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SENATE HANSARD 23 SEPTEMBER 2020 VOL 29 NO 51

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020.

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE VICE PRESIDENT K. C. D. MOHADI’S OFFICE (HON. MARAPIRA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 and 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Third Order Read: Adjourned Debate in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 24th September, 2020.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MOHADI’S OFFICE (HON. MARAPIRA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 4 and 5 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs) AND GENDER DEVELOPMENT ON THE ENQUIRY INTO PEOPLE’S ACCESS TO CLEAN, SAFE AND PORTABLE WATER

HON. SEN. KHUPE: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Joint Committee of Human Rights, Sustainable and Development Goals (SDGs), and Gender Development on the enquiry into people’s access to clean, safe and portable water.

HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: I second.

HON. SEN. KHUPE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to move this motion. It is a very important motion and it is an eye opener.

         INTRODUCTION

         The Government of Zimbabwe gives top priority to rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and has made significant progress in the water and sanitation front since attaining independence in 1980. However, the current economic difficulties have resulted in widespread collapse of rural water supply and sanitation infrastructure. In March 2020, Human Rights, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Gender and Development Thematic Committees conducted a joint inquiry into water provisions in towns and rural areas. The Committee visited the following areas: Midlands Province (Redcliff and Kwekwe), Matabeleland South, (Matobo RDC), Matabeleland North (Umguza RDC), Mash East (Chivhu Water Treatment Plant), Masvingo (Masvingo Water Treatment Plant, Mucheke and Mwenezi Rural District Council).

The Committee received submissions from both residents’ associations and council representatives, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) representatives, business community, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and the general public. Key findings and recommendations of the joint Committee are contained in this report.

OBJECTIVES

  1. To assess the provision of safe, clean and portable water to residents in urban and rural areas in the country in line with Sustainable Development Goal 6 - “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’’.
  2. To assess the challenges being faced by women and girls in accessing safe, clean portable water.
  3. To appreciate the challenges faced by local authorities in supplying clean water to residents.

METHODOLOGY

In February 2020, the Joint Committee invited the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and also the Ministry of Local Government for oral submissions on the state of water supply situation in cities and rural areas across the country. The Joint Committee visited different water treatment plants in seven provinces which are Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Midlands and Harare in March, 2020.

BACKGROUND

The right to water entitles everyone to have access to sufficient, safe, potable, physically accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic use. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number six is on the need to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The presence or absence of a safe, sufficient water supply and improved sanitation facilities has a disproportionate effect on the lives of women and girls. According to United Nations (UN), at global level 3 in every 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.

UNICEF (2019) Report states that in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas access to adequately improved sanitation lags significantly behind at 35 percent. The 2019/2020 rainfall season was characterised by low rainfall in many parts of the country which resulted in low inflows into dams and the decrease in ground water table has negatively impacted on national water security. Water supply challenges are not new, chronic incidences of cholera outbreaks in major cities since 2008 are indicative of lack of a safe drinking water supply and constrained sanitation systems. Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 speaks to the need for all countries to ensure by 2030, sustainable provision of clean water and sanitation.

Section 77 (a) of the Constitution states that every person has the right to safe, clean and potable water. Pursuant to this provision, the Government in 2013 adopted the National Water Policy whose vision is to ensure the availability of good quality and affordable water in adequate quantity for all at all times. Section 7.2 of this policy provides that Local Government in its respective urban and rural areas is responsible for the provision of water supply and sanitation services as a devolved function. Local Governments are designated by this policy as Water Service Authorities and as such are responsible for the provision of water supply and sanitation services.

FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE

Low per capita supply of water

The joint Committee was informed that majority of cities and local authorities in the country were not able to provide expected average supply of water per person each day, that is the per capita supply of water. According to the Ministry of Local Government, each person should receive an average of 200 litres of water per day.

The Committees made the observation that Chitungwiza, Norton, and Ruwa were unable to supply adequate litres of water to their residents since they get water from Harare, whose source itself is burdened with a growing population and water infrastructure that

is in need of upgrading and rehabilitation. The Committee further observed that with the exception of Kwekwe, most cities and towns could not supply water for 24 hours. The majority of local authorities could barely manage to supply water for 15 hours but have an average supply of 13.5 hours.

The Committee was further informed that most councils could not meet the required mega litres of water supply per day. For instance, Masvingo was said to be supplying 24 mega litres instead of the required 50 mega litres; Harare 190 mega litres instead of 200 mega litres; Chitungwiza 14 mega litres versus 75 mega litres; Mutare 29 megalitres against 80 mega litres; Gweru 20-40 mega litres against a requirement of 80 mega litres; Chiredzi 4 mega litres against a requirement of 10 mega litres; Chegutu 4 mega litres against a requirement of 12 mega litres.

