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SENATE HANSARD 27 FEBRUARY 2020 29 25

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 27th February, 2020.

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

INDIA CONSTITUTION DAY CELEBRATIONS

   THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to

remind the House that the Indian Embassy is inviting all Hon. Members of Parliament to attend the India Constitution Day Celebrations to be held today at 1730 hours in the National Assembly Chamber.

 

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I am briefed

that there are two major events taking place; one in Victoria Falls which involves the Conference on SDGs by the UN and the other being a Binational Commission being held in Botswana and I am told many Ministers have attended to those two important events.

I have received apologies from O C Z Muchinguri, Minister of

Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Hon. Prof. A. Murwira, Minister of

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology

Development; Hon. J. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. D. Karoro, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Hon. V P Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement; Hon. M. Chombo, Deputy

Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. R. I. Modi,

Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce and Hon. T. Marapira, Minister of State in the Vice President Mohadi’s Office.

In the meantime, we have the Minister of State for National

Security in the Office of the President, Hon. Ncube as well as Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Hon. Matemadanda.  I fully understand that it is nicer to have a wider bench but I think we do have circumstances which are beyond our control.  So, whilst we wait for the possible arrival of other Ministers, we have to make do with the two Hon. Ministers who have been able to make it that far into the Senate.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

   HON. SEN. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President Sir.  My

question is directed to the Hon. Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans.  Hon. Minister, recently the Government has proposed a 2.5% tax to start subsidising stocks in the barracks as a special arrangement for the defence forces?  Hon. Minister, can you tell us whether you think that is a well thought idea instead of increasing the disposable income of our defence forces.  I do not think they need rations because those rations do not pay school fees for their children.  Can you tell us whether you think this is the correct recipe to address the interest and the issues regarding our defence forces because the state of our defence forces is a security issue?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR

VETERANS AFFAIRS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Mr.

President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for a sympathetic question but I feel that this is a question on a particular incident, which obviously will need the answer from the technical people because it involves funds allocation.  That is a question that can be directed to the finance people.  However, I will only want to say there is no budget that can be sufficient at the moment, considering that our economy is undergoing reforms and resuscitation.  The best person to ask such a question would be the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  As for whether that allocation can be enough to sustain defence activities, I think it is the technical people who do the day to day running of things like ration as you rightly mentioned.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think the

right person to direct that question is the Minister of Finance.  That statement, if I am not mistaken, was made by the Minister Finance. So it is a financial issue.  I hope in the near future we will have the Minister of Finance here and he can answer that question.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: Thank you Hon. President for allowing

me to ask my question.  My question is directed to the Minister of State for National Security in the President’s Office, Hon. Ncube.  Thank you for coming, I think it is my first time to see you in this House, so welcome to the Senate.  My question is - what has your Ministry done about the Mashurugwi and the security threat that they have caused to the nation?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (HON. O. NCUBE): Thank you

Mr. President.  This question should be directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, who is here.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: My question is not a home affairs issue,

it is not about arrests.  I was talking about the security threat that is caused by Mashurugwi gangsters. What is his Ministry doing about that security threat?

HON. O. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking such a pertinent question. The issue of MaShurugwi has been dealt with in the country. I think we are only left to account for one group. All the other groups have been arrested. They have appeared in court and some of them have been sentenced. I thank you.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: I guess maybe myself and the Minister have got some communication challenges. I am not talking about arrests.

I am talking about the threat to this country’s security and how that has been dealt with as a matter of policy rather than as a matter of arrest and practical implementation.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Before the

Minister answers, I believe I have seen somewhere that the police have been deployed and the Minister of Home Affairs has issued a statement.

