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SENATE HANSARD 25 JUNE 2024 VOL 33 NO 59

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 25th June, 2024

The Senate met at Half–past Two o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE HON DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the Senate that I have received the Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Children and Young Persons) Bill [H.B. 4A, 2024] from the National Assembly.

NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

         THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I would like to inform the Senate that the Parliamentary Legal Committee met on the 6th of June, 2024 and considered all the Statutory Instruments 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71,72, 73, 74 and 75 gazetted in the month of April 2024. The Committee is of the opinion that the Statutory Instruments are not in contravention of the declaration of rights or any other provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

         THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I would like to remind all Senators to put their phones on silent mode or switch them off.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE:

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE AFFAIRS (HON. SEN. H. MOYO): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 2 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 ON THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Judicial Service Commission for the year 2023.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. M. NCUBE: I would like to just say a few words on the report which was tabled before us by the Minister of Justice on the Judicial Services Commission. Mr. President, I went through the report and I was able to dig out three particular things. The Judicial Services Commission is actually founded on three pillars of transparency, accountability and independence. So, as I was reading through the report, I tried to relate all the information I came across on those three pillars. On transparency, I would say the Judicial Services Commission is trying its best to make court processes and procedures accessible to all Zimbabweans. There are financial challenges, but they are trying their best. They are building courts in terms of infrastructural provision all over the country. They recently completed courts in Epworth, Mutawatawa, Chikombedzi and other places. This shows they want justice to be easily accessible to all our people.

          Also, there is an issue of accountability. When you read through, you realise that one or two judges were facing some censure of some kind because the President had actually put together tribunals to investigate those judges and they quickly resigned. Coming from the Midlands Province where there are many disputes in terms of mining claims, there are many people who go about invading other people’s places as long as they are rich and then they create disputes. Most of those disputes were actually resolved in the High Court in Bulawayo. However, there was a certain judge who had been captured by some of those rogue elements. They would come to your mine and produce fake papers, creating a dispute knowing that it needed to be resolved in Bulawayo in the High Court where they would easily win because they would have paid the judge and that should not be allowed. Hence, I applaud the President. When there is willful corruption, he quickly sets up tribunals to deal with those issues. I think justice should not just be done, but has got to be seen to be done. Perception should be right. We cannot allow a situation where corruption is associated with the Judiciary in this country. Also, when we look at the Commissioners of the Judicial Services Commission, you can see that these are people of high integrity. That alone reinforces the fact that the judiciary is above suspicion. They will not be in a situation where they compromise the delivery of justice in this country, but is the judiciary truly independent? That is one question that needs to be interrogated. Obviously, there is need to collaborate with other arms of Government, but the judiciary is supposed to keep its independence.  

When they appeal to us to ensure that they are properly funded and we give them 50%, 60% of their budget. We are also accomplices because we are compromising their independence. They have got a lot of work to do, hence the Constitution was very clear that they have got to table their reports here so that we can support them fully for them to become independent. When we also look and realise the infrastructure which they have embarked upon in terms of building of courts everywhere, like I have alluded to, you will see that the report is silent in terms of accommodation.

Is it right for an Magistrate for that matter to be a lodger? Does it not compromise their independence? There is no mention of accommodation of judicial officers in the report. I also must commend that the Judicial Services Commission has embarked on an integrated electronic case management system in line with the dictates of technology and incorporation of artificial intelligence, in terms of case filling and case referencing. There is emphasis that where web-based system has been adopted, particularly in the superior courts, you will see that the efficiency has improved tremendously. They have been able to deal with 95% of the cases.

It is therefore incumbent upon us to ensure that integrated electronic case management system cascades to the lower courts, Magistrates Courts and other to bring in efficiency within the Judiciary delivery system. Mr. President, one of the courts which is letting people down tremendously is the Labour Court. It is just not delivering to expectation. We know that cases which are referred to the Labour Courts are so economic sensitive. For the Labour Court to have cases in their books for three, four, five years, it affects the people concerned.

There is need to look at that carefully Mr. President. I also realised within the report there is no mention of the relationship between the Judicial Services Commission and traditional leader as Judicial Officers, because they also at sometimes put on hats of Judicial Officers in their Community Courts. Where is the nexus? Where is the relationship? Can we just let the traditional leaders make decisions in a discrete manner without incorporation into the wider Judicial delivery system?  I think there is need to look into that Mr. President so that systems are properly standardised. It affects our people at every level.

Before I end my short report Mr. President, I would like to commend other provinces. Harare is miles and miles ahead in terms of commission of crime. It does not matter what crime it is; Harare is a leader. Other provinces tend to have statistically acceptable numbers. When we look at 26 thousand, 30 thousand for Harare and other provinces are way below a thousand. Maybe it is because everything happens in Harare and the bulk of the population is concentrated in Harare, but it does give a bad mark for Harare.

