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SENATE HANSARD 14 NOVEMBER 2018 28-17
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 14th November, 2018
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p. m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Section 128 (1) of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that before a Member takes his or her seat in Parliament, the Member must take the oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule. Section 128 (2) states that the oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament.
I, therefore, call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the oath of a Member of Parliament to Hon. Sen. Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu.
NEW MEMBER SWORN
HON. SEN. SIKHANYISIWE MPOFU subscribed to the Oath
of Loyalty as required by the law and took her seat – [HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-
NATIONAL POLICY ON PERSONS LIVING WITH DISABILITY
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to formulate a comprehensive National Disability Policy and review the
Disabled Persons Act.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Madam President. I rise
to support the motion by Hon. Sen. Timveos concerning the disabled people. Those people are often forgotten that they need assistance especially when we look at buildings. This morning, we were here attending the Women’s Caucus and one of us who is disabled struggled to be recognised regardless of the fact that she was raising her hand, she ended up standing up. We want this to be recognised, there is need to have a cordless microphone. I think I also saw the lady yesterday being assisted to get to the microphone. These people should be assisted as a matter of urgency.
We attended a Committee on HIV and AIDS. The youngsters who were coming to the Committee were not able to go up to fifth floor to make their contributions. We also had some people who were visually impaired who wanted to read in Braille but unfortunately they could not be helped. Madam President, as Parliament, there is need to have Parliament staff to interpret for people who are using sign language; visually impaired people can be assisted because when these people listen to these stories which are produced by ZTV, ZTV does not explain everything in detail so there is need for the visually impaired people to be assisted so that they can grasp the concept of what will be debated.
Madam President, we have also noticed that even for ablution facilities, disabled people find it difficult to use these facilities because they will be dirty. Some of the disabled people will be crawling and they end up contracting diseases. I am of the opinion that people with disability understand problems faced by disabled people and these people should be put into positions of decision making because they live with it. Also, when we grow old, we have problems of old age and it is difficult to use stairs but as for Parliament, I am grateful because we have the elevators but some buildings are not easily accessible to people living with disability. We should understand these people and assist them at all cost.
Madam President, I am calling for help for these people living with disabilities. They need tools to assist them in their day to day lives, for example the Braille, the Sign Language because they understand what we are saying but they cannot make any contributions.
*HON. SEN. TIMIRE: Thank you Madam President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos for bringing a motion about UNCRPD that we domesticate this Convention. When we look at disability, what I know is that usually when we talk of disability people think of the physical appearance of an individual but that is not disability.
What makes me feel to be disabled is the environment in which I am operating. Am I able to carry out all the work that I want to do because the environment is conducive? If I can do that, it means I am able to carry out all the things which I want but if the environment disallows me to do that it means we have no policy on disability. All the organisations and the people who are working on their programmes should include the needs of the people with disabilities. We are talking of equal opportunities but how can we have equal opportunities when we do not have any policy regarding disability. That means if we are to talk this language we say this is derogatory.
If we look at the education sector in Zimbabwe, we are saying there is inclusive education but when we go on the ground, is it realistic that we have inclusive education. We know Government is trying its best to have this inclusive education policy but the problem is, we do not have the infrastructure which caters for all people with disability. Like the toilets, they are not easily accessible to people with disability. Some of the teachers do not have equal accessibility with able bodied people.
What we then see is due to lack of these facilities; the people living with disability are then institutionalised and taken to Jairos Jiri or Emerald Hills. Because of the expenses incurred in the transportation of disabled people, parents end up giving up on the disabled child because they feel the cost is too high for them. When we are talking of inclusive education we need to create facilities and environments which are conducive for people with disability.
Let me now turn to employment. Why do employers find it difficult to employ somebody with disability? The main reason is, they do not have the facilities which can be accessed easily by the people with disability but when we talk of this inclusive policy it encourages removal of all the barriers so that people with disabilities can access all the facilities they want because the UNCRPD needs to be domesticated. Whosoever will be planning a programme will have to include people with disability because they will have a disability component in them. When they notice that they will not hesitate to employ people with disability because they will have them in their policies. We are saying in our sustainable development goals, leave no one behind. If we do not have a policy, it means these people are going to suffer. Regarding gender, we have that policy and even the animals have their own rights. That is why we are saying that Government should now concentrate on these people with disability.
We also know that they talk about the health of the people with disability. I wish we could conceptualise the problem faced by somebody who cannot communicate. Yes, there are people who are being taught sign language but it is not enough. This pregnant woman is in labour. She wants to communicate with the nurse but they do not understand each other. There is no communication and as a result, the mother or child may die resulting in infant maternal mortality. At times a pregnancy is compromised because instead of communicating with the nurse there is a third person who is called to come and interpret for the nurse.
Every day we are communicating and everybody is saying something including those people who are in the other House, the National Assembly. They need to know what we are talking about because some of the people who voted for us include those who hear and the deaf people. When they see me communicate by just opening my mouth they will think that I am saying something which is derogatory to them but if we put systems in place they will understand that we are standing in for them because we will be interpreting for them at home. They will even prepare to vote for us again so that come the year 2023, they will definitely vote for us.
A person with disability needs to live independently and not be carried by anybody. I have a child who comes with me to Parliament and at times you have to send somebody somewhere. You have to live independently and this should spread to all people with disability. They should be independent and not rely on other people. You feel dignified when you are doing things on your own. Even when you own something, if you have sweated and worked for it, you feel proud, care and you are jealousy of it because it is yours. I also feel the same when I have done something and accolades are showered upon me because I would have done something positive. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Madam President for
giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on this motion on disability which was introduced by Hon. Sen. Timveos. In our African culture, particularly Shona, we say ‘mock the disabled when you are dead’ because we are here in this House and we feel we are whole but we have some disability in one way or the other. For example, I am putting on spectacles; it means I have a disability. Some of us have chronic illnesses and we have to live on continuous medication and that again, is a form of disability.
In the previous Parliament, I was in the Committee of Human Rights and our Chairman took us on an outreach programme where we visited institutions for people living with disabilities. I was touched when we visited Jairos Jiri Mashonaland Branch in Southerton. There were a lot of youngsters who were disabled. When they saw us they were so happy and really welcomed us. They really touched me because the disability was in many forms. What I saw there was very difficult for me but of great importance to me were the products of their own creation. They did a lot of gardening, sewing and all those other projects they were engaged in.
They also showed us their wheelchairs of which some of them had broken down and some are alright. They told us that when manufacturing some of their products there are some people who come to purchase them so that they earn a living.
