the seed was availed to farmers lately after the recommended planting time for winter. It was also presented by farmers to the Committee that farmers had not received the herbicides for weed control in planted wheat at Wenimbi Irrigation scheme, hence weeds were competing with plants. The Committee noted that some of the irrigation schemes were already meeting the expected harvests for both family sustenance and surplus. An example was at Banga and Kufandada irrigations, where the Committee was informed that a total of 11 tons of wheat and 17 tonnes of maize were sold to the Grain Marketing

Board respectively in the 2019/2020 season.

6.2.2 Crops Grown under the dry land Pfumvudza/Intwasa program

Dryland Pfumvudza/Intwasa was being done at household level. The Committee noted that in all the visited areas, farmers were testifying that they received the following inputs; 5kg maize seed, 50 kg compound D fertilizer, 50 kg top dressing fertilizer, 5 kg sorghum seed and 10 kg soya beans seed. The Committee learnt that of all the inputs supplied to farmers for the Pfumvudza programme, only maize gave them a good harvest since the seed and basal fertilizers were availed to farmers on time. Farmers reported that an average of 1,5 tonnes of maize was harvested per 0,5-acre plot.

On small grains like sorghum and other crops like soya beans, the Committee observed that farmers did not attempt to plant since the seed was distributed in mid-January- February way after the timeframe for planting these crops. Overly, the Committee noted that the Pfumvudza Programme was greatly accepted by people and has proved to be a solution to food deficit at family levels. Farmers at all visited areas, recommended for the extension of the Pfumvudza land sizes from 0.5 acres to at 1 acre.

6.3 Power and water sources

The Committee appreciated that all the visited schemes used either river with perennial water supply as their water source, for example Kufandada and Hopewell irrigations while others use either dams or solar/electric powered boreholes as their water sources. The Committee was pleased to get reports that due to the abundant rainfall in the 2020/2021 season, the dam and river levels were at full capacity and there will be no water shortages for crop production. However, the community leaders raised concern that some dams were now affected by weeds and siltation which will affect the dam capacity in the long run, for example the Banga Dam. The Joint

Committee was informed by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, that the main source of power for the Small Holder Irrigation Schemes is electricity from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.  The Committee was pleased to note that there were no power outages caused by load shedding. The Committee also noted that in some areas such as Banga, the scheme uses gravity as its source of power to pump water from the dam to the scheme and in Kufandada, the scheme uses solar powered system to pump water from the river to the field reservoirs.  However, in some areas such as Hopewell, they experience power shortages as a result of none payment of bills to the service providers such as Zimbabwe National Water Authority and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, hence they were disconnected from services. The water shortages reported to the Committee were as a result of pump breakdown and pump incapacity to service the whole fields, for example at Wenimbi, farmers use one pump instead of three.

6.4 Gender Inclusivity

In terms of gender equity and inclusivity in the schemes, the Committee witnessed that in overall, women were participating in both irrigation schemes and the Pfumvudza Programme in their numbers. In addition, women and youth were also part of the management committees of the irrigation schemes. Youths and people with disabilities were also benefiting from the irrigation schemes and the Pfumvudza Programmes.  In addition, some schemes like Silikwe Irrigation created a separate sub-scheme which is only meant for youth in the area and there are 56 youth beneficiaries in that scheme. However, there were still some areas where there is need for awareness to ensure that women and people with disability participate and benefit from such programmes. At Hopewell Irrigation, the Committee was dismayed to witness that the current sitting irrigation Committee had no women, or youth member. As a result, the Committee did not consider women and youth as beneficiaries or part of the irrigation scheme.

In brief, the Table 1 below illustrates the Committee findings on gender inclusivity per each visited scheme for the

Pfumvudza/Intwasa in the irrigation schemes. Total number of participants and gender disaggregated data as well as women representation in Committee leadership are presented by the table.

Table1. Sample of Gender Representation in Pfumvudza and


Irrigation scheme  Total beneficiaries Number of  women No. of men  Disability Youth  Women in committee Men in committee


129 25 68 0 36 2 5
London Farm 33 11 17 0 5 3 4


120 66 54 7 24 3 4


56(scheme A) 56(scheme B)  41



15 6 5









Banga Irrigation  294 130 160 4 100 3 4


62 41 21 0   5 2


52 8








0 7


The table above shows that areas such Banga Irrigation Scheme considered women to be part of beneficiaries, leadership in irrigation schemes which is in line with the National Gender Policy. On the other hand, the table confirms that in other areas like Hopewell Irrigation Scheme, women were not actively included in the irrigation committee and their number as beneficiaries of scheme is extremely lower than the number of men. The table also illustrates that most of the visited schemes, people with disabilities were not participating except for Kufandada, Banga and Selikwe Irrigation Schemes which indicated that there are people with disabilities benefiting.




7.1  Disbursement and distribution of inputs

The joint Committee was informed in all areas visited, that both Pfumvudza inputs for households in communities and Pfumvudza inputs for Small Holder Irrigation were not disbursed in time.

Farmers at Wenimbi, Banga, Kufandada, London Farm and Tshongogwe Irrigation, presented to the Committee that inputs were not provided on time to allow proper planning and preparations for planting. In most cases, the Committee received submissions that maize seed and compound D were distributed in November and the farmers did not get any top-dressing fertilizers up until March and April when they received 50kg bag per each person of ammonium nitrate well after the time for the application fertilizer.

