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SENATE HANSARD 19 JULY 2022 VOL 31 NO 54

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 19th July, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

DEATH OF HON. SEN. WATSON KHUPE

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  It is with profound sorrow that I have to inform the Senate of the death of Hon. Sen. Watson Khupe, Senator representing persons living with disability on Saturday, 16th July, 2022.  I therefore invite Hon. Senators to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Senator.

          Hon. Senators stood in silence. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Mr. President Sir.  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 and 2 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of. 

          HON. SEN. S. MPOFU:  I second. 

          Motion put and agreed to. 

MOTION

PROVISION OF FUNDS FOR COMPLETION OF DAM CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

          HON. SEN. MABIKA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I move the motion standing in my name that; 

NOTING with admiration that dams are an essential component/driver for economic development;

APPLAUDING the Government for the momentum gained towards changing people’s economic status, through the provision of opportunities in farming and increased access to potable water by encouraging construction of water bodies;

 

CONCERNED at the low pace in completion of national dams which have the potential to transform people’s livelihoods countrywide;

FURTHER CONCERNED that some incomplete dams may end up as white elephants, thereby disadvantaging some communities in terms of economic empowerment;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Government to provide adequate funds for the completion of all outstanding dam construction projects countrywide, among them, Mirror Dam in Chipinge.

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI:  I second.

HON. SEN. MABIKA:  I would like to thank you Mr. President for allowing me to present my motion.  Indeed, Zimbabwe is known to be the highest dammed country in Africa.  Dams deliver multiple benefits to the country and to communities as per, but not limited to the list below:

  1. A storage of the precious resource;
  2. Irrigation projects;
  • Fresh water supply for domestic use;
  1. Water supply for industrial use;
  2. Cheap protein supply from fish and other aqua dishes for improved diet in the country and the communities;
  3. Potential for tourism;
  • Potential for small hydropower generation;
  • Ecological benefits for sustaining vegetation and watering animals.

State of the Global Economy

          It is now common knowledge that the global economy is on fire as a result of the Russia – Ukraine war which has caused cost-push inflation and supply chain disruptions, especially on food items such as wheat and cooking oil.  In addition, the sanctions put on Russia over oil supplies have caused an increase in energy costs at a global scale.  As a result, global inflation is growing unabated in response to the demand and supply imbalances. 

          In response to global inflation and all its related problems, a majority of the countries in the world are following in the footsteps of USA by also increasing interest rates.  This makes the cost of money very high.  Therefore, global economic growth is going to be slowed down to the extent that a recession is anticipated shortly.  Zimbabwe is not spared from all these problems, as part of the global village. 

          Stagflation

          What is most frightening is the prospect of inevitable stagflation.  Stagflation is an economic condition where inflation keeps rising while economic growth is going down.  This is most visible in labour situations, where workers demand a salary increase at the first instance of inflation.  After that, the employers will increase product prices to absorb the increase in labour costs.  This in turn, increases inflation and the workers come back for more salary increase.  The situation ends up as a wage-inflation spiral where wages and inflation end up chasing each other in an alternating fashion.  Meanwhile, governments increase interest rates to dampen inflation, thus slowing down the economy.  This combination causes an endless downward spiral of the economy.  This is now evident in all countries in the world, Zimbabwe included.

          The most visible sign of the fatigue in trying to control stagflation is the resistance by corporates and governments to salary increases.  Then social unrest kicks in as the workers get very unhappy in large numbers across all industries.  Demonstrations and riots become the order of society.  We are witnessing that every day all over the world these days.  That is where we are with the global economy.

          Generic Remedy

          The best way to absorb such shocks as we are experiencing is to have full control of the supply chains of essential goods required by a country.  Self sufficiency at both country and local community level is the key to achieving self managed supply chains.  This is fundamental.  We can see the whole world burning of the interdependence that was developed through globalisation.  Now, a war between countries, Russia and Ukraine has brought the whole world to its knees regarding food and energy supplies.  Entire sets of global macroeconomic parameters are now upside down. 

          Food, as one of the most basic requirements of any nation, must be produced in more than sufficient quantities.  This fundamentally basic essential requires water, seeds and fertiliser as a minimum.  Water is the building block, hence the importance of dams which will also act as a buffer in times of drought. 

          State of Dams in Zimbabwe

          Zimbabwe boasts of being one of the highest dammed countries in Africa.  Our food production capacity at national level is set to exceed that of any African country in the short to medium term, pending the completion of irrigation and other related agricultural programmes.  Commercial scale agriculture is set to benefit from this. 

          However, with the pace at which global food shortages are set to occur, we need to have all our communities enabled for the future as soon as possible. Every region in the country needs to be self sufficient without entirely depending on other regions for food supply. Therefore, each and every pending project requires to be capitalised and the projects implemented as soon as the country is equally empowered in this regard.

          Further to that, water systems for several towns and cities were designed pre-independence, and the dams which were built back then now run away short of current demand. Harare and Bulawayo being the largest cities are both in trouble regarding primary supply of fresh water reservoirs.

          It is understood that Kunzvi Dam will be able to take care of the requirements of Harare when complete. For several decades, there has been talk of the dam in the planning stages but is still not in place to this day. We believe that some action has begun to take place, but the important and most critical request is speed. It is moving slowly in relation to the increasing rate of the demand for the resource.

