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SENATE HANSARD 21 JULY 2022 VOL 31 NO 56
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 21st July, 2022
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
APOLOGIGES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have with me here apologies received from Ministers who are not able to come today as follows:
Hon. C. D. G. N Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care;
Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans;
Hon. Sen. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services;
Hon. Dr. J. Mangwiro, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care;
Hon. M. N. Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;
Hon. J. G. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works;
Hon. F. M. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;
Hon. Dr. J. M. Gumbo, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in Charge of Implementation and Monitoring;
Hon. S. G. Nyoni, Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development;
Hon. B. Rwodzi, Deputy Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;
Hon. R. Maboyi-Mavhungu, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;
Hon. R. Machingura, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development;
Hon. C. Chiduwa, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
Ministers who are present in the Chamber are as follows:
Hon. F. Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development;
Hon. D. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to ask the question about an issue close to my heart. My question is directed to the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities. What plans does Government have in terms of the construction of houses in areas that recently acquired town status such as Murambinda and other areas so that people can have decent accommodation with bias towards high rise buildings? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Thank you Hon. President of Senate. I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe for asking a pertinent question. We have a programme of building houses in the rural areas with a view towards rural district councils and the new towns that have come on board. First and foremost, what we are doing in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works is to do physical planning to come up with layouts of master plans for houses. Zimbabwe has got land that is not infinity. So, as we do our construction, we are now working on these programmes. I am going to officially launch the programme next week at Mutawatawa Growth Point in UMP. Thereafter, it would cascade throughout the country to cover areas such as Buhera and Murambinda. In Murambinda, we are waiting for council to give us land. We have written to them and they are yet to respond.
In other areas such as Gokwe, they have responded, same applies to Plumtree and other several places. Government does not want haphazard construction or what we would call single storey buildings because we will end up eroding into the land that is meant for agriculture. At the end, we will have a lot of houses that we want but we will then be importing food because we would have used agricultural land. The President has advised that there should be a new look. It is a national human settlement policy and it wants people to build high rise buildings whenever we are carrying out construction work, 40% of all the areas that are to be built should be flats. In cities such as Harare, we are urging whoever has four or six acres and the house just covers half an acre to subdivide, build a lot of flats or cluster houses in those areas. We have a backlog of 1.2 million houses nationwide. We are looking forward to eradicate it by the year 2010, in line with the President’s vision 2030 of being an upper middle class economy. Shortage of houses by 2030 shall be a thing of the past. We have steps that we have put in place to reach our goal. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development came through the President in line with National Development Strategy 1 to say that we should be constructing 220 000 houses by 2025. We are going to construct these houses in several ways, including the houses that the Chief has mentioned because Government workers that are in rural areas also need to be allocated houses. That is the programme that we have. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. G. MOYO: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport on the road construction programme, those that are constructing these roads are using gravel. This gravel upon inspection should be compacted once it has been laid. In our area, they did not have a water bowser to enable the ramming on this gravel. Why is it that those in the Ministry of Transport are working in that way? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I want to thank Hon. Sen. Moyo for the question that she has raised. The question that has been posed is that there is a specific place where she knows that work was shoddily done. It is my plea once again to this august House that as people representatives, whenever we see that work has been shoddily done, it is our right as Hon. Members to come before this august House and inform the House that work is not being done properly. If roads are being constructed in such a manner, we all know that my Ministry has different types of road construction but she has mentioned that if gravel has been applied, one would also expect that gravel should be compacted. It is not good to leave gravel without being compacted. As people that are in charge of the place, it is important that you inform us so that we do not give tenders to such people. My plea to Hon. Moyo is if she can inform me where this occurred, we can carry out investigations and correct any anomalies. Thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. First of all, I want to thank the Minister for the good work that he is doing in constructing our roads, especially our town roads and major roads that leave Harare and those that are mostly congested are now being well constructed. The problem that we have in the areas where we come is what Government is doing with regards to the roads that were destroyed by the rains, especially in the communal lands. Our councils are unable to rehabilitate these roads - graders at times are getting stuck in the mud because the gravel has been swept away. What is Government policy to ensure that our roads can be accessible and also the type of bridges that were destroyed by Cyclone Idai because we still have challenges? Thank you.
