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SENATE HANSARD 20 October 2016 26-07

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 20th October, 2016

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE 

    *HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President.  Let me

direct my question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Grade Seven Examinations are through; however, I want to find out as regards the marking system. What is the Government’s policy as regards the marking of Grade Seven Examinations? Are those who were teaching Grade Seven given the preference to mark these examinations or it could be anyone else who could do these markings?  There has been a problem as to who should go to mark and I have heard that there is corruption and that headmasters are now favouring their blue eyed boys and girls to go and mark.

It is in my considered view that it would have been reasonable for those that were teaching Grade Seven to mark these examinations.

*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY

EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Mr. President.  I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for asking such a pertinent question.  I will give my response in two parts. Firstly, I would appeal to him to put it in writing so that the ‘disturbances’ in some schools that he is talking about could be looked into.

I applaud ZIMSEC for a job well done in running examinations for our pupils.  I certainly believe that section of My Ministry is now performing highly. For instance, towards the end of the Grade Seven Examinations last week, there were allegations that a particular girl learner began to feel labour pains as she was writing an examination.  Our teachers, humane and professional, are now pro- children. They assisted that particular girl and she was taken to the clinic where she safely delivered her baby. The parents were also involved in this process.  They also looked at the material conditions of the girl and allowed her to continue with examinations at the clinic.  Teachers had to invigilate her examinations at that particular clinic.  Hence, I would like to congratulate our education system for so doing.  It means that we have a responsive and empathetic system which really appreciates the circumstances surrounding young learners in such issues.  Some people wanted to use derogatory remarks about this incident but we said no, we applaud the teachers for a job well done.

Secondly, there are those who set the questions for these examinations.  It does not necessarily mean that after coming up with these questions, they are the ones that are entitled to mark these examinations.  ZIMSEC trains makers on an annual basis.  We are all aware that we are now moving towards computerization and we are removing the component that tends to show examinations as being compromised.  So we are scaling up the belt marking system in some of these examinations.  But if you have information which I do not have, hence my appeal to you to put it in writing, the particular school where these disturbances are occurring when we have such a straightforward system.  Once there is some discord at an institution, please give us the detail in full.

*HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President.  Minister, I only wanted the policy on who does the marking and who does not.  The second part where you want a specific school referred to, I am going to put that in writing.  Who should be marking the examinations? That is my question.  What is the Government policy? You said ZIMSEC trains markers annually. It is not all of those who would have trained who will go for marking.  How then does the school select markers to these examinations? That is my question.

*HON. DR. DOKORA. : Thank you President of the Senate.  If we say the policy or the procedure of examinations in this country – I

mentioned that there are two stages, the initial stage is the selection or the drafting of the items that will be used for that particular examination. Those selected to draft may not necessarily be selected to do the marking.  The selection of the markers is the prerogative of the headmasters since this is an operational issue.  However, there is a policy regarding the handling of examinations.

*HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development.  May you enlighten this august House about the issue of the Women’s Bank and what steps you have taken?  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA): I believe

the day before yesterday or yesterday, I spoke strongly about this issue in Madagascar.  I thank God that we have now reached the pinnacle.  I am waiting to receive the licence to operationalise the bank.  We spoke to the Post Office Savings Bank (POSB), it used to operate smoothly but they now have centres that are not being utilised.  We have now built up a relationship and the advantage with POSB is that it is found in both urban and rural centres.  We want to partner them in using these premises to establish a Women’s Bank.  I am waiting for the release of the licence which should be released within a month’s time.  Meanwhile, we are putting in place measures to make sure that the bank becomes operational.  We have even come up with the uniforms for the bank workers.

This is the first bank for women and it is going to be inundated with requests by women who need money.  I will approach you to seek your assistance to ensure that women who are going to obtain money from the bank should be trained.  This is not a political issue but a professional one.  We want this country to develop and if you do not meet the set requirements, you will not be assisted.  The Hon. Member is also aware that women with disabilities are very close to my heart.  Those who want to do their work whilst seated should do that.  For example, selling candles does not need anyone to move around; they can go ahead and do it.  We have reached an advanced stage towards the acquiring of the licence for the bank.  We are going to invite you for the launch, which will be done before this year end.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Mr. President.  My question goes to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development.  Hon. Minister, my question is different.  Earlier on, before you came in, there was a question posed to the Minister of

Primary and Secondary Education and there was mention of a Grade Seven girl who gave birth whilst writing examinations.  I want to know, as the Minister for Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, are you aware of this and what policy is in place to protect this girl child?  Maybe there is need to find out what exactly transpired.  We now await a Bill that provides that an adult is someone who is 18 years of age and above and below that one will be a minor.  Do you have a policy framework that can actually investigate this issue on what transpired to this girl to get pregnant at Grade Seven?

