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SENATE HANSARD 19 MAY 2021 VOL 30 NO 40

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 19th May, 2021.

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHOPNES

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators, you are reminded to put your cellphones on silence or better switch them off.  I will not tolerate any disruption of the Business of the House.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDCUATION (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 1 and 2 be stood over, until Order of the Day Number 3 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

CENTRE FOR EDUCATION, INNOVATION, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BILL [H. B. 1A, 2020]

Third Order read: Second reading: Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development Bill, [H. B. 1A, 2020].

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDCUATION (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. President.  I am humbled to present the premise and principles behind  the Centre of Education, Innovation, Research and Development Bill, whose purpose is to coordinate and house programme based synergies among universities, teachers’ colleges, polytechnics, industrial training colleges, vocational training centres and research and innovation institutions in the nation, impacting national challenges for the modernisation and industrialisation of Zimbabwe and to improve Zimbabwe’s economic status through production of goods and services, as well as, the export of intellectual property.

Mr. President, please allow me to state from the onset, the premise that the progress of a nation that has learnt the art of arranging its systems for thinking and making things for itself and the rest of the world or the art of thinking and doing cannot be stopped by anything or anyone. Kurima, (agriculture), kuchera (mining), kupisa (melting), kukanya (mixing), kuumba (moulding and fining) nekugadzira zvinhu (manufacturing) is the hallmark of an economically rising and unstoppable nation.  All this naturally originates from a purpose designed Education, Innovation, Research and Development system. Through this august House, Zimbabwe is taking up thinking and doing system for purposes of industrialisation and modernisation through production and exports. Through this august House, Zimbabwe is setting up its thinking and doing systems for purposes of industrialisation and modernisation through production and export or intellectual property

Let me highlight the level of development of any nation is expressed by the extent and the efficiency with which its education system responds to human needs through causing industry but  most importantly by the extent to which this industry is produced and nurtured by the education, innovation, research and development systems of that nation.  Education must therefore be delivered purposefully.  Innovation must be purposeful, research must be purposeful and development must be purposeful.

It is therefore a fact that the way education, particularly its innovation, research and development systems are designed, configured and delivered determines whether a nation will be able to industrialise and modernise or not.  The question is how do we invest and spend our time in our education, innovation, research and development systems.  Do we spend time cramming or do we spent our time learning, researching and innovating and industrialising?  This is food for deep thought as we go forward as a nation.  To this end, we postulate that the extent to which a nation’s education system and its element, particularly the components of innovation, research and development are deliberately primed and directed to cause industry for purposes of meeting human needs defines the state of development of that nation.

Mr. President, our nation adopted the vision of becoming an Upper Middle-Class-Income Economy by 2030 as expressed by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa.  An Upper Middle Class Economy is our National Strategic Intent NSI).  National Strategic Intentions are fulfilled by National Capabilities (kuziva, kugona, nekuita).  National Capabilities is in turn filled by the Designed and Configured Human Capital and National Assets (kuronga).  Kwenyu munogoneyi? Is a natural question that must be asked to any nation?

Mr. President, Heritage Based Education 5. 0 with pillars (1) Learning and Teaching, (2) Research, (3) Innovation (4) Industrialisation for servicing (5) Human Needs is the philosophical and implementation design we developed and deployed to give Zimbabwe a national capability through Higher and Tertiary Education.  However, for all this to succeed, this has to be underpinned by sound legal frameworks that have a deliberate intention to cause the same.  Mr. President, games won or lost at design stage.  Design thinking which emphasizes on empathy to human needs, in other words when we go to school, we say why are we learning what are we learning which is empathy to our people.  So design thinking which emphasises on empathy to human needs by the education, research and innovation and development system is important for our industrialisation and modernisation agenda.

Mr. President, modernization and industrialisation is a deliberate decision by a nation, but is not only a decision in saying we want to, it is how to and whether our laws are allowing us to. Whatever we learn in our research institutions must be on providing scientific technological and emotional solutions to what our people need.  Before we do anything, we must ask what do our people want?  These solutions lead to industries that are designed to fulfill these human needs.  It therefore means that our industries must be caused by ourselves, our education, our innovation, our research and by our development systems.  To this end, a legal framework that fulfils the desire to industrialise and modernize through education, innovation, research and development is critical.  Mr. President, allow me now to turn to the process and phenomenon of industrialization.

In any given nation, the industrialization process or phenomenon is normally observed as a two pronged process which is a combination of firstly, investment driven where we say people come here and invest. Secondly, innovation driven - where we say we want to learn and do for ourselves.  Investment driven industrialisation relies on foreign direct investment and imported technology as drivers for economic growth while innovation driven industrialisation relies on local education, innovation, research and development systems based on ourselves.

Mr. President however, allow me to note that ultimately whether an industry comes as investment in this country from elsewhere or not, industry is a product of innovation wherever it comes from. It means someone, somewhere made that thing happen.  Coca-cola was made in America, it comes here but it was made because people thought of how to make Coca-cola there, it did not come from the sky, it came from people who decided to do things.