Perhaps Deputy Minister Hon. Madiro might want to comment on that.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND

CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you very much

Mr. President. With your indulgence, the issue relating to MaShurugwi is on the Order Paper and that question is within the context of our response on Written Answers to Questions with Notice which should be comprehensive.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Allow me to direct my

question to the Minister of Defence. Mr. President, it is good for the war collaborators to have their issues addressed. Some of them are now old and others are deceased without getting any reward of the job they did for our independence. Now that our Independence celebrations are around the corner, there are areas where heroes are buried in various districts. These areas are not being taken care of. What is being done to take care of these burial sites of our heroes in districts?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR

VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Mr. President, I

want to thank the Hon. Senator for his question. That question was asked several times and it shows an interest on issues to do with liberation war veterans. Let me answer by saying a Bill which has to do with the issues of war veterans who are catergorised in four areas has been presented to Parliament for the first reading. I hope by next week it will be on second reading. It shows that the Bill is progressing very well according to the procedures in Parliament.

On the second part of your question relating to burial sites for war veterans, that question should be directed to the Ministry of Home Affairs. In the Defence Ministry, we take care of those who are still living but for those who have departed, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr.

President for the question raised by the Hon Member. The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage is responsible for looking after all national shrines. There are three categories relating to these areas. Firstly, there is the National Heroes Acre, then secondly there are Provincial Heroes Acres which are ten in the country and lastly burial sites for those who died during the liberation struggle in neighbouring countries like Mozambique, Chimoio, Nyadzonia and Freedom Camp in Zambia. The Government has a plan especially in those areas outside the country that these shrines be maintained very well in collaboration with those countries through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As the Ministry of Home Affairs, we are going to build monuments in those areas including facilities such as amenities. This will be done as a way of honouring our fallen heroes.

The National Heroes Acre is in good shape but we still need to revamp it so that is looks decent for our heroes. As you know, during the liberation struggle our heroes were tortured by the regime and hence our heroes are dying. We have other graves that do not have tombstones, so we have plans to erect headstones at these graves.

It is a good thing that our chiefs always remember and encourage the Government to respect our liberation war heroes. I thank you.  *HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  My question is directed to the Leader of the House.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Who said

there is Leader of the House? We did not announce who the Acting Leader of the House is. We have Ministers here. Just proceed to ask your question.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: My question relates to extra lessons being conducted by teachers after normal working hours.  Teachers are engaging in extra lessons and they do it outside school time.  It is their way of making extra money.  You know that teachers earn $1 000.  They do not do it during school hours but they do it outside and they get extra cash so that they can survive.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I had not

been advised that Hon. Ncube is the acting Leader of the House.  I do not know how you got that information before I got it myself, whether it is your super intelligence or what –[Laughter] -.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  It was a way of boosting the moral of the teachers so that they supplement their meager salaries, but we are reading from the newspapers and radios that ZACC is after them so that it will be stopped, but is the Government looking at the negative side of the story that the teachers would be demoralised or they will end up opening schools secretly where they would engage in doing extra lessons after school.  So we want to find out whether that can be done on a voluntary basis between the parents and the teachers.  I think it is an idea which we should leave in place so that teachers and parents agree.  Thank you Mr. President.

*THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

(HON. O. NCUBE):  In the Government they know how to pay their salaries.  It is a secret engagement between teachers and salaries not within the law and it is not allowed.  So if ZACC goes after them that is good because it is not within the law.

+HON.SEN.  S. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to ask the Minister if they are aware that teachers have letters of agreement with schools that teachers should go to school once a week giving reasons that the money that they get is only equivalent for them to be coming to school for teaching lessons once a week.

HON. O. NCUBE:  Unfortunately I did not get the question as I do not understand Ndebele.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Can anyone

take it up?

*THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS

AFFAIRS (HON. MATEMADANDA):  Thank you Mr. President –

[HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: Inaudible interjection.] -

HON. MATEMADANDA: I am allowed to speak in Shona.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Minister

you are right.  You do not demand they talk in that language.  You chose Ndebele and he is choosing Shona, but anyway you may answer the question in Ndebele.

+HON. MATEMADANDA:  The question was does the Minister

know that there is an agreement between a teacher’s organisation and the teachers to go to work once a week, but in answering I will say that is it policy that a teacher’s organisation should put an instruction that teachers should not attend lessons?  It would only be allowed if it becomes policy or law, but if it is an agreement that they do on their own, then it becomes unlawful.  Therefore we cannot speak of an unlawful situation that is caused by an organisation for teachers and say that is the situation and that is how things should be.

