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SENATE HANSARD 27 JULY 2016 25-66
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 27th July 2016
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT
OF THE SENATE
INVITATION TO A COCKTAIL PARTY
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have
to inform the Senate that Hon. Senators from outside Harare are invited by the General Manager of Rainbow Towers Hotel to a cocktail starting at 1830 hours, this evening at the Hotel.
ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish
to draw to the attention of the House to an error on the Order Paper where the Pan African Minerals University of Science and Technology (H. B. 10A, 2016), has been erroneously reflected on the Order Paper as H. B 8.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MASUKU: I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MASUKU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th July, 2016.
FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV/
AIDS ON THE NATIONAL AIDS COUNCIL CAPACITY BUILDING
WORKSHOP AND TOUR
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV/AIDS on the National Aids Council Capacity Building Workshop and Tour.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: 1.0 INTRODUCTION
National AIDS Council, in conjunction with its following partners;
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the Country Coordinating
Mechanism for Global Fund (CCM) invited the Thematic Committee on HIV/AIDS and the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care to a capacity building workshop and tour of some clinics and discussions with key populations in Matabeleland South, from 5th to 8th May, 2016. The exercise was for information sharing and to create awareness on matters pertaining to some health issues and HIV/AIDS. The workshop resolved that it was important to present the information gleaned with Parliament through reports to the respective Houses.
1.1 Objectives of the Capacity Building Workshop and Tour
National Aids Council hosted the capacity building workshop and tour to promote a concerted effort by Ministry of Health and Child Care through NAC and Parliament, to effectively respond to health and HIV challenges facing the nation. In his welcome remarks, the NAC Board
Member, Dr. Tayi said legislators “play a critical role in facilitating legislative review and development as well as being a catalytic factor in their respective constituencies in addressing bottlenecks and offering solutions in dealing with the pandemic”. The workshop and tour was organised so that the lawmakers could get a hands-on appreciation of the progress and challenges in the national response to HIV/AIDS by NAC and other players. National AIDS Council repeatedly told the two Committees that Zimbabwe cannot end AIDS by 2030 if the critical dynamics and HIV risk factors that affect key populations are addressed.
2.0 THE COMMITTEES’ FINDINGS
2.1 Health Care Centres
The Committees’ first stop was at Chingwizi Clinic, where the community and local church (Family of God), with the help of NAC and some NGOs have constructed a clinic. The site was chosen by Government after the tragic floods in Tokwe Mukorsi which resulted in people staying in holding camps. The site was set up as a temporary health care shelter, people have since been resettled and the shelter has become a primary health care provider. At the time of the visit, the clinic was still undergoing construction, with some functions of the clinic still being carried out under a tent. The clinic offers HIV counselling and testing, ante natal and post natal care and basic primary health care.
The two Committees also visited Shabwe and Makakabule Clinic in Beitbridge and learnt that the clinics were short staffed. The group was impressed with the service at Makakabule Clinic which initiates Anti-Retroviral Therapy. However, it was noted that refresher courses organised at provincial level excluded district level nurses from refresher courses, which meant that these nurses were omitted from critical medical advances relating to their work, for example, the clinic at
Makakabule which is Rural District Clinic was unaware of the new World Health Organisation guidelines that anyone who tests HIV positive has to be initiated on ART regardless of their CD4 count.
The clinics are not adequately equipped with machines and technology to carry out tests such as CD4 count and those used for screening for cervical cancer. Although Anti-Retrovial tablets are for free, communities are required to pay health care user fees, which they cannot afford. The workshop participants spoke to patients (mostly women) at Shabwe Clinic who were lamenting the steep price of user fees and how without payment of such fees, the clinics would not attend to them.
3.0 Major issues which emerged during group discussions with commercial sex workers
The Committees were taken to visit the two sites to meet with commercial sex workers who have organised themselves into associations for moral support – in Ngundu and Beitbridge. The visit was deemed important because, although the incidence of HIV is falling in Zimbabwe, the figure continues to rise among commercial sex workers. NAC took it upon itself to engage these groups as they are an indication of a country wide problem. NAC and its partners established Committees in different parts of the country to provide information on HIV and behaviour change and to help treat the infected commercial sex workers.
3.1 Causes of Commercial sex work
The Committees were informed that commercial sex work has proliferated in these areas because of their location. Ngundu is a corridor to South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo, which makes it the epicenter for HIV transmission in the country. The proxy indicator for HIV transmission is sexually transmitted infections and Matabeleland South recorded 243 cases in the first three months of 2016, while the last quarter of 2015 had recorded 177 cases. 500 to over 1000 trucks pass through Ngundu and even more through Beitbridge per day. The trucks are driven by men who are away from their homes for prolonged periods.
3.2 Challenges faced by commercial sex workers
A number of commercial sex workers gave testimonies and cited economic challenges as reasons for entering into sex work. Others had become widows with no way of caring for their children and receiving no form of support from their families and in-laws. Some indicated that they were willing to leave sex work if they could find alternative means of earning a living.
They cited challenges as follows; violent clients who sexually abused them and sometimes refused to pay for services rendered. They also told Parliamentarians that some clients offer to pay them more if no condom was used while some paid less than charged but used force to sleep with them longer or without the protection of a condom. Zimbabwean legislation criminalises sex work and society discriminates against women who engage in such work. This leaves the sex workers with on legal protection from abusive clients.
3.3 HIV prevention measures among sex workers
Sex workers informed parliamentarians that NAC and its partners carried out education campaigns on HIV and AIDS and taught them that they could prevent the further spread of HIV by use of condoms. However, sometimes they were forced to render their services without condoms as men often paid more money for service without condoms.