In conclusion Mr. President, as Members of Parliament, we need to support the Judicial Services Commission so that we strengthen the Judicial delivery system financially and ensure that judicial officers are equipped properly, have got tools of trade and are properly remunerated. They should therefore be in a position to compromise the whole process in terms of delivering justice. Thank you, Mr. President.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. E. MOYO):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for the year 2023.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. E. MOYO):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for the year 2023.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. E. MOYO): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. E. MOYO): I move that Order of the Day Number 6 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REHABILITATION OF OPEN MINES BY ARTISANAL MINERS

     HON. SEN. S. MOYO: I move the motion standing in my name

That this House-

        ACKNOWLEDGING that Zimbabwe is endowed with a lot of natural resources, among them minerals;

 

COGNISANT that the country’s wealth is the cornerstone of the economic development and has to be exploited for the benefit of the citizens of Zimbabwe;

CONCERNED that the exploitation of minerals has its own

 challenges which are brought about by miners in their quest to extract rich mineral resources;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development- (a) To ensure that artisanal miners rehabilitate all open mines that their teams dig in various parts of the country as they extract minerals from the ground; and

(b) That miners plough back some of their profits to communities where they extract the resources.

HON. SEN. C. NDLOVU: I second.

HON. SEN. S. MOYO: Thank you Mr. President Sir for the opportunity you have given me to debate on my motion.  I am here to hold the Minister of Mines to action on behalf of the citizens to express the will of the people when it comes to the mining of our mineral resources.  The Senate and Parliament, as the representatives of the citizens, should pay attention to everything that is happening regarding our mineral wealth and the impact on the lives of the citizens we represent. It is important to consider ways to ensure that foreign investors in the mining sector benefit both the investors and the local population, but mostly our people. 

Mr. President, this should involve implementation of transparent regulations, promoting corporate social responsibility, ensuring fair labour practice and actively involving local communities in decision making processes related to mining activities.  The goal should be to maximise the benefits of foreign investors while minimising negative impacts on the environment and local communities.  This can be achieved through effective governance, regulations and oversight of the mining sector in our beloved country of Zimbabwe. 

The people of Zimbabwe are suffering, there is unequal distribution of wealth.  We argue that the benefits of mining in Zimbabwe are not evenly distributed among the population, with the majority of the profits going to foreign companies rather than local communities.  It is the Hon. Minister’s duty to make sure policies are improved so that people benefit.

Secondly, there are environmental concerns, mining activities that are  happening are having a significant impact on the environment, including mining without licences, cutting down trees, again EMA regulations in places where mining is happening, water pollution due to explosives and other tools used,  soil is destroyed which can harm local communities and ecosystem. We have seen it; it is no secret that the Chinese are all over.  They just mine and do not do anything to develop the communities in which they practice mining.  All they are doing is looting and the children of Zimbabwe suffer.  The AMD acid mine drainage is what pollutes the water, mining waste is not properly managed.  Water sources such as our rivers, streams and ground water suffer.

The Minister should have policies in place that treat mine water before it is released into the environment, re-using treated water and properly managing mine waste to prevent formation of acidic drainage.  I recommend that there be community education. Monitoring programmes can also help raise awareness about the risks associated with mining activities and promote healthier practices.

          Another issue has to do with labour practices. Some foreign mining companies have been exploiting our local labour, paying low wages and providing poor working conditions for our citizens.  When it comes to management level, we have a lot of our engineers leaving for the diaspora because of low salaries and this results in investors bringing their own engineers. That is not all as far as bringing their own labour force. For example, the Chinese at Hwange Colliery are mining there and all their labour force is not local, it is Chinese.

          There are a lot of resources being extracted. For example, those with the licences to mine chrome find other minerals in the process, like gold and do not pay for the licence to mine gold. So when they extract other minerals from the chrome they found, they make triple profits. We are concerned that foreign mining companies may extract resources from Zimbabwe without adequate consideration for sustainable development, leading to abuse of resources and long-term negative consequences for the country.

          There is no development being done in these areas such as building of power plants and housing which can benefit the locals indirectly. No form of development is being done and that is a big problem that needs urgent attention.  On the other hand, we do know that there can be economic growth. Foreign investment in mining can contribute significantly to the economic growth for our country Zimbabwe. It brings in capital, technology and expertise that can help to develop the mining sector and create jobs if the Hon. Minister puts in place proper and improved policies.