Due to failure in meeting the expected per capita supply of water by councils, some cities such as Masvingo through partnership with Non-Governmental Organisations have made efforts to drill boreholes for residents to access clean water. During public hearings in Torwood, Redcliff, Mucheke, Mwenenzi RDCand Rusape, the Joint Committee members were informed that water shortage was badly affecting girls who would end up absenting themselves from school as they had to spend long hours looking for alternative sources of water for household consumption. Older women in Chipinge also complained that carrying water for long distances affects their health as their old age does not allow them to do tiresome chores.

In addition, residents reported that they would go for days without water risking outbreaks of water borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea. Residents said that water is often delivered during the night and this results in the increase of cases of gender-based abuse and violence against women and girls. The Joint Committee was dismayed to note that in both rural and urban centres, lack of access to adequate water disproportionately affects the livelihoods of people with disabilities, particularly women.

It is the considered view of the Joint Committee that low per capita supply of water to residents does not only retards achievement of SDG number 6, but it is a violation of section 77 (a) of the Constitution, and disproportionately affects women and the girl child due to two reasons. First, women are responsible for the fetching water, which is often time consuming and arduous. Secondly, women have specific hygiene needs during menstruation, pregnancy and child bearing which also require a lot of water.

Depleting water sources

The Joint Committee was concerned to be informed that the prolonged dry spell, coming in the background of a poor rain season in the previous year had hit hard on most councils' water bodies. For instance, Harare City had to decommission Prince Edward Dam, thus affecting supply to the Greater Harare area which includes Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Norton and Epworth who are serviced by water from Harare City Council. Below is a table showing the dam levels which supply water to respective towns.

Table 1: Water levels in water sources

Local authority Water Source Percentage Full
Shurugwi Town Shurugwi 23.1%
Gweru City Gwenhoro 17%
Amapongokwe 63%
Whitewaters 51%
Bulawayo City Ncema (Lower) 2.6%
Insiza 16.8%
Inyankuni 52.9%
Mzingwane 12%
Mtshabezi 12%
Karoi Town Blocley 20.5%
Karoi 24.6%
Beitbridge Municipality Beitbridge 13.1%

 

Mutare City and Chipinge Town had adequate levels of water with water sources at 92% (Odzi and Small Bridge) and 100% (Bangazaan Dam) full respectively. The Joint Committee was concerned that with depletion of water sources for most cities and towns, water security, which is a key human right issue especially for women might remain elusive for the country as we approach 2030.

Obsolete infrastructure

The Joint Committee was informed by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, the Ministry of Local Government and local authorities that aged infrastructure and distribution networks contribute to high non-revenue water between 40 percent to 60 percent water losses in most cities and towns. The water infrastructure in most local authorities (treatment plants, water distribution networks, pumps, etc) have outlived their lifespan. The Joint Committee was concerned about the dilapidated equipment at Morton Jeffrey Water Treatment Plant in Harare installed in 1953, and is now incapacitated to adequately supply water to the Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton. Obsolete and damaged pipes were said be the main cause of leakages and contamination of drinking water at Morton Jeffrey and Nyamandlovu. The Joint Committee was however pleased to receive reports that five pumps were being refurbished to draw clean water from less polluted Darwendale Dam. In Kwekwe, it was noted that two of the three pumps at Dutchman’s Pool Water Treatment Plant are not functioning and as a result, the plant could not pump water at its full capacity of 90 mega liters per day.

In addition, the plant was said to be in need of a new motor. In Torwood, the Joint Committee was told that the pipes were installed in the 1930s and were obsolete, hence incidences of constant bursting and leakages resulting in huge amounts of water losses and contamination. In Chipinge, the Committee noted that some of the infrastructure was affected by Cyclone Idai and no efforts had been made to refurbish them. The Joint Committee made the observation that without a massive capital injection through PSIP loans and Government grants to various Municipalities towards rehabilitation and upgrading of water infrastructure there will be no achievements.

Provision of Water to new housing developmentand urban residential areas which are not connected to municipal water

The Committees made an observation that new housing developments in a number of urban local authorities are sprouting without water reticulation infrastructure, hence were not connected to municipal water supply system. Examples include Whitecliff, Hopley, the greater part of Harare South Housing cooperatives, Caledonia in Harare as well as Rangemore Estate in Bulawayo, Gimboki and Federation in Mutare and Victoria Ranch to mention a few. Residents in these areas resort to unsafe water sources such as deep and shallow wells in the process exposing themselves to water-borne and contaminable diseases such as typhoid and cholera. The Joint Committee was of the view that without water and sewer infrastructure and easy access to clean water, women, children and household's sanitation and hygiene will remain untenable.

