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SENATE HANSARD 16 NOVEMBER 2023 VOL 33 NO 15

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 16th November, 2023.

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)            

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI): Today, being a Thursday, we have question time but before we go into that, I have apologies from the following Ministers:  Hon. O.C.Z Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence; Hon. Gen Rtd. L. Mayihlome, Deputy Minister of Defence; Hon. J.G. Moyo, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Hon. Dr. D. Mombeshora, Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. D. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. T. Moyo, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education;  and Hon. K. Mpamhanga, Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training.  You will realise that many Ministers are not here but I have been informed that they have a programme that they are attending elsewhere.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  What is Government policy on upgrading of police posts to police stations where an administration district has one police station like Zaka District as complaints are taking long to be attended to?  The district will have one police car as it has one police station.  What is the policy in such a situation?

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE):  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  Also, allow me to thank Hon. Sen. Mavenyengwa for such a pertinent question.  The Government policy is to devolve services to the people.  We should have police stations within a reasonable distance so that people can access the services easily.  However, having said that, police have a criteria that they use to decide whether this area needs one police station or two police stations.  That depends on the distance and the number of people in that area.  I am not so sure with the situation in Zaka but now that the Hon. Sen has brought it up, I will probably want to ask the Commissioner General to look into it. 

The Hon. Senator also mentioned the issue of one vehicle that is in use.  I would like to thank Government for listening to our plea for vehicles but thank heavens, Treasury responded to a directive from the President and we received a number of vehicles which I would like to believe you got a share of that.  Yes, we do not have enough vehicles as of now but efforts are there to increase the fleet.  We need to have a minimum of one vehicle per station.  That is our focus as Government and we would like to thank Treasury that they are seized with the matter.  Towards elections, we received 600 trucks which were distributed throughout the country and I am sure we all witnessed that and we saw increased visibility throughout our communities.  Government will continue on this path. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          *HON. ZINDI: My question was directed to the Minister of Social Welfare, but in his absence I will direct it to the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi. My question is on behalf of pensioners who get their payments through NSSA. This is not the first time that this question has been brought up, it has been asked a number of times in many forums of Parliament.  What I want to find out is if there is anything that the Government can do, through the Ministry of Social Welfare, to ensure that senior citizens who worked their lives, but now earning pension every month on the 13th and 14th find that the money will not have been deposited into their POSB accounts after having travelled long distances such as Chimanimani or Honde Valley. They will have spent money in USD on transport to get into town to get to the banks where they are told the deposits have not yet been made to their accounts. When they go to NSSA to ask,  they are told that money has already been transferred to their accounts and end up moving up and down with no tangible response whilst being tossed around. How is this going to be rectified so that the senior citizens do not end up sleeping on pavements in towns?

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. That question seems to be specific to Chimanimani residents who are not getting their pensions, not necessarily the whole country.

*HON. SEN. ZINDI: On a point of order –

*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Mr. President, I am still explaining myself. I am not sure what is now happening because when the Hon. Senator was speaking, I was quiet, but she now wants to interrupt me. The reason why I say so is because the question seems to be specific. It is not true that NSSA is not disbursing funds to pensioners countrywide. These days, people no longer get paid hard cash in envelopes, but money is transferred to banks. There is no bank that does not send you a message after a deposit is made to your account, which means there will be no reason why someone will go to the bank before getting that message. Even yourself, you know when you are going to be paid and sometimes you are actually reminded or informed by that message that there is a deposit into your account. That question is specific because the Hon. Senator, when they go to POSB, they are told there is no money and tossed around when they go to NSSA to find out. So, that is why I am saying that the question must be put in writing so that the Minister can investigate why the money is not getting to the bank. The Hon. Senator admits that NSSA will have deposited the monies into the accounts. What I know is the query that the pensioners may have is that the money is too little, but this is being addressed. This is because of the changeover of currencies and the Minister of Finance is working on it so that the pensioners may get compensation for the value of money lost through changing of currencies. In short, I think there is need for investigation, but I would like to advise the Hon. Senator that these days, people must be encouraged to ensure that they receive a notification message of the deposit before going to the bank.

*HON. SEN. ZINDI: I would like to confirm to the Leader of the House, Hon. Ziyambi that when I gave an example of Chimanimani, I was not referring specifically to that place, but was only trying to give an example and explain what is happening and what we are seeing. So, I only wanted the Hon. Minister to understand that I am not just talking from nowhere, but that this is happening. I thank you.

