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SENATE HANSARD 25 SEPTEMBER 2019 28-75

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 25th September, 2019

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

ISO 9001:2015 HAND-OVER CEREMONY AND LAUNCH OF THE

INSTITUTIONAL STRATEGIC PLAN (2018-2023)

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to

inform the Senate that all members of the Committee of Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO), Liaison and Coordination Committee and members of the President’s Panel are invited to the Standards Association of Zimbabwe ISO 9001, 2015 Certification handover ceremony and the launch of the Institutional Strategic Plan 2018 to 2023 on Friday the 27th September, 2019, in the Parliament Courtyard from 0930 hours to 1400hrs.

STATE OF THE NATION AND OFFICIAL OPENING

ADDRESS

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I also wish

to inform the Senate that His Excellency the President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa will on Tuesday, 1st October, 2019 at 1200 hours address a joint sitting of Parliament on the State of the Nation marking the Official Opening of the Second Session of the 9th Parliament.

INVITATION TO A HALF-DAY WORKSHOP

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also want

to inform the Senate that all members of the Zimbabwe Women

Parliamentary Caucus are invited to a half day workshop tomorrow,

Thursday 26th October 2019 which is hosted by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission and the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association on the 50:50 campaign at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, starting at 0830 hours.

The bus will leave Parliament Building at 0800hrs.

Hon. Sen. Mbohwa’s cell phone rang. 

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Please leave

the Senate.

Hon. Sen. Mbohwa walked out of the Senate.

SWITCHING OFF OF CELL PHONES

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Lastly, I

wish to remind Hon. Senators once again to switch off their cell phones or put them on silent. The Chamber will not tolerate any disturbance from cell phones.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President Sir, I move that Order of the Day No. 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN

RIGHTS ON FAMILIARISATION VISITS TO POLICE POSTS

AND BORDER POSTS

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on familiarisation visits to Featherstone, Ngundu, Beitbridge, Gwanda and Plumtree Police Stations and Borders Posts.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 26th September, 2019.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON

INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE

IMPLEMENTATION OF EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES

IN THE MINING SECTOR

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the

Thematic Committee on Indegenisation and Empowerment on the Implementation of Empowerment Programmes in the mining sector.

Question again proposed. 

+HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you for affording me the opportunity to debate on this motion. During our trip to all these places that are being mined – we went to Mhondoro and realised that miners bankrolling the Community Share Ownership Trust are saying they are helping the community, however the community on the other hand is saying they do not get any help. The other thing that we have realised is that the community is not even aware which developmental projects are being undertaken by the Community Share Ownership Trust. The only people who are in the know of what is happening is only the board.

When we went to Mhondoro Ngezi, they took us to Muchiriri area which has about 10000 people. When we got there, we really admired what was happening and we wanted to know exactly how they started this project. One of the villagers then said he was not even aware of what we were talking about. The person responsible then said they started the project from the money ceded to them by parents who were overseas. Therefore, they are using such projects to say this is what we are doing, yet they are not the ones who are doing that project.

We went to this other place where there is a school which is being built. This school had a roof that was plain and the parents did not know where the money to start that project came from. Therefore, I am requesting Government to make sure that it follows up on such projects and then see if the people are benefiting from such community trusts. We then went to Chingoto Secondary School where we found some classrooms which are said to have been built by this Community Share

Trust. The chairman of this school was not aware of the activities taking place and he confirmed to us that he was hearing this for the first time following the visit.

From there we went to Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust at Msasa Primary School. This is where we realised that the trust is really making frantic efforts in the development of the community. There were earth moving machines on site. We realised that there were so many classrooms which were built by the trust. The toilets and cottages built there were of high standard and everything was nice.  However, when we talked to the parents they were not even aware who was doing that project.

We then went to Chiadzwa and when we got to Chiadzwa we really felt pain when we realised Chief Chiadzwa does not know what a diamond looks like. This therefore means that these people who are mining are just doing whatever they feel like. They do not engage the people in the community. The paper work was so well done and when it is presented you really get satisfied and say everything else is okay.

However, there is absolutely nothing that is happening Mr. President.