          Mr. President, I call the Hon. Minister of Mines to action. Can he tell us what is being done with the Government revenue because mining activities generate revenue for the Zimbabwean Government through taxes and royalties which can be used to fund public services and infrastructures. What has been done so far? Due to my years of experience in the mining sector, here are some recommendations for the Hon. Minister of Mines to consider:

  1. There should be transparency and accountability. He should implement policies that enhance transparency in the allocation of mining licences, revenue collection and resource management. Also, create mechanisms for public oversignt and independent audits to ensure that revenues are not lost to corruption.
  2. Secondly, there should be local employment and skills development. He should enforce regulations that mandate mining companies to prioritise hiring local talent and invest in training programmes to develop local skills. This can help create job opportunities for Zimbabwean citizens and ensure the transfer of knowledge and technology. This will stop the violence happening between Chinese and our locals which led to the death of some of our citizens.
  3. There should be community engagement and benefit sharing. The Minister should require mining companies to engage with local communities and develop mutually beneficial agreements that ensure communities receive a fair share of the benefits from mining activities. This could includes infrastructure development, education, healthcare, or direct financial contributions.
  4. There should be protection of our environment as a people. The Minister should enforce strict environmental regulations to minimise the negative impact of mining activities on local ecosystems and communities. Require companies to implement sustainable mining practices and invest in rehabilitation and restoration programmes.
  5. There should be revenue management. He should establish a transparent system for managing mining revenues, including mechanisms for saving and investing funds for future generation. Implement a big wealth fund to ensure that revenues are used wisely and benefit the entire population.
  6. There shuld be capacity building.  He should invest in the capacity building of Government agencies responsible for regulating the mining sector to effectively monitor compliance with regulations, enforce laws and negotiate fair deals with mining companies.

Lastly, there should be monitoring and evaluation.  The Hon. Minister should implement a robust monitoring and evaluation system to track the progress of policy implementation and assess the impact of mining activities on the well-being of the population.  Use this data to improve policies and practices. 

By adopting these recommendations, the Minister of Mines can help ensure that the people of Zimbabwe benefit from the rich minerals she has. I thank you.

 +HON. SEN. MLILO: Thank you Mr. President.  I think it is important in this country that we should have a clear policy on mineral issues.  We should protect women, people with disabilities and all the vulnerables in the mining sector, women in particular are among those  those who are despised.  If a woman finds a claim for mining activities, men come in because of their resource base and overpower women.  We request Government to protect us as women, to protect us from all the processes that will be happening, particularly in the mining sector.  I thank you Mr. President Sir. 

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

HON. SEN. MLILO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

COMPENSATION TO PENSIONERS AND POLICY HOLDERS BY PENSION AND INSURANCE COMPANIES

     Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the reduced value of the Zimbabwean Dollar.

     Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. S. MOYO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 148th ASSEMBLY OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU) HELD IN GENEVA

 Ninth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion of the Report of the 148th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Related Meetings.

     Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. M. NCUBE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES TO HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA ON ASSUMPTION OF THE PRESIDENCY OF PAP

Tenth Order readAdjourned debate on motion that a congratulatory message be conveyed to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on his ascendancy to the Presidency of the Pan-African Parliament

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIEF NGUNGUMBANE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC HEMODIALYSIS FACILITIES IN DISTRICTS

Eleventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the treatment of chronic kidney disease in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

*HON.  SEN. MUZODA: Thank you Mr. President.  I also would like to thank Hon. Senator Zvidzai, for bringing this motion.  It is a very important cause, especially with regards to the health of all of us in this august House.  I would like to debate about a kidney ailment Mr. President.  It is so disturbing that relatives and friends are dying because of this problem, while as Government we just watch and do nothing to assist those alive to continue living.  Looking at the statistics Mr. President, especially those who die because of kidney problem, we have not yet acquired medicine and necessary equipment that is used for diagnosis.  The whole country only has two machines at Mpilo and Parirenyatwa Hospitals.  So that affects people because they cannot be attended to on time. 

Sometimes they travel long distances.  What I would like to encourage Government, is to procure these dialysis machines so that people are attended to before the ailments worsen.  Mr. President, kidney problem is a silent disease which, at the beginning, joins other ailments in the body such as diabetes or blood pressure.  If somebody is affected by blood pressure and diabetes, it is very rare for the kidneys not to be affected.  If only Government should be able to treat people suffering from kidney failures, diabetes as well as blood pressure and provide medication as well as machines in various areas in the country.  People should be diagnosed much earlier.  That way they can be treated.  Mr. President, the kidney problems, when we were growing up, were foreign to us, but now they are also being caused by what we eat which is causing a lot of stones in our kidneys, thereby leading to kidney failure. 

My advice is that people should be diagnosed much earlier just like any other disease.  The problem with the kidney disease is that when it is seriously infectious, there will be a requirement for it to be removed. There are a lot of people who survive on one kidney.

