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SENATE HANSARD 25 JULY 2019 28-61
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 25th July, 2019
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE
ZIMBABWE WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to inform the
Senate that all Members of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus are invited to a one day workshop on the unpacking of the Marriages Bill on
Monday 29th July, 2019 at Rainbow Towers Hotel starting at 08:00hrs
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Before we proceed to
questions without notice, I just have three apologies from Ministers but I am surprised that the front row is almost empty yet I have only three apologies and I do not know why. The apologies I have are from the following:
Hon. Prof. M. Ncube – The Minister of Finance and Economic
Hon. M. Mutsvangwa – The Minister of Information, Media and
Broadcasting Services; and
Hon. Z. Ziyambi -The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Present in the House are; - The Minister of Higher and Tertiary
Education (Hon. Prof Murwira); The Deputy Minister of Defence and
War Veterans (Hon. Matemadanda); The Minister of State for
Mashonaland East Province (Hon. Munzverengwi); The Minister of
State for Manicaland Province (Hon. Dr. Gwaradzimba); and The
Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing (Hon. Mhlanga). Hon. Ministers, you are most welcome.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order Madam
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Excuse me Hon.
Member. I think we have to follow procedures. You stand up so that I recognise you. You cannot just call from your seat.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam President. I
just want to make a point of order after what you have said. As leader of the opposition in this House, I really want you Madam President to present this case as to whether Ministers take this House seriously. Last time we were debating something on social welfare and pensions there was no Minister here. Today is the only day that people interact with
Ministers so that we do not wait too long to discuss things happening in Government. Unfortunately, we seem to accept that Ministers come when they want and when they do not want they just do not come. I am looking at this Order Paper and there are some questions which have been asked as far back as 1st November 2018 which have not been responded to. There are a number of questions here to the Minister of Finance from October 2018, how do we then say we are committing ourselves to serving the nation when Ministers choose when to come and when not to come? There is no movement by these Houses to ensure that Ministers are here.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you leader of
the Opposition. I think it was after I had already referred to. You are supporting me, meaning that as the President of the Senate. We are going to register our complaint concerning this. We are however hoping that some more Ministers will walk in as we proceed. We will complain to the Leader of the House who is the Minister of Justice so that he checks where the Ministers are. I think we have to proceed with those who are here present.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Madam President, where is the
leader of the House because when the Ministers are not around we expect the Government Leader of the House whom we were introduced to as the Minister of Agriculture. He has not been here for quite some time. The Minister is supposed to be the Leader of the House in the Senate according to our records.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Mudzuri, I think when we mean we are going to complain, we do not segregate the complaints. We are also going to complain that we are not getting the Ministers, starting from the Leader of the House. So, when we write we will include him.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. TIMVEOS: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to ask my question. My question goes to the Deputy
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. Deputy Minister, I want to know what policies you have put in place so far. People are suffering out there due to lack of water and roads are really bad. I just want to understand the policies that you have put in place to help the people of Zimbabwe in local governance. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.
MHLANGA): Thank you very much Madam President and I want to thank the Hon. Senator for posing that question. Yes, the problems that the Hon. Senator is pointing out are inherent in most of our local authorities because of the aging infrastructure. However, Government is moving in with fiscal support to try and expand on that infrastructure.
*HON. SEN. SHOKO: My question is directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans. When are you going to increase allowances given to war veterans so that they can pay school fees for their children and also pay for their medical expenses because as you know PSMAS no longer accepts war veterans and as a result they are forced to pay cash upfront when seeking medical treatment.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR
VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): I would like to thank the
Hon. Senator for his very pertinent question. As war veterans, we are also not happy with the money being given to war veterans. I wish the Minister of Finance and Economic Development was in the House so that we could direct this question to him because the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is the one responsible for war veterans allowances.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: My question goes to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans. We have been reading in the social media and on the internet about the threats of Alkaeda or ISIS in the Republic of Mozambique. Is this a credible threat and if so, how prepared is the Zimbabwean Government to deal with it?
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS
(HON. MATEMADANDA): I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mwonzora.
The state of security and insecurity is dealt with by the national JOC.
That is the organ which assesses the level of security and insecurity and I can only comment if I am told by them, what level of security threat we have. So, I suggest that maybe this question be put on paper so that it can be taken to the nation JOC which is responsible for assessing the level of security threat. I thank you.
HON. SEN. KHUPE: Thank you Hon. President of the Senate.
My question is directed at Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Prof. Murwira. I would like to know whether there has been a major shift in the education policy especially in higher education regarding degrees offered at universities in Zimbabwe. There have been some press releases which appear to be confusing saying that some degrees are going to be disregarded, that some degrees are not really useful in this country. So, I would like to find out if ever you can update this House whether we are hearing the truth or there is something wrong. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I wish to thank Hon. Sen. Khupe for that question. Our education has always to be checked for quality and in checking for quality, we are saying our national strategic intent in education is that it must be able to cause industry. It must be able to cause industry by providing goods and services because universities produce either people who produce goods which is industry which are tangibles, or services which are intangibles like lawyers give for example. What we are faced with in this country is we are having an education system that was mainly focusing on three things which are teaching, research and community service which are workshops basically. I call this education 3.0.