When we left we were told to abandon the road that we used in the first place and use a different one. We were told that you may not get to where you are going because of the state of the road. People from Chiadzwa are absolutely not happy. They are saying the diamonds that are being mined from there are so much but there is no development coming to their area. There is a place where there was gunshots and people from there were saying they would rather prefer diamond mining activities to be stopped because they are not living in harmony with the mine. They are appealing to Government to put in place policies that will make them benefit from the mining activities that are taking place in the area. They were saying they do not have water and clinics. When we asked people from this place they said they are not even aware that these miners are doing anything.

We also went to another school where we saw computers which were not working. However, the communities are not aware of these developments.  In Mangwe there is gold that was found, people are just digging from all over and quite a number of cars were bought from the gold mining activities that are happening. People from the community have been left with large deep pits that have been dug all over the place and nothing else. Government should make sure that it protects these areas because these people are not taking care of our environment. We need help in these areas.

When people are mining there should be a policy that is put in place because the country is losing a lot of money on gold mining and the people who are coming from those communities where the mining activities are happening are not getting anything at all. Right now we are asking those responsible in the mining sector to visit Mangwe and see what is happening there. We really need help on that part Mr. President.

We also ask those with claims in the same areas to help by building  roads or schools and not to see monies being lost without any development. With those few words, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. O HUNGWE: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to contribute to this debate on indigenisation and empowerment. What forced me to stand up is the issue of mining. Mr. President, mining is one of the most promising sectors that we have but we are saying it is important that everyone can run around to exploit minerals but I have a request to Government that it intervenes to correct certain issues. One of the Hon. Senators who contributed to the debate said there are people who are just digging around exploiting minerals from Mangwe.  People are dying.

I would like to refer to my neighbouring place – Mazowe Mine or

Jumbo Mine.  If you go there, people are killing each other.  If we go to Shamva, people are fighting also and killing each other.  All I am saying is that Government should rectify the situation in those areas such as Jumbo Mine.  If you go there now, you will realise that children are even digging on road sides – that will cause a lot of deaths.  We have places like railway lines where people are digging for minerals under there.  So we are saying, the responsible authorities should look at that so that they ensure that those closed down mines that belong to Metallon Gold – if there are issues that are pending in courts, may they be looked into quickly so that those places can be rectified. Children are even afraid to move around freely because there are people who go about raping them.  I have decided to contribute to this debate so that those places may be rectified because they have become very dangerous.

As for Mazowe Mine, they said the water levels are very high. The allegations are that when the informal panners go into those mines underground, they drown each other.  I am happy that the Minister is also here.  This issue should be rectified as a country.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move that the

debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 26th September, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move that we

revert back to Order Number 1 on the Order Paper.

Motion put and agreed to.

CONSIDERATION STAGE

EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 1C, 2019]

Amendments to Clause 14 (k) put and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, adopted.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 1C, 2019]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE

MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

(HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I now move that the Bill be read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

MOTION

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Fourth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the protection of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA:  I would like to thank all those who debated this motion.  All that is in this motion should be done.  We should not just talk but act on our motion.

I move that this House adopts the motion that:

COGNISANT that Section 73 of the Constitution obligates the State to protect the environment for the benefit and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation, promote conservation and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources;

ALSO COGNISANT that wild animals depend on the environment as a habitat and source of food;

CONCERNED that human beings are endangering the survival of wild animals through the unsustainable harvesting of wild fruits which results in human and wildlife conflict;

FURTHER CONCERNED that environmental management

agencies are failing to adequately protect the environment as indigenous fruit trees continue to be cut indiscriminately, thereby depriving wild animals of their source of food and shelter;

NOW, THEREFORE, resolves to –

  1. enact a law that prohibits the bulk harvesting and selling of wild fruits and policies that boost agricultural production in order to revive local industry thereby improving citizens’ source of livelihoods;
  2. call upon Government to adequately empower the

Environmental Management Agency (EMA), including recruitment of a sufficient number of Environmental Officers to enable the agency to effectively execute its mandate.

  1. recommend to the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and

Hospitality Industry and Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to strengthen collaborative efforts towards protection of the environment particularly to stop the cutting of trees.

Motion put and agreed to.

Motion with leave, adopted.