Without wasting much of your time, my request to the country is that if only we could have diagnostic machines for chronic diseases in each and every district so that the diseases may be attended to at district level, so that there are no complications if there are referrals.  Our country is endowed with a lot of wealth, how can we fail to buy machines that assist our citizenry? With so many minerals that we have, it is so painful to watch people die yet we are so endowed with wealth.

I would like to urge Government to prioritise machines that are used to diagnose diseases such as cancer, kidney, diabetes and blood pressure so that our people may live longer and we do not continue losing people because of that. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MBOHWA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my views on this motion brought by Hon. Senator Zvidzai which refers to kidney problems. Indeed, in the past, we did not know much about these diseases but my thoughts are that we should come up with programmes dedicated to the rural areas so that we restore the foods that we used to eat in the past. Some of the foods that we are now consuming may have GMO side effects that may affect our internal organs and cause many other health problems.

Since we now understand that we live in a global village, it is impossible to go back and our children are no longer able to consume the foods that we used to eat like wild fruits as well as organic foods. These were very helpful to our health. These days nobody wants to eat such foods. We are now consuming a lot of processed foods.  I would like to thank His Excellency the President because in 2008, there were no medicines and diagnostic machines in hospitals but with the new dispensation, they are working hard to make such equipment available in hospitals. Nowadays, we see a lot of change and improvements.

If we look at these diseases like cancer, there is something that is happening with regards to the prevention of the diseases. As we speak, the First Lady has started an outreach programme in the rural areas where a bus equipped with diagnostic equipment is moving around to all the areas so as to make health facilities accessible to all. If only that service could be taken to lower levels of society, especially in rural areas and ward levels. You find that in the rural areas, for someone to know that they have cervical cancer or their kidneys are affected, it is very difficult. They die in ignorance because they cannot access that help. This effort has started with mobile buses that are equipped with modern equipment and if only the outreach programme could go right round the country in addition to the efforts that the First Lady is doing, this could be very helpful. I would like to thank very much the present Government because we are bringing development.

I referred to the problems that we used to have in 2008 where the sanctions strongly affected us but right now as I speak, we have quite a number of machines despite the fact that they are very expensive but they are now available in the hospitals. We knew that back then, anyone who is sick used to go out of the country to receive dialysis as well as chemotherapy but those facilities are now available although we are only starting. They are not yet in abundance. I applaud the efforts and I hope we will get there eventually.

Mr. President, kidney diseases are very painful. When it starts there is no reverse, you definitely know that you are going to die. If only Members of Parliament would go to the rural areas and teach the people to sensitise them on what they are supposed to be warry of with regards to the early symptoms of this disease. I am aware of the fact that some of the hospitals have been decentralised like in Gokwe North. Outreach efforts will also be helpful including these mobile buses that I am talking about.

Before I sit down, I would like to thank His Excellency very much because there are a lot of things that are taking place in this country. If we were to concentrate on health services only, everything else may come to a standstill. There is a drought and other social problems that are bedeviling this country. All the facets of the economy and life must be attended to. His Excellency is trying very much to make sure that all facets of life are uplifted. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator who brought this motion and I would like to bring it up as a reminder. There are some diseases that you may survive and for some, it is life and death, like the heart problem. Kidney problem is all about life. If they fail, death is inevitable for such diseases. My contribution is, if that disease affects you, it is for the rest of your life. There should be efforts to ensure that you are attended to. We know that there are major hospitals and most of the people are found in provinces and districts. My request is, the Ministry of Health should be allocated funds to ensure that such services are decentralised to primary health centres, especially in provinces. Right now, anyone affected by kidneys has to travel by bus or train, but it could be easier if they are attended to locally. We have witnessed some of these incidences which are so disturbing.

Some people have to travel long distances and the fees that they have to pay are too high. If only we could come up with a levy that attends to such diseases like cancer because most of the people who are affected are dying, they cannot travel to central hospitals like Harare or Bulawayo. We hear in the press that some of the machines such as the cancer machines stopped working in 2021. What should we do because these are priorities and these are the things that affect people, especially in the rural areas where we come from?

Mr. President, we donate blood in this country at BTS for free and BTS is not a Government company. It is a company that looks at making profit. After donating blood, I bought a pint of blood at $250 for a relative. Imagine if you are involved in an accident. Sometimes when we talk, it is as if they are far-fetched issues but in case of an emergency, you may need four pints of blood. You are asked to procure the blood on your own. Those are some of the things that must be looked into, especially by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Welfare. In other countries, blood is not procured at more than $50 a pint and this is a fact, but ours, the price is going up.

