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SENATE HANSARD 19 MARCH 2024 VOL 33 NO 34

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 19th March, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2022

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission for the year 2023, presented to this House of Parliament in terms of Section 253 and 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA): Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION FOR THE 2023 HARMONISED ELECTIONS

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for the 2023 Harmonised Elections.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE PROVINCE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA): Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

MOTION

ENACTMENT OF STRINGENT LAWS TO ADDRESS THE PLIGHT OF WIDOWS

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the plight of Zimbabwean widows who are routinely evicted from their homes by relatives.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you Mr. President Sir, for affording me this opportunity to debate on the motion. This is a very sad motion. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Tsomondo for this motion, and also for remembering wives of ex-combatants. We know that people die in different ways and we know that some are killed. They are not natural deaths. We know that at the end of it, some of them are tortured. If you kill a man, you have killed the whole family because the wife is going to suffer with the children. The children are going to suffer.

Mr. President Sir, I will talk about the women whose husbands died during the Gukurahundi period. If you look at Matabeleland, when the owner of the homestead died during the war, you felt very sad. In Matabeleland, you will not find 20 or so homesteads made of bricks. If you find that there is a homestead built with pole and dagga, you would know that it is only the widow who is there because the husband died during Gukurahundi. It is sad that some people died trying to free us.

Mr. President, you will also notice that these days, if a war veteran dies, we attend the burial. If it is a State assisted funeral, everything goes on smoothly because Doves will be there and everything will be run properly 24/7. Even the widow will be treated like a queen on that particular day, but on the following day, when everything has been done, the situation will change. After the burial of the hero, a flag is raised there to show that this was a hero, but if you come back after three days, you will find the children starving.

If a widow is dressed in black, we call them inzilo in our custom. The widow will go to the banks and different offices trying to organise the pension or whatever monies will have been left by the deceased until those black clothes get torn. A widow is supposed to wear black for a year, and at times even for six months, but you will find that she will go from one office to another for over a year, trying to organise funds, nothing will come out. After some time, she will get money in local currency. In trying to change that currency into USD, it will be difficult. At times, she will get ZWL10 million. For someone to travel to my home area, she will need about R400 or R300 to and from. The widow will be commuting to and from for a year trying to get those monies.

As soon as she removes the black attire, the inzilo, it means that she has to start afresh trying to look after the children. At times she will be a very young person, and after a year or two, she might find herself a boyfriend or so. It is difficult for a widow to get married and take her girl child with her to her new marriage. You will find that the new husband will now be torturing the children of this widow, and at times the new husband will abuse the children from the former husband. The children will suffer. You will find there are so many orphans in the streets, what is the cause? At times you will notice that it is because of greediness. If a person dies leaving a kraal that is full of livestock, but at times the husband dies leaving a house, the husband will want to come and torture those children until they run away from their own home.   That is why the children, especially the girl child need to be assisted.  I have an example, there is a man who died who had children but this widow went to South Africa to look for a job leaving behind a crippled child.  It is really painful Mr. President because long back, we never knew that there was an orphan because an uncle or a brother would look after his late brother’s children.  Unlike now, those are now the criminals.  They have turned into criminals, very nasty people, that is really painful.  If a child goes to the streets, we always say that a child should be reprimanded.  If a child goes to your parent, you will notice that the child has changed but as a parent if the child comes back and you notice that there is something wrong, you should quickly take steps. Mr. President, if that child lives in the streets, the boy child starts taking drugs and the girl child goes into prostitution.

          Mr. President, for the past two weeks that we were here,  I noticed that if you move from Crown Plaza to the traffic lights just nearby, there are young girls, nine or ten years old, when cars are stopped by the traffic lights, they rush  to  clean the windscreens, why are the children doing that?  Is it because they are not staying well at the homes they are supposed to be staying?  I have noticed this for the past two weeks.   

          Mr. President, I am always asking myself, could they be street kids, but they are too many for them to be street kids.  I think the Government should take steps because by December or so, most of those children would be pregnant or they would have been run-over by vehicles.  Mr. President Sir, I would like to ask the Government to take steps so that people can earn decent salaries, whether male or females so that when the father or the mother passes away, children will not suffer.  Also, when people have retired, they should not suffer because we have seen some grannies trying to get their pensions but some of them end up dying without having received their pensions.  It should be the same that if a spouse passes away, it should be very easy for the surviving spouse to get the funds. 

