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SENATE HANSARD 19 DECEMBER 2018 28 No. 23
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 19th December, 2018
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p. m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE
VERIFICATION OF BIO-DATA INFORMATION
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the
House that all Hon. Senators are being reminded to verify the details on their bio-data forms before they are uploaded on the website. Public Relations Officers will be stationed in the Members Bar between 1400 hours and 1630 hours from today up to Thursday 20th December, 2018 for that exercise. The deadline for the correction of the information is Friday, 21st December, 2018.
COLLECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL PORTRAITS
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also wish to
inform the Senate that all Senators are being advised to collect the Presidential portraits for their Constituencies from Public Relations Officers during the same period.
CHANGES TO THEMATIC COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Furthermore, I wish to inform the Senate of changes to membership of Thematic Committees, whereby Hon. Sen. J. Chifamba has moved from the Thematic
Committee on SDGs to Thematic Committee on Gender and Development.
SILTATION IN RIVERS AND DAMS
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: I move the motion standing in
my name that this House –
DEEPLY CONCERNED with the level of siltation which is
threatening the existence of most of our rivers and dams, with the water holding capacity of most of them having been reduced to 40 or 60 percent thereby threatening the lives of people, livestock and wild animals as they are being denied access to the precious commodity, water;
ALSO CONCERNED by the rise of incidents of human and wild
life conflict as animals stray into settlements surrounding National Parks in search of drinking water;
AWARE of the vast economic benefits of our water bodies through the support of agriculture, fishery and tourism activities;
WORRIED that current Government efforts to revive the agriculture sector through the Command Agriculture Strategy will not bear the expected results without harnessing water bodies for irrigation purposes.
NOW, THEREFORE, calls for concerted efforts by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, to reclaim our rivers, dams and streams that have been affected by siltation over the years.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: I second.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: Thank you Madam President. It
is my fervent hope that the issue I am going to raise will, in one way or the other, be of importance to the development thrust that His
Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has time and time again emphasised through his ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra.
Madam President, our country is at a critical stage as it forges ahead with its development agenda. We are at a stage where we all need to come together and contribute in whatever way and form towards the development of our country for the siltation in all our rivers and dams to be addressed seriously.
I will explain. This narrative is premised on the area I come from and the various initiatives that we have come up with as a community in order for us to improve the livelihoods of our people. I will also explain the challenges that have confronted us in the past and what we are doing as a community, as people to deal with them. We are a land locked country, we are, as a matter of record, the land between two rivers which are the Zambezi and the Limpopo. Despite these seemingly inhibiting factors, God has blessed us with a country that is immensely rich in agriculture with rich soils which are coupled by a conducive and a diligent work force. May be unbeknown to you many water bodies, dams, lakes, major rivers, beautiful scenery, a healthy wild life population to be proud of and a major tourist attraction are some of the critical aspects that make up our country. The point I want to raise here Madam President is the state of our rivers and dams. Twenty years before, we used to have all the rivers and dams full of water and catching fish at the door step.
Rich as we are in history of agriculture and nature, we have neglected our natural resources and in the process not making use of them. Our water bodies are so under utilised to an extent where some of our dams to mention a few, have reduced our limited holding capacity which ranges from 40 to 60 percent due to siltation. Others are completely full of mud and no water at all. The rivers and streams that flow into these dams have been equally affected by these high levels of siltation. In so much as we are making great strides in resuscitating our agricultural sector through Command Agriculture, unless we address the harnessing of our water bodies, we risk the loss of potential maximum yields as a result of insufficient water even by means of irrigation. The current situation has become very sad indeed and many of you Members from the rural areas will attest to this. Our livestock are dying due to lake of water and are affected by diseases relating to lack of water like red water to mention a few.
Some of the wild animals are migrating from their territorial zones to another due to dry rivers caused by siltation. Our people have to dig up to two meters in some cases to access water in silted rivers which used to flow freely and have to share this same water with our livestock because they do not have flowing water. Areas close to National Parks are experiencing a rise in attacks in wildlife as these wild animals move into village areas in search of water sources.
Madam President, what are we doing to our people who constitute the majority that allow us to sit in this House representing them? If you fail to address a basic human right to them - the availability of water in heavily silted rivers and dams countrywide. We have ignored them, yet they continue to be faithful to us in the ballot box.
Madam President, when we grew up, you could catch fish, crabs in most rivers and streams which provided a God-given natural nutrient but we have failed our people to even just maintain this free gift of nutrition. I implore this august House to consider the plight of our people, our natural environment and the uphill task we face in the future if we do not start to address the issue as a matter of urgency. I call upon ZINWA, the Ministry of Environment and Agritex to pull their sleeves up and address these issues or they are subject to be labeled dysfunctional units with our Government for failing to take the necessary actions within their mandates to address this problem.
I also urge SI 7 of 2007 to be fully implemented such that our communities are able to remove sand from nearby rivers and all capable approved companies with machines to work hand in hand with RDC’s without hard measures to obtain the real old time rivers and dams with water and fish as water is the gift from God and water is life. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: I would like to thank you
Madam President of this noble House by allowing me to second this very important motion on siltation by Hon. Chief Chundu. It is so disheartening, so worrisome, so fearful what the nation shall be in the near future. Can you imagine our beloved Zimbabwe one day to have dry rivers, no flora and fauna, no agricultural activities, no industry? Finally, it will add up to no survival of life for all living creatures, humans, birds of skies, crawling creatures, wild and domestic animals, fish and all reptiles.
Madam President, in Psalms 19:7-10 says, “the law of the Lord is perfect, it restores the soul and the commandments of the Lord are pure, they light up the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure.” It subsists forever and I pray that, may God give us wisdom and help us always to make the right choices of preserving the environment and rivers. As already alluded by my learned Chief Chundu here, our country is a landlocked nation, hence any mismanagement of our rivers and our environment will bear disastrous situation for our beloved country.