          For Bulawayo, the Gwayi-Shangani Dam project with its pipeline is believed to be the starting point of the solution for water supply for the city and some irrigation projects along the way. Other projects in the line-up include Vungu Dam in Midlands, Ziminya Dam in Matebeleland North, Bindura Dam in Mashonaland Central, Dande Dam in Mashonaland Central, Chivhu Dam in Mashonaland East and Thuli-Manyange Dam in Matebeleland South. 

          In Chipinge, there is a fully planned dam called Mirror Dam whose purpose includes water supply to Chipinge and irrigation of surrounding farms and community plus a mini-hydro power station to supply electricity. Chipinge is a fast growing town whose population has more than trebled in the past 15 years and still going. The dam which was earmarked for providing fresh water to the people of Chipinge can hardly cope with 25% of the population in that town.  Chipinge, being an agricultural Region 1 area, has got many farms ranging from coffee, tea, macadamia, maize, ground nuts, madhumbe, sweet potatoes, bananas, pine nuts, avocado et cetera. As expressed in the background, food is a basic necessity for all our communities and the nation at large. The potential of the contribution of Mirror Dam cannot be over emphasised, besides uplifting the livelihood of the entire community where many potential resort areas can also be developed in places like Chirinda Forest. This dam can become a driver for export of food and other Zimbabwean made goods through Espungabera Border Post to Mozambique.

          With the now planned railway line project connecting Zimbabwe with Chingoeni through Manicaland from Rutenga, and the highly anticipated dramatic increase in road traffic for moving goods and minerals from Zimbabwe to the deep sea port of Beira, Chipinge can easily transform into a city with self-contained food security, fresh water and flourishing commercial and communal farming. Export of fruit, macadamia, vegetable and other produce can be enhanced by the installation of Mirror Dam.

          In conclusion, water provides the foundation of any society or community. Dams are storage for fresh water. It is forecast that the availability of fresh water will be a nightmare globally by 2050 at the latest hence, the need to put up as many of them as possible now.

          At this period of global economic downturn, dams play one of the biggest roles in ensuring food security, in the face of global supply chain disruptions particularly regarding food. It is therefore highly recommended to enhance and speed up dam construction and irrigation projects implementation. This will also serve to absorb supply shocks on food prices as we are experiencing with grains and cooking oil. Minimum reliability on import supplies is the agenda.

          Mirror Dam is going to be critical for a multitude of community and national activities. Water supply to the fast growing town of Chipinge, enhancing food production by irrigation, local power generation, becoming the central attraction of tourism in the area, attracting logistics companies to settle in the area for the anticipated massive exports of minerals such as coal through the border, making Chipinge the hub of everything, including technology for both the south western regions of Mozambique and southern half of Manicaland. I thank you Mr. President.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me an opportunity to debate on a motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mabika which resonates very well with the thrust of our nation where agriculture is pivotal in the development of the nation. Dams are very important resources in as far as this nation building exercise that the country has embarked on is concerned. A lot of money has been spent on dams and it is critical that we have dams scattered around all regions as per the needs assessment done by the Government to alleviate food challenges throughout the country.

          The Mirror Dam in Chipinge for instance, will be a huge milestone in as far as the irrigation of that area is concerned. In Chipinge, there is quite a lot of agriculture happening there from growing of macadamia nuts, potatoes, tea, coffee even to dairy farming and all this requires abundant water. It is therefore prudent that this dam gets started in terms of construction and that the resources be channeled towards the construction of this dam.

          However, a number of dams in the country also remain unfinished owing to competing needs mainly those of finance and it is my humble submission Mr. President, that Treasury avails money to ensure timeous and speedy completion of this very important infrastructure site. I refer to my own Marovanyati Dam in Buhera where the dam has been completed but the earth side and the spillway remains unfinished two years after it was commissioned. We need these dams commissioned, the irrigation infrastructure done with and in the case of Marovanyati Dam, there is supposed to be 1 400 hectares of irrigation downstream and this will change the lives of the people in Buhera.

          Buhera lies under natural region 5 and there is no rainfall. So if the remaining works are completed, the Marovanyathi Dam will be a total game changer for this agriculture starved region. All over the country, we have got a lot of other dams at various stages of construction. We are talking of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam which should be a huge game changer for the people of Matabeleland North Province.  Besides just giving us water, there is a lot of scope for mini hydropower station and with the abundant sunlight in that area of Binga in Matabeleland North, there could also be prospects of putting hybrid system where the dam will generate hydropower whilst we will also be able to tap into the sun and get solar energy.  The two will give us quite some considerable amount of energy in as far as the requirements of this country are concerned. 

          You will appreciate Mr. President that at this juncture, power is very difficult to get.  Sometimes here around Parliament, we run on a generator.  It is through the usage of these resources that we can turn the table in as far as the development metrics of our own country is concerned.  We also need to scale up the issue of assisting our engineers.  I personally have worked in the dam construction ministry before I became Chief and Senator.  What used to happen in the past was the Government at that time used to look for contractors and then would assist the contractors with the procurement of the necessary materials and equipment in order to undertake these jobs.  This has been our biggest challenge.  We have got universities; University of Zimbabwe churns out hundreds of civil engineers every year so is our NUST.

          Mr. President, because of Education 5.0, we now need to walk the talk, we have got the skill but our challenge is the equipment.  I am not happy though Mr. President with the way our contracting is being done where a lot of these huge projects are being done by outsiders when here in Zimbabwe, the skill is in abundance.  We want to build structures in Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans.  That is my humble submission. 