3.4 Recommendations from sex workers
The commercial sex workers associations visited recommended that Parliament should enact legislation to protect sex workers from abuse by clients and that Government set up and support income generating projects for them to cushion them against the prevailing harsh economic conditions.
4.0 Major issues emerging from discussions with truck drivers
Workshop participants were taken to a truck stop where discussions were held with a group of truck drivers. A number of them gave testimonies about the challenges they face in their work which lead to the spread of HIV and what could be done to alleviate the problems.
4.1 Factors leading truck drivers to seek services from sex workers
The truck drivers acknowledged that engaging the services of sex workers increased the spread of HIV and AIDS but also cited reasons which led them to seek such services as follows; spending long periods (up to 3 months) away from their wives, long waiting periods (up to two weeks) taken to clear their cargo and lack of entertainment at truck stops. Some of them also admitted that they did not consistently use condoms if they had interacted with the same commercial sex worker over time. NAC and its partners engaged the drivers to give them information on HIV and AIDS, counselling and testing for HIV.
4.2 Recommendations from truck drivers
Drivers made recommendations as follows; Parliament should enact legislation which will compel employers to allow truck drivers to travel with their wives. This will reduce the spread of HIV as spouses will be able to travel together and the need for services of commercial sex workers will not arise.
The truck drivers also requested that measures be taken by
Government through ZIMRA and Customs to reduce the time taken to clear cargo at border posts and that entertainment facilities be set up at truck stops so that drivers are entertained while they wait for clearance of cargo. Some of the drivers are HIV positive or suffer from chronic illnesses and therefore recommended that wellness centres or clinics be located near truck stops to enable them to access health care services easily. Truck drivers informed parliamentarians that provision of clean ablution facilities for them would greatly improve their welfare.
5.0 Major highlights from interactions with people living with HIV and AIDS
The Committees also visited Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+). A number of men, women and a teenager gave testimonies of how NAC has assisted them with lifesaving information on HIV and AIDS and ART. People living with HIV applauded the many efforts and intervention measures that Government, through NAC, as well as other stakeholders, have taken to ensure that they stay alive and receive treatment. There were many testimonies of well being and fitness from people living with HIV and this was attributed to the sound HIV treatment they were receiving. The Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) initiative was applauded as a good intervention in the prevention of transmission of HIV to babies as there was testimony of an HIV positive man who had sired four HIV negative children with his HIV negative wife.
5.1 Challenges faced by people living with HIV
People living with HIV alluded to discrimination and stigma as some of the major challenges they faced. A 19 year old girl, born HIV positive gave testimony that she faced discrimination from the community and struggled to make friends at school as she was shunned for being HIV positive. Some had to pull their children out of school as they were jeered at for being HIV positive.
5.2 Prayers of ZNNP+
People living with HIV recommended that they be considered as primary care counselors in HIV and AIDS programmes since they have a better understanding and appreciation of HIV and AIDS issues. ZNNPt informed parliamentarians that they have a ten hectare piece of land in Beitbridge on which they have built a tuck shop but lacked resources to carry out further projects. They implored parliamentarians, Government and other stakeholders to give them financial support to grow their income generating projects.
6.0 Major highlights on HIV and AIDS related presentations
A day and a half was dedicated to presentations on TB, Malaria, sexual reproductive health and HIV and AIDS. The information gleaned from the presentations relating to HIV and AIDS was as presented below; Zimbabwe experienced a 57% reduction in AIDS related deaths from 2005 to 2013 because of the improvement in ART coverage over the years and 34% reduction in new HIV infections between 2005 and 2013 was recorded.
The HIV decline is attributed to successful implementation of prevention strategies especially behaviour change, high condom use and reduction in multiple sexual partners. HIV prevalence has plateaued due to improved survival linked to improved ART coverage. Zimbabwe recorded a 34% reduction in new HIV infections between 2005 and 2013 (UNADIS, 2014).
New HIV transmission among children in 2015 had gone down from 30% in 2001 to 39% and elimination of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) coverage was reported to be at 30% at the end of
Annual deaths are declining and are now at 3 188 per year, the figures given are for people who access ART from Government health institutions. The National Aids Council (NAC) reported that about 15 000 patients were privately accessing ART and their doctors reported the statistics to the Ministry of Health and Childcare. Eighty percent of the money used to purchase ART is external funding and only 20% is from local funds. The National Aids Council reported that the current level of collection of the AIDS Levy collected in a year would provide only four months supply of ART. The Committees were informed that treatment takes a large chunk of resources from NAC and focus on prevention of new infections has over the years gone down. In its presentations, NAC pointed out that its priority intervention should include ART and nutrition, focus on issues of adherence and retention of ART by people living with HIV/AIDS and prevention of new infections. However, lack of resources prevented NAC from fully carrying out its mandate.
Trends at Global level
Ambitious targets were recently set by UNAIDS during the World
AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia of testing 90% of people for HIV; putting the 90% of PLWHIV on Antiretroviral therapy; and ensuring that among those on treatment, at least 90% are virally suppressed by 2020. This move has seen the shift from initiating ART when the CD4 count drops to 500, to initiating it on testing positive for HIV.
Some of NAC’s Achievements
NAC’s target is to reduce sexual transmission among sex workers, because they believe that sex work is driving new infections. To that end, NAC gave a group of commercial sex workers sewing machines a few years ago, in an effort to get them out of sex work. But, they moved to other locations and the machines were lost. In Hwange, NAC tried to introduce projects for sex workers but the projects did not succeed because the group was very mobile, hence it was difficult to ascertain ownership of the project. Another model of empowering sex workers was attempted in 2008, where NAC gave them capital to initiate
projects, but this was affected by the crash of the Zimbabwe dollar and the fact that this group of people is a highly mobile population.
