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SENATE HANSARD 16 July 2019 28-56

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

PARLIAMENT SPORTS CLUB

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I wish to inform the

Senate that the Parliament Sports Club wishes to advise all Hon.

Senators interested in sports that training will resume on Monday, 22 July, 2019 and will be conducted every day from Mondays to Thursdays from 0600 hours to 0700 hours at the Girls High School.

Those who are interested in joining the club should collect membership forms from Mr. A. Nyamuramba, in Office No. 4, Third Floor, South Wing at Pax House.

MOTION

DEVELOPMENT OF WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IN TOWNS

AND GROWTH POINTS

HON. SEN. WUNGANAI:  I move the motion standing in my

name that this House:

COGNISANT that Section 77 (a) recognises the right of every person to safe, clean and potable water;

DEEPLY CONCERNED by the perennial shortage of clean and

portable water in most towns and growth points, which has over the years greatly contributed to an outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

NOTING that according to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, more than US$50 million was utilised in containing cholera outbreak during the year 2018 alone;

NOW THEREFORE, calls upon Government to urgently allocate

foreign currency to local authorities for the development of water infrastructure in towns and growth points and purchasing water treatment chemicals.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  I second.

HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI:   Thank you Madam President.

Cognisant of the strategic role that water plays in our lives and all other specifics and the dictates of the Constitution, Section 77 (a) on the provision of safe, clean and portable water and further concerned that the non-provision of clean water, safe and portable water is proving very expensive to the fiscus when people are affected by diarrhea, cholera and other waterborne diseases; we call upon the Government to expeditiously deal with all sources of water by prioritising foreign currency to the relevant authorities that deal with provision of water.

Madam President, I have observed that the Government has been constantly failing to touch and zero in on the most critical areas around the provision of water and its link to the right to life, health, food and other rights protected in the International Bill of Rights.  I therefore seek to raise some very critical issues and input to discuss around the inclusion of water related issues in this august House.  Furthermore, these discussions should be able to add value to the smooth running in the provisions of water related and rights to Zimbabweans as it gives the minimum demands on what obligations the State has and what people

are entitled to.

Madam President, the prevention of diseases such as cholera and sanitation are some of the reasons why the provision of water is essential for human beings.  Water is also essential for other things such as producing food, maintaining hygiene or even securing livelihoods and the right to gain a living by work.  The human right to water is indispensable.  For leading a life in human dignity, the right to water entitles every citizen sufficient safe, acceptable, physically and accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses.

The Committee on Economic and Cultural Rights which monitors the implementation of the international cognate on economic, social and cultural rights to which Zimbabwe is a part to, has previously recognised that water is a human right contained in Article 11 (1) which guarantees among other rights, the right to food and clothing and housing.  The right has also been recognised in other international treaties such as the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women which stipulates that State parties shall ensure to women the right to enjoy adequate living conditions particularly in relation to water supply.

Article, 24, Paragraph 2 of the Convention on the Right of the Child requires the State parties to combat diseases and malnutrition through the provision of adequate nutritious food and clean drinking water.  The right to water contains both freedoms and entitlements.  The freedoms include the right to maintain access to existing water supplies necessary for the right to water and the right to be free from interference, such as the right to be free from arbitrary disconnection or contamination of water supplies by contrast. The entitlement includes the right to a system of water supply and management that provides equality of opportunities for people to enjoy the right to water.

Moreover, the elements of the right to water must be adequate for human dignity, life and health.  However, the adequacy of water should not be interpreted narrowly by mere reference to volumetric quantities and technologies.

Key Issues and Consideration in Provision of Water

         Availability - the water supply for each person must be sufficient and continuous for personal and domestic uses.  The uses ordinarily include drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, personal and household hygiene.

Quality– the water required for each personal or domestic use must be safe, therefore free from micro-organisms and chemical substances that constitute a threat to a person’s health.  Furthermore, water would be of any acceptable colour, odor and taste for each personal or domestic use.