The only difference between investment type of industrialisation and innovation type of industrialisation is in the origin of the innovation, that is, on whether this innovation is exogenous which means is outside of your country or indigenous, which is inside your country. However, it is innovation; all industries that we see on earth were thought and done by somebody else.  As long as we know that, then we know there are some which are done from elsewhere but still they are done through innovation.  There are some which are done here but still they are done through innovation.  So innovation is the cause of industries wherever there are.  Simply stated, all industries that came into a nation as investment types of industries were born as innovation types of industries in their countries of origin.

Again Mr. President, allow me to emphasise that the higher the proportion of innovation driven type of industrialisation in an economy, the more resilient that economy is and the reverse is true, if you make your things like ants they can make an anthill, if you remove that anthill tomorrow there will be another anthill, that is what we call capability.  If I break this phone, because we do not make this phone, I will cry but to the maker of this phone if you break it, they will make another one that is what I call national capability – zvinhu zvenyu zvichiputswa muchivaka kwete kuchema. So this is national capability.  It has to be cause, deliberately by our legal frameworks.

Where a country can make its own things, it is resilient because nobody can say sanctions, you can make your things, if you do not like it I will eat my things.  Innovative nations are also a necessary magnet or attractant for investment types of industrialisation.  Mr. President, there is no one who does not want to associate with people that are innovative. So if a nation is innovative, even people want to invest in that country.  The innovation attracts industries actually from outside also.  I will give an example of China, people who are in the People’s Republic of China whether you like communism or not, those people can make things so you go there whether you believe in communism or do not, because there are things that they make.  So it is not about being attractive to certain people, it is being able to do your things and quietly so.  We must be able to do our systems in such a way that they make our people do things.

This is the reason why it is important for a nation to have an institution that deliberately causes industrialisation. Where it gives birth to industries just like a cow gives birth to its calves.  Just like a tree gives birth to its seedlings, it is deliberate - you do it deliberately kuita namadiro.  So we are saying if we deliberately cause industrialisation through a combination of education, innovation, research and development processes through legislated cooperative innovation, research and development frameworks, we will be able to progress as a nation.

Mr. President, education, innovation, research and development driven industrialisation has successfully been applied in the industrialised countries of this world.  All the countries that we see that apply it are doing well. They deliberately decide to do what they wanted to do for example faced by an economic depression in the late 1980, Australia started a Cooperative Research Centres Programme in 1990.  They said people, no matter where you come from today, we want to make a pot, so we assemble people to make a pot.  If they have finished making that pot they go back home and say this is what we are trying to do.  After Australia started Cooperative Research Centre Programme in 1990, this caused rapid industrialisation in that country.  Other examples are the Swedish Competency Centre in 1994, the Austrian K1 and K2 Centres and the Comet programme in 2006.

The Fraunhofer Institute in Germany which is similar to what we want to set up is an institute that was set up in 1973 to make Germany have people sit together and have ideas in biotechnology, engineering and that is why Germany is unstoppable, they deliberately decided to do that.  In the United States of America, industry cooperation research centres were started in 1980 just to make sure that people are thinking about one thing they do it is like this ndima is done and you go to the next.

So countries decide to do what their countries want to become and they do so deliberately, not by accident.  We have 97% literacy in this country and we have very intelligent people, but if there is no framework that makes them work together for a common purpose, no matter how many intelligent people that we have, if they are not harnessed for a purpose, we will not develop and we will be surprised why we are not developing. It is because we do not have a legislative framework which says you people; I want beer from Matamba today, can you do it for the next nine months so that we start a factory with Matamba?  So people sit together and do it and it will happen.

Mr. President the proposed centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development Bill shall cause development of similar institutions in Zimbabwe to, among other objectives, act as a conduit to cause industry and add value to our natural heritage, innovate products based on our natural heritage, promote industrialisation as well as ensure we turn our education, innovation, research and development system into a pillar of economic growth.

The objectives of this Bill are to set the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development which aims to:

  • - Foster high quality education, innovation, research and development for industrialisation in strategically important areas of the economy and society of Zimbabwe.
  • - Produce a strong innovation and research based competitive enterprise base for Zimbabwe through facilitation of technology development and transfer for start ups and existing industry as well.
  • - Harness a renowned pool of talent in Government, in universities, research institutes and provide industry and private industry to maximise combination of talent and knowledge.
  • - Complete the upper level of Zimbabwe’s Education, Innovation, Research and Development through coordination in the creation of better knowledge and application for economic growth.
  • - Create an internationally competitive education, innovation, research and development system that attract talent locally and internationally through prioritised projects and
  • - Circumvent rigid bureaucracy by creating synergies among public and private institutions that are programme based.

To achieve this, appointed staff will have dual appointments consisting of temporary appointments at the centre and the institution of their permanent employer. It is important to note that the centre occupies the upper level of all coordinating mechanisms and operates above all existing research institutions. This is a Bill for coordinating purposeful research according to national objectives. If for example today we say we want to make a vaccine for COVID-19, we will take all people that we know have the competence to do so or contribution. By law, we assemble them to do purposeful research.

We pay them well and they do it for six months and they have the vaccine; this is just an example. This is how countries that have done it have done it. They always have this deliberate way of doing it, not by accident. It is designed and they know if there is a drought, we assemble a group of people legally to say let us look at how we can improve our maize, tobacco and so forth not people doing it just because they want it. We want people who want it but they can also be supported. Thus the expected outcomes of this institution are intellectual property (IP) based industrialisation opportunities in line with Zimbabwe’s constitutional dictates of devolution.