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you

Hon. Member for that question.  Indeed, it is a cause for concern and we are losing so many of our young girls who have the potential to do wonders for this country.  However, because they are impregnated whilst they are under age, it is very devastating.  Unfortunately, we are unable to monitor where they spend their time and what they do after school.  What is made known to us is when the girl becomes pregnant, how that would have happened, we are unable to trace.

However, the issue of early child marriages is something that is coming to Parliament before the end of this year.  After two young girls challenged the Constitutional Court in January, when they were married before attaining the age of 18, the court ruled that no child shall be married before they attain the age of 18.  Therefore, it will be a crime to marry a child who has not yet attained that age.  However, this particular incident we are talking about concerns an under-age girl who was impregnated.  The perpetrator committed a crime and if she was raped, it is a different ball game altogether.  The perpetrator probably raped the girl and there are two crimes.

We are also coming to Parliament with that.  If you commit a crime of sexual harassment or you rape someone, an adult, we are recommending that you be jailed for 30 years.  If you rape a minor, we are recommending life imprisonment.  However, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, who runs the institutions of education would probably come in and let us know how he intends to deal with such incidences at school.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY

EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): I know that as this story would

be told, it will change as we leave this House.  However, the Hon.

Member said that the young learner gave birth while sitting for the

Grade Seven examination, use the term ‘while.’  I said that she suffered labour pains while she was sitting for the examination and was assisted out and gave birth at a clinic.  The Government Policy as exercised through my Ministry does not penalise that child.  Two considerations will be taken into account;

  1. After she has nursed the baby and probably with the assistance of helpful parents, it will be determined whether she will be able to come back to the same school.
  2. The other route is to transfer the particular girl to another school if there are adequate arrangements for the born baby to be taken care

of in her immediate family or community.  If she is unable to leave the baby in the care of the immediate family and must nurse the baby, then, quite clearly, she takes the route of none-formal education for which the policy is also under my Ministry.

Young adults and adults alike, take classes after the full time programme has been run within a given school, it could be in the afternoon, mid afternoon or evening if there is provision of power supply in that particular school.  However, every conceivable strategy will be used to ensure that we are able to take care of such eventualities.  Last Friday, I signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with one of the four organisations that has come on board in response to the new curriculum, who are specifically earmarking taking care of young girls who may have left school at some point, young people in general or even young men who wish to reconnect with their education.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: My question is on the feeding of that child mainly breastfeeding.   Is Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development encouraging grandparents to foster these children so that they breast feed them when their daughter goes back to school?  If the grandmother breast feeds, that child will have the right feeding...

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN.

TAVENGWA):  What is the question, could you just pose a question.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Are you giving grandparents that education?

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA):  Hon.

President of the Senate, regarding this issue taking for example in my case, I am a grandmother, are you saying that I should breastfeed my grandchildren?  I have never experienced that.  I am surprised but now that you have told me that I am able to suckle my grandchildren I do not know about the taboo surrounding that.

We have to investigate further into this matter and see the possibility of that.  If it is accepted by our society and people would want to take that on board, we will certainly do that.  I thank you.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN.

TAWENGWA): If she has literature she can actually pass it on to you as well.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: My concern was more on this person who made this girl pregnant, are we going to find out who did this when this girl is in grade seven?  Obviously she is 12, 13 years of age.

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA):  Thank

you Mr. President of the Senate.  Like I said earlier on, that person has committed a crime and he should go behind bars through the channels that are required for a person to be imprisoned in such a situation.   The person has really committed a crime and the law should take its course.

I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Thank you Mr. President of the Senate.

My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Minister, what is Government policy regarding a class size that is the teacher pupil ratio; taking note that some classes now go up to 60+.  The second part of my question is do you still have a policy regarding zoning since some parents can afford to send their children to any school of their choice and maybe leading to the large classes that we now have in some of the schools.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Thank you Mr. President of

the Senate and I thank the Hon. Senator for affording us the opportunity to clarify those two aspects that have been raised.  Yes, there is a policy on the teacher pupil ratio; I think that is the upshot of it.  It is that instrument which is taken into account in seeking Treasury and PSC concurrence in the deployment of personnel in my ministry.  Without that teacher pupil ratio, it will be impossible to deploy anybody because we have to have that envelope which says we have the capacity to pay so much and we are going to be following this system.  Large classes certainly are a phenomenon of the way in which the fiscal space has not been sufficiently elastic to allow us the full play of those that we may wish to be deployed.  In terms of policy yes, there is.