Madam President, it is my plea to the Government and every citizen at every level, to take measures to ensure that we help to observe that we must stop river bank cultivation and mineral exploitation in our rivers. On this point Madam President, we as traditional leaders and custodian of our land, flora and fauna, are so concerned that the Ministry of Mines in some cases allows some people, for example our friends the
Chinese to do their mining of gold in rivers. Madam President, Mazowe River will soon be a zoo river to our children. Other inland rivers are totally not flowing as they are filled with sand and mud. These miners use dangerous chemicals which are hazardous to humans, birds and animals and as a result, people are affected with cancer and other diseases. Our animals die and our economy which relies mostly on agriculture and tourism will also be affected. With no water, how can we jump start the agricultural sector? With no water, how will the tourists come to see in our dotted animal parks in this country when all the animals have perished because of the low availability of this precious mineral?
It is even disheartening to see people being offered residential stands near river banks in urban and rural councils. Villagers are following the same pattern as they now argue that the law given to them as rural people must not target them alone; they are not separate people from those in urban areas who are given residential stands near river banks.
The war is to be stopped as people are causing mayhem in those rivers, Madam President. Water pollution is causing water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, bilharzias, et cetera. Deforestation and veld fires are rampant in all communities. The end result is that when the rains come, they cause soil erosion as the grass that acted as the carpet would have been burnt, debris, soil, dead wood will find their way into these rivers and will close the depths of the rivers filling water reservoirs with them. In Shona, Mtukudzi says, that the symptom of the headache is not what is important but its causes. I therefore, want to encourage our people to observe the laws of this country at every level and stop all the above mentioned activities that cause siltation in our rivers and dams.
Madam President, there is a serious promotion of poaching of our game because these animals are now forced to move from game parks in search of this precious mineral hence they are killed by poachers and we lose a lot of foreign currency that is so preciously needed by our country. So, if we are not careful as a nation and if we cast a blind eye to these activities that are causing siltation, our national herd also will decrease. Agriculture and livelihood will suffer.
Madam President, I challenge all rural and urban councils to assist in preserving our rivers from further siltation and to remove people from stream bank cultivation, sewage water from entering our rivers, minerals exploration and from allocating land to people in those areas.
Solutions – ZINWA and rural councils to lead in extracting river sand with the help of our community. Hanzi naMutukudzi kutemwa nemusoro handiro dambudziko but chakonzera kuti musoro uteme ndiro dambudziko racho. I therefore want to encourage our people Madam President, to observe the laws of this country at every level and stop all the above mentioned activities that cause siltation in our rivers and dams. There is a serious promotion of poaching of our game because these animals are forced to move from game parks in search of this precious mineral hence they are killed by poachers and we lose a lot of foreign currency that is so preciously needed by our country. So, if we are not careful as a nation and if we cast a blind eye to these activities that are causing siltation, our national herd will decrease, agriculture and livelihood will suffer.
Madam President, I challenge all Rural and Urban Councils to assist in preserving our rivers, from further siltation and to remove people from stream bank cultivations, sewage water from entering our rivers, miners from river banks, mineral explorations and from allocating land to people along the river banks.
Solutions – ZINWA and Rural Councils to lead in extracting river sand with the help of our communities from our rivers and dams. This sand can be sold to deserving people and can be used in the construction of weirs in those rivers so that we catch all the water from running down streams and can be used in irrigation activities, fishery projects and as drinking water for our animals.
In conclusion Madam President, Nyika isina tsika yakafa. Vakuru vedu vakati zvikoni zvikoni mimba haibve negosoro. Let us help preserve our inland waters. Water is life and all ministries should support the preservation of our rivers and environment. God loves Zimbabwe so, let us care for what was given to us. Let us not conflict ourselves. Hatidi bhasikiti ratizirai rinoti uku rinorukwa uku riri kurudunurwa. I thank you Madam President.
HON. SEN. CHIEF GUNDU: I move that the debate do now
HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 20th December, 2018.
UPGRADING OF TOURIST FACILITIES IN KARIBA
HON. SEN. GUMPO: I move the motion in my name that:
COGNISANT of the strategic role of tourism to the country’s economic development, both as a major foreign currency earner and a source of employment;
CONCERNED by the decline of Kariba Town as a tourist destination leading to high unemployment levels;
ALSO CONCERNED by delays in the construction of a new
airport in Kariba, which is critical for revival of the tourism industry in the town;
FURTHER CONCERNED by the decline in the wild animal
population which is a major tourist attraction to the resort town;
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Government to-
- expeditiously provide financial resources for construction of a new airport in Kariba and upgrading of tourist facilities to international standards;
- control the movement of wild animals into Kariba Town and poaching activities; and
- designate Kariba Town a Special Economic Zone status in order to unlock its great economic potential.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.
HON. SEN. GUMPO: Tourism was a major foreign currency earner for Kariba and Zimbabwe at large but now tourism and fishing industries are facing major challenges in Kariba.
Madam President, Kariba is grossly underutilised as a tourism destination and a major fishing industry in Zimbabwe. In the past, Kariba used to earn very substantial foreign currency earnings for the country. The fishing industry was booming at one stage and all that has become a thing of the past. One of the reasons being that the two industries have not been given adequate attention that is required, to make them continue to play an important role in the support of the economy of the country.
The imposition of the economic sanctions over Zimbabwe in the early year 2000 resulted in the immediate decline in tourism in the area, driving the industry to a standstill. There was a very rapid decline in the tourist arrivals. The situation forced a good number of hotels, lodges and other facilities to close shop, thus rendering thousands of employees out of employment. The closure of the Kariba airport that followed made the already bad situation worse. Dialogue on the matter was initiated between government and stakeholders on these two industries but it did not succeed because of poor communication and funding.
