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SENATE HANSARD 15 FEBRUARY 2022 VOL 31 NO 19

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 15th February, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

DEATH OF A MEMBER HON. SEN. PHYLLIS NDLOVU

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is with profound sorrow that I have to inform the Senate of the death of Hon. Phyllis Ndlovu, Senator for Matabeleland North Constituency on 31st January, 2022. I therefore invite hon. Senators to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Senator.

All Hon. Senators observed a minute of silence

INVITATION TO A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also wish to inform the Senate that there will be a Catholic Church Service and a talk on the Synod, tomorrow 16th February, 2022 at 1145 hours in the Senate Chamber. All members are invited.  Non-Catholic Members are welcome.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): I move that Orders of the Day number one and two be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th February, 2022.

MOTION

CURBING GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AMONG COMMUNITIES

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the increase of gender-based violence since the outbreak of COVID-19.

          Question again proposed.

HON SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to say a few words on gender based violence.

^^Without much ado, I will debate in Venda.  Madam President, what is disturbing us more about gender based violence is that instead of the statistics declining, they are increasing especially during the COVID-19 era.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Members, may you please lower the volume of your gadgets, we do not want to hear her debate from the gadgets. 

^^HON. SEN. MOHADI:  The issue that we are talking about pertaining to the abuse of women and children is an issue that is prevalent in our communities.  I would wish that we could witness a decline in gender based violence, however, the statistics keep on escalating especially during the COVID-19 era where most people are not occupied in profitable activities.  Some have been laid off and others were placed on indefinite suspension.  As a result, some of them have no remuneration.  Failure to have income has led to starvation in many families.  This starvation has caused conflicts in most families and injuring of one another.

Last week I was at the hospital and saw a patient who was admitted.  She had been attacked with machetes and was injured on both legs.  The patient had deep cuts and could not even lift her head.  They were intending to transfer the patient to Bulawayo for specialist treatment, but unfortunately she had no money.  We ended up making contributions for her to get medical attention.

If we look at gender based violence, mostly women and children are affected.  Most of the girls failed to return to school because some of them are now pregnant.  The perpetrators have evaded the responsibilities of being fathers.  This is another huge problem we are facing as a society.  We plead that there be good relations between husbands and wives in the family set up so that they can be able to raise children in a peaceful environment. They should be aware that they are always supposed to love and live in peace with their families so that their children can follow suit.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order Hon. Sen.  I do not know if those at the back are able to hear you.  May you please raise your voice?

^^HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I was saying I am encouraging that there be peace and respect in our homes. I do not have much to say. I guess the little that I have said has been understood and taken aboard.  Thank you very much.

+HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the motion on gender based violence raised by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi....

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I am being advised that you debated on this motion.

HON. SEN. A. DUBE:  Thank you Madam President.

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

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

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

MOTION

REPORT OF THE VIRTUAL 49TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY SESSION OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Virtual 49th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

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

MOTION

CONSTRUCTION, UPGRADING AND REHABILITATION OF THE ROAD NETWORK IN THE COUNTRY

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the construction, upgrading and rehabilitation of the road network in the country.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Honourable Senator who brought up this motion on the importance of roads in the country. There is success in business if roads are in a good state. A lot of people will prefer our roads if they are in a good state. Our country will get a lot of revenue from those who use our roads from other countries. If roads are in a bad state, travellers will avoid them. We know our Government has prioritised roads rehabilitation in the country, but roads in the high density suburbs are in a bad state.  We cannot continue like that. Roads in small towns are in bad state also. As Government works around rehabilitation of roads in the country, they should also engage private players.

People may get to a point where they are afraid of travelling because of the state of these roads. Even local businesses may fail because of the roads that are in a bad state. If roads are repaired, business will improve. We have a very big challenge of these roads. We have a mandate as Government to make sure that these roads are fixed. It is now difficult to tell the difference between a dust road and a tarred road. We now have gullies on the roads. Years back, we used to see the Ministry working on the roads now and then, maintaining the roads but we no longer see this. They used to employ casual workers. There is no maintenance being done on the roads. A road only works well for a short period before it becomes bad.

 Let us go to the system where we used to fix and maintain the roads now and then. We will lose a lot of revenue from big businesses. We neglected the railway system and let it go down the drain. It could have aided to keep our roads safe from further damage. Some of the loads being transported on the roads could have been moved through the railway. The tarred road from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo has been damaged because it is being overused. It is scary to use that road whilst it is raining.  We should make sure that we avail all the resources to revamp the National Railways of Zimbabwe so that we reduce the loads that are seen on the roads.