- The Ministry of Health and Child Care should communicate all new HIV and AIDS policy guidelines to all health care service providers.
- Mobile clinics should be set up at border posts and truck stops in order to curb the spread of HIV.
- User fees for people living with HIV for HIV and AIDS related illnesses should be scrapped so that Zimbabwe can reach the 90-90-90 by 2020.
- The National Aids Council should embark on massive and aggressive awareness campaigns for safe sex country wide, to all sectors of society, particularly key populations.
- Truck owners should institute policy to allow spouses to accompany truck drivers on their long trips across borders as this would be a worthy investment into their human resources.
- ZIMRA should initiate quick clearance strategies so as to reduce waiting time at border posts.
- Government should expedite the one-stop border post policy.
- Government should institute research on how to handle the thorny issue of commercial sex and issue appropriate policy.
The two Committees learnt a lot from the problems and challenges that beset some key populations and recommends that strenuous efforts be made by all sectors of society to play their part to curb the spread of HIV and end AIDS by 2030.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos for presenting this report before this august House. I would also like to thank the Hon. Members who are involved in this Thematic Committee on HIV/AIDS who did a very commendable job by at least leaving this august House and going out to see what is actually happening in the communal areas.
Mr. President, the issue of disasters, you will find that we will live with them in the country. As a result of these disasters, you will also find that sometimes our people are taken away from their original homes and grouped somewhere where they do not have access to hospitals, to medicines and sometimes, these people fall ill just because of that situation. Some people will be taken to swampy areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes and malaria itself is another cause of concern as people who are attacked by malaria are sometimes affected with HIV/AIDS. Also, looking at the issue of tuberculosis, you will find that it is also another carrier to HIV/AIDS. So, we have to be very observant of all these things in order to prevent our people from acquiring HIV and
Mr. President, as we went to the clinics, has been revealed by the Chairperson that in some of the clinics, we found that some nurses there had not gone for refresher courses. I put it to the Ministry of Health that they should see to it that the nurses who work in the communal areas are afforded refresher courses as much as possible because they are the ones who deal with people with HIV/AIDS when the doctors are not nearby. So they need the latest information.
Again, looking at these clinics, the Chairperson indicated that some of the clinics do not have enough nurses and there is need for Government to look at this issue so that they increase the number of nurses in the rural clinics as they are the most affected. Mr. President, looking at the distances covered by the people who live in rural areas, some travel long journeys of about 30 to 40 kilometres to reach the nearest clinic. As a result, these people sometimes end up not going to clinics because of the long distances that they have to travel. Remember that we are talking about ailing people who cannot walk long distances and do not even have transport. So, there is need for the Government to look at the issue of providing more clinics or mobile clinics so that our people get their medicines nearer. This also includes the people who are in the resettlement areas. You will find that in our resettlement areas, our people do not have access to clinics so some are using old farm houses. The transport to get there is sometimes not even available. If one gets sick and even if some people can use scotch carts, it worsens the condition of that person being ferried to the clinic in a scotch cart. So, there is need to build more clinics, especially in the resettlement areas.
Also, there is need for education and awareness to our people so that we persuade them by all means to get tested. If one does not have enough information to enable him/her to be tested, that person is the most dangerous one because he/she will never want to be tested. They feel very much afraid if ever you talk of testing. So, it is our duty as legislators, to go out in our constituencies and create awareness about this disease because some people are dying due to ignorance. Our people should be knowledgeable about HIV/AIDSs.
I will give you an example of what transpired just last week. As I was here, I was told that one of my workers was not feeling well. I then encouraged him to go the clinic. He went to the clinic and told them he was suffering from flue, though he was sometimes feeling cold and sometimes hot. I phoned him and persuaded him to go for check-up and for some TB tests. When I got home, my worker had not gone anywhere for testing. Instead he told me that he had been given some tablets and he was already feeling well enough not to go and get tested. This is because he is not knowledgeable about what I was talking about. He thought I just wanted him to be tested for HIV/AIDs. I found that there was something lacking and that needs all of us to reprimand our people and make them aware at workshops.
When we talk about HIV/AIDS, we should also consider the vulnerable groups and the people who are living with disability because they are also sexually active and there is no way we can leave them out.
If we do not do that it means we are encouraging HIV/AIDS to go on.
They have to be conscientised by all means so that they are also aware
of this disease. I think I have talked much on the rural and resettlement areas. Even in towns we have the same problems, though it is a bit better because we have health workers who move around educating people. However, there is still need to get deeper into the issue because we have a target as a country. One of our Sustainable Development Goals is to eradicate HIV/AIDS by 2030. But if we are not very serious about this, we will not meet that goal because there is still more work to be done.
Mr. President, we also have an issue of children born HIV positive. It seems as though there is not a lot of work being done about these children. Some just keep quiet after the death of their relatives and never talk about anything. The Chairperson, in her report, talked about a 19 year old who was born HIV positive and the way she was being discriminated at school by other pupils, because they are not used to that phenomenon. If ever they knew that even children of school going age can be HIV positive, they would not act that way. So there is need for us and all those concerned about children’s health to go and preach this gospel so that school children take it as normal. Parents should also be open to their school teachers and let them know about their children’s status.
I am now coming to the issue of sex workers. These people need our assistance because this is their form of employment and that is where they get money to look after their families. Some of them never went to school and have no alternative means of getting money. The problem now is some of the sex workers who have aged can no longer attract clients so they now need projects to sustain their livelihood. There is no one other than ourselves to educate them because if we do not do so, we will never achieve the objective that we are looking at. We have a target and objective of the SDG that by 2030 we should have eliminated HIV/AIDs.
