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SENATE HANSARD 17 MARCH 2022 VOL 31 NO 30

          PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 17th March, 2015.

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. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): Before we proceed to Questions Without Notice, let me announce that a number of Ministers have sent in their apologies and this includes the Hon. Rtd Gen. Dr. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. Prof. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education; Hon. Muchinguri, Minister of Defence; Hon. Karoro and Hon. Haritatos, Deputy Ministers of Lands; Hon. Chitando, Deputy Minister of Mines; Hon. Machingura, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education; Hon. Coventry, Minister of Sports; Hon. Paradza, Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity; Hon. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines. Those here present, I am happy to say despite that long list of Minister who are unable to attend, you are here.

ORAL ANSWER TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: Thank you Mr. President my question is directed to the Minister of Transport. We have noted that our trains are now mobile and there are no warning signs and lights, people think that there are no trains.  Yesterday, I noticed that someone almost had a close collision with the train.  What measures are being taken so that motorists are warned of railway crossing?

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President of the Senate, I would like to thank the Hon. Chief Hon. Sen. Chundu for raising such a pertinent question.  Indeed, it is very true we are transforming our nation, especially our infrastructure which has been lying idle for quite some time. The pertinent issue regarding accidents where railway lines and roads cross; in the past, we had electrical connections for such warnings but because of the pilfering of such facilities, now we do not have what we used to have. In the past, when a train was approaching, there were adequate warnings. I believe that at the moment the National Railways of Zimbabwe which is responsible for this job is going to be empowered in such a way that it warns motorists.  This is one thing that we are going to see happening, road signs and railway crossings are going to be put in place.  This will be done in line with the rehabilitation of the rail infrastructure. 

          As motorists, it is mandatory that you exercise caution when crossing railroad intersections.  So we need to pause and observe the law by stopping at rail road crossing. I thank you Hon. President.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Mhona.  What does the law say on the age limit for public transport drivers?

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Mr. President. We are aware that we were facing challenges of young people who were driving public transport.  The age limit is 25 years and above for driving vehicles that transport the public. If you find someone below 25 years driving public transport, it means they are breaking the law.  We are really serious about this and the police must see that this is being followed on road blocks.

          *HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport.  I would like to find out Government plans in educating motorists to observe the railroad and pedestrian crossings. Sometimes motorists hoot at pedestrians at Zebra crossings yet they are aware that they should exercise caution.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  It is indeed true our motorists are no longer observing the law.  The Hon. Senator mentioned zebra crossings.  It is not only the zebra crossing which is not being observed by motorists but we have noticed that as we drive around town we find motorists not observing such regulations.   The Traffic Safety Council is there to teach motorists on what is expected of them in relation to pedestrians and even those who are passengers on public transport, but this is not what is happening, despite the clarity in the law.  So eventually we need to have police officers manning roads so that they can fine offenders.  In other countries it is not allowed and it is an offence not to observe zebra crossings without allowing pedestrians to pass. 

On the same issue, Mr. President Sir, there are some people who do not observe where they are supposed to be.  They do not respect their respective lanes.  You find them straddling lanes. So my response is that we are going to continue working towards the observance of the law.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI.  On a point of order Mr. President, Sir.  I am worried that we have only three Ministers present in this House.  It is now more than 20 minutes since this august Senate convened.  Are we then condoning the fact that Ministers do not come for the question and answer segment?  You mentioned that they gave their apologies but the Ministers can attend the Senate through the zoom facility that we have here. 

The Ministers must make an effort to attend the Senate and we should be free to ask questions.  There are a number of issues that we would like to pose questions to our Hon. Ministers.  There are some who have not been in this august House since the last session.  They do not come and there is nothing that is being done to make sure that Parliament takes corrective measures. 

Mr. President it is your responsibility.   We cannot go on debating motions that pertain to issues that affect their Ministries.  When a debate that falls under a line Ministry, it should be addressed by the responsible Minister.  Here we have so few Ministers while we have over 20 Ministers in Cabinet.  These Ministers present here today do not even make up 25% of Cabinet.