It is not legal for the teacher’s organisation to instruct teachers not to go for work.   So we cannot discuss about an illegality on other illegal things that are happening.  Maybe it becomes a constitutional question.

HON. SEN. S. NCUBE:  There is something I wish to clarify.  I understand what the Minister is saying but that is the position that is in the schools.  Is the Government aware of that letter which was written to schools by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).  It may not be Government policy but is the Government aware of that.

HON. MATEMADANDA:  Thank you Mr. President.  My

answer is that morality is not conventionality neither is it legal.  So the issue that people agree to smoke dagga and they say that people from a certain area smokes dagga does not mean that that is what is happening because most people from there are smoking dagga.  It is still a crime even if many people are engaging in that activity.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA:  My question is directed to the Minister of State Security and I want to join my colleague who earlier on said that we welcome you to this House Hon. Minister after a very long time.  My question is that we have read in the newspapers but especially in the international newspapers on line about the threat of an organisation either linked to ISIS or similar to ISIS in the Republic of

Mozambique in the area of Carbo Delgado and that the British

Government has in fact issued a travel warning to its citizens.

The question is how credible is this threat to Zimbabwe and if so what has the Government done about it to safeguard the people of Zimbabwe, especially the people in the eastern province of Manicaland with regard to the history of the RENAMO incursions and so on.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

(HON. O. NCUBE):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for those questions.  You say you have read in the newspapers.  Yes, in Mozambique there are, we cannot call them dissidents, who are operating in Cabo Delgado and this has not affected us but we are seized with monitoring the situation. It has not even affected our eastern boarders.

The other question you asked – that one we will refer to Interpol because it is more of Home Affairs.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  Is he aware that police stations in rural areas are in such bad state and do not even have benches?  Can we say that this is a country?

Does the Ministry know that they are supposed to allocate a budget to buy chairs for the police camps that currently resemble caves?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND

CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO):  Thank you Mr.

President and thank you Hon. Senator for the question on the status of rural police stations.  The Ministry is aware of the current status of rural police stations like he said but not all police stations are in such poor conditions.  In other stations the situation, is better but in other stations, the challenge that we have is of scarce resources.  I concur with the Hon. Senator and you are aware how difficult it is for our Government due to sanctions.

This country, I can say, is another example of the effects of sanctions but the Government is trying its best to mobilise resources so that our police officers work in conducive environments.  I want to believe that Government, through our sister Ministries of Local

Government and Public Works  and Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage have a plan so that we have institutional accommodation that includes offices, chairs, tables and other equipment including accommodation for police officers.  All these issues are being looked into so that they work happily.

The job of the police of arresting people must be done when they are happy.  They have to execute their duties happily.  Government is aware of the situation but the Government has taken up this burden of fixing the matter.

*HON. SEN. MAKONE:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me

the opportunity to pose a supplementary question through you Sir.  The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage wants Zimbabweans to believe that the country cannot produce furniture for police stations using our own trees.  Is he stating that this is being affected by sanctions?  Mr. President, if the Hon. Minister could give us a respectable response please.

*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order,

order. What you just said is a comment and not a question Hon. Member and it is your right but it is being taken as a comment.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.  I want to find out from the Hon. Deputy Minister if there is any provision that was made …

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Which

Deputy Minister?

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: It is a supplementary question to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  You are

right, please proceed.

HON. B. MPOFU:  If there was any provision in this year’s budget to address what has been noted by the Hon. Chief.  We want to know whether anything is going to be done this year?  I know he said that Government is working on something but was there provision?  If there was, what is the timeline to deal with the issue?  Thank you.

HON. MADIRO:  Thank you very much Mr. President.  The Hon.

Senator asked a supplementary question pertaining to the provisions for amenities and other accessories in the various stations particularly in the rural areas and whether there is any budgetary allocation to take care of the situation.

