[featured_image]
Download
Download is available until [expire_date]
  • Version
  • Download 17
  • File Size 269.37 KB
  • File Count 1
  • Create Date September 28, 2022
  • Last Updated September 28, 2022

SENATE HANSARD 28 SEPTEMBER 2022 VOL 31 NO 70

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 28th September, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Good Afternoon Madam President. 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. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. WATSON KHUPE

HON. SEN. MANYAU: Madam President, I move the motion standing in my name that this House:

EXPRESSES its profound sorrow on the passing on of the late Member of the Senate representing Disabled Persons, Hon. Sen. Watson Khupe on Saturday, 16th July, 2022;

          PLACES on record its appreciation for the services which the late Hon. Senator rendered to Parliament and the Nation at large;

 RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the Khupe family, relatives and the entire Nation for the loss of the Hon. Senator. I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

HON. SEN. MANYAU: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to share the life of the late Hon. Sen. Khupe who was a great icon in as far as disability issues were concerned. Hon. Sen. Watson Khupe was born in 1963 in Matabeleland. Hon. Sen. Khupe attended the National University of Science and Technology where he received a Master of Business Administration degree. He also had numerous licenses and certificates from many other institutions.

He was a strong advocate for disability rights who had more than 25-years hands on experience in disability rights campaign. He was an expert in policy formulation, research, management, advocacy, designing and programming of livelihoods income projects. Hon. Sen. Khupe had muscular dystrophy. In 1990, Sen. Khupe founded the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Zimbabwe and from 2011 to 2015, he served as the organisation’s project manager. In 2010, he was the co-author of a report sponsored by the Government of the United Kingdom regarding disability in Zimbabwe. Hon. Sen. Khupe was a representative for people with disabilities during the drafting of the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe.

In the 2018 Zimbabwean general election, Hon. Sen. Khupe was elected to the Senate of Zimbabwe, representing people with disabilities as a member of Parliament. Hon. Sen. Khupe advocated for expanding access to Braille reading material urging companies to employ people with disabilities and an increased usage of sign language in schools. He also supported a Government programme to assist people with disabilities who were unable to pay for medication.

Hon. Sen. Khupe lived in Thorngrove, a neighbourhood of Bulawayo. He