People see BTS close to Parirenyatwa and think it is a Government institution. No, it is private. The blood that is needed by people is normal blood which does not need processing. It does not even need to go to BTS and it can be done at district level or at provincial level. You get blood from people and it is stored locally. These are some of the things that may be scrutinised by the Ministry of Health. We are donating blood for free but when you need it, you are now asked to pay $250 or $300 per pint. I am combining diseases such as cancer and kidneys. If only as legislators we could scrutinise these things and understand that we are the ones who vote for the budget, this can happen right at your door step and you may not have money.

I saw one of us and I was touched when I saw that they are suffering but for someone who fails even to walk, if only we could get such life saving for free. Those are some of the things that must be considered and taken as social services. How can someone die at work failing to even walk as they try to get help? Let us consider this as our problem. Do not take it as someone’s problem. A disease can just come up without preparing for it.

I confess Mr. President. Three weeks ago, I was strong and healthy but one of the days, I woke up with breathing problems. I was taken to hospital and spent the whole week on oxygen, yet I had spent the whole week healthy and fit here. We have no control over diseases. I also thank God because I am here. You did not even know that I was on oxygen the whole week, yet the previous day I was here debating, thinking that I am strong. We need to take the health issues seriously.

Cancer, dialysis and other services must be decentralised and let us ensure that people have access to them in their localities. How many of them can afford to come here? Even if we construct health centres, when they are not equipped, it will not help. The kidney issue must be taken seriously. I understand the problem why there is need for Ministers to come and respond to our debates and motions. In Tanzania and Zambia, blood is cheap. What can we learn so that we rectify that? We are here to safeguard people’s lives and represent them. That is why I would like to say Mr. President, the kidney problem is very painful. Let us take it seriously and ensure that there is machinery in rural areas so that they do not travel to other areas in order to access that. Social Welfare as well as the Ministry of Health must look into that to ensure that they come up with a solution to ensure that people may live long. This problem is worsening and the life styles have changed. The food that is now being consumed is different from what we used to consume when we were growing up. We are here debating about our children and generations to come or even on my behalf because I do not know what is going to happen to me tomorrow.

May the Chiefs also add their voices to ensure that cancer patients are attended to. Indeed, there is this mobile outreach programme that on a daily basis people need to be treated and the health issues must be prioritised. I would like to thank all the Hon. Members and re-emphasise that this is a very critical issue. It is not a neighbour’s problem. Some of the people here may be affected. We must also look into the medical aid issues where you are supposed to pay for treatment, despite the fact that you have contributed. Medical aid must help the people who contribute. Some people travel to India and are asked to come with their own money to pay for air fare as well as upkeep, yet we have medical aids. Some of them are helpful, but some of them are not. So, we need to look into that, to ensure that anyone on medical aid must be able to get assistance. What we are talking about is good for our health insurance policy that should be able to assist everyone regardless of status in society. We must speed up such processes that ensure and guarantee healthcare to everyone. Thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Senator Mupfumira for those important words.

          ^^HON: SEN. MOHADI: President of the Senate, this is an ailment that people look down upon. It is an ailment that kills. I would like to thank the Senator who brought this motion to this House on kidney ailment. The other issue is on our Committee on HIV and AIDS. Each time they go out to different hospitals, they need to have some time to get to different hospitals and see if there is medication and equipment that caters for kidney ailments because in most cases, we have challenges of those that are unable to afford. The poor are unable to get access to medical fees in most instances. The other issue is that we need to craft policies that will assist to ensure that the issues we are discussing are pursued. At the moment, we need to see that our medical aids, especially the ones that we are encouraging civil servants, is that we need to have a look into it and see how it operates, especially the one we are referring to. In most cases, each time you visit a hospital, they do not accept it because it has challenges in paying. Therefore, we need to have a medical aid that will be able to assist everyone. It helps us a lot, especially if we do not have money because we do not get money all the times. Therefore, a medical aid is crucial to everyone, which is why people have seen it difficult to always join medical aid services. Diseases like cancer, is where life becomes difficult to have it treated. Let us help each other and make it a point that as policy makers...

There having been a power outage.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Mr. President, I do not know if I should continue.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You can hold on. You can now proceed Hon. Member.           

          ^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you. I was saying as policy makers, we need to ensure that the policies that we craft are operational because our other duty is an oversight duty. We need to ensure that if there are policies, we need to make follow ups to those policies and ensure that we go out to the public to see if people are getting treatment.  I do not have much to say but just to encourage all of us that it is true that this kidney ailment is there and it kills.  Let us ensure that it is reduced and have us get to hospitals and ensure that there is medication to treat this ailment in Harare and Bulawayo.  There is absolutely no one who will be able to travel about 700 kilometers to come to these cities for treatment, this is before we even talk of the fees that one is supposed to pay.  People are dying silently with challenges of failing to get medication.  With these few words Mr. President, thank you, have a great day. 