I want to say Hon. President that yes, in the recent budget by the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development; the Hon. Senator is aware that we had a recent disaster in Chimanimani, Cyclone Idai.  Much of our budget has been taken up to rehabilitate stations in those areas that were swept away by the disaster and within the budgetary allocations, it is not adequate to take care of the situation throughout the whole country as envisaged by our Hon. Chief.  Government will continuously allocate resources to make sure that the situation is ameliorated progressively.

However, we take note of the concerns of Hon. Senators here and thank and appreciate their concerns that the law enforcement officers do their policing in a conducive environment in order for them to achieve their mandate but that can be done within the constraints of scarce resources within the budget.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI:  Thank you Mr. President.  My

question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage through you Mr. President.

Mr. President, there are robbers along Beitbridge road.  I want to know what plans are in place as a Ministry that looks at welfare of people in terms of the laws of this country.  What are they doing about these people because these robbers have hit about three or four times?  People are being robbed of all their wares that they would have bought from South Africa.  What is the Ministry doing because the area is the same, which is 15km away from Beitbridge because the robberies are taking place at the same area?  What is the Ministry doing to apprehend these robbers?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND

CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO):  Thank you Mr.

President.  Hon. Senator, the question of safeguarding the lives of people and their property is very pertinent but this question is too specific as it refers to a particular place.  So, with due respect, I think the Hon.

Senator should put the question in writing so that I can bring a befitting response next week.

Hon. Sen. P. Ndlovu having stood up to pose a question.

  THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  You may sit

down Hon. Senator, I will give you the opportunity.  It is Hon. Senator P. Ndlovu right?  - [HON. SEN. P. NDLOVU: Yes Mr. President.] -  I will give you the opportunity but right now on my list I have Hon. Sen.

Chief Ngezi.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NGEZI:  Thank you Mr. President for

affording me this opportunity.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.

I do not know the plans that you have in retaining the culture that was there so that police stations would get their fuel allocations and cars so that they will be able to deliver.  Often times you find that police officers cannot access accident scenes because they do not have fuel and vehicles.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND

CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO):  Thank you Mr.

President and I also want to thank Hon. Chief Ngezi for the question referring to fuel and police vehicles.

I can confirm that it is very true that in most areas, police officers do not have vehicles.  When there are vehicles, then we can talk about fuel but there are no vehicles so we cannot make reference to fuel but Government is aware of the challenges that the police have.

Government is not just seated but working on it.  As we are speaking, Government is at an advanced stage in securing few vehicles to post to stations that are far, like in areas where there are a lot of challenges in terms of robberies - those places will get first preference.

Government’s wish is for all police stations to have fuel and vehicles to use.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU:  I would like to thank the Minister of Home Affairs for acknowledging that at least something is being done.  I would like to find out the timeline now that he has indicated that we are expecting cars in different areas?  Is this going to happen in this particular financial year or not?

*HON. MADIRO: I am very happy to hear the Hon. Sen. inquiring the timeline on when this is going to happen and which financial year.  We are looking forward to have cars which will be distributed in the various areas that I talked about if there are no unforeseen circumstances this year.

*HON. SEN. CHABUKA:  My question is directed to the

Minister of Energy.  Today it is a Thursday and we are adjourning Parliament and we go back home to our families. This country is in a crisis.  There is a lot of noise because of fuel.  We do not know which plans you have for us so that we acquire fuel so that we go back to our constituencies and our families.  The fuel that we are getting now is in

US$. There is no fuel being sold in bond notes or in our local currency.  What are we supposed to do?  We have plans to go home tomorrow morning.  We are in a tight situation and the country seems to be in a difficult position.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA):  The question is very specific – she wants to know how she gets back home tomorrow....

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, I think what

the Hon. Sen. wanted to ask on is availability of fuel.  You may take this opportunity to appraise the Hon. Senate on the fuel situation.