I want to applaud the Hon. Senator for having brought such a very important motion in this Parliament because without water, there is no life, everything under the universe requires water.  We are a 100% agricultural country; we are even under sanctions from our erstwhile colonisers.  I am sure if we were able to grow crops using our dams, we can export even regionally.  If you look at the COMESA free trade area, there is a lot of scope.  It is only in Africa where there is no birth control, so our customers keep on increasing.  A lot of our money should be channeled towards the construction of these dams.  I thank you. 

          *HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to add my voice on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mabika and the seconder.  Zimbabwe is an agricultural country but in the past two years because of climate change, the rainfall patterns have changed.  Nowadays we get rain very late and that is now affecting our agricultural produce and that is affecting our farming as well as our domestic animals. 

          Mr. President, a few weeks ago, we were debating on the issue of the low levels of livestock in our country.  We are experiencing a lot of challenges because of climate change and that is affecting livelihoods of people as well as animals.  This is because of shortage of rain.  Before I proceed, I want to thank the Government that is promoting that every district should have dams.  I do not want to mention all the dams because my predecessors have mentioned a lot of dams such as the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland.  Once we have those dams in the different areas of the country, it will improve our agriculture because we can no longer rely on rainfall because once we have dams, we can harness water and use it for agriculture, it will sustain us. If you look at an area such as Mbire or Dande, there is no rainfall at all.  They do not grow maize, they only grow traditional grains but the dam that is built there will be able to take water to Mbire through the irrigation canals and the small dams that they have.   They can then sustain themselves. Besides our livelihoods and our livestock, the country itself will benefit. 

          Currently Mr. President, I am sure you will agree with me, Government is losing a lot of foreign currency as we have to import maize but if Government proceeds carefully with the issue of setting up dams, we will no longer need to import grain but we can actually gain more foreign currency by exporting that.  I think dam construction - harnessing water is a positive development that will develop the country. Yes, we have mining and other sectors but still those mines need water.

          I want to thank the Government as well as Cabinet because right now they are committed to ensure that every area has a dam for irrigation, then we can grow our crops and engage in farming and we will then regain our status as the breadbasket of SADC.  We face the challenge of our livestock dying because of the little rainfall that we were getting but if we are to proceed with the Government initiative of constructing dams, the country will develop, it will not remain the same and we will become the breadbasket.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this very important debate.  Before I go into the debate, I want to extend my condolences to the House on the loss of Hon. Sen. Khupe, may his soul rest in peace. I want to thank the Hon. Sen. Mabika who brought this important issue and Hon. Sen. Kambizi who seconded. The initiative that is there is that we have climate change and can no longer predict when we will get rainfall. Long ago we knew that by the 15th of November, we would have ploughed our land and rain would come. Right now because of climate change, rainfall has become unpredictable. Climate change is here to stay.

          When you are flying from Harare to Masvingo, you will be disappointed as you see water bodies that are lying idle. Water in these bodies ends up evaporating without being utilised in farming. The initiative of constructing dams – yes, we do have a lot of dams but we have a lot of water sources that have not been tapped. If this water is tapped, our country will be in a better position in terms of food security. We were once the breadbasket of Africa but the issue of water affected our status and may deter us from becoming the breadbasket again. The Land Reform Programme is upon us but we will not succeed if there is no water. If there are dams, people can engage in irrigation and those programmes will become a source of livelihood and can produce food.

          If you look at areas like Mashonaland West which was one of the key breadbasket areas of the country, farmers who got a bumper harvest were the ones who had utilised the irrigation programmes. We are losing a lot of foreign currency because we are importing grain and yet we are very good farmers and can be able to farm our own food. Rural area communities do not have clean, safe water at all;  if small dams are constructed, we will be in a better position to harvest that water and ensure people have access to water. If Government and the conversations that are happening in this country come to fruition, I think we will be better placed to be secure in terms of food.

          In the past, we knew that our greatest foreign currency earner was mining, followed by agriculture and that ensured our food security in Zimbabwe. Because of climate change, there has been a lot of drought which resulted in hunger and has led us to import grain and virementing funds that could be used to rehabilitate or equip clinics with medicines.  Once we have water, we will be able to have enough funds to engage in other programmes that are important in the lives of the people.

          I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mabika for the motion that she raised which is very pertinent to all of us.

          +HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Mabika. This is quite an important motion because water is critical in our daily lives. We no longer receive rains as we used to because of climate change. When we receive enough water, we realise that quite a number of sources are losing water due to run off. Government should see to it that more dams are built in our country so that with the little rains that we receive, we have water being tapped. It is recommended that each and every ward has a dam so as to have people engage in irrigation schemes.

          Yes, we have quite a number of boreholes but we realise underground water is reducing each and every time because of the number of boreholes that have been sunk. Kariba Dam is also reducing its water level due to the little rains that we receive. In Matabeleland North, we are happy because there is Gwayi-Shangani Dam which is under construction. It is a dam that has been in the pipeline for quite a number of years. Since the advent of the new dispensation, we have realised that this dam is going to be finally built.  Right now construction work has surpassed 50% and it is a going to help a lot in the Matabeleland North Province and Bulawayo.

          This dam is going to make sure that all the people within the pipeline are going to do some irrigation schemes. Once irrigation schemes are done, a number of people will manage to live better lives. Our local authorities did not realise they are allowed more houses to be built in our country without an efficient water reticulation system. For us to get enough water, there is need to have more dams so that the dwellers and local authorities get enough water for their use. So it is important to see to it that water is collected in each and every way whenever we receive rains.

