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SENATE HANSARD 24 SEPTEMBER 2020 VOL 29 NO 52
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 24th September 2020.
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have a list of Ministers who send in their apologies. Hon. Dr. S. Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development. We are just hoping that the others are coming in. I hope the Leader of the House has managed to encourage them to attend, because honestly we have a complaint in the Senate, where Ministers are not taking it serious that we need answers. This House is also as important as the National Assembly. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – We only have two Ministers and they all send in apologies, then we keep on like this, I do not think we will take in this one.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and in his absence to the Leader of Government Business. We have road blocks 24/7, which is a good thing. What plans does Government have in putting toilets in places which are far away from cities and towns? We have female police officers having difficult times because they work where there are no toilets.
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank Hon. Senator Chief for the question. Government takes very much into consideration the issue of hygiene. We have programmes which are going to start in the rural areas. We are going to have a policy that says where there are many people, there should be proper ablution facilities. If those places are going to be there as permanent road blocks, we are going to make sure that there are ablution facilities.
*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Madam President. My supplementary question to the Minister is we have a place in Chegutu, which hass a road block 24/7 and there are no toilets? I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: I think she spoke about a particular area, can she write it down so that we can forward the issue?
*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Minister, I would like to know why issuing of number plates is now a problem?
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Madam President. I want to say Cabinet this week tabulated work that has been done. It was discussed that number plates must start to be produced. We know that number plates were being manufactured outside the country but we have plans that number plates be manufactured in this country. The Government decided that we must produce our own number plates in the country instead of giving other countries money. The number plates are manufactured using aluminum and other raw materials like tins we use for drinks.
Since the number plates were coming from other countries, it was difficult to acquire them because the country did not have enough foreign currency. Right now, we have met with the Government department responsible to make sure that the number plates are locally produced. There are other substitutes which we can produce in order to save on foreign currency. I would want to thank the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development that have come together in working towards producing number plates.
*HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam President. My supplementary question is directed to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. Since the issue of number plates is known to the country, why are motorists travelling with vehicles that have no number plates not being taken to task?
*HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Madam President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mavetera for the question. This question was also asked in the National Assembly. The duty of the police is to see that all people abide by the law and people must travel within the laws. Many criminals were taking advantage of using cars without number plates but the department of Home Affairs is now carrying out a survey on cars without number plates. That is why Government right now is in the process of making sure that number plates are available.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs or the Leader of the House. Right now, are people able to apply for passports using United States dollars?
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Madam President. I also thank Hon. Sen. Mpofu for his question. I do not know whether the information that he has is sufficient. If he has a particular case that he knows, it will be important for him to submit his question in writing so that investigations can be made. What I know is that people in the diaspora can now apply and pay in United States dollars.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Leader of the House. Hon. Sen. Mpofu, put your question in writing.
HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: Thank you Madam President. I will direct my question to the Leader of the House. There are some prisoners who have acquired some life skills during the time they have been in jail. What is the Government policy on assisting these prisoners financially once they leave jail for them to start their projects? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you very much Madam President. I would also like to thank Senator S. Mpofu for that question. First of all, they are being empowered with these life skills whilst in prison because Government is aware of that need. They are no longer prisons now but are actually called correctional services because we have to rehabilitate the prisoners so that when they get out, they find something to do in order to sustain themselves. In a way, that is Government policy to make sure that they learn all those skills in prisons so that when they go out they have to live a clean life. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: My question is directed to the Hon. Leader of the House. What are Government plans in relation to challenges that are being faced by police officers manning border posts?
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the pertinent question with particular reference to protection of our border areas. It is important. Also regarding passports, these are issues that are continually being spoken about since they affect people. Resources might be limited but Government has a number of programmes targeted on solving that particular issue. Thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Madam President, my question is directed to the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities. I would like to know if Government has plans to rectify the housing challenges that are faced by people in Manicaland, particularly because of the results of the effects of Cyclone Idai in Manicaland.
THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking such a question concerning the effects of Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani. There are a lot of people who were affected, lost their houses and relatives. The Government is busy pulling resources so that this issue is addressed. In the next few weeks, contractors will be engaged so that they start construction in that particular area.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Madam President. My question is targeted towards the Minister of Transport. Firstly, I would like to appreciate the good job that is being done by those who work at different toll gates. At times because of network challenges we find long queues at our toll gates. Is there anything that the Government can do address the long queues at the toll gates.
*HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Let me say that it is not necessary for people to stay in long queues but Government has plans to make sure that there are no long queues at toll gates.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATUPULA: My question is directed to the Leader of the House. The communities around the national parks have noticed that there is a mysterious disease affecting wild life heritage, especially our elephants. Are there any measures in place to ensure that by the end of the season we still have wild life in our parks if they come to the bottom of that disease?
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: As challenges do come, as a Government we will continue to work hard to ensure that we protect our wild life and communities. We know that tourism is a big thing in our country and we know that a lot of tourists come from all over the world to see our wildlife. So the policy is very clear; I was not aware of the disease which the Hon. Senator has referred to – again, it is an issue which I will talk to the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Climate to make sure that the disease is given maxim attention.
*HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA: Thank you Madam President, my question is targeted towards the Leader of the House. We know that the opening of schools is imminent; there are some children who commute to school. So I would like to find out what Government is doing, particularly in making sure that children use safe transport to school.
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Rwambiwa for asking such a pertinent question. Yes, we know schools are going to be opening soon and every parent is concerned. The Government wishes that all school children be protected. Therefore, the President has tasked the Ministry concerned to look into the issue and make decisions regarding school children or their mode of transport. These are decisions that are taken after wide consultations.
Looking at the opening of schools, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the Hon. Minister Mathema went around the country gathering information through consultations, talking to teachers, school children and identifying the different challenges. Government has seen it fit to allocate a budget of $600 000 000 to make sure the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has protective equipment for pupils so that every student has a mask so that even schools that were used as quarantine centres have sanitisers and enough PPE. Government understands that this is important.
Looking at transport challenges, ZUPCO falls under Hon. J. Moyo’s Ministry. It is going to cater for transport for all students and particularly those who will be opening soon, the Form Fours, Six and Grade Seven. They are going to be covered. These are decisions that were taken by Government and a lot of measures have been taken. We have come this far because the Government of Zimbabwe does not want to lose the ground that has been covered so far. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank Madam President. The Hon. Minister who is also the Leader of the House is doing a good job. Regarding the ZUPCO issue, we have seen that a lot of buses are coming and they are affordable, however ZUPCO buses are not plying rural areas. So, my request is that they also consider allocating buses to rural areas. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Madam President. Let me thank Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira for his question. This issue of ZUPCO buses is an issue that came because a lot of rural buses were not ferrying people because of Covid-19. However, during the last two weeks, the Cabinet decided that when tourism operators were allowed to operate then airports were also opened then intercity buses were allowed to go back to operate between big cities. So, we are going stage by stage. We also need to look at rural buses being guided by the situation on the ground. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: My question is directed to the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities. We have noticed that illegal settlers continue building where they are not supposed to build houses. What is Government doing about that issue? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): I would like to thank Senator Chief Charumbira for that pertinent question. The question is in two parts. The first part is a legal issue which is the human settlement policy. Madam President our Ministry is nine months old and we have been working hard to address a number of issues particularly promulgating a law which covers human settlements. I believe that by the end of October, we will be having that policy.
The second question speaks to illegal settlements and bylaws of different councils. If you still remember, few years back, because people wanted to build houses in areas that are serviced, then Government engaged cooperatives and private developers so that they would come and service roads, water reticulation and sewer disposal. They were tasked to allocate stands being guided by different laws. They were given development permits with conditions. However, because at times as human beings, they decided to resale these stands without servicing the roads, without running water and without proper sewage systems.