We are all aware of the accident that happened in Rusape where so many people perished and some of them have been maimed. All those who were injured are going to live with disabilities and they will need our assistance. So it is important that we work as a team with the responsible Ministry to carry out all the progressive programmes for people living with disabilities. This should include their places of residence or their occupation. In that accident there was an infant who was left orphaned because both parents perished. I am urging fellow Members of Parliament that we work for the good of the people who elected us.
In one of these fact finding missions we went to one of the schools and saw one of the youngsters operating a computer using his mouth and yet I am able bodied but cannot operate a computer. However, I am somebody of jovial mood so I asked my fellow Members to make contributions of any form to these youngsters whom we had seen. Despite their disabilities they were able to do something which would be of benefit to their future and they can live an independent life.
This motion which regarding supporting those living with disability involves everybody. I am aged; long time ago our parents were afraid of children born with disabilities, especially those with albinism. However, most of the people living with disability live longer than able bodied people. In our family we have an aunt who is disabled and she is the only one left in her household. Let us support these people living with disability.
In the past, the Parliament did not take into account election of people living with disability until the coming in of the new Constitution. People with disabilities should be elected into positions and committees such as SDA’s and P.T.A’s, even in councils. We have people living with disabilities in our wards and constituencies. I am calling for Ministers to come and listen to these debates so that they can formulate policies which are of benefit to the nation. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. HUNGWE: Thank you very much Madam
President. First of all, I would like to congratulate you for being elevated to the position of President of Senate, as well as the additional position. I would also like to thank the Hon. Member who introduced this motion. The motion is very important; it cuts across religious, tribal and any other divisions which may want to divide us. It has no race, colour or creed. Living with disability is a very emotional issue. Now that this matter has been introduced in this House, I made my contribution yesterday saying this is a House of high esteem which has Members who are elderly, because of the 40 years and above qualification for senators. Therefore, as Members of this august House let us be practical, let us go to the constituencies where we come from and make a thorough inspection of people living with disability so that they get assistance.
Are you are aware Hon. Senators that we have children who were born with disabilities but are being hidden out of the glare of the public, they are locked up in houses and even dug in pits so that they are not seen. I was a Member of Parliament for Dzivarasekwa where I ended up forming a group of inspectors who would move around Dzivarasekwa looking for children with disabilities. We have Hon. Sen. Khupe who is living with disability and is in this august House, which is a good precedence. However, there are some unfortunate people living with disabilities being treated like dogs, especially when being given food; it is thrown at them because some people do not want to be associated with them. They are segregated.
I was happy to hear the Hon. Senator talking about a fact finding mission where they saw some people living with disability being independent. In the group which I have earlier on alluded to; I started by making food contribution but they told me that they do not want to be spoon fed. They said instead of me giving them fish, I should provide lessons on how to fish. I also asked them what I could offer them as a Member of Parliament and they suggested that I should help them in getting land for farming. When I looked at the people in that constituency, some of them had no hands, some had no legs and some were crippled. However, despite that they are very successful in their farming venture; I also noticed that they had dug up a well for fetching water for their gardening projects. I was mesmerized and asked them how they had dug the wells of water; I ended up sourcing for a water pump so that they could be assisted. I am making this contribution to show fellow Members and the Government that we need to put our heads together and empower these people living with disability. They do not want to depend on alms. They do not want to be dependant, they want to be independent. So, when they are empowered they can live on their own and even make contribution to the benefit of the State.
As far as I am concerned if the fiscus permits, these people living with disabilities should have a full Ministry which is specially looking at their welfare, because at the moment they are included in the Ministry of Social Welfare where they are bunched together with widows and orphans who are not disabled. As a result, the people with disability are disadvantaged in accessing services because the widows and orphans are quick to access the services and get all the cream of the assistance. That is why I have established a project for them and it going on well. They even told me that they have received assistance of 50kg and I am calling for a Ministry which is going to take care of their needs and they will make their contributions and be heard.
When we talk of disability in Zimbabwe, we are talking of millions of people hence I am calling for this House to make a thorough research and we can easily achieve this ambition. I know we have a listening President who can assist if you come up with proper ideas for assisting people living with disability. I thank you.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. G. SHOKO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
The debate to resume: Thursday, 15th November, 2018.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO: I move that the debate do now
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 15th November, 2018.
DEVOLUTION OF POWER
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the call for devolution.
Question again proposed.
+HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you Madam President for giving me
this opportunity to add my voice on this motion. Before I go any further, I would like to thank my Party President, Nelson Chamisa and people from Matabeleland South who chose me to represent them in Parliament. I would like also to thank Hon. Sen. Mwonzora for bringing the motion on devolution to Parliament.
Devolution is the only way that can bring empowerment in our country. If we allow devolution of power, especially in Matabeleland South we can have electricity, enough boreholes and tapped water in rural areas. The issue on devolution is a question we have been asking but the response is – I am looking at Mangwe District where I come from. Mangwe District is a very small district but it has many riches. We have cattle ranching, goat ranching and many other projects.
I feel much pain when I talk about the issue on devolution; there are so many minerals and mines but because the laws of this country are applicable to certain areas, it therefore makes it difficult for me to even mention the laws. The regulations that are there in mining, you will realise that most people lose their homes, cattle and right now we do not even have enough area for farming, even grazing land for our cattle.
What is more painful is that it is not the people from that area who do that, but people who come from different areas and Government allows them to do their mining activities. During election times they would say that people can do whatever they want because they would want to be voted by those people. For example, we have a mine called New Generation which is at Ngwizi growth point; it is a very painful thing that happened there.
The homesteads that are there are about 30 metres from the mine. There is gold yes, but so many homesteads were destroyed. You would also realise that many houses have cracks due to the mining activities that are taking place. All this is happening with approval from Government. This mine was also officially opened by the Minister and some of the Hon. Members who are in this august House were present.
What pains me a lot is that the gold that is being mined there, we do not even know where it is sold. There is nothing that remains for the benefit of the community. This has even caused soil erosion on our land and our roads are destroyed. There is too much movement of vehicles.
In Mangwe District, we have two border posts and so much income is earned out of those border posts. To my surprise is that, that area does not have proper roads. I have heard some people saying wrong things that Mangwe Road is tarred, that is not true because I come from that area and I stay there. Mr. President Sir, some of the things are an embarrassment, a road that is 180km from Plumtree border post to Mphoengs Border Post; the first time they tried to put tar on that road was 1985 and today I am being called a grandmother and that road is still not constructed.