MOTION

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EMPOWERED ENTITY TO ADDRESS

CHALLENGES AFFECTING PENSIONERS AND POLICY

HOLDERS

Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the need for a legislative framework on pensions and insurance benefits.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you Mr. President.  Firstly, I would like to thank Hon. Senators for debating this motion on pensions.

I hope the Executive are going to implement the recommendations.  Surely here in the Senate, we have pensioners and all of us are going to be pensioners sooner rather than later and if this issue on pensioners is not going to be resolved, we are all going to cry.  Therefore I would want to urge – I was hoping that the Minister could be here to hear one or two issues on this issue because as it stands right now, there are pensioners that are crying, there are pensioners that are asking themselves what did we go to work for and why were we contributing towards this pension because the monies that they are getting do not reflect what they worked for.  So Mr. President, I would like to thank everyone and I want to move that this House adopts the motion that:

Concerned with the glaring gap in the regulatory framework on matters to deal with administration of policy holders and pensioners whenever a plethora of irregularities arise, a situation that has resulted in pensioners and policy holders being prejudiced of their benefits:

Further concerned that some administrators of pensions and insurance services have taken advantage of economic challenges to cause further prejudice by coming up with inaccurate benefit calculations, engaging in governance malpractices within pension schemes and insurance policies, poor accounting and record keeping and manipulating regulations and legislation to their benefit:

Disturbed by the complete disregard of the welfare of pensioners by the concerned authorities:

Now therefore, resolves that –

  • The Executive establishes and adequately empowers an entity to address challenges affecting pensioners and policy holders with a view to comprehensively compensate all those who have been prejudiced:
  • Pensions and insurance legislation be urgently reviewed in order to eliminate loopholes that have been exploited to prejudice policy holders and pensioners:
  • New regulatory approaches be introduced in order to cater for the interests of stakeholders, pensioners and policy holders before the end of the year: and
  • The Executive urgently implements recommendations of the

Justice Smith Commission of Enquiry on Pensions and

Insurance Benefits

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CULTURAL VALUES ON ENDING CHILD MARRIAGES

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the need for the enforcement of the law on child marriages.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. S. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. President Sir…

[First part of speech not recorded due to technical fault]

…When one gets into an early marriage, there are many diseases that they can contract from the person who marries them.  This includes HIV and AIDS because in some cases, these elderly people believe that if they marry a young child, they will give it to the child and they will be healed yet they are just spreading it.  In addition, the body of the child is not yet ready for them to get pregnant.  Before the right time, they engage in activities that are meant for the elders.  They are also expected to behave like an elderly person.  They get so many responsibilities like taking care of the home and they are supposed to work instead of playing with others.  This is abuse to the children and could cause mental disorders.

It is my plea that our traditional leaders strictly state that early marriages be stopped.  I am glad that at the moment, we are handling the Marriages Bill which provides that a child below the age of 18 cannot get married.  This is a very brilliant idea.  I hope that Parliament will pass it into law so that we put an end to these early marriages.  So Mr. President, I hope that churches and traditional leaders will also create awareness on this issue of child marriages.  With those few words, I thank you Mr. President Sir.

*HON. SEN. TONGOFA: Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to wind up my motion.  Mr. President, I would like to thank all Hon.

Members who contributed.  This motion was debated effectively by all Hon. Members across the political divide because of its importance in our society.  I hope the Marriages Bill will be passed into law as it seeks to end child marriage in Zimbabwe. Mr. President, I now move for the adoption of the motion:

That this House –

RECALLING that child marriages were a rare occurrence before

Zimbabwe’s independence;

NOTING that the extended family, community leadership and members used to play a critical role of inculcating good morals and values in children, a culture which minimised child marriages;

CONCERNED by the disintegration of the extended family unit and the community social moral fabric resulting in increased number of juveniles entering into marriage partnerships with adults:

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Government in collaboration with other stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders to vigorously enforce the law against offenders engaging in child marriages and inculcate cultural values that ultimately discourage and bring to an end all forms of child marriages.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

DEVELOPMENT OF WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IN TOWNS

AND GROWTH POINTS

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the perennial shortages of clean and portable water in most towns and growth points. Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate on the motion that was brought by Hon. Sen. Wunganayi, which is very important.  The motion is about clean water in different provinces and districts of the country.