Accessibility – water and water facilities and services have to be accessible to everyone without discrimination.  Accessibility has four overlapping dimensions:-

  • Physical accessibility – water and adequate water facilities and services must be within safe physical reach for all sections of the population; sufficient, safe and acceptable water must be accessible within or in the immediate vicinity of each household, educational institutions and workplace.
  • Economically accessibility of water and water facilities and services must be affordable for all - The direct and indirect costs and charges associated with securing water must be affordable and must not compromise or threaten the realisation of other human rights to ensure that water is affordable, State parties must adopt the necessary measures which may include, inter alia use of range of appropriate low cost techniques and technologies. Appropriate pricing policies such as free or low cost water, income supplements even in the time of severe resource constraints, the vulnerable must be protected by the adoption of relatively low cost targeted programmes.
  • Water and water facilities and services must be accessible to all including the most vulnerable or marginalised sections  of the population and infact without discrimination of any of the prohibited grounds.  In appropriate resources allocation can lead to discrimination that may not be overt.  State must also make sure that women are not excluded from decision making processes concerning water resources entitlements.  The disproportionate burden women bear in the collection of water should be alleviated.  Provision of adequate water to educational institutions currently without adequate drinking water should be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Government of Zimbabwe policies in relation to the Water Act

         The Water Act Chapter 20.25 (1998) reformed the water sector to ensure a more equitable distribution of water and stakeholder involvement in the management of water resources.  This means that water can longer be privately owned in Zimbabwe; the priority dirt water right system has been replaced by water permits of limited durations which will be allocated by catchment councils. Furthermore, what is now treated as economic good and the ‘user pays principle’ applies, pollution of water is now an offence and ‘the polluter pays principle’ applies.  In terms of the body that is set up to deal with the provision of water; the Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act Chapter 20.25 (1998) led to the establishment of ZINWA, a parastatal agent responsible for water planning and bulk supply.

ZINWA plans and manages water on catchment bases.  Other responsibilities include the management of the water committee system operationalisation of water pricing; operating, maintaining existing infrastructure and executing development projects.  In short, ZINWA is responsible for the supply and management of domestic water in urban areas.  ZINWA also operates on a commercial and self financing basis whereby it provides its services at a significant fee to generate the revenue it needs to finance its administrative and water supply functions.

Madam President, there have been serious challenges with regard to the provision of water such as the fact that most cities continue to receive dirt discoloured water from their taps.  People continue to experience stomach problems arising from the use and drinking of contaminated water.  Generally, water rates are high and unaffordable for most citizens and that the authority has failed to provide water services in most areas in Zimbabwe where it is mandated to do so.  It is a fact and therefore have been numerous complaints that ZINWA as a body mandated to carry out such activities failed to deliver water to Zimbabweans.

ZINWA inherited a sophisticated but old network of urban water supply infrastructure from local authorities.  The infrastructure required effective maintenance and management ranging from repair of broken down pipes to waste water treatment.  ZINWA however lack the human technical and financial resources to undertake these tasks with the result that infrastructure fell into despair.  Leaks were not repaired and sewage flowed in the streets of poorer and densely populated suburbs.  Secondly, ZINWA did not have the financial resources to manage and supply safe water to residents.  ZINWA has had to depend on the

Central Bank to finance its core activities.  In short, lack of money also means that ZINWA could not afford to finance its core activities, including the purchasing of water chemicals – [HON. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.] –

Madam President, it is hoped that the centralisation of procurement will not mean creating more cronyism by creating avenues to siphon money meant for the water.  There is need for clarity on what body will be sourcing such materials and who they will be accountable to.  More over, it is necessary for the whole country to know what amounts are spent on water chemicals.  It is also very welcome development that water reticulation system is being upgraded in both rural and urban areas.

However, the Government now needs to be clear on timeframes and deadlines and Zimbabweans have a right to access such information from the authorities.  Zimbabweans pay taxes and contribute to their own welfare through such taxes, part of the money which is being used to fund such projects and therefore deserve to know how their money is being spent.

Madam President, mentioned in a normal setting, the idea around the control of borehole drillers would not be problematic.  However, the current situation in Zimbabwe where every citizen who has had problems with water supply or dreads using water from the tap ends up looking to drill a borehole point and expose the Government, thus before the President and Government proposing controlling such actors which is one of the State’s obligations anyway.