HON. MHONA: I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Chikwaka, he has raised a very important question. I also represent a rural constituency and it is true that our roads for a long time have been destroyed. That is why His Excellency the President declared roads as a national disaster, which meant that the Ministry had to intervene in certain areas such as DDF areas and council areas, especially those that were operating in the areas that the Chief has made reference to. We are now putting our heads together to ensure that we rehabilitate or reconstruct that road. As a Ministry, we were mainly concerned with the major roads and we were not going into communal lands. We are now going into these communal lands to assist DDF and rural district councils. We are going further to see how best we can also come up with better methods to ensure that we construct roads that last for a long time. We want our gravel roads to be durable. It is true that when the Minister of Finance and Economic Development comes to this House, we should also plead with him that we be given an additional budget to be able to construct our roads. Yes, we draw our funding from the national purse but in other countries, the national purse is even insufficient. We would also want to borrow using concessionary loans but we are not getting any at the moment. When the Minister of Finance comes next week, we should ask that we be given additional funding. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: My good Minister has said things that are practicable. There is an issue that you did not address. With the funding that you currently have, are there any funds being disbursed to Rural District Councils, because it is mostly urban roads that are being looked into? What is being done concerning our roads in rural areas, is there a portion of the budget that has been given to your Ministry to attend to rural roads? Are you making reference to the supplementary budget or to the national budget for 2023? I thank you.
*HON. MHONA: Let me congratulate Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira on his appointment as President of PAP. The question that has been posed does not mean that we have not constructed or rehabilitated any roads in the communal lands. As a result of the damage that has occurred, I would liken the situation to that of cancer. When cancer is all over the body, you would want to treat the entire body. So there are certain areas in our communal areas where we are reaching these places but because of the damage to numerous roads in the area, that may not be noticeable.
What I can promise the august House is for us to bring provincial analysis that shows the roads that we have attended to in each of these provinces and in the rural areas. As a Ministry, we are lagging behind. We have too many roads but maybe it is because our publicity is not high enough. I want to believe that where we come from, some of the road construction and rehabilitation is self evident. I would be grateful to give you roads that were constructed in Masvingo by us inclusive of DDF and Department of Roads.
When I was talking about the budget, I was talking about the supplementary budget so that in the supplementary budget, we will be allocated more funding as to be able to achieve our objectives.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: The most important issue is that our roads were destroyed by the rains. The rains are almost upon us again. The gullies are going to be deeper and it will be expensive to correct these gullies. It is what I was urging you to look into so that you would come up with a list of these roads that were constructed. I am from Masvingo Province and if I look at all the roads, I cannot even see a single one that was said to have been constructed or rehabilitated. Maybe because of funding, you may say that it is Gutu or other areas. I thank you.
HON. MHONA: As I said earlier on that each road authority has a certain amount of funds allocated to it. If we look at the types of roads from our areas where we live in, we do that as a result of consultation with residents of the specific areas. They are the ones that prioritise. I cannot say off the cuff I am going to reconstruct a, b, c roads in Masvingo. The various Ministers of State are the ones that give us a list of the roads that need to be repaired in conjunction with their own committees. We cannot construct all these roads because of inadequate funding. We only prioritise what we need to be constructing. We are going to look at that issue so that the various departments or road authorities utilise the funds allocated to them. DDF has a certain amount of funds that has been allocated to it to maintain or rehabilitate roads. I promise this House that no place is going to be left behind and no place is more important than the other. Whether the roads are urban or rural, they are equally important. I thank you
*HON SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Let me start by congratulating Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira on your appointment as President of PAP. When you award tenders Hon. Minister, are you also awarding these tenders to women engineers so that they are involved in the development of this country. I thank you.