We are faced with a situation also where our education, if you look at pharmacy for example, we have a situation whereby a pharmacist who is supposed to make the drugs is selling the drugs that are imported, so they are becoming sales people. Another example is a doctor who is supposed to cure me is almost like an immigration officer who then refers me to the next person outside of the country.
What are we saying? When we did our National Skills Audit, we had findings – in medicine and health sciences our skills levels are at 5% and our skills deficit is 95% and it is exactly explaining what is happening. In natural and applied sciences our skills levels are at 3%, our deficit is 97%. I always make a joke when I am talking to my colleagues to say, I think that is why people like the Tsikamutanda’s a lot. They talk about Tsikamutanda, they talk about witches that are falling from the sky because people are not doing real science. So this is quality.
In terms of business and commerce, you find that we have an excess of 21% in terms of skills levels. If you would allow me Madam President to say in Shona, kana gondo rapotsa nhiyo, rinokumba zvese nemarara. Whereby we say that our people, instead of doing commerce, they end up even trading the money itself. Ndokusaka vanhu vachitengesa mari. Vanotengesa anything. saka kana vashaiwa vanokumba zvese nemarara. I am trying just to explain a point. In terms of agriculture, we have a skills deficit of 88% and 12% skills level. It will not surprise you why sometimes we are importing food. On the other hand, in law, we have a skills deficit of 92%, skills availability 8%. Overall in arts, we have a skills surplus 13%. This is what we are faced with as a nation. We have 94% plus literacy which means that is a very good plus for us.
We are very good in terms of literacy but we are always saying, knowing is not a problem, knowledge is always not a problem. Any fool can know. It is about understanding. When you understand, you can make things. It therefore makes us be able to introspect within our systems and say yes, we have this strength but why are we hungry when we have so much literacy. Why do we not have industries, when we have so much literacy? Literacy tells us that it is just a raw material but we have to move on. We do not have to over celebrate this literacy. Reading and writing, but do you understand what you are reading and writing. This is what we are having for example, when you look at literacy in this country, it is very high and that is why people are on twitter. Every time, they can read, decode, code and shout at each other on twitter because they can read and write, but are they making sense?
This is what the education has to be asking about.
This then calls on us to say, what do we do about this cloud that does not rain? What do we do about this well that does not have water? It does not bear water, ihorei isinganaye? There is something, we must look at it. We then went on to say, maybe we really have to analyse the design of our education itself. We discovered that the design of our education is such that it promotes literacy and promotes people who look for a job but then the question is, because sometimes we say, we create employment, but we do not ask ourselves how is employment created? It should necessarily come from education itself because education itself must produce employment. Why is our education not producing employment? It is because of its design of education 3.0 which says, you do nothing, you just get literate and you wait for a person to hire you to do a job but that person was he or she not born of woman. Why are they able to create a job so that you can work and you will just wait for it. This was a colonial design whereby we have to work in factories that were thought at Cambridge, that were thought at Edinbursh because they were complete universities. Here we only had to be literate in order to be able to manage the systems but not design them.
We then said, now we need to examine our education and add two more missions so that we are complete as a post independent State. You cannot expect to use colonial education in a post independence State and expect a different result from a colonial result. Therefore, we then said no, let us add innovation, let us add industrialisation. This innovation and industrialisation makes universities be able to have five budget items and colleges. Budget item on teaching, budget item on research, budget item on workshops, budget item on innovation and budget item on industrialisation. If you put budget, things will happen and budget is put because of a design. That is why we have said, our education has to move from 3.0 to 5.0. This enables us to be able to explain exactly what is happening with degrees. Then we said, this is a design, what is the other problem that this – why is it that we have a country which has minerals but somebody else discovers them and we say, aah, kune maminerals but we were sitting on them. What makes that education not see the environment in which it is supposed to transform? Education by nature must transform people’s lives by looking at the immediate environment in which they are.
One example that I want to give is, we still design our roofs using what we say snow pack weight. Snow muZimbabwe! Snow pack weight! There is no snow in this country and there has never been snow in this country but we are using snow pack weight. It means this education is removed from the environment that it is expected to transform. There is a philosophical problem and we have to look at the education. All education must be heritage based. When we say heritage we do not mean you have to play drums before you start lectures in engineering. We are just saying, heritage is what you have, your people, your minerals, vegetation, animals, your soil and your water. You start from there and education can work, from there education must work on those. Whether it is physics but it is physics of things in Zimbabwe, if it is geology, it is geology of rocks in Zimbabwe, if it is medicine, it is medicine of trees in Zimbabwe. We then said we have a problem of being philosophical, that is why we said heritage based philosophy.
Africa is one of the continents where people eat what they do not grow.