If they are not educated, they will always go out and try to get some money to care for their children. It was a sorry sight when we were at Beitbridge and met the sex workers. One brought a child and when we asked how she went about her business with the child, she openly said that she had nowhere to take the child and it was not of her making. She said that at times she would give the child alcohol kabronco so that the child falls asleep the whole night until morning whilst she goes out for work. Mr. President, we have got challenges. I want to highlight on the challenges being faced by the people living with HIV/AIDs. Those who come out in the open need our assistance. In this report, one group was very free to come out in the open before all the Hon. Members who had gone for the hearing. They were speaking about it and accepted the disease.
They even told us that they need projects so that they can work even if they are HIV positive. They need Government as well as well- wishers or non-governmental organisations to assist them. You find that if people are HIV positive especially when we look at people in the rural areas, there is an element whereby my champion Hon. Khumalo always talks about nutrition. An HIV person needs a balanced diet. If we are looking at the rural areas, if they do not have small gardens whereby they can grow vegetables and any other crops to eat, they will be without relish and suffer malnutrition.
Sometimes they use sugar as relish and around our area, you know those baobab fruits, that is what they use as relish. Where do they get their balanced diet from if ever they do not have gardens? There is need for us to think seriously about the issue. Mr. President, I think I have done justice to this report because there are so many of us who are eager to put more points on this issue. With these few words, I rest my case. I thank you.
+HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Hon. President. I would also like to second this report that has been brought before this Hon. House. A lot has already been said. I will just add on a few things and I will dwell mainly on user fees that are paid by people when they are sick, and when they are supposed to go for review every now and again after they would have been diagonised with HIV. Government should see what it can do about this amount for people to be able to go for treatment.
Some people used to work and used to contribute Aids levy which is paid by those who are employed. If someone had been employed and they are making their Aids levy contributions and that person is now sick, they are still expected to continue paying. The Government should look into that. I mean those who had been paying the Aids levy should not be made to pay user fees. The user fees should be scrapped. We know that people should pay but it should be scrapped for those who used to make those contributions, but who are failing to make contributions now because they are no longer employed.
On the issue of mobile clinics, I think they are very important. It is not easy to build clinics. We know it is important that they should be there, but what is easy or what will be easier for those who travel to go to clinics is that, we would urge the Ministry of Health and Child Care to use mobile clinics. We have noticed that those who use the New Start Centre and those who talk about circumcision, they are tense in many places all over the country. I think it will be easier if we use mobile clinics.
I have noticed that a lot of homes have ill people. We are now talking about HIV. A lot of people are sick but they are still in their homes. How about if we encourage people that we live with - our neighbours, schools and other places, even children are being taught at schools. We have seen posters and other things. Those from the New Start Centre should be encouraged to teach people about that. This is no longer a laughing matter or an issue to gossip about that someone is suffering from Aids.
A normal person, a well behaved person who lives in this country should not joke about this. It is something that people should be talking about and how we can assist those who are sick that they should take their tablets. Also, those who are sick at home should go for examinations. They should take this disease just like any other disease, for example, high blood pressure, diabetes and other different diseases. We should urge people to go for testing because if someone goes for testing, it gives them a chance to look after their families properly and to continue going for work.
In Zimbabwe, no one can be fired just because they are sick. We should applaud ourselves for that because as a people in Zimbabwe, we are not saying that if someone is sick, they should stop working and stop earning. What I would like to say as a member of this Committee, is that we still have a lot of work to do. We still have to visit other places as well. Parliament of Zimbabwe should assist us as a Committee so that we try to encourage people especially those areas that we did not manage to visit like universities and colleges.
There are times when students have to go and collect their tablets. So they will miss out when they go to collect their tablets. We are saying there should be tablets at universities and colleges where students can get them. That will save them from travelling to where they normally go and collect their tablets. So as a Committee, we still have a lot to do. It has already been said in the report that we would like the Government to know how we can assist these people. With those few words, I thank you.
+HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: Thank you Madam President. I just want to say a few words as a member of the Committee even though my Chairperson forgot that I was there. Particularly, I will address on the travels of the Committee. Even though the Chairperson explained, I will also add what the Chairperson left behind on what was said by sex workers that we met. I would like to say, what are the expectations of the nation on these people? We expect that they should be helped but they said they have been helped enough on issues of working on their own. They said they cannot wait for money that they cannot receive but wish to continue with sex work.
The girls that were there told us that when they are at work, they do not have time to use protection if they are being paid. They charge bearing in mind that they do not use protection. They also said that they charge depending on the style. That affected me as a parent and as an Hon. Member. We looked at it and said we wanted to understand more. What culture is this when a child would say infront of chiefs and Hon.
Members, that after she has engaged in sex work, she would first want to be paid. As a nation that is united, please may our Government look into this matter so that there is a law that inhibits sex work because it is against our culture. It is causing disrespect to us as a nation. We expect the Government to look into the matter and help these people even though they want to continue with their sex work. They have the right as our Constitution says. Each and every one of us is protected by the Constitution but where can we go if things are like this? We have people who are abusing their bodies and demonstrating how they do it infront of parents, chiefs and this Committee.
We were surprised and disappointed. How can we be respected as a nation when we do things like this? Secondly, since they will be televised in other countries, sex workers should be peer leaders who teach others. They say this is not important because it is there in the country but it is not helpful at all. May Government come in with projects for this group.
At Beitbridge, there was a girl who said she was 13. She would go around knocking at haulage trucks. We do not know whether the parents knew about it and whether they authorised her to do that; a 13 year old girl doing sex work. We were surprised by that. As a nation, we should take a close look at the youths because each and every one has a right to life and do whatever they want. However, on issues of sex work, they should be helped to start income generating projects so that they can sustain their lives and forget about some of these things they are engaged in.