HON. MHONA: I am most grateful Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi that your question has depth. I feel hurt that when I look at my section, there are very few female road engineers. Let me also inform this august House that it is our wish that we see companies that are headed by women so that we can also give them a chance to also participate, companies that are led by women that will then become household names. The same would be extended to the youths so that when they have their own quotas as women and youths, they can then shine in that particular sector. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI: I would like to start by congratulating you Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira for your appointment as President of PAP. We are solidly behind you, son of the soil.
My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. It has been a long time when we have been talking about ZISCO Steel, Lancashire Steel. Do we have plans to resuscitate these particular companies? Technology is now way far ahead of what we have at ZISCO Steel. Are we going to resuscitate ZISCO Steel, a major player in the turnaround of this economy?
THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to congratulate you on becoming President of the PAP. It pleases us as Zimbabweans.
Thank you for the question. It has come at the right time. I say so because I have not been given an update on the state of affairs at ZISCO Steel. It took us 12 months for us to get the right investor with the right expertise. I would like to inform this House that we have identified through diligence process, Kuvimba as the company that will resuscitate ZISCO. This was approved in Cabinet around February / March. Since then, there has been a lot of activity where this company has carried out its due diligence at ZISCO, working together with the management at ZISCO. Already, we have a draft MOU that needs to be finalised in working with the different legal frameworks from the investor, as well as, from the ZISCO team.
We are also looking at the latest technology like you said. We have already looked at the latest technology that focuses on green energy from companies in Germany to the extent that some of these companies we have identified, do not know much about ZISCO but do have the expertise in making steel. They are visiting Zimbabwe on Sunday and they are going to be at ZISCO on Monday. That shows progress. Thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI: Thank you Mr. President. Hon. Minister, you spoke very well. Can you tell us when the investors are coming? I want to go back to Kwekwe and tell people that now the company is going to start. Thank you.
HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: I would want to thank the Hon. Chief once again. As I have said, we have an MOU. The people we are partnering with are a company with renowned expertise. They are also cognizant of the fact that they need latest technology and they were talking with a company in Germany. Their representatives will be visiting our mining companies in this country on Sunday and on Monday they will be at ZISCO Steel. So, we are doing it step by step but we are going to get there. This is what I can assure you right now. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Mr. President. Let me reiterate that as the chiefs, we are happy that in Africa today we are the rulers. We are presiding over Africa and we would want to thank you for the work that you did. May God bless you as you continue in discharging the highest office that you have attained.
I do not know who is in charge of Government Business today. I wanted to pose my question to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. In the absence of the Minister of Energy, who is the Leader of Government Business?
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): They say there is no dedicated Leader of Government Business today, unless there is an Hon. Minister who feels that he may respond to the question. We are proud of you Hon. Ministers. The Minister of Transport can respond to the question. Go ahead and pose the question.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. At the moment, we know that our economy can only be jump-started by agriculture. As a country, we are crying over the war between Russia and Ukraine which is affecting us. During this winter, farmers have planted wheat all over the country. What measures has Government put in place in order to assist farmers so that they have uninterrupted electricity? There is load shedding every day and it is affecting the winter crop. Does the Government have the farmers at heart?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. President of the Senate. I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Chikwaka. He has raised a very important question which is about self-sustenance. There is need to have surplus in terms of wheat production. Yes, it is true that there is load shedding. We are aware that Hwange 7 and 8 is being expanded and it is going to bring on to the grid a lot of energy that will alleviate our problem. Because machinery is now too old, sometimes it may not perform according to expectations; hence we will have power shortages. It is my plea that farmers should be given a chance and they should not be affected by load shedding. Once you see load shedding happening, it means that the machinery will not be able to sustain the demand. I will however take the message to the relevant Minister that winter wheat is now being affected by load shedding so that he can come up with measures to alleviate our plight as regards shortage of wheat. I thank you.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Before I put my point of order, I would also want to congratulate you as the head of Pan-African Parliament. We appreciate that and we are proud of you.