*HON. MUDYIWA:  Let me check for the figures to see how much fuel has been offloaded to various service stations.  Let me say that fuel is in the country everyday but we cannot collect that fuel because it is bonded. It is not the Ministry of Energy and Power Development which has to do with fuel but the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe are the other players in the issue of fuel.

As a Ministry, our fuel is there.  We work together with RBZ and the Ministry of Finance to make sure that fuel is from our depots to service stations.  Yes of course fuel from our depots to service stations is scarce because of reasons that are beyond our Ministry’s control.  Our wish is that fuel should be available and one can get it whenever he or she wants it.  That is why I was saying I wanted to check today’s figures to see how many litres we got which were offloaded yesterday from our depots to service stations.

We are not aware of the fact that fuel is being sold in US dollars at service stations.  As I have said before in this House, there are few service stations which have been given authority to sell in foreign currency especially US dollars.  These are the service stations that are selling to NGOs and Diplomats but there is a new plan which needs to be implemented.  Service stations and fuel traders who have their foreign currency can buy fuel outside and bring it in here.  That is being done by the Ministry of Finance and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.  I cannot answer on that one.  Those who are selling fuel in US dollars without authority are breaking the law.  That is what I can say about

fuel.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Minister, your

colleague Members of Parliament are going through difficult times and it would be useful if you could – I know the Clerk has attempted on his part to try and make some arrangements because they do have coupons and they are going to get coupons after this meeting and there is nowhere to get the fuel.  I think that is their challenge.  It would be very useful Minister if you could make an arrangement to have a service station where you can put fuel and the Hon. Members can go with their coupons and draw fuel.  This is the concern of your fellow colleagues.  That is what they are trying to put across.  Knowing you, I am sure you can arrange something.

HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Mr. President for that idea but the

Clerk of Parliament is working on trying to get a service station where Hon. Members can get fuel. As a Ministry, we have Petrotrade and it is the one which we control. It is the one which we can give directives on what they can do because they were under our Ministry. Other supplies like Puma, Engin and Zuva are independent suppliers. So Parliament has to come, we sit down with the Ministry of Energy and we talk. What I know is that Parliament coupons are for Puma and not for Petrotrade. That is why we cannot help each other but as the Ministry, we have Petrotrade. If you could get coupons from Petrotrade, we could make arrangements that you get fuel. That is what I can say Mr. President. If Parliament have other arrangements, we will see them coming to our Ministry so that we plan together to make sure that Hon. Members of Parliament get fuel. I thank you.

     THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I know how

much suffering Members of Parliament are going through in terms of fuel. I will personally take it up with the Clerk of Parliament and the Ministry so that we find a way of alleviating it. It has gone too far. We now need to move on and avoid this question time being about fuel.

+HON. SEN. P. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President. My

question is directed to the Leader of the House. I would want to find out - if one travells through Victoria Falls Road, there is a tent that fell down. That is very embarrassing. Is the Government aware of this issue?

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon.

Minister, I do not know whether you captured that question?

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

(HON. O. NCUBE): No, I did not capture it.

  THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen.

Ndlovu, I know it is your perfect and alienable right to speak in a language of your choice, but we have a situation where the Minister has not understood your question. I am asking you or perhaps requesting that somebody translates that question so that it can be answered. I know it is your perfect right to speak in a language of your choice.

HON. SEN. SINAMPANDE: Thank you Mr. President. The

question is - there is a tent by the tollgate which is in the road to Victoria Falls. This tent is not suitable for the officers to use because it is shameful for the tourists to see it. The road to Victoria Falls is used by tourists from other countries, so that tent is on the tollgate to Victoria Falls and it is not good.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: That is a

specific question which is not policy. Questions without Notice are normally questions on policy. However, that situation can be addressed if you put it in writing and the relevant Minister will respond to it.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: Thank you Mr. President.  My

question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  What is Government policy with regards to people who are trading in US dollars yet the country said people should use our local currency?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Let me say when a

crime is committed and if it comes to the ears of the police, they investigate the untruthfulness of the case and a person is arrested but world over, for the police to work on arresting people, they can do it when they work with the people of that country. It is the job of all of us to report cases like someone who uses US$. If that is brought to the police, they will investigate. If they find out that it is true, they will arrest. It is unlawful for people to do whatever they want especially on that issue. The problem is; if two people sell between themselves, a businessman and a customer, the customer does not want to come and be a witness in court and the case falls apart. We need to unite as citizens and the police so that courts can convict people who are committing the crime. That issue is talked about as rumour and no one is reporting such cases. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. SHUMBA: Thank you Mr. President. My

supplementary question is, we have heard that there are people who trade and people said that if we go outside we see them lined up with foreign money...