Secondly, you spoke of zoning, whether zoning does still apply in our education system.  Quiet clearly you have to inform that policy now with the inadequacies that we have shared in this House.  We spoke about the 2013 mapping exercise that we did at the assumption of this mandate to say what the size of the infrastructure deficit is in our system.  We saw what schools were over blown in terms of their sizes.  In fact we did not even have a policy on school size.  So, it could continue to fill up – like we have Luveve with almost 4 000 kids but the infrastructure in place is suitable probably for the maximum school size now as we have defined it - 1600.  We kept increasing the streams in a school and say you share but infrastructure can take so much pressure.  The implication in the question is to say those who are coming from places with a lot of children are crowding those who are in places with few children.  I do not think that is a comfortable thought.

What is happening here is that we should simply accept the fact of the matter, the inadequacy of infrastructure across the board.  We must build schools in the farming communities in the communal areas as well as in the high density areas, we must decongest.  So that realization is there in the Ministry and we came here to advise sometime ago last year that we have gone back to Cabinet to say the size of the problem is now mapped, what strategy we want to implement in order to deliver on the infrastructure?   There were three:

  1. Negotiating bilateral loans and we have a small loan which we discussed and was endorsed by this Senate from the Arab funds where we are only able to deliver something like 20 schools.  It is 20 new schools that are critically important.
  2. It is central Government itself, through the public investment   Treasury has been releasing some funding and it is Treasury funding which we are using to build the Mariga Government Primary School, which is now taking the shape of the new model school; so that we build robust schools.  We build schools that we can walk away from without saying we have build today and next year we are back in that school to repair.  So, we must invest a little more but be sure that when we do, we are able to walk away from that school for the next 5 or 10 years.  iii) The third component has been the join venture partnerships.

I know you have been reading the papers and last year I was in the eye of the storm over in this matter.  I am happy to say that now we are at a stage where we have identified the bank, the financial advisor to the Ministry who are IDBZ and in terms of the arrangements we have must now identify the consultants.  The consultants are important in order to say to ourselves if a school is build in Hatcliffe and it is a C3 class of school and another is build in Gweru with similar circumstances, what is the total value? The consultants will be able to say whether we are investing wisely in the structures that are coming up.  Otherwise it will be a free for all.  So they are now at a stage where they are selecting the consultants and beyond that, we should be able to get our financial advisor and the consultants to say to us now we are on the market - looking for the partnerships to start delivering on the first 100 schools.  I thank you.

         HON. SEN. SIBANDA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Hon. Minister, what is

Government policy on teachers who resigned from the field of teaching for greener pastures outside the country if they want to come back? Do you re-engage them into the teaching field?  If so, how do you go about

it?

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY

EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Thank you Mr. President.

The actual engagement of the returnees is undertaken by the Public Service Commission.  Our authority in the Ministry stops at where we make the recommendation because they must come through the Ministry and we are very particular as to who we are recommending.

Those in the critical shortage areas of technical, vocational, ICT, sciences and mathematics – we look at those very favourably but where the returnee is adding to the list of teachers we already have, quite clearly, there is no value in recommending them to the Public Service Commission.  My discussions with my counterpart from South Africa, the Minister of Basic Education was really an approximation of how we intend to resolve the issue of the critical areas that people in the diaspora in South Africa do have and which I need.

In South Africa, some of the schools they are working in are not Government schools.  They are private schools.  When they come out of that, they do not even have an official record that they have been teaching in those school institutions.  Therefore, when we recommend people to rejoin the service, we surely want to have a credible document that they can produce.  So that is part of that conversation that we had with my counterpart in South Africa, but we are very favourably disposed to those in the critical shortage areas.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAKORE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development and it has to do with the deteriorating conditions in prisons.  We see women in pathetic positions in terms of clothing way of living and the way they are treated.  At times you shudder to think what is going on.  Do you ever visit these prisons to conduct fact finding visits in our prisons?  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA):  Thank

you Mr. President.  We are also concerned about the fact that women offenders do not have sufficient sanitary wear and other things.  Biologically, we are different from men.  We have such requests and we have submitted to the relevant Ministry, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  They are the ones responsible for the welfare of incarcerated women but there are several organisations that deal with these issues, to whom we have sent request for help.  They have gone to find out the best form of dressing and how best the conditions of living can be improved in prisons.

It is not an issue that directly falls under my purview but falls under the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.  Allow me first to thank that Ministry for the outreach which they have started in the rural areas broadcasting – taking the radio to the people.  I think the response is very marvelous.  We are very grateful to that.