This embarrassment does not affect me only, like I said that it is a rich area, I have seen even Government officials coming to that area using earoplanes, which is a sign that they cannot even use the same roads because the roads are impassable. Mr. President Sir, Mangwe falls under region 5, there is nothing on farming that you can get out of it unless if you use irrigation. Unfortunately, that irrigation was taken and given through command agriculture. If only devolution can work, those who are getting outputs from command agriculture should try and sell to the people from that region. Let us not starve each other whilst others are able to get something to eat. Mangwe District has a big hospital and I remember at a certain point it accommodated people coming from Botswana, for example TB patients. One painful thing is that people end up losing their lives whilst they are trying to reach Plumtree hospital and an ambulance will fail to get to the hospital in time. In the end, people lose their lives.
Again the mortuaries are not working because electricity is never available. Mr. President Sir, we have been given a title that the Kalanga people are not educated. Yes, it is true. How are they going to learn when schools are so far apart? The students have to walk very long distances and how are they expected to learn when there is no electricity. Most of the times, the education that is being given now is through use of electronic gadgets and most of the schools that are there are so dilapidated.
Mr. President Sir, I want to end by saying we really want devolution so that we are able to do things on our own, especially in Mangwe District. We will be able to take care of the orphans especially those that lose their parents whilst they are outside the country. For example, I know in Mangwe we have people who die out of the country whilst trying to get employment. I think Mangwe district has the highest rate. We request for devolution of power so that we are able to construct our own roads, improve our schools, check the necessities of the hospitals and also be able to get vehicles for the police. If someone commits suicide in the morning and then you try to get in touch with the police, you will be told that we do not have a vehicle to attend to the scene and at the end of the day, the body will go bad.
If we get devolution, we will be able to assist even the police who are in our area as Mangwe District. We are asking for devolution because in Mangwe District, we have people who are unfortunate and need help like the disabled so that we do not have to travel to Harare every time. Mr. President Sir, devolution is very important especially in Matabeleland South because they are so many people who lost their parents during the time of Gukurahundi or people who lost their documents during the time of Murambatsvina. Most of the times they are told that you can only go and get your identity cards or any form of identification in Harare and at the end of the day I end up testifying that I know that the person was born in that area. Some of the people get to a stage of passing on without even having any identification documents.
All this is because all the things are supposed to be done in Harare.
Most of the time people do not have enough money to travel all the way to Harare to come and get their documents. As I conclude, I want to emphasise on the issue that the Government should try to improve. We have been singing about the issue of devolution, some of us have even got to a stage of cramming it. We have been singing this song on the issue of devolution and it is my wish that we implement this and stop talking about it every time.
*HON. SEN. WUNGANAI: Thank you Mr. President for
according me this opportunity. Firstly, I want to thank my President Mr.
Chamisa and the people of Mashonaland East who voted me resoundingly. This is not the first time but they once nominated me for this devolution although it did not work, that is why I stood up to contribute on it. This issue of devolution is a thing which is in our
Constitution. This idea of cascading power from top to bottom is in our Constitution. I want to speak on behalf of Mashonaland East and other parts which are lagging behind in terms of devolution.
Firstly, Mr. President, there are very few of us in the rural areas who understand the issue of devolution because people were not educated on what devolution is because their leaders do not want them to know. What is at stake here is when power has been handed down to the district and provinces where we are, the people’s eyes will be opened and they will know where power is being abused. When talking on this devolution, I want conclude by saying the chiefs who are down there whom I am seeing that they are not getting a fair share when it comes to devolution, if the Government that was there when we made the
Constitution in 2013, if they were interested, they would have effected that so that our chiefs would have power. We have them here in
Parliament and they are representing the people where they come from. The previous Government did not want chiefs to work in their respective areas. I say so because they cannot be chiefs who only represent people and yet they do not have anything to do with minerals in their areas.
I am very happy when I see them being given vehicles, but I am not happy when they are left out in terms of devolution. This is because they can be given cars so that they keep quiet. It can be a way of bribing them, yet they are supposed to get things in their areas which are in the hands of other people. Let the chiefs in our country do their dues because there is no one who is addjudicated by the chief. It is very rare these days and we do not get that. So, what is the use of chiefs? We want chiefs to preside over issues as they used to do. If they fail, they will take it over to the courts of the country.
Mr. President, we have a lot of places in Mashonaland East where we have a lot of minerals. I would have been happy to say this when the Hon. President of the Senate was here because she knows the area. We have an area in Mutoko where black granite is found. If you go to Mutoko, you will be hurt if you are like me. There were mountains which I used to know, but they are no more there. Black granite was mined but if you look at the life that the people in Mutoko lead, it is very painful.
If you look at their structures, the buildings that they have, it is a sad story. Stones are carried day and night and people are relocated because granite has to be mined in that area. If you look at the road that is being used to ferry those stones, it is in a dilapidated state and those are the stones that are damaging the road to Nyamapanda. When those stones fall down and destroy bridges, it takes about a year or two, people circumventing those areas because it will not be accessible, but the Government will be there.
If these stones would form and the responsibility is given to people in Mashonaland East to manage, I do not think that those people would want to use damaged bridges. We have a lot of gold in Mashonaland
East but it does not help the people there. They always get food from Government and in the end, they vote because they have no choice. We want devolution in Mashonaland East and we want it in the whole country because we agreed that there should be devolution in our Constitution.
If you fail to give chance to the people who were chosen by the people to represent them in the provincial council, this becomes a fake Government because it should not be repeated if they were people who were afraid that they will be apprehended as thieves stealing from this country. We are saying there is a new Government and this should be sorted. Mr. President, I do not want to waste time, I want to thank you for according me this opportunity.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for
giving me this opportunity to make my contribution. I want to make my contribution on this motion on devolution. I am saying as we are gathered here as Hon. Members of the Senate, we belong to the nation and not partisan Senators. I want us to discuss this motion on devolution as a non-partisan issue because the issue of devolution was raised by the public during the Constitution making process and people suggested that we should have devolution. This was not introduced by a specific party but by the people.
We know that there is a section in the Constitution which talks about devolution. In our last elections, we were not able to let the people who had been elected to get into these provincial councils to be implemented. The wishes of the people from these areas were not able to be fulfilled and the reasons given were non-performance, nonestablishment of this devolution project, was economic problems. We get into this new term and we now have a new dispensation. We know that devolution is still in existence. Now that we are through with the elections, let us now implement devolution.
We elected the local authorities, the councillors and there was competition and people were elected. All they are waiting for is to take part in devolution. They all said they wanted devolution and it will be a lie to say we only have one party which is calling for devolution, but all the parties and everybody is interested in this devolution. Government is taking into account that this devolution should be implemented. It was not a way of hoodwinking people on this idea, but clearly, the ordinary people of Zimbabwe suggested that we need devolution. This happened during the constitutional making process.