          Mr. President Sir, I have also noticed that what we are seeing now is not the end, I think the worst is yet to come.  My prayer is that there should be a Government policy that looks after the widows and orphans left behind by our national heroes.  Looking at the children, those that live on the streets and those who are not in the streets are now being used as cheap labour by other people because as a widow, I will not be affording to send my children to school.  A 12-year old is no longer attending school.  That child ends up being used as cheap labour for other people.  That is why some of them get married when they are still young.  These widows that I am talking about, most of them are not yet 50 years.  I have noticed the difference between the 60 year old and above.  What used to happen is that widows from long back used to stay without getting into relationships.  Now, people die early. We have seen widows who are 17-year old.  We really plead with the Government to assist us on how we can raise these children.  It is difficult for these children go to school because they have no birth certificates despite the fact that Government rolled out the national registration certificates programme to these communities.  It is not easy to sort this out because some people have to go to Harare which is more than 360 kilometres away from their homesteads.  A person needs about 660 Rands to come to Harare and back.  It is really tough Mr. President.   I do not know what can be done so that everyone in Zimbabwe who is a widow or who no longer has a husband can get whatever they are supposed to get. 

          In conclusion Mr. President, we need each other as Zimbabweans so that we can assist each other.  We should never forget these widows soon after burying their husbands who are war veterans.  There should be a policy that at least every six months, one person should go and check on the widow because the husband would not have died by choice. People should just assist because that person died whilst trying to liberate us. I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

MOTION

PROGRAMME ON CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the effects of climate change.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

MOTION

STRATEGIES TO MOBILISE RESOURCES FOR THE NATIONAL CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the National Clean-Up Campaign.

          Question again proposed.

^HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion, but before I do so, I would like to let my fellow colleagues know that I will be debating in Venda.

I would like to thank Hon. Mavenyengwa for bringing this motion. Smartness is a very important thing. If we talk of cleanliness in our various provinces, we are noticing that our towns and other areas that we reside in are now very dirty. Our President, His Excellency Cde E.D. Mnangagwa always reminds us that on the first Friday of every month, we are supposed to conduct a Clean-Up Campaign and he leads by example. He visits the streets and carries out these Clean-Up Campaigns such that our beautiful country Zimbabwe’s image is restored to its former glory days of always being a tidy and smart country.

It is now upon us that even though we are not reminded, we need to know that we should clean and keep our surroundings always clean. Allow me to add this to my speech. Our people are now untidy. They just liter each and every part of the country. They no longer observe the smartness that we used to have. Our local authorities are no longer giving themselves time to clean these areas. There are garbage piles even on the designated areas where rubbish is supposed to be collected, no one comes to collect them. This leads to outbreaks of various diseases like Cholera, Malaria and so on.

Mentioning this especially for us who reside at border towns, our borders are always supposed to be kept tidy because they carry the image of the country. For everyone who enters this country from our neighbouring countries, the first view of the image of the country is seen through the borders, and these border towns are the ones that would act as the face of the nation. I encourage everyone that we make sure that we keep our borders clean.

There is another type of garbage that I am going to mention, that of sewerage systems. We are now battling with burst sewers. In each and every city, we are witnessing rivers of raw sewer and they have tended to be perennial rivers which are always flowing. We are encouraging these local authorities to service and maintain these sewers such that we do not have perennial flows of raw sewer. We want people to live in a clean environment. Flies pile upon this raw sewerage and they come to land on our food. This leads to the diseases that I mentioned earlier on.

Allow me to also add this other issue of garbage that we always witness at business enterprises especially those that operate restaurant shops. Specifically, the kaylites which are used to pack take-away foods, these containers are being disposed haphazardly.  They do not decompose and this means that if they are just thrown away, it will not decompose hence carry on polluting our environment.  We need to have bins around business centres so that these containers are disposed properly and not just thrown around.