However, there are challenges.  First of all, these days, I think maybe it is because of the digitalisation programme which I want to ask her about.  If in my area you get access to Power FM, you do not have access to Radio Zimbabwe and vice versa, more often than not without any announcement.  The basic question is, can the Minister now update the nation how far they have gone so far with digitalisation and when is it likely to end?  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA

AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): 

Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank Hon. Mumvuri for such a critical question.  Yes, it is true that at times you lose signals.  What is happening with some radio stations is that they rent space with signal providers like NetOne, Econet and others who have set up boosters throughout the country and they pay a specific fee for that service.  So, all those who have done so, their signal has improved but some have not gone into this arrangement.  We encourage as a Ministry that all those who have applied for community radio stations should ensure that what they set up is accessible to communities.

I also want to favour this House with information that we have been allocated US$19 million to proceed further with the digitalisation programme. Whilst we have completed our works, there will be much improvement in our broadcasting signals especially that we will be able to access the set top boxes which are the signal receivers for all the signals which are beamed through our head-end, which is at Pockets Hill.

I am sure that once we are done with those works; there will be much improvement in signals from our television and radio services. +HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU:  Thank you Mr. President.  My

question is directed to the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Hon. Mphoko.

Of late, we noted that HIV was endemic and was causing a lot of deaths but now it seems it has been overtaken by diabetes.  I propose that those who are suffering from diabetes should also access free medicine just like those who are suffering from HIV.

+THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL

HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO):

I thank the Hon. Member for the question which says people who are suffering from HIV are being given help by the Government but those suffering from diabetes and other chronic diseases, how can they be helped. I think that is something we will priorities and bring forward. We will take note of these proposals. I think we can rectify this matter in the manner that you have proposed. At the moment people who are favoured are those with HIV and other people should fund their own medical bills. Your question is very important and pertinent. Just bring it forward so that we can see what can be done. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: My question goes to the Hon. Vice

President of the country in his capacity as the Minister responsible for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation. I would like to know or I think the nation also would like to hear from you, what new policies or just some of the policies since the creation of your office that you have so far introduced that you might be happy to share with the nation.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL

HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO):

Thank you Hon. Member for asking that question. You know I am just a new broom on the block but however, I have got my own bills. What we want to do as I said the other time, this has been on for a long time. The issues at stake were there when Vice President Joshua Nkomo, Vice President Msika and Vice President John Nkomo were still alive. All what I want us to do is that everybody, let us avoid issues which are aimed at embarrassing each other. Let us concentrate on the scars of the war. What are those scars? These are birth certificates for our children, death certificates for the people who have died, decent reburial of those who died and then empowerment of the people. That is what I want to propose.

We are also working on the Bill, which in actual fact was brought to Parliament, people made their observations and then it was thrown back to us. We have now started again with the Attorney General’s Office. From there it will come to the Committee in Cabinet and then come back here in Parliament. That is what we are working on.

+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: My supplementary Hon. Mphoko,

you have talked about birth certificates that we should ensure that there should be birth certificates. Hon. Vice President, how far have you gone in helping the people whose parents are now deceased due to Gurukarahundi? Who is helping those without parents to get the birth certificates to access these documents because you expect them, as Cabinet to have birth certificates? Have you disseminated information to that effect for those people affected so they can obtain these certificates?      +HON. MPHOKO: I thank the Hon. Member for the question.

You know we have a Bill which will first come to Parliament and then it will be operational but however, I will not run away from your question by being technical. What is obtaining is that people are being given birth certificates and I have been involved myself in Bulawayo and in Makonde in Mashonaland West where we have been doing that. That is what is obtaining. I think once the Act is out, we will go full swing.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: The Hon. Vice President has been

mentioning a Bill that he is working on but he did not highlight it. We just want to know exactly what Bill he is talking about because he keeps on saying ‘this Bill’ but did not say exactly what it is.

HON. MPHOKO: You want to know this Bill. The National

Peace and Reconciliation Bill, which I think will pass before the end of the year.

* HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: My question is directed to the

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is Government’s policy as regards the affiliation of teachers to various teacher associations such as PTUZ, ZIMTA and Rural Teachers Association? Does this proliferation of associations not cause disharmony among the teachers?

*HON. DR. DOKORA: Thank you Hon. Senator for that

question. Let us assist one another to understand the manner in which the teachers’ associations operate in our schools. Firstly, when the teacher is seeking employment, he/she does not use their trade union affiliation, instead he/she uses their qualification either as an infant school, junior school or secondary school teacher. Our experts then satisfy themselves that the teacher is properly qualified. Thereafter, the teachers’ names are forwarded to the Public Service Commission and the teacher is employed.