          *HON.  SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA:  Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Minister of Energy, but in his absence, to the Leader of Government Business.  The Metrological Department is publishing that we might have erratic rains this year.  Our Government has built dams so as to alleviate hunger through irrigation.  What is Government policy saying about the supply of electricity because we now have a lot of load shedding and this will affect our irrigation schemes? Now is the time for farmers to put their seeds in the ground and use irrigation schemes so that when the rains come, the seeds will have germinated.  What is Government policy in minimising load shedding?  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I thank you Hon. President and I want to thank the Hon. Senator for this question.  It is true that the last weeks, we had a lot of load shedding.  We have the Unit 7 thermal power station that was newly established.  Experts had informed us that they want to do maintenance on the Unit 7 plant and to make sure that it is working properly as it is still new.  In Kariba, the water levels are very low, we were now failing to produce the required electricity.  Other small thermal stations that we had like Munyati were too old to function properly.  To use these thermal stations, it is now very expensive.  The Government said that these stations must be decommissioned.  This one that is being maintained and serviced will soon be ready for use. In our discussions with the Hon. Minister…

          Hon. T. Moyo having tried to pass between the Hon. Member speaking and the Chair.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Member, you do not pass through the member speaking and the Chair.

*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: In our discussions with the Hon. Minister, he said we are now going to witness changes and farmers are going to continue to do farming because this station will be working.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Hon. President.  We have thermal power stations like those in Harare and Bulawayo. What is Government policy in resuscitating those thermal stations because we have enough coal?  What is stopping these power stations from working?

*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Those thermal power stations are the ones that I have alluded to that they must not be operated; they are not cost effective.  The cost of producing the electricity is too high, even those who will then use the electricity will have to pay exorbitant prices, and this applies to farmers or home users. Government agreed with ZESA that the thermal power station for Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati are now useless because they have been used beyond their lifespan. We now want to refurbish them as per the demands of today’s technology so that users have to pay less money.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MATIPULA: Thank you very much Hon. President of Senate.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs may also assist. We are approaching the festive season and already we have witnessed some very terrible accidents and loss of life in many areas, including recently a few days ago in Matabeleland.  What steps are being taken to conscientise the driving or traveling public so that this year we may have less loss of life during this busy festive season?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President and let me thank Hon. Sen Chief Matipula for that very important question which also gives me this platform to advise and appraise the august House on what we are doing as a Ministry regarding this very worrisome and saddening development in our country where we are losing precious lives.

On Monday, we witnessed the Mwenezi incident where we lost six very important lives through road carnage. On the same day, we also lost three very young beautiful ladies from Chipinge who were aged 18 and 20 years again. Without us resting as a nation, 24 hours down the line we also lost very valuable lives, 22 passengers who were going to South Africa and on board a Toyota Quantum. It was around 1800 and 2000 hours when the carnage happened. If you have been following, His Excellency conveyed his condolences to the beautiful nation of Zimbabwe. As a Minister of Transport, I also say may their souls rest in eternal peace. It is quite disturbing even to lose one’s life. We have experienced that within 48 hours, we have lost close to 30 souls.   

Through the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, we have embarked on a massive awareness programme where we are educating motorists that when they drive, they should also respect the sanctity of life. We are saying you do not have to just think of yourself when you start a journey. In terms of the statistics, we have found that a number of accidents that we have are attributed to human error. I am happy that my colleague Minister in our midst will buttress where we are saying we need to reinforce and enforce issues to do with compliance when driving. Regardless of what we are doing as a nation, being championed by His Excellency in terms of controlling and managing mitigating road carnages, we find that it is in acceleration mode where roads are being reconstructed, rehabilitated and we then see the element of speeding which is also my humble plea to this august House that as we gravitate towards the festive season, we must be of sober mind. When we partake journeys whether to our rural communities or within the cities, we need to respect other motorists.

To answer your question Hon Sen. Chief, we are saying not only that we are putting measures, we are also in a process of coming to this House and National assembly to advocate for a road accident fund which will mitigate the burden being imposed on the fiscus as we speak, so that we will be in a position to also cater for those dependents and also bury decently the deceased.  So, this is what we are doing as a nation and we will continue preaching.

Mr. President Sir, you will find that what we are doing now as a nation, we are saying at such kind of programmes, you will be seeing us approaching.  We have got those rude drivers who even maintain the inner lane when they are driving knowing very well that the stipulated speed limit on that particular stretch is not in tandem with the way they are driving.  We are saying this must stop.  I am glad again, we have been discussing this week with my colleague Hon.  Minister Kazembe, that it is high time we must have security champions manning our roads so that we continue preaching this to our motorists.  Thank you Mr. President Sir.

          *HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA:  Supplementary question Mr. President.  Thank you Mr. President.  I wanted to say to our Minister, is it not possible to have special courts that deal with people who cause such accidents like what we saw recently where 22 lives were lost at one instance when it is clear that the driver was wrong.  Maybe we need to liaise with the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to ensure that such special courts take place in order to prevent further loss of lives and also that such small motor vehicles like commuter omnibuses have mandatory speed limits to ensure that they travel safely.  

          *THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE):  Thank you Mr. President.  I will try to add to what Hon. Minister Mhona said because we are working together.  I will try to answer both Senators.  On the last question requesting for special courts, the issue is not about taking to court and charging that person who would have committed the crime but the most important thing is, we need to prevent that crime from being committed. 