My point of order is that, Mr. President, please tell us what is supposed to happen because Ministers are not coming to this august House.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA):  Thank you Hon. Sen. Mudzuri for the point of order and the call for Ministers to attend.  We have been joined by two Deputy Ministers, Hon. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development and Hon. Maboyi, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. I see walking in the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  Leader of the House, I know Hon. Minister Sen. Mutsvangwa is not here but she is usually the Leader of Government Business in the Senate, but you are the overall leader of both Houses.

Just before you came in Hon. Sen. Mudzuri raised an issue with the low attendance of Ministers.  I think it is an issue that has to be taken to upper levels, but with the representation here, the attendance, we have two Cabinet Ministers and three Deputy Ministers.  I was going to say something but since you are here Minster, can I give you the opportunity to respond to that.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. President and I have noted.  I will relay to the respective Ministers the President impressed upon us to attend Parliament. I think all the Ministers are aware of that position. My apologies that they are not here.  The only one that I can speak for, I think is the Minister of Foreign Affairs as he accompanied the President to Zambia. As you know, we lost the former President of Zambia, His Excellency, Rupia Banda.  Thank you Mr. President.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OFSENATE: Minister, in your quest to address the issue, some did sent in apologies and we take note of them.  Others have not, so I think you ought also to attend to those issues of all those who have sent in apologies, the Vice President himself, Hon. Chiwenga, the Minister of Health.  The others Hon. Murwira, Hon. Muchinguri, Hon. Karoro, Hon. Haritatos, Hon. Chitando, Hon. Machingura as deputy, Hon. Mutsvangwa, Hon. Coventry and Hon. Paradza sent apologies.  You can see that this is only 30% of the number of Ministers.  Others do not bother even to send an apology, which means they look down upon your Parliament of which you are the Leader of Parliamentary Business. 

          I think you have to take note and see what you can do.  May be being in the Chair, I think what I want to introduce is a register, like on a Question Day like this, we introduce a register of Ministers who come to answer questions, which is always displayed somehow and sent to the President.  Some Ministers will go for two months without even showing up and no apology.  I think we are in the New Dispensation and we want to show a more serious culture of work. 

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF NGEZI: Thank you Mr. President.  I wanted to address my question to the Deputy Minister of Mines about a person who owns a lot of mines which is not different from how the Whites acquired property.   You will find that one company has so many claims in the country.  The Government supports that the mines should be given to the majority of the people but there are a lot of areas which are pegged and not being used and belong to one person. What is the Government policy on that?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Ngezi for the question concerning the EPOs.  We had so many EPOs which had covered the greater part of our land starting from 2005 up to the ushering in of the New Dispensation.  A lot of EPOs were not being processed, about 90%, for people to get access to them.  After investigation, we noticed where the challenge was.  So we cancelled all the EPOs that were done, that had been applied before and opened up for new applications. What is left now is only to inform the people which EPOs were not approved, so that those who peg will start pegging.   However, for those who were allocated EPOs in 2018, there were conditions that those who have EPOs should allow the small scale miners to peg those mines and also each and every year, they should give us back those places they would have utilised and surrender it to Government.   The issue that the chief has raised is very pertinent and the Government is working on it.  We turned off all the mining claims that were applied in 2005 because we are not sure whether they still have the money.  If they still want, they make new applications.  What is left is only to tell the nation which EPOs are open.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance.  The question is civil servants’ salaries in Zimbabwe are quite deplorable.  On average, a civil servant earns less than US$400.  Comparing this set up with the SADC countries, Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty.  Our neighbours earn far much more than one thousand a month.  This has put Zimbabweans under severe pressure.  It has contributed to massive corruption.  What is the Government policy to ensure that civil servants salaries are competitive within SADC?