Water is very important in the country, be it in big or small cities as well as service centres and growth points.  Clean water is required.  There is shortage of clean water in various countries, it might be available in big cities but in most rural areas there is no water.  Rivers and dams have run dry, therefore this motion is quite important.  Most boreholes do not have water anymore.  Water is now a challenge in the whole nation.

We are not looking at water for the consumption of ourselves only as human beings but animals as well, they do not have water.  This includes various animals like cattle, there is no safe and clean water for our animals.  I mentioned before that we do not even have water in the boreholes, it has become dry.  In most areas people are facing the challenge of water shortage.  Water is important as it is needed for us to live.  It is also important for us in order to have adequate blood in our bodies.  Therefore, there is need for us to have proper ways of harvesting water.

I want to plead with the Government to look into ways of providing adequate water for people.  There is need to remove the soil that is in dams so that they collect enough water.  I do not want to speak of Region 5 which has shortages of water, I am looking at the whole country which has water shortages.  There are a few dams which still have adequate water, the situation is really bad this year for both people and animals.  There is no water.  The Government should drill enough boreholes for people in both cities and rural areas.

If you collect water and you do not use it for a day or so, if you look closely into the water, you see tiny organisms in it.  Clean and safe water is important for people regardless of where they live.  It is important for the Government to prioritise this.  It should ensure that each and everyone get clean water.  Mr. President, a lot has been said on this motion; I just wanted to add a few words.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion which was tabled by Hon. Sen. Wunganayi.  Mr. President, Hon. Sen. Wunganayi tabled this motion at the right time where we are facing challenges of water.  Many areas in Zimbabwe are facing challenges of water.  Everyone has got a right to access clean and portable water.  Water is life for everyone, even long back when people want to resettle, they first look at the availability of water on that area before they settle.  The challenge that we have in this country – be it rural or urban, is there is shortage of water.

Yesterday, we had our lunch late because there was no water and this is very sad.  They were moving around with buckets fetching for water, it is not supposed to be like that in urban areas even in rural areas.   In my constituency three villages use one borehole and there will always be long queues; people coming with scotchcarts to fetch water.  So I stood to debate just to implore the Government that in the rural areas, if possible, the Government must sink more boreholes.

If we run out of chemicals like what they are saying, boreholes must also be sunk in urban areas so that people will not have challenges because water has become a challenge to all the people.  To make it worse here in Zimbabwe, we have a challenge of water and this stresses citizens.  If people are exposed to dirty water, this will lead to water borne diseases.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President, for giving

me this opportunity to debate on the water situation in Zimbabwe. Water is very important in people’s lives even to plants and animals.  Where there is no water there is no life.  The composition of a human body; 90% of fluids is water, meaning if there is no water nothing survives. Now we are seeing the issue of water is not a problem in Harare only but in rural areas also.  Shortage of water is now amongst the list of scarce things in the country including electricity et cetera.  Government has the responsibility of making sure that order and sanity is restored.

If you look at dams; in Harare in 1999, it was recommended that Kunzvi dam be built because it was foreseen that we were going to have a problem of water, but ZINWA did not do that.  The Government did not put any effort to make sure that water is provided.  Now we are in deep trouble because the Government is not acting in fixing this, our population is increasing and there is rural urban migration but urban areas are not expanding their facilities to accommodate this. If you look at local authorities the little water that is available is not treated, dirty water is coming out of the tapes.  Glen View residents were infected with cholera because of dirty water, we should have learnt from such things because a lot of people died. Councils are failing to secure enough foreign currency to buy water purification chemicals.  The Government must take this issue seriously to avoid the risks of diseases, that is my thinking.  Other countries have to assist us with chemicals if this is declared as a national disaster.  For now, we are only looking up to the creator, God that there will be enough rains this year.  There are chances that there might be no rain as we are going through another phase of el nino induced drought.  Our task is to push Government to provide money to councils so that they buy water chemicals.  I travelled to Chegutu and Harare, I observed that water pipes were put a long time back and are now cracking and they are blocking.