Government having saying that this was not in tandem with the President’s Vision 2030, which aims at achieving development by 2030 - So, our Ministry was given a task to engage these developers so that we regularise all settlements. We are moving around cities addressing all irregularities. Let me emphasise that Government is not demolishing peoples’ houses but Government is going to service roads, water reticulation and sewage disposal systems. Government is going to engage developers and other contractors so that these areas are serviced. Developers are supposed to pay contractors who will be working in all these new settlements. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. RAMBANEPASI: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Let me thank the Hon. Minister for what they did to PetroTrade. Now we have access to PetroTrade without any pressure. We appreciate what you are doing, you are doing a good job. We thank His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa who guided you in order to value Senators and Members of Parliament. My question is that suppose I am not feeling well and I send my driver who might be a relative to go to Petrotrade, what do we do if the petrol attendant says if the Hon. Member is not there, we cannot serve you? This is despite tge fact that the car is properly written and they know that it is a senatorial car. That is my question.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank the Hon. Sen. Rambanepasi for appreciating the good job that we did as a Ministry. I remember at one time Hon. Senators spoke about fuel challenges, but let me come to the question that was asked by the Hon. Sen. When the Hon. Sen. sends her driver to Petrotrade, at times the driver is not given fuel. This is not proper – you need to take our phone numbers so that if you come across such challenges, then you can communicate with us. Write down the challenges so that we can make a follow-up as a Ministry. You will be having your coupons and so, what reason does the petrol attendant give you? That should not happen. Senatorial cars, coupons and the driver that is allocated to you is what is important with or without the Senator’s presence, the senatorial car should be filled. I thank you.
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: However, we are also urged not to share these cards as Hon. Members.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI: I would like to ask the Hon. Minister whether Petrotrade serve other people in other towns or it is only serving those who are in Harare.
*HON. MUDYIWA: Let me thank the Hon. Sen. for asking such a pertinent question. Petrotrade is supposed to serve all cities and towns throughout the country but the challenge is that they were not having enough fuel to service the whole country. I believe that is the challenge that Petrotrade has been facing. Secondly, coupons were supposed to be used in selected garages in Harare and in other parts of the country and not all Petrotrade garages. However, the main issue is that they do not have enough fuel to service all garages around the country.
*HON SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: My supplementary is unique. I decided to rise whilst we are looking at policy issues. The Hon. Sen. first appreciated His Excellency E. D. Mnangagwa and we commend that. It is important that we appreciate wherever the contribution is coming from and whatever party it comes from, it is important to appreciate our leaders across political parties. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. In his absence, I will direct my question to the Leader of the House. Madam President, what is the policy of Government regarding the payment of school fees because most of the schools in the country are demanding that parents pay school fees beginning with first term, second term and now we are in the third term. What is Government policy? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Madam President. The issue of school fees remains that parents are supposed to pay for the term when the students were learning. In terms of the policy, the issue is that parents will have to sit down and discuss, and what we hear from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is what we should do. Every child should go to school and that is what the Government wants as well as to protect the parents.
*HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: The issue is parents are being asked to pay fees for the terms which they did not attend - that is the problem that we are facing.
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: I thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Sen. Mavetera. If there are problems concerning the payment of school fees, they must go to the Ministry. They will sit down and discuss this issue. What we heard from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education – their job is to consult with the parents and the schools such that everything will go well. According to the law, the schools must not charge for the time the kids were not at school. If the school is doing that, they must sit down and solve the issue.
*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: My question is does the Government know that schools right now have got Grade 7, Form 4s and Form 6 which are opening on Monday. Many schools have invited parents and they are demanding foreign currency. For example another school which I know is demanding USD400-USD500. What does the Government say or what is going to happen? If you ask many parents who have got school children, they are already informed to pay the school fees but the fees is more than US$500.
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Hon. President and thank you Hon. Hungwe. Responding to the issue when the schools are charging parents in US$; we know people in this country are paid in ZWD. The schools must not charge for the time the kids were not at school. If the school is doing that they must sit down and solve the issue.
HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: My supplementary question is as follows; does the Government know that the schools have notified parents of children who are opening on Monday, that is Grade 7, Form 4s and Form 6s that they will be charging fees in foreign currency. For example, there is a school which I know demanding US$400 to US$500. What does the Government say or what is going to happen? If we ask many parents who have got school children, they have already been told to pay but the school fees is more than US$500.