Across all the arable provinces visited, the Committee was disheartened to note that other inputs such as sorghum and soya beans seed were only been availed to farmers between mid January to February 2021. Farmers at Kufandada, Hopewell indicated to the Committee that these inputs had no purpose since they were distributed after planting period had lapsed. The inputs were returned back to the Grain Marketing Board. Farmers were of the view that by distributing the inputs late, the Government was denying them a bumper harvest which would go a long way in increasing food production in the country. Farmers bemoaned that the Ministry of Lands Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should give the full package of farming inputs which include seed, compound fertilizers and top-dressing fertilizer at once by September to allow farmers to properly plan and prepare for the planting season.

With regards to the distribution of inputs, cases of corruption were reported to the Committee that some inputs were distributed at night and if farmers were absent, the inputs were said to have been returned to Grain Marketing Board. However, there is no follow-up procedure to the Grain Marketing Board to ensure that the inputs were returned. Farmers alerted the Committee that inputs were being diverted from farmers and sold somewhere.  

7.2 Use of Agriculture equipment

The joint Committee was told by female and other farmers that in most instances, male counterpart farmers especially those that have leadership position in community or in irrigation did not want to share the equipment such as tractors or planters with female farmers. The Committee was displeased to hear that at Hopewell

Irrigation since the scheme received a tractor from Government in 2012, the tractor had been only used by three farmers out of 52 in the scheme and this has also affected the loan payments for the tractor to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural


7.3 State of infrastructure

Farmers presented to the Committee that some farm infrastructures were now old and dilapidated. This was witnessed at Banga Irrigation scheme where the fence is 1.5 metres high and is very easy for livestock to break into the fields.  Furthermore, at London farm and Tshongogwe Irrigation Schemes, farmers articulated that they had serious problems with cattle since there was no fence on the other sides of the irrigations. Farmers indicated that the fences were vandalised and stolen.

In terms of water pumps and other irrigation equipment, farmers indicated that they use only one or two pumps to draw water from source to the fields. At Tshongogwe, London farm, Hopewell and Wenimbi Irrigation Schemes, the Committee witnessed water pumping challenges. These irrigation schemes were using one pump instead of three pumps since the other water pumps were not functioning due to breakdown. This has affected crop yield since farmers cannot adequately water their crops. Additionally, the water pressure was said to be low since the working pump will be overwhelmed.

Farmers also indicated to the Committee that irrigation pipes were old and as a result, they experience frequent bursting and breakdowns. In other areas such as London Farm and Wenimbi, farmers use mono pumps which are outdated and hence difficult to find spare parts for repair.

7.4 Support from Agricultural Extension Officers.  

The Committee was pleased to note that in some areas, the officials from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, particularly the Agricultural Extension Officers were reporting for duty and rendering their services and assistance to farmers. However, in areas such as Wenimbi and

Hopewell Irrigation Schemes, farmers indicated that no Agricultural Extension Officers came to assist the farmers, hence they have no knowledge and skills to grow certain crops and had no cropping calendar.

7.5 Road network and proximity to market

In most cases, the Committee witnessed that majority of the farming activities were being done away from access roads. Roads in such areas were not being rehabilitated, for example the road leading to London farm, Silikwe, Kufandada and Wenimbi were very poor and inaccessible, thus farmers face problems in transporting their produce to the markets.  The only available ready market for farmers to sell their produce was the Grain Marketing Board, whose depots are away from the communities, for example farmers at Silikwe

Irrigation Scheme deliver their produce to Gwanda Grain Marketing Board depot which is 45 kilometres away. These long distances to reach their markets prove very expensive to the farmers owing to the inaccessibility of their road networks and as a result, prompt for side marketing.


  1. The Committee observed that all small holder irrigation schemes had received assistance from Government in the form of farm equipment such tractors, discs, planters under the More Food Programme and farming inputs under the Presidential

Input Scheme in the form of wheat seeds, maize seeds, pesticides and fertilizers.

  1. The Committee noted that land was under-utilized at Hopewell

Irrigation in Chegutu and London Farm Irrigation in Lower Gweru because of water pump breakdowns and unpaid water


  1. The Committee observed that most farmers lacked farming knowledge and had no cropping calendars. This was compounded by insufficient Government support through the Agricultural Extension Officers who do not frequently report for duty as evidenced by farmers growing crops which are not winter resistant such as maize and butternuts.
  2. The Committee observed that irrigation schemes, for example Silikwe, Kufandada, Banga and Tshongogwe which have women as majority of beneficiaries, tend to thrive and are more productive as compared to those with more men, for example Hopewell and London Farm Irrigation Schemes. This is because they are almost entirely responsible for virtually all activities such as hoeing, weeding, harvesting, processing and marketing and they make significant contribution to food production.
  3. The Committee noted that the role of women in agriculture is so important economically but has remained obscure, because women rarely play any major roles in decision making processes as witnessed at Hopewell Irrigation.
  4. The Committee observed that there are no Grain Marketing Board collection points close to the farmers to enable them to sell their maize and wheat without incurring exorbitant transport costs.
  5. The Committee noted that inputs such as wheat seeds, sorghum, herbicides and topdressing fertilizers for

Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme were not distributed on time, hence resulting in late planting.