For the past five months, the pipes were bursting in Mabvuku and this gave rise to cases of typhoid and cholera. Government has to give priority to the issue of water by repairing the old pipes. A lot of water is being lost through burst pipes. The water will not be able to be pumped to different areas because of these burst pipes. Government has to chip in and assist. Councils are facing difficulties in getting money. Rate payers are not remitting their dues to council because they are not working. They survive on vending and as a result council’s revenue is

getting thin.

Most councils do not have revenue to buy money from the black market like what happened last week when the likes of Tagwireyi were buying and selling money at the black market and it was all over in the newspapers. RBZ even agreed that those things were happening. Even if council were to go onto the black market, it has no money to buy that foreign currency. People are not working and they are not able to pay rates. Government has to take over this issue and declare a national disaster so that people are assisted. Council has to play its role to encourage people to pay. As we speak right now, the situation is very difficult and people are not able to pay.

Council is not supposed to charge commercial rates for water because the workers are not getting paid. It is just charging a nominal fee and we do not expect miracles from councils. We need that grant from Government and it has to be fast tracked from central government to local governments so that they are able to deliver. Councils my fail but Government would be providing money to them and they need to be held accountable for the money that they use to buy chemicals for water.

Things are difficult because the economy is bad.

We do not want to continue giving excuses. We were voted by people to come to this House and let us serve the people. People are supposed to get water, electricity, fuel and medicine and that is the job of Government to provide these services. If Government fails to do that, we have betrayed the will of the people. We have to be held accountable by the people of Zimbabwe on what we are doing as a Government and we are supposed to respond.  As we have reached this stage where things are difficult, we need a solution for the people of Zimbabwe. People have to sit down and come up with a solution that this country moves forward. Let us come together and talk and get a solution for this country. We cannot continue suffering. We cannot continue to be seated when people are dying because of dirty water. It is shocking. People are dying because of lack of medicine and doctors. People are dying when they are being operated on because of electricity blackouts. As a Government, we are doing genocide. We are sitting as leaders here when people are dying.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: The

language you are using Senator Komichi is unparliamentary, especially the word genocide. May you withdraw that word?

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I withdraw Mr. President. Many people are dying and for the past two months, I had relatives who died of blood pressure. The cause of their death was not that the blood pressure was too high but they did not have the money to buy the medication and they stroked and died. Many of us here have lost our relatives and the

Government is supposed to be conscious that things are difficult. Government is supposed to make sure that there is a solution. The solution comes from leadership.

+HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my views on the motion that was brought by Senator Wunganayi – a very important motion indeed that everyone has a right to have safe and clean water. It is true indeed that this is a vital motion. People are having a challenge with water. The issue is that we did not have enough rains. As previously alluded to, there is need to deposit the various dams so that people have enough water.

In some areas, the wells have also run dry and that is because the number of people using them have risen. As I speak right now, water is a challenge even in towns. There is need for us to be honest with each other as leaders so that we build our nation. If councils are allocated funds by Government, they need to use it properly especially towards water. People should not be buying their properties and cars like what Harare City Council is doing. The Harare Council was very irresponsible, which is why today people are not getting clean water. They were given the money and they channeled the money towards their own vehicles instead of prioritising the people that they represent.

Indeed, Government needs to look into the issue of water. We need to know that rains are God given and when we get water, we need to be careful as a country. There is need for us to take care of our own nation and not wait for other nations to come and do it for us. There are people who purchased vehicles and ignored purchasing chemicals for water yet we are the ones who are suffering. They cannot expect other countries and nations to come and take care of this.

The previous Senator stated that most people are dying in various hospitals. As I speak right now, I lost so many of my relatives. We did not have the doctors because they had been on strike. They have been unnecessarily on strike. There are people who claim that they have been abducted yet they were not.  When the doctors went on strike, they wanted the person who had been abducted to be released yet there was no one who had been abducted but up to now, they have not gone back to work.  We know the real challenge especially at Mpilo; most people died because the doctors wanted the person they claimed to have been abducted to be released yet he had not been abducted.  There is need for God to protect us and to come through for us and our nation.  We need to respect ourselves and have a vision together because we fought a war together for this country.  The devil should not destroy us. I thank you Hon. President of the Senate.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  Thank you Hon. President for giving me time to support this important motion to everyone in this country because it touches on our lives and animals.  As has been said by

Hon. Sen. Wunganayi – he gave a very good vision of seeing the

problem of water which is in the country.  Water is very important….