Non-payments of Rates by Citizens

The Joint Committee was informed that most of the local authorities were owed huge amounts of money in rates by their residents. The none payment of bills by residents was also attributed to the ministerial directive of 2013 to write off all council debt which had seriously affected all local authorities. Since then, some residents have taken advantage and never paid their dues awaiting another write off. This inculcated a culture of not paying for council services. There are no deterrent sanctions for none payment. Furthermore, economic challenges have made sewer and water tariff charges unaffordable, for instance the Joint Committee was informed that 70 percent of Torwood residents in Redcliff were former employees of the now closed ZISCO Steel who were not able to pay water tariffs to Kwekwe City Council. At Nyamadlovu Growth Point, the Committee was told that villagers who were receiving water supplies from ZINWA were charged high rates which they could not afford.

The Joint Committee was informed that Kwekwe City Council was owed ZWL$43 million by rate payers in both Redcliff and Kwekwe City in respect of water, while Harare City Council was owed ZWL$800 million by its rate payers. Efforts to engage debt collectors or installation of prepaid meters were not well received in most local authorities and these were still at pilot stage. All local authorities across the provinces submitted that residents should pay their rates so that councils will raise revenue to procure requirements such as spare parts and treatment chemicals.

Inadequate treatment chemicals

The Joint Committee was deeply concerned when told that treatment chemicals were in short supply. The treatment plants import chemicals and thus, they need foreign currency in a situation where the rates were being paid in local currency. This has been a hindrance in accessing adequate chemicals water treatment. Big treatment plants such as Morton Jeffrey Water Works in Harare requires more than ten chemicals to treat water thus, there is a great need of foreign currency. The joint committee was glad to note that there were towns such as Rusape who kept three months buffer of chemicals although they face other challenges.

Poor tariff setting

The Joint Committees noted that there is contention between councils and residents regarding the setting of a viable water tariff. In most instances, councils have settled for very uneconomic tariffs which would see them failing to raise enough revenues to sustain their service. For instance, Kwekwe City charges US$0.80c per cubic meter against a treatment cost of US$11.00 per cubic meter. Local authorities such as Chivhu charges at below cost of producing. The council charges water in bands. The charge for the first 10 cubic meters was $3.42, which is a pro-poor band and is sold at below cost of producing the water. The production per cubic meter of water is above $5 but they sell the first 10 cubic meters below cost of producing to enable everyone to have access to water. This is contrary to provisions of the National Water Policy, section 1.3.5 on User Payment for Service that users will cover at least recurrent costs of operation and maintenance of water supply and sanitation (WSS) infrastructure. Further, section 6.14 on water pricing stipulates that water pricing will reflect the full costs of provision of water for all uses (capital and recurrent costs). The Joint Committee was concerned that due to poor tariff water setting, councils were forced to subsidise water services from other performing funds, a situation which is not sustainable in the medium to long term.

Provision of clean water in rural areas

The Committees were told by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement that domestic water supplies were at crisis level in some rural areas, with women and children being the most affected as they have to travel long distance to fetch water for household use. Ground water levels and yields of boreholes were reported to be declining with some boreholes having already dried up. During public hearing in Nyamadhlovu, Umguza District in Matabeleland North Province, the Committees received reports from Village Eight (8) residents, that although the area was endowed with huge underground aquifer from which water is pumped to supply Bulawayo City, local residents did not have access to clean water. Submissions from Village Two (2) informed the Committee that residents walk long distances ranging from four to five kilometres daily to fetch water. Still at Nyamadlovu public hearing, the Committee was dismayed to receive reports that villagers lose a lot of livestock due to water shortages.

At Maphisa Growth Point, Matobo District, Matebeleland South, submissions from councillors were that villagers walk distances of more than 10 kilometres to fetch water at Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA). In Mwenezi, the Committees were informed by the Rural District Council that domestic water supplies were at crisis level in most of its wards, with women and children being the most affected as they have to travel long distance to fetch water for household use. The Joint Committee is of the view that this violates the targets for SDG goal number 6, which stipulates that water access points should be at a maximum of 500 meters from every household, and the maximum waiting time to collect water should be 15 minutes. In the same vein, section 7.5.6 of the National Water Policy states that in rural areas, each borehole and deep well will supply at most 250 and 150 people respectively, and at an average distance of 500 metres.