          We have since said, together with my colleague Minister Mhona, life is very precious.  We do not need to lose even one life as it is very special.  So as what Minister Mhona alluded to, our drivers are being reckless.  Some of them are driving on the wrong side of the road and others are driving in drunken stupor.  In short, there is a lot of recklessness on the part of drivers on the roads.  The Hon. Minister also spoke about champions who are supposed to increase safety awareness on the roads, but the other thing is, we cannot run away from technology.  It is our wish that the police force need to be working.  The police officers are human beings.  Some people wonder what would have happened, and how such an accident claiming 22 lives took place when the police are always on the roads.

          So, going forward, I think we need to take away the element of accusing the police officers of not being diligent on the road.  We need to make use of technology.  Where there is no need for a policeman in such a spot, a person can be arrested whilst they are unaware.  A person can be penalised using a camera.  That is exactly what is happening in the international forum.  Right now, the police have to go to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to access data base, hence there is need to use technology to ensure that when somebody drives on the wrong side of the road and speeds as well as other offences, they are arrested.  Technology is good because it cannot be bribed and does not sleep.  In short, it will be very effective to employ technology to curb such incidents.

          HON. SEN. ZVIDZAI:  Thank you Mr. President.  My supplementary is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Accidents will always happen to some extent.  I wish to just know whether Government is considering some sort of a road users’ risk mitigation fund so that when accidents happen, people can get some assistance.  Thank you.

          HON. MHONA:  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  Let me thank Hon. Sen. Zvidzai for that very important question which I thought Hon. President Sir, I had addressed but let me also reiterate what I alluded to earlier on that as a Ministry, we are seized with the Road Accident Fund which will then cover what the Hon. Senator is talking about.  Indeed, that fund will then alleviate the burden that we are witnessing and it will also go an extra mile in trying to address some of the concerns of the citizens where we are also going to be administering, whether they are bills or paying for the dependents.  We are also seized as a Ministry in trying to benchmark ourselves with other countries within the neighbourhood on the issue of best practice.  I thank you Mr. President Sir.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I realise that there are also a number of Ministers who have just arrived in case you want to ask them questions.  I welcome Hon. Minister Machakaire, Youth Empowerment and Vocational Training Centres.  I also welcome Minister Moyo, Primary and Secondary Education.  We also have Minister Matuke, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in the Office of the President and Cabinet and we have Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province, Minister Muzverengwi and Minister Mavhunga.

          *HON. SEN. KATUMBA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport. What are you doing to ensure that we get reliable transport, which is affordable and efficient in terms of time? Women with babies on their backs are seen boarding lorries. We used to have ZUPCO that was efficient in supplying buses. What is happening now?

*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for that pertinent question. That also gives me the opportunity to inform this House that the President has put in place a programme known as “Whole of Government”. This means that if there are issues concerning the movement of people in urban areas, they think it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport. I would want to inform this august House that the movement of people in urban areas with ZUPCO is the responsibility of Local Government. If you can allow me Mr. President Sir, I will try to respond to Hon. Senator’s question.

Indeed, that is an issue that His Excellency, the President is seized with. He is so concerned about transport because he wishes that people go to work using a better transport system. There was collaboration between ZUPCO and NRZ to ensure that there is a good mass urban transportation system. That programme is coming. That is the same programme that will ensure we make use of technology and  it will be easier to track reckless drivers as well. It is under Government’s plans to ensure that unroadworthy vehicles are taken out of the roads and provide efficient transportation system. Even trains will be providing transport services so that we get affordable transport. I am sure when this programme is implemented, there will be sanity in terms of the transportation system.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MATIPULA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. My supplementary question to the Minister of Transport is, Minister, you spoke about the programme to upgrade our transport sector and you spoke about benchmarking standards. Is the NRZ also in that programme because you talked about the issue to revamp our city transportation, especially NRZ? Are we going to be moving towards something that we can benchmark with other countries regionally?

HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. Let me thank Hon. Sen. Chief Matipula for that follow up question. Maybe it is because I was speaking in vernacular, that was my closing statement when I said NRZ is part of the deliberations were we are also trying to broaden the mass urban transportation system to encompass NRZ where we are also going to enhance connectivity within cities through NRZ. Indeed, we are planning accordingly Mr. President Sir, so that we also involve NRZ given the numbers that will be in a position to carry if we are using the railway line. You will see us also resuscitating the Harare-Chitungwiza which has been on the cards for years. It is also on our dashboard. Within the Second Republic, this is going to happen. Thank you Mr. President Sir.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: May I remind Hon. Senators to put your phones on silence or better still switch them off.

*HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to pose my question. My question is directed to the Minister of War Veterans. My question is about the war collaborators, the mujibhas and chimbwidos. We have not seen them being given gratuities like what the war veterans got. It is now long over due since we got independence. Most of them are now late and some of the people have left children who now have grandchildren. We realise that some of them had to travel long distances, some from as far as Marondera for vetting after every four years. All this is taking place whilst they are not getting any payment. …

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order. What is your question?

*HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI: That is where I am getting to Mr. President. I am saying, Government, through the Ministry, what plans do they have in place to compensate the war collaborators because most of them have died?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA):  Thank you Mr. President. This is the second time this question has been asked in this august House. Maybe the Hon. Senator was not around. I am glad to respond to this important question that affects a lot of people, especially in the rural areas. I also would like to bring to the attention of everyone that the liberation struggle involved a lot of people starting with the armed combatants, the collaborators, detainees and the prisoners as well as those who left the country to go for military training. In the past, the law only recognised the combatants who only received military training. During the amendment of the Constitution or the law, the masses noted that the war involved all these people who participated.

The people of Zimbabwe, through COPAC, agreed that all those who took part in any way in the war, have also participated. With the coming of the New Dispensation, His Excellency has seen it proper to have a law in place which will recognise all those who took part in the war. The law is the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act, Chapter 17:12. The Act that was stopping ex-detainees from getting assistance was repealed.  So, the Act that was only for those who had military training now also includes the four categories I mentioned here.  In trying to implement this new law, the process of registering all the names of those who fought, assisted and even those who were not trained during the war, is ongoing.  After that, there was the process of verification of the registered names to ensure that they were where they said they were serving.  The process for those who were trained and went to fight is different from those who assisted. Verification for war collaborators is needed and it is only those who were fighting who can vouch for them.  So, the war collaborators need to go to those areas they were operating from together with the war veterans they were with.  This process stopped midway because funding was inadequate to continue with the process.  The other reason was that those who had registered did not come, but a new batch came in and resulted in a ballooning list of war collaborators to the extent that about 96 000 are still to be vetted. 

So, in our budget for next year, we also budgeted for the completion of this programme.  The process that follows after confirming the names of those who trained and those who were war collaborators will be gazetted and then the law should make sure they get compensation as required by our Constitution.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Are there any plans to include those who were left out to be vetted together with the others?

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  In my response, I did indicate that those who had been left out and even those who had not heard about the vetting exercise, are the ones we will be taking through the process.  I thank you.

*HON. ZINDI:  My supplementary question is whether there will be reimbursement of personal funds used to open bank accounts by those who had passed the vetting?  They were asked to open bank accounts and they did it with their own personal funds, but to date, they have not yet been compensated.  As we speak, the accounts no longer have money as bank charges have eroded what was in the accounts.

*HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  Hon Zindi fears that those who had opened accounts might, by now, have the accounts closed.  I can only say it is a process and funds can only be put in the accounts after the names have been gazetted.  So, for now, I cannot say whether they will be reimbursed or not. I am sure if they are compensated, everyone will be compensated. They should be happy that they have come to that stage where they are about to get compensation and this pertinent stage - not everyone managed to get to it.  Some even lost their lives before getting to this stage.

HON. SEN. NDHLOVU:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Water. Given the delays on the Gwayi-Shangani water pipeline to Bulawayo, what is Government doing to alleviate the water challenges in Bulawayo and other cities?

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Senator, your question is specific and not a policy question.  So, I will ask you to put it in writing and it will be answered next week.

+HON. SEN. NDEBELE:  Thank you Mr. President of Senate.  My question is directed to three Ministers.  The Minister for Education, the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Transport.  My question is, t as we are now faced with the rainy season and we are expecting heavy rains, there are roads that go to areas where people make a lot of money, but these roads are damaged and result in transport network challenges for those people with vehicles.  Right now, people are no longer travelling at normal speeds because they have to travel in different spaces and also in different directions trying to negotiate the potholes.  There is also a place in Nkayi where we find a lot of timber coming to Harare in heavy trucks.  We expect the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Local Government to come together, help each other and alleviate this transport road network challenge.  The Minister of Transport should also be aware that we do not have roads.  You also find that the Rural Councils are saying they do not have money to rehabilitate these roads. 

My other question on education is that Government has announced that children should only pay school fees only in the rural areas, but there are extra levies that are charged by schools…               

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order! In terms of Standing Order Number 67, time for Questions Without Notice has expired.

* HON. SEN. CHIEF. CHIKWAKA: I move that time for questions be extended by 15 minutes. As you can see, today we are very happy because we have a lot of Ministers who have turned up and this is an opportunity for us.

* HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed.

+ HON. SEN. NDEBELE: Speech could not be heard as the mic was off.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator, can you switch on the microphone and repeat what you have said because when you spoke, you were off  the mic. Can you switch on the mic so that the Minister can hear you?

+ HON. SEN. NDEBELE: I think they heard the first part, but I was asking if there is a policy that allows children to go to school without paying money continuously, unspecified fees or amounts.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question, which to me is not very clear. I do not know the nature of the question because she says learners are asked to; are these fees or levies, it is not clear. May I ask the Hon. Member to repeat or rephrase the question.

+ HON. SEN. NDEBELE:  I said they will have paid fees and levies but on top of that, they are continuously asked to pay for other unspecified services ranging from a dollar upwards.