We said, why is it that people are always talking about maize, wheat and soya bean but when they talk about their crops, they call them small grains; but I thought wheat also is a small grain and rappoko is a small grain. Therefore, this small does not mean small in terms of size, it is meaning small in terms of significance. Our education therefore has to have huge revolution, a shift in mentality. First, there is a design problem, secondly, there is a philosophical problem with it whereby we say why we can not eat bread from rappoko because rappoko can prepare bear? You can, because rappoko is the wheat of the tropics. The first question you have to be asked when you are coming from a place is kwenyu kuno merei? Sei chitigrower zvinhu zvisingameri munyika medu and it ends up being a huge investment. Zvinodhura, this irrigation, this, that because tirikugrower zvinhu zvisingameri and yet our education should give us answers to this. Therefore, we really have to introspect. In that introspection we then said, what kind of degrees are we offering? What is their philosophy? What are they trying to produce in terms of goods and services because Zimbabwe has been having a problem of paper accumulation of saying I have a certificate in this, I have a certificate in that saka tinezhara nei kana une certificate iyoyo. People end up saying, I have so much degrees and a person can tell you kuti, degree rangu rakatsva wena. Ndichatonyorera University iyoyo, degree rangu rakatsva wena. Degree harifaniri kutsva nekuti degree riri mumusoro mako, chinotsva icertificate.
VaMwonzora ravo rikatsva certificate, I am sure kuti vanoramba vachipurakitiza while he writes to the University to say, can you give me my certificate. Asi omuno anotsva. Sei madegree achitsva? Degree harifaniri kutsva. Degree rinonzi rinoscrapwa sei. Hariscrapwi because riri mumusoro mako. Iwewe ukaenda kumba kwako ukati degree rako rakatsva asi iwewe uri mupenyu, it means kuti harisi rako, hauna degree. We are having a country whereby people have papers which are saying something and their head is saying something else.
This is exactly the crux of Zimbabwe’s problem. We then said, all degrees, we are having a list of degrees that must go and a list of degrees that must not go and a list of degrees that must not go. All degrees are relevant but they are made relevant by two things like what is your board of knowledge before I come into your class and what are you going to teach me? The other thing is what are the skills that I will have when I get out of there? So, degrees must necessarily have two things, board of knowledge and board of skill.
We did the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework which enforces that every degree, no matter what you call it, must tell us what it is doing, what skills it is giving and what knowledge it is giving. There is no list like this degree called this will go. Any degree even in engineering can go if it is not telling us what it is doing in terms of knowledge and in terms of skills. So there are no lists. We believe that we are complying at this moment.
This week, we were at Midlands State University with all academics and we are realigning our education to Education 5.0 that is heritage based and we are doing it together. In this, we are realigning our degrees in such a way that they will give us development in this country. You cannot send a child to school and finish all your cattle and goats and that child comes back to you saying he wants a job. It basically means that what he did at school is meaningless. So, these are the issues that we are looking at.
The policy shift is no more papers in this country, they shall be degrees. No more papers because papers can tell you something else but degree should stay in your head. Hatidi madegree anonzi akatsva mumba iwe uri mupenyu. Anogotsva sei iwe uri mupenyu? Ndaifunga kuti kana rakatsva, iwe ungadai wakafawo but because urikuti akatsva iwe uri mupenyu wanga usina degree iroro. So, the issue which we are basically saying is that the shift is towards an education ine pundutso, education ine basa, education that produces goods and services.
Industry does not fall from the sky, it is created by people, people who went through an education system. Saka sei education system yedu isingaproduse industry? It is because of its design. This is what we have looked at. We are just looking at the design of the education system and its philosophy and we are improving as we go the way forward. So, the issue is there is no wrong time to do the right thing. We are just doing it but it does not mean that we will say Dr. Mavetera your degree has been taken away. It cannot be taken away from him because it is in his head. Nothing like that can happen because it is not practical. The issue is improving as we move ahead with our country. It is our only country and it can only be developed by its own people and not anybody else. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: It is difficult to make a
supplementary question when the Minister has explained very well. Madam President, I want to thank the Hon. Minister. He has explained the policy very well but I want us to go further with this issue. We once had Professors like the late Prof. Kamba, who when they speak, you would find it very interesting. They were very bright indeed. I think you should carry everybody on board, including Parliament. My question is; what plan do you have for the Members of Parliament to support you on where we are going so that together, we understand it and do it as well.
*THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDCUATGION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon.
President. I think we need more assistance from Parliament in the interest of Zimbabwe that we are saying we are a literate nation. We are only left with a little movement so that we have a real revolution in the way this country can be rich. What is that little movement to just say you were educated and so what happened? Zvinoita kuti vanhu varangarire kuti dzidzo yangu ndeyei. Every degree that we do must lead to something kwete kungoti ndaane degree ndipei basa. Sakai we unebasa rei? I hope I am not confusing you to say kana iwe uchida basa iwe unebasa rei. Unofanira kundiudza kuti unogonei ndisati ndakupa basa. Uye futi...