The community should teach each other. We saw a lot of people at Ngundu who said they were registered sex workers. What services do this group give to the community? There is nothing at all that they can teach the community. As I have said, a girl demonstrated that before she removes her pant and engages in sex work, first they require payment. A person has to pay first before they engage in sex. She also told us that they pay as per style requested. When a child of that age stands infront of Hon. Members who are almost the same age as their parents and demonstrate how she charges, her styles of engaging in sex – the nation of Zimbabwe has its own cultures. Many parts of the country have their own cultures. Our traditional culture is no longer there.
There was a complaint again that truck drivers spend ten days at
Beitbridge border post. Is it not possible for this House to lobby the
Government so that these truck drivers can be cleared quickly and leave? It is not the only border post that is affected. There are many other border posts that they can use. We should lobby the Government so that people are cleared quickly and leave our border posts. Some people when they are on their way to Botswana border post, they use some other routes to go to Mozambique and Zambia because they complain that they spend a lot of time at our border. We are the law makers; we should inform the Executive so that this is attended to quickly. People should not be delayed to be cleared at the borders when in transit to other countries. Madam President, we expect that when they are passing through tollgates, they should pay money so that our roads can be maintained.
I also witnessed that at Chingwizi, people are united. The community donated some money and buildt a clinic. It is quite a good project and we were impressed as a Committee. If there are HIV patients, it will be easy for them to be attended too at the clinic. Again, pregnant women will be attended at that clinic which was construct. It is a well built clinic.
Finally, what also affected me is that there were female sex workers. When they go to work, no one is left manning the children. They give those children drugs like bronco. After given the drug, a child will sleep through the night. That means that child will not grow up properly as required by nature. That drug may even mentally disturb the child. We do not know the side effects of the drugs used. We request that Government should attend to the issues of sex workers so that all their problems can come to an end. They said because they are used to their sex work, they are not prepared to do other types of jobs to raise some money. They want quick money through sex work. I have decided to add on the Chairperson’s report so that my Chairperson does not forget that I was part of the Committee – [Laughter.] - I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President for
affording me this opportunity to add a few words to this report. Firstly, I express my gratitude to the mover of the motion Hon. Sen. Timveos and the seconder Hon. Sen. Mohadi. This report that you have tabled in this august House is important. It is important in another sense although I tend to disagree with some of the words that it contains.
Madam President, as a woman, I become extremely touched when we want to praise women that are misbehaving saying that they are experts in sex and that they should be legalised as sex workers and have a registered association. As Government, will you be able to control these commercial sex workers? At the moment we have the problem of street kids and I understand that some women were bragging about their prowess or expertise in dealing with sex in that they even intoxicate their children using bronco. It is an illegal drug but they openly claim that they are administering their children so that they can spend nights away doing their sex work. The child to whom this bronco is being administered seriously needs the mother. We are talking of a baby.
Previously, we were talking about the rights of people and the child’s rights are being abused. As an august House, we should condemn such practice and ask the Government to look into the issue of these women who want to be registered as sex workers. I am in total disagreement with these so called sexual workers. I do not give the excuse that times are hard, if that is the case, then every man and every woman should have such associations because the economy is tough.
Madam Speaker, I recall this other year, it should be either mid - eighties or early-eighties; commercial sex workers were rounded up and they were taken to the resettlement areas. During that time, the resettlement areas were not very popular. They were saying they had nothing to do, they were given land to till by the Government after they had been relocated so that they could look after themselves and their families. They did a bit of farming but because the spirit of prostitution was now in their blood, they left farming and went back to the streets to become commercial sex workers.
If the issue of sex workers is not seriously dealt with, as a country we will fail to control this problem. We will even then have to reminiscent and say we once used to talk about it or debate about it in the Senate as Senators. Street kids are being produced by some commercial sex workers; eventually the child will run away upon realising that the mother is not a good mother. We should never believe that our children fail to appreciate our misdemeanors. Our children are analytical. They can observe that you are a useless parent and thereafter they run away.
Madam President, all the time, I hear that commercial sex workers are women. Are the commercial sex workers doing it alone? The partner is a man and males do not register that they become male commercial sex workers as well, they treat us as fools.
Well, I have heard about the HIV and AIDS issue. In Zimbabwe we are applauded for having taken stern measures to reduce the HIV and AIDS prevalence.
Government did very well and conducted awareness campaigns even in churches. It would appear as if we have relaxed as a country and as Members of this august Senate. We would like to remind
Government and other organisations that deal with vulnerable groups to continue preaching the gospel of HIV and AIDS. It is not because people become contaminated with the virus through sexual immorality only but there are other ways that I may not be able to explain.
We urge our churches to continue being in the forefront in ensuring that HIV and AIDS issues are discussed. The majority of the people in the churches are the youths. There are some associations called, “Life what what,” that should also be talking about it and our traditional leaders should also be talking about it. The same should be done by our Members of Parliament whenever we conduct constituency gatherings or workshops. We should preach the same gospel on HIV and AIDS.
It becomes a burden on the Government because when people become ill they look towards the Government for assistance in the form of a balanced diet and supply of nutritious food to persons who, at times would have invited AIDS upon themselves. I have heard people bragging that they do not use condoms and indulge in unprotected sex then they contract HIV and AIDS or any sexually transmitted infections.
After they are infected, they then want Government to look after them.
We have a shortage of drugs in all their forms. The drug shortage was caused by health for all by our people and we were hoping that our people will be looking after themselves and the country will be having sufficient drugs but we now have a challenge at the moment. There are a lot chronic diseases and health for all may not be attainable and Government cannot sustain that. I suffer from hypertension and diabetes and also require free medication. I have problems and those who are self inflicting through AIDS and other STIs also require free treatment.