This entails that industry in Zimbabwe’s provinces will be grown based on particular natural advantages. The ultimate aim is to enhance the chances to surpass an upper middle-income economy by 2030, human capital with culture of innovation who will be the catalysts for development in the nation and who will help the country attract significant science and technology-based investment.

Principles of the CEIRD BILL

Principle 1: configuration of the Centre

This is a state granted institution. It shall have operational staff that is project based. Projects differ from time to time, therefore employment of researchers shall be on a secondment based appointment.

Strategically, important programmes that have an impact to the economy and society through their potential to produce industry shall drive the agenda of the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development which shall be grounded in our heritage, specifically on the heritage endowments found in different regions of Zimbabwe, e.g. a research centre in Beitbridge may focus its research on the heritage of this district, of Marula. Another research centre can be located in Hwange focusing its research on coal, etc. The centre shall have the following founding institutes that are focused on strategically important areas of the economy and society.

Health and Environment: The centre shall conduct education, innovation, research and development focusing on medical technology, implants, prostheses, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology environmental technology and toxicology. The potential industries are environmental technologies, pharmaceuticals, agricultural biotechnology, medical biotechnology, animal biotechnology and prosthetic manufacturing industries.

Security and Protection: The objective is to provide people and the environment with the best possible protection from natural disaster threats. Education, innovation, research and development shall focus on early detection, prevention, direct protection and quickly overcoming the consequences of a disastrous event. Furthermore, education, innovation, research and development shall focus on, e.g. sniffer devices technology for detecting hazardous substances, IT security, saving lives during disasters and crisis management. The aim is to create a reliable and flexible system for saving lives in an emergency, using sensors, communication technology elements and robots. The possible industries are robotics, security technologies, imaging (scanner) technologies and computer hardware and software.

Mobility and Transport: The centre shall conduct education, innovation, research and development to make transportation reliable. Focus areas shall include automotive technology, rail technology, aviation and transport and mobility. The possible industries are automotive, rail technology, vehicle communications and drone technologies.

Production and Supply Services: Education, innovation, research and development shall focus on energy and resource-efficient processes for tomorrows’ manufacturing technologies, automobile and plant engineering, robotics and material technologies.

Information Communication Technologies: Education, innovation, research and development shall focus on application-oriented, customised and integrated solutions for a specific sector: tailored IT solutions. Furthermore, focus shall be on in big data, image processing, cloud computing, broadband communications, virtual and augmented reality.  The possible industries are manufacturing technologies, telecommunications, data warehousing, hardware, software and mobile technologies.

Energy and Natural Resources:  Education, Innovation, Research and Development shall focus on renewable energy, energy storage and management, using raw materials more efficiently, recycling construction waste and other building technologies research.  The possible industries are appliances manufacturing, battery technologies (for example, we have lithium), wind and solar power technologies.  For us to be able to use the lithium, we must decide that we want to use it and therefore assemble people that we ask, did you use it.

Geospatial, Aeronautical and Space Sciences:  Education, Innovation and Development shall focus on developing geospatial science and earth observation, space sciences, space engineering, aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.  The possible industries are satellite manufacturing, satellite communication technologies, drone technologies and GIS technologies.

Food Technology:  Education, Innovation, Research and Development shall focus on indigenous food systems for Zimbabwe.  The possible industries are bakery, milling, food processing, et cetera.  One of the issues Mr. President Sir, is to say, who said bread cannot be made from “zviyo?”  Because bread is made out of things that germinate, so this issue of focusing on our indigenous food systems for producing world class foods is important but we have to focus on it deliberately.

Electronics and Electro-mechanical systems:  Education, Innovation, Research and Development shall focus on robotics, mechatronics, wireless electricity, electro-mechanical systems.  Possible industries include mobile communication, nanotechnology, biomedical electronics, et cetera.  You know that the world these days is working on the bio-economy that all medicines are found in plants and animals so that we move away from oil.

The Center shall use cooperative research arrangements.  This entails that researchers from university, colleges, research institutes and Government work together as a team to accomplish a specific research project.

The Centre shall spin off industries using successfully incubated prototypes from the innovation hubs and industrial parks.  This is the method that Zimbabwe shall use to industrialise.

Principle 2:  Funds of the Centre

Funding of the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development shall consist of base funding in the form of monies appropriated by an Act of Parliament for the purposes of the Centre, any monies allocated by Treasury for that purpose, any other monies to which the Fund may be lawfully entitled from public projects through its own research and development and innovations.

The Centre, like national universities and State research institutions, shall operate in the public domain and therefore not be subject to taxation under the laws of Zimbabwe.

Principle 3:  Staff of the Centre

The Centre shall have a complement of permanent administrative staff responsible for overall management of the education, innovation, research and development programmes and for the legal, financial, communications, as well as, networking aspects of the Centre.

It shall utilise staff from universities, colleges, research institutes and Government laboratories coordinated by the Chief Scientist from the Ministry responsible for Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.