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Minister let me
assist with that supplementary question from Sen. Chief Charumbira. What he is saying is that what plan do you have for the Members of Parliament to support you and where we are going so that together we understand it and do it as well.
*THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDCUATGION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I am saying the
assistance that we need from Parliament is if it was possible that we give you all the books that we have written about this movement. We also want to be assisted that we do workshops so that we are able to understand each other on what we want to do. This issue is very important because if you throw a boomerang, it comes back to you and if you throw the arrow, it does not come back. If you throw the arrow thinking that it would come back as a boomerang does, it does not work. So the whole thing is in the design of the whole national system as to what we really need as people. So, I need the assistance of Parliament so that together, we find the way forward.
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: The Hon. Members
want you to move together with others.
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: I am quite impressed that the Minister
has realised that we have got people who are literate, but with no skills and I am talking with reference to the medical fraternity which he said we have got a skills gap of almost 94%. Is the Minister aware that as we speak right now, I will give just one example but it translates to all medical schools in the country which is UZ, NUST and MSU. We are actually going where you want us to be coming from. We are producing people who are literate but with no skills because there are a few teachers. The university has expanded intakes to 300 say the UZ for medical school but the staff compliment since 2000, I was one of them until last year.
We were still saying for the department of pediatrics 14, which was catered for a class of 60 and now when you go to tutorials you have got a teacher who is having a tutorial with 40- students which is not possible. What is the Ministry doing to carry out your vision because I will tell you one of the issues that you cannot improve is the skills in medical side because you find the teachers are earning less than the juniors who graduate and you find very little incentive for teachers to come and teach. So, what is the Ministry doing?
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Mind you, Hon. Sen.
that was a supplementary question. I can see that you are bringing in a different question. Can we stick to the supplementary question which originates from the original?
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam President.
Probably, I would say what is he doing? I have already explained so that we do not actually produce literate but people with skills because the scenario at the moment is that we are going where we want to take ourselves away from for the reasons I have explained Madam President
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I wish to thank the Hon. Sen for the question. What we are doing is to look at the four pillars of making sure that our education which produce goods and services is achieved.
- We are looking at the programmes themselves which I was trying to explain to Hon. Khupe that the programmes have to be well structured such that they produce something.
- We said the promotions infrastructure and the staffing infrastructure has to be looked at. This is actually looking at the question that you are posing in terms of what we are doing. We want to make sure that people want to stay with us, want to work there and want to enjoy their jobs. So that is pillar number two
- Pillar number three, we want to make sure that the physical infrastructure is well done. That is why we have even said to the private sector; come and work with us, have consultations with high end hospitals around our universities so that it improves our income and we can encourage our people to want to work with us.
- The fourth pillar is our financial infrastructure and that is why we have introduced again the student loan scheme. This also includes the staff financial infrastructure so that we can do well. In this way – that is why the question becomes extremely relevant to say we really need strong backing from Parliament for the survival of this nation because a nation mainly survives on what it can do rather than on what it can import. It is what it can do which we call human capacity. Everything else becomes secondary. It is about
what people can do. So, we really think that financing universities is not a luxury but a security item in that it is health, food and it is everything that a nation can be made of. It is the lawyers and I think all Hon. Members that are here passed through the education system. That is it. So, we have to look at that and I am really looking forward to Parliament moving in this direction so that we have an education which is not just a label but an education that is a level. Levels and not labels. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI: Thank you Madam President. My
question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans. Some two weeks ago, we read in the social media that when the Minister was in Lupane he asked for donations of medicines to be used in Lupane hospitals. My question is, should people expect to be treated only when there are elections or should health institutions receive medicines during election period only? In his capacity as Deputy
Minister of Defence and War Veterans, the Minister promised people in Lupane that hospitals will be fully supplied with medicines. My question then is, will the hospitals still be fully supplied even after elections?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you very much for
that question. What the Hon. Member has stated is not true. When he says he noticed my handwriting, he might only have seen a place where my name was mentioned. He did not critically check the authenticity of
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Maybe before you
continue, what is the term runyoro referring to?
*HON. MATEMADANDA: Thank you Madam President for
asking for an explanation on the writing referred to.
*HON. SEN. RAMBANEPASI: There is a letter which was written by Hon. Deputy Minister Matemadanda addressed to Natpharm
Pvt. Ltd asking for medicines to be dispensed to hospitals in Lupane.
That is the letter I am referring to.
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: What is the writing
you are talking about and the one which is being talked about by the Minister?
*HON. SEN. RAMBANEPASI: There is a letter which was signed by the Hon Minister asking for medicines from Natpharm to be dispensed to Lupane hospitals.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Since the Minister has
started answering, this issue is coming from a particular area and it is not a policy question. But anyway let me allow the Minister to explain.