There was no will from either side to tackle the issue head on, as a result the whole project to revive the economy of the town failed. The proposed airport development was initiated in 1993, feasibility studies were carried out, and costing was done and completed. However, this project later became a victim of the sanctions 10 years later because the project could not be started on time, hence nothing has been done on this project up to date.
The issue of the airport re-development is key in this matter of revival of tourism in Kariba. There is no way one can talk about reviving tourism in Kariba unless the matter of the airport is resolved. At one stage Kariba was above the Buffalo Range proposed airport redevelopment on the Government’s priority list, this position has since changed without giving reasons for the u-turn. How could Buffalo
Range be prioritised over Kariba? The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry need to explain this matter.
I am one of the residents of Kariba that worked and lived in Kariba for 56 years. I was once the Chairman and later Mayor of the town for 10 years. I have learnt a lot about Kariba and its people. I have observed the tourism and fishing industries from the onset and have seen all the ups and downs in these two industries over this period.
The animal population around Kariba is slowly but surely disappearing. These animals are the source of tourism and something needs to be done to arrest this decline sooner or later. The two industries fall under one ministry which is a very ideal position in that things can be done under one roof.
The stakeholders in Kariba industries as mentioned above are hopeful that the new Minister will spare some of her time to attend to the Kariba issues which can no longer be dealt with from a distance. Something needs to be done sooner or later. A round table meeting with the Hon. Minister and stakeholders might help to re-establish the dialogue that was meant to find a lasting solution on the reviving of the only two main industries in Kariba.
Madam President, the Kariba stakeholders need to be assisted not only for their own benefit but for the benefit of the country at large.
Kariba is one of those national assets that are slowly becoming defunct. The country cannot afford to lose the beautiful resort town which has one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. We must not forget that there is competition from the Zambian side in terms of tourism and fishing of which the competitor is likely to take advantage if nothing is done now. Zimbabwe was always ahead of the Zambian side and we cannot afford to be second. The stakeholders request the Hon Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to help re-establish dialogue between stakeholders and Government.
Mahombekombe, which is the oldest township in the tourist town has shanty housing schemes which were built by an Italian company called the Impresit during the initial dam construction. They were built as temporary shelters to accommodate the short-term hired company workforce. A round table meeting with Hon. Minister and stakeholders might help on re-establishment of the dialogue that was meant to find a lasting solution on the reviving of the two only main industries in Kariba.
Madam President, the Kariba stakeholders need to be assisted not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of the country at large.
Kariba is one of those national assets that is slowly becoming defunct.
The country cannot afford to lose the beautiful resort town which has one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. We must not forget that there is competition from the Zambian side in terms of tourism and fishing, of which the competitor is likely to take advantage if nothing is done. Zimbabwe was always ahead of Zambian side and we cannot afford to be second. The stakeholders request Hon. Minister of Tourism and Environment to help the re-establishment of the dialogue between stakeholders and Government.
Mahombekombe, which is the oldest township in the tourist town has shanty housing schemes, constructions which were built by the
Italian company called the Impresit, during the initial dam construction. They were built as temporary shelters to accommodate the temporary work force of the company. They were supposed to be demolished immediately after the Kariba dam was complete. Sixty years later, the people are still living in these dilapidated temporary structures. To make it worse, the structures are located under the main power supply lines that carry the high voltage energy from the power station. A disaster could easily occur if one of the voltage lines break and fall over the inhabitants. The Ministries of Local Government, Energy and Power Development and Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry need to avoid this pending disaster. The said housing scheme is located in the tourist boat habour zones and such a situation paints a bad image of the country and the tourism industry in Kariba.
The Ministry of Energy and Power Development that owns the high voltage infrastructure needs to assure the residents that they are not being affected by radiation from the overhead transmission lines. The town’s master plan has been talked about for 20 years. The plan was supposed to redefine all the tourist locations in the area to enable the redesigning and re-development of all the facilities in the area, for the tourist destination to keep up with the world standard and make it more attractive and competitive.
Madam President, Kariba needs to be given a special economic zone status in order to unlock the great potential that it has. Victoria
Falls has been allowed to overshadow the potential of Kariba as a tourist destination, yet the two destinations should be complementary as it was in the past. Airlines from Victoria Falls should fly via Kariba. They are currently by-passing Kariba and this is exactly what has partly killed Kariba as a tourist destination. Victoria Falls and Kariba are already connected by the lake and the Zambezi River, thus forming one tourist region. Would it not make it more economically feasible to treat Victoria Falls and Kariba as one and give the two a one economic zone status? Madam President, Kariba used to receive 150 000 tourists annually in 1998. The numbers have declined drastically. I thank you Madam President.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Madam President. I
rise to support the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Gumpo. This is an important issue as has already been said. Kariba is a large water body; it is among the three biggest man-made lakes in Zimbabwe. A lot of visitors used to come to visit Kariba. They were coming to visit the lake and to conduct boating activities on the water. They were quite merry and that shows that Zimbabwe has its own tourist attractions.
If you want to see all the types of animals come to Kariba, they are there. People would fly into Zimbabwe merely to see animals. The animals would even go as far as the hotels where the visitors would have easy access to them. This area should be propped up and it should remain viable. It also has fisheries. If one wanted to think about fisheries, they are found in Kariba. It was renowned for having fisheries. Whenever one comes from Kariba, the first thing that people would ask for is if you have brought them some fish.
In Nyaminyami, a lot of professional game hunting was done. I am also a hunter and I used to go to that area. Professionals would come as far afield as England, Germany, Canada, France and other parts of the world to come and hunt. After they would have hunted in the Nyaminyami, they would come to Kariba, stay there and they would visit around the Kariba and see a lot of wild life. Besides its water body, there is also the mystic Nyaminyami fish. The elders in that area, when the Nyaminyami arises, tradition was observed. They would collect some drums and say their god has risen. They used to perform that practice or rituals. Kariba needs to be a zone, whether it is for those that are into the fisheries or those that are into the bodies or animals. It would be a good thing.