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  On a point of order. The Hon. Sen. debated this motion.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Sen.

Chimbudzi, the records show that you debated this motion.

*HON. SEN. HUNGWE:  Thank you Mr. President. I would like to add my voice to this motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Wunganayi.

Water gives life to people.  When one is very sick, doctors give you a drip.  They will see that if you have little water in your body, you may die.  We are talking about water in the urban areas and not in the rural areas.  I know that the Government is trying its best by drilling boreholes.  It is not anyone’s problem but it is because there is no rain.  We cannot curse God.  Even the Bible speaks of seven years of rain and seven years of no rain.  The Government is trying its level best that people and livestock get water both in rural and urban areas through drilling of boreholes, although other boreholes are affected by sewerage.

During the time of elections, we voted for the President, MP, Senator and the Councillor.  All these people are empowered.  The local authorities should see to it that people under their jurisdiction get clean and enough water.  I have worked within the city council before and I know that Government allocates and gives them money for water.  They divert that money to workshops that are held in Victoria Falls where hotels are expensive instead of buying chemicals.  They make sure that they use that money for workshops and not for water.  Interestingly, if that water is not treated, it will kill every one of us.

Yesterday Morton Jaffray was closed because there were no chemicals to treat water.  We can blame each other but councils are given foreign currency by Government to buy chemicals but they are busy abusing that money.  They want the Government to be accused of failure yet Government is doing its job effectively.  Fixing things need people who are experienced.  The issue is that all local authorities are given money.  I went to a meeting where they were being asked about the money which they were given to fix roads – it was found out that local authorities in urban areas had not done anything.  They could not account for the money so they ended up saying they used it to pay salaries.

If we look at their salaries from Grade 1 to 7 or 8 – they are earning a lot of money.  Government is giving local authorities money to buy chemicals but they are abusing that money.  In the City of Harare, Bulawayo or Gweru, it does not mean that if you are a Councillor you will get money.  It is a voluntary job to represent the people.  The Local Government has to see to it that the councils are using money properly.

Another issue which has been said about doctors – it was in the open.  They agreed that one of them has to go into hiding.  You cannot be abducted with your phone on….

HON. SEN. NCUBE:  On a point of order, the Hon. Member is out of order because there is nothing about doctors on the motion.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  You may

proceed.

HON. O. HUNGWE:  Let us speak as adults.  Local Government has to go and monitor the Local authorities to see that the money they would have been given has been used properly.  There is an issue that people are not paying rates.  How is the council supposed to function if people are not paying rates?  They might not pay all the rates but the local authorities are getting money from rentals.  Harare has houses and buildings.  What we are saying is chemicals must be bought so that people may not die.  It might be me who might die from dirty water.

Right now, Mr. President, diarrhea in Harare is high.  People are having diarrhea because of the city council which is not treating water.  We are saying we should not be pointing fingers at each other.  We must say things as they are.  Councils are being given money and they abuse that money.  They do not use money for the purpose which they would have been given for.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. FEMAI:  Thank you, Mr. President Sir.  First of all I would like to say, Mr. President, I would also like to reiterate that water is life.  It is essential for the life of both human and wildlife.  I usually watch television especially wild life programmes.  I saw kudus drinking water at a small pool.  Lions also wanted to drink the same water but because the kudu was feeling thirsty as well as giraffes they started drinking water.  A lion appeared and ran just to drink water instead of attacking those animals.  The kudu stood and ran away soon after drinking water.  I realised that it was now strong because it had drank water.  Now the lion started looking for the kudu.  So what it means is water is very important that even a snake would not see its prey as a priority when there is water.

Mr. President, this House, as honourable as it is, in other countries when you hear of a Senator they are very much respected.  I hereby request that honour and respect should be accorded to our Senators in this House.  When we come into this House let us forget about where we come from in terms of political parties.  We are not campaigning because there are no elections, here we are talking about saving people’s

lives.