The Government needs to address the root cause of the problem, which is basically that it has failed to provide portable water to millions of Zimbabweans, and thus must rectify the situation. If the Government puts its house in order and provides safe, reliable, clean and portable water, the sprouting of borehole, drillers and boreholes in most homesteads will decrease.

Recommendations

Madam President, the inclusive Government must have a clear policy on water facilities and resources. Issues around accessibility, affordable and availability of water services and facilities must be clearly spelt out in programmes that are meant and set to deal with the water situation in the country. Government must put more resources into activities around water provision. Water that is used for domestic purposes must not be charged at commercial rates. The Government and any relevant authority charged with managing water resources and facilities must try to find other ways of raising revenues without using water as a source of revenue.

Citizens who fall ill due to diseases caused by lack of clean water such as diarrhea, cholera and other such related diseases must be attended from state-owned medical facilities – [HON. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.] – Water facilities that are gender sensitive and take care of women’s needs must be introduced in areas that are prone to water cuts and water shortages. Government must take progressive steps towards realising the need for portable clean water in educational institutions, homes and business facilities across the whole country. Domestic water must not be disconnected arbitrary, especially for reasons of failing to pay the rates. Those tasked with managing water supply and sewer reticulation must be made accountable to citizens. Government and Parliament must operate efficiently. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I want to support the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Wunganayi. It is a very important motion that is looking at access to water in both rural and urban areas. We all know Madam President that water is life. If there is no water it can lead to a number of diseases that we will not be able to control. Water is vital. In rural areas, our parents are able to plant vegetables and avail nutritious food to their families. Water is vital not only to humans but also to our livestock and animals as poultry and other domestic animals.

The difference that is there is that when we are in the rural areas the issue of water falls under the rural councils. The rural councils use by-laws but in the urban areas we have municipal councils and they also use by-laws. Let me hasten to say that water is vital. If only the Government as the mover has said, that Zimbabwe should equip DDF because it was responsible for sinking boreholes and water channels in the rural areas. The DDF is incapacitated and that is affecting access to water by the communities.

Most of the diseases that affected our domestic animals were due to the fact that our dip tanks did not have enough water since there is a certain level of water that is needed for dip tanks, but because of the situation and also due to climate change, most of our water bodies are without water and our water table has reduced. So what we want is for our councils to have foresight - that for those water bodies that still have a lot of water, they should be able to harness water from those water bodies and channel it towards dams in those areas. We know that this requires financial support though the budget. What we need to remember also is that water is vital for our survival.

I also want to mention that in our municipal councils should have foresight and be proactive, because most people have migrated from the rural areas to the urban areas and population has increased. So their plans should be in line with what is happening. They should plan to see how they should be able to access water in urban areas, in line with the number of people or increase in population. However, if this is not aligned, there is a challenge of water because of the influx of people in urban centres.

There is also need for monitoring and evaluation because if that is not there, the municipality plan will not be efficient. In different areas, we have faced challenges whereby it is more like desert-like because most water bodies are dry including communities and the rainfall patterns have changed and are now poor.  We do not know what to do as this is beyond our control but our councils should be knowledgeable and prepared for such challenges. Such disaster preparedness measures are important in order to ensure there is access to water in rural areas.

If you look at irrigation schemes that are in the rural areas, most of them are not performing well because of the shortage of water which is unable to irrigate the area. The machines are no longer able to pump water that can be used for irrigation purposes. So, our councils should have such expertise to mitigate such challenges and have other strategies to ensure that people have access to water. Furthermore, as women, when water is not available, we face the brunt of the challenges because you find women are travelling long distance to reach a borehole and are forced to wake up very early in the morning. This is a big challenge to women and children. This also affects the education of children who have to go and find water before going to school.

Madam President, water is life and for development to take place we need water. Most industries in these urban areas use water. So, we want our councils to have the expertise on how they can assist the urban and rural areas in terms of mitigating the effects of climate change so that it does not become a challenge in our country. They should also share best practices with other countries as to how they are doing it in terms of accessing water.