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I am not sure whether this question should go to finance but if the Minister of Finance feels he has the muscle, no problem.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Hon. Sen. Komichi for the question. As the President rightly said, this is an issue that is managed by the Joint Negotiating Council and it is also discussed by the Tripartite Negotiating Forum but in general, what I can say is as Treasury or Ministry of Finance or as Government, the trajectory is very clear in terms of where we are going as a country. We are guided by the policy. The policy is saying we want Zimbabwe to be an upper middle income economy by 2030.

          Surely as we move towards that vision, the salary levels would move in tandem with the vision. We are having transitory problems - the problems are there because we are still at reforming stage and we are now in growth phase. If you check prior to 2017, more than 95% of our Budget was recurrent budget. Only 5% or less was devoted to development, but with the coming in of the Second Republic, you look at the proportion that we are allocating to development versus recurrent expenditure, at least 60% of the Budget is targeted towards development. For that reason, we have this balancing act that we are having.

          What I can assure Hon Senators is that we have the commitment to ensure that we improve the conditions of service for our people. This is an issue that we are dealing with on a daily basis. Just this month you will see that there will be some changes. As I have said, the real authority is with the Joint Negotiation Council. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: My supplementary question to the Minister is that we did our budget at the end of the year and it was approved when the rate was at US$1:ZW$81. At present the bank rate is at US$1:ZW$134 and the black market rate is now at US$250 to US$300. Is there a formula which you have prepared to ensure that civil servants and all your workers are cushioned because there is so much corruption in the public service that needs to be nipped but you cannot nip it when people are earning peanuts? Is there a formula which you have put to adjust the salary as the dollar is running in terms of its value?

          HON. CHIDUWA: Thank Hon. Sen. Mudzuri for the follow up question which again is anchored on the extent we are alive to the needs of our civil servants. We are equally worried with the movement in the exchange rate. We have said this before that the movement in the exchange rate, especially on the parallel market is not linked to fundamentals. The fundamentals that we look at that determine the movement in the exchange rate, we are looking at the external balance. Our current account is in surplus.

You look at Government expenditure vis-à-vis the revenue that we are generating as Treasury. Since November 2018 we have not borrowed from the Central Bank. We live within our means. We run a cash budget. The release of resources follow a programme based budgeting. We have got liquidity management committee. You go to the monetary authorities, as I speak now the targeted reserve money growth is at 7.5% and it is really meant to squeeze all the liquidity that is in the market. These are the economic fundamentals that are supposed to determine the exchange rate.

What really is driving the black market rate? These are behavioral legacy issues to say we encountered this in 2008 and we are using the US$ as a store of value. The moment someone gets Z$, they immediately change to US$. People are saying the moment I get money I should convert it to US$ but because of benchmark pricing it has filtered to pricing models in the shops where you see that the pricing model is now following the parallel market rate. As a result of that, it is now affecting the livelihoods of our people. What are we doing as a Government? We have said in order to cushion our people as we try to get long term solutions, we have come up with the payment that we are now giving to civil servants in US$. There is the US$100 and the US$75 and the remaining part is paid in bond notes. This again is meant to manage the impact of the runaway parallel rate.

We also have got non monetary benefits. I am sure you have heard that civil servants, those who qualify, are allowed to import vehicles duty free. We have also come up with a housing scheme where civil servants are targeted to get houses and now we are offering transport and also the fees that we pay for qualifying civil servants. All those are measures that are meant to cushion our civil servants as we try to get a lasting solution to this problem. I thank you.

HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: My supplementary question to the Minister is that we appreciate the efforts that Government is trying to cushion civil servants. Is it not that our Government is also one of the drivers of inflation by causing uncertainty within the market. It seems our Government does not have confidence in the Zimbabwe dollar, why should we continue to give piecemeal US$ to our civil servants? It is driving the market because the owners who are supposed to give confidence to our currency are the Government, but it is jittery. Right now we also have quasi-government institutions like local authorities. We have heard that they want to change debts of residents into US$. What is Government doing and when is it going to arrest that behaviour because we believe that Government is behind this, that is why it is not being controlled. I thank you.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Hon Senator for the question where you are raising the issue of uncertainty which is according to your observations is coming from the Government. One area where we cannot have the luxury of prevaricating is the issue of policy consistency. As a Government we are very clear in terms of where we are going. You cannot run a country without a monetary leg. The proper management of a country in terms of economic management requires both fiscal and monetary policy.