Researchers and Innovators shall come from a university, college or research institution, private or public.  Researchers are project based thus, they shall only come together to work on a specific project, be rewarded accordingly and be disbanded after project completion.

The head of the Centre and the research staff of the Centre shall have dual appointments at the research institute and university for the duration of the programme.  Masters and PhD students shall be part of the staff.  For example, the Cooperative Research Centre in Australia was producing the highest number of Masters and PhD graduates who are practically industrialising that country.  Australia by 1990 was not as developed as it is today.  They made a decision in 1989 that they shall use their people using this method to develop.  All countries that have done so have used exactly the same methods; we cannot be an exception.

Principle 4:  Administration of the Centre

There shall be a Scientific Board comprising of heads of institutes and Principal Scientists.  This board shall be headed by a Chief Scientist. The Board shall be responsible for overseeing the activities of the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development.

The Chief Scientist shall report to the Board and the Board shall report to the Minister responsible for Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.

There shall be an Administrative Council headed by a Chairperson.  This Council shall be constituted by eminent scientists, a legal practitioner and an accountant.  In addition, there shall be a Registrar responsible for administration.  Mr. President Sir, this is a very lean institution in terms of human resources.  The rest of the human resources are coming for a purpose and they go.

There shall be a corresponding link Chief Director in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.

Conclusion

Mr. President Sir, the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development, through the strength of its collaborative research framework, new products from innovation and spin off industries shall be at the core of ensuring that Zimbabwe is industrialised and modernised in order to attain Vision 2030 of an upper middle-income economy and beyond.

Mr. President Sir, this is like a yoke.  This is the organising principle for organised research which has an intention to modernise and industrialise Zimbabwe deliberately.  I move that the Bill be read a second time.

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add a few words on this motion.  I would also want to thank the Minister who took time to craft such a Bill.  As he puts it straight forward, there was some research done on this Bill.  It is not just out of nothing.  So, I stand up to support this motion because it says a lot.

Mr. President, he mentioned some issues that touched my heart; the marula that is just lying idle everywhere in Rutenga and Beitbridge.  We have no use for those marulas.  They are just eaten by animals and people enjoy “mukumbi” only from marula and nothing more.  By introducing this Bill, we shall see the use of marula as I witnessed when I went to Eswatini, whereby they make use of the marula.  They extract marula beer.  They also use it as a seed for their animals.  They extract oil from marula and a lot more things, even cosmetics. This is a very important Bill to me.  Also looking at another issue which I think the students of the universities are now researching is “madora,” the mopane worm, I met some students from universities when they were making research, because they wanted to see if the caterpillars were only for human consumption.  They also wanted to know what value they add apart from being eaten as relish.  To me,,,, it means that if all these are found worthy, gone are those problems of asking daily about the unemployment rate, how many people will be employed and where we shall get employment.  That question will be a thing of the past, as he has also indicated that it is high time we should forget about where we should go and buy this or that.  We should learn how to make our own things here locally and sell them here locally and create employment.  Those are just the few words I thought maybe I should say before the Bill is read for the third time.  Mr. President, I do support this Bill.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Bill which focuses on craftsmanship.  This is one of the missing links in our economy.  There is no development on this segment of craftsmanship.  It was not being done in an organised manner.  I am someone who is into science, I am very happy that this issue that has been brought before us is actually encouraging and inspiring.  This is one of the things that will fish us out of poverty.  As a country, yes, we might have sanctions and this is one of the biggest links that will actually help us to get rid of sanctions. That way, we are able to focus and do our own things.  Our mothers were married using hoes, this is the craftsmanship being referred to by the Hon. Minister.

These things should be made in this country and I want to say thank you very much Hon. Minister.  You have remembered science, you have actually remembered our departed ancestors, this was their lifestyle. You have gone back to the indigenous knowledge of our ancestors of being innovative.   Mashonaland has a lot of fruits.  We are  sitting on things that can actually generate us income and solve our long standing problems.  These things, if implemented, can help us.  These fruits can help us as a country.  Even the problems we have with the roads, let us fix situations that we have as a country, we should not waste foreign currency going outside.  The 72 million we hear on auction, it means the money is actually going outside by people who are conducting business outside.

Mr. President, let us not waste money channeling it outside: Instead, it should be used here.  A lot of things come out of maize.  Even the beer we make consulting our ancestors - seven days traditional beer that is brewed. We have always been innovative in this area, and this is what the Minister is saying that we should augment these things and come up with better products which have value.  That will bring progress for this country.  We have plenty of fruits in Manicaland.  These fruits should be canned.  Our learned children who are in the  diaspora can help us to market products for this country.  They should be getting resources from their own country.  Fruits are very important in one’s diet.

Mr. President, if you have got food, you will not visit another man’s house to get food.  Even those Zimbabweans in the diaspora, they will be proud of the Zimbabwean food that is exported to their countries.  We actually want to see these things being implemented.  We are behind time as a country, what is important is the implementation of these things that we are discussing.  Things are not in good shape.  I would like to support this Bill so that it passes and is implemented.  We will have progress in our country if we take this direction.  We are the only people who can change and bring something to this land.  We are the Upper House and our service is very essential to this nation when it comes to decision making.  We want to leave behind great craftsmanship for our children.