In hospitals the patients also need water. The women in the labour wards need water. So water is vital. We want to thank the mover because this is a very pertinent motion as it affects the different aspects of people’s lives.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  I am glad you are talking about the importance of water.  Even in hospitals, women in labour need lots of water to go through the process.  This is a very important motion which deals with the most important aspect of our culture such as the welfare of our domestic animals.  I am very grateful to the Senator who moved this motion and the seconder of the motion. As the Senate, we are supposed to debate this motion to a satisfactory conclusion.

We also have the responsibility of advising Government on the best methods of conserving and harvesting water so that in future, we do not face the same predicament as a nation.  Shortage of water brings a problem to both human beings and animals and as such, its shortage should be avoided as much as possible.

Water is also essential in our commercial entities such as factories.  Machines run on water and some chemicals are mixed with water so when there is no water, there is no production.  As I stated before, hospitals need water for both medication and manufacturing of drugs.  Patients who take medicines also need water.  There are instances whereby patients are advised to bring their own water to hospitals so that there can be effective treatment.  This aspect of bringing water to hospital creates further problems for the patient who has to cope-up with the illness and the treatment.

The responsibility of fighting this water shortage does not rest on ZINWA alone but it needs a multi-faceted approach which includes both rural and urban councils and District Development Fund.  DDF is responsible for the development of infrastructure in rural areas which include supply of water through the supply of water and drilling of boreholes.   As Members of this august House, we need to call for the adequate funding for DDF so that it can fulfill its mandate.  The current climate change and resultant draught have led to the drying up of many water bodies including the water tables which have gone further deep down.  Adequate financing of DDF will help in the digging up of water bodies for the benefit of human, flora and fauna.

^HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Madam President for giving me opportunity to make my contribution on this motion which discusses the importance of water.  I have noticed that both traditional healers and herbalists are facing problems in their trade because trees are dying and they have nowhere to harvest their herbs.  Under normal circumstances, when they dig up a tree or cut its branch, that tree is supposed to bring up new shoots because there will be a lot of water.

The current situation is that when the trees have been cut for medicinal purposes, they do not shoot or grow because there is no water.  I hope you understood me Madam President because I have debated in my Shangani dialect on the problems faced by traditional healers and herbalists in harvesting medicines from the flora and fauna because of water shortage.

I am begging Members of this august House to go down on their elbows and knees and pray to the Lord above to supply water to countries like Democratic Republic of Congo which will flow into rivers which include Zambezi for the benefit of Zimbabwe.  In my constituency we have farmers who practice animal husbandry who are now suffering from loss of livestock.  The loss emanates from diseases which are caused by lack of sufficient water and hence we have tick borne diseases.   Some farmers have tried to apply for the services of borehole rigs but this has proved to be too expensive because one has to dig up to the depth of 60 to 80 metres.

Madam President, on the 13th, I was invited by women engaged in farming activities in my constituency. They had a good vegetable garden and water problems. When I got there, I saw that these women had a lot of work to do.  When I saw what they were supposed to do, I got into the field, I was so pained.  They do not have fertilizers for their vegetables.  Some of them are older than me.  They asked me for cement.  Women dig wells on their own, it is so frightening to see the kind of holes that they dig.  Water is very important.  I had very little things but I felt that we need to assist these old women. I asked them how  they were able to dig their gardens when they are such old.  They said that they wake up early in the morning at 0100 hours.  In that area to tell you the truth, they have got a lot of cotton.  After 0700, hours they go to the cotton fields.  I asked an Extension Worker how they are making that cotton look so well.  They said God is there for us  We ask God for more rains.   If we go to churches, let us pray for water so that there is a lot of water in our areas.  Nothing goes well when there is no water.