           9.0 RECOMMENDATIONS

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and

Rural Resettlement should ensure that a complete package of Pfumvudza/Intwasa dryland summer inputs for 2021/2022 season, that is seed, compound fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and topdressing fertilizer are disbursed to the farmers before the onset of the rain season by 30th of September 2021.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should ensure that Grain Marketing Board collection points are established and be accessible to all farmers by at least 10 km being the furthest as of 30 March 2022.

In the 2022 National Budget, the Ministry of Finance and

Economic Development should allocate a budget for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement to embark on dam weed control and dam scooping to remove deposited material to ensure that there will be no water shortages for irrigation due to siltation.

The Ministry of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement as for the 2021/2022 summer season, should increase the Pfumvudza/Intwasa target size of land from the current half acre to at least 1 acre to all targeted farmers since it was well adopted and proved to produce good yields.

The Ministry of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should distribute the winter wheat inputs by 28 February each planting season.

The Ministry of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should urgently put a monitoring and tracking mechanism to ensure that agricultural extension officers are reporting for duty and rendering their services to farmers in their areas of jurisdiction by 30 October 2021.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should facilitate for the withdrawal of underutilised irrigable land and farming equipment given to unfunctional and unproductive schemes such as Hopewell Irrigation Scheme in Chegutu and allocate to new potential farmers by 30 November 2021.

The Ministry of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water,

Fisheries and Rural Resettlement and the Ministry of Women Affairs Small to Medium Enterprise Development should embark on awareness campaigns to encourage women, youth and people with disability’s participation in all Government oriented agricultural programmes by 31st October 2021.


The integration of gender concerns in agricultural development programmes is important. This will not only lead to increased productivity but also, will create equal opportunity for the targeted groups to participate in poverty reduction and food security, thereby promoting the policy thrust of the agriculture sector transformation agenda.  Thank you

*HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Mr. President Sir.  I want

to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Ndlovu for a well detailed report on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Gender Development.  He has articulated it very well but I just want to add a few points which he left out.  It is true that Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme is going on very well but as we moved around, we saw that in some of the irrigations, people are not aware of what they are supposed to do.  This means that those who are supposed to train them are not doing their work.  It is very important that the Agritex Officers should be talking to farmers on ways of farming because this is a very good programme which was embraced well by the citizens and it went on very well in many areas.

We also discovered that in most of the irrigation schemes, youths are not involved.  We realised that only elderly people are involved in those irrigation schemes but it is good that the youths be involved so that they can help their parents because they still have the energy.  We also saw that those who use drip irrigation harvested something but it was not bumper; it was only for family consumption just to take them up to the next season.  This means that they would not get any income from their efforts so that they maintain the irrigation because these irrigations get worn out after two or three years.  So, they need to refurbish them but they would not have the money.

We also noticed that in some irrigation schemes as has been articulated by Hon. Sen. Ndlovu, farmers are not aware of what to plant.  They are not aware of rotational cropping and they do not know the types of crop to grow in a particular season.  For example, butternuts are not winter crops, which is an indication that the Agritex Officers are not doing their job properly.

We also discovered that in those irrigation schemes, the committees that have been set up that are supposed to supervise the work, women are very few.  We noticed that in a committee of seven people, there will be more men than women.  Like at Winimbi Irrigation, there are five men and two women.  At Hopewell, the committee comprises of seven members but there is no woman in that committee.  What we realised is that women are found in field work and we feel that it is good that when it comes to administration, they should use the

50/50 principle.  As the two Committees, we recommend that farmers be given inputs in time so that they start farming early.  When the harvest is good, it would improve their lives and they  will  also get some income from farming. I just wanted to add a few words. The report was written very well.  That is what we came across on our visits.  Thank you.          *HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA:  Thank you Mr. President for

according me this opportunity to add a few words on the report which has been tabled by Hon. Sen. Ndlovu, informing us of their investigations as they went around the country looking at irrigation schemes, the Pfumvudza Programme and also how women are being incorporated in those schemes.

Hon. President, the Pfumvudza Programme was started this past season but the strides that it has made are very big.  It was able to alleviate hunger in families, which means that the motive was accomplished although there were some hiccups here and there, as has been articulated in the report.  Those challenges are common when a new thing is introduced.  After having the opportunity of going around investigating on what transpired, we urge that during the next season those who are responsible should go around and try to iron out the challenges.

The other thing that has been brought about from the report is that the inputs were delivered late to the people.  I think the Ministry responsible for distribution of inputs should take a leaf from the findings, so that we have a policy that anyone who is being incorporated into the Pfumvudza Programme, there should be a deadline when inputs should be delivered to the people.  So, we need the monitoring and evaluation policy.  We want to act as if we are on a race so that we start at the same time and we do not leave anyone behind in the Pfumvudza Programme.

In the report, it was brought out that there are some irrigation schemes which are not being utilised.  I do not think the problem is with the people but the Government and all the responsible authorities because people are not trained on how to do it.  We are urging that people be trained before embarking on such programmes.  When people do it without training, they will give up because they think it does not work.  We are urging that there be a deliberate effort so that anyone who goes into these programmes would be trained in time.