We can manage monetary policy as long as we have got our own currency and that is not debatable. The policy trajectory is whatever problems we are going to have as a country, there is no going back to the use of the US$. There is clarity on that. With regards to why we appear to be using the USD here and there, if you remember when we introduced the USD, it was part of the convenience that we introduced because of COVID measures. The dual currency came into effect during COVID and it was part of the measures that were introduced. In terms of where we are going, we have said in cases where we are using the USD, we also need to abide by the law. The laws that were passed by this august House are, whenever you pay for something, duty and taxes are payable using the currency of trade. This is a policy which was passed by this august House and we are just following that. At the moment, if you check in terms of the monetary policy statement that came out, we are now promoting the use of the Zim Dollar and this is what we are doing. Even the collection of taxes at borders, we are saying let us try to use our Zim Dollar. There is clarity in terms of where we are going and we are not confusing the market and the policy will remain like that. Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF NECHOMBO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity which is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Even though the question is going to touch on education, I will direct the question to the Leader of the House. My question is that in rural areas in the districts that we come from, we have a challenge of students who are going to work whilst they are under age and they are less than 16 years. There are so many children who are doing different jobs and some are doing gold panning and some are employed at such a tender age. We also have some young children who are involved in prostitution. What is Government planning to do to stop child labour?

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTIOCE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I would like to thank you Mr. President and I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Nechombo for asking such a pertinent question which relates to child labour, whether it is in mines or tobacco farms. My response is that as Government, we have laws which prohibit child labour even the employment of under age children who are supposed to be going to school. What we have to do is for us to work together and apprehend the offenders so that they are prosecuted because this is a bad culture which is not only illegal, but which violates the children’s rights who are supposed to be going to school. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. We have a problem of the killing of women and their mutilation. What is Government planning to do regarding the stopping of such perpetrators of such a crime? I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTIOCE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Let me thank you Mr. President Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chifamba for her pertinent question. In 2013, we went to the people gathering their views regarding the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Constitution allows that those who are involved in killing in cold blood can be given death sentence. However, we discussed that those who are women are exempted but the laws are clear for those who murder people in cold blood that when they are caught, our courts are empowered to give punitive judgements. In the past week, there is a parent who killed his own child who was put on death row. I believe that when such perpetrators are caught, they should be given punitive penalties. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHISOROCHENGWE: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines. What is Government policy which can be applied in preventing those who pan from digging along main roads?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINERALS DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for her question. The Mines and Minerals Act does not allow people to dig on roads. This is a criminal offence. So our plea is that if there is such unruly behaviour, then the Hon. Senator should inform the Ministry so that we take action so that the perpetrators stop forthwith. We also work with the Ministry of Environment. We would come with the Ministry of Environment so that we stop such errand behaviour. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to ask my question. My question goes to the Minister of Transport. We applaud your intervention to try to rehabilitate our national roads but we have witnessed Minister, that the quality of the roads leaves a lot to be desired. Some of them are actually depleting as soon as they are rehabilitated.  Does the Government have a guarantee from the constructors and for how long are they supposed to maintain those roads? Who is going to meet the costs of this early depletion of roads?  We know that when we tar a road, it will take time of about 15 to 20 years but the current contractors, their product is lasting less than a year.  I thank you Mr. President. 

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Dr. Mavetera for that very important question which then allows me to elaborate on the issues that have been bedeviling the people of Zimbabwe. Mr. President Sir, I am sure the last session, I tried to explain how we construct and rehabilitate our roads, this has been a topical issue where in the public domain, you will find that if you rehabilitate a road, whether you have reconstructed, just rehabilitated or pothole patched, to a lay person it is called rehabilitation which then gives problems in the manner that the road is viewed after a period of time. This is precisely what we have experienced, given the state of our roads that are in a sorry state. We have witnessed that there are sections that were just patched and not rehabilitated.  So there the scope of work becomes difficult to judge after a year. After patching those sections, you then do what we call fog spraying and if you spray that means you have covered the whole surface.  One would not tell the sections that have been patched and the sections that have been rehabilitated.