Those with chronic diseases should accept their condition but should be informed about how best to look after themselves.
In the urban areas, a lot of people are resistant and will not easily accept their medical status. Whilst those in the communal areas are receptive once they are informed of their health condition, they quickly go on medication. With those few words, Madam President, I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MANYERUKE: Thank you Madam President for
giving me the opportunity to support this motion that was tabled by our
Chairperson Hon. Sen. Timveos and seconded by Hon. Sen. Mohadi.
We are grateful for the opportunity that was afforded to us to conduct field visits in some areas. We are not in agreement with what is bad and were taken aback as the Members who were on the ground to witness firsthand what was happening. We were shocked to say the least at the behaviour that was being exhibited before us. There was a child with a proper family background. We enquired from the child as to whether her parents were aware of the type of work she was doing.
She said, no, her parents were not aware of her sexual activities. They actually thought she was busy selling tomatoes and sending her siblings to school.
Our Thematic Committee looks at the issues of HIV and AIDS. Before the advent of drugs, at Mashambanzou you would find HIV patients staring in a manner that could be deduced to mean, ‘Lord I am coming’. What we saw at Beitbridge, Ngundu, Shabwe and Makakabule was shocking. There were a lot of beautiful girls who came forward claiming they were the head girl or head mistress of commercial sex workers. We were taken aback because we had chiefs amongst us so we moved away.
Eventually, we had to look and observe what was happening. We realised that it was difficult for a carmel to pass through the eye of needle although we were tasked to have eradicated HIV and AIDS by 2030. So in order for the girls to eke a living, they indulge in unprotected sex and infections are borne through that behaviour. These people who are indulging in unprotected sex are doing it without informing their clients that they are on anti-retroviral medication and suffering from HIV and AIDS. By so doing there still is a problem and we do not know how best, as a country, we can resolve that challenge.
We may go on mountain tops and end up having hoarse voices through speaking about the evils of HIV and AIDS but there is need for a concerted effort. In Muzarabani and the area that I come from, there has been awareness and people have accepted that they live with HIV and AIDS and they take their medication timeously. They even invite others to go to the OI Clinics and lend medication to each other should the other’s medication run out.
In the former commercial farms, the compounds that they reside in, the majority of the people, especially the men do not care whether the woman is on anti-retroviral treatment. Upon living their homes, they infect other men who are aware of the woman’s HIV status, they are just reckless. We were perturbed by what we saw on our visit.
As a leader, I try as much as possible at funeral wakes to urge members of the apostolic faith to desist from their practice of having multiple partners and infidelity. I also urge prophets to give people their holy water and encourage them to continue taking their medication so that they live longer. It would appear that there has been a slight reduction in the infection in my constituency. I must hasten to concede
that it is difficult.
We would want to revert to our traditional culture where something is done to the girls in order to tone down their sexual desires so that the experience at Ngundu is eradicated. Elderly men and women should educate their children on how to tone down their sexual desires.
Mothers know what we say to our children once they have given birth. We should assist our young girls once they have given birth because what the truck drivers said, took us aback – that a twelve year old girl would go round the trucks knocking on truck windows to find out if they had any lady for the night. If they did not have, she was prepared to take care of the men’s needs. The truck drivers would open doors and become intimate with that child. Initially, they will use condoms but as they go further along the route, they become intimate unprotected. The infection rate will continue to grow and we run the risk of missing our targets for reduction of HIV and AIDS by 2030.
If all of us had gone down there, we would have been ashamed but we are aware that we were doing our national duty; we had to get the evidence. Once again, God should help us because the girl children who are born with HIV are there. An intelligent child who passed with flying colors was infected; she was born with the disease.
For her parents, it is their own baby. How do you feel when a child blames you for having infected them that they are born with HIV and AIDS? It is difficult and painful but as parents, we do not take this lightly.
At Machachawe, they sang to welcome us as MPs, stating that you have come to see us ‘prostitutes’. They were quite happy to receive us and they were not ashamed to pronounce themselves as prostitutes or sex workers. We had said that word ‘prostitute’ is not proper in our African culture but it was then used. I hope God will give us the grace to ensure that we win in the war against HIV and AIDS because we now have medication. I thank you Madam President for affording me the opportunity to add these few words.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 27th July, 2016
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 4 to 14 be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 15 to 18 have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE 133RD ASSEMBLY OF THE
INTERPARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU)
Fifteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Zimbabwe Delegation Report on the 133rd Assembly of the Inter-
Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. SIANSALE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to wind off my motion. May I say that justice prevailed since Hon. Members debated and threw their wisdom during the debate. It shows that those who had some input are now exhausted.
May I take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed starting with the seconder of the motion – Hon. Sen. Chief Chisunga, Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi, Hon. Sen. Ncube, Hon. Sen. Machingaifa and the list goes on. It is unfortunate that I misplaced the list that had all the names of members who contributed. I would like to humbly thank all those who contributed towards this motion and all those that listened during the debate.
It is my hope that the Executive will tap some information that was contributed by all the Hon. Members who debated the motion. With these few words, with the leave of the House, I humbly seek that this House takes note of the Zimbabwe Delegation Report on the 133rd
Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held in Geneva,
Switzerland, from 17-23 October, 2015.
Motion put and agreed to.
REHABILITATION OF WAR SHRINES AND RECOGNITION OF DEPARTED WAR LIBERATORS
Sixteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion calling for the rehabilitation and maintenance of War Shrines.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President. I just want
to thank this august House for supporting this debate. Let me tell you that Members in this august House were touched by this motion which I moved and was seconded by Hon. Sen. Masuku. Because it touched the lives of people, and those who happened to visit shrines know the situations that we were talking about. Even those who did not have that chance of visiting the shrines, seeing the situation and how their fellow comrades died and some of them even to date have not yet had a decent burial. This was a thorny issue in this august House.