Last time, we were told in this House by the Late Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement giving us the number of Agritex officers in the country.  We found that we have so many Agritex officers.  In this report, it was highlighted that it should be clear whether they are reporting for duty and whether they are training farmers.  Therefore, monitoring and evaluation is very important in that area so that they can give feedback on progress.  That is the challenge that we are faced with as a country when it comes to farming, that we have workers whom the Government is paying but most of them, if you go around they are busy working on their fields instead of training farmers.  We are encouraging the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to closely watch these people to see whether they are doing their duties.  With these few words, allow me to thank Hon. Sen. Ndlovu for this pertinent report.  Thank you.

^^HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President of the Senate

for this opportunity to add my voice on this motion raised by Hon. Sen.

Ndlovu, supported by Hon. Sen. Muzenda.  Mr. President, looking at the SDG2 issue, we will be talking of food security.  Therefore, we are grateful for the joint Committees that took time to tour different irrigation schemes because it is hurtful for people to operate under hunger.  In English, it is said a hungry man is an angry man. People who were in the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme and in the irrigation schemes faced challenges of water. Without water on the dry land, it was not going to be possible for the farmers to get a bumper harvest. Due to the adequate rains, they managed to have a better harvest than previous years.

The involvement of women in the irrigation schemes was a wonderful idea because most of these women have children. They managed to put food on the table for their children and they will not starve. Most of the farmers had a quarter of a hectare which they planted the Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs. However, they managed to produce yields that could sustain their families and send the other grains to the


We would like the national budget to give more money to the Ministry of Agriculture so that farmers may have enough inputs and equipment to increase productivity. Farmers had a plea that if these inputs could be distributed way ahead of time, they may be able to prepare and plant before the rains. Mostly inputs take time to get delivered and this delay usually affects the harvest. Also to note is that if the programme is well managed successfully, it would reduce poverty since there will be more food which is produced by the farmers than spending money importing. We thank the President for this initiative. I encourage all citizens to take it seriously because if managed successfully, our budget will not be spent on importing food but on other important imports.  With these few words Mr. President, I thank you.        *HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Ndlovu for moving  such a motion. I am one of the people who moved around the country.  Pfumvudza is quite a commendable programme which we appreciate that it is producing good results and the country had a bumper harvest last year.  My plea is regarding irrigation programmes that we saw.  Every place we visited, you discover that those who are involved in irrigation schemes are not growing but they continue receiving assistance from Government.      Mr. President, I would like to say that the Ministry should teach them so that they are empowered.  Wherever we met those who are involved in irrigation programmes, they were requesting for assistance from Government.  If this trend continues, then we are not growing as a nation.  I believe that most of these people have over ten years in these schemes.  My suggestion will be that such farmers be empowered through technical expertise.  They must be taught so that they will learn to operate on their own without assistance from Government.  If we continue assisting as they continue requesting for assistance from Government, then we are not going anywhere.  So, they need to grow as farmers.  There are a lot of dams where there is potential for irrigation but there is no irrigation programme that is happening.

The biggest issue is that of course farmers are farming but some are not fully exploiting their potential.  Some are requesting for tractors, implements and inputs and some need assistance on having a good way on their road networks.  So, the Ministry should look at this issue and come up with a training exercise which will empower farmers so that they will be able to stand on their own without leaning on Government subsidies.  There must be more irrigation programmes around the country because those who are in irrigation need to grow.  Of course they are farming but I noticed that they allocate each other small portions of land where they cannot fully exploit their potential, hence they continue complaining and requesting for assistance.  There is need for bigger portions of land.  In other areas, we saw more than 60 people in one irrigation scheme. This is a result of lack of knowledge, lack of training, overcrowding because some do not attend to their land at the same time because they cannot do so.

Mr. President, Government should look into this issue because some have been in this industry for more than ten years.  If someone was given a tractor by Government, then he should be able to buy his or her own tractor.  Those who were given whatever implements should have more now but they were given inputs again.  My prayer is that the Ministry should look at this issue and identify qualified and experienced people who are agronomists to assist our farmers so that they are empowered.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for

giving me this opportunity to speak on this report and I also want to thank the Thematic Committees which visited different areas.  First of all, we must deplore and not allow scenarios which were mentioned by the chief, where certain inputs are distributed wrongly or at night.  My suggestion is that it is unfortunate that Ministers who are supposed to be listening to our debates are not here.

My suggestion here is that it is not just for irrigation, it is also for Pfumuvudza.  Like this year, it has been announced that there will be good rains.  Instead of Government to give inputs to certain individuals, they must subsidise the seeds to ensure that everyone gets it. We must try to find a way of ensuring that those good farmers get enough inputs.  We concentrate on those who are weak, who cannot plough and end up selling the seeds at night.  They are given inputs and they are abusing them.