*HON. MATEMADANDA: Thank you once again Madam
President and thank you once again Hon. Sen. for continuing to ask something that is not correct. The paper that I saw which I think he is referring to, if it is hearsay, it was a response from the Minister of Health to my alleged request for medicines. If it was true, it is not bad to treat people before or after elections. People are supposed to be treated. We should actually be competing to get people treated. Is it a good thing to blame each other for getting people medicines to be treated before or after elections? Do you want to witness people die first? Thank you Madam President but I did not write any letter.
*HON. SEN. RAMBANAPASI: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to ask the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans my question. We were the first people in Buhera to be war collaborators, running with food to the guerrillas and also being informants. But since 1980, what happened was whenever it was towards elections we were asked to go and open accounts with POSB but up to this day we have not yet received any payments.
* HON. MATEMADANDA: Thank you Madam President. Let
me again thank the Hon. Sen. Rambanepasi for her question. I want to congratulate here that she is a war collaborator. That is the first thing that I want to appreciate about here besides that there is something wrong and that she made a contribution to what Zimbabwe is today. Let me answer knowing that she is representing others who are not here.
Let me answer the Hon. Senator saying that, the process of the vetting of the war collaborators is done by the Government through the process of Parliament. If someone is waiting at the bus stop and he says there is a bus which is coming when there is none coming, it depends on who told you; the person who saw the bus or heard the bus. The people who are telling people to open accounts, where were they coming from, which Government office were they coming from? If it was from private citizens who vetted each other and gave each other cards, it was not coming from Government. It was coming from individuals.
I cannot explain or talk about it. As I speak right now, the law to do with vetting of war collaborators has just come from Cabinet.
Whether there are by-elections or elections, we will tell you to be vetted.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NEMBIRE: Thank you Madam President. We have resettlement areas which are farming areas and are being destroyed by deforestation. I am asking the Minister how those areas can be put under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J.
MHLANGA): Thank you Madam President. All areas were under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders. The Government is planning that those areas come under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders. It might be late, but that is the plan.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: We now have the Hon. Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services, Minister Kazembe Kazembe.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: My question is directed to the Minister of State for Mashonaland Central. What is Government policy on panning along the Mazowe River near the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique that is being destroyed?
*THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL (HON. MAVHUNGA): Thank you Madam President. I
believe this question is supposed to be directed to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. I can say as a province, we are encouraging farmers who have farms along the river and those who are panning along the river that they stop that practice.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Madam
President. Allow me to ask the Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. What is Government policy towards companies like ECONET that do ecocash and do not warn people; they just shut down their network and it affects people. What is Government policy for people not to be affected to be are warned as they use phones to access money from banks when they travel? We saw that last week people had problems. Thank you Madam President.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Are you directing this
question to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting
Services? I think that question should be directed to the Minister of
Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION
COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER
SERVICES (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam President. Let
me thank the Senator for his question which is very important. No one is allowed to switch off without any reason. If there is a reason that they want to switch off their equipment they have to tell the public. What happened last week on Saturday is that they did not switch off deliberately but it was because of electricity. They use what they call a call switch at Willowvale. That is their network call for every service. They have backup, they have 700 KV generators and they have a second line with 500KV and batteries. They also have solar.
When they gave us their report, they said the first generators were not working. When there was power outage the second generators also failed to pick. The batteries work for a short time. Their machines are not supposed to be using generators. The generators are supposed to work for a short period but now they are working for longer periods. That is making them to break down. The computers work with temperature and when it heats up they switch off. When it is only solar working, it is not able to make these machines work. It switched off their call switch and that affected their services.
They tried to fix that problem by calling their MD who helped in fixing another generator. It was an emergency and that is why it took the whole day and the part was bought from outside the country to fix that generator. It was a very big problem. They did not do it deliberately.
*HON. SEN. ZIVIRA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. We always hear when ZANU-PF has its caucus meetings and their programmes are broadcasted on ZBC. Why is it not done for all political parties that they are able to announce their programmes at ZBC? When will there be reforms that all other political parties are given airtime on ZBC?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING
SERVICES (HON. DR. MUTODI): Thank you Madam President. I
want to thank the Senator for the question. ZBC is a commercial entity and all aired programmes are paid for. If ZANU PF has a programme which it wants aired on ZBC, ZANU PF call ZBC and book to air their programme. They pay the amount that is needed for the programme to be broadcast. If the money is not paid, the programme is not aired. We encourage all political parties to pay so that they are broadcast by ZBC. You only need to inform the ZBC and pay the money which is needed for the information to be broadcast. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Hon. Minister, do you have gazetted prices? There is another party that tried to book with ZBC but the charges were too high. Is there a gazetted amount? I thank you.
HON. DR. MUTODI: I do not know the prices that are charged by ZBC but charges are done per hour or per minute. Those prices are similar to every client who want to be serviced by ZBC. When there is high demand, prices go higher but prices are similar to every client who wants service from ZBC.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON.