The process was led by Hon. Mwonzora and Hon. Mangwana who were leading the teams which were doing fact finding. Last week we were in Bulawayo working on pre-budget programmes. In the Budget, that is where we make plans for the implementation of this devolution. We have the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and he needs to set aside some funds for the implementation of this devolution programme. People started what they wanted. As Members of Parliament, we also put our input in this programme. We are saying, devolution is national, is for the Government and is not partisan. It belongs to everybody; it is in the Constitution.
I know our seniors are working out ways of removing all the loopholes which were in place. In the past, we had Rural District
Councils and each council worked independently on its programmes. As of now, most of these councils are now work in progress on development. As a nation, we said the councils were working on their small areas but these now need to build their provincial councils, which is going to lead to the development of each province and benefit from its own resources. This is everybody’s baby. Everyone wants to see this being implemented.
One of our functions is representation and the people we are representing are looking forward to the establishment of this devolution
– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order,
order. You were applauding when other Hon. Members were debating.
Why are you now heckling the Hon. Member who is debating?
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: There is need for development. What we know is that we have these chiefs who have their chiefdoms where they have their jurisdiction with no interference. These chiefs have added powers given to them and we are saying in this devolution there will be progress – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Other Hon.
Members were not heckled, they debated freely. We should have a culture of tolerance. It is his opinion; let him debate.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for
protecting me from these hecklers and I will continue emphasising that as Hon. Senators, we should talk with one voice. We are one and the same and we need to work with one voice so that we have progress. We all love devolution. It should be implemented sooner than later.
The chiefs were given cars because they are people who are working in these areas. They are ruling their areas and they need to be mobile. When they are given this, there is no party politics in giving out these cars but it is appreciating the services that they are offering in their areas. When we introduce devolution, there is going to be progress. To wind up my speech, when we talk of devolution, whether we like it or not, sooner than later it is going to be implemented. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. FEMAI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity. Firstly Mr. President, I would want to thank the former speaker for admitting that they are quiet but they want it. I want to thank you so much. Secondly, I was in the Seventh Parliament when the
Constitution was made. I was lucky because I was chairing a Thematic
Committee which asked people in Mashonaland East what they wanted. What made me realise that this is of God is, each place that we went to with our personnel, we did not ask people to ask for devolution but we would just ask and all the people would raise their hands and said they wanted devolution. What also surprised me is that there were other teams that were working in Matabeleland, Manicaland and Masvingo and when we would meet in the evening giving our reports, we would find that we would give the same report on devolution. This shows that it was a universal thing.
Let me say that God created people in his own image. He is the same God who gave them languages and a culture as well as he was making his own devolution. When he finished creating this, he came back and blessed some with stones, diamonds, gold, mopane worms and other various things. To show that God was involved in this, each and every part of the country has its own chief. Some do not understand when the Bible says that chiefs are chosen by God. It is not talking about the Government; it is the chiefs who are in the Bible. Chiefs were chosen by God and were given their areas and the wealth in that area.
They are quiet but they are aware of it.
Long time ago Mr. President, they used to say that in Mhangura you would find chrome and others would have different things. They would make axes. Chiefs would send their subordinates to go and engage in barter trade. Those animals in Hwange were sent by God and in Mhangura they would take their axes to the people in Hwange and exchange them with meat, i.e. barter trade and the chief would be happy.
These chiefs you see here are aware of it.
Nowadays, we do not know what is troubling our economy to the extent of economic meltdown because we are taking things from certain areas to Chinhoyi and build a hospital or a university with minerals from
Manicaland. You will be working against God’s will since he is the one who placed those minerals there. In the Bible, Adam was also mischievous when he ate the fruit and was reprimanded by God because God does not want that. In the Bible, you read about the Israelites who were given rich land that was full of milk and honey and no one took that land from them up to now - they are still on that land.
So, why is it that our minerals are taken to other areas from Manicaland? In Manicaland, our minerals are diamonds but we do not have good roads in the area where diamonds are being mined. The only mineral that leaves that area is diamond and if you see dust on the roads, it is from the trucks that will be transporting diamonds. They are mining billions of diamonds but they cannot construct the roads there.
My proposal is that if only the Government, from my own understanding that chiefs are chosen by God, could just come in place. When they come, they should tax those areas where diamonds are polished so that they are polished properly to enhance value addition. In the end, the chiefs, headmen and even the Government should be involved but the owner of those diamonds should know that when these minerals have been sold we want to construct roads, buy fertilizer, et cetera because if you do not come from that area it is very difficult. Those of us who come from Chimanimani in the lowveld, we do not use fertiliser but you will find loads of fertilisers being transported there. We do not use fertiliser because of the weather but if you approach the chief of that area, they will tell you that we do not use fertiliser or manure and this is how we do it. We want cattle and tractors instead to till our land – that is devolution. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
I want to thank all the Hon. Senators who are clapping in this House because they are all happy about devolution. I heard one speaker saying that we are a mature House. So if you are not happy about devolution, are you mature? You are not mature because this devolution should not be internally only but you should show that devolution is the way. This is the reason why Hon. Mwonzora deemed it fit to table this motion. When I referred to God as the one who blesses people and allows rain to fall on the ground, you will find that rain falls indiscriminately in all areas. The rain is the money that is coming from the Government; it is now coming from the Government raining everywhere. The taxes that have been collected by Government are now being given to people – not to take the diamond, but the taxes will now go to the people so that they decide on how to use them. The Government should be aware of the fact that no one should go against those whom God has anointed.
I thank the mover of the motion on devolution. If it were possible, I think that is what we should do right now. Should we fail to implement devolution in the Ninth Parliament then we would have gone against God’s will because the people who were created by God have spoken. With these few words, Mr. President, I rest my case.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for
according me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion which was tabled by Hon. Sen. Shoko and the seconder.
Let me say that devolution is very good and as Hon. Members, we are the Government because Government is the people. There is no Government without the people – it is us who make devolution to be there because we have welcomed it already. There are laws that have to be followed on how the provincial councils operate. Like here in the Senate, we have thematic committees and the National Assembly has portfolio committees – there is a difference. It gives us direction on how to operate.
I like two things that were pointed out by the mover of the motion. He said that there was need to urgently bring in a Bill. He knew that in order for devolution to work, we need to table a Bill in this House so that we decide in this Parliament. Then we would know how our provincial councils should work because if we do not get the Bill from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, devolution will not be lawful. It is our desire as this House, through the Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that we push the Minister of Local Government, Hon. July Moyo to say where is the Bill. We are waiting for the Bill. We want the Provincial Councils to start working. If it comes, then the Minister should have something written down on how he wants the Provincial Councils to work. All the things will be in the memorandum. That is where the mandate of the Provincial Councils will be. If there are things that we want to add or subtract, we will be looking at that Bill. If there is nothing that we remove and we let the Bill pass, it means the Provincials Councils will now be working lawfully.