          If we have many dams, we can have people engage in a number of projects like fish farming whereby they can sell fish and if they have a surplus, we can then export it. In cases where we have large dams, we can have tourists coming in.  So it is important to have many dams.  When one is flying, you realise that there are quite a number of water bodies across the globe, which shows that the building of water sources has been prioritised.  As such, with more dams we can have electricity generation. In our country, we have realised that we have less electricity due to lack of water sources.  With enough water, we can have electricity generation increasing to assist those communities with big dams.  Therefore, it is my plea that our Government should build more dams and teach people to harvest water without letting water run-off to oceans and seas.  With these few words Mr. President, I thank you.        

          (v)HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President.  Before debating, I would like to express my sincere condolences on the death of Hon. Sen. Khupe, may his soul rest in peace.  Mr. President, I would like also to thank you for giving me this opportunity to say a few words on this important motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Mabika and seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe.

          Mr. President, when we talk about water we are talking about life.  There is no life without water.  When we talk about dams, we mean the storage of this important element which is water.  Mr. President, water is needed for irrigation purposes.  Also, our livestock depends on water.  People and fisheries need water.  Whenever we talk about dam storages, it takes us back to the number of dams that we have.  Some of us live in region.  Really, if we talk about anything for production, we need water.  We need dams because for us to produce crops, we ought to have water for irrigation.  For us to have drinking water, we ought to have dams.  For our livestock to survive, they need water.  Pastures for that livestock need water.  Water is a very important component in our country.  For food production, we can hardly produce anything because we receive rainfall below average in Region 5.  As a result, without supplementary water, it means we can hardly grow any crops.  Apart from people needing water in the rural areas, you find that even in our towns, we need water.

          Mr. President, I would have not done anything if I do not talk about the Zhove Dam in Beitbridge, which has got a lot of water which is being underutilized.  There is need for the green belt that has been earmarked from Zhove Dam to Beitbridge Town, as well as, across our borders to service Messina.  I think there is need for that project to start with immediate effect for us to get sufficient water.  Without forgetting Thuli Manyange Dam which has also the same pipeline which would assist Gwanda to get sufficient water and also Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland North.  For these areas that I am talking about, there are areas in Matabeleland whereby we have scarce rainfall and the distribution is not even.  So we need water like yesterday.  Water would also assist us in getting more energy, for example with dams like Kariba.  If we have more dams, we could be having other dams which would supply energy for us. 

          Mr. President, we have got challenges that we are facing.  The challenge that we are facing is that most of these dams that we are talking about as of now, most of them have silted.  There is need for rehabilitation of these dams as they have silted and they no longer keep water.  They keep water for short periods and during the dry season, they also get dry.  There is urgent need for rehabilitation of these dams. 

          Mr. President, apart from these old dams that we are talking about, there is also need for more dams to be constructed so that water can be found in most places.  When we talk about more dams - it means that we are looking at budgets set aside for these dams to be constructed.  If we do not have a budget, that means we might end up not having resources for construction of our dams. 

          Mr. President, let me thank our Government of Zimbabwe led by none other than Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa who has put his effort for the country to have the construction of new dams and where possible, silted dams are being rehabilitated.  We thank him so much.  Let us support him by also keeping our dams in their proper state so that we do not lose water.  With these few words Mr. President, I would like to thank you.

          +HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mabika. Before saying much, I would like to convey my deepest condolences for the loss of our colleague. This is a critical motion because we cannot talk of life without talking of water. For people to survive, there is need for them to have water. Even without food but with water, they can still survive. This motion is critical because water is a challenge in all areas, especially now because of climate change.

          Looking at Region 5 where I come from, a person who is said to be rich is the one with cattle but without cattle, one is said to be wallowing in poverty. So now because of water challenges, everyone is now wallowing in poverty because our livestock which we use in the bride price are dying because of lack of water. We have also realised that with these few dams that we have, there is need to desilt them although we are thankful to the Government for the few dams that are being constructed but the ones that exist needs to be desilted.

          I would like to thank my fellow Hon. Members who have talked about the Gwayi-Shangani Dam which is bringing happiness to almost everyone in our country because Gwayi-Shangani Dam is going to assist in making sure that towns get water especially Bulawayo. The project has been on the pipeline for quite a number of years most probably 40 years or so.  Even before independence, it used to be talked about but now it is work under way. A number of projects continue to be done right now under the Second Republic.

          I would also like to give appreciation to the building of the Gariya Dam in Tsholotsho which has not been in use for quite a number of years. It is assisting communities that stay in the greater part of Tsholotsho towards Botswana but right now, this dam is assisting in providing water to these communities even though it is not yet 100% complete. I continue to say this is an important motion brought by Hon. Sen. Mabika and supported by our colleagues. Other Hon. Senators have indicated the importance of water and I cannot continue to hammer on the same.

          However, I would like to say dams are a critical component in the provision of water. We realise that even in towns, we are facing water challenges due to reduced amount of water in our dams. Without water, our communities suffer a number of diseases. In rural areas, dams need to be desilted in order to keep water. We need to make sure that our dams harvest more water. We used to have more boreholes in the past and each ward used to have about 15 boreholes but right now, these boreholes are no longer in sync with the increase in population in these areas.

          We are happy that the borehole drilling project is going to assist in these ones. Our population continues to increase where in the past each kraal used to have about 15 households but not anymore. Therefore, the same water that used to be used by about 15 households is no longer enough looking at the increasing population. I would like to thank you with these few words and thank you for the opportunity given.