          There are people who go about carrying plastic water bottles after they are disposed.  I encourage that these people who pick up disposed plastic water bottles are supposed to be picked effectively so that they can be recycled.  If the garbage is not properly disposed, it ends up filtering into our rivers and this will contaminate our water sources.  The sewerage system also flows into our rivers resulting in pollution.  We end up having water pollution.  This kind of pollution is very hazardous to human health because people end up taking contaminated water.

As we look closely, again talking about this raw sewerage which causes air pollution; we need to breathe fresh air which is not polluted.  The air which we end up breathing will be polluted due to the smell that comes from toilets.

People with motor vehicles just maneuver from each and every place.  The smoke that is produced by these vehicles and the other types of garbage end up polluting our environment and the air.  In other areas, if people see that the garbage has accumulated, they burn it.  This produces a lot of smoke.  The smoke will then affect our ozone layer and we end up having climate change.  If the ozone layer becomes depleted, we are exposed to direct sunlight rays and this affects our weather patterns and we end up experiencing extreme heat or heavy winds. 

With these few words, I think I have said much.  The words of encouragement that I want to leave with us is that church congregations and other gatherings, even us politicians when we gather at rallies and other meetings, we should make sure that at the end of our function, our litter from water bottles and kaylites from our chickens are picked up, leaving our surroundings clean so that other people who prefer to use the same venues will find them clean and tidy. Being filthy is not wanted.  Even in the Bible, it is said that cleanliness is nearest to godliness.  If you love life, you are supposed to be clean so that God can also love you and increase the days of your life.  I thank you. 

HON. SEN. CHAPFUDZA:  I am determined to make a debate on the motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Mavenyengwa on the issue of a clean environment – clean up campaign.  I would like to thank those who debated before me.  When I looked into this issue, I checked in our Constitution, Chapter 4 where it talks about the declaration of rights; Section 73 outlines the environmental rights which states that every person has a right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.  Secondly, to have the environment protected from the benefit of present and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures.  I also checked the EMA Act 20, Section 70 (i), it states that “no person shall discharge or dispose any waste in a manner that causes environmental pollution or ill health to any person”.  Any    person whose activities generate waste is mandated to use measures to minimize waste through treatment, reclamation and recycling, among others. 

In addition, Section 83 of the EMA Act states that littering is prohibited.  No person shall discard, dump or leave any litter on any land, water or surface, street, road or any place except in a container that is provided or set apart for such purposes at a place which has been specifically designated, indicated or set apart for such purposes.

There is also the Urban Councils Act, Chapter 29 – it talks of designates to the Urban Local Authority; the responsibility to provide solid waste collection, transportation, disposal services in areas under their jurisdiction.  Whilst we have all this in place, we still find that the environment is still dirty.  The law is there but we are still lagging behind in terms of cleanliness.

In urban areas, we see a lot of littering.  For this environmental right to be achieved, there is need for cooperation from the Government, local authorities and also the citizens.  We should come together so that we can maintain a clean environment.  Government should avail funds through devolution.  Those funds should reach the local authorities on time because this issue of waste collection and management needs financial support if devolution funds are to reach their destination on time.

When we are talking of collection of waste, there is need for proper infrastructure.  When we have potholes everywhere, even the movement of garbage cannot be that fast.  We know that most of the local authorities have got few fleets of garbage trucks. If they move on roads with potholes, it will take long to collect and dispose the waste thereby causing delays in the collection of garbage. The local authorities should keep a maintained fleet in such a way that they avoid or minimize breakdowns. 

Citizens have a duty.  They should be responsible citizens who do not litter everywhere.  They should be good stewards of their environment.  It is our duty also as leaders to sometimes go out and educate our people on the need of a clean environment.  Some are doing it out of ignorance though we know that ignorance has no defence.  As leaders, however, we should go back to our provinces and do a thorough campaign, educating our people to appreciate and keep a clean environment.  We should also explain to them the benefits of living in a clean environment, the repercussions and consequences associated with living in an unclean environment. 