In Zimbabwe we have everything, we have minerals like silver, gold, platinum and lithium.  God has blessed us as a country.  The innovation hub which is being mentioned will have Government programmes focusing on value addition.  People are taking raw materials to other countries and this is where our problem is.  We do not know about some of these raw materials that are being taken away if there are no other imported stuff.  If we are able to do the processing of these products, we will be in a position to know what we have as a country.  I am happy that we have a Professor who has come up with an idea that we have always had.  This is a good dream.  With those words, I support the Bill.  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. SHUMBA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this pertinent Bill which has been brought in by the Hon. Minister, because we have not seen anything like this before. All these years, children were getting degrees but those degrees were just for teaching purposes, that is during the days when we grew up.  When we have people such as the Minister, this education is going to yield positive results for the nation.  If you look in the streets, these degreed people are vendors; they do not have jobs.  Imagine how much money parents waste sending that child to school yet there is no benefit.  This is why I am happy because of what has been presented before us by the Minister.

We are rich in natural resources in this country.  If you look at Marula fruit, a wild fruit, it is normally found in Rutenga.  I used to crush the seed of that plant to get oil from it.  If it can be done at a commercial level, we can even export oil from that fruit.  There are a lot of things that can come from that fruit.  You can even get butter which is very good for health.  If we manage to pound that fruit at commercial level and produce butter we will improve economically.

I am in support of this Bill because it is one of the best.  This is actually honey before us.  As sweet as it is, this is very good.  I do not want to waste much time on this.  Actually, I urge people to support this Bill.  We are actually behind as Zimbabwe.  Thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill in this august House.  Minister, I am happy that you talked about traditional foods.  Most people in Zimbabwe were against eating our traditional foods in favour of modern foods.  Now you can see how diseases are attacking us.  As young as 18 years, one would suffer from many diseases due to these modern foods.  Since this Bill is before this House, people will change and appreciate our traditional foods.  I want to thank you Minister for coming up with such wisdom.

Hon. Minister, this Bill will cover a lot. As a country, we suffered from COVID -19 but we were assisted by Zumbani.  People came from different provinces to collect the plant from Mt Darwin.  People are now realising the importance of our traditional medicines.  I think this Bill is going to help us; it is going to change our way of thinking.  We will stop copying other nations because we are used to copy from other nations and it is not good for us.

One day I was reading on a lion match box and I discovered that it was made in South Africa. I was shocked that we even import matches.  We do not have batteries for torches and cars.  Those oxide batteries, we import them from South Africa.  Even spare parts, we do not have. So I think this Bill will help us to rectify some of these things to enable us to have our own things.  It will also help us as a country to improve our economy.  We have educated people, we only need to support them and see how far we will go.  I want to thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to appreciate the Bill that the Minister brought in this House.  There is something I need clarification on Hon. Minister.  We already have a research station around Hatcliffe, but I do not know whether it is close to our new Parliament.  I am also looking at the pharmaceuticals that you are talking about.  Actually, we are far behind in terms of research but it is also important to ensure that, are we going to be able to manage this institution to bring the desired results.  What we do not want is to end up having a white elephant.  What I mean by a white elephant is; there are so many things that we really need to work on.  You will be shocked that we are not making tooth picks in this country but we are importing.

We are all aware that we need to have products that are produced locally but we should also work towards the external destination for our economy to improve.  What is our economy based research?  Who are we making this for? Yes, we want kuimprover sadza rezviyo, but first and foremost, when we cook it our children do not eat it.  In our own houses, our children are refusing to have it.  We have to face reality; they are refusing it.  So if we concentrate on making sadza rezviyo, todya isu vadhara and we enjoy it. We want it because it is healthy but we also need to educate our people to consume it…

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Eng. Mudzuri, I really urge you to wear your mask.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. President.  Japan did the same on vehicles.  It did a lot and China as I am saying, did a lot on copy and paste and they just modified a little bit.  With our economy, how much can we go into innovation?  For example, we have CAPS Pharmaceuticals, the company has been running since Rhodesian days. We were producing paracetamol, multivitamin tablets for old people like ourselves the ‘12+12 Medox’ vitamins which is no longer available now.  There were so many things that were being made at CAPS and they are not there now.

We are not even improving that industry to ensure that we produce the best things that we need right now. How far are we with improving own pharmaceuticals in terms of our innovation and producing, something that is going to be accepted by our own people first.  Zimbabwe is a strange nation, we prefer something from America or Britain instead of appreciating our own things. This innovation is a brilliant idea. I want to embrace your thoughts but in this innovation, let us innovate while we can and also allow for copying because our economy will not sustain certain levels of starting from grassroots to the end.

Right now, you know it is time for guavas; people have been collecting guavas around Chief Nhema’s place and in my place in my village.  Here in Zimbabwe, we cannot even make guava juicy, we are importing this.  There is no factory to make guava juicy and guavas are abundant every time and they want the ones we throw away, the rotten ones. Hon. President, I really think we must be more serious in terms of this innovation and production.  How far is the Government ready after the innovation to help those with a patent of whatever they want to innovate to give them some help or assistance in the form of money or produce prototype products that can be exported or be used locally?   Are we ready to do that or we are just playing science? Playing science is not enough, we must play to the end.