We have records of all these past years, of the same people who get inputs every year and produce nothing.  So, we must change our approach.  We must have a new norm of looking for productivity amongst ourselves.  I seriously think that we should help each other with our oversight role to ensure that there is equitable, reasonable distribution of inputs, especially to those farmers who are good.  On irrigation, it is important that we went to see those who are already practicing in irrigation.  What is critical is - what are we doing to improve the irrigation methods?  This is now the responsibility of the Ministry to ensure that it follows through and ensures that people out there have improved methods of irrigation depending on the water supplies that are available.  In certain areas, we are looking at drip irrigation and in certain areas, we are asking for wet-flow irrigation like the sugar plantations in other areas.  The recommendations must come out of reasonable research.  In this small to medium enterprise, farmers must be able to get inputs.  Hon. President, you must not forget that soon after 1980, our best production was from the peasant farmers.  The peasant farmers were happy, they worked and produced the best maize.  We must do our own thing in Zimbabwe that makes us get results.  The frustration comes when we do not do enough to ensure that our people do proper farming.  I want to follow through the previous speaker who said that they would want to improve on project farmers.  Is there any evaluation of these people?   If we do not evaluate their production levels and make sure we enhance them, we are also doing ourselves a disservice.  There is need to ask the research – there is an agriculture research station here; we have got extension officers there to make sure that they give us the results of those who are reasonably well equipped.

There is distribution of tractors which is being talked about everywhere.  The tractors must be allocated to certain areas so that they are used profitably by communities.  I know certain areas where there is no more draught power because of death of cattle.  Are we working or assisting on that?  Are we asking Government to do that?  That is what I am asking personally and that is what this Senate should ask from Government that these tractors, yes they may be allocated to individuals so that they repay but we can also give DDF.  I know people can hire tractors from DDF but you find that some DDF areas have no tractors.  Can they plough for different people now and make sure that people without draught power and there are good farmers who could have work done to ensure that Pfumvudza and other things are done in their areas.        We are empowering people every five years.  Certain people go and get loans and the loans are written off.  They continuously repeat the same process of getting loans.  Are we doing any evaluation because we must say, if we could not do it last time, what reason do we have to do it this time?  People must learn to be productive.  This also needs strong hands from central Government to ensure that, that is produced.  I am sorry to say that the way our Ministers are working is lackadaisical.  They do not even come to listen to our arguments.  We are just talking to ourselves.  At the end of the day, we should also check the register - do they have an official here in Parliament because we shall talk to these walls and they will never read the answer. We will never get much help from central Government.  I insist that the report is good.  We must follow through and do our oversight role but ensure that next year or the year following we check whether anything has been done to enhance the Pfumvudza, irrigation system and empowerment of women and youths.

It is important that we all work as one Government to ensure that our great grand children see some productive work that we would have done in progression of what we have innovated and we must innovate within Zimbabwe especially when we know that there is enough rain; we innovate like we have done in Pfumvudza.  We innovate in terms of draught power.  In everything we do, we must put some research in it.  I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this time to contribute towards this motion sharing my experience with the Senate, of what we observed during our tour of irrigation projects around the country as joint committees.

I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Ndlovu who moved the motion and the seconder.  My plea is that if possible women should be allocated irrigation schemes.  They should be given the opportunity to participate in such projects alone.  There will be a difference because women are hard working.  When they work, they commit themselves to work towards the livelihoods of their families.  We went to Hopewell in Chegutu.  It is very painful because there is not much that is happening there.  There are no women in that irrigation committee.  There is no progress.    It is called an irrigation scheme but the farmers wait for the rain season.  There is no economic activity as a result of the irrigation scheme.  The tractors and engines are down, hence there is no progress in that community.

As has already been said by another Hon. Senator, when we were moving around, we discovered that there are functional irrigation projects despite the fact that most of these farmers have been in the industry for a long time but there is no tangible progress.  That is why I request that there should be at least an irrigation programme for women alone.  Government should allocate women so that we see a difference because women are despised in everything and in every programme. Pfumvudza is a good programme and this year there was a bumper harvest.  A lot has been said about delays in allocation of inputs so that people plant early.

We also went to Wenimbi in Marondera.  Their wheat was planted towards the rain season.  People were complaining that they do not have adequate piping for water.  I was not impressed.  I did not see any good report from all the irrigation projects that we visited because there were a lot of complains regarding inadequate water and engines that are not working properly.  I do not know whether they expect Government to assist them despite the fact that they were given tractors and other implements.  It is important that they work hard but they are just complaining.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. CHIEF NDLOVU: I move that the debate do now


HON. SEN. MKWEBU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th September, 2021.





Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on the Study Visit to

Uganda on HIV and AIDS Management and Financing.

Question again proposed.


the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 15th September, 2021.




Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the need to strengthen the health delivery system in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. DUBE:  Thank you Madam President for according me this opportunity.  I want to support the motion that  was brought by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi about health facilities.  I am from Nkayi and there are a lot of challenges faced in this area.  People are giving birth in buses as they travel for nearly 90km to access health services.  You will realise that before the bus gets to Nkayi, that mother would deliver along the way.  There are no clinics and they are 150kms apart or you are supposed to go to Gokwe to access these facilities.  As I am speaking, I have two sisters who died during delivery because they were bleeding as they were going to Kana Mission.  Another one called Jennifer passed on as we got nearer to the hospital.  You will realise we use traditional ways in trying to circumvent such problems.  We are appealing to the Government to intervene on the issue of health facilities because there is no transport.  There is only one bus travelling and how do you expect our people to travel using scotch carts to a hospital which is almost 150kms away.  Business transporters do not want to take their buses there because of the poor road network.  Since I was born, I have never seen an ambulance in that area.  Therefore, I am appealing to

Government to  intervene.  The CDF money should be used to construct small clinics that can be used for both health service and delivery.