The Plumtree-Mutare Road that was fixed two years back can be damaged beyond repair if we do not intervene through revamping of the railway line. Let us also revamp the air transport so that we reduce loads that we are seeing on the roads. We encourage Government to take this seriously. We are not undermining the work that has been done on the rehabilitation of road infrastructure network in the country.  The budget should instead be increased and billions of dollars channelled through this project. The private foreign and local investors should be involved in fixing roads.  New roads should be opened to lessen traffic congestion. A revamp of the Lupane to Hwange Road should be supported.  We should also have smart highways and make use of them.  It is my belief that the Government can hear our grievances as legislators, even from our respective constituencies. I am from Sanyati and during this rainy season, I cannot go to my rural area.  From Kadoma to Sanyati, you cannot travel along that road. What you see on the road is very scary, the potholes are so big and can be mistaken for dams.  It is not the only road but there are a lot of them.  We kindly ask the Government to inject a lot of capital towards these projects so that our country can benefit.  Thank you Madam President for giving me the time to say a few words on this motion.

          HON. SEN. KHUPE: Thank you Hon. President of the Senate.  I want to start by thanking Hon. Sen. Mabika for bringing this very important motion.  Let me also say, whilst I am aware of the current efforts being made by the Second Republic on road rehabilitation, we are also conscious and aware that the road network in our country is so bad that if it was a human being, it will be like somebody with some veins which are not supplying oxygen through the blood to various parts of the body.

          Hon. Sen. Sekeramayi having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Senator Speaking.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order.

          HON. SEN. KHUPE: To me, the national road network of a country is in comparison to the veins of a human being, not a dead one, but that which is alive and breathing and does all activities.  A human being who works for his/her family, can do sporting, boxing or anything like we are doing here. 

However, once parts of the veins or part of the muscles are no longer able to supply oxygen through the veins, then we need to see a doctor, witchdoctor, prophet or whoever is relevant so that maybe the veins can be restored.  It is like that in our country where the roads are not working.  A simple task of sending somebody who is sick to a hospital or clinic which is 5kms away can take two hours because the road will not be in good shape.  Unfortunately, and painfully so, we appear to have allowed the road network to deteriorate in such a way that if it was a human being, he would be sitting on a wheelchair like me, not able to stand up because part of the muscles or veins are not working.  If it was a human being, it will be like the person is depending on tablets to breath and do other activities.

I am trying to bring about an important point because if you look at the roads, how they have caused delays in development activities in our country, it is very painful.  We have failed even to visit places because of roads.  The evidence is here that some of the Committee outreach teams for public consultations ended up being unable to reach places because the road network will be poor.  You try to go there and you are told that the bridge is no longer there, it collapsed and you will not be able to reach other important sectors of the community.

The result is this; if there are certain areas where, because of poor road network, ambulances cannot reach, police officers cannot go there because their cars are not able to maneuver in those roads, it is like there is discrimination where some people are being served and others are not.  The question will be, for how long are we going to talk about the bad road network, day in, week in, month in, year in, decade in, without taking action?  I think we need to do something about that and urgently.  As I indicated in the beginning, that we are aware and we appreciate efforts being made, I think those efforts of road rehabilitation can be maintained and speeded up to cover a number of areas in a short space of time if we as Parliamentarians push for an increase in budget targeting those activities.  I think that is what I wanted to say Hon. President of the Senate.  Again I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mabika who raised the motion and the other Hon. Senator who seconded it.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th February, 2022. 

                                               MOTION

ENACTMENT OF LAWS THAT CULMINATE IN DETERRENT SENTENCES BEING METED OUT TO CULPRITS FOUND COMMITTING CRIMES THAT DAMAGE THE ENVIRONMENT       Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on grave and rapid environmental damage

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. A. DUBE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th February, 2022.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SEN. REJOICE TIMIRE

          Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the untimely death of Hon. Sen. Rejoice Timire.

          Question again proposed.

          Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi having risen to debate on the motion.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order Hon. Senator.  You have already contributed to this debate.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam President.  Let me take this opportunity to say congratulations to all the Senators in this House for coming back after a break in December.  We had Christmas and New Year.  I would like to say congratulations we are all back and we will continue with our work as legislators.

          I rise to give my condolence message on the death of the late Senator.  I worked with Hon. Sen. Timire very closely.  What I am happy with is that when she came in this House – we had two Senators representing the disabled.  They were very organised in everything they were doing.  They were very dedicated and focused on that which they came into this House for.  Hon. Sen. Timire was someone who was very good at what she was doing.  We did not have a chance to say goodbye to each other.  This is God’s will, he does as he wishes.  There is nothing we can do.

 I would like to express my condolences to the Timire family.  I would like to say to them, despite the grief, they should know that we had a great person in Sen. Timire.  As we praise her for the work that she did, we have people who voted us into these positions. No one just woke up and walked straight to Parliament.  There are people who voted us to be here.  Let us not forget the electorate. 

          From Hon. Sen. Timire, we learnt the importance of representing people.  She always stood, expressed opinions and we supported her.  Madam President, may her soul rest in peace.  It is everyone’s way of leaving this earth.  We shall meet again one day.  Thank you. 