In conclusion, I would want to say that those that are into the
“kapenta” industry would also come and catch “matemba” and the “matemba” would be distributed throughout the country, as a result of that, it calls that Kariba should be protected. With those words, I thank you Madam President.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Madam President. I
also rise to add my voice to support the motion raised by Hon. Gumpo that is in line with the tourism in the Kariba area.
In the beginning, I would want to say when we talk of tourism, we should not just think of Kariba alone but we have a lot of tourist attraction areas. Kariba should be marketed or upheld so that it is restored to its past glory where people used to come and visit from abroad. Everything was in place; wild animals and kapenta fish were in place. I am one of those people who would, whenever someone spoke of coming from Kariba, ask if they had brought us some kapenta because the kapenta used to be very delicious. I do not know if the kapenta is still there or everything has been run down. This is an appeal that there should be a revival of Kariba as a tourist destination.
I also urge that we promote domestic tourism. You heard the previous speaker talking about tourists that came from abroad and other countries. Because of the state of affairs in this country, there are now very few arrivals for these destinations. If it were possible, we need to create awareness or educate our local people so that we promote domestic tourism so that they appreciate the nature that we have as a country and these rich resources. If we do not promote it on our own, we may face difficulties in that we will continually be cry babies and cast back our minds in nostalgia as to what prevailed at that time instead of us uplifting the area as the local people.
There is a place in Nyanga called Bridal Veil (it is in Chimanimani) where people would go and see the water which is reminiscent of an actual bride. A lot of people that would wed would also take photos to commemorate their marriages at that Bridal Veil. It also helps in bringing in foreign currency which we are very much in need of which is in short supply.
There is also the Zimbabwe Ruins which is one of those tourist attractions that was constructed by our forefathers. If it is properly promoted and tourism uplifted, we would have a lot of people visiting our areas of interest, natural resources as well as tourist attraction destination. If the relevant Ministry of Tourism could come up with campaigns to promote domestic tourism so that the local people can also visit these tourist attraction areas.
In so doing, they should charge reasonable amounts that are affordable by our people because if you go to some of these tourist attraction areas, the prices are exorbitant to the extent that our local populace cannot afford the foreign currency. As a result, the ordinary person in Zimbabwe is unable to pay. If this were to be corrected, our tourist resort areas would not be a monopoly of the foreign visitors but also local visitors would also learn to appreciate our own areas that are tourist resorts. There is a lot of stress in Harare – [Laughter] – so if we are taught about these tourist destinations, we would go as families and wind off as we see our animals and everything that is there.
There is lack of awareness. For one to acknowledge one’s grandmother, one needs to have been taught that this is your grandmother. If we are not concientised, our tourist figures will remain low. Let us strive to promote local tourism instead of it being dominated by foreign tourists. This will enhance our local tourism as well as the industry and people would be able to go there using our own currency. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam
President. I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Gumpo the mover and Hon. Sen. Tongogara the seconder of the motion. This topic on tourism is very important. There are a lot of countries the world over that are making a livelihood out of tourism. In Africa, such countries are Tunisia. Its economy is based on tourism. The same applies to Mauritius because it has a lot of islands and also those that have cities that are on the coastal areas such as Mombasa in Kenya. Tourism actually contributes significantly to the growth domestic product of a country and the economy itself.
I want to touch on the issue and maybe what I believe should be done in tourism is that in Kariba, there should be a lot of animals as has been stated in the motion and the animals should not be extinct. Tourism has so much been Eurocentric. What about our own word which is not tourism. It has remained foreign because a lot of people did not have discretionary incomes so that they are able to utilise safari operators. If
Kariba were to be improved or promoted, the safari operators in the area – the local community will do menial jobs. That is where I see that there is no proper promotion of tourism. The locals are poachers. They want to access meat and they can only access meat through poaching. It was once said by Chief Shana that we are called poachers. He said that in 1934, that these animals were ours and we used to keep them. We had laws where we could not kill willy nilly. In 1935, the law that carried
National Parks is what we still talk about. Our animals were driven by helicopters in broad day light, I witnessed this and they put a law which does not allow people to go into the national parks but before the advent of this 1935 exercise, the animals belonged to the local people. This law caused animals to be moved from the local people to those who own national parks. People are now prisoners; I freely say this because we are in the Second Republic.
We had our own independence in 1980 but alas! we still use a 1935 legislation. We also came up with a Minister who says people should not be eating meat, and we are actually strengthening the law that was put in 1935 and we are saying that the locals are bad. If we look the damage that is done annually by elephants - the Minister of Defence and Environment when she was in Tourism, was across the country when a woman came from Binga and said this particular child’s father was killed by an elephant. They only had three blankets and they took two blankets to bury the man but the people who are benefiting from the elephants are not the local people. The question is whose interest is tourism serving? Who is benefiting from these wild animals. If the benefit of tourism was going to the local people, I was going to be happy. The few that own Safari Companies live in America and they are getting all the profits.
Some tourists leave the money in America where they would have paid it. The visitor comes here and stays in the lodges for free without bringing any tangible currency because the currency would have been left behind in America. If we correct that anomaly, we will become well and good. When you go once to Kariba and if you repeatedly go there it becomes monotonous but they still continue going there. Why are locals not going there is the pertinent question; what are they going to see – the wild animals. If we are to ask here in this august House to find out how many have gone on holiday for the past 10 years, I will find no one. We might want to practice what we preach. On Friday, as we approach the holiday we are all going to our communal homes. Personally, I am going to my communal home; going to Kariba is another issue. We should not force our locals to go to Kariba when it is not part and parcel of their culture. If it is not in them – some people have money, they can afford this but we need to find reasons why it has no value for them to visit Kariba but instead go to visit their in-laws because it has better value.