In Maphisa Growth Point and Mwenezi Grwoth Points, the Committee was told that the areas had gone for more than six months without running water, a situation that negatively affected the sanitation and hygiene situation of the business centre, schools and hospitals and clinics in the area. Chiefs, councilors and NGOs also informed the Committee that the majority of boreholes which were the main sources of clean water were no longer functioning due to breakdown or depletion of water tables to lower levels of 70 meters deep.

It is the view of the Committee that this situation is a gross violation of section 77 (a) of the Constitution on Right to Food and Water, which provides that every person has the right to safe, clean and potable water. Under the same section, the State and its agencies are enjoined to take reasonable legislative and other measures within its resources available, to achieve progressive realisation of this right.

Pollution and siltation of water sources

The Joint Committee was informed by Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement that pollution of water bodies such as rivers and dams was one of the major threats to water supply particularly for urban water supply. The main cause of the pollution was reported to be raw sewage discharges, poor land use practices in catchment areas, leaching of fertilisers in urban agriculture areas resulting in eutrophication and growth of weeds and plants in water bodies. Pollution affects water supply services sustainability due to high costs of water treatment. The Joint Committee was told that this is common to at least 70 percent of the urban centres in the country which discharges raw sewerage back to water supply sources. The Joint Committee was informed that unlike Mutare and Kwekwe, Lake Chivero which supply water to Greater Harare was located in downstream and was excessively polluted from industries and raw sewage form Harare and Chitungwiza.

Sewer and water treatment plants in small towns

The Joint Committee was informed that most of the small towns close to bigger cities did not have independent water authorities. Ironically, Norton which is home to water sources such as Darwendale, Lake Chivero and Morton Jeffrey Water Treatment Works owned by Harare City Council buys water from Harare City Council. Redcliff relies on water supply from Kwekwe's Dutchman’s Pool Treatment Plant. Since Chitungwiza cannot fully depend on Harava and Seke dams, Harare City Council provides the water supply by-passing Prince Edward Treatment Plant. The Joint Committee was concerned that these dormitory towns owe millions of dollars in unpaid water tariffs to cities that supply them with water. As a result, they will remain incapacitated to develop their own water infrastructure.

Power Cuts

        The Joint Committee noted that electricity load shedding has been a major challenge in the distribution of water. In towns such as Chipinge and Rusape, the water treatment plants do not have a dedicated powerline. Load shedding affected the pumping of water. Treatment plants run for 24 hours per day to provide adequate water to the citizens.

The constant load shedding has affected the daily distribution of water as most treatment plants do not have a coping mechanism to counter power cuts. In Rusape, the local council complained that electricity was being provided at an average of 6 hours per day and the water treatment process takes about two and half hours. This means that the process is being interfered and interrupted. Rusape and Chipinge Town Councils were appealing to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and Ministry of Local Government for solar driven treatment plants other than generators which are expensive to maintain and could also face challenges of getting fuel.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Given the findings of the Joint Committee inquiry outlined above, it is imperative that urban and rural water supply be given top-most priority by Government and local authorities. The Joint Committee is recommending the following measures and hopes that relevant authorities will consider the recommendations seriously and move with speed to address identified policy gaps and water supply bottlenecks.

The Ministry of Local Government and Publics Works should engage the private sector as part of Public-Private Partnership by 31 December 2020 and facilitate investment in rural water supply infrastructure.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should ensure that local authorities prioritise funding from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development under Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfer system for the development of new water infrastructure and rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure in the2021 Budget.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement should ensure that at least three boreholes per each community are drilled in towns, cities and rural areas for communities to access a borehole within a vicinity of one kilometre. The 2021 Budget should include a provision for borehole spares and consumables to ensure repairs are done immediately.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the local authorities should adopt Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) on water, sanitation and hygiene programmes in the 2021 Budget.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should by 31 December 2020 come up with a plan to ensure that small towns such as Norton, Chitungwiza and Redcliff have their independent water treatment plants by December 2022.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should ensure that Redcliff Municipality should undertake feasibility studies and construction of Redcliff Water Treatment Plant from water sources such as Dutchman's Pool and/or Konmara Aquifer by December 2021.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement should facilitate the construction of Muda Dam which will supply Chitungwiza Municipality by December 2022.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should ensure that local authorities overhaul old and install efficient and transparent billing system to ensure that rate payers pay for water that they use and more revenue will be generated by 30th December2020.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should speed up the construction of Kunzvi Dam, the installation of facilities to draw water from Darwendale such that the City of Harare will get water from less polluted sources by 31 December 2021.