          It is not only human beings that are affected when the environment is not clean, but animals, the environment as well as our future generations.  We need to be good stewards of this environment that we are living in so that we pass it to the next generation in a good condition.  So it is my appeal to all leaders to go and educate our fellow citizens that there is also ecological life that needs to be preserved.  So when we go there, there is the issue of poor waste management.  There is air pollution, but we need clean air.  There is also water pollution.  When chemicals pollute our water, it will require lots of chemicals to clean that water so that it will be suitable for drinking.  So the more careless we are with waste disposal, the more we burden the local authorities.  Most local authorities in Zimbabwe are failing to give residents clean water because of its state of contamination.  It will cost them a lot to clean it and it is not affordable.  Now people are littering everywhere and contaminating our water sources which will require a lot of money to purify and make it suitable for consumption. 

We also have blockages of sewage systems.  The plastics that are dumped and left in undesirable places end up in our drainage system.  We end up having some burst sewer pipes which will lead to outbreaks of diseases.  I therefore propose that we should clean and manage our environment in which we live.  We should not dispose broken bottles irresponsibly as this may cause harm to human beings.  We also have disposal of oil which can kill the micro-organisms that live in the soils.  Let me reiterate that we need to have a clean environment.  It will protect us, our animals and the future generation.  I thank you Madam President of the Senate.

          HON. SEN. FANUEL:  Madam President, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about the hygiene that our President Cde Mnangagwa said we should be conscious of.  This is not for any one person, but for all of us to work together to improve our hygiene and sanitation.  It is our core business as MPs to unite and foster hygiene and sanitation.  We should not discriminate in line with political or religious affiliation, but we should be united as called for by the President.  Right now, we are faced with Cholera and we are trying to prevent and eradicate it.  How are we going to cure this Cholera if we are doing the opposite of what the President is preaching?  The President has said every month, we should venture into the Clean-Up Campaign regardless of your profession, be it a police officer, a military person, teacher or any other profession because we are concerned with the general cleanliness of wherever one is.  It means that in the shortest period of time, we clean up then go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan of where to clean up next.  Right now we are faced with the issue of pampers because we cannot burn them, but they are being thrown all over the place.  People carry them in plastic bags and throw them at the next yard without much consideration of the next person’s hygiene.  We therefore need to teach each other more about these pampers because some of our people end up polluting the environment.  We should be very considerate as Zimbabweans and as enunciated by our President, we should always clean up areas around us.  Cholera is mainly in the big cities. In our towns like Binga, we do not have Cholera because we come together to clean up every month.  As I speak, the chairperson of the churches has invited everyone to come for a Clean-Up Campaign next month.  If MPs cannot lead our Clean-Up Campaign, we will mislead the whole nation.  We should celebrate on the day of the exercise and ensure the place is clean.  This will make everyone want to join in cleaning up.  In our area in Binga, if there is a lot of garbage and pollution, we end up having a lot of mosquitos which results in serious Malaria outbreaks.  The bottom line is that when it is time for Clean-Up Campaign, we should come together at once and do the clean-up.  Right now, we have visitors coming to Zimbabwe, and if we encourage each other to clean-up, they will see a clean environment and the allegiance to the President’s call of keeping our place clean. Therefore, every person should follow the President’s vision of healthy people living in a clean Zimbabwe.  With these few words, I thank you Madam President of the Senate.

+HON. SEN. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker for this opportunity. I want to second the debate that has just taken place which came from Hon. Sen. Mohadi. The truth is, we can clean up our nation but it is not only papers that litter our country. There are a lot of things that litter our country, even if we clean up the papers and the pampers. As Zimbabweans, we should consider what we are doing. There are a lot of things that affect our health. Right now, we see people going around spreading a lot of diseases. In the past, there was no such things because people were conscious about their actions. We have toilets, even though there are paid toilets, there are ways of accessing them than going around defecating everywhere. His Excellency, the President even encouraged us to clean our surroundings because some diseases will come out of the dirty surroundings. There are people who just go around relieving themselves. The drunkards avoid toilets and go outside and relieve themselves. All these contribute to pollution which results in diseases. Thank you Mr. President Sir.  

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE PROVINCE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA): Mr. President Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

MOTION

ROAD SAFETY DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the successive road accidents on consecutive days which claimed scores of lives in the month of November, 2023, countrywide.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE PROVINCE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA): Mr. President Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

MOTION

PROGRAMMES TO CURB DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE BY YOUTHS

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on drug and substance abuse by youths.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE PROVINCE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA): Mr. President Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE PROVINCE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA): Mr. President Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA), the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.

 

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