I do not think much about it to go and boat cruise in Kariba there, yes I may do that but it is not in me at the moment. I find the majority of Hon. Members in here to be in the same situation with me. We only go to a boat cruise after a workshop and Whites come here because they do not have such attractions in their countries. They come here to visit our mountains, take pictures, enjoy themselves in the sun and they put them in their homes – animals and the like, that is what drives them because they do not have those in their countries and with their economy, I agree they can afford to do that. As Zimbabweans, even when our economy was at its best, how many of us would go there.
I used to see White people in Great Zimbabwe area where I come from and very few Blacks. Whites visit areas where there are things of interest to them. We also go to Dubai and China because it interests us but I am of the belief that we should not continuously look down upon our people; we scold our people that they are reluctant to go to Kariba, they have better things that they will be doing instead of going to such places to spend money. All those countries that developed in tourism did not make it through domestic tourism. Tourism comes in the form of foreign currency that is where the value is derived from. It brings us foreign currency. We do not have foreign currency, so what we should do is to promote foreign tourism and ensure that our environment is conducive to be visited by foreigners so that they can come here freely.
We used to have a lot of road blocks but we have done away with the majority of them. So we urge them to come, the police are no longer as troublesome as they used to be in the past so that things can work for the better in as far as corruption at road blocks is concerned. It is now good and we should encourage them to come from outside the country. Members of Parliament, I have not seen them in Great Zimbabwe coming to my communal home. I only see various Portfolio Committees at Great Zimbabwe, I have not seen individual Members coming to visit
Great Zimbabwe. With those few words Madam President, I thank you.
HON. SEN. GUMPO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 20th December, 2018.
CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS BY THE ZIMBABWE CRICKET
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move the motion in my name that this
CONCERNED with the allegations of corruption by the Zimbabwe Cricket Board whose affairs are currently managed by the Chairman of the Board.
COGNISANT of the need to restore the integrity and ensure good corporate governance and professionalism by the Board.
NOW THEREFORE, calls upon the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to ensure-
- There are mechanisms in place to prevent abuse of the funds of the
Board by the Management; and
- Elections of officials to the Board are conducted in a transparent manner.
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: I second.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Mr. President. This debate is intended to create awareness and inform this august House of the true state of cricket in Zimbabwe and the urgent need for action to be taken. Mr. President, Zimbabwe is losing players on a regular basis and if action is not taken soon, it is likely that many of our country chevrons and other factor players will seek more attractive opportunities and leave the game in Zimbabwe forever, which some have already done. In order to understand the issues and problems that face cricket today, it is crucial that one simple undisputable fact is brought to the forefront of this debate. This fact is simple because cricket in Zimbabwe was a successful vibrant, crucial and financially sound entity that brought pride and honour to Zimbabwe as a nation prior to 2004. This cannot be argued. Our national team played the full test programme and around the world and had twice gone past the group stages at the World Cup finals into the super six stages.
Our young Zimbabwean men competed on the world stage and won series in Bangladesh, Pakistan and New Zealand. Brian Lala, the West Indies Captain told a Press Conference in 2003 that Zimbabwe could no longer be considered Minnows in World Cricket and that any team in the world that played Zimbabwe would face fierce competition but alas not today. The state of cricket in the country was sound and vibrant. Our clubs were active and the game was thriving in schools and most importantly, the national controlling body, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union was in sound financial health. If we fast forward to 2018, the picture is completely different. Between 2004 and 2018, cricket in
Zimbabwe has been on a steady downward spiral.
Zimbabwe Cricket went from playing a full and active part in the Future Tours Programme of the ICC as a full member country, to hardly playing test cricket and indeed, suffering a self imposed exile from test cricket altogether. Even after its reintroduction to the test arena,
Zimbabwean has played a miniscule role in the world of test cricket.
Club Cricket in Zimbabwe is in a complete and utter mess. There is no doubt that the Chairman and Board of Zimbabwe Cricket will disagree. However, as of the 3rd December, no league cricket has been played at all in Mutare or Masvingo and only a couple of rounds have been played in Bulawayo and Harare. In a country where Cricket has for decades started its season in September, the current ZC administration has been unable to even start League Cricket in 3 out of 5 main provinces.
ZC has chosen to start League Cricket in Harare and Bulawayo in November. They claim this decision was made after consultation with their South African Consultant, Vince Van Der Bijl but in reality it is simply because ZC still does not have enough money to actually meet legitimate expenses involved in League Cricket. Zimbabwe Cricket has proudly advised the nation that it has resolved its financial crisis yet it cannot afford to pay for cricket balls to allow League Cricket to take place. In Bulawayo, it provides one cricket ball for two teams to play with, and it cannot afford to repair rotting facilities or pay groundsmen owed money from 2015. There is one simple and apparent reason for the decline in Zimbabwe Cricket. The fault for this decline lies squarely at the feet of the persons who have led the national organisation over the last 14 years. The horrendously poor administration lack of knowledge, financial mismanagement and very obvious lack of responsible governance is the root cause of the current state of the game in Zimbabwe.
The current issues facing Zimbabwe Cricket are many and complex. These need to be made public and the Chairman and Board of Zimbabwe Cricket need to be held accountable.
A debt currently amounting to over US$13 million, this is despite a bailout plan from the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company who effectively cut 30% of ZC’s debt. This bailout plan would not have been necessary if Zimbabwe Cricket had correctly used to funds supplied by the ICC in 2012 to retire the Met Bank overdraft. Instead of retiring the Met Bank overdraft, the funds were instead placed in another Met bank account allegedly benefitting the board that was led by Ozias Bvute. It should be noted that Mr. Ozias Bvute was the Managing Director of
Zimbabwe Cricket at this time as well as a director of Met Bank. The Chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket at the time was Mr. Peter Chingoka who was also a Met Bank Director and the current ZC Chairman, Mr.