CONCLUSION

It is the view of the joint Committee that there is no serious commitment from both Central Government and local authorities to ensure continuous supply of clean, potable and safe water to the citizens. Despite the conducive legislative and policy framework and sound institutional arrangements, delivery on the water supply front remains seriously constrained by resource challenges, hence the current low and poor-quality water provision service. Based on the submission made and as witnessed during the tour of water treatments plants in various provinces, it is the Joint Committee's considered view that if Government and local authorities do not urgently address the above-mentioned water supply bottlenecks, the country might be sitting on a time bomb in terms of national water security. There is high risk that the country, come 2030 will not meet its SDG target number six of ensuring access to safe and clean water and sanitation for all.

This is also a violation of section 77 of the Constitution relating to the human right to access to water. More importantly, women will remain marginalised since lack of access to water disproportionately affects women and the girl child. To ensure consistent supply of this precious commodity, the Joint Committee therefore calls for Government and local authorities, to urgently adopt a holistic approach to address water supply bottlenecks and challenges, in particular the need for massive capital investment to overhaul water and sewer infrastructure in both rural and urban areas. That is the end of the motion Hon. President. I thank you.

+HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to support the report that has been tabled by Hon. Khupe. I would also like to thank the three Committee members who took some time to go and see how difficult it is for people to access water. The three Committees that took their time to go for this tour are Gender, Human Rights and SDGs. Almost all these people who took part in this tour amounted to about 60 members.

I am happy because I am also one of the members that went for this tour to see how people access clean water out there. One other objective of this tour was to see the challenges that women and girls face in accessing clean water. Firstly, we called upon the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement because it is the one that is responsible for water. We also called upon ZINWA which is responsible for making sure that provinces access water. We also consulted councils to find out what challenges they face in making sure that their people get clean water. From what we gathered, we realised that ZINWA indicated that the water challenge is not only a problem of cities, but it is a problem that is being encountered by people in the rural areas.

Challenges that are facing different towns in accessing water is that quite a number of people have moved from rural areas to towns and towns continue to grow every now and then. Quite a number of towns and cities face challenges with regards to getting clean water to the people. We realise that quite a number of people are faced with challenges of going for maybe a day or so without clean water and this has resulted in people being affected by diseases such as diarrhea. In towns, people mainly use toilets that require water and if there is no water town dwellers normally face challenges of being affected by water-borne diseases.

A number of dams are failing to get enough water due to siltation and this is causing a lot of challenges in making sure that towns access water. Therefore, it is important that councils and Government make sure that dams are desilted. For example, here in Harare, there is a dam called Prince Edward. This dam is no longer in use yet this same dam is the one that used to provide water to places like Chitungwiza, Norton and Ruwa. This then results in people continuing to face water challenges.

Another challenge is with regards to machinery that helps pump water to these towns and cities. Most of the equipment is old. Since towns and cities are growing, council needs to make sure that they always refurbish their equipment because most of the equipment and machinery is old and most of the spare parts are no longer accessible. Therefore, it is important that Government takes part in helping these councils access new equipment so that people continue to access clean water.

Another challenge is with regards to water cleaning chemicals. It is a problem accessing these chemicals because most of these chemicals can only be accessed outside the country and as a result, there is need for the Government to get foreign currency to be able to access these chemicals outside the country. In the rural areas, most of the boreholes and wells have run out of water. They have run dry because most of the areas are no longer receiving rainfall. For example, there is Nyamandhlovu residents who have continued to express their dismay in the fact that they stay in the aquifer area but despite this they do not get water.

Water is drawn from the Nyamandhlovu aquifer to Bulawayo yet the same people that stay around this aquifer are no longer accessing water. Why, because their boreholes and wells have dried up and water is drawn from their area to assist Bulawayo. Most of the people that stay in this area, their boreholes have dried up because those people that have money have sunk their boreholes deep down resulting in the shallow boreholes drying up or getting less water.

In Mapisa, people in this area are saying they walk for about 10km to look for water. Mapisa Town does not have water as we speak and in these areas you realise that there are clinics, hospitals, schools and businesses that require water but the water is inaccessible. The distances that they travel out of their town to look for water is too much. So our plea as a Committee is that Government and council should sink more boreholes and make sure that people access water from less distances so that they avoid travelling long distances to look for water.

Having women and children walk long distances to look for water creates problems. Let us say a married woman goes for such a long distance and encounters challenges on the way, when the husband asks, they will quarrel and this leads to gender based violence. This is why we are saying Government should help by sinking more boreholes so that women and girls travel shorter distances to fetch water.