*HON. T. MOYO: Forgive me, I am still learning Ndebele. The question was about pupils paying for levies. Yes, it is true that there are no levies that can be paid without the schools applying to the Ministry for approval. So, no other money should be charged by those schools without the approval of the Ministry. I am sure the question is about levies and no levies will be charged or pupils are not supposed to pay any other levies without the Government’s approval. If there is any other money that they are asked to pay, we do not know about that. If there is something happening along those lines, we need evidence so that we can intervene.

+HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to add on to what has been posed to the Minister of Transport and Home Affairs that these accidents that we are experiencing, when the bodies are transported from the accident scene to the mortuary, they are transported in open trucks or lorries without dignity. We need an explanation on why we do not have body bags and why they are not being transported in a dignified way. I would like to convey my condolences to those who lost their loved ones.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE): Yes, I also saw what the Hon. Member is explaining or describing. It was an emergency, as you would appreciate that it happened unexpectedly to lose 22 people.  I also do really appreciate the concern by the Hon. Senator and I have actually instituted an inquiry within, to understand what the challenge was, so it is an issue that we are looking at.  We also appreciate the fact that it was an accident and an emergency which happened all of a sudden, but nonetheless, it is an issue that we are looking at internally.  I thank you Hon. President of Senate Sir.

          +HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: My supplementary question is that Hon. Minister, an accident will always remain an accident, but my plea is that we always need to be prepared as a nation. Just because it was an accident, it should not be an excuse that we are always caught unprepared. I thank you.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Mr. President of Senate Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Senators for the supplementary question.  I thought I was very clear that it was unfortunate and unexpected, but nonetheless, that does not then take away the mere fact that it was an accident and indeed an unexpected accident, but I did not use it as an excuse. I said we are looking at it internally and we have the similar concern that the Hon. Member has, that is what I said.

          +HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Leader of the House.  What is Government policy regarding the loss of our livestock like cattle and donkeys?  Each time they cross the border into Botswana, they are killed, but if Botswana’s livestock cross into our country, they come and fetch their livestock.  What is Government thinking regarding our people losing their livestock through killings by our neighbouring countries?

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. President of Senate and I thank the Hon. Senator for her question.  Mr. President, Government policy is that where there is a red zone and diseases are prevalent, we do not allow farmers to move their cattle from one region to another.  If it happens, the animals must be quarantined or killed.  Same applies, Botswana thinks the cattle from Zimbabwe has the potential of infecting their cattle because they do cattle ranching.  If our cattle cross the border to Botswana, they are allowed to kill the cattle because of fear of diseases. 

          What I know is that our Department of Agriculture sometimes meet with Botswana officials. They agreed that when our cattle cross the border, they quarantine the cattle. Here in Zimbabwe, our law does not allow us to kill their cattle, but if it happens that their cattle come into Zimbabwe, we are supposed to quarantine the cattle because we do not know if the cattle are safe from diseases.  So, what Botswana is doing is lawful. If you mix your cattle with other cattle, you might end up losing all that you have in the case of an outbreak.  To prevent any risk, if you see cattle that do not belong to you, it is very dangerous to mix those cattle with yours. I thank you Hon. President.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Senators the time for Questions Without Notice that I have extended has expired.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 2 be stood over, until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.  

MOTION

APPROVAL OF THE CONVENTION ON THE UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE BY AIR

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTUAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Mr. President of Senate, I move the motion in my name that;

WHEREAS section 327 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s Authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

WHEREAS the Convention on the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air entered into force on the 4th November, 2023.

WHEREAS Article 53 (4) of the aforesaid Convention provides that any State which does not ratify the Convention may accede to it at any time.

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327(2)(a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Convention be and is hereby approved.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

APPROVAL OF ACCESSION TO THE CONVENTION ON THE UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE BY AIR

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  I move the motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

WHEREAS the Convention on the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air entered into force on 4 November 2023;

WHEREAS Article 53 (4) of the aforesaid Convention provides that any State which does not ratify the Convention may accede to it at any time;

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Convention be and is hereby approved.

Hon. President Sir, allow me to highlight some of the salient provisions of the Convention.  Article 1 relates to the scope of application of the Convention which applies to all international carriage of persons, baggage or cargo performed by aircraft for reward.  It applies equally to gratuitous carriage by aircraft performed by an air transport undertaking to carriage performed by the State or by legally constituted public bodies. 

Chapter 2 highlights documentation and duties of the parties relating to the carriage of persons, baggage and cargo.  The Convention facilitates the use of simplified and modernised documents of carriage such as passenger tickets and airway bill for cargo, thus enabling the utilisation of electronic or computerised data processing for the issuance of these documents.  Additionally, the consignor maybe required if necessary, to meet the formalities of customs, police and similar public authorities to deliver a document indicating the nature of the cargo.

Mr. President Sir, the Convention also provides in-depth provisions on liability of the carrier and the extent of compensation for damage from Articles 17 to 30.  The carrier is liable for damage sustained in the case of death or bodily injury to a passenger and in the case of destruction or loss of checked-in baggage, provided that the event resulting in injury or loss took place on board the aircraft or during any operations of embarking or disembarking.  However, the carrier can be exonerated from liability wholly or partly if they prove that the damage, death or injury was caused or contributed by the negligence or omission of the person claiming compensation of the passenger.