          If you go to roads that have been reconstructed, we are not witnessing what Hon. Sen. Dr. Mavetera was talking about. The challenges were seen in those sections because if you go to the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, we had phased our stages in terms of how we were going to approach - of which year 1 and 2, we were focusing on just patching and sometimes re-gravelling which was not necessarily the reconstruction of roads.  I assure the august Senate that where we have reconstructed, we are not witnessing such anomalies. 

          We have got a monitoring and evaluation department in the Ministry and this subject has been topical again Mr. President. I want to assure the Hon. Senators that if you have got such cases, let us also see and I have had a number of roads that were being referred to in that sorry state.  If you listened to the way that I have actually alluded to earlier in my explanation, you will see that that road was not rehabilitated completely. Also to allay the fears that we are no longer just paying if we give a contractor which I also need to concur with Hon. Sen. Dr. Mavetera that in terms of the time frame, according to the statutes that we have now - we have got a guarantee for a year where a contractor is supposed to superintend over the road for a year. 

          Surely, for a road to get a guarantee for a year is nothing and it has been advocated that we need to change so that we have to get a longer timeframe so that we do not have recurrences of such anomalies in the event that we pay a contractor and after a year we see such developments.  So I totally agree with you that in terms of the current status quo where our contracts are actually accommodating a year, we then need to move with speed and try to see that we amend to accommodate quite a number of years so that one becomes responsible for his and her works, I agree on that one.  To say the roads that we are constructing are depleting or collapsing within a year, Mr. President Sir, we do not have such roads.  The roads that were pothole patched, definitely after rains you will see the potholes coming up.  It is not a desired model that we want, we want to totally reconstruct a road or section so that we know even if we are doing less kilometers, we know we have rehabilitated our roads. I thank you Mr. President.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Amongst the outstanding ones now we have Hon. Sen. Mwonzora, Hon. Sen. Muronzwi, Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe and Hon. Sen. Chief Chundu.  Looking at the time, I think it will be tricky if we cover all unless there is an extension. I will move in that order so that you are certain of what is going to happen.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you very much Hon. President, my question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs or the Minister of State Security.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT: Home Affairs Minister is here.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Hon. Minister is it Government policy that whenever the State President has an activity in a province then other political parties cannot address political gatherings in that province? The second part of the question:  is the Government aware of the rallies in cases of alleged torture and harassing people of political activists?  What is the Government doing about it?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MABOYI): Thank you Hon. Senator, I will attempt to answer the first question. I do not think that people are being refused to address. The fact that His Excellency is addressing a meeting let us say in Harare and they are not going to share that ground with the other party, I think there is no problem, I have not heard about that as a policewoman I have not heard of that problem.  Now let me go to the second one of harassment, one cannot guarantee that any other person is being harassed but the person who is going to be harassed reports that to the police because people may not know whether I am being harassed unless if I go and report.  So those who are being harassed whether they are ZANU PF activists, MDC activists or CCC activists, must report to the police immediately. 

HON. SEN. MWONZORA:  Hon. Minister, thank you very much for the answers but the allegations that are there all over the social media is torture by the state agents.  The question is, what is the Government doing about it?  Is the Government doing something or anything about that?

HON. MABOYI:  We cannot work on social media because social media is where I can go and state something which is not correct.  I will again say to you Hon. Senator, please, those who are being harassed should go to the police immediately.  Let us not work from social media reports, because social media can distort information, social media can say anything in order to confuse the Government.  Let us do away with social media.  Let us read, yes, we are going to read those items, the issues but we cannot conclude because it is social media.  Let us go and report whatever we come across.  Thank you Mr. President.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Let me take this liberty of being in the Chair to comment on social media.  We passed a Bill in this Chamber, the Marriages Bill.  It stayed for more than a year and the key reason why we took long was we were trying to agree among other two or three clauses.  One was on lobola and the contention was that we were saying it has to be very clear that under customary law, a person is obliged to pay lobola.  The Chiefs led that debate and the Bill was passed, sounding very clearly that lobola shall be paid in customary law marriages.