In our area, we used to say if someone finds something, whether it is a goat for him or her to see whether the goat is going to survive, they would pour water on it and it bleats, it shows that it is alive.  There were no hospitals, so if a mother gives birth, they would pour water on the child and if the baby cries that would show that the child is alive.  So, water is very important.  We are asking the Government to help us.  In our area we have got a lot of problems in terms of water. We want DDF to be assisted with equipment.  If you dig for water here, you get water very fast but in our area, you have to dig about 60 metres.  So we need effective machinery to do that.  There is no machinery at the moment to do the digging.  We are asking those responsible for water to make sure that there is effective machinery.

I want to thank the Hon. Senators who have brought in this motion.

It is true  that women are struggling to carry water at the same time

going to the fields.  They go for long distances to fetch water.  A lot of people want clean water but if you dig well, you can find clean water.  In our area, you can dig for fifteen metres and there will be no water.  What shall we do now Madam President?  We are asking the Government to assist us so that machinery is sent to rural areas.  I want to thank the mover and the seconder.

HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI:  I move that the debate do now

adjourn.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 17th July, 2019.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S

BILATERAL VISIT TO THE SHURA ADVISORY COUNCIL IN

DOHA

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Speaker of National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J. F. Mudenda’s Bilateral Visit to the Shura Advisory Council in Doha, Qatar.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 17th July, 2019.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE AFREA

CONFERENCE ON MONITORING AND EVALUATION HELD IN

ABIDJAN

Third Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the delegation to the AfrEA Conference on Monitoring and Evaluation held in Abijan, Cote d’voire.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. CHIEF NECHOMBO:  May I this afternoon begin by thanking you for affording me this opportunity to wind up my motion at the same time expressing appreciation to Hon. Senators who debated on this  invaluable motion.  These are Hon. Sen. Mohadi, Hon. Sen.

Chief Matupula, Hon. Sen. Mkwebu, Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi, Hon. Sen.

Muzenda, Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira and Hon. Sen. A. Dube.

As our nation prepares and engages gears to accelerate towards devolution and Vision 2030, it leaves us with no option but to morally compel ourselves to embrace the collective voice.  We want the collective voice of wisdom from Hon. Members who debated so passionately, loudly and clearly about the inexcusable need to adopt and implement monitoring and evaluation.  Madam President, spoken or unspoken, acknowledged or denied, the greatest and timely need to our citizenry is Government performance and accountability.  Our people need to know and appreciate the progress of numerous Government policies, projects and interventions.  Today, more than ever before, we are challenged.  We are challenged by the strong desire of our people who want to know about the impact and progress of Government efforts. As such, it is incumbent upon us to be accountable and fulfill the peoples’ right to access information.  Monitoring and evaluation, thus comes to our aide as the key enabling tool.

Madam President, allow me to take you on a brief historic mental flight about the genesis of M & E.  It dates back to 1980 in the case of developed countries, 2007 in Africa and 2011 within the region.  Monitoring and Evaluation has been accepted and is gaining traction as a tried and tested rod to improve public sector performance.  It is the means to strengthen effectiveness, efficiency, impact as well as accountability of Government policies and programmes.  Monitoring and evaluation is the tool to uproot corruption and enhance transparency and accountability.  The Hon. Members added their voices about the need for monitoring and evaluation (M & E); the need for a political will.  Political will from the Office of the President; from the ministries and from us; from the Parliament.  As we embark and progress on our journey of nation building, adoption and institutionalisation of M & E becomes an imperative and our greatest good.

May the culture of monitoring and evaluation prevail, prevail in our day to day endevours; prevail in our community councils; prevail in the corridors of governance and may it prevail in the nation at large.

Madam President, out of the need to translate the momentum of Hon. Members who debated and to those whom transparency and accountability is an ideal, an ideal transparency and accountability, I say word cannot be the answer but action.  To that end, may I humbly request that the motion be now withdrawn from the Order Paper? I thank you.

Motion that this House takes note of the report of the Zimbabwe delegation to the AfrEA Conference on Monitoring and Evaluation  held in Abidjan, Cote d’voire from 11th to 15th March, 2019 with leave, withdrawn.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 44TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM.

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the delegation to the 44th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

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

HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 17th July, 2019.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR

MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN.

MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Five Minutes Past Three o’clock p.m.

 

 

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