The same applies to the Chiefs. The Chiefs have got their Act called the Traditional Leaders Act which outlines how they should work. If you go to the Constitution, the Chiefs have their own rules that they are supposed to follow. All those are supposed to be brought together. The Traditional Leaders Act should be aligned to the Constitution so that our Chiefs work legally and not use a lot of laws. What is important is to have laws that guide the work of a person. No one is against devolution. Even in this House we are called to order. So, all work is guided by a certain law.
I love what our Speaker always says. He always says that it is us who should push the work of the Ministers. Whatever we want, we should ask and chase the Ministers up as Senators but if we become weak, everything will be weak because we will not be doing our job. Do we really understand our responsibility as Senators that the law is needed here and as Senators where do we come in? We should ask the Minister of Local Government about the Bill. This Bill is delaying the implementation of Provincial Councils so that we have growth in the rural areas.
He also talked about providing a budget. Do we have a budget and do we now know it. We just came from the pre-Budget Seminar in Bulawayo, when we go into our Committees we should look at the budget to see if the Provincial Councils are catered for. The budget is very important because it is the one that drives the work. It will be our work in Committees. I am so happy that Hon. Sen. Shoko said that there should be a budgetary implement in that it was written professionally but at the moment we do not have the budget.
So, how do you expect the Provincial Councils to work without money? Even Parliament of Zimbabwe does not have money. How can we carry out our work effectively if Parliament does not have money? Those are the things which we should look at. For us to have teeth Parliament should have money so that we can face the Ministers and push for Bills to come into this House and give them deadlines so that our Provincial Councils can work. If Parliament does not have money the whole system does not work because Parliament is very important.
Thank you Mr. President.
+HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I want to be grateful for the motion that was brought to this House on devolution. As I speak Mr. President, if only all of us in this House as Members of the Senate were there when the President officially opened the First Session of the Ninth Parliament. All of us will be talking the same language on the issue to do with devolution. The President tabled it very clearly and promised the whole nation that this Ninth Parliament would see that devolution would be done. The President of the country said that.
Mr. President, when we talk about devolution of power we are not talking about devolution of power to look at the things that are happening locally. For example, we are looking even at the people like has been said by other members, the issue to do with Provincial Councils. Our request is that even those who are going to be leaders in Provincial Councils will agree that they have been selected by the people. Those who are going to lead our different cities should be people who are elected by the people not people selected by a certain individual.
This issue to do with devolution of power has been spoken about by all the Members of this House which is a sign that we are talking the same language. The President of the country indicated that this Ninth Parliament will work on the issue of devolution of power. I believe that by end of next year everything that is supposed to be done concerning devolution of power will be done. One member contributed on the issue of the budget. I am hoping that we will see even in the budget the issue of devolution. I believe we are here to represent different people and therefore, by June next year all of us will be happy that devolution of power will be there for the President even promised that.
My request Mr. President Sir is that when we are talking about issues that concern the people that we are representing let us not look at our political parties. For example, let us not say that this motion was brought by whom according to our political parties. When we are in this House we are the Government of the country regardless of political affiliation. The truth is that we are here as the Government. If only all the Members of the Senate could conduct themselves as the Government not to say I have been sent by ZANU PF or MDC.
What I am seeing here Mr. President is that yes, I am new in this
House but everyone is looking at their political party that they represent. Certain things that are discussed are to build the nation. For example, if I bring a motion, people will not contribute to it because it is coming from Mathuthu who represents a certain party. I am therefore asking Hon. Senators to support every motion that is building the nation. I do not think if the issue of devolution comes, it will be a problem, for His Excellency is even waiting to put a signature. Let us do all the procedures that are important until we get to the end. I request that the hopes and the wishes of the people we are representing be fulfilled.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: I second.
Motion put and agreed.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 15th November, 2018.
CASH SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY
Fourth Order read: adjourned debate on motion on the call to solve the cash crisis in the country.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Mr. President for giving
me this opportunity to make my contribution on a motion raised by Hon. Shoko. I know many Hon. Senators have debated on this motion. I am grateful to Hon. Shoko and the seconder, Hon. Sen. Timveos for raising this motion. Mr. President, as Members of this august House, we need to look at the problem which is facing the nation at the moment and we need to look for ways of solving this problem. In our Shona culture, when such kind of a catastrophe happens - for example, if a member of the family has committed murder, culturally we look for ways of making peace between families.
Our country is in a dismal state because everybody is suffering from the cash crises. We are in a situation where we have bond notes and coins; we have reached a point of selling our own currency in our own country. As Members of Parliament and Ministers, we discussed this at the Pre-Budget Seminar, we need to put our heads together and look for ways of solving this cash crisis. I have never heard of a country which sells its own currency. Zimbabwe has become a shameless country; it is now being looked down upon by other countries because one has to go to nearby countries like South Africa to buy foodstuffs and other necessities. However, when you want to go to those nearby countries, you struggle in order to get foreign currency.
Mr. President and all the people involved, tell us who is responsible for this cash crisis and where is the money coming from so that it can be shared to everyone. As Members of Parliament and Government we have had people who are responsible for leakages of foreign currency. His Excellency has declared that Zimbabwe is open for business but can we get investors when they know we have a cash crisis; obviously they know they would not get returns on their investment. I am calling for Hon. Senators that we put our heads together and apprehend the people who are illegally accessing foreign currency. There are people in this country who have suitcases full of cash in the streets instead of money being in the banks. Zimbabwe is one of the countries which has the most qualified security agencies, so why not arrest these cash barons? We need to be sincere when we are talking the arrest of these criminals dealing in foreign currency. When they are arrested, they should be incarcerated with hard labour and for a long time because they have contributed to the misery and suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans. We are no longer accessing our money in the banks. I thank you.
+HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this
opportunity. I want to add my voice on the issue of cash shortages. I will not mention where we are going to get the money from but my request is, let us speak the same language in realising that we are all parents and Hon. Members, the issue of cash shortages has created so many problems, especially in our homes. All of us here have school drop outs because of cash shortages. When you have a child who is not doing anything, the boys will get into robbery and the girls will engage into prostitution. A girl child will opt to get into prostitution so that they can at least get a $1, after that the girl can get pregnant without a responsible father, some of the girls will try to abort, as a result they will die.