     Mr. President Sir, considering the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe accedes to the Convention which re-established uniformity and predictability of the rules relating to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo and to protect the interest of the passenger.  I so move Mr. President Sir.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

APPROVAL OF ACCESSION TO THE CONVENTION ON THE SUPPRESSION OF UNLAWFUL ACTS RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  I move the motion standing in my name that;

          WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

WHEREAS the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful acts relating to International Civil Aviation entered into force on 1 July 2018;

WHEREAS Article 21 (3) of the aforesaid Convention provides that any State may accede to it at any time;

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Convention be and is hereby approved.

Mr. President Sir, the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts relating to International Civil Aviation which is known as the Beijing Convention was done at Beijing on 10th September, 2010 and it was entered into force on 1st July, 2018.  The Beijing Convention modernised and consolidated the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation and Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation.  It is the result of collective efforts of the international community to modernise the legal framework for aviation security that brought the Convention into being by criminalising several acts constituting new and emerging threats against civil aviation including certain preparatory acts for the offences, it strengthens the capacity of States to prevent the commission of these offences and to prosecute and punish those who commit such offences. 

Mr. President Sir, allow me to highlight some salient features of the Convention.  Article 1 provides a comprehensive list of unlawful and international offences.  The Convention criminalises the acts of using civil aircraft for the purpose of causing death, causing serious bodily injury or serious damage of using civil aircraft to release or discharge any biological chemical or nuclear weapon, or similar substances to cause death, serious bodily injury or serious damage of using similar substance on board or against civil aircraft, among others.  It further criminalises the unlawful transport of bodily chemical nuclear (BCN) weapon related material or other dangerous material.  Cyber attacks on air navigation facilities constitute an offence under this Convention.  Moreover, the Convention specifically provides for the criminal liability of directors and organisers of an offence as well as the liability of those who knowingly assist an offender to evade investigation, prosecution or punishment.

Mr. President Sir, the Convention also expands the ground of jurisdiction under the earlier instruments by requiring each State Party to establish jurisdiction when the offence is committed by its national and by enabling each State Party to establish jurisdiction when the victim of offence is its national in terms of Article 8.

Mr. President Sir, considering the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe accedes to the Convention which strives to prevent the commission of offences and to prosecute and punish those who commit such offences.  I so move Mr. President Sir.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

APPROVAL OF THE PROTOCOL RELATING TO AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE 50 (a) OF THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  I move the motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is a party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944, having acceded to it on 11 February 1981;

WHEREAS the Protocol Relating to an Amendment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation [Article 50 (a)], was signed on 6 October 2016;

WHEREAS paragraph 3 (b) of the aforesaid protocol states that it shall be open to ratification by any State which has ratified or adhered to the said Convention on International Civil Aviation;

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid protocol be and is hereby approved.

Mr. President Sir, as you are aware, the Republic of Zimbabwe is a Contracting State of the Convention on International Civil Aviation which was signed in Chicago, USA in 1944. At its 39th Assembly Session in Montreal, Canada, from 27th September to 6th October 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) adopted the Protocol amending Article 50 (a) of the Chicago Convention. The Protocol amends the Chicago Convention to increase the size of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO Council) to 40 members. The ICAO Council is a permanent body of ICAO and is elected by the ICAO Assembly for a period of three years. It has several functions, among which are to administer the finances of ICAO, appoint and define the duties of the Air Transport Committee, appoint the members of the Air Navigation Commission, and adopt International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for incorporation into the Annexes to the Convention.

Mr. President Sir, allow me to highlight the salient provisions of the Protocol. Article 1 amends Article 50 (a) approving an increase in the size of the Council from 36 members to forty (40). The Protocol shall come into force in respect of the States which have ratified it on the date on which the one hundred and twenty-eight instrument of ratification is so deposited. As of 27 September 2023, the Protocol has been ratified by 87 Contracting States and is not yet in force.

Mr. President Sir, considering the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe ratifies this Protocol to fully benefit from an aviation mechanism that increases membership to the ICAO Council. Further, in 2019, Zimbabwe went through an ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (ISOAP) and it was an audit finding that as a country, we are yet to ratify this important ICAO Instrument. Thus, as a corrective measure, we hereby submit this Protocol seeking your approval. I so move Mr. President Sir.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

APPROVAL OF THE PROTOCOL RELATING TO AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Mr. President Sir, I move the motion standing in my name that:

WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is a party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944, having acceded to it on 11 February 1981;

WHEREAS the Protocol Relating to an Amendment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation [Article 56], was signed on 6 October 2016;

WHEREAS paragraph 3 (b) of the aforesaid Protocol states that it shall be open to ratification by any State which has ratified or adhered to the said Convention on International Civil Aviation;

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Protocol be and is hereby approved.

Mr. President Sir, Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any International Treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament. Thus, I hereby seek your approval for this Protocol.