Under the new Constitution they have the freedom of association and this freedom of association then results in the trade unions that you talked about - that is allowed. It is permissible in the new Constitution that was passed by this Senate for them to do that. Even if they are ten from different organisations, that does not prevent them from performing the work that they engaged in when they were employed. All the organisations however worked very hard when we were looking at revising the curriculum. We worked well with them and we are proud of them. We will recognise their contributions when we host the World

Teachers’ Day. These are the same people that you are talking about. So, we are inviting you on the 5th of November, 2016 where we will march from Africa Unity Square to Harare International Conference Centre where we will celebrate this day with them. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: My question is directed at

two Ministries because of its nature. I am saying so because the Constitution does not permit the issue I am going to raise. I have a situation of a girl who is 12 years old who was impregnated and the perpetrator was sentenced to jail. My problem is on the impregnated child who does not have adequate accommodation and I want to find out if there are any measures that can be taken in order that the pregnancy is aborted.

*THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA): I

understand what his concern is because this child’s body has not yet matured to the extent of being able to carry a child. Some of the children die giving birth while others give birth to deformed babies. Such young mothers cannot give birth to healthy babies. I understand his concern. He also asked - is it not possible for us to ensure that abortion takes place before the pregnancy matures? I am sorry to say that we do not have such legislation in this country but other countries have legislation that permit that. They agreed with their Parliaments where they interrogated the advantages and disadvantages and took measures as a government.

As the Government of Zimbabwe, we have not reached that stage.

I am also concerned about the issue raised and I am sure others in this Senate ponder about this issue but here in Zimbabwe we have not yet got to such a stage.

HON. SEN. MAKONE: I was not aware Minister that was the

situation in this country. I do not know why I thought we had gone past that stage. As the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development , I am sure it is well within your ambit to canvass for such a law because if a child is 13 or 15 years, there is no way they can bring anyone into this world and be normal themselves afterwards. They will either get such serious injuries that they will never be normal women again or they might die during child birth. I think that law is overdue and you have the singular responsibility for bringing it about. Can you please assist?

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: My supplementary

question is that the issue that has been posed by the Hon. Senator is of serious concern in rural areas. Hon. Minister, is there a possibility of coming up with legislation because the number of girls that are being impregnated is too much. What is happening is that a boy can impregnate a girl in March and accepts responsibility but you find that in June, he again impregnates another girl. Usually the perpetrator of such a mischief is not even employed and still goes on to impregnating girls.

What can you do as the responsible Minister to protect these girls?         *HON. CHIKWINYA: We are going to come to Parliament and

what we are saying is that we do not accept such a behaviour in our country. I will come here and meet with other Members of Parliament to come up with a mandatory sentence. We agreed that young girls should not be impregnated but on the issue of mandatory sentence, I will come and discuss with Members of Parliament in both Houses.

Let me also combine with the question that was raised by Senator

Makone. Legislation comes from you, whatever you want us to do in our Ministry is what we will do. If you want us to come up with a certain piece of legislation, I always say that the women have requested for this and I will take it up. What we need to do is to come together and engage all stakeholders involved with women’s movements and that is what we do. As a Minister, I cannot say that this is what we are going to do but we wait to hear from you and we will look into it and see if it is worth taking through.

On the issue raised by the chief, we want to embark on the issue that I told you about. I do not think we want to get to the end of the year without arresting such perpetrators and put them behind bars. I thank you.

+HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: Thank you Mr. President. My

question is directed to Hon. Minister Mathuthu.  I am happy that some other languages such as Tonga are now being used on television broadcasting.  Why is it that such programmes are allocated short time?

+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION

AND BROADCASTING SERVICECS (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU):

Thank you Mr. President and I would like to thank the chief for the question.   As a Ministry, we are also facing that problem.  We are not happy because we are not able to use all the languages on our media because we are still working on digitalisation.  We have some other places where there is no signal at all.  When we have accomplished that, there will be about 12 that will be under Government and others will be under whoever would want to participate in broadcasting.  We have not been allocated enough funds from Treasury but we have some money that we can use to accommodate those languages, that our Constitution said should be used, in broadcasting.

We will have a station in charge of such languages.  This means that there will be alternating people broadcasting whatever language in our country.  Citizens should work hard so that they give us content so that we are able to broadcast programmes.  We may open many stations but it cannot happen on one programme for 24 hours.  There should be sport, education, issues on women and all different matters.  The owners of those languages should pack the content.  When there is enough time, all their programmes and those on board will be given opportunities to broadcast in Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe will be a beautiful country because we will be debating in our own languages.  I thank you.

+HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: Thank you Hon. Minister for the answer.  Why should we not use those resources so that we are able to allocate equal time on air so that when everything will be in order, there is equitable distribution? Right now, others feel like despised or looked down upon as citizens.

+HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  Thank you Mr. President.  Time that has been allocated to programmes has been increased in the broadcasting services.  I do not know whether the chief has had access to open our radio stations.  What is bothering us as a Ministry is that working with those languages is not enough.  It is our wish to hire people who know the languages because we do not want someone who is not knowledgeable of the languages to be in charge of such programmes.

Our children are learning from different institutions.  Some have been to Fort Hare and other universities locally and we are looking forward that those children should love to be broadcasters.  If there is only one person, that person will be overwhelmed with work.  I accept what the chief has said and I will take it up to our Ministry so that those in broadcasting at ZBC help us to give equal opportunities to all the languages so that everyone is happy.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIPANGA:  I move that time for Questions

Without Notice be extended by 15 minutes.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT:  We are already into ten minutes of extension time.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  My question is directed to the Hon. Vice President of Zimbabwe.  There has been a lot of talk in the past two weeks about the ZIMDEF money.  My question is, is it Government policy that ministers can take funds from their ministries and give to political party activities outside the grant that is given under the Political Parties Finances Act?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL

HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILLIATION (HON.

MPHOKO):  Thank you Mr. President and I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for the question.  I know that Parliament is the only authorised institution which allocates funds to political parties.  I am not going to deal that aspect of the question because I think it is my intervention that is behind the question.  My intervention was purely based on the fact that the Head of State was out of the country and the Constitution states very clearly that an Acting President has no authority; whatsoever to engage the country in a war, reassign a Cabinet Minister or Deputy Minister or any prominent person.  So, my intervention was based on that the President was out of the country whether the case was right or wrong.  My intervention was that, please let us have the President back then he will take up his responsibility.  I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Thank you Mr. President.  With due respect Hon. Vice President, my question is, is it Government policy that Ministers take money from their Ministries and give it to political party activities outside the Political Finances Act.  Is that Government policy?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL

HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILLIATION (HON.

MPHOKO): Thank you Mr. President.  With due respect Hon. Member, I am saying, I do not want to go into the details – whether the Ministers have the authority or whether they have no authority.  I am merely saying that my intervention was based on the fact that the Head of State was out of the country.  Why did you not arrest him when the Head of State was in town?  Thank you Sir.

+HON. S. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. President of the Senate.  My question goes to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Is it the policy of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education or that of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development that, if a person has written her/his ‘O’ Levels and would like to advance with her/his education, say that person would wish to train as a teacher, what is the policy of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development about a person who would have written her/his ‘O’ Levels on three occasions?  They would have passed the English, Maths and Science subjects acceptable for them to further their education or to train to be a teacher.  I thank you.

+THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY

EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  I thank you Mr. President Sir.

I would like to answer saying that, my work or duty is that every child should write the number of subjects that that child wants.  But, if the child fails to clock five or six subjects, it is okay.  My Ministry will work with that child up to the level that the child wants.  It means that if you write your ‘O’ Levels on three, five or six occasions, it is not important with my Ministry.  We are not bothered with that but; my Ministry is not the one that does the training of teachers.  It means that that child will carry his or her certificates to the Higher and Tertiary Education Ministry who mann the colleges.  That is where that child will find some other things.  I thank you.

THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON.

TAWENGWA):  Thank you Minister and thank you Hon. Vice

President for attending the Senate and so are the Ministers.  Thank you very much.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON

GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE STATUS OF

CHILDREN’S HOMES

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the first report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on the status of children’s homes.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. D.T. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President for

giving me this opportunity to add my voice with regards to the homes which we visited.  The major issues have already been discussed but the issues that still come to my mind which I think are still major is the issue of birth certificates.  By the time that children reach secondary school level, they are required to have birth certificates.  Can the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services look into the issue of those children and make sure that they have birth certificates because they cannot continue with their education if they do not have birth certificates.  That was one of the major issues which really affected me.

The other issue was the fact that the Social Welfare Department itself was not taking constant visits to monitor what is going on within these institutions.  For example, we were getting lost when we were travelling with them because they did not know where the homes are situated.  Instead of them showing us where the homes are, they did not know because they are not monitoring to see how the progress is going on within the institutions.  Again, we found that most of the institutions had last received the $15 per child grant in 2012.  That means, from 2012 up to last year, these children were not being fed properly.  You know that once there is no money, sometimes those children are abused because those who are looking after them will say to them; you are here because of my own mercy.  And, children can end up being abused because they are trying to plead to be in those institutions instead of having the rights of being in those institutions because Government expects them to be in those institutions.