My point of order is that it is unfortunate that the Deputy President of Senate has gone away. Last week we were promised that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development was going to come here to tell us about the gold coins, but today there are no Ministers. Can you be proud to run a House with four Ministers, answering questions on a Thursday when the economy is so down? My point of order is when are we going to get Ministers to come and answer questions and properly represented by the Leader of the House?.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): Having been absent last week, I will have a partial answer. I am not sure about other Ministers, we have a list of those that have sent in apologies but with respect to the Minister of Finance, I am going to read his letter to the President of the Senate. I proceed, it is dated 19th July, 2022. It says:-
We acknowledge receiving communication that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon. Prof. Ncube is required to address the Senate on issues to do with the prevailing macro-economic environment
The Minister is currently presenting the Mid-Term Budget Review, of which it has already been presented to the Cabinet Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. He is presenting to Cabinet today. [That was on the 19th July, 2022]. The presentation to Parliament is on 28 July, 2022. Madam President, we are therefore kindly requesting your permission if Senate can indulge the Minister to present the Mid-Term Budget Review to Parliament first and then attend to the issues raised by Senate. The Hon. Minister, fully appreciates the importance, urgency and the need to address the issues raised by the Senate. Please accept Madam President, the assurances of my highest consideration by the Minister’s Office.
I think this sounds clear.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: From what he wrote, we are supposed to get a Mid-Term Budget without understanding the meaning of certain terms around the same budget. I thought the Minister is supposed to explain to us so that we will be able to listen to him and understand what he is trying to do. It will be like revision where after the Budget, that is when he will be trying to explain and we will try to recall what was there. To me, it was necessary that the Minister comes here to explain what is exactly happening. How can we have a Mid-Term Budget when we do not even understand what the fundamentals around are? That will not make us an august House. I think the Minister should come to this House even Tuesday next week so that we understand the fundamentals or he can send another Minister.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Mudzuri for that. I think Ministers of Finance, when they intend to present anything to do with the budget, whether it is mid-term or not, usually they come up with some economic policies, surprises or otherwise - probably he is trying to avoid preempting what he is going to present next week on Thursday. Probably the issue of gold coins, I believe he is getting information from the public. I have confidence that he will explain if there is confusion around those gold coins. If he does not, as is always the procedure, we as Parliamentarians will have the opportunity to raise questions. We will have an opportunity to follow-up on that mid-term budget presentation. We are likely to get all the clarifications. For now, let us give the benefit of the doubt that his intentions are good and sound and he is going to achieve what we desire to get from him next Thursday. Short of that, Parliament will still raise questions for clarification.
The issue of course, was of decline in numbers of Ministers on Thursday afternoons in this Chamber to respond to questions. I believe this issue was raised last week and I believe letters have been written to various Ministers. We had a long list of apologies, fortunately the Clerk of Parliament is here, he is also listening - we will assist each other to raise this issue. Thank you.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: To me I think it is the responsibility of the President of Senate, I am sure that she can write to the President to ensure that Ministers come to the House. I do not think the Clerk can go that far. He can only write a formal letter and the whole meaning of this is to make sure that we present questions to different Ministers has no meaning anymore because we have complained and nothing has happened, unless the Government has decided to be dysfunctional. Without ministers, the Government is dysfunctional. So if we cannot ask questions and continue to give excuses to say let so and so speak – it is the President of Senate who should be able to take this up with the Speaker and ensure that the Ministers are there.
I want to put it to you that it is your responsibility to ensure that the Ministers attend.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Indeed, for now I am the Acting President of Senate. Whenever you say the President of Senate should do this, you are actually requesting me to proceed accordingly and I want to underline accordingly. When I refer to the Clerk, I am saying my support staff is also here so that this matter will not end in this Chamber. I thank you
It is ten minutes before our time is up and I request Senators to be very brief and straight to the point in their questions. Please make sure your gadgets are connected.
HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I want to congratulate you for the position that you have acquired, may the good Lord look after you. My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. We manufacture cement in this country and it costs between US$10 to US$12 but the same cement in Zambia is about US$3.50. Why are we not behaving like the Zambians? People will end up going to Zambia to buy cheaper cement.
THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): Cement is a key product in construction, infrastructure and housing. The prices that you have made reference to are true. In Zambia, it varies from US$3.50 to US$6. There are differences on the cement that is manufactured in Zambia and the one that we have in Zimbabwe. The differences are in quality and standards. I have a report that came from the Consumer Protection Council and they have highlighted that the cement from Zambia does not set very well when you apply it on the floor and if you use it on the wall, that wall may collapse. As the custodians of quality and standards in this country, we do not want to see that happening.
In Zimbabwe, we have three companies that manufacture cement such as PPC, La Farge and SinoZim. SinoZim is mass producing cement. This particular cement has been used in the construction of new Parliament building and it is the same cement that is being used on the major roads like the one from Beitbridge to Chirundu. It is a strong type of cement. Be that as it may, I urge that as Zimbabweans, we should look at the durability of this product because such type of cement will last a long time. As a Ministry, we will talk to those that produce cement so that they can reduce their price so that it can be affordable to the majority of the people. I thank you.
*HON. S. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to ask my question. First and foremost, I would want to congratulate you on being elected President of PAP. As Zimbabweans, we are very happy for you.
My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development. Are you aware that there is a serious backlog of driver licences? There are some people that acquired provisional licences in 2019 and to date, they have not received their metal licences. Some have torn paper driver’s licence of competence and some of these have been obliterated. When they go to their local offices, they are told that they should come to Harare. When they come to Harare, they are told that the licences have not been processed and they go back. What is causing this delay? Why are drivers licences produced after five years after road test?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON MHONA): That is a good question that she has asked and it has also given me a chance to explain to the majority of Zimbabweans that it is true that when one acquires their certificate of competence, they would be holding on to the paper document. When we go back to the production of the metal discs, the machines that produce licences have been in existence for more than 40 years and they are no longer coping with demand. Some of the chemicals that are required to produce that particular licence are imported and at times we would not be having adequate foreign currency to be able to produce.
I am grateful that we are now able to produce new licences since 2018. Up to now we can get to 2023 while we are still looking into this issue of backlog. We are going even further because we know that in the SADC region, we are supposed to have a standard licence so that these licences are acceptable regionally. My Ministry is busy ensuring that the Zimbabwean driver, once he gets into Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, when they produce their drivers licence, it is recognised. I believe that by the end of the year, we will have produced a recognisable drivers license which is recognised. I believe that by the end of the year, we will have produced a drivers’ licence which is recognised in the SADC region. It will also enable us to look into this issue and come up with solutions.
We were assisting these people and others took advantage and became involved in corrupt activities. So we would want to know the people who are doing that so that we can fight corruption. Those with licences from 2018 to 2019 should be in a position to access their licences without being corruptly asked to offer a bribe. I will also be in a position to go and research so as to find out if this is what is happening. Those that are in the bracket that I have mentioned should be in a position to receive metal drivers’ licences. We are going to deal with part of the 2020 licences. I believe once we are done with our research on the standards that we must follow, we will now move away from producing metal discs. We will start producing licences that are recognised in the SADC region. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. D. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President. The Hon. Minister spoke about drivers going to other countries. My question stemmed from there because there are some people who are cross-borders and have paper licences. When they are in some countries, they are told these are not licences, it is a forged document. As a result, they are inconvenienced. The authorities would suspect that the licences have been ill-gotten but if it is a disc, no one can tamper with it. That is where the problem is. There are others who are corruptly getting licences. Where are they getting these licences because you said the chemicals are not there?
*HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. President. I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Ndlovu. It is true that others are corruptly getting these licences as you have said. Of course, we are fighting against corruption. Others are told that licences cannot be made available but those who pay bribes can have their licences. This is corruption and the cancer that we are fighting. We do not want people to be doing that. It is true that those with paper licences, when they go into other countries, are inconvenienced. We are moving towards the era where we have acceptable licences. These are not paper licences and are not prone to forgery. It is true, a lot of people have suffered by not accessing the metal discs. It is the Government’s vision that we should, as quickly as possible, ensure that all drivers have their metal licence discs. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President. I move that time for Questions without Notice be extended by 10 minutes. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHISOROCHENGWE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
*HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Mr. President. First and foremost, I congratulate you on being elected PAP President. I wish you well. Good things come to those who wait. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. There is a problem that is getting worse on a daily basis as regards street kids and abuse of drugs and alcohol. As a Ministry, what measures are you taking to either alleviate or eliminate this problem? Do we have a national policy on street kids? How many street kids do we have in this country at the moment? I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): First and foremost, I would want to congratulate you Hon. President for being elected President of the Pan-African Parliament. You are our very own Zimbabwean son. We would want to honour and thank you for that.
I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Mupfumira for the pertinent question that she has paused concerning street kids. We have several places where we can take these street kids to so that they can be looked after and be supported. Recently we had a lot that were attended to by the First Lady in Chiredzi and some other areas. They were taken by the Ministry but the challenge that we face is that we are unable to quantify them. They are always on the streets. They have reasons as regards to places where they come from. Some are orphaned and they will be living with foster parents who ill-treat them and as a result they run away from these guardians or foster parents.
Some will have committed offences and they run away from these families so they will run into the streets. It is not possible for us to come with the specific figure as to how many are in the streets. The point is Government is trying as much as possible to rehabilitate but may not be able to completely eradicate the problem. In all countries, we do find such people. What is needed is whenever we see that the numbers have increased, they are sent back to their homes or families.
You also made reference to substance abuse, Government at the moment is using non-governmental organisations, they are trying to educate these children and also the Government itself has a Department that is under Social Welfare. The drug is crystal meth. They look for such children so that they carry awareness campaigns so they can quit drug abuse.
Last year the President launched the Anti Drug Abuse Campaign at the Robert Mugabe Square to condemn the issue of drug abuse by children that are detrimental to both health and the mind. As Government, we are doing as much as we can through the Ministry of Education to educate people about the need to stay away from drugs. Thank you.
HON. SEN. GWESHE: The road which is near the tollgate is the road that leads to Mhondoro, have you attended to that road, ever since I was in Sub-A, that road has not been attended to. It is a strip road, please attend to that road.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. President and I want to thank Hon. Sen. Gweshe. The road is also a road that leads to the school that I attended. It is called the Skyline Road, I went there for Form 1. My department is working on that to see that the road is attended to. Thank you Senator, I believe that the road needs to be attended to because that one is an important road, it leads to Mhondoro-Mubayira and after Hunyani River it also goes past several schools, clinics and hospital. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHISOROCHENGWE: First and foremost, I congratulate you on your appointment. My question is directed to the Minister responsible for women and gender. What policies do they have to look into the plight of women? Thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHLANGA): Thank you Mr. President. I also join hands in congratulating you on your election. I also want to thank the Hon. Senator who has posed this pertinent question. We have different funds. The first one is the Women Development Fund. Once the monies come from Government, it is send to the provinces so that women are able to work and sustain themselves. The second one is the Zimbabwe Community Development Fund. It also deals with projects that are good in communities. We no longer have a bias towards men but in that fund, women have the majority share. We also have the Women’s Bank, a bank for women which is not too strict on collateral security so that our women can come and work together so that the issue of collateral can be removed. The bank is also giving funding for them to acquire assets so that women can be able to use these assets as collateral so that they can get loans.