We also need to make sure that women are engaged in gardening so that they do not go to look for vegetables from faraway places. If there is water they will be able to do their gardening in the area and accessing of vegetables will not be a problem. This reduces gender based violence because women will get their vegetables closer home. What this Committee encourages Government is that they should look closely into this water issue. For example, this year there was not enough rain and right now even our livestock is suffering due to lack of water. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add a few words on this report which has been moved by Sen. Khupe, seconded by Sen. Mpofu. A lot has been said already in terms of clean water and sanitation. The report has been articulated well and touched on a number of things that we came across. When we arrived at Chivhu water plant, ZINWA officers were not ready. There were a lot of tall grass and trees but because they heard that the Committee was visiting the plant, the grass was cut probably in the evening or on the day we arrived, which is a very bad practice when you are in charge of such important areas.

When we went to Mwenezi, Masvingo is a dry province as we all know. Mwenezi people were crying that there is no development in the area due to lack of water, but they have a foresight that there are three big rivers there. They wish that Government could help them to tap that water close to the people. They were saying even though there are those rivers, their hospital is not getting enough water. In Masvingo, Mucheke township, we saw that there is no good blood between the council and the people. I think it is because when the local authority cuts off the water, people are not consulted and they do not even know for how long they will go without water. This is bringing bad blood between the local authority and the residents. The people were lamenting that at least they should be made aware that in two days time water would be closed and for how long.

In short Mr. President, let me say that our local authorities as has been articulated by the report, people are not paying their rates. The local authorities on their own do not have the capacity to make people pay. So Government should be involved because there is no development in local authorities if people are not paying for services because machines have to be serviced and chemicals have to be bought to purify the water. If councils are not getting any money, they are incapacitated. I think the Government should help our local authorities in coming up with ways of how people can pay for the services so that the local authorities achieve their mandate. If the Government is silent and does nothing, like what the report is saying that the Government cancelled some debts, people anticipate that Government will do the same. Since they have the powers to write off debts, it means they also have powers to make people pay. If they do not do that they are not assisting local authorities and they would not be able to fulfill their mandate. With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. P. MPOFU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 24th September, 2020.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 46TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the 46th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MBOHWA: Thank you Mr. President. Let me take this opportunity to thank Sen. Mohadi who brought this report on where she visited the Parliamentary Forum with the Speaker of the National Assembly in Namibia. The theme of the meeting was about health of all the SADC countries that they should be in good health. From the report, there are things that I was impressed with, in Zimbabwe we have our own challenges but we are not really lagging behind when it comes to what the SADC countries are looking at when it comes to health issues.

When we look at HIV, Zimbabwe is well ahead because we have our theme, which says that we should have zero new HIV infections. Zimbabwe has plans on the ground like the AIDS and National Aids Trust Fund. We know that it is very painful when we look at our economy, as workers - for that money to be deducted, we complain but when this SADC Parliamentary Forum looked at it, they noticed that it is painful but we reap fruitful results. When we look into the issue of HIV, way back it was very difficult. I remember my aunt’s child when she was infected, there was a lot of stigmatisation and we were also afraid as care givers, but now if I know that the Hon. Member next to me is HIV positive, I am not afraid of him/her. We are now well informed and we are aware that we can associate with anyone whether HIV positive or negative. Also people should not be afraid of disclosure because medication is there and you can live longer with the virus.

We have a slogan which says that someone can look healthy whilst they are HIV positive because Zimbabwe is following all the guidelines. There are also laws that say everyone should get help without any stigmatization. Even lesbians and gays, can get assistance at public hospitals without any problems. Even those who do illegal abortions, they can still get assistance from the hospital if you develop complications. In Zimbabwe there is a policy on access to health services.

If you look at people with diabetes, medication is free. We are facing some challenges now because of sanctions - because we no longer get allocation of medication from partners as we used to do. Zimbabwe is really trying its best that everyone should have access to health. Even if we look at this pandemic of COVID -19 – I think Hon. Members agree with me that there was speculation that when it came to Zimbabwe, we would find dead bodies on the streets - but with the little that we have, we used it wisely. The masks that we are putting on are part of the health challenges, which means we are not lagging behind when it comes to health issues. The decrease in new HIV infections means that we are also there as a supper power.

She also talked about the youths, I want to express my support on the issue that if there are people going out especially Parliamentarians, I think also the youths should be included. For example, with this pandemic, if we go only us who are old, it means that we will be infected because our immune system ages with us. They talked about gender – Mr. President I want to talk about Gender Based Violence (GBV). This Committee that went out said that the laws of GBV should be tightened because during this lockdown, in rural areas, even in the urban areas, there was a lot of violence. Men were also being beaten by their wives. In the process, children were affected and a lot of marriages were broken. So these things should be nipped in the bud.