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

  HON. SEN. MLILO:  I second.

  Motion put and agreed to.

  Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO ZUPCO AND PRIVATE TRANSPORT OPERATORS

  Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the adequacy of public transport in the country. 

  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: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT SERVICES FOR TEENAGE MOTHERS

  Thirteen Order read: Adjourned debate on the effects of teenage pregnancy.

  Question again proposed.

  ^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate on the teenage pregnancies motion moved by Hon. Senator Tongogara.   The motion speaks to us parents and teenage girls.  Right now we are faced with a challenge of teenagers who are no longer finishing school because of pregnancies.  Some of us who stay in border towns realised that our children choose to cross borders going to neighbouring countries to look for work.  This is indeed a challenge because most of them do not have passports and so use illegal crossing points.  Each time they use these points, they tend to be abused, this is where they get to meet maybe men that they do not know and these are the same men that turn to abuse them. 

  Mr. President, the same applies when they get to neighbouring countries, they get to places that they do not have anyone that they know.  They get to men who rape or abuse them sexually and get pregnant.  This then becomes a challenge because whenever they are to indulge, they obviously indulge without any protection.  This puts their life in trouble from there until their time of death, even the child that they give birth to, you would realise that they do not give them love.  No wonder why some of them throw these children into toilets or dust bins because they do not care about these kids. They do not know where they will take these kids to.

Looking at the health of these teenage mothers, you will realise that these will be around 13 years, they will not be mature enough to give birth to a child but the situation that they get into, leads them into falling pregnant.   The moment they give birth, you will realise that their health is by far disturbed because they are not mature enough to have a baby.

 If we are discussing a motion like this one, to us women, it is very sensitive.  We are talking of kids and our grandchildren who are getting into trouble of leaving school due to these challenges, because the teenagers we are talking about, some of them will be in Form 1 or in Form 2.  Each time they get into these challenges, you realise that they are afraid of even saying out on the challenges that they are faced with.  Our policy as a country does not allow these children to continue with school once they are pregnant or once they have given birth. They continue to shy away from going to school just because they are afraid of being laughed at. 

Mr. President, my plea to us as Senators, as policymakers, we need to go back and encourage our children to go to school because once a child is at school, it helps them to continue with school, without only focus on getting married.  The other issue is that when talking of these teenagers, some of them are not really afraid of going to school but for some, it is because they are orphans so they tend to indulge in sex because there is no-one to reprimand them.  Even when they are going to school and when they come back home, they do not have anything to eat and the final result is they realise there is no point in going to school.   Some kids who are born to these teenage mothers are left in the care of their grandparents who also do not have adequate resources to fend for the kids.  This kid might end up faced with challenges in their early stages of development.

 In our resettlement areas, schools are very far away from the villages. I will give an example of a school that I once visited a few years ago and early this year.  This school is in a farming area in these resettlement areas.  It is very far and it is about 20km from that school to the next school.  It is a satellite school and their Grade 7 pupils are supposed to write their examinations from the nearby school which is more than 30km away.   These kids end up not going to school.  During the time I visited the school, I established that those who fail to write their examinations are supposed to come and repeat Grade 6 for them to proceed to Grade 7 the following year.  This child was now 13years in the same school.  These are the same children that are cooking, sweeping, and fetching water for teachers.  So what is the end result of these children’s lives?  These are the challenges that we are faced with.  We need to ensure that we have enough schools that are easily accessible and not more than 5km to the next school.  When they travel long distances to school, this is when they are lured by different men and boys who will then abuse them.  It is critical to have schools nearer to villages to reduce these challenges.  Surely if children have to walk 10kms to their nearest school, does it look right to us as Hon. Members?   It impinges on their human rights and they will live with the situation as it is.  So, it is our duty to help these children to get schools close by.  The orphans need to be assisted by Social Welfare which should see to it that their school fees is paid.  Right now, there are kids that go to school without uniforms and in this cold weather, some go to school bare footed.  How do they continue to go to school with such challenges?  Mr. President, let us see to it that these children get help.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MUZODA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I want to start by thanking Hon. Sen Tongogara for bringing this motion on the girl child.  This issue affects different people in our society because the girl child is an important person and must not be disturbed in her life.  In our day to day life, we also need to scrutinise what leads to girls being raped and impregnated more frequently.  As I alluded to earlier on, girl children were not born promiscuous or prone to abuse but like the saying goes, “an apple does not fall far away from the tree”.  We try to understand how the girl child was brought up to that stage where they are abused and trapped by such people with no respect for the girl child.  How was that child brought up? 