Today I want to debate on how we can save lives and not people of my party, not people where I come from.  This water that I am holding here is very clean.  That is why Parliament procures this water to give us.  If this water comes dirty the Parliament would not procure it because it would be dirty.  Possibly the company can also be arrested for providing unclean water.  The water we are always talking about, Mr.

President, is not always clean even if Government is trying by all means.

If you are a Member of Parliament who goes out to the rural areas and you see people fetching dirty water while we buy clean water, then what do you say you are doing.  In the past if you saw queues in the urban areas, you would think that it is something else that is happening perhaps food distribution, but these days what is happening is those queues are meant for dirty water, not even clean water.  We are talking about what we see not because we mean to attack someone.

We want to refer to that person who has the responsibility.  That person must be talked about.  According to Apostolic religion if you expose a demon that demon will eventually leave you, so when we call upon those people who are failing, we mean to say those people should rectify their mistakes.  If we applause for people unnecessarily, they will end up scoring their own goals, but let us give praise where it is due.

That shows that we want to build our country.

I would like to talk briefly about money that is given to local authorities to treat water.  There is a Minister responsible for water, there is Government and there are also some people who are paid to give tenders.  That is not done by the local authorities.  The local authorities will only be given tar for roads after requesting for the tar and not the money – [HON. SENATORS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I thought you were going to protect me Mr. President.  It is very bad when people laugh at you while you are presenting your facts, especially when the person who will be laughing at you will be ignorant.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Honourable

just ignore them and address the Chair.

*HON. SEN. FEMAI:  What comes to local authorities from

Ministries are procured goods.  There are no auditors that will audit money disbursed to local authorities.  Instead, they audit how the procured goods were used.  That is what happens.  We may lie to each other. If we want to build this country if we see a Minister driving a range rover – in this country a range rover is highly rated so much that even in America ordinary people do not use it except people in high places like George Bush, but in this country they are using it and nobody complains about such state of the range cars.  Councilors drive Honda Fit, which cost US$2 500 on duty but range rovers cost millions.  According to a document that I saw some time ago, the person who authorises owed the local authorities over $80 million and that is the same person who directs the local authorities to procure this and that and owes the local authorities huge amounts of money.

What we are saying is: such people in positions of authority should pay their debts, what they owe to local authorities.  Once we say that we are accused of doing wrong but the whole point is, we would be having good intentions for the country.  The country’s resources should be used for productive means and if we do that, our economy will move forward.

If we are really serious about growing this economy, let us forget about political parties and let us focus on how best we can build our country.  For example; if you have an elder brother who plays soccer but one day he misses a goal and soccer fans begin to boo him, do not insult the fans because the fans would have realised the missed opportunity to score – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – If we realise that there is something wrong that the Government is missing, let us expose that instead of accusing the one who would have exposed the wrong doing.  Let us unite and build this country together – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – Let us address the water problem together as a country.  If we fail to address that, then nothing else will be solved in this country, because that is the most important thing to address.

Some of us have lived for long, I am 70 years old.  I saw a lot of governments come and go, I have seen Muzorewa come and go until I witnessed the coming of independent Zimbabwe.  The design of residential areas was such that water and sewage reticulation would be constructed first before houses or any other structures were put in place.

Those were prioritised, then they would construct roads so that they can be used by people with nice cars and pedestrians.  They would then allocate residential stands.  As it is Mr. President, people are just being allocated residential stands and led to stay or settle on a piece of an undeveloped area in terms of services.  Even God will curse us if after blessing us with wisdom and understanding, then we do such things.

If analysts were to look into this issue, blair toilets which are now in urban areas are just too many.  What it means now is that underground water and the sewage from those toilets is mixing and leading to water being contaminated and we experience the problem of cholera.  You may think that people are healthy but one day they will suffer from cholera because they are drinking contaminated water.

Mr. President, my appeal is – I will try to avoid saying the Government should avoid or rectify this and I will say, the responsible authorities should do so because I might be accused of hating or not liking the Government, which is not true.  The Government belongs to everyone – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – Even though it is the same Government that is supposed to provide safe water for everyone.

With the few words, thank you Mr. President.