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: That is not a

supplementary question. You are merely repeating the question which was asked and that question has been answered.

HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President for according

me this opportunity. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy. I want to hear from the Minister – we are facing a lot of challenges with electricity. It is very expensive and so, I want to hear on the debt that we are paying. What is Government policy because even if you buy electricity worth $500.00, after one week they would have finished and we do not have them throughout the day? They are not

lasting.

* HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Mr. President, I want to thank

the Hon. Senator for her question.  On electricity, I think the Hon. Sen.

is aware that we now have new tariffs.  The first 50 units are for domestic use, the new tariff system is called stepped up tariff system.  First 50 tariffs are sold at low cost then 51 to 200 at a higher cost; if you go more than 200 it is much more.  As of now I do not have the figures at hand.  So the units that you used to consume are no longer the same, you are now getting less units.

On the issue of debts, there is no policy unless if the person was in debt already when they switched over to prepayment.  If the person was in debt the debts were carried over, so if they buy electricity ZESA deducts a certain percentage to settle the debt.  So the amount will not match the remitted amount because a certain percentage will be deducted to settle the debt.  I think this is the only explanation that I have; if I had the figures I would have articulated well.  On usage of electricity in homes, it also depends on your usage.  Yes, electricity might be available at night only but when electricity comes, what is it used for?  That is why we are saying we should save the little electricity that we have.  We should not use incessant bulbs, we should use led bulbs that save electricity and also switch off lights in the rooms that you are not using. Some leave computers or televisions on; the sleeping mode will be on, which means it is using electricity. So you will be using electricity unaware.

We are trying by all means to save electricity by using led bulbs that save energy. We are encouraging people to use them and to switch off electricity geysers, they consume a lot of power. We must switch on to solar geysers.  I agree with the Hon. Sen. that the units she used to buy with RTGs500 are no longer the same.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON.

DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No.

62.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I defer

questions 1 to 12.

PROTECTION OF SMALL SCALE MINERS FROM ATTACKS

BY MACHETE WIELDING GANGSTERS

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain to the House measures being taken by the Government to protect small scale miners from attacks by machete wielding gangsters popularly known as Mashurugwi who are marauding around the country committing heinous crimes.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND

CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you very much

Mr. President.  I thank the Hon. Senator for the question.  I wish to thank the Hon. Sen. for the question and concur with him that illegal artisanal miners are not only committing violent crimes such as murder, robbery, rape and assault but are also causing serious environmental degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity as well as contamination of soil, ground and surface water caused by chemicals emitted from illegal mining activities.

Mr. President, allow me to inform the Hon. Sen. that from January 2019 to date, nine murders and 27 murders cases were recorded in Silobela alone, of which six and 20 accused persons respectively were arrested and referred to court. On this note, it is critical to highlight that none of these crimes occurred at mining sites but they occurred at beer outlets and in homes following misunderstandings and domestic disputes.

Throughout the country, from January 2019 to date, a total of 35 murders, 225 robberies, 382 assaults and 15 rape cases were committed by machete-wielding gangsters.  However, there are numerous ongoing measures in all the provinces aimed at containing violent crimes perpetrated by artisanal miners.   The measures which the Ministry is taking include the following:

  1. Raids at panning sites conducted from time to time to arrest

illegal artisanal miners and vendors. In this regard, it is interesting to note that from 4th March, 2019 to date, 6 229 illegal artisanal miners and 1922 offenders were arrested and either made to pay fines or referred to court for possessing dangerous weapons.