As we go back as parents, let us reflect on what is happening.  The phenomenon is not new, of girls being impregnated and left like that.  There are reasons that are causing all that.  There are some areas where schools are very far away.  That problem where schools are 10km away from where the girl child stays is also a contributory factor especially to those who do not want to see children growing up well.  They take the opportunity to abuse them.  So, the request is, firstly, we need to get schools which are close by so that our children may go back early in order for them not to meet such incidences. Mr. President, if you find someone who is not affected by abuse of a girl child when that person is a parent, it is very difficult to understand because these children are our life and future. So, my request is that we need to rectify the livelihoods of our children so that they are not prone to abuse by passersby. If a 13 years old child travels 10km to school and gets to school at 08:30, leaves that school at 4:30 p.m. and gets home at 9:00 p.m. What happens along the way? Even if they are of the same age - let us rectify that and build schools closer to our children. The truth is our country is one that is causing these problems because as parents, we are also failing to build the characters of our children to stay home and we apportion the blame on Government.

There are a lot of other things that we see. I was shocked one day when I was accompanying one of the Hon. Members to Rainbow Towers Hotel. Mr. President, these things are happening in full view of the police. I do not know who brought those very small kids to the hotel. Those girls obviously do not look like they are going to college, they look like they are Grade 7 or Form 2 and they affect the movement of people at the foyer. This is a Government hotel where all this mischief is taking place.

I asked one of the young girls who stood at my window and I said what do you want and she had nothing to say. Let us protect our children and ensure that they stay home. Sometimes they wonder and go to environments where they find small scale miners. The environment back home sometimes pushes young children into this kind of vice. If a child sees parents sitting at home the whole day with no supper in the evening, this is what is leading the children to venture into prostitution and sell their bodies.   

So, I would like to urge each other, especially in the constituencies where we come from, that people must take care of their children and must not affect their future by not being harsh or ill treating them.  Good counselling and upbringing comes from home and not as they travel on the road. So, in order for our children not to fall prey into early pregnancies and contract diseases, they need to be brought up properly where they come from. I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. GWATURE: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion which was raised by Hon. Senator Tongogara. She did a good thing because things are not well out there when it comes to teen pregnancies. When I look closely and investigated on this issue, the thing that is causing our children to go astray is because we are no longer following our cultural values.

Our culture is the one that builds our nation. Our children are following the laws because of human rights. These rights are killing our children in Zimbabwe because when you come across a child who is misbehaving and he or she is not your child, you cannot reprimand them. Long back we grew up being reprimanded by elders who were not our parents, but these days you will be taken to court. So, I am saying that if it was possible, we should put our heads together as parents and come up with ways that can bring our children together so that they do something which is worthwhile. Also, we must move away from just reprimanding our biological children because children are very clever. They will do bad things outside there not in front of their parents. We should put our heads together so that we can come up with laws like what we are doing right now. The country has drought, but we are putting our heads together.

Yesterday we were in Mutare, talking about climate change and they are running about this issue. We should not only run around with other issues leaving out important issues as well because our children are the future leaders. We are talking about gender, where men and women should unite for the betterment of our country. So, the boy child and girl child are the same. We should be able to run around as parents because we are facing a lot of issues. It is very difficult to see a 13 or 14 year old girl falling pregnant. When it is happening next door it is alright, but when it is under your roof, it is very disappointing. So, I am saying we should adopt our yesteryear values so that our children can be reprimanded by any adult. Also, the other issue is that if a child goes to school without proper things and the child is chased away consecutively for nonpayment of school fees, it is very difficult. When she comes back the following day, she will be shy because others will laugh at her because of constantly being chased away from school. I think the department of Social Welfare should take care of orphans. We have a lot of orphans around and these children need to be looked after. Poverty will end up leading them into early pregnancies and early marriages. I think we should come up with ways on how to help our children with school fees and proper equipment.

Someone mentioned to a child going to school without shoes, that child will not be able to fit with the other children and will end up thinking of other things. This is also a cause for drug abuse because they will say that if they are under the influence of drugs, they will not know that they are lacking. When we are in these urban areas, we have children who leave their homes early for school. Their schools will be near boys’ homes. When it is cold or raining, they find shelter in the boy s’ homes and they meet a lot of abuse and end up being pregnant, especially those who are in form four, when you are looking forward for them to complete their education. It is very painful. With those few words, I thank you, Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June,2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 80TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND THE 45TH CONFERENCE OF APU HELD IN COTE D’IVOIRE

Fourteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion of the Report of the Delegation to the 80th Session of the Executive Committee and 45th Conference of the African Parliamentary Union.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE AFFAIRS (HON. SEN. H. MOYO): Mr. President Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION ON THE ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO RUSSIA

Fifteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation on the Election Observation Mission to Russia on Russian Presidential Elections.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. MOYO: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for bringing the report on the visit to Russia on election observation, which was being led by Hon. Chairperson for the Portfolio Committee of Foreign Affairs and International Trade from 13th to 28th March 2024. Firstly, the report was read and we listened attentively from the delegation which went to the Russian Federation during the elections.