Mr. President Sir, as you are aware, the Republic of Zimbabwe is a Contracting State of the Convention on International Civil Aviation which was signed in Chicago, USA in 1944. At its 39th Assembly Session in Montreal, Canada, from 27th September to 6th October 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) adopted the Protocol amending Article 56 of the Chicago Convention. The Protocol calls for an increase in the membership of Air Navigation Commission, from 19 to 21. The Air Navigation Commission of ICAO considers and recommends Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and procedures for Air Navigation Services (PANS) for adoption and approval by the ICAO Council.

The ANC members are nominated by specific ICAO members and appointed by the Council but does not represent the interest of any State or region. The original Convention called for the ANC composed of 12 members. This was subsequently amended in 1971 to provide for 15 members and in 1989 for 19 members. This Protocol amends the Convention to provide for a further increase to 21 members. In view of the increase in the membership of the ANC, it ensures that the Commission can draw on the expertise and experience from diverse operational skills and knowledge from the Contracting States.

Mr. President Sir, allow me to highlight the salient provisions of the Protocol. Article 1 approves, in accordance with the provisions of Article 94 (a) of the Convention, an increase of membership of the ANC from 19 to 21 members. The Protocol shall come into force in respect of the States which have ratified it, on the date on which the 128th instrument of ratification is so deposited. As of 27 September 2023, the Protocol has been ratified by 87 Contracting States and is not yet in force.

Mr. President Sir, considering the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe ratifies this Protocol to fully benefit from an aviation mechanism which increases membership as alluded to. I therefore, seek the indulgence of this House to ratify this Protocol. I so move Mr. President Sir.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

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

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

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Thank you Mr. President Sir and good afternoon. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this very important motion which was presented to this House by the Minister of Justice, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), is a very important Commission which was established by the Government of Zimbabwe to assist the police force in high profile cases of corruption. Most governments are losing a lot of money and resources due to corruption. Normally, corruption relates to misuse of funds by individuals, which funds are meant for the public. Development is also hampered by corruption. Corrupt officials hamper investors from coming to invest in the country due to fear of losing their hard-won monies or resources.

Madam President, Government loses also a lot of money meant for development as public officers engage in corrupt activities. Some investors are asked to pay bribes to public officials before they are awarded any contracts or licences to do business in Zimbabwe. So, it is important for a country to have such an organisation to monitor and also investigate cases of corruption which are mostly committed by high profile people.  Some public and private officials in organisations inflate figures when purchasing materials, for example a car which can be bought locally at a very low price can be sold at an inflated price.

          The Anti-Corruption Report which was presented to this House by the Commission through the Minister of State shows us that there is need for the organisation to be well funded so that it can perform its duties to the satisfaction of the people of Zimbabwe.  These days, organisations use ICT gadgets and siphon money from their organisations.  With all this and more, there is a need for specialised organisations like ZACC to investigate cases of corruption even though the police is there, it has many investigations which it is failing to accomplish, hence the need for ZACC to be in existence.  ZACC needs an adequate budget if they are to perform well.  Firstly, they need to be well remunerated and resourced as they deal with high profile cases which involve very rich people.  They need cars, laptops, cellphones, good salaries, accommodation and other tools of trade.  ZACC also needs to have its officers well trained to deal with most of these sophisticated cases which are being perpetrated by corrupt people. 

So, Madam President, I want to urge the Minister of Finance, when he is distributing his budget, to give a big chunk of funds to ZACC to enable them to do their work and look after their officers well.  This will ensure that they do not get involved in corrupt activities, but investigate all corruption cases in the country so that the country does not lose money or investors who intend to come and invest in our country through corruption.  I want to thank you for the time you have given me Madam President.

          HON. SEN. CHINYANGA:  Madam President, thank you for giving me this opportunity to present on this platform.  I would like to start by saying that ZACC’s interaction with Boards, Parastatals, Independent Commissions, State Universities and Urban Councils demonstrates an attempt to involve key decision makers and the stakeholders in implementing the Integrity Strategy Framework. Engaging Chairpersons of Boards, Deputies and the Auditor-General can help create a culture of integrity and transparency within these institutions.  The establishment of Integrity Committees in 27 Parastatals, Public Entities, Local Authorities and Commissions is a positive step.  These Committees can serve as the first line of defence against corruption by promoting transparency, identifying corruption risk and ensuring the implementation of recommendations from the Auditor-General’s Report. 

          The ZACC’s efforts to train Integrity Committee Members in Institutions such as NATPHARM, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe University and TIMB demonstrate a commitment to build the capacity of individuals responsible for prevention of corruption.  Equipping these members with relevant knowledge and skills can enhance their effectiveness in identifying and addressing corruption risks. 

          Sustained Commitment 

          While the establishment of Integrity Committees is commendable, it is crucial to ensure there is continued effectiveness for sustainability through regular monitoring, evaluation and support from the ZACC to ensure that these committees function as intended resources  by the  authority are needed to fulfill responsibilities. 