This is very painful, for example, if they die whilst outside the country, it will be again a burden to the parents. In my constituency, there are about five gold panners who died underground while engaged in illegal gold panning. We also have people who are illegally crossing the borders to go and look for money but they end up dying. As a result we have so many bodies that are lying at the borders. The situation should be that we have foreigners who die in Zimbabwe going back to their countries, not the other way round. So, it is my wish that the issue of cash shortages should be looked into so that Zimbabwe can be a country that has a better view. Some of us have lost our husbands simply because of the issue of cash shortages. We can look at it as a trivial issue but Hon. Members, most of us are now old. Our children’s homes are being destroyed. What I know is when a home does not have enough money, most of the times there is no happiness. The issue of finance is bringing too many disputes in our homes. For example, if you look at combi conductors when they fail to reach the target for the day as required by the owner of the combi, some of them can fail to handle the pressure and they will commit suicide.
Even if we look at the issue of corruption, most of it starts may be from 2%, our money is being deducted from banks and ecocash transactions. Some people opt to stay in jail instead of facing all these challenges where what you worked for is taken away from you without your consent. Some of them fear that they cannot manage to face the economic situation in this country. You will realise that if someone is released from jail today, they will quickly commit another crime so that they can go back to jail. This is how bad the cash shortage has led people to do. If we continue not taking this issue seriously, we can even have one of us here committing suicide because of the cash shortages. I thank you.
HON. SEN. G. SHOKO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 15th November, 2018.
NATIONAL DRUG POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on National Drug
Policy and legislative framework to effectively regulate drug use Question again proposed.
+HON. SEN. ZIWIRA: Thank you Mr. President. The month of December is almost upon us and you will realise that most of our children, especially the street kids will be celebrating the month of December taking drugs. When you walk up the streets, you will notice that a man who is driving a Mercedes Benz will be entertaining street kids. A street kid cannot go into a pharmacy and buy drugs. We may take this issue of drugs as a trivial issue but it is very serious. For example, in Makokoba Constituency, there are two men who are mentally ill because of drug abuse.
When you go to Engutsheni, they sell those drugs for the mentally disturbed people to young children. Those who are getting into the country with drugs, how are they getting into the country with those drugs? I have got another question that how did they learn to mix different medications so that it can be a drug which can make them drunk? It is my wish and my plea that the police should carry out their duties seriously and uproot these people who bring drugs into this country.
The month of December is a very dangerous month especially to our kids; most of them kill each other during this month. For example, if you have ever exhibited in Bulawayo during Trade Fair, you will realise that kids will be in different groups, most of them will be doing things to do with drugs. This is a very important issue. If we do a research on how many people have died due to drugs we will notice that at tender ages, some of them commit suicide and others are killing their grandmothers or elderly people. How can we assist, especially the elderly people who are guardians to the kids who are now into drugs? Life is a very important thing to everyone. Hon. Members, it is my request for us to check where our kids get these drugs. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank you for according me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos and her seconder for moving this motion on drugs. Mr. President, I would like to know whether these drugs are found in this country or they are being imported because we now have a challenge on this issue. As Hon. Senators, let us put our heads together; people are dying because of things that are coming from other countries and we do not even know their origin. This is because we do not have a drug policy. Right now there is no medication in hospitals to treat different ailments but dangerous drugs are flooding our country. Those who get drugs to alleviate pain get them from the streets. There are people moving around with bags full of drugs, so those who get access to these drugs are those who have money.
The challenge is now in the rural areas because most of them cannot access those drugs. I think we should put our heads together to ensure that things that come in our country are legally being imported through our borders. Even in this House, there are people who are making a living out of that.
Mr. President, the situation in our country is that we are endowed with all the wealth and we cannot afford to have drug shortages. Zimbabwe is very wealthy that the Chinese have left their countries to come to Zimbabwe whilst the owners are living in dire poverty. Mr. President, I think we should put our heads together. The challenge that we have is that if you want to go to the traditional healers, they also want cash they do not have swiping machines. If you want to visit Prophet Magaya, he also wants cash for one on one amounting to
US$800. Our country is rich as it is but it does not have money.
Mr. President, in this august Senate, I heard one speaker saying even in this august Senate we are the ones who should make things available in this country. People are dying, if you visit hospitals right now, you are only given paracetamol, the person who is being given paracetamol is a person suffering from cancer and these people do not have money to buy drugs. Tomorrow another one goes again at Parirenyatwa and they are given paracetamol morning, afternoon and evening. This Senate, through the wisdom of God, must put our history together so that we represent the people that made us come here because this is not child’s play. Mr. President, the challenge that we are facing is that when we are contributing an important issue like this, some people are negative and some are enemies when we are debating issues to do with the nation. I think we should remove these sad faces because our people are dying. There are no drugs in the country and people are dying of illegal drugs because drug dealers found out that in Zimbabwe you can just enter, there are no rules and regulations. I do not have money to fly out of the country, it is only those who have money who can go out and seek medical attention. Even those who are tiling the land, how can they go to China where there is medication, they cannot because they have no money?
The other day, I heard someone asking for help to go to India to be operated as if this country has no doctors and hospitals. There are professionals in this country but we must look at people who are stealing the money. If you go to the border you are shoved the other side so that you give way to them as if we are not people, we are people. I plead with you Mr. President, Senators, when a motion has been raised, we should help each other because it will help us to raise the standard of living in this country and to be non-partisan. I think the today we are in good spirit and it should continue like this.
+HON. SEN. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President, there is a
specific word that we use in Ndebele to refer to drugs, it means that if you take it, it will cause drowsiness and you sleep; I am referring to a tablet that will cause you to be drowsy. If you go to a pharmacy looking for medication, you will be told to pay in United States dollars. We cannot talk of US dollars whilst we are in Zimbabwe for we do not have that kind of currency. If you search our bags you will find that each one of us is on medication and this is one thing that we must accept that as a
nation, we are going through a crisis. There are certain medicines that we cannot afford to buy using foreign currency.
You cannot get medication using bond notes. What will then be the next option? You will opt for an injection which will be equally expensive. For example, Prophet Magaya mixed different tablets and claimed that those tables can cure HIV and AIDS, this is one person that must be arrested because he is one of the people who is causing corruption. Coming to the companies that manufacture drugs, they go the bank and get US dollars and they manufacture the drugs and they sell them outside the country and as people of Zimbabwe we remain stranded. For example, there are hospitals that are supposed to treat cancer. If you go there, you will be told there are no doctors, medication or even the paracetamol that we have been referring to is no longer there. The only medication that you can get is traditional medicine.
Why people are opting for traditional medication is because of shortage of drugs in hospitals and pharmacies. My next question would be what is that we can do as a country to get medication? We know that there are people who are so corrupt who have been stealing the money and up to now, they are still stealing money from the country even if we are at such a stranded point where we do not have medication. I thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on drugs. We know these drugs are now a problem and we wonder how these drugs are imported because in Zimbabwe, we do not have anybody who is manufacturing these drugs. What worries me is why these dangerous drugs are available when we have lots of security personnel in our borders that could apprehend all these people who are bringing drugs but nobody has been arrested for these drugs. We are destroying the future of our children because our children are now relying on these drugs. When they have taken these drugs, they become so stupefied that they do not think of progress and we are saying these children have no future. The main reason why our children are now relying on these drugs is because there is a high rate of unemployment and the economy is down. Some of these children are so learned that they have degrees, diplomas and other certificates for progress, but because they cannot get jobs or be employed somewhere, they end up relying on these drugs.