People are taken to Ngwalangwa and they only find a nurse who is under Red Cross.  What do you expect from that nurse?  The standards of living are very poor in Matabeleland North.  Matabeleland North is seriously underdeveloped.  We also went to areas like Hwange where there are only five rooms but there is no fridge used to store the injections which needs low temperatures.  We also found that nurses are transferring because of the poor conditions that they are working under in Matabeleland North.  Nurses do not have cottages for accommodation.  How can that person be motivated to work?

When talking about a person who gave birth in the bus, I travelled to Kana Mission using my own resources. On the way, this mother gave birth and people had to request for accommodation in the nearby homesteads so that she could give birth there.  I am really bemoaning that the Government should improve the standards of living for Matebeleland North, especially in the health sector.  Sometimes nurses are given accommodation in people’s homes, there is no

accommodation.  We are also requesting that ministers should also drive to Matebeleland North so that they become eye-witnesses of what I am talking about.

In those areas, that is why you realise that there are high death rates because of malaria.  People are dying on their way to hospital facilities.  Mbuma Mission Hospital is very far and the patient will be crying for help as they go there.  Therefore, time is no longer on our side, we have no dispensation.  Let the Government move around and see how the citizens are living in these areas.  If anyone has not yet visited these areas, surely you have not seen Zimbabwe.  I have never seen areas where people are living yet they are depending on hospitals which are 100kms away from their villages.

With these words, I am begging the Government to go around.  Let the Ministers go and visit these areas, if possible we can also have mobile clinics because we have people living with HIV/AIDS who are supposed to take medications and are supposed to go as far as those hospitals to collect their medications.  We are saying, we are now 40 years and still we do not have health facilities in Matebeleland North.

Surely, how can we be celebrating 40 years?  We just have Hwange and

Victoria Falls and the rest there is nothing.  Thank you Madam President.


the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th September, 2021.






Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on the Provision of Quality Education, Sanitisation and Hygiene Management in Schools.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE: I move that the debate do now



Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th September, 2021.









Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the assessment of progress on construction of COVID-19 Treatment, Quarantine and

Isolation facilities.

Question again proposed.


the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th September, 2021.




Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the heroics of

Mbuya Nehanda.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Madam President for

giving me this opportunity to add a few words on the motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Kambizi and the seconder, in relation to Mbuya Nehanda.  We know that Mbuya Nehanda participated in the First

Chimurenga and with her resilience and the words that she said that ‘of course we have participated in the First Chimurenga and have been overcome but my bones are going to rise again’.  This is what we saw happening - her bones rose again.  This culminated in the Second Chimurenga which brought independence to Zimbabwe.  There were some people who got revelations which came out as a spirit medium that their spiritships should be fulfilled.  So, during the liberation struggle for independence, that spirit was taken to a Zambian base called Chifombo, where the spirit would visit liberation war fighters to tell them what was supposed to be done.

         When the enemy was coming, the fighters were forewarned to leave the base so that they run away from the enemy before an imminent attack.  This continued to happen and liberation fighters were being informed of what they should do.  That is why we see most of us who saw Comrades coming, every one of them had some snuff that they carried which they used as per instructions by the spirit mediums.  This is the heroship that we saw in Mbuya Nehanda and which continued to the next generation.

There is a book that was written by Solomon Mutsvairo, which is called ‘Feso’.  This is the book which has the Mbuya Nehanda poem, which when there were any celebrations, the late Vice President Hon. Muzenda would recite the poem Nehanda Nyakasikana so that we understand the great deeds and exploits that were left by Mbuya Nehanda and that these were not in vain.  These are works which culminated in successful liberation of Zimbabwe.  This helped because we know that in Zimbabwe, there are a lot of sacred places and things, some which were done by our great grandparents.  When we were growing up, we were told to go to Ematonjeni so that we understand what we were supposed to do.  Now, because of the imperialist system which came to Zimbabwe, we ended up not knowing where Ematonjeni is because we were brainwashed.  We were taught that our African traditions were heathen; they were anti-Christianity.  So, this was deeply inculcated into our minds and we despised our traditional customs in order for the imperialists to continue ruling.

What helped is that they knew that the power of Black people is in their chiefs.  You know that most chiefs were dethroned.  Their powers were taken away.  That is why you discover that we have a lot of problems in this country.  Our children are being married at a tender age because we have dumped our culture.  We have been brainwashed to shun our culture.  Young girls are falling pregnant.  We are very concerned about the situation and we do not know what to do.