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: Madam President, can we ask for an extension as per the Standing Order Rule 62 and we ask for 25.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President. My
question is directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans. Minister, that letter which has been talked about, let us not hide because it came from you.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: That is not a policy question Hon. Senator.
*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I have a policy question. I am only giving a background. Otherwise, he can hide again.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: No, you cannot say
that. I do not want to rule you out. Can you do it properly?
HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Is it policy of Government to ask
Ministries to supply goods to a constituency where there is a by-election.
Examples are what happened in Lupane East, a letter written by the
Minister of Health. Besides that, we have witnessed food distribution to by-elections in Bikita East Ward thirty something. People were given food handouts during elections which to us is vote buying. Is it the policy of Government to vote buy during election time?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR
VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Madam
President. Thank you Hon. Sen. Komichi. I think the question of whether it is Government policy to distribute food and so forth cannot be answered by me. The question on whether medicines should be taken to places where there are elections again, may be answered by the Minister of Health, because in my personal capacity, like I have said, I have never generated a letter and I do not know how I can tell this honourable House that I did not.
Just for interest’s sake, we have seen a lot of designs and photo shopping including beheaded people. With this modern era, people can do anything. Now, I am seeing that I am being accused without proof and evidence because I am speaking as a Member who took oath that I did not generate the letter. My question is the issue to do with medicine being taken to an area where there is election must be directed to the Minister of Health that wrote the letter because it is not Matemadanda who wrote that letter. If it is a question that should be directed to Government, I do not speak for Government.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Before I
recognise another Hon. Senator, I would like to remind Hon. Senators, tlet us stick to one language. If you are asking a question or the Ministers are responding to a question, we kindly ask you to stick to one language to make it easy for officers who transcribe. Do not hop from one language to the other.
*HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity to ask my question which is directed to the Minister of War Veterans, Minister Matemadanda. Which steps are you taking as Ministry to look at the life of war veterans in terms of their welfare and how they are living with their families? They are living in deep poverty and their pensions are very low. What steps are you taking to take care of them as they are the ones who liberated this country.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Hon.
Senator. The way the Hon. Senators today are feeling for the war veterans, I am please because I am one of the war veterans. Having said that Hon. Sen. Chabuka, I do not know whether you were in the House because this question was already raised by Hon. Sen. Shoko and it was responded to by the Minister of Defence very competently. I think it has been responded to.
HON. SEN. GUMPO: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher Education. When we compare our educations, the current education and our previous education, the current education seem to be lower than the previous one despite the fact that when somebody went to school those old days, we used to take less years but today, students are taking more time at school but they still have sort of lower quality of work. For example, in the building industry a person that was trained in the early 50s, if you get a job with somebody who has just come out of training today, there is a vast difference and you cannot compare it. What is the problem?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you very much Hon. President and thank you Hon. Sen. Our education has been having a design problem. We have very intelligent people but if people are not put at their right place, they will not perform. So, our education in terms of what people know, there is a lot of knowledge but there is very little skill which is being pursued. We are looking at the skill problem, that is exactly what we are trying to fix using the new policies.
I will not be able to say what people knew in the 50s was better than what people know now. I can say what people could do in the 50s, they could do it much more than what they knew. Now people know a lot. If you ask people what they know, they know a lot but what they can do is very little. What I am saying is that we have little movement that we have to do. It is a little turn that we will have to do and we will be exploded into a very positive resolution in terms of education. It is the doing which is the problem. The knowing is very high and the doing is very low. In the 50s, the doing was very high and the knowing was very low. That is how I compare them.
So, our policy is and with the help of Parliament and with your help basically is to say let us go for skills big time, because we have the knowledge and we are looking forward to a budget that is focused on those skills, because the design we have already done it. We call it Education 5.0 design where we say from idea to product and through the help of Parliament, we will be able to get there. I am sure that in our life time, we can enjoy this country. I thank you.
HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA: Thank you Mr. President. I do not know whether the Minister of Higher Education can respond to my question because it is for the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: He is not here because
we do not have the Leader of the House. I suggest that you put it down in writing so that it can be forwarded to the relevant Minister.
*HON. SEN. SHOKO: Thank you Mr. President. My question is
directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans. There is a report which we are reading in the newspapers that there were cars of soldiers which were seen entering this country from South Africa. People panicked that these soldiers have come to attack us. I want to ask the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans to explain to this House whether it is true that there are soldiers who came from South Africa, what did they want here? It is our country and we want to know what was happening?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND
WAR VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Mr.
President for the question by the Hon. Senator that he saw cars coming through the social media. They have not entered physically and they are on the social media. If these cars arrive physically we will tell you.
*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Mr. President. My question
is directed to the Minister of Local Government. I am saying as the Ministry, what is Government policy regarding the problems faced on water because the country has a lot of problems regarding water supplies?
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think again
that question has been asked if my memory serves me right. It was raised by Hon. Sen. Timveos and the Minister responded to that question. So can we have somebody else to fill the question?