The delegation witnessed and learnt a lot a lot over the elections. They also saw it important to bring back what they have learnt to Zimbabwe so that the people may know the reason why they went to that country. We listened attentively to the report which was presented before the august House. As Hon. Senators who are in the Upper House, we should take note of the report and debate over the matters that were raised so that we see how good it was and how the elections were held because the delegation that we have sent will come and report back to the House.

I will direct straight to the Hon. Chairperson who led the delegation to Russia that they selected those who went to represent themselves and those other Hon. Members who travelled with them. I took note of what was written in the report and take note that they went to represent us as Zimbabweans so that they come and address us in the august House, in this Parliament. I take note that there are two political parties in Parliament, which are the ZANU PF and the CCC.

I also take note that in those Committees, there are also Hon. Members and Senators who were part of the delegation. It is important that here is the Upper House which has got Hon. Senators and Hon. Chiefs, that this country should be united. I take note that there was only one party which went to Russia which was ZANU PF. I saw it fit that in this august House, people who select those who go to represent us, the organisation should select across all parties represented in this House so that as Zimbabweans, we show unity.  We should not forget that we are all Zimbabweans here.  Some are war collaborators and others war veterans; we all got independence in 1980.  We want to take note that when we go out of this country, we should present ourselves well.

          There is this other issue that I always ask myself, it is this relationship between Russia and Zimbabwe.  We have got friendly relationship during the liberation struggle of this country.  I wonder what the delegation that went there exactly learnt from Russia concerning diaspora voting.  We have 1.8 million people who live in the diaspora, which is endorsed in the report. As Zimbabweans, we should learn a lot from that. Russia votes in such a way that there are so many diasporans who voted there. We should as well follow suite.  Indeed, we noted that in our last election, there was no diaspora vote.  I took note of that and this is coming from the report.  The delegation that went to Russia to represent the Hon. Members in Zimbabwe visited seven polling stations out of 94 polling stations.  We notice that the election was free and fair as well as credible but we should take note that we only went to seven polling stations, we did not visit the other 94. This friendly relationship with Russia should continue and we should continue learning good policies and try to implement here as well. 

I also wish to report that CEC and ZEC, we also learnt good policies and also took note that there were people with disabilities who were allowed to vote on their own.  I saw a good environment where those people with disabilities came forward to cast their votes.  I took note that we should learn from them.  The most thing that I like and am proud of is, if a friend is doing good, you should also do the same.  We noted that there were sign language interpreters and media was also using sign language.  We noticed that we do not have those sign language interpreters.  We should also follow suite in that manner.

          I want to report that the delegation did good work and they visited the Zimbabwean Ambassador for that country.  I asked myself whether there are any roadworthy vehicles so that our Embassy would also look attractive and exquisite.  I ask myself whether as Zimbabweans we are failing to have good infrastructure and magnificent places like those that they visited and the high-class vehicles?  We notice that some of the vehicles for this side are very roadworthy, those of our administration but the delegation did not represent us well on that aspect. 

On the issue of staff, how many Zimbabweans do we have as staff members?  In Russia, we witnessed that they use their mother tongue.  We take note that here it is tough, we do not have so many people, whether there is no money or not.  Is it so embarrassing to see His Excellency the Ambassador driving a vehicle which is not of high class?  Why do we use those premises instead of us constructing our own infrastructure and buildings because we have the resources? 

          It is very important that we should work together very well to present ourselves in a good manner.  If I am out of the country, I do not want to show how bad the situation is, whether I am starving or not.  I will dress modestly to present myself as a classy person.  If I am driving a vehicle which is not roadworthy, they will notice that there is something wrong in this country, Zimbabwe. 

As you look at this report which was presented by the Hon. Chair, we had a delegation.  The Hon. Chair should take note of the embassies, so that we raise our flag high and that people witness that this country Zimbabwe is a good country, not to be seen as Sudan and some other countries.  We should present ourselves as a well up country, with resources. With those few words, I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

MOBILE BIRTH REGISTRATION EXERCISE

          Sixteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the challenges faced by the people living in the border areas on the issuance of birth certificates.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. R. M. NDLOVU: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Seventeenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential speech.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE AFFAIRS (HON. H. MOYO): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE AFFAIRS (HON. H. MOYO), the Senate adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. 

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