          Collaboration & Coordination

          To maximise its impact, ZACC could explore opportunities for collaboration and coordination with, for example, anti-corruption bodies, civil society organisations and international partners by collaborating collective expertise and resources.  Efforts to prevent corruption can be strengthened and duplication of initiatives minimised.  ZACC should establish robust mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the impact of the efforts and do regular assessments of the effectiveness of the Integrity Strategy Framework.  Integrity Committees and other initiatives can provide valuable insights for improvement of adaptation of strategies. 

          With the efforts being done to go against corruption, it is crucial to recognise the significance of engaging young people as key stakeholders.  While ZACC has made commendable efforts to raise awareness among adults through community outreach programmes, through national rural campaigns, urban campaigns and anti-corruption clinics as well as developing written materials in native languages, there is a pressing need …

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Mavenyegwa, can you please switch off your mic.

HON. SEN. CHINYANGA: There is a pressing need to expand their focus and actively involve the young individuals, and this will help in the prevention of corruption. I have seen in Chapter 4, page 41 that there is something being done to catch them young but reaching out to young ones at public places might not be the best approach.

There are a few recommendations for ZACC. Education in schools collaborate with the Ministry of Education to incorporate anti-corruption education into the schools curriculum; develop age appropriate materials and interactive methods that teach students about the consequences of corruption and the importance of ethical behaviour; young eccentric outreach targeted awareness campaigns specifically designed for young people; utilise social media platforms, interactive workshops and engaging content to capture their attention and encourage their participation in anti-corruption activities; partnership with young organisations, student associations and community groups to reach a wider audience of young individuals. These are young people we are talking of.

By working together, ZACC can tap into existing networks and leverage their platforms to disseminate anti-corruption messages effectively, especially using the social media because this is where these corrupt people are spending most of their time. They are communicating these corruption tendencies through social media. So, we have to teach the young people to be on social media fighting against this corruption. Establish a young ambassador programme where young individuals who are passionate about fighting corruption can be selected to represent ZACC. These ambassadors can serve as role models, advocates and peer influencers promoting anti-corruption values among their peers. Establish mentorship programmes where young individuals can learn from anti-corruption professionals, leaders and role models by connecting youths with experienced mentors. ZACC can provide guidance, support and inspiration for future endeavours in combating corruption. I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st November, 2023.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY FOR THE YEAR 2022  

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

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st November, 2023.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. ZHOU: Thank you very much Madam President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Kambizi on the Presidential Speech. Allow me to start by congratulating His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa for winning the election resoundingly on 23rd August, 2023 and also the election of the President and Deputy President of the Senate and all colleagues who are Senators in this august House – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –  Zimbabwe held its national plebiscite in August which was peaceful, free, fair, credible and transparent and we want to congratulate all the people of Zimbabwe for the peaceful environment and electing the leaders of their choice –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

In his State of the National Address, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and I pick many takeaways, the economy of the country is doing very well on a growth trajectory path with agriculture, mining, transport, infrastructure and tourism doing very well. This is evidenced by the fact that there are about 3 000 boreholes that have been drilled countrywide out of the 35 000 that are targeted to be drilled nationwide. Our agriculture has also been supported through the Second Republic by the construction of dams like Marovanyati, Muchekeranwa and the Gwayi-Shangani, which will feed into the village agriculture business units that the country is embarking after the finishing of the boreholes and also the dams.

The Gwayi-Shangani Dam has been on the cards for a long time since 2012 and now the Second Republic has made progress on it and it is almost 90% complete. We want to congratulate His Excellency for the good leadership and for providing support to our agriculture.

Coming to infrastructure, the Beitbridge Border Post is a marvel and the highway from Beitbridge to Chirundu is almost 80% complete.  We really want to take note of all these developments and our mining has moved from a mere USD2.8 billion to USD12 billion. It is likely to grow more as we have further discovered more lithium, platinum and gold. 

Madam President with our good leadership, we have always met our targets for gold delivery, platinum and lithium.  We are happy to also talk about the Robert Mugabe International Airport and the Victoria Falls International Airport as we have seen a number of tourists now flooding the country which is a plus for the Second Republic. 

Madam President, allow me also to thank His Excellency for coming up with a very inclusive legislative agenda which has considered persons with disabilities on top priority.  We are really very humbled and grateful for being put as a priority as you know in most cases, persons with disabilities are taken as an after-thought constituency.  We are also very grateful to look at the legislative agenda, there are about 56 Bills that are coming to this First Session of the 10th Parliament and every Ministry, of the 26 ministries are likely to have their Government Instrument discussed in this Senate which will drive our country towards the Vision 2030.  I want to thank you Madam President for allowing me to debate.

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Madam President, I move that the debate be now adjourned.

HON. SEN. RITA NDLOVU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th November, 2023.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

ADJOURNMENT OF THE SENATE

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (SEN. A. DUBE):  Hon. Senators, I have to inform you that the Senate will adjourn today until the 28th of November 2023.  Accordingly, all Committee business will stand suspended until the 27th November, 2023.

Motion put and agreed to.

The Senate adjourned at Twenty-Three Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th November, 2023.  

 

 

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