Tawengwa Mukuhlani was a ZC Board member at the time.
The ICC complained at the incorrect use of the funds supplied and eventually the original Met bank overdraft was retired, but only after Zimbabwe Cricket was prejudiced by over US$600 000.00. The financial mismanagement is astounding over the period 2004-2018. Zimbabwe Cricket could have easily moved the local liability offshore with the support of the ICC to access far lower and less punitive interest rates. Instead, it chose to remain indebted to local banks (mainly Met Bank). Please note that they allegedly chose to remain with Met Bank specifically to benefit the board members because a comparison with other banks would clearly show that Met Bank offered one of the highest interest rates on loans and much a lower rate on investment.
Mr. President Sir, due diligence was thrown out of the window because of the fact that board members of ZC were also board members of Met Bank. The issues of conflict of interest were not even considered when entering into a relationship. The facts are facts and it cannot be disputed that this was done to allow Met Bank and the aforementioned
ZC directors among others to farm interest. The prejudice to Zimbabwe Cricket over this period runs into many millions of dollars. Despite the loan facilities running into millions, ZC continued to receive funding from the ICC, yet no improvement in facilities or standards was seen. This key income from ICC disbursements and loans was mysteriously unable to meet ZC expenses which should have drastically dropped since the National Team was not playing very much international cricket. Prior to 2004, Zimbabwe Cricket was debt free and a success.
Deliberate Financial Mismanagement is the root cause of the decline in Zimbabwe Cricket and remains a major issue facing the game to this day. The inconvenient question that must be asked and answered by the board that is running cricket right now is that ZC is earning more now than it ever has in the past. With ICC disbursements, loans taken, and downsizing staff to levels far beneath 2004 - how is it possible that the organisation cannot pay bills that were easily met and managed by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union?
It is time that something was done about this. A second and equally glaring issue currently affecting cricket in Zimbabwe is the fact that the national organisation is largely devoid of any actual cricket expertise. Not a single board director has ever played First Class or international cricket. The management of the national body are also largely without cricket experience. This lack of knowledge and experience is apparent through the continued poor decision making that this body has become famous for. Further to this shortfall, the national organisation has deliberately and systematically forced anyone with experience in the game as either a player or administrator out of the game. With a proud history in the game, ZC should be full of individuals with massive experience who are respected by the International Community.
The list of persons who have been forced out of Zimbabwe Cricket is astounding and too long to list here. However, if anyone thinks of a past Zimbabwe hero on the cricket field, it is almost certain that he is not in any way currently involved with Zimbabwe Cricket. This lack of knowledge has caused major shortfalls in the administration of the game in Zimbabwe and tragically in the development of the game from grass roots to school level to Club and First Class level.
Mr. President Sir, the failure of Zimbabwe to qualify for the Cricket World Cup 2019 was not a failure by the National Team, but instead was the culmination of years of mismanagement and poor governance and the fault for this lies with the board at this moment in time.
The Chairman who is currently chairing the board at the moment has been there since 2015 up to now and has made ample opportunity to halt and have had ample opportunity to halt the decay. He is part of the reason why and for that reason cannot be part of the solution to the problems faced. Can a person who has been involved in and been part of the rot, decay and corruption that has dogged Zimbabwe Cricket since 2004 be considered as a viable leader to take ZC out of the hole that they themselves have dug.
The list of clubs that have folded or disappeared since his involvement is long. There is no doubt that ZC will point to their list of registered clubs as a sign that cricket is healthy. However, when one takes into account that most of these clubs have no home grounds and no access to practice facilities then the true picture of the Zimbabwe Cricket landscape comes into focus. When it is understood that such pillars of cricket as Old Georgians, Alexandra, Old Miltonians, Bulawayo Sports Club have not only disappeared from leagues around Zimbabwe but their facilities have decayed and rotted to the extent that they cannot be used, then an accurate picture will start to form. This is yet another shortfall of the current regime indicative of the fact that the board and management have absolutely no idea on how to manage the game in Zimbabwe. An even bigger indictment of the ZC system is the fact that of all the clubs registered in Zimbabwe, only a very few actually have access to any facility to practice at or call their home ground.
If the Hon. Senators can take a few seconds to imagine playing a sport at club level for a team that has no home ground, no access to any field or ground to practice on and only getting to actually play the game once a week, with poor quality balls, no umpires and very little kit, then perhaps they will begin to understand how low the game has sunk.
Many Members of this august House will have children at primary and secondary schools but most of these children will report that their schools do not play cricket. The obvious exception to this are private or trust schools where cricket has in fact survived and thrived. The reason for this is very obvious, ZC have very little to do with the private school cricket. If we examine school cricket, it very quickly becomes obvious that ZC has neglected cricket in this area as well. A huge number of schools have stopped playing the game while proud schools such as Milton and Victoria High no longer have fields to play or practice on. Zimbabwe cricket has failed to develop the game at any level.
Mr. President Sir, in summary the major issue which have faced Zimbabwe Cricket since 2004 and which still plague the national body are:-
- Severe financial mismanagement and a lack of transparency. Mismanagement is a misnomer as in many cases the misuse of funds has been deliberate and fore planned;
- A complete lack of effective planning and a failure to develop the game at grass roots, school or club level;
- An absence of any form of maintenance for national or club facilities (it required a bail out by the ICC to bring HSC, Queens and Kwekwe back to international standard;
A lack of cohesive club structures and no support system for schools or clubs;
- No experience in the game at a high level is present in the board;
- There has been little or no desire to improve Zimbabwe Cricket or grow the game but instead it is seen as a cash cow and chairmen (past and present) and board members are involved for personal enrichment rather than the good of the game or national pride.
All of the above issues combined make up a lethal cocktail which has led a vibrant national sport from a position of respect in World Cricket to the very brink of suspension from which the ICC and disgrace in World Cricket. This is due to the greed and incompetency of a few individuals.