*HON. MWONZORA: Thank you Mr. President for this opportunity you have given me to debate on this motion.  I also would like to thank Hon. Senators who debated this motion from across the political divide.  I would like to say, before we became or become members of MDC, Ndonga, ZANU PF or NPF, the most important thing we should realise is that we are Zimbabweans.  So when we look at a problem, let us look at it as Zimbabweans.

Coming back to the issue of local authorities or Harare as an example, before we go into that town, you are not required to produce the membership card of your political party but you are regarded as a citizen coming into a town to settle.  That is why people are mixed in urban areas from any given political party.  For example, looking at Harare, MDC had almost 500 000 votes, ZANU PF had almost 250 000 votes, but there were more people than the combined two categories who did not vote, so we do not know which party they support.  When we look at this problem, let us stop blaming each other and scrutinise this problem as a united people.

Hon. Sen. Wunganayi must be applauded for bringing up this motion.  His request is that the Government should avail foreign currency to the local authorities to procure water treatment chemicals as well as the pipes for water reticulation.  That is the request that we are expected to debate on as Senate. Do we agree that the Government should allocate foreign currency to the local authorities?  Do we agree that infrastructure should be repaired, not looking at who is to be blamed for this problem?

On that issue, when we look at local authorities, I heard Hon. Sen. Hungwe saying local authorities were given money but I was listening attentively to hear how much they were given because it is one thing to be given money but another thing on the amount that they were given. So, what I am aware of is the Mayor of the City of Harare was quoted in the press complaining that they have not received money from

Government.  Local authorities do not start on the level of councillors but it starts with the Minister of Local Government then the Permanent Secretary then the Local Government Board that is the structure of the organogram of work. The Local Authority board also is involved in scrutinising who should be employed in the local authorities.  The Local

Government Board scrutinises that and that board is not appointed by the

Municipality, it is appointed by the Government.  So we cannot say as Government if things go wrong, we can then not say we are clean from that problem.  According to the organogram, the Government is on top.

When we look at local authorities, I also heard some people saying people are paying their rates. The poverty that exists amongst the residents is so dire, they cannot afford to pay rates or contribute anything to the local authorities.  I also would like to add onto what Hon. Sen.

Femai said; we also have the Procurement Board that is appointed by the President. The Procurement Board directs who supplies materials. I remember when I was at COPAC, we were looking for suppliers of certain goods that we needed, and we saw people from high offices running around trying to influence the procurement process.

In conclusion, the request by Hon. Senator Wunganayi is that there was a lot of water borne disease recently in this country. Now that we are going towards the rain season, we are likely going to face cholera outbreak.  Remember it is on record that the Ministry of Health and Child Care spend US$50m to address the cholera outbreak.  So, what the motion is expecting from us is to debate on averting such expenditure.

Mr. President, there is something that was said about Hon. Sen. Hungwe which I thought was out of order but now that you had not ruled it out of order, it means it is in order so, I would like to comment on that issue.  The Hon. Senator referred to a case of a missing doctor

(Dr. Magombeyi), they said the doctor deserved what he went through. Since that issue is being investigated, let us wait and see how it will end because so far, we understand that his liver is injured as well as his brains and also some of the doctors, it is reported that the doctor was tortured and needs to go out of the country for further examination.  So, let us stop commenting on that issue without facts but we hear that on those abductions that are being done, there are a lot of allegations about who is behind this.  There is a common denominator on those allegations, number one is.

*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I would

like to correct you on what you are saying. I did not stop Hon. Sen. Hungwe debating on the issue of doctors because it was brought about by someone else. You are very right that issue is not supposed to be debated because it is subjudice, this motion is about water, let us debate on water.

*HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you Mr. President.  That is

why I said when the Hon. Senator was debating, she was not ruled out of order hence I also wanted to debate along those lines.  The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is the one that is mandated to allocate foreign currency.  If you try to buy foreign currency from anywhere else, it becomes illegal, what the Mayor of the City of Harare said is the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has not allocated foreign currency.  What happens in Harare as a capital city affects many people.  I am in support of what Hon. Wunganayi said; let us unite as a country.  Let us all agree that the Government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe rectify this problem by allocating foreign currency.  I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 26th September, 2019.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA, seconded by HON.

SEN. MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at Twenty One Minutes Past Four o’clock p.m.  

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

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