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: On the issue of schools charging fees in US dollars, we know people in this country are paid in Zimbabwe dollars. Parents with children who go to these schools must go to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon Mathema to discuss the matter. It might be a private or government school, they must not raise schools without Government’s approval. As leaders in this House, it is incumbent upon us that when we see that there are schools which are charging fees in foreign currency it is important for us to raise this issue with the Ministry.
*HON. SEN. GWESHE: My question is directed to the Leader of the House. There is a war in the transport sector, a very scary war. Government said the ZUPCO buses must ferry passengers but the war which has erupted is on which sector is supposed to ferry passengers to work, whether it is ZUPCO or the private registered vehicles. The police are permitting lorries to ferry people to work. My question is - are private players that are not ZUPCO allowed to ferry people?
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): What the Hon. Senator is saying is corruption. When there is corruption, as leaders we must make sure that the corruption ends especially police officers who allow lorries to ferry passengers must be reported. Every car is allowed to register under ZUPCO franchise so that they may be allowed to ferry people. I have not heard about lorries ferrying people but if they are there, it is corruption.
+HON. SEN. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam President of the Senate. My question is directed to the Leader of the House since the Minister of Lands is not around. As farmers, we face many challenges as we go to banks when we want to apply for loans. We are required to present 99-year leases yet we do not have those. My question is - how best can we get assistance pertaining to this issue?
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I would like to thank the Hon Senator for that question. That is a very specific question which needs a lot of details. The issue of 99 year leases as bankable and offer letters is an issue which I will request the Minister of Lands to come and give a statement to this House. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NECHOMBO: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to ask my question which is directed to the Leader of Government Business in the House. We appreciate the announcement that was made by Government that schools will be opening soon. They are going to open in different phases and eventually others will follow on the 9th of November 2020. When children go back to school on the 9th of November, when is the term going to end and what calendar is going to be used? Are we going to use the conventional calendar which has been there or the term will overlap into the following year?
Secondly, since schools will open on 9 November, are those in Grade 1, going to proceed to Grade 2 next year or they will continue doing the first grade? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Hon. Sen. Chief Nechombo for that pertinent question concerning the welfare of children and what is going to transpire during this term. Government understands and appreciates that it is important that children go back to school. What pains us is that some were doing online lessons while others were not. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has been busy trying to rectify the different challenges. Right now, the Ministry is planning to make sure that children go to school.
Since he asked a specific question which he wanted to know how long the term will be, this is not ordinary and we are under extra ordinary circumstances. We know that children will be writing examinations but possibly the term might overlap into the following year. The Ministry will continuously look at different stages. We also know that there are some children who are supposed to go to Grade 1 next year. If those who are in Grade 1 remain in that grade, it means those who were supposed to be in Grade 1 in 2021 will not be going to school. So students will proceed to the next grade of their education. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA: Thank you Madam President. On the issue of opening of schools, there are some schools which are charging a certain amount to parents saying it is for buying sanitisers and the like. There are reports that Government is going to make sure that all materials needed are provided so that students and teachers can use when they open schools. Can we have clarity as to whether parents are paying or they are getting money from Government? Thank you.
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief for that question. Government’s concern as we re-open schools is to make sure students and teachers are safe. So there is a budget for masks, sanitisers, disinfectants and the like. If there are schools that are charging parents, take it up as leaders to advise them that Government has a budget for that, including rural area schools. I thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 and 2 be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 7 and 8 have been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2018
THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT K.C.D. MOHADI: Madam President of the Senate, I hereby table the National Peace and Reconciliation 2018 Annual Report as distributed to the Hon. Members. Allow me to give a summary of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) 2018 Annual Report.
The NRPC is a constitutionally established body whose overarching mandate is to ensure post-election justice, healing and reconciliation. In 2018, the NPRC had a newly appointed Chairperson, substantive Executive Secretary and obtained Treasury concurrence to recruit 32 members of secretariat. In the year under review, the NPRC was involved in:
- Conflict prevention and peace building activities before, during
and after elections;
- Facilitating the signing of the Peace Pledge by the 21 Presidential candidates for the harmonised elections. This intervention contributed to the peace that prevailed across the nation before, during and after the elections;
- Engagements with Government, Non-Governmental and political actors following the violent 1 August, 2018 demonstrations in the country and
- The launch of the Five-Year Strategic Plan for the period 2018 to 2022, which is currently being implemented.