          +HON. SEN. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity given to also add a few words in support of the motion brought about by Hon. Sen. Mabika. Before dwelling on this motion, I would like to convey my deepest condolences following the passing on of Hon. Sen. Khupe. Mr. President, the motion brought about by Hon. Sen. Mabika, supported by Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe is vital. It is important because it talks of life because water is life. As people, those who know about human beings indicate that the greater percentage that is a human being consists is water, which is why it has been critical for this motion to be brought to this House.

          Mr. President, our country has a certain fraction that has always been dry because of the makeup of some of our regions as a country. We have regions that get more water than other regions. I will talk of the region where I come from which is Matabeleland South Province. This is a dry region and when talking about dams and water, it is critical that we look into this issue. This august House which formulates laws should realise that there are other regions that are continuously dry throughout the year. 

          We are talking of dams looking at Matabeleland South Province, there are dams where there are irrigation schemes that are being carried out like Antelope and Ingwizi. These irrigation schemes need to be assisted by other irrigation schemes within these areas so that people from this region do not suffer from drought.  These big dams that I have highlighted like Gwayi-Shangani Dam are quite far from the central Matabeleland South.  For this water to get to Matabeleland South, it will take a number of years but we are grateful that the New Dispensation has made it possible for this Dam to have its construction work start.  We however want to ask our Government to look into the areas like Matabeleland South so that these areas also get more dams.  Other Members have indicated that it is not only a human that needs the water but even our livestock.  Looking at times like August - our cattle, donkeys will be coming back home muddy.  When we get to September or October, there will only be carcasses in dams due to lack of water.  Therefore, our plea to the Government is that even though it has realised that there is need to have big dams that will assist in irrigation schemes, there is need for desilting of the small ones that have always been there.  Mr. President, I have spoken about irrigation schemes from these big dams.  However, our request is that I do not know what the problem is but I will highlight on the Magwe Irrigation Scheme between Gwanda and Matopo Districts.  The irrigation scheme covers a huge area but this irrigation scheme is lying idle. I do not know what is happening. 

Mr. President, I therefore ask the Minister responsible for this department of irrigation schemes to look into Magwe Irrigation Scheme because it is critical for people from that community.  We have rivers in these communities, I am dwelling more on this area because I know it is better than other areas in Matabeleland South.  The other rivers that have water running all up to Limpopo without it being harvested, there is need to look into such River Mr. President and build dams here and there, to harvest this water instead of letting it runoff when it is a critical component of our life.  

          Looking into the issue raised in this motion Mr. President, yes, we really need water although there are efforts being made like sinking boreholes but at times the exercise does not get to fruition because of lack of water underground.  Therefore, there is need to do more research into such as in other instances more monies are spent on boreholes that are left without getting to the point of getting water.  One Hon. Member indicated that there is need for Government to look into this or the department responsible for water should look into research activities or seeing to it that each and every ward which has a school has water.  We want to have colleges that promote researches that see into it that each and every ward they can sink and get water. 

          I am grateful for being given this opportunity to air my voice on this motion.  Thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. CHINAKE:  Thank you Mr. President, I rise to add my voice to this motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Mabika and seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe as well as all the others who have debated.  I have very little to say because most things have already been said.  The most important thing that I want to say is that as Senators, as the Upper House I think this motion was moved in 2019 and we talked about the issue of water.  If only the debates that we have in this House could be addressed in future even after six months, I think our country would be in a better position.  I think the way we are debating in this country does not bring any money but when we debate we are supposed to say the truth to ensure that the Government is listening to what we are saying. 

          The issue of water that has been brought by Hon. Sen. Mabika is a very pertinent issue.  For me to be able to stand before you and debate, 60% of my body is made from water.  This is a matter that should be addressed as soon as possible. I am sure you heard us talking about the issue of climate change and that has affected our rainfall patterns.  We are busy drilling boreholes and soon that underground water will run out.  We used to drill 40 or 40 meters and soon we will be drilling as deep as 200 metres. As a country, we need to be prepared. I once mentioned it in this House that if possible as a country, we should harness water from the Zambezi River and probably have tributaries from there that will serve the different places in the country so that when we run out of water from the boreholes, that water will be able to augment the little water available.

          The Hansard has a lot of information and when people read it, they ask that we always debate but there is no progress or implementation. We are going to debate for the next five years with nothing being addressed. Let us debate issues that the Government can take seriously. When someone raises a motion, it means that there is a challenge out there. We can take 21 days debating this motion and after it has been debated, it is long gone and forgotten. The question is:  what are we doing as a Government and Senate? Has Cabinet taken heed of our motions?

          When the report has undergone debate, it is adopted but when it is adopted what then happens? Every motion that is debated in this House means that people have researched and they come here to debate issues that should move the country forward. No motion is useless but what I am saying is that what we debate in this House should be brought into action so that our country can develop. We know that as Parliament, we always have new people coming in and we should be able to point out that when I was in Parliament, this is what we debated on and action was taken on this matter. I may not be here in the next Parliament but I am happy that His Excellency took action on the motion that was raised on road rehabilitation and dams are also being constructed.

          On the issue of diverting water from the Zambezi River to some parts of Zimbabwe - this is something that should be taken up. There is a need to make sure that we get that water at all cost. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to support this motion that was brought in by Hon. Sen. Mabika. This motion concerns a lot of aspects because construction of dams is very important. There is nothing that troubles people as drought. Drought brings a lot of challenges for the people. It brings in sickness, death for humans and animals because there will be no water. Drought brings violence into the homes. It also results in child marriages because there is hunger in the family.