  1. Roadblocks which are set up to search for machetes, knives, weapons, iron bars and other dangerous weapons that can be used to murder, rob and harm innocent citizens.
  2. Prohibition Orders for carrying dangerous weapons which are issued by Officers Commanding Districts who are regulatory authorities barring the carrying of dangerous weapons in terms of

Section 4 (1) of Maintenance of Peace and Order and Security Act (Chapter 11:23). In addition, stop and searches are being conducted in areas infested with illegal artisanal miners and those found with dangerous weapons.

  1. Campaigns which are being conducted with a view to dissuade members of the public to desist from committing all forms of violence, respect the sanctity of human life and resolve any differences amicably.
  2. Engaging the judiciary by Police Commanders at national, provincial and district levels to impose stiffer penalties on perpetrators of violent crimes and Mines and Minerals Act offenders.
  3. Police Operations. The Zimbabwe Republic Police embarked on an Operation code named “No to anarchy by artisanal miners” from January 2019 to December 2019. The operation was running concurrently with another operation code named “No to dangerous weapons” in which people carrying dangerous weapons such as machetes, knives, spears and knobkerries which are used by gangsters to commit crimes such as murder, assault, rape and public violence were being arrested. Operation “No to dangerous weapons” proceeded the issuance of prohibition orders by

Regulating Authorities in all provinces banning the carrying of dangerous weapons. This is in terms of Section 4 (1) of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [11:23].

As machete-wielding gangsters continued to wreak havoc, the ZRP stepped up its efforts and launched a massive operation code named

“Chikorokoza Ngachipere/isitsheketsha kasiphele and No to Machete Gangs” which commenced on 14 January 2020 after resources for the first phase of the operation were made available. The operation is ongoing in all provinces and is aimed at arresting machete wielding criminals.

In addition to raids by individual provinces, a National Task Force led by Support Unit was set up, targeting one province at a time. So far Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Mashonaland East have been cleared of illegal panners in areas which were heavily concentrated. The areas so far cleared of illegal panners in the three provinces are;

Mashonaland Central Province

  • Jumbo Mine
  • Mazowe River
  • Storis Mine
  • Christon Bank
  • Shamva Mine
  • Mt Darwin
  • Kitsiyatota

Manicaland Province

  • Parts of Mutare River
  • Penhalonga
  • Premier Central
  • Parts of Odzi River

Mashonaland East Province

  • Mutawatawa
  • Makosa
  • Mudzi
  • Parts of Mazowe River

ACCESSING OF PRIMARY DOCUMENTS BY PEOPLE LIVING

WITH DISABILITIES

14   HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU asked the Minister of Home

Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain to the House:-

  1. Measures being taken by the Ministry to ensure that people living with disabilities timeously access their primary documents; and
  2. Whether this group is given due preferential treatment when they visit the Registrar General’s Office

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND

CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): The Registrar

General’s Department has decentralised registry offices and has static provincial, district and sub offices countrywide. All mandatory vital civil registration documents that is birth certificates, death certificates and national identify documents are issued at these offices. The Department also carries out mobile registration exercises and these are meant to cater for everyone, including vulnerable groups. In instances where due to the nature of the disability an applicant is unable to come to the office, the Department visits the applicant to facilitate registration.

Officers in the Department are constantly reminded to ensure that people with disabilities timeously access their primary documents and do not stand in queues.

  1. b) It has always been the Ministry’s custom to give preferential

treatment to people living with disabilities when it comes to accessing their primary documents.

During the vetting process, vulnerable clients are identified and given preferential treatment. They are not made to wait in the queue. These include people living with disabilities, the sick, the elderly as well as pregnant and nursing mothers. In some case the officers encourage the applicant to be accompanied by a near relative, for assistance. They are timesouly assisted as soon as they get to the offices.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON DEPUTY

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No.

62.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR

NATIONAL SECURITY (HON. O. NCUBE) the Senate adjourned

at Twelve Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 3rd March 2020.

 

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