We found that because of lack of the distribution of funds to those schools, the children were underfed.  I remember in one of the places we had to make some donations so that they are given food because they did not have the food for that day.  Can there be a way of really pushing the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to look after those institutions because for the children to see people and go to beg is not proper.  The children have a right to be fed and not beg because they are in a home which Government has accepted to keep them.

Finally, I would say, I hope that when children come to the age of 18, they should all be given skills so that when they are supposed to be leaving those institutions, because Government expects them to be out of those institutions when they are 18 years; can Government ensure that they have skills so that they will be able to live on their own and not be still under the kind institutions which look after them?  I thank you Mr.

President.

HON. TIMVEOS: Thank you very much Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion that was brought to this House by Hon. Senator Makore and his seconder, Hon. Senator Buka.  First of all, I really want to thank his Committee for going around to actually see the children’s homes in Zimbabwe and I also want to thank them for the report.  It was very well documented and a lot of work was put into it.

Surely we need to really look at the children’s homes because a lot of our children now are on the streets.  I was actually laughing the other day when I saw these children near Crown Plaza.  They always come begging for food, others I now call them ‘city fathers’ because they look so grown up.  We need to make sure, as Government, that these homes, where we want to look after our orphaned children, have everything that they need.  Going through this report and looking at other homes that I have seen for the children, the food that they are eating there is not good enough.

There is a home that I visited in the Midlands.  It is not well financed.  Most of the time they have sadza and cabbage that is not enough.  So, our Minister of Finance and Economic Development has to really look and see how best we can actually try and look after these homes, so they would try and keep the numbers of children on the street

less.

I am sure everyone can agree in this House that our children are increasing on the streets and something needs to be done by Government.  I am sure, as the Committee was also moving, they realised that there is a big gap that needs to be covered by Government.  We therefore really need to strategise.  We need to look at this and see how best we can make sure that these children are looked after.  These are our future leaders.  If as Government, we take care of them, they can also take care of this country tomorrow and make sure this country prospers.  Surely as it is, the children’s homes are an eye sore.

I think also to look at these homes and maybe put entertainment as well for our children, so that they can be inspired to stay there and also be encouraged to also learn and go to school.  There is a lot that needs to be looked at so that our children’s homes are actually a source of pride and something that we can look at and say look, as Parliament, we are succeeding in looking after our orphaned children.

I just thought it is really important for us to look at these homes and see how best we can look after our children.  It is important for me to add my voice and for everyone in the House to support this report and make sure that this time around, when we are going to the Budget Seminar in Bulawayo, we really scrutinise the budget that Hon. Chinamasa is going to give us and see to it that it really caters for our children and their homes so that they become better homes for our orphaned children.  I thank you Hon. President.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND

CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  I move that the debate do now

adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 25th October, 2016.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

UPDATE ON WATER SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY

HON. MUCHINGURI:  I am presenting myself before this august House to give a national update of our water situation in our country as we enter the hottest season leading up to the rainy season.

The entire SADC region is currently battling its worst drought in

25 years as a result of El Nino that affected most parts of Southern Africa.  Due to this phenomenon, most parts of the country received below normal rainfall during the 2015/16 season leading to low dam storage levels at the end of the season.  Depressed dam levels have seen some local authorities introducing water rationing schedules while groundwater levels have also been declining due to the limited recharge this year.

As a result, areas such as Gokwe, Buhera, Dotito, Maranda, Sun

Yet Sen, Tsholotsho and many others areas in the Matabeleland region, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and also Manicaland have recorded water tables lower than 100 metres as compared to a normal water table of around 80 metres.

The high temperatures currently obtaining in the country have also triggered an increased water demand across the country.  During this time of high temperatures, significant amounts of water are lost through evaporation from our surface water bodies such as dams, weirs, rivers and lakes.

As of today, 20 October, 2016, national dam storage levels are averaging 41.9% which is 20.4% points below the normal average of 62.3% for this time of the year.  Government is aware of and continues to monitor several water supply dam levels for both our urban and rural centres.  Due to the drying up of Harava and Seka dams, Upper Manyame sub-catchment council is now releasing raw water from Dema dam to these dams so that water treatment at Prince Edward water works continues.  Meanwhile, Morton Jaffray continues to treat water from Lake Chivero, but due to the poor quality of this water, the costs of treatment are very high.  Nine chemicals have to be used to treat the water in Harare.  We urge industry, citizens and local authorities to desist from polluting the environment as these are coming back to haunt us.  Harare is living dangerously and cannot afford this luxury.