You know in the Rhodesian days, we can laugh at those people but those people had serious innovation but they literally used it just to import parts of vehicles.  They used to make buses, which we would adapt locally.  They used to have ethanol, the ethanol we are making today, we are copying from Brazil but it was being done here during Smith days.  The coupons we are using today were done during Smith days, which means they innovated but did not invent, they copied elsewhere.

I am not saying we must copy but we must be able to take certain patents, play with them and ensure that we utilise this to perfect our own things.  I met a Professor in West Africa, he was holding a tin of beef, and he had bought it in the United Kingdom.  He said this beef I bought it in the United Kingdom and it is the best beef.  Then I said that looks like Zimbabwe’s then we started reading it, it was made in Zimbabwe soon after independence which means we should still innovate and improve on our products.

Hon. Minister, you must go and visit industries, grass is growing in those places. They are making freezits; those buildings are no longer going to sustain anything.  What we will have to do is destroy them and get new equipment to run those businesses.  We are pretending to be doing business, let us look at ourselves seriously while we innovate.  The Government and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce must be more serious to make sure that we revive the industries, we produce and export things. Once we get external exports, we are a sustainable economy; we cannot continue to just sit back.  Let us actually start to enjoy the sanctions.  Let us try to export what we can and steal what we can from elsewhere whilst we use the sanctions to produce.  This Bill must be interlinked to other Bills which are with Commerce and Industry and also linked to the already research programmes that we have and other studies being done by universities.  We must see how best we can utilise this Bill to ensure that we get the best out of this initiative.

*HON. SEN. DR. SEKERAMAYI: Thank you Mr. President.  I am happy that you have accorded me an opportunity to support the Bill that has been brought by the Minister of Higher Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. Minister, I stand up to strongly support on this Bill.  This is the correct time for this Bill to be brought into this Senate.  Zimbabweans, we are well known for being educated but there is nothing that is made in Zimbabwe that we are exporting.

With this centre that you want to establish for innovation, research and development, the expertise of Zimbabweans now has to be channeled to tangible things.  Right now in the rural areas where we come from and relating to COVID-19, wherever you go, they ask you whether you have tried using zumbani.  It is good Hon. Minister that our scientific knowledge should bring out the components of zumbani because we are capable as a country, to come up with a pill which we can use and we should try that, not only there, but we have our ancestors who used medicinal plants and herbs. We should utilise that which they used for us when we were young children. We should pass through this Centre to see exactly what the chemical formula of these herbs is. That way, we can get great assistance from that understanding.

Most of the children went out of the country because they were finding no direction. If you are able to utilise this Centre, this will be of great assistance to us as a nation. I support this Bill greatly. Money can be a problem for us as a country and as a nation but, if you look at the resource allocation, this is a very good Centre which needs to be developed and assisted because to begin something might be a problem, but it needs all the support that can be rendered to this institution. We are proud of Zimbabwe and we will be proud because of this initiative in the whole of Southern Africa. With these few words I say thank you Hon. President.

*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity. I no longer have anything to say but I just stood up to thank the Minister. There are some Bills which find their way to this House which are full of animosity. This one, everyone wants to debate because it is very important. I want to thank the Minister, he is the only one with the knowledge which he was able to extract from his country.  Last week my children who are in South Africa were making a lot of noise saying they wanted sweet potatoes, dried vegetables and ground nuts because these things are not found there.

My departed mother used to grow cassava. We would dig up the cassava, prepare it, dry it and pound it into mealie-meal. Our children do not know these things. I think what is left, the President is going to fulfill it. In Manicaland there is n’ii and some of us think that it is not important but it is important because of the Innovation Hub that you are talking about. Maybe we will find the beneficiation of n’ii. I know Hon. Minister next time you will come and tell us the products of n’ii that will be helping us as a nation. I once said that this Covid, there were people in these groups who were looking for snuff. They were saying if you use snuff, you will not be affected by Covid. We can view it as rubbish but there are a lot of things Mr. President. Wine that is coming to this country is from South Africa. We have talked about Marula, the wine that is produced here that it does not taste good but I think we should make things that taste nicer than those from South Africa.

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to contribute to this Bill. I come from Mashonaland West and there was an innovation hub that was initiated by the Minister. If the equipment and the resources are there, we will be the best in Zimbabwe. We used to hear some of these innovative ideas from other countries beyond our borders, but now we have the capability to come up with the same in this country.

We are happy that we are going forward with this idea. Allow me to start with fruits, especially when I look at Zvimba, even during the season for mangoes. There were a lot of guavas and a lot of lorries came to collect them. People should come up with innovative ideas as to what products we can come up with from these fruits. We were looking at juices that we can drink. A lot of elders have their own indigenous knowledge system and their own traditional science. The Ministers should bring the academic side of these innovations and complement what we have as culture communities. What was being referred to as beer from Marula fruit should be augmented using the scientific knowledge that the Minister is bringing in.

We should also work on reducing the alcohol content and this is something that we can work on as we augment this product.  There is actually organic fertiliser in our area.  If you add that to your vegetable garden, it will grow and you will be shocked.  We should look closely at what it is all about.  That manure assists a lot and even the Minister can look at that.