Madam President, in their report, the Commission makes the following recommendations to this august House for consideration:
- that existing laws be strengthened to include elements of hate speech by public officials, institutions, media houses and citizens in public places, social, print and electronic media platforms;
- that organisations and institutions should develop programmatic activities that promote the development of positive communication skills;
- that capacity building programmes be undertaken to strengthen and sharpen investigative and prosecutorial skills of enforcement agencies, prosecutors and the judiciary in relation to hate speech;
- that the current National Development Strategy being developed prioritise devolution.
- That Parliament expedites the enactment of the Provincial Councils Act in line with the Constitution in order to operationalise devolved provincial structures;
- That Government supports the deployment of monitoring and evaluation of staff in all its departments to monitor support programmes for fairness, adequacy and non-partisanship;
- That security services should mainstream peace studies in their pre-service curriculum and involve interested stakeholders in curriculum development;
- That the public be educated on the security services internal complaints handling and feedback mechanisms;
- That the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission’s multi-stakeholder peace committees be adequately resourced;
- That the NPRC and Government agencies be well resourced to execute mandates as set in Section 7 of the Constitution.
Madam President of the Senate, the recommendations of the NPRC seek to contribute to social cohesion, unity and tolerance among Zimbabweans. Further, the recommendations seek to contribute to positive policy and environment of peace, as well as an improved architecture for conflict prevention at national and sub-national levels. I so submit Madam President.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Before I call for debate, we proceed to Notice of Motion Number 8 so that once we start debating, we will be debating on Motion 7 and 8.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2019
THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT K.C.D. MOHADI): Thank you Madam President. I hereby table the National Peace and Reconciliation 2019 Annual Report as distributed to the Members.
Madam President, allow me to give a summary of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) 2019 annual report. In 2019, the NPRC’s thrust was to engage the communities on the ground, which included:
- The establishment of Provincial Peace Committees as part of its strategy to develop infrastructure for conflict prevention, complaints handling and investigations;
- Engagements with and collaboration with various stakeholders such as traditional leaders, political parties, civil society organisations and the security sector;
- Preparations for public and private hearings to help victims of past conflicts secure closure, healing and reconciliation;
- Pioneering programmes to promote social cohesion as well as conducting scenario analysis programmes in order to anticipate future potential conflicts;
- Recruitment of secretariat as well as the capacitation of staff to sharpen their skills.
Madam President, the NPRC noted that the year 2019 was very challenging, primarily because of inadequate financial resources as a result of the hyper-inflationary environment.
In the report, the Commission makes the following recommendations to this august House:
- That the State and non-state institutions promote programmes which foster tolerance, equality, build social cohesion among Zimbabweans;
- That Government promote and resource historians to document inclusive story lines that reframe and capture agreeable narratives about Zimbabwe’s history;
- That the national shared vision be promoted;
- That Parliament enact enabling legislation to officialise languages in line with the Constitution;
- That Government promote the tuition of all indigenous languages;
- That the roles of the Fallen Heroes Trust and the ZIPRA War Veterans Trust pertaining to exhumations and reburials be clearly defined and harmonized;
- That Government develop a comprehensive policy to address protection of witnesses, victims and survivors of violent conflicts;
- That political parties have formally recognised constitutions to deal with internal conflicts and self regulating mechanisms to promote peaceful political activism;
- That the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill be expedited; and
- That Government develop a policy to integrate, mainstream or introduce peace education in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Madam President, the recommendations of the NPRC herein will foster enhanced national capacities for sustaining peace, promote healing and reconciliation, as well as inclusive healing and reconciliation process that address legacies of violent conflicts. I so submit Madam President.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam President. Allow me to thank the Hon. Vice President, Hon. Mohadi for bringing in a report on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission. I think we all know outsiders and insiders have described Zimbabwe as one of the most polarized nations among ourselves.