          Let me say that we want to applaud the Government led by His Excellency Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa who had foresight. Initially I did not understand the mantra which says “leaving no place and no one behind” but I see that it is being followed and adhered to as many Hon Members have said that dams are under construction. In Mt. Darwin, we have Semwa Dam, it serves Mt. Darwin and Rushinga which has poor rainfall because, it is in region 5.  Semwa Dam will assist the districts in terms of irrigation farming. I want to applaud Government because of the initiative to construct dams for irrigation and not rely on rainfall. The irrigation systems are ideal because any time you can grow any crop you want and it is different from relying on rainfall.

          A farmer can plan the number of hectares that he wants to plough and he can buy all the farming inputs such as fertiliser, seed and pesticides but if there is a drought, that farmer will have lost out. The country is also burdened by these challenges because all other programmes are set aside to ensure that there is food security for the people. In my opinion, we need to support the issue of construction of dams. Even the boreholes that are being drilled for water, we want those boreholes because when we look at rural lives, each village cannot have a dam but at least every village should have a borehole.

          We want to thank the new dispensation that it has contracted ZINWA and DDF to drill boreholes in this country which will assist us a lot in terms of access to clean reliable water. Most of our clinics require water and this dam construction project is a good initiative and will address the issue of water challenges. We want to thank our Government for that.

          I also want to look at the issue of siltation. Siltation has affected our dams because it is being caused by our people who engage in ploughing of gardens. If only our communities could be conscientised and have committees that are responsible for the dams and ensure that the harnessed water is utilised well. Government is us the people and we need to look after our infrastructure as a people. Our people need to be sensitised so that they know that ploughing close to dams is not good and also that getting soil from close to the dams for building purposes is not good.

In my opinion, the Government should put emphasis on the issue of food for work.  When siltation takes place, people can then address the challenges by removing the silt from the dam.  People should take ownership and have a participatory approach.  That is how we can progress.  I want to thank the Government for dam construction that is happening in Zimbabwe, province by province.  The Gwayi-Shangani Dam construction was planned a long time ago and I am happy that progress is taking place.  We see this in the media.  So we want to thank the Government because it is fulfilling its commitment on the issue of construction of dams. 

Water is vital Mr. President.  There is no development in a country without water.  I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Mabika for bringing this important motion so that our foresight and commitment should be on dam construction in light of climate change.  Climate change is here with us.  We were in Masvingo with the Committee and there was a lot of rainfall, yet we are in July which is unusual.  We want to thank the Government for having such foresight to address the issue of climate change and hence the construction of dams is important.  I want to thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity. 

*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mabika for raising this pertinent motion which was seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe.  I thank the Government for the construction of dams in this country.  Water is important.  Nothing can survive without water.  I remember one day when someone got sick during the night.  We were requested to prepare porridge for the sick person and all the water containers were empty.  We went at our neighbour to look for water and they had very little water.  Hence, we had to go and look for water using a scotch cart seven kilometers away from where we were. 

It is very crucial for all villages to have water so that people do  not face problems which are related to water shortages.  I also thank the Government for constructing dams in different areas.  I am here to encourage Government that for those who are in areas where dams have been constructed, they must venture into farming and they must use the water wisely.  If they fail to farm due to climate change, we end up facing famine whilst there are other areas with enough water.  Those who have the opportunity to get water must venture into irrigation.  Farmers who are unable to venture into irrigation must be removed from that certain area and give opportunity to those who can do farming.  This will help the country to have enough food security and it will reduce imports. 

All of us cannot farm but I encourage those who stay near water sources to venture into farming.  Some time back, we went out with the Committee doing oversight on irrigation schemes and some irrigation schemes were operational but some were failing.  We are encouraging people who are into farming to do it at a bigger scale so that the country can have enough food security. 

Humans, livestock and wildlife cannot survive without water.  Let us look at our water reservoirs properly.  We must not farm near water sources like dams because it will cause siltation.  The silt will end up filling these dams, hence there will not be enough water.  In those areas where dams have been constructed, there is need for monitoring to see if people are using these dams properly.  Those who are far away from dams will be expecting those who are near water sources to farm at a large scale so that there is food security in the country.  Thank you Mr. President. 

HON. SEN. MABIKA: Thank you Mr. President.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to. 

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 20th July, 2022.

MOTION

PARENTING AND EMBRACING A RECEPTIVE CULTURE FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN THE STREETS

          Fourth Order read:  Adjourned debate on the motion on vulnerable children living in the streets.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. A. DUBE:  Thank you Mr. President for this opportunity to debate on the motion moved by Hon. Sen. S. Mpofu.  I realised that in our streets, there are quite a number of children that we call street kids.  They end up engaging in drugs.  Even for motorists using the roads, they end up being disturbed by these kids.  Some of the kids do not even want to be given advice by parents.  We realised that street kids continue to increase in almost every town.  If you open up your window as you are driving, they can even pick up your bag from the car.  We are looking forward to Government taking these kids to homes where they are kept and sent to schools.  Most of them are young and some of them are being abused by elderly people. Therefore, this is an important motion because as a parent, when you find young children not dressed enough or not dressed appropriately for this kind of weather and in other instances, we realise that these kids are now engaging in elderly stuff. They are now treating themselves as husband and wife.