So, I would like to thank our heroine, Mbuya Nehanda

Nyakasikana because the great exploits she did brought independence to Zimbabwe.  When the White men came, they put their holidays; they would call each and every sacred day, giving it a different name.  For example, Rhodes and Founders Day holiday which was on 26th

December every year.  This holiday was continuously celebrated as

Rhodes and Founders but after independence, it then became the Boxing Day.  When we look at it, we do not understand what boxing is.  If you understand what it means – those who box are involved in physical fights.  So, I am saying that whatever happened Madam President, is that 26th December is the day when one of our heroes died, the late General Tongogara.  It is my request that 26th December, should we continue calling it Boxing Day yet we have a Commander of the ZANILA Forces died on 26th December?  My plea is that - why do we not change that holiday to Josiah Tongogara Day?  May be it will help us a nation so that we begin to transform systems which we inherited from the White imperialists.  Now, we will be having our own systems.

Let me end by thanking Hon. Sen. Kambizi who raised this motion which is a critical motion; a crucial motion regarding Mbuya Nehanda and her contributions and the people who were getting revelations from her spirit until we attained independence.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA:  Thank you Madam President

for awarding me this opportunity so that I can add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Kambizi.  The motion was thanking the Government for the job that they did by erecting a statue for the late heroine, Mbuya Nehanda.  Madam President, I think the most crucial thing is for the people to know their history and respect it.

To those who know the liberation struggle, there is a song which was sung first during the “Pungwes” which reminds people where they are coming from, where they are going and the purpose.  People used to sing a song about Mbuya Nehanda.  It is only that people are no longer allowed to sing in the House, otherwise I would have sung the song.

Most people would be able to realise that we were being oppressed.  That is why many Zimbabweans sacrificed and dedicated their lives to liberate the country.  Women were cooking, the war collaborators would walk during the night and even during the rainy season, trying to liberate the country.  People were dedicated to liberate their country.  Madam President, for the children of Zimbabwe to forget something crucial like that, it is very worrisome.

When there was word that the statue of Mbuya Nehanda was going to be erected, many people said a lot of things.  The step which was taken is crucial and must have been taken in 1980 during independence.

The first thing which we must have done is to respect our heroine,

Mbuya Nehanda because she was very crucial in the liberation struggle.  She fought very hard for the country to attain its independence. It is worrisome to see that most people in Zimbabwe do not understand their cultural values.  You can hear other people saying ancestral spirits are demons.  Culture cannot be demons.  We know the role the spirit mediums played during the liberation struggle for us to be liberated.

I want to thank the Government for erecting the statue of Mbuya Nehanda although the Government took long to identify that it is crucial to erect Mbuya Nehanda statue.  The Government decided to erect the statue because it is very important for the history of the country.  Madam

President, I am troubled as a Zimbabwean about how other people think. Some people who say they are very educated, when invited to give speeches, spend their time in libraries researching.  They quote prominent people like Winston Churchill.  If they mention these people, they feel that they have done something greath.  They feel that it is important to worship heroes from other countries but they fail to respect our own heroes.  We see that these people are lost because they fail to identify their cultural roots.

As Government, we must teach people where we are coming from.  It must start from schools.  During our times when we were going to school, we were taught about Bismarck, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito

Mussolini, et cetera.  Those things were very difficult and you could not understand where they were coming from.  They failed to teach us history about our  country  Zimbabwe.  Nowadays, it is better because our children are being taught history that is relevant.  Most of the things our children come home to ask are easy for us to narrate because it is our history.  If they know where we are coming from, it helps them to understand patriotism.

An American national wherever they are when they hear people saying things about their nation, they stand and defend their country and their history.  As Zimbabweans, we do not have what we call patriotism.  If we do not have patriotism, we must forget about development.  We will remain colonized.  Therefore, Madam President, the erecting of the statue of Mbuya Nehanda is a reminder to the Zimbabweans on the route which we must take for the development of the country.

If you go to countries like China and South Korea, they invite people to see statues of their heroes.  Hon. Senators can give testimonies that if they go to other countries, they get photographed at statues of heroes of those countries.  Here in Zimbabwe, many people do not see it necessary to respect their heroes.  These are our own heroes.  Mbuya Nehanda inspired the freedom fighters, the war collaborators and our mothers to continue fighting.  Although it was difficult in the liberation struggle, they used to be inspired by the saying of Mbuya Nehanda that her bones were going to arise.  As a country, it is crucial to respect our heroes and heroines.

Madam President, as a Government we must change how we groom our kids. If we do not change our ways in terms of grooming and raising our children, at the end of the day, there is no history for us but our kids will respect heroes from other countries like Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. Therefore Madam President, I want to say the erection of the statue of Mbuya Nehanda must show the drive for learning the importance of respecting our heroes and heroines.          We must have rallying points so that as a country we will be able to benefit or achieve what we want. The liberation struggle managed to be a success and going forward until the country attained  its independence in 1980. We have got one thing which was our rallying point. Let me say that the rallying point was the spirit of Mbuya

Nehanda. If you move from all different parts of the country, there was one-word rallying point for Mbuya Nehanda which says, “my bones are going to rise - I am going to die for this country, take a gun and rule yourself”.

This means as a country, we had one message which is going to encourage us of patriotism; taking your country and put it first and see that it is important. I want to thank the Government for the job it has done for erecting the statue of Mbuya Nehanda at Corner Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere and these roads are named after our national heroes who helped us in the liberation of this country.