In Bulawayo, Upper and Lower Ncema dams are dry and water is being drawn mainly from Insiza dam.  Mtshabezi dam and

Nyamandlovhu Aquifer also augment supplies to the city, while work has started at Epping Forest boreholes in order to have additional boreholes supplying more water to the city.  We urge citizens to use water sparingly.

Over the past months, the Government has availed funds for

Emergency Drought Response measures being implemented through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).  This has seen situations in Lupane, Kotwa, Mutawatawa, Esigodini, Marula, Maleme, Chindunduma, Mapako, Mutumba, Goromonzi and several other centres being connected to new water sources.

The progressive drought response mitigation measures are being implemented targeting the most critically affected areas at any given time.  I want here to urge our local leadership, Members of Parliament, Local Government structures to be proactive by reporting any deteriorating water situation to the local ZINWA or DDF office for onward transmission to my office.  Water is life; it therefore must be everyone’s business. To date 1600 new boreholes have been drilled, 10 200 boreholes repaired, 32 piped water schemes have been rehabilitated while 1660 schools have been provided with latrines.

In order to reduce the impacts of the droughts on communities relying on surface water for household use, stock watering and for their community gardens; water is being released from upstream dams to these communities.  This has already been done for communities downstream of Shangani Dam up to Jotsholo, for Gwanda town from Mtshabezi Dam, Ngundu, Gororo and Lowveld from Muzhwi Dam, to mention but just a few.

I am glad to advise that my Ministry, through ZINWA is also responding to emergency water situations in other areas such as

Nembudziya, Mberengwa, Guinea Fowl, Zimunya, Chitakatira, Great Zimbabwe and Gwelutshena.  Emergency interventions in these areas are almost complete and will bring a huge relief to residents, while work is set to commence in Mt. Darwin where a new water conveyance pipeline will be constructed to bring water to the centre from Ruya Dam.

I also wish to advise the nation that this week, Government availed an additional US$7 million towards Emergency Drought Mitigation efforts.  The funds will be channeled towards further emergency responses in all areas.  These interventions will include borehole repairs, borehole drilling, piped water schemes repairs, water supply stations, upgrades and new water conveyance systems where required.

In terms of the Water Act Chapter 20, (24), Section 3, says all water is vested in the President.  Guided by the same Act Section 61, I will once again be approaching His Excellency, the President seeking to declare the whole country a shortage area.  This provision, if granted will allow me to re-distribute water resources for the common good of everyone.  I wish to urge and appeal to our current permit holders, commercial farmers, independent  power producers, industry, mines, illegal and legal bulk water suppliers and all other water users to appreciate the challenges we face and the need therefore to pull everyone through to the next rainfall season, which my Meteorological Service Department advise me, will be a good one.  The illegal bulk water drawers and all water poachers be warned.

As I come to the end of my brief, let me register that my Ministry is very concerned about the high level of siltation of water bodies across the country.  A good number of our dams and weirs have lost from a quarter to over half of their storage capacity due to siltation.  Bad land use practices such as stream bank cultivation, illegal settlements, settling on wetlands, mountain slopes, indiscriminate cutting down of trees and burning of grass will cause the washing away of top soil into our water bodies.  Again, be warned as Government will descend heavily on the culprits.  Let us stop these vices so that water resources and the environment at large are utilized in a sustainable manner.

I am a woman and I know what it means to have no water or to fetch it from far away. Some of our communities are having to walk five kilometers and more searching for water.  We cannot afford to let our women suffer to this extent.

My Ministry has also written to all Members of Parliament across the country for them to help identify the most critical areas in their respective constituencies so that as we embark on the emergency water supply drought mitigation programme, all our systems and structures are involved.

Let me take this opportunity to thank our cooperating partners for the sterling work they are doing in complementing Government efforts.

In the same spirit, I want also to appeal for their continued support.

Finally, I wish to advise the nation that while work at TokweMukorsi dam is on course to impound water in the dam by end of this year.  I also wish to announce that we had a work related accident on site yesterday, 19th October, 2016 which resulted in two injuries and one fatality.  Investigations are continuing at site.

On behalf of Government, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased.  I also wish a speedy recovery for the other two.  I thank you.

MOTION

` SECOND REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON

GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Early Marriages.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MASUKU: I second.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 25th October 2016.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 25th October, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 39th PLENARY

ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 25th October, 2016.

On the motion of HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA seconded by HON. SEN. MARAVA, the Senate adjourned at Twelve Minutes past Four O’clock p.m until Tuesday, 25th October, 2016.

 

 

 

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