The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is a very vital cog which is required for this nation if we are to achieve national reconciliation and development. One of the points which have been highlighted is resource constraints. I find it very weighty to say as a Government we cannot put resources for one of the most important Commissions which is a pre-requisite for national development.
I hope as we go into the next financial year, as Members of this august House, we will take turns and see to it that resources are allocated for this important Commission so that it achieves the mandate which it is supposed to.
Therefore, I would like to thank the Hon. Vice President and also to just tell him that the portfolio which he was given is a very befitting and important one for our national development. So, each one of us as legislators, has to make sure that this Commission is well resourced.
The issues that has been raised of cascading the activities of the national peace and reconciliation at provisional level; I think we have been talking about it but as of now there are no visible structures. So, I think our sincerity is very much questionable and whether we want to achieve what we want remains also questionable. We really need to start to walk the talk.
So with those few words, I would want to urge Hon. Members to really look at the Peace and Reconciliation Commission as one of the most important commissions which has been established by the Constitution for obvious reasons. It is a pre-requisite for national development and national unity. We really need to foster unity among our people, but before we do that, let us make sure that we really advocate for the Minister as we go into the next budget to make sure we have visible resources in order to kick start this thing. I thank you.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Those Hon. Senators who want to debate are free to do so, the Hon. Vice President asked for permission to rush to Bulawayo but promised to answer everything which is going to be debated.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam President. First and foremost, I would like to thank the Vice President for personally gracing this House and tabled reports. Firstly he has recommended that the Mines and Minerals Act should be amended, and this matter should reach its logical conclusion.
In the communities where we come from there is now a lot disturbances emanating from ownership of mines with some claiming that they have been given documents by the Ministry of Mines Minerals. Mining now supersedes every other legislation, as chiefs we have to deal with complain from our subject whose fields would have been taken by miners. The issue of reconciliation, unity and peace is enshrined in our Constitution and it gave birth to an independent Commission that looks after National Peace and Reconciliation.
The Constitution was drafted at breakneck speed as people were interested in conducting elections. I was part of the Constitution making team. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I would like to thank the Hon. Vice President, Hon. K. Mohadi for bringing such a very important report to this august House. As Parliament we must support this Commission and even our media, we know we have different Houses, if they speak things against the job being done by the commission, as a country, there will be no development. Therefore, I would like to thank the Vice President for bringing the report so that we support and the Commission is well resourced.
On the issue that has been raised by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, the issue of mines; the whole country no longer have peace because of mining activities. We are therefore expecting this Commission to resolve all these problems.
This is the first commission to come into the Senate giving a report headed by the Hon. Vice President, Hon. Mohadi. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: I want to thank the Vice President who brought this report. I think within the Commission, we plead that the Chiefs be included in the Commission. Our country is heading in a wrong direction because the Chiefs are not included in some of the things.
Let me move on to mining. Mr. President, things are not well. Those who are giving permission to people to go and carry out mining activities are not doing it in a proper way. Last week I spoke about some of the workers who were unfortunate, the mine collapsed while they were inside. This means that this pit was illegal. If it was lawful, these workers would have been rescued. Right now, these workers are still in that pit.
Mr. President, we must do the process in a transparent manner so that those giving licences must not continue giving papers while people are dying. I went under Chegutu bridge yesterday because my uncle has got road runners so he had asked me to bring some river sand. So, when I went under the bridge, I did not know that the pillar of the bridge used to have some stones which supported the bridge but the stones were removed. It is not surprising if you hear that an accident has happened at that bridge. There are too many people under the bridge doing mining activities.
Mr. President, it is painful. That is why I am suggesting that Chiefs must be included. Do not let us clap hands here while you are being left out in these issues. These issues are happening in the rural areas and this affects you. Zimbabwe is a country of Chiefs, we want the powers to be returned to the Chiefs so that they guide us in some of these important things. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): I move that the debate do not adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 29th September, 2020.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Six Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday , 29th September, 2020.