Upon passage through this House, you saw what social media did.  They turned it around and started saying the law says there shall be no more lobola in Zimbabwe and all of you have received, social media messages which are incorrect, total lies.  The law is there in black and white and it says pay lobola, but they are saying no, the law says no lobola in Zimbabwe.  It shows just how messy this social media thing can be.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 67

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI:  I propose that we extend question time by 15 minutes.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I want to know Minister, what does the law say referring to the police on the roadblock?  If they stop a car and the car does not stop, do they chase the car or do they take the number plate?

*THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Why do you not direct the question to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage?

*HON. SEN. MURONZI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I am redirecting the question to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS (HON. MABOYI):  Mr. President, people should not run away.  After being stopped by the police, they should stop.  Why do they run?  If they do not stop, the police are supposed to chase them but normally they will not be having a car, but we are encouraging people not to run away.  Even if you are at fault, you wait and hear where the problem is.  They do not chase them as such, but we are encouraging people to stop.

As Hon. Senators, we should engage our communities because what is bad is to peddle falsehoods about the police.  When it is good, the police are not good; when it is not good, the police are good.  So let us tell our communities that they should stop.  At times the police cannot note the number plates because they will be stopping the car.  If they had cars, I think they should chase them because why are they running away?  It means their papers are not in order.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.  Soccer is a popular sport which unites the people of Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe was banned from participating in international sports because of the interference of Government in sporting activities after noting that there were corrupt activities by individuals at ZIFA.  So what is the Government planning to do to correct this situation so that Zimbabwe could participate in international sports and at the same time prosecuting perpetrators of crime?  I thank you.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. MACHAKARIKA):  Thank you Mr.  President Sir for such a pertinent question which was posed by Sen. Chief Makumbe.  Let me start by saying that as Government, it is our desire that we encourage our citizens to participate in sporting activities.  However, we cannot be found to be supporting corruption in the sporting fraternity and activities which are against our values and norms as Zimbabweans. Let me give an example of the crimes that were being alleged to have been done by officials at ZIFA.  The issue of sexual harassment is a serious issue.  So we believe that it was the right thing to take corrective measures because as Government, we are there to ensure that we make it a point that we are found to be participating in international sports.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU:I would like to request the Hon. Minister to explain why perpetrators of such crimes were not arrested, instead or seeing corrective action being taken by FIFA of suspending Zimbabwe?

          * HON. MACHAKARIKA: Thank you Hon. Senator.  As Zimbabwe, we are not empowered to take the law into our hands but as far as I know, these issues are in the courts regarding arresting of such perpetrators, I believe that the law will take its course.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Mr. President.  I heard the Hon. Minister explaining clearly that it is clear that Government is not allowed to interfere in sporting activities like what happened.  However, Government cannot allow crimes to be committed without taking any action.  So what is Government going to do, regarding the restoration of Zimbabwe in sporting activities so that we find our sportsmen and women participating in such global activities?  As a Ministry, what are you doing right now?  We would be glad for an explanation regarding this issue. I thank you.

          *HON. MACHAKARIKA: Thank you Mr. President.  We desire as Government of Zimbabwe, that we restore our sport on the global arena but we are behind regarding sporting activities.  We are taking some steps but please bear with us so that you give us time to deal with the issue, then we will come to this august House and give you a Ministerial Statement, regarding what is happening.  It is your right as this august House to get feedback from the Executive.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  Please come on 5th April, 2022 with a Ministerial Statement.  I will explain later why I said that.  Take note Hon. Minister.  Come with your Ministerial Statement to this House. 