Madam President, I would like to thank specifically the following Hon. Members. I know that some were very positive whereas some had to add some nasty words, even though supportive. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this motion. I will just pick some names and if you find that your name has not been mentioned, I have not done it purposely, it would just be an omission.
I would want to thank most sincerely Hon. Sen. Marava, Hon. Sen.
Nyambuya, Hon. Sen. Khumalo, Hon. Sen. Chief Chisunga, Hon. Sen.
Masuku, Hon. Sen. Chief Musarurwa, Hon. Sen. Mavhunga, Hon. Sen.
Chipanga, Hon. Sen. Mashavakure, Hon. Sen. Makoni, Hon. Sen.
Machingaifa, Hon. Sen. J. Ndlovu, Hon. Sen. Goto, Hon. Sen. Bhebe, Hon. Sen. Mkwebu, Hon. Sen. Komichi, Hon. Sen. Chimanikire, Hon.
Sen. Mawire, Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi, Hon. Sen. Chief Dandawa, Hon.
Sen. Chifamba, Hon. Sen. Tawengwa, Hon. Sen. Chimhini, Hon. Sen.
Mumvuri, Hon. Sen. Maluleke, Hon. Sen. Chipanga, Hon. Sen. Bhobho, Hon. Sen. Mabugu, Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa, Hon. Sen. Timveos, Hon. Sen.
Chief Nyamukoho, Hon. Sen. Sibanda, Hon. Sen. Matirira, Hon. Sen.
Chief Chiduku, Hon. Sen. Juba, Hon. Sen. Makwarimba, Hon. Sen. Makore, Hon. Sen. Jadagu, Hon. Sen. Moeketsi, Hon. Sen. Manyeruke and Hon. Sen. Ncube,
Madam President, these are the few whom I could recognise their names but not meaning that they were the only ones who contributed towards this motion. Madam President, as I am towards winding up this motion, I would urge the Ministers concerned to come up before the winding up of these motions so that they also have an input. This is because there are some motions that need a way forward and if the Minister concerned is not there, we do not have a way forward. It just ends up in this room of which we will have not done anything towards achieving the mission and the goal of the motion. Madam President, with these few words, I move for the adoption of this motion. I thank you.
Motion put that:
NOTING with pride the immense sacrifice, courage and commitment made by the freedom fighters in their quest to liberate
ACKNOWLEDGING that the liberation of our country came at a heavy cost and needs to be selflessly and jealously guarded;
DISTURBED by the utter neglect and dilapidation and continued deterioration of War Shrines in neighbouring countries despite the fact that Government identified and made efforts to rehabilitate war shrines in Nyadzonia, Tembwe, Doroie; Chibawawa and Nyango in
Mozambique as well as Freedom Camp, Nyampundwe, Mulungushi,
Mkushi and Kavalamaya in Zambia;
CONCERNED that rehabilitation works have not been undertaken at Kabanga, Sinde, Solwezi in Zambia and other sites in Tanzania and Botswana;
FUTHER CONCERNED that to this day the bullet riddled home of His Excellency, the President and the home of the late Joshua Nkomo our founding Fathers have not been declared National Heritage Sites;
NOW, THEREFORE, this House calls upon Government to address the rehabilitation of our war shrines and to give due recognition to our departed brave sons and daughters of our liberation struggle.
Motion put and adopted.
TRADITIONAL CHIEFS MANDATE
Eighteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the role of traditional leaders.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President. Madam
President, may this hon. House allow me to conclude this important motion concerning the role of traditional leaders in that they should be given the jurisdiction to deal with many areas. I had a good time when I raised this motion because the matter was debated seriously and I am indebted to those that debated. I am not going to waste this august
House’s time by mentioning the individual names but I observed that the majority of all the Hon. Senators did contribute to this motion, except a few who did not contribute, especially the chiefs. I am happy that our Hon. Senators were concerned about the need for the chiefs to be given their traditional roles. The chiefs could not have contributed to this motion because it was in their favour, so to speak.
So, we thank the chiefs for what they do and the support that they have shown to us in this august House and also for their supportive role that they have shown countrywide. Indeed, this motion has overstayed on the Order Paper. Now, we have the opportunity to adopt the motion in this august House, I so move.
Motion put that:
ACKNOWLEDGING that Traditional Leaders play a pivotal role and yet they are not given the due respect that they deserve, a situation that has led to many illegal activities perpetrated in their areas of jurisdiction;
CONCERNED that such disrespect for our Traditional Leaders has led to unwanted developments such as moral decadence, environmental degradation and child marriages;
NOW THEREFORE calls upon this Government to revisit policies that give Traditional Leaders their mandate so that they can effectively deal with issues of moral decadence, environmental pollution and degradation, children’s rights among communal communities as well as other incidental issues that they may fall under the purview of the
Traditional Chiefs’ Mandate.
Motion put and adopted.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President. I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number 12.
HON. SEN. CHABUKA: I second. Motion put and agreed to.
CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS CENTRED ON
DEVOLUTION OF POWER
Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the call for Government to implement the devolution of power as provided for in the
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this time to wind up my motion. I would like to start by thanking all the Hon Members who contributed to my motion. I would like to first thank Hon. B Sibanda who seconded the motion and said it must be accepted that the people of Zimbabwe spoke widely and loudly during the Parliamentary hearings in preparation for the new Constitution that they desire power to be devolved from Harare, which they perceive as bambazonke and distributed to the various regions.
I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos who said that the motion reminded Government that there is a constitutional mandate that there are supposed to be provincial assemblies that assist each other with councils in various areas. She also said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has the names of the Provincial Assembly members. What is Government going to do about it? Will these people be compensated if the assemblies are not yet in place?