Mr. President Sir, there are solutions to all the above problems:-
- The very first step is that there has to be the will and desire to expose these issues in order to resolve them and ensure they do not and cannot occur again in the future;
A commission of inquiry which should include a full and thorough forensic audit as well as an investigation into the conduct of Zimbabwe Cricket Board Members, chairmen and senior staff members should be established through the Sports and Recreation Commission but which should include ICC representation in order to ensure the World Cricket body is in involved in the process and transparency is maintained. The sport and organisation are not to blame but the individuals responsible should and must be brought to book. A number of past board members have expressed the desire to provide information and statements;
- There should be a full disclosure of the debt, who was borrowed what amounts, what was the money used for, how much is owed to the players, whether the situation of using ZC’s Board Members houses are collateral against loans borrowed by ZC, a clear assessment of the funds used from used from ICC against the ZC strategic plan and a clear road map on how to repay the debts;
The Sports and Recreation Commission should be directed by the Minister of Sport to engage all stakeholders in the sport of cricket with a view to rewriting the constitution of the Zimbabwean Cricket and all provincial cricket associations in order to create an inclusive constitution which caters for all stakeholders and ensure the rights of all stakeholders as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe. It is once again important to include the ICC in this process to ensure support and understanding on the part of the world body;
- A new board and chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket should be elected in accordance with the new constitution;
- The new board should consist of persons who have experience in cricket administration, ex first class or international players who are of reputable character and respected both locally and within international cricket circles;
- The new constitution should include provision for a players association;
The new board should work with the Minister of Sport and the Sport and Recreation Commission to create a sound and efficient model to grow the game of cricket within Zimbabwe which will encourage commercial corporate involvement. There should be a clear policy in the model on developing the game from grassroots level on player retention programmes and career advancement. Such a model should include strict guidelines for national sporting organisations which will govern and control financial management practices and ensure that contravention of such controls will result in criminal prosecution.
- The new Zimbabwe Cricket Board should seek to engage and interact with as many past players and administrators as possible in order to create a professional structure populated with experience and qualified personnel.
Mr. President, this debate is necessary and vital. As Zimbabwean lawmakers and leaders, we as Members of Parliament, elected by our constituents must challenge any entity or body that fails to deliver
excellence. We can through this debate ensure that the leaders of our sporting organisations understand their responsibility to the nation.
Bearing in mind that sport is both a business and a career, this debate is pertinent for the development of this country in all spheres of economic development such as the contribution of sport to the country’s GDP, creation of employment and having a healthy nation.
The question that must be asked of this House is – can an organisation surrounded by continuous allegations of corrupt activity, mismanagement and nepotism for a period of 14 years be allowed to continue along the same path without action being taken? I do not think so Hon. Members. I thank you.
I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 20th December, 2018.
OUTBREAKS OF VELD FIRES
HON. SEN. GUMPO: I move the motion in my name that:
CONCERNED by the recurrence of outbreaks of veld fires with devastating effects on the environment such as deforestation, land degradation and siltation of rivers which in turn affects agricultural production and ultimately the economy;
ENCOURAGED by His Excellency, the President’s call for good environmental management practices in His Official Opening Speech of the Ninth Parliament;
WORRIED that the Environmental Management Agency (EMA)
and other responsible authorities of Government are failing to control the outbreak of veld fires;
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon-
- the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture to intensify awareness campaigns on the effects of veld fires and ensure stringent penalties in relevant legislation against perpetrators; and
- inculcate the dangers of veld fires from primary education level with a broader view of fostering cultural change.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.
HON. SEN. GUMPO: Madam President, the uncontrolled veld
fires are one of the threats to the country’s economy. If they are not eliminated, the indigenous forest will be greatly affected and degradation will rise. The soil will become barren, gulleys will emerge, siltation in rivers will increase, and the natural course of rivers will be diverted thus creating uncontrolled flows of water. Agriculture will be affected, poverty will emerge and the people will become poor in the long term because agriculture is the backbone of our country. Over 100 years ago, there was no problem of veld fires as we read in some of our history books, despite the fact that people at that time had little or no education. All that they had was strong cultural values and discipline. Why then are we, with all the education and resources failing to do what our fore fathers managed to do without resources and education? Where is our education to help in this major subject or shall we just carry on as we are and hope things will be better? Are our laws too lenient that everyone can afford to start veld fires at will, knowing that even if they are caught on the wrong side of the law they can easily get away with it.
It is a well known fact that Government is trying to do a lot on this subject through EMA and other Arms-of-Government but the impact of the government’s effort is not yet visible. When are we going to see the visible impact by EMA? It is also known that many companies are financing the growing of gum trees and other plantations to help mitigate deforestation and also produce wood for our tobacco industry. The menace of the veld fires is even threatening this noble cause.
Is there enough teaching in schools and communities about the dangers of uncontrolled veld fires? Does this need to be investigated deeper in order to come up with a permanent solution which will stop this danger once and for all? Does this matter need to be debated further in this august House? Can the Hon. Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry shed more light to this august House on this important matter? Time and time again the matter of veld fires and its dangers is covered in the national media. I come from an area in Matabeleland South that has been a victim of degradation caused by some of the mentioned issues. This is a resettlement that was carried out by the colonial government late in the 50s which had good agricultural land but has since been affected by degradation beyond recognition.
The President, in his speech at the opening of the 9th Parliament, put emphasis on good environmental practices that include, but not limited to good environmental management. The country will encounter challenges in resuscitating the economy and probably scare away potential investors if no effort is made to mitigate the problem of uncontrolled veld fires.
Most municipalities throughout the country are failing to cope with the environmental management issues that include the sewage disposal and water reticulation, mostly because of increased urbanisation that is bringing more numbers of people into cities and causing failures of these services. This is another major environmental issue which needs more urgent Government support. Investors regard the environmental issues as key when they decide to invest in a country. I thank you for allowing me to present this important motion.