          *HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA:  Thank you Madam President.  First of all, I would like to thank everyone in this Senate.  Secondly, we are saddened by the passing on of Hon. Sen. Timire...

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. MOHADI):  Order.  You are not connected.  Also, you should raise your voice.

          *HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA:  Thank you very much Madam President.  I would like to thank everyone in this Senate.  Secondly, I would like to express my sadness on the passing on of Hon. Sen. Timire.  She was a brave legislator.  We always saw her on ZTV being interviewed whilst representing those who are disabled.  It was very painful for me when I looked at her.  She strengthened those who are disabled.  She never showed pride because she was a legislator.  She always showed that she was part and parcel of those whom she represented.  Even if we would meet here at work, she was very humble.  As Senators, we are saddened as a result of losing a woman who was hard working.  We have lost a dedicated person. 

          Hon. Sen. Timire was a motherly character who knew very well that her status was God’s will.  As Senators, we took her as one of us, without any discrimination.  It is my plea that we are protected from this pandemic so that we live and work for our families and that we are not killed by this pandemic.  It is very unfortunate that she passed on.  It is my strong belief that we will meet again.  May her soul rest in peace.

          +HON. SEN. A. DUBE:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice pertaining to the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Khupe on the passing on of Hon. Sen. Timire.  First of all, I would request all the Hon. Senators to thank God for allowing us to meet today alive.  It is not that we are wise but it is the grace of the Lord.  Hon. Sen. Timire was expecting that by this day she would be alive but the Lord sealed her fate

          Hon. Sen. Timire represented the disabled in this Senate.  She was a brave Senator, dedicated and proud of what she was.  She did not undermine herself.  She told herself that she represented the disabled.  Madam President, we are supposed to learn a lot from her life.  Disability does not mean that you are now different from others; we are the same.  It is God who created us differently.  She was an Hon. Senator who was able to unite others and also showed them the direction on how to lead.  Here, we are responsible for representing people.  She would come here and socialize with people and she would communicate in everyone’s language.  She was a leader who was chosen by God. 

          We will always remember Hon. Sen. Timire because she loved and understood everyone.  She did not differentiate people according to status.  She wanted the disabled to always be understood and that they are the same with everyone.  She knew what to debate in Parliament.  We do not know where our future is going but being disabled is the Lord’s plan.  It is not that somebody decides to be disabled but  everyone on this planet has his or her own flaws. God created us in that manner.  You might not see it and you would see yourself as a fully fledged human being because you have got both feet and hands.

          It is good that we see her as an Hon. Senator and an important one who represented the disabled.  I say that the Lord has done his will and no one should be taken before his or her time has come.  It is painful that we say she was taken by COVID away from us but I can say that it was God’s time. 

          We were also informed that her husband also passed on soon after she had gone to be with the Lord.  It is really painful because the children were left as orphans.  Regardless of that, the Lord knew that he was going to take the Hon. Senator and her husband and so He is going to take care of the orphans.  Also, the Lord has a plan on those who are going to represent the disabled.  We say the orphans who were left behind by Hon. Sen. Timire and everyone who was left by our friend should remain in the hands of the Lord. 

          Hon. Sen. Timire was a brave woman.  Most women are cowards when it comes to leadership but she was brave regardless of her being disabled.  She took the part of being a leader and to represent the people.  She was very vocal and active in representing the disabled people in Parliament.  We learnt a lot through Hon. Sen. Timire.  We learnt that if you are a woman, you have to be brave.  You should not be afraid and you should not undermine yourself because if you are not confident in yourself, people will never respect you.  This is what causes many men to undermine us because we are not confident. 

          Hon. Sen. Timire was educated because she was able to read and give sound and reasonable speeches.  Madam President, we say may Hon. Sen. Timire’s soul rest in peace. She showed us that women are supposed to be proud, confident and not to undermine themselves. If you see other women standing against men and representing people amongst men, it shows that as women we are supposed to be confident and have faith in ourselves and our potential. In everything, we will always remember Senator Timire. May she rest in peace. God is the Father of all orphans. I thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity. I also stand on the same cause of honouring Hon. Senator Timire. I thank you.

HON. SEN. KHUPE. Let me say I am very grateful for having been allowed to move this motion about the untimely departure of our fellow Senator. I also want to appreciate the contributions which were made by Hon. Senators. I cannot say much but may I ask through you Hon. President, for the adoption of the motion;

That this House -

EXPRESSES its profound sorrow on the untimely death on Tuesday, 10th August 2021, of the late Honourable Senator Rejoice Timire who was representing Persons with Disabilities;

PLACES on record its appreciation for the service which the late Hon. Member rendered to Parliament and the nation at large;

RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the Timire family, relatives and the entire nation, put and agreed to.

MOTION

ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION THAT UPHOLDS THE RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF CHILDREN ACCOMPANYING INCARCERATED MOTHERS IN PRISON

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on Challenges faced by Children of Incarcerated Mothers.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th February, 2022.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Five Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

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