If it was not Mbuya Nehanda’s inspirational words, there was no one who was going to be found sitting here. Therefore, if we are not going to pass these words to our children and some other people who are ignorant in terms of raising of the statue of Mbuya Nehanda, we would be doing a bad thing. Let us teach them so that they can understand our history. It is not about where we are coming from but it also shows us where we are going as a country because Mbuya Nehanda was a rallying point and that rallying point is going to unite us as Zimbabweans so that we can be able to fulfill our wishes.

Madam President, I can continue to say more and more because

this issue seems as if it is a small thing but to some of us, it is a very crucial and big thing. With these few words Madam President, I want to take my seat and encourage people by saying that as a country, if we forget where we are coming from, we are not going to change if we are reading about Mao tse Tung and Winston Churchill, we are not going anywhere. We must focus on discussing our heroes here in Zimbabwe in how we are working, dressing and even our eating habits - it is because of our heroine Mbuya Nehanda. Thank you Madam President.

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


Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th September, 2021.






         Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. N. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President for

giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the report on the 65th

Session of the Commission on the status of Women held in March 2021.  I also want to thank Madam President for leading the Parliament delegation to this year’s session. My focus will mainly be on child marriages - an issue that I am passionate about and would want to see its eradication to ensure all women and girls participate fully in public life and are free from violence.

UNICEF defines child marriages as a formal marriage or union before 18 years of age. Zimbabwe is a State Party to international instruments whose aim, among others, is to protect the girl child, including protecting them from child marriages. These legal frameworks, which include Convention on the Elimination of All Form of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Convention on the

Rights of the Child (CRC), SADC Protocol on Gender and

Development, have been considered and their provisions have been incorporated into gender laws of the country. Zimbabwe prioritised children’s rights. It adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child and various laws have been passed in the recent years which protect the children.

Children’s rights are now set out in Section 19 of the Constitution.   Section 19 (1) clearly sets out that the State must adopt policies and measures to ensure that in matters relating to children, the best interest of the children concerned are paramount.  In Section 19 (2), the State has undertaken to ensure that children enjoy family or parental care or appropriate care when removed from the family environment.  They have shelter, basic nutrition, health care and social services.  They are protected from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse and have access to appropriate education and training.

Further to that, Section 78 of the Constitution stipulates that every person who has attained the age of eighteen, has the right to start a family of their own.  In addition, criminal law has protected children against sexual offences that might be committed against them.

However, notwithstanding these constitutional provisions, the Marriage Act [Chapter 5:11] provides that a girl between the ages of 16 and 18 may, with the joint consent of her mother and father, enter into a civil marriage under the Marriage Act.  The Marriage Act does not however permit a boy below the age of 18 years to contract a marriage.  The report on the 65th Session of the CSW noted early child marriages as a big threat to the human rights and well-being of children and the development agenda.  Child marriage denies the young an opportunity to grow and empower themselves.  It challenges the basic rights of these children to education, health, protection and development.  The girls are forced into it a lot more in comparison to their male counterparts and impacts girls with more intensity.  Child marriage is caused by many causes like cultural, social, economic and religious.  In many cases, a mixture of these causes results in the imprisonment of children in marriages without their consent.  Girls from poor households are twice as likely to be married earlier than the girls from higher income groups.  With the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, the prevalence rate has more than doubled.  This has also contributed to the high teenage pregnancies rate noted by the Portfolio Committees on Education and on Health and Child Care.

Madam President, according to the CSW Report tabled by Hon.

Ndlovu, it is estimated that by the end of 2021, 10 million girls will have dropped out of school because of the teenage pregnancies and child marriages.  According to multiple human rights agreements, marriage under the age of 18 is a violation of human rights, including the right to equality on grounds of sex and age, the right to marry and establish a family, the right to life, the right to education, development and the highest attainable standard of health.  Child marriage is a product of cultures that devalue women and girls and discriminate against them.  The discrimination, according to UNICEF Report on Child Marriage and the Law, often manifests itself in the form of domestic violence, marital rape, deprivation of food, lack of access to information, education, health care and general impediments to mobility.

Madam President, Zimbabwe pioneered the SADC Model Law on

Child Marriages and protecting those already in marriage, at the

Regional Parliament, the SADC Parliamentary Forum and Hon. Sen.

Mohadi can testify to that.  What are we doing as Zimbabwe to ensure we protect those already in marriage?  Our National Budget should at least have a budget to protect those already in marriage so that they are empowered to participate in public life and are also protected from violence against women.  I wish to applaud the Government for putting in place legislation to allow pregnant girls to go back to school so that they can continue with their education.  For those in marriage, there is need to equip them with vocational training skills as a source of empowerment and roll out more income generating projects.  The Marriages Bill has partly addressed the issue of child marriages but I am of the opinion that we need a stand-alone piece of legislation to address the issue of child marriages, not just mainstream it in the Marriages Bill.        Madam President, I also wish to applaud the efforts being made to address this child marriage scourge noted in the report by the traditional leaders, namely Chief Bushu and Chief Mangwende who have come up with empowerment mechanisms to assist children already in marriages.  This is the information we need as legislators so that we work together with the traditional leaders as well in our constituencies. Ending child marriage requires a united effort from all community leaders to ensure that girls are empowered to participate in public life.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA, seconded by HON.

SEN. TONGOGARA, the Senate adjourned at Five o’clock p.m.






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