*HON. SEN. GWESHE: My question is directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans. When you look at the case involving war veterans, may you please explain the steps followed in the vetting of war veterans? We have these youngsters who went to war when they were very young. They left school before they could qualify but when they came back and needed to be compensated, do you segregate that somebody is married or somebody is single? Please explain?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR
VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Mr. President. I
am very grateful to Sen. Gweshe for the question she has posed regarding the vetting of war veterans. I am not very sure whether she is talking about the compensation of a dead war veteran, somebody who is alive, some war veteran who passed on before they could be vetted, married or single. May she please explain because I do not see where marital status comes in?
Let me just explain on the processes of vetting these war veterans. There is a clear cut process which is followed, especially when a war veteran died before they could be vetted. I know we face problems because of the changing situations, especially when you are vetting a war veteran who is alive or it is some war veteran who passed on before they could be vetted, married or single. May she please explain because I do not see where marital status comes in?
Let me just explain the process of vetting these war veterans. There is a clear cut process which is followed especially when a war veteran died before they could be vetted. I know we will face problems because of the changing situations especially when we are vetting a war veteran who is alive because they can testify as individuals but those who died during the war rely on relatives or friends who talk about that person. When we are talking about vetting, we need detailed information because if we just do it randomly and however we may think, we may have some people who connive to abuse the system by giving false witnesses on the status of the war veteran.
The other question you may ask is how much was given to that war veteran who died before vetting and whether he/she will be compensated at a similar level with other war veterans. The response is, when did that war veteran die and how did that war veteran die? In most cases, we are using a law which is used to compensate a war veteran who is still alive but we have asked for some amendments so that vetting is also done for war veterans who died before they could be vetted. We also wish that this House would support when we talk about those youngsters who were bombarded by the Smith regime in Chimoio, Tembwe, Nyadzonya, Jason Ziyapapa and all those other places where they are. If that is done, the war veterans will rest in peace. I am sure when that is brought up you are going to support such a Bill. May I remind the Hon. Sen that if they have a specific individual that they are referring to, they can put it in writing and forward it to the correct Ministry for vetting.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: My question is directed to
the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. What is Government policy regarding Government structures especially Government structures in district centres because when you look at the accommodation offered to district administrators, they are in a dilapidated state. Who is responsible for their upkeep and maintenance?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.
MHLANGA): We have not yet come across a problem of dilapidated structures and houses. So, I am asking the Hon. Member to kindly proffer that information if you have any particular structure which is dilapidated so that we can work on it. We are also encouraging the responsible Ministry to put lodgers in those houses that are not occupied so that they can be maintained.
*HON. SEN. KHUPE: This past Monday, the Committee on
SDGs moved around the country and in Mwenezi district, we saw some buildings which are being destroyed by white ants. We resolved that we could have somebody go and call the Minister to come to the areas and see firsthand. This was not only in Mwenezi but in Chivi also. As we speak, buildings are collapsing. The Minister has asked for names and we have given them to you.
*HON. MHLANGA: When we have been given names we will
be able to go and investigate as well as give proper information to this august House…
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Like has been
said, some of the questions which we have been on the Order Paper have been here since 2018 and this is really unfair. It is wrong and it has got to be corrected and we are going to direct the Clerk to write to the relevant authorities so that the responsible Ministers must come and clear these questions. So, your point and concerns Hon. Senators are noted.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
ASSISTANCE TO TSHOLOTSHO CYCLONE ELINE VICTIMS
- SEN A. DUBE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to advise the House on whether the Government has plans to assist people who were affected by Cyclone Eline in Tsholotsho to rebuild their houses considering that they have been living in make-shift shelters since 2016.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.
MHLANGA): I would like to inform the august House that we have built houses for the affected Tsholotsho through the Civil Protection Department. I am in the process of touring these Tsholotsho houses to ensure that they can then be given to the affected families. I thank you.
CONFLICTS REDUCTION ON BOUNDARIES BETWEEN
- SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain measures being taken to reduce conflicts in relation to boundaries between traditional leaders.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.
MHLANGA): Yes, the issues of conflicts are there in the traditional boundaries but we would like to suggest that these come in as individual cases so that each case is solved as it comes. I thank you.
ESTABLISHMENT OF INFORMATION CENTRES IN MT.
- SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to state when information centres will be established in Mount Darwin to improve access to information by youths and school children.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
KAZEMBE): Hon. President, allow me to thank the Hon. Member once again. Let me begin by highlighting that establishment of community information centres which we call CICs is a national programme. The Ministry’s vision is to see CICs in all the administrative districts of the country and then cascade them to ward level. Once that is done, the youth and the school children will access the much needed information.
POTRAZ has partnered with ZIMPOST targeting the post offices that are all over the country, some of which are not being utilised. It is in these post offices that CICs are being established. In areas where there are no post offices we are deploying what we refer to as Containerised Village Information Centres (CVICs). CVICs wherever they were deployed are not yet functional because electricity is still to be connected.