          It will be great to have the number of these kids reduced in our streets and sent to homes. I remember we once had a tour of these streets and we came across one kid who was 12 years and he indicated that he used to have an aunt who used to stay in suburbs who is living well but he indicated that the aunt is not interested in staying with him. He indicated that if my aunt can allow me back with my wife then that will be alright. If they cannot take me with my partner, I am not prepared to go back.

          So we realised that for a 12 year old to say he now has a partner, that is indeed a problem. The money that they collect from people that feel pity for them, they do not use it appropriately but instead, they use it to buy drugs. That on its own is a challenge and we realise that there is need to take great action in making sure that with the help of the Ministry of Hone Affairs, these children are cleared from the streets. Some of these kids are taken by elderly people that make them wives and even husbands. Therefore, this is an important motion which we have debated quite a number of times.

          It should be recommended that places should be built for these kinds or children so that they get educated because they are the ones that we are looking up to as tomorrow’s leaders but they are roaming the streets.  There are some that you realise that they do not have parents and such children are in trouble. Some of them have just chosen to run away from their homes because they just do not want to get any instruction from anyone or their parents.

          There are other roads that cannot be used during the night because of these street children who are in most cases harassing people that will be using these streets. We have tourists that come to our country but when they use these roads in traffic lights, they have their bags dragged by these kids and it is not giving a good picture of our country. It is crucial that this motion is adopted in full and get the support of the Government to see to it that there are homes that are built for these children. We can have some of them coming in as better people in future. This is why I thought it was critical for me to air some few words. In almost all the streets in our towns, we realise that these kids are increasing in numbers.

          On the issue of drug abuse, we realise that we will have more of such kids in the streets because most of our children no longer want to get any instructions from parents. Therefore, it is crucial that these few that are already roaming the streets are picked up to homes for safety and for better upkeep. In other instances, kids are sent to the streets because of ill treatment from homes where they come from. So, I say this motion is critical and I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to air some few words on this motion.

          *HON. SEN. CHISOROCHENGWE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Mpofu. This motion about children who live in the streets is very painful because if you look at what they eat and where they sleep whilst they are staying in these streets, you really wonder. Looking at us who have houses, we fail to feed our kids and so what about those kids who are staying in the streets? What I have observed about these kids who live in the streets is that there are two types. There are some who are coming from their parents’ houses and they come to look for money and at the end of the day, they go back to their parents’ houses.

          The Government must take these kids and look for their parents and see how best they can resolve those issues. If you look at the age of those children who come to beg in the morning to beg in the streets, they are very young and they end up being taken by other people who abuse them and they return them where they have taken them from. It is something which ends up spreading diseases in our lives. As Government, we must look into this issue and see the cause of these children to come to the street from their parents’ houses to beg for money.

          The other group of kids comes from different areas and stays in the streets. Some of them are orphans and their parents have long died. Some parents are there but kids are running away from them. I want to give an example; there are some parents who come from Lalapanzi and they have got their three boys. Those kids ran away from their home and came to Gweru and became street kids. The parents came and took the kids and went back with them to the rural area. The kids did not stay there but they came back again to the street.

          The Government must look into the issue of street kids and build them shelters so that they can be protected. On those groups of street kids, there are some who are old now and we can call them street fathers. They must be given shelters and Government must build structures for them and provide counselling for them on how best they can survive on these shelters so that they cannot come back in the street. They must be taught different courses that they can survive from and the younger ones must be sent to school.

          When they are attending schools, they must receive counselling and teach them about the dangers of taking drugs, which means Government has got a lot of things to do. It is not a simple thing or an overnight process because these people are used to staying in the street doing whatever they want. So for them to put in a shelter to stay, it takes time for them to adjust and learn the new way. We also have girls who are in the streets who have got children and some of them have contracted different diseases. The younger ones must be sent to school and those young mothers must be taught how to work so that they can work for their children. If you go to towns right now, you can see that the walls of shops and other building are now dirty. They are burning plastics for warmth. Those things must be looked into so that our towns can be clean and maintain proper town status. I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. MUFPUMIRA:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to add my voice on this motion.  The motion is very pertinent and it is an issue, which is affecting the whole country. I want us to go back a little bit.  When we were growing up, we used to have extended families.  There were very few families who were staying as nuclear families.  We used to stay in big numbers from cousins and so forth and all of us where looked after properly at the same place.  Orphans were not left alone to fend for themselves.   In the past, we used to say that there is no one who has no relatives even a family friend can intervene in situations where both parents would have died and there is no one to look after the children.  Everyone used to have a cousin and people used to look after each other and feel for other people.  Those people had respect for the elders.  Right now because of the times, yes, there is an issue of unemployment which is affecting some kids.  They think that if they take drugs, they feel okay and their problems can clear away but when the drugs wane off, they notice that the problem is still there. 

          I think the other problem which is causing them to go into the streets is us as parents.  Parents can divorce, the mother leaves behind the children with their father or perhaps the husband has taken children from the wife by force, the father can remarry and the stepmother might not have love for the children and these kids might be abused severely.  Kids end up giving bad advice to each other and end up in the streets or staying in the drainage.  Hence us as elders, yes, Government is helping but it is coming from us. 

Mr. President, we no longer have love, we are now focusing more on individuals.  You can see someone has got a big house and you can see that at that big house there is a father, mother and two children but there are sometimes other children who are staying alone at the neighbouring area with nothing to survive on.  Those children who are lacking end up stealing because they do not have anything. 