          *HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Hon. President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  Can the Minister assist this House by explaining what measures the Government has, through her Ministry, to ensure security of people during the coming bye-elections?  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MABOYI): Thank you Hon. President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara.  We are prepared to make sure that security is there.  You know where we are talking of security, we do not cover all the spaces but we are prepared for the bye-elections.  As we are preparing now to look after you people well, we have had problems - we are dealing with human beings but we will try by all means.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture.  In his absence, I will direct it to the Leader of the House.  In the rural areas where we come from, this is the time for people to take their tobacco to auction floors.  You find that there are some farmers who have not been paid last year’s dues.  There are companies which were contracted by TIMB, they are not doing well in paying these farmers.  What is the Government policy when it comes to investigating these companies?  How can these farmers get help because they do not know TIMB?  They only know the agricultural extension officers and the TIMB, how does it give the contracts to these companies?

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President.  The question that was asked by the chief is of a contract between the farmer and a company which is not a Government entity.  Government, by law, does not interfere in the contract that two people had entered into unless that contract breaks the law of the country.

          They can go and get help from the Ministry of Agriculture, not that there is a law binding but as the Ministry which is interested in the growing of tobacco. There is no law that the Government should intervene in the contract between two people. 

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: There are two aspects. He said there are those who have not been paid, who is supposed to pay them? So, the Minister is giving a full answer.

Questions without Notice were interrupted by the ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 67.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

NUMBER OF OFFICERS IN CHARGE WITHIN ZRP

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House, the number of male and female Officers-in-Charge that are present in the police force in the country.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MABOYI): Thank you Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the question. This question cannot be answered because we are looking at the security of the police force. We cannot say five are directors and whatever their ranks. It is not allowed according to the Security Act.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Minister. Basically you are not prepared.

          HON. MABOYI: Not really prepared.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You did not come prepared for the question.

          HON MABOYI: Yes.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: So you come back some other day.

          HON. MABOYI: But I had said we cannot say we have so many police officers’ who are women and are manning these police stations and so forth because that is a security issue. I will only do so when my Minister and the Commissioner General have sat down and discussed on this one. This is how I am taking it.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order. Hon Minister, I think it is not proper.  I do not know what clause you can read in the Act or Constitution which will tell you that when Parliament asks for certain figures, then you say it is a security issue because those numbers are managed by Parliament. Parliament cannot be refused to have that knowledge on what sort of police are in the country. There is also a Committee that plays an oversight on police which should be able to question anyone in the country about certain things especially numbers of people. We must know who is employed and who is not. This is Parliament and it cannot be refused information unless you have a specific constitutional provision that says this becomes a security issue to Parliament.

          HON. MABOYI: Thank you very much for reminding me on some of these issues. Let me come back probably within the next two weeks. I will bring the numbers. I withdraw if I have encroached on some areas. I know I am dealing with lawyers and every time they want to scrutinise. I will bring the numbers.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: This one is a good Minister because she is flexible. When you see that you are leading us astray, you say I am sorry I will come back. Some would have wanted to argue until sunset just because they do not want to admit that they do not know. The practice is that usually with these Questions With Notice - they actually come with a written paper which has been researched. On this note, we have come to the end of time for Questions with Notice. Being a Thursday afternoon, it is only fair that we adjourn.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Before you adjourn. I wanted to ask if I could be allowed to hand this paper which I got from Zimbabwe Pensions and Insurance Rights Trust for the Pension Bill to the Minister so that he can look at it before we go to the Committee Stage. There are a few comments and some of them might not be very fair.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Is it a petition or what? That Bill is still under consideration by the Senate. We are moving to the Committee Stage. We have not concluded that Bill. It would be unprocedural for you to stand and say as a matter of record, you are handing over to the Minister. But when we adjourn, you can run to the Minister and hand the paper over.

          If you want to prepare amendments, you can do it but it would be unprocedural if you did it in this manner. We still have an opportunity at Committee Stage as Senate to propose amendments. Those people can mobilise amendments through a Senator. Thank you very much.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON CHIDUWA), the Senate adjourned at Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 5th April 2022.

 

 

                                                                              

                                                                              

 

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