They also talked about the fact hat women should be seen coming up on higher decision-making positions. Our wish is for 50/50, if it was not the issue of quota system, it means that even in here there would be no women. In the National Assembly, there are very few women from both sides of the parties. My suggestion is that we should start with our party constitutions where we really look and try to bring in women so that those party lists should have one third of them being women. If we put women on the forefront, the whole nation will prosper. Hon. Senators, when we go to our parties, we should spearhead for that because we can cry for 50/50 - but if it does not start with the parties themselves, we will not win it.

If we upgrade women, you will realise that Zimbabwe is not really lagging behind because if you look at our State Ministers, we have five men and five women. When it comes to Ministers we have a sizeable number coming from the women.   If there are few women in Parliament it means we will not have many ministers because the basket will be small. However, with these commissions coming up, there are women also coming up. We should also aim for the higher positions like the Minister of Defence is a woman. At our party structures, the National Chairperson is also a woman.

One other thing Mr. President is that there should be laws which protect women when it comes to mining. I think that is one of the issues that they touched on that women should be given land, access to mines and also be involved in manufacturing as well.

Lastly, what I really wanted was what Angola articulated and what was supported by Malawi that yes, we can see things from a different point of view because when I am coming from my party and I am told it is not right, I will agree. We can have corruption in our country but also sanctions are playing a role, for example if one is labeled a prostitute, people will be afraid to associate with me - hence they will run away. Therefore, Zimbabwe cannot get true friends because it has been labeled as a bad country.

So yes, there are corrupt people but I would like to applaud what SADC is doing in uniting Parliamentarians is Southern African countries. The SADC Parliamentary forum is advocating that parliamentarians in Southern African countries should go and raise motions, debate on this sanctions issue in order that they be removed without any conditions being set out. As Zimbabwe we cannot go anywhere because of that.

I want to thank this Portfolio Committee because if these Parliamentarians are heard, the sanctions will be removed and we are only left with dealing with corruption. Therefore, investors will be able to come because that label would have been removed. I want to thank the mover of the motion, Senator Mohadi who traveled around and brought us this history.

HON. SEN. RAMBANEPASI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate on this motion. I want to start with the issue of HIV/AIDS; I would like to applaud our Government for making efforts to looking for medicines for this virus disease from our friends in the SADC region. The disease is no longer scary, however if one decides to keep the disease to themselves, they will die and those who open up will get much help.

I would want to comment on the issue of women, this issue demands a lot of attention. We can do campaigns but when it comes to enjoying the benefits, men will always begin to position themselves in areas where they know there is much benefit. These men will start decampaigning women saying these women are not capable of holding such position. They can even send the youths to defame women, so, 50/50 must not only be on paper, but it should be something that should be practiced. It must be recognised that the women are very hard working in party structures.

Amongst ourselves as women also, we de campaign each other. For example, they know that Rambanepasi works day and night but instead they choose to vote for a man.

Mr. President, even at funeral scenarios, men always come during the evening when they just want to drink beer when during the day a woman would have worked tirelessly, cooking and singing at the funeral. It is the same also towards the end of the five year term, men start to campaigning, running around to garner support when all this time the women had been working tirelessly in the party structures to get things right. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. RAMBANEPASI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tomorrow, 24th September, 2020

MOTION

DISCHARGE OF CHILDREN UNDER CHILD CARE FACILITIES

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on the need to alleviate challenges associated with the early discharge of youths from child care facilities.

Question again proposed.

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

         HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th September, 2020.

MOTION

ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on the repeal of the death sentence and the provisions in the Criminal Law and Codification Act.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you for this opportunity to add my voice on this motion which was tabled by Sen. Makone. She talked about death penalty and what we think and what the generality of Zimbabweans think as well. I think it is good that in Zimbabwe, we should come up with laws that last. As this House, I think we should take time debating on the merits and demerits of the death penalty especially consulting people on what they think about the death penalty.   We can have people who support and those who do not support but as a nation, when we come together, we can come up with a law that is favourable to all the people because this death penalty was brought by the whites but when we look at it, you find that it was only used against blacks, this did not apply to the whites.

Mr. President, as people of Zimbabwe, we should take our time to look at the law especially now that we are an independent country. People can come up with different ideas but in the end, we can come up with a good law which applies to the way that we are living. So, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Makone because she gave us time to scrutinise this law to seewhether it helps us as people of Zimbabwe. I think we should consult people on what they think about the death penalty. Thank you.