          Yes, Government is trying its level best but the truth is there is no one who does not have a relative who can look after him or her.  Some children are staying on their own - I can give an example of Hopley, where there are young girls who are staying alone there.  Some of those girls are moving around the streets begging.  It is said that during the nights, there are a lot of men who go to those areas. Those young girls are called at a certain area and those men will select those attractive and if you ask those kids where they are being taken to, they say I have got my room, and you say a room for what?  They are being taken to that room to be sexually abused.  Some of those kids are eleven and thirteen years, from there sometimes they are given a dollar or two dollars for the whole night.  I am speaking the truth; I have seen these things happening. 

          Yes, Government is there, it is our role as society, churches and as a nation so that we join hands and help on this issue.  If we say, Government must look after these people but the relatives are there, is there anyone who does not have a relative?  We must be responsible and stop being selfish and look after our relatives.  Sometimes a child is left by the father and the father is no longer paying school fees hence the child ends up abusing drugs.  There is need for change and we must pray and our praying behaviour must be shown through our actions.  Some of those children do not have parents, they are orphans.  In yesteryears, you could know that a child is everyone’s child.  Whilst we were growing up, if you did something which was bad, any parent could reprimand you.  If you went to your real mother and reported that you had been reprimanded by another parent, you were going to be reprimanded or beaten again. 

          Mr. Speaker, as we were growing up, by 1800 hours, a girl child would be in the house.  We must go back as a country and help each other in looking after those children even if we build children’ homes for those children, let us try and build them a home, the home should be like a normal situation so that they can experience parents, growth and supervision.  We must also look on the issues of laws, right now children who are growing in children’s home when they reach 18 years, they are told to leave those homes because they have grown up.  We must look into the issue as Hon. Members who are making laws.  Right now the law says a child who turned 18 years whilst staying at a children’s home must leave home but right now as a parent, I have got my children who are over 25 years, I am still staying with them but what about those whom we are releasing to the streets at the age of 18.  We used to have vocational training centres and youth training centres in all the provinces.  These facilities help kids who have reached 18 years to be trained in different skills so that they can look after themselves after leaving these homes.  We must also look at our curriculum where they want those who are best in Maths and Science.  I think these children must be given an opportunity to do more skilled work, we must sit down together and see what we can do with the issue of street kids and drugs.  We cannot say these children are problematic, they do not listen, it starts from homes, when a child has done something bad or shouts at me as a parent;  we accept it and say this child is naughty.  When we were growing up, you could not see a young person raising his or her voice to an elderly person. 

          We must also look at the issue of rights for these kids.  These are some of those things which are affecting them, there are more rights which have been given to the kids, hence, there is need to look into those.  The issue of street kids and drugs is a national issue, let us look into our families and help each other. How many people are we looking after in our extended families? Nowadays we are just concentrating on our families only. Those whom we are not helping end up being drug abusers and thieves. Let us look at the others who are in need of help. As good citizens and Christians - if our neighbour is in trouble, let us help as much as we can. Children’s homes are not the best.

          When we went out with the Committee around the country, we noticed that in places like Mt. Hampden, there was a home where we noticed that the situation was not good at all. Some of the kids who are sent to those homes are very mischievous. Sometimes they have a tendency of running away from these homes by jumping over the perimeter wall. Even those children who are well behaved end up mixing and mingling with those who have bad behaviour. Let us not leave this issue to Government alone but as a nation and as churches, we must help each other.

          We as representatives of the people, let us look at how they are staying in their homes and help them. This issue of children’s homes is no longer happening in towns but as far as growth points. Let us look into the issue of family set up. A family is not about me, my husband and kids but it is about the extended family as well. Let us go back to the extended family. Let us start by looking at our extended families to see whether there are children who are struggling and help them.          Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to debate.

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

          HON. SEN. A DUBE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday 20th July 2022.

MOTION

SCHEMES TO REDEEM THE NATIONAL HERD FROM DEVASTATING AND DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the effects of drought on the national herd in the dry regions of the country.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity. I would like to thank all the Hon Members who supported this motion. I would like to thank all of them for the support that they offered. Therefore, I would like to have the motion adopted and forwarded to its relevant Ministry.

          The motion that was submitted by another Hon. Member goes in line with it. Therefore, we cannot continue to discuss it further because the motions are similar. We need to have drought relief going to the people. If we could have it early, it would assist greatly because without food, it is difficult and our livestock would die.

          The whole country is dry and drought has affected us greatly. What is critical is that Government should assist with drought relief which would be distributed through kraal heads because they are the ones who know who is suffering from hunger. They are the ones who should monitor who should get food which is why our Government continues to indicate that no one should die of hunger. I move that this motion should be adopted and I thank everyone who supported it.

Motion that:

COGNISANT of the destructive impact of drought on our national herd in the dry regions of the country;

CONSCIOUS of the large numbers of cattle that have perished in the past and those likely to face the same fate under similar conditions this year as already evidenced by the massive wilting of crops in the dry regions of the country;

This House strongly urges Government to—

  • urgently design and implement practical schemes to redeem the national herd from the devastating and destructive effects of drought; and
  • urgently come up with mitigatory measures such as winter cropping and drought relief programmes which will alleviate the impact of drought in all affected areas of the country, put and agreed to.

MOTION

POLICIES THAT ADDRESS AND PLUG LOOPHOLES RELATED TO TAX EVASION

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on policies that address and plug loopholes on tax evasions, illicit financial flows and corruption.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th July 2022.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON. SEN A. DUBE the Senate adjourned at  Twenty Seven Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

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