Let me move on to our miners.  There are a lot of things that our artisanal miners engage into when they are mining.  Some of this technology and innovation they use in mining should be closely looked at.  If there is need to improve to a better product, it should be done.  We should support such ideas and support the Bill which was brought before us.  Our children who went to tertiary education and got a degree, most of them will go out of the country looking for greener pastures but now we have found a way of putting a hold on the brain drain in this country.

There is a lot of gold in this country.  It is found through different means.  Those who are in science and technology should work around the methods of operation on how we can get gold.  This indigenous knowledge is not something that is learnt in a classroom but it is passed from generation to generation.  I would like to thank the wisdom that is being displayed in this country.  A lot of snakes are dangerous; they actually bite but if you go to experts who are well-versed with what happens, people can be healed without even going to a hospital no matter how poisonous a snake is.  If you go to someone who really has indigenous knowledge, people will be assisted.  This is an opportunity on what the Minister introduced to us, that this area is studied and proved.  This is where innovation hubs come through.

I have just stood to support this Bill.  We support your Bill Hon. Minister.  May you continue to research into these areas.  With these few words, I say thank you.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI:  Thank you Hon. President for affording me this opportunity to thank the Minister for the Bill.  We embrace the Bill.  I think if he was appointed a Minister before, we could have been somewhere by now.  We have a lot of things in Zimbabwe.  The late Oliver Mtukudzi sang that you should be proud of your origins.

As I stand here Mr. President, we have things that we are no longer doing which were being done by our ancestors, like the use of herbs.  In 2013, I visited Parirenyatwa hospital because I had problems with my womb.  I was bleeding and it was suspected that I had cancer.  I met this woman and explained to her about my problem.  She referred me to her husband who was very good at treating such ailments.  I visited them in Rushinga and was treated using herbs.  From 2013, I used to put the herbs in my porridge in the morning and evenings and I no longer have that problem.

We have people who are very good at these things in this country.  When my daughter in law was bitten by a snake, we simply approached someone who is well-versed in these things.  Even if she could not walk, the medicine was applied on someone and she was healed. She vomited the poison.  This can be done in this country.  We should actually work on developing these things.  Most of the things that we use in this country are imported.  Where are the locally produced things?  Some of the clothing material that we use, we import from Zambia.  Thank you Mr. President.    

**HON. NYATHI:  Thank you for giving me this opportunity Mr. President to debate on this Bill presented in this House.  I would like to thank the Minister for bringing us such a good Bill.  A lot has been said already.  What I would like to say Mr. President is; Zimbabwe is well known internationally that it has high literacy rate.  Anyone who was educated in Zimbabwe is well received internationally.  We have been independent for 40 years but we are starting to discuss that now.  Some of our children have left the country to look for jobs and yet we are starting to discuss these things.  If all those things had been done from the beginning, I do not think our children would have gone out of this country.  This is a very good Bill.  I would want to thank the Minister for coming up with such a brilliant idea.  I wish the Minister was there since 1980 because if we had started long back, we could have gone far by now.  They call Zimbabwe a bread basket, which means it carries a lot of things. So some of the children who have left this country, if some of those resources that we know of, I think our children would have discovered more than what we already know, which means  this country would be far ahead.  So, I would like to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill here.  We should put this on record that this Bill is very important, it should be implemented so that all the children who are in schools should not leave this country. As I speak right now, some of our children are planning to leave this country.  We hear that at a certain hospital, there are 15 doctors planning to leave this country.  So, how are we going to survive?  This is what we should really look at closely.  All this good education that we have in this country is benefiting other countries.  How are we going to benefit, why are we failing to do it?  So, it is very important that this Bill be implemented.  This should not end in just talking, we should do both theory and practical to fulfill what is in this Bill.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Members, I urge you not to repeat what has been said already.

*HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA: Thank you Mr. President.  This is a very important Bill.  Even if you are a mother in a home, do not allow another person to come to your house and give you directives of what you can do within your house.  The Minister was sent by the people to work for the people.  This idea of innovation will uplift this country.

Looking at where I come from in Bikita, we have what we call guavas and this other insect called harurwa and many more.  They are plenty but there is nothing that we can do with them.  We need to find a solution of what we can do with these things otherwise they will remain useless.  We can even make jam from guavas.  These things can actually sustain us economically because we have them in this country.  Let us look at the lifestyles of those in the rural areas.  They actually go to the hospitals but not frequently, they use herbs and these are of great assistance to them.  They get fruits such as plums and namunamu.  These things actually help them.  We wanted to take an injured relative to hospital but he refused. He resorted to some medicinal plants and he got healed.  We have many herbs that are of great assistance if made use of. Even cancer, it can be treated.  People would get assistance from these herbs.  Let us make sure that these natural resources are made use of.  Let us not look down upon the Lord when we have been blessed with such abundant natural resources but we insist in going beyond the borders looking for assistance.

Mr. President, we should admit that these things can be done here in this country.  Let us not just talk or present this Bill, we should pass it and implement this.  We want people to be happy that the 9th Parliament enacted an innovative Bill.  This will help us economically, socially and medically.  Even the Lord will be proud of us because of what we would have done.  We should not continue to cry when we have all the resources in this country – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] Thank you.

*HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I rise to support this pertinent Bill which has been brought by the Minister.  I was developing cold feet because a lot has been said but I think that it is important to say that what the Minister is thinking is good.  From now henceforth, as others have alluded to, it is important that we should merry this with the work that is there already.  At one time, I was out of the country with my friend and she looked at this other dress, it looked very beautiful and she wanted to find out where it was made, only to discover that it was made in Zimbabwe.

Mr. President, I think the way we see things is very good but I do not know where we get lost because we are the best producers of cotton.  It is important that where cotton is grown, factories should be established for value addition, like innovation hubs.  You know that zumbani is now made into lozenges by one of our universities.  I think these universities should be resourced so that everyone gets access to zumbani lozenges.  All the adults, if we eat seven million lozenges, I think we will go far.

Mr. President, what the Minister has said is very good.  What is needed is just the funding now.  You know Mr. President that from way back, the Minister is aware of it that our polytechnics used to embark on big projects especially for the engineering department.  They would do competitions as polytechnic colleges. I think what they lacked was support.  I want to thank the Minister for this Bill. As Parliamentarians, we should allocate more money to this Ministry because we want to see - like what others have alluded to.  We are in 2021, we want to see that after a year or two what would have happened.  Our monitoring and evaluation -  like these days, we sweeten our tea with honey.  Normally when I am buying honey I check whether it is from Zimbabwe.

There are a lot of things that we can embark on and get money and also export some to get foreign currency.  Finally, I would like to say to the Minister when looking at those innovation hubs, he should also consider the issue of transportation.  Like what others have alluded to, we want to manufacture buses which are suitable for our roads.  Thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to add a few words to this discussion.  I would not repeat what others have said.  In the word of God, the Bible says ‘my people perish due to lack of knowledge’.  We find that in the book of Genesis, God created man in his own image.  So I support this Bill. I think it came late for us as chiefs because with this devolution, I think our rural areas will be urbanized.  Our rivers are silted.  We have heard that glass is made from sand, why do we not remove the sand then we bring machines which can make glass.  I think we can employ a lot of people and we would have revamped our dams.

One speaker once said to me that it is a dangerous thing for people to spit at your grave saying this man was useless.  We want to leave a legacy for future generations.  We want to leave an inheritance for our children.  So it is you who make castle great.  We say that it is us who make Zimbabwe great.  With these few  words, I thank you Mr. President.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Mr. President.  I thank the Hon. Senators for supporting the Bill.  What they are saying is we knew what we wanted but we did not know how to do it but this Bill is answering the ‘how part’.  So I want to thank you for your support.  This Bill articulates and alluding to the support of what is there and what will be coming.  The creation of new things.

I want to finish off by just saying, when a people are conquered there are at least two things that happen.  I shall call it anatomy of defeat.  Therefore, what is anatomy of defeat?  Anatomy of defeat – muviri wokukundwa wakamira sei.  When a people are conquered, the first thing that is removed from them is their food so that they can go and buy fat and iced foods.  How does your food get removed, by saying zvenyu hazviiiiti.  When you are removed from your food and your resources, you are vulnerable, weak and you are defeated.

The next thing, they remove you from your medicine; they remove you from all abilities.  I know that in Njanja, there was a lot of mbira making and this making of things from mhangura and the like.  The first think that they did was to destroy that so that after two generations you no longer know how to make them.  The next thing is they attack your belief system so that your belief is completely defeated.  One of the examples is, Mr. President with your permission:  Musadherere zvakaitwa pakuisa rinda ra Rhodes kuMatobo, kuNjelele.  That was our shrine.  So they discreetly bury him there so that when we pray he does not know you. That is the anatomy of defeat.

So, what is the anatomy of victory?  This is when a people say we believe in ourselves.  We know we have been defeated but we know we are victors now.  In 1980, we were able to defeat but the war is not yet over.  We now have to defeat the issue of not being able to make things for ourselves.  It can only be done when we look at the base laws of our technology and change them so that it is lawful to make things.  It is lawful to be ourselves; it is lawful that a Zimbabwean cannot do purposeless education; purposeless science and purposeless innovation.

Hon. Sen. Muzenda, talked about polytechnics used to teaching purposeful education and we have very purposeful people but the law was not making them purposeful.  There was nothing that would take them from that content that you admire to an industry. It was deliberate, therefore there must be a deliberate investor, so that we are of the same belief that we can do it.  It can start small but it will grow.  Kamoto kamberevere kanopisa matanda mberi.  What you are growing Mr. President, you are starting a fire for the independence of this nation in terms of making things.  So I want to thank the Hon. Senators for championing this movement.  It is a movement of self determination, it is a movement of self respect and it is a movement that we are a people and being a people means you can cook and grow your own food, dig your own minerals and make your own things at least to survive, sell and trade.  This must be deliberate; it cannot be by accident - hazvifanire kuva chisamiso kana masaramusi. We design our future and it starts here. Mr. President, I want to thank you. I move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

CENTRE FOR EDUCATION, INNOVATION, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BILL [H.B. 1A, 2020]

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 23 and First Schedule put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

CENTRE FOR EDUCATION, INNOVATION, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BILL [H. B. 1A, 2020]

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Mr. President Sir, I now move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA), the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Three Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. 

 

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