We have our children who are very learned and all they do is to wake up early in the morning and indulge in these drugs. Long back, these drugs were not available in this country. The security was so vociferous that they would arrest anybody who would come with these drugs in this country, but we have relaxed some of these rules. The reason why I am talking about these dangerous drugs is that as adults, we should be going on retirement and these youngsters should come into the jobs, but we have this problem which we are facing whereby we cannot go on retirement because we are seeing that there is no one to take over the button stick.
The long run effect of this is that the country will die a natural death because we the adults will die and youngsters are already dying. We need to put our heads together and be united in fighting this drug abuse. I am not looking down upon our policemen, but we find them at the road-blocks and yet on the drugs they are not there. Even our soldiers are many in their camps, but in the fight against dangerous drugs, they are not there. We are calling upon many arms of Government to work together in unison in fighting the importation of these dangerous drugs. Thank you.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 15th November, 2018.
SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS OF VENDING
Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on finding solutions to challenges associated with vending.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you Mr. President for giving
me this opportunity to make my contribution on this motion. Hon. Sen. Chabuka, I am grateful for the motion which you brought into this House regarding the unfair treatment given to vendors. We are all aware that in this country there is a high rate of unemployment and this unemployment was created by a lot of things. Some of these things include the programme which was introduced by Government in the 1990s where Government introduced ESAP. This led to a lot of retrenchments where many people lost their jobs. These are the people who have no jobs and cannot be employed.
The second aspect which brought in unemployment was when we reclaimed our land from the whites. The whites were employing a lot of people in their farms and the new farmer is not able to employ the number that is equal than that which used to be employed by the Europeans in their farms. The third reason for this high unemployment is that we had a country which was led by the former President Hon. R. G. Mugabe, who was at war with almost all the countries of the world like Britain, New Zealand and Canada. He would fight them off especially if they did not agree with his policies. He would side them, and yet these people whom he was looking down upon were people who had invested in this country. When they felt humiliated, they moved out leading to the high unemployment rate.
This is the reason why we have this rate of unemployment. You fight your benefactor when you still need assistance from that benefactor. This led to the migration of these investors. As we speak, Mozambique is one of the countries which benefited from the way we kicked out these entrepreneurs. Countries like Botswana and Lesotho are really benefitting because of the policies which they also have which are very progressive. I believe that when we do not agree on certain political policies; let us not fight our economy in this war because when we include the economy, we are destroying ourselves.
We also realised that our children who have graduated from the universities, colleges and high schools such as Form 4, Form 6 or even diplomas are not employed. When these learners go through their education and graduate, they are not employed because there are no jobs. They end up doing menial jobs such as looking after cattle or selling juice cards in the streets. Some of these people who are doing menial jobs are graduates and some have diplomas. Even these vendors are educated and prefer doing these menial jobs because they do not want to indulge in robberies or killing people for money. They are people who want to eke out an honest living. They are selling these things in the streets so that they can live a decent life.
Surprisingly, these vendors are the people who are being assaulted by the Zimbabwe Republic Police. We come to an extent whereby if the police feel that they cannot contain the situation, they ask for reinforcement from the army. We are fighting our own children and our own graduates. The other reason why we are in this problem is that during the campaign period, we told people lies where we promised people that we are going to create 2.2 million jobs if we were elected into power. The people of Zimbabwe are now looking forward to these 2.2 million jobs so that they are employed. What is surprising them is that none of these jobs had been created.
I am calling upon the Government - vendors exist because of the problem created by them. It is not fair that the Government which knows that it created this problem goes and beat up these vendors. May you please explain to me where this policy of beating up people came from? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - At times, these policemen are seen beating up old ladies who are in their 60s and 70s because they are vendors. Even when you do not agree with them politically, you are beaten up.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order,
order. Senator Mwonzora, we are debating the motion about vending, not political quarrels.
*HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you Mr. President. The
reason why I may seem to be talking about politics is that these vendors who are in the streets are being beaten up by the security forces. I am saying this is a very bad habit of beating up people because you have disagreed. Zimbabwe is a country and we should respect everybody regardless of their financial status. Hence, I am against the beating up of these vendors.
We have also realised that these vendors, after being beaten up, are arrested and incarcerated. The third punishment which they receive is, all the goods which they will be selling are confiscated by the police. I do not think these confiscated products are going to be disposed of but actually they will feed these people who will have beaten them up. It means the poor will remain poor because they are assaulted and have their goods and products confiscated. Their vending stalls are also destroyed.
What really boggles my mind is, these vending sites are taken up by well to do people who take and use them. What we know is that the origins of vending was to support widows, orphans and the poor so that they sell these products like second hand clothes, vegetables, fruits and juice cards. However, I have realised that the senior officials in
Government, especially their wives are the people who get the stalls.
The poor have been driven out of Mbare musika. If we look at the Copa Cabana market, the place was now called Graceland because the wife of a senior Government official was running that place. Wives of these officials are now taking over these flea markets. When they see that the poor people are now constructing their market stalls, they destroy them. What really hurt me is that the stalls of the politically powerful people were not destroyed – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
In order for us to bring development into the country, we need to create friendship with investors who will come into this country and open up mines and factories. That way, they will create jobs and we develop, but these foreign investors can only come when we are living in peace; when we do not fight political opponents. People who are politically inclined and powerful do not believe in that; they fight off their enermies. As people of Zimbabwe, we should know that we have the right of association and freedom of consciousness. If you love your political party, which is ZANU PF, you are free to support it and if you want to support MDC, it is your choice. You should follow the party you want. Foreign investors will then come and invest in this country.
It is really quite a shame that we are being looked down upon by the people of Mozambique. When you go out and try and buy with our bond notes, they will tell you in their language, Zimbabwe dollar ‘nada.’ In other words, they are saying the Zimbabwe dollar is useless. We are calling upon the Government to work and resuscitate the economy of this country. We can only do that after fighting corruption and cruelty – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - Instead of money being used in starting factories and creating businesses, these people were getting foreign currency from the Reserve Bank and selling it in the streets.