SMEDCO at this moment in time, it is one of our parastatals that has tailor made projects for our women. We have development partners like International Labour Organisation and OFID, we do that with a view to uplift the work of women. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as PAP President. I would want to say that Africa is being ruled by its own people.
My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. What policies does the Ministry have in terms of constructing industries to newly built residential areas at growth points so that the people may be empowered?
THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): He has asked a very significant and profound question which is linking to the rural industrialisation programme. We have ten provinces in the country and under my Ministry, each province now has a director whose main responsibility is to look at each province and determine what kind of industry can be prioritised. For example, in the Midlands Province, we are looking at leather production, dairy, mining and we also have SinoZim. Under the mining sector, we are looking at beneficiation. This is the strategic framework in which we are working. Zoning into a province, identifying the key priorities and then develop a rural industrialisation programme.
We are not doing this on our own. We are working closely with the Ministry of Housing and Rural Amenities, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Agriculture. For example, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, he is launching a borehole programme linked to a horticulture programme in each province and he has already started doing that. Under that, we are looking at agro processing because we can produce a lot of crops in this country. Our new industrialisation strategy is now focusing on agro processing for local consumption and export. That way we are creating jobs right across all the ten provinces.
*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: I want to congratulate you on the election as PAP President.
My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and in his absence to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development. We now have a problem with power outages. People’s gadgets are being damaged, what is ZESA going to do about the damage that is being caused by the power outages?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON MHONA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT: I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chifamba for her pertinent question. It is a problem that Zimbabwean citizens are facing. We know that when there is a power outage, it could be happening to a few or the majority. What I know is that when there is something amiss, it is the right of Zimbabweans to go to the courts and litigate. Even in the Ministry of Transport when someone has their leg fractured through negligence of road works, they can sue. Let me hasten to say that I will take the message to my colleague so that he is aware of these challenges.
Questions without Notice were interrupted by the TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 67.
WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
AVAILABILITY OF BUSES THAT ARE USER FRIENDLY AND ACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
- HON. SEN. MANYAU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development to inform the House;
- the efforts that have been made to ensure availability of buses that are user friendly and accessible to people with disabilities in the country,
- the measures being put in place to ensure that private players import buses that are user friendly to people with disabilities.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON MHONA): According to the 2013 National Survey on Living Conditions among Persons with Disabilities, as well as the Forgotten Tribe, People with Disabilities in Zimbabwe 2016 Report, there are close to 1.4 million persons with disability in the country. Despite these two published reports, Zimbabwe’s latest National Disability Policy (June 2021) approximates 2.2 million persons with disability, using statistics deduced from the UN indices. In 1992, Government adopted the Disability Act and went on to join the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. My Ministry is currently working on a policy which seeks to promote safe and accessible transport for people with disabilities.
Among other things under consideration the policy seeks:
- to reintroduce and regularise reservation for the first front seats on passenger carrying vehicles for people with disabilities;
- wheelchair bays/carriers to be provided in passenger carrying vehicles;
- provision of wheelchair ramps at bus terminus; and
- proper and adequate signage to reserve front seats for the disabled and priority boarding for them.
Cabinet has approved duty-free importation of passenger carrying vehicles. My Ministry will advocate for importation of passenger carrying vehicles with the requisite accessibility mechanisms for the physically challenged passengers (the above policy interventions are under considerations).
For the benefit of the House and in an effort to recognise inclusivity of the disabled, my Ministry is already allowing the physically challenged persons to access driving tests by allowing them to use automatic adaptable vehicles on doctors recommendation. In cases where a doctor has not recommended driving, my Ministry, in conjunction with other agencies, always recommends that they be chauffer driver to enjoy duty exemptions.
Another intervention my Ministry is prioritising is the translation of the highway code and learner’s licence test to Braille to cater for the visually impaired people so that they are not marginalised. I thank you
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA), the Senate adjourned at One Minute to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 16th August 2022.