I also thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo who said that the issue of Chiadzwa in Mutare should have been run by people of Manicaland and employed many of their people even if they were part of the $15 billion which is missing. We knew it was going to develop Mutare. Hon. Sen. Khumalo went on to say that opportunities should be given to the people of the area to decide what to do with the money and not other people deciding for them and leave the area under developed.
Hon. Sen. Chimhini said the motion was not encouraging conflict among provinces because there are circumstances whereby it might end up creating conflict which can be tribal. That is not what the motion is about but the motion is reminding us that in the Constitution, people articulated what they understood by devolution.
Hon. Sen. Chipanga said that in his opinion, our country is very small for us to be arguing over the issue of devolution. I do not dispute that it is enshrined in the Constitution …
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order,
order please. Can the Hon. Member wind her motion without repeating what each Hon. Member said. That appears in the Hansard.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President. I am
winding up my motion but I think I am just giving a brief of what they said because I am thanking them. I think I am on the right track Madam President.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Can the
Hon. Member wind up her motion please.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: Madam President, I am winding up my
motion. I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Marava who also said we should uphold what the people of Zimbabwe said in the Constitution. They requested that there should be the Provincial Councils and this was put in writing. Hon. Sen. Komichi said that devolution is one of the tenets of public participation…
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order
please. Can the Hon Member take her seat. Hon. Members, I wish to remind this House that when one is winding up a motion, one does not have to repeat what each Hon Senator said because that already appears in the Hansard. I thank you. Can the Hon. Member wind up her motion.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President. I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Manyeruke, Hon. Sen. Makone, Hon. Sen. Makore and Hon. Sen. Carter. With this Madam President, I would like to move for the adoption of the motion;-
That this House-
COGNISANT that Parliament must defend the Constitution at all times;
ACKNOWLEDGING the current Executive had endeavored to
align some of the Acts to the Constitution at a painstakingly slow pace;
DISMAYED that the current progress in the devolution of power at various levels may not see the dawn of a new day;
CONCERNED that no meaningful efforts have been embarked to ensure the constitutional requirements are met to devolve central power to the provinces particularly on local and the corporate governance issue;
ALARMED that the wishes of the general populace of Zimbabwe are short changed by such indifferent attitude by the Executive;
NOW THEREFORE, calls upon the Executive to;
- set a time limit for devolution issues to be urgently addressed for the benefit of the nation;
- commits itself to the dictates of our Constitution and observe that it is the supreme law of the land;
- set aside resources to carter for the devolution of power in the respective Provinces
A question having been put to the House to adopt the motion.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: There is an objection.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENAE: The
motion is adopted. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- HON. SEN. MOHADI: Let us divide the House, I have an
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Divide
HON. CHABUKA: On a point of order Madam President. I am asking you Madam President why Hon. Mohadi, as a woman, is not patient with another woman to let her motion be adopted in this House. We are all women. Why do you want to divide the House when the other woman wants her motion adopted? Do not do this.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: It is not
a question of a woman to woman but she has raised that we divide the
House and that is what …
HON. SEN. CHABUKA: But it is not fair Madam President.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: On a point of order Madam President. I think this motion has been debated in the House. Even if the motion is adopted or not adopted, I am not bothered. I thank you. – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order
HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: On a point of order.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON.
SEN. MASUKU): Order, Hon. Sen. Mohadi called for the division of the House and we are ringing the bells.
HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: On a point of order Madam President. I
thought you made a ruling on this motion. Are you withdrawing that ruling?
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: There is
an objection on the adoption of the motion.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Hon. President, I just want to remind the
Senators that it is not of my opinion. If the House objects, it is not me
but the House. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - [AN
HON. SENATOR: Budai.]
MDC-T members walked out of the House.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I want
to direct that the Ayes will be on my right and the Noes on my left. Can Sen. Mohadi be on the right side and Sen. Makore on the other?
HON. SEN. MAKORE: Through you Madam President, I have
been outside. I had been called to attend to another problem and I do not know what transpired when I was outside. When I got in, I only found all these chairs empty. So to represent this other side when I am ignorant of exactly what transpired during my absence becomes difficult for me unless if I was there during that time. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon.
Member, the House is voting as per the request of the division of the House on the motion of Sen. Ncube. As a member who is in the House, the member has to vote.
HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Hon. President. I do not know
what I am voting about. That is exactly what I was putting across to you.
I am not privy to the developments that happened during my absence. For me to stand and vote, I also even requested to go out noticing that there was nobody from my side. I was returned by the Sergeant-at-Arms who said that the doors were closed and so told me to go and sit down. I did not volunteer to stay in this House. I thank you.
AYES 1: Hon. Makore J
NOES 20: Hon. Bhebe M, Hon. Bhobho H, Hon. Chimbudzi A,
Hon. Gampu Chief IV, Hon. Goto R, Hon. Jadagu G.T, Hon.
Machingaifa T, Hon. Makwarimba C, Hon. Maluleke O, Hon.
Manyeruke J, Hon. Mashavakure N, Hon. Matiirira A, Hon. Mavhunga
M, Hon. Mawire J, Hon. Mkhwebu A, Hon. Mohadi T.B, Hon. Murwira
T, Hon. Chief Nyangazonke, Hon. Chief Ntabeni, Hon. Chief Siansali
Teller: Hon. Mohadi T.B
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN.
MASUKU): Hon. Senators, the results of the division are as follows: 1 Ayes and 20 Noes. Therefore, the question is accordingly negatived.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MOHADI seconded by HON. SEN. MKHWEBU, the Senate adjourned at Twenty-two Minutes to Five