We were told that in this country there was an individual who was nicknamed Queen Bee. We were told that Queen Bee is the one who is allocated all the foreign currency given by the Government and there was nothing done by the Government. Everybody is now asking as to why the country is so poor. When we talk of this young man Lumumba, was he employed by Government? Where does this Lumumba guy belong? We need to know so that when this man is talking, we know whether it is factual because he is leaking a lot of secrets and has shown us where this hemorrhaging of foreign currency is coming from. We are all patriotic Zimbabweans. We want development in Zimbabwe. We want a peaceful and progressive Zimbabwe. We want our children and grand children to inherit a developed and progressive Zimbabwe but we will never develop our country if we are fighting amongst ourselves.
Thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on this very important topic, the issue of vending. It is very sad and unfortunate that almost 40 years after independence, we can call all the power of the State to fight the citizenry which is trying to eke a living. I am a little bit disappointed as Members of this august House if we do not address issues as they are.
My background on medicine, if you do not make the right diagnosis, the person will die. We have to make the correct diagnosis if we are to correct this issue of the so-called vending, which to me is actually derogatory. I do not expect to use it to describe fellow citizens who are trying to eke a living out of mistakes which we have made.
I think really I would probably add to say, there are two things which have created vending. If we do not correct them, we are in trouble; we will never correct this problem. The first one is bad politics and the second one is bad policies. If we do not address them, it is not the time for us to be partisan but we have to be nationalistic in outlook and really know that we are here to represent Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe is the only country which we call our home – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – I do not want to labour and take much of your time, but like I said, it is bad politics and bad policies. The bad politics, I think we have seen it all. We cannot be in the Guinness Book of Records for people who are fighting and killing amongst each other and not focusing on development. Who will develop the industry when you devote most of your time to fighting and taking useless political directions that are not nationalistic in outlook? – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
So, I think that the new dispensation is sounding some good vibes but we want to see whether or not it is going to be practical on the ground – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – that we should live as one, as Zimbabweans and peace and peace and peace. I think those were the exact words by the Head of State, but unfortunately we do not seem to be practicing what we are saying, meaning that we are going to perpetuate the issue of vendors. Vending is actually due to unemployment and who is responsible for creating employment? It is the State that has to create an enabling environment so that whoever wants to invest can do so. Like was alluded to by an Hon. Senator that mari haidi pane noise inenge hangaiwa – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – So we have to make sure that we behave.
All of us here have relatives and children who are holders of PhDs yet they now spend 10 years without employment. They are now at the twilight of 40 years old, imagine even if things are going to change, who is going to employ that person as a trainee? Who can train a 40 or 51 year old person? This means that we have actually condemned these people for good, if we are not careful and keep going round, we will perpetuate the problem and there will be nothing to call our Zimbabwe.
So I think we need to practice good politics. We spoke about poor foreign relations, where you heard baba venyika who is unfortunately a beggar going on to shout and almost even threaten people who are supposed to come and help him. Who will do that? No one, so this is bad politics.
Now let us go onto policies, like currently I would say that we need to make sure that we put good policies on the ground. We need to know definitions of who is called an investor and who is not. I think that this is one of the problems that we face as a country right now. We have seen criminals – I would say criminals, coming through our airport and being hosted by the Government as potential investors. Three days to three months down the line, they are found engaging in money laundering and smuggling activities – are they investors? – [HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – They are not investors.
We are also allowing people to come and sell and not create industries. If you look at our all weather friends, the Chinese, what investment have they brought into the country besides selling toys et cetera and crowding our locals with those things that can be done by people who do not have capital. Yet we take State resources to host those people as investors for political reasons, we cannot do that – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – I think that we need to address issues as they are, hanzi ukatya kusvina mota uchiteta, mota redu rinorwadza and riripanzvimbo isina kunaka. Tinofanira kushinga and face reality.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order Senator,
please use one language, if you want to speak in Shona, by all means do so, but if you want to speak in English, by all means speak in English. The reason is that our interpreters and Hansard Reporters will have difficulty in producing a correct record of what you are saying.
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President, it was
supposed to be in quotes. So as a nation, to really make vending topical, we would be very happy if it was about employment creation but calling the police and where you think you are threatened - you call the soldiers to drive away people who are trying to eke a living is very unfortunate. It is actually a betrayal of the people of Zimbabwe. I do not believe that is what we fought for and that is not what we cherish as a nation - it will not take us anywhere. When you have a Government that is sitting and planning to say that we have to chase people out of the city what does that mean? – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – Is that going to create employment for our children?
It is not, and unfortunately they are off target, they do not know what is happening. So we need to make sure that we do correct things first if we are to correct this issue of vending. Vending is a national cancer that has been brought. We call it heterogenic, in other words, you are the ones who created it. It was created by leadership – bad policies and bad politics – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – that has impoverished and dehumanized the citizenry of this country. I do not believe that is the mandate that we give leaders when we vote for you – to make us suffer, dehumanized and given some derogatory terms when you are trying to eke a living when us, as Government, are supposed to be creating that conducive environment.
So, I hope as an arm of Government, we put pressure for people to know what needs to be done. The issue is not about creating or chasing people out of town. The issue is about providing employment for those people. Do you think that a PhD holder would want to sell airtime juice cards? So let us really interrogate ourselves as leadership and as people and ask ourselves if we are doing the right thing.
The last issue is on corruption - this was in the public domain. We have people whom we entrust with our resources to create projects that are meant to benefit the county but you get someone who is given $5 million constructing a tuck shop that is supposed to be generating solar energy to power the nation. The person is still roaming around yet we have lost millions of dollars, if those millions were channeled towards creating projects or hubs for the youths who are loitering around would we have problems? We would not be having problems but now,
‘vanototi zvavharana. We cannot allow that as a people – [HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
So Mr. President Sir, I think that we can go round and round but the correct diagnosis to our issue is wrong politics and wrong policies. We have to address that and if it is a cancer then we are saying we are doomed as a nation. I thank you. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: Thank you Mr. President. I want
to add three points regarding this motion. My point of view is that we are not saying people should not be involved in vending but the issue is where are these people vending from? Where are they setting up their flea markets and vending sites. We are saying to the Minister and the Government, when these people are relocated to those new places have the new sites been serviced, because when we talk of selling we talk of servicing land. Can we take the Senate to go and hold meetings in the
CBD? I am saying no because the atmosphere is not conducive.
We are also talking about investors who we want to attract into this country, especially if they get a picture of the congestion that was caused by the vendors who were filling up the streets, spilling onto the pavements. We are not fighting vendors but these vendors should be selling at the correct designated places. Even when we are relocating them, we are saying the places should be serviced with enough ablution facilities just as we are doing now. We are at a conducive place to enable our debates to take place and we need to have the Bills and policies that regulate where these vendors can operate from which are properly serviced and located. Thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 15th November, 2018.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR
MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN.
MAVHUNGA), the House adjourned at Three Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.