Turning to your specific question Hon. Senator, in Mount Darwin there is a post office and in that post office a CIC has actually been set up. That CIC is not yet functional because the equipment is still to be installed. Procurement of computers is a challenge for now as you are aware of the national crisis of foreign currency. At the moment, there are 48 CICs which are still to be equipped with computers so that they become functional.
Just for your information as well Senator, at Karanda Mission which is also in Mt Darwin, a CVIC was also deployed and like I said earlier, on electricity is still to be connected. Let me also reveal this to you that under the current 100 day projects which commenced on 7 June
2019, completion of Karanda CVIC is one of POTRAZ’s targets, so we intend to finish within these 100 days.
It is our hope Mr. President, that by September this year the Senator will at least have one CIC that will be functional in Mt. Darwin and the one in Mt. Darwin Centre will also be equipped once computers are sourced. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: On a point of order. Mr. President, the Minister is referring to 100 days. What are those 100 days for? Can he clarify.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you President of the Senate and I want to thank the Hon. Senator for that question. Yes, Government has embarked on 100 day cycles during which we give ourselves targets as ministries to complete certain prescribed or determined targets. So, this particular project is among those projects that we have said to ourselves we need to complete in this 100 day cycle. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is a
system of monitoring and evaluation and a planning tool.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: Mr. President, it will help us if he explains to say my 100 days is starting from this date to this date so that after the 100 days we can ask him a question to say did you put those information centres in Mt. Darwin where Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi comes from because if he simply says 100 days in January next year he is going to say look, I said 100 days, the 100 days is today in January 2020. So, if he can explain those areas then we can ask him when 100 days is over.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is up to
the Minister really because it is a management tool they are using in Cabinet.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
TELEVISION, RADIO AND MOBILE PHONE SIGNALS IN
- HON. SEN. MOHADI asked the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to inform the House when local television, radio and mobile phone signals will become reachable in border areas of the country as people in these regions continue to use facilities of neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION,
PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. DR.
MUTODI): Thank you Mr. President, this question is touching on two ministries, so I will respond to my part and defer the other part to the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services. The Minister is in the House.
On the issue of radio and television signal, I want to assure this House that a lot of work is being done by the Government to ensure that we migrate from an analogue system that we have been using to a digital system. The digital system will allow us to not only have more radio and television stations but it will also allow us to have clarity and coverage of all parts of the country, mainly the border areas which have been affected by loss or lack of signal. So, it will actually come with a better signal and also be able to cover all parts of the country; that is for the radio and television.
Also, I need to emphasise that ZBC is now on DTSV. So, the DSTV uses satellite technology which allows cross border transmission of television signal and radio signal. So you will find that you can watch television stations from South Africa while you are in Zimbabwe. You can actually watch Chinese television while you are in Zimbabwe because of the satellite technology. I want to believe the fact that ZBC
is on DSTV has also lessened the chances of it not being accessible to people living on the border areas.
On the issue of lack of communication, it is a concern to the Government that in some areas, in actual fact they do not even know who their President is, especially on the Zambian parts, on the
Mozambican side and so on because they are listening to news from Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa and Botswana. This is also being looked at by the Ministries of Security to ensure that our people can get the correct information about which country they are living in and who is their President and what are the programmes they must follow. This is something that is being prioritised by the Government and we expect that by the completion of the digitalisation programme we will be able to cover all parts of the country sufficiently.
I now defer the issue on mobile phone signals to the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for asking such a pertinent question. Yes indeed, it is true that we do have areas along the borders where mobile connectivity is a challenge and not only those areas but we also have areas even inland where people do not have access to mobile connectivity. It is our intention to ensure that no one is left behind and everybody is connected. It is our mandate as Government but as you would appreciate, normally the infrastructure is provided by the service providers and in this case we are talking about the mobile network operators; Telecel, NetOne and Econet.
So ordinarily what they would do because these people are in business, they would not go where they feel it is not economically viable. Obviously, they look at the population density and the communication traffic that they are likely to get there. However, as
Government, it is now our mandate to ensure that we fill in that gap, we go there and we install these base stations to ensure that no one is left behind, everybody is connected.
As you would appreciate, currently as Government, we do not have the resources, but we have been trying through POTRAZ using the USF. To date, POTRAZ has already installed about 20 base stations using their own resources, but we have realised we cannot do it alone. So what we have now done is, we are actually seized with the matter. We have discussions around opening up and allowing private companies to come in and install the base stations on a BOT basis and then probably rent them out and also this is in view of our new regulation; that of infrastructure sharing. So, Mr. President Sir, very soon we will be floating tenders where we will be inviting private companies who are resourced to come in and fill in that gap and install base stations in those areas on a BOT basis. I thank you.
Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE HON.
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR
MANICALAND PROVINCE (HON. SEN. DR. GWARADZIMBA),
the Senate adjourned at Ten Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 30th July, 2019.