HON. SEN. GUMPO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to
Debate to resume: Thursday, 20th December 2018.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA: Mr. President Sir, thank
you for this opportunity once again for me to respond. First of all, I would like to congratulate the President, His Excellency Hon. E.D. Mnangagwa for having won the elections. I would like to also congratulate Zimbabweans for moving into the Second Republic and also allow me to congratulate the President of the Senate, Vice President and all Members of this august House for making it to this place.
The Speech read in our presence, Mr. President on 18th September, 2018 gave a positive direction to our country. Mr. President, firstly I would like to thank the President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Hon.
E.D. Mnangagwa for showing leadership in the run up to the elections, by taking it upon himself to preach the message of peace, tolerance and a Zimbabwe that allows for everyone in every platform. Peace is the number one thing that we need as a country and the President led by example in preaching that word.
The 2018 elections were very peaceful countrywide and this I believe stems from his call which was echoed by traditional, church and political leaders countrywide, among other leaders. Peace and unity have always been the bedrock of our country Mr. President, passed down from our cultural forefathers which as Zimbabwe had in the early
80s a reputation of being one of the most peaceful countries in Southern Africa. Our people have always been peace loving and very accommodative.
Let us as leaders across the political, cultural and religious divide continue as our President has done to unite our people and call upon us to put away cultural, religious, tribal and any other divide that divides us as Zimbabweans and build our great country on the premise of unity and togetherness. The political polarization and tribal distinctions will not solve the many issues that we need to come together and solve as a country. Thus, let us come together and work towards building our country.
Mr. President Sir, the President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa spoke about the liquidity challenge faced by the people of Zimbabwe. Rural Zimbabweans have been hard hit as they do not have the opportunity and privilege like most of us to use electronic money, ecocash services and the like. The rising price of commodities without the direct rise in income has been of great concern to everyone. Greedy individuals have taken advantage of this to make quick profits over the tears of the many. We thank the President for coming together with the Parliament and Ministries to try and address these issues. The S.I which was put into place has greatly assisted the majority of the people and we call upon us to put our heads together to solve many of these issues which are a problem to our people.
The President also touched on education. Our school children, especially those in rural areas walk long distances to schools. In Tsholotsho where I come from, the average distance between the secondary schools is around 40 kilometers which is a very big problem as children have to walk such long distances. In the end, nothing comes out in their results. Matabeleland North also is desperately in need of vocational training centres. Due to the state of our secondary schools, we are not feeding any students into the one university in the province. Also Mr. President Sir, it is of note that we have to note that our institutions of training, especially training of nurses and other training centres are now requiring such high entry requirements, which are not a reality for most of our children in the rural areas to feed into. Some are also saying they need one entry for students like nurses to come in, but these are not the realities that we face in rural Zimbabwe. Thus, we are not feeding into those centres of training. Only people who are coming from outside are now being trained.
The rains also Mr. President have become very unpredictable due to climate change. As a province we have great challenge and I am very happy that His Excellency, the Hon. President touched on this. As Matabeleland North, we have a shortage of dams and water bodies. The call by the President for irrigation facilities is very critical and we are very happy that it touched on this. Councils should be equipped with dam scoopers and drill rigs to ensure water security.
Our telecoms providers Mr. President should also ensure that we have 100% network coverage in rural Zimbabwe. The business that they make in other areas should service the other people in Zimbabwe as all Zimbabweans matter Mr. President. We thank the Government as well for the rural electrification programme and call upon Government to further capacitate it to all institutions of Government in rural Zimbabwe.
We thank also His Excellency Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa for the work that has been done at Lupane State University and call upon him to continue until the university is fully built and students are re-located from Bulawayo to where they should be at the university.
The Command agriculture programme Mr. President and the yearly inputs that come through the Presidential Input Scheme have greatly assisted our people who do not have the monies to purchase inputs as the rains come. So, we are thankful that the Government has continued its support for those rural people.
The Bulawayo – Tsholotsho road Mr. President is crying to be rehabilitated. Also the Bulawayo – Nkayi road is in a very bad state and we are thankful that he has touched on infrastructure building and these roads need to be looked into. Human wildlife conflict Mr. President needs to be looked into as it is a great problem to those living along the boundaries of the big parks that we have. The issues of compensation in cases of injury and death and when livestock is being killed by wildlife and also where wildlife is also taking away the little that the people are getting in their fields need to be looked into so that people can see that they are gaining from their livestock. As a people, we should also continue to assist Government in anti-poaching exercises and in the preservation of our wildlife heritage.
Before I close, I would like to say I am very happy that also the
Traditional Leaders Act, Customary Law and Local Courts Bill, Rural Councils Bill, Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Bill will be tabled in this august House. These bills will go together with the bill that is going to support devolution. As a people I say let us support devolution and see where and how working together can assist our communities.
Lastly, the figures in Africa show that we have a very youthful Africa and a very youthful Zimbabwe. I am also happy that the report from IPU where our Deputy President of the Chiefs Council, Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane and others were present stated that youths need to play a vibrant part in leadership of this great country and many others. We are happy that as a youthful parliamentarian, I can remind the Parliament that we should open up spaces for youths to help in the building of our country.
Mr. President, we should take this opportunity for us as leaders to be reminded that the hopes, dreams and aspirations of our people are upon us as Parliamentarians to shun corruption and to foster the dignity of wealth by labour and hard work for the betterment of our people.
Lastly Mr. President, let me state that as we go into the festive season, we would like to say Season’s Greetings, a safe and a happy holiday to His Excellency, our President, a safe and a happy holiday to our President of Senate and also to our parliamentarians in the Upper and the Lower House. May we have a safe holiday and come back for the business of next year. I thank you Mr. President.
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE
(HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 20th December, 2019.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA), the Senate
adjourned at Twelve Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.