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

                 HON. SEN. RAMBANEPASI: I second.

                 Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 24th September, 2020.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE WOMEN POLITICAL LEADERS GLOBAL FORUM HELD IN ICELAND

Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Women Political Leaders Global Forum.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President, I rise to wind up the debate on the report of the delegation to the Women Political Leaders Global Forum held in Iceland from the 18th to the 20th November, 2019. Mr. President, I wish to express my utmost gratitude for the contributions you made to the debate of the report. Your passion for issues affecting women in Zimbabwe, Africa and globally speaks volumes of very civilised nations where the role of women is special, political and economic spheres are recognised. The issues raised and debated upon by the august House include but are not limited to access to food, gender based violence, universal health coverage and menstrual health. The fact that many members of the Senate took the floor debating this motion proves that the HeforShe initiative which the Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly is a champion is yielding results. It is therefore my hope that the relevant Ministries and Thematic Committees will take up the recommendations and implement them wisely for the betterment of women in Zimbabwe and across the World.

Let me take this opportunity to thank the President of the Senate Hon. M. M. Chinomona for the leadership and guidance before, during and after the conference. Her spirited contributions left a mark at the conference and Zimbabwe is indeed on the map as far as women political leaders are concerned – all because of the President of the Senate. I also wish to thank our support staff Mr. C. K. Gavi and Mr. E. Gorogodo who sat throughout with us in the meetings providing current statistics for the delegation to make informed contributions.

Mr. President Sir, I move that this House takes note of the Report of the Women Political Leaders Global Forum held in Reykjavik, Iceland from 18th to 20th November, 2019 be adopted. I thank you

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE THIRD WORLD PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS HELD IN BALI

Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 3rd World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development Goals.

Question again proposed.

         HON. SEN. MTSHANE: Thank you so much Mr. President. I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind up my motion on the World Parliamentary Forum held in Indonesia last year. Allow me to extend my sincere thanks to the Hon. Members who contributed to the motion. Despite the fact that we attended as either Thematic or Portfolio Committees internationally, it helped us to assess whatever progresses we have made in our country and if there are any gaps to fill those gaps. Despite the financial problems in particular that this country has, Zimbabwe has made some strides in the infrastructure development through its funding through its partners, through the transitional stabilisation programme PSP which is in line with SDG 17, which deals with strengthening of domestic resources.

I recall Mr. President that the MDGs that ended in 2015, most of the programmes that were undertaken were sponsored by donors but the SDGs, specifically say that whatever is done in various countries must be done from local resources, hence Zimbabwe is trying its best also to find its own resources to fund its own programmes through its own resources. With those few words, I would like to move for the adoption of the report...

         An Hon. Sen. having passed between the Member speaking and the Chair

         THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Senator.

         HON. SEN. MTSHANE: Thank you Mr. President. I now move That this House takes note of the Report of the 3rd World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development Goals held in Bali, Indonesia from 4th to 5th September, 2019.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE 74TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY UNION (APU) HELD IN BANGUI

Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report on the 74th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) held in Bangui.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 24th September, 2020.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 2019 ST. PETERSBURG INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC FORUM (SPIEFG) HELD IN RUSSIA

Thirteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 2019. St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEFG).

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. I rise to wind up this motion on the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum which was held from the 6th – 8th of June, 2019. Allow me Mr. President to thank the sponsors of that trip and also the leader of the delegation who was none other than our Madam President of the Senate who provided able leadership to this important international occasion; the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. It is a constant event which tried to present an opportunity for countries to come and showcase their countries as investment destinations and it was befitting that Zimbabwe, as we are scouting for international investment, we send our representative to show case and also learn from what can assist us in attracting foreign investments. I must say this economic forum was quite a big event attended by more than 150 000 people and so many countries. I will not go into most of the things which were discussed but before I go Mr. President, I would want to thank the Hon. Members who debated this motion and also add to what we could actually learn as Zimbabweans in trying to include our economic environment.

Mr. President, the highlights of this forum was promotion of regional cooperation and this forum was dominated by Euro-Asia. We learnt so much that they have actually managed to wean themselves from dependency on the West.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator, there is no need for you to start, just wind up.

HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President. So just to sum up Mr. President, we learnt from this meeting that we need stronger institutions which we are trying to do as Zimbabweans to improve our investment climate. There were very strong recommendations which actually affect us which I recommend that they be adopted.

With these few words Mr. President, I move that the Report on the St Petersburg Economic Forum which was held from 6th to 8th June, 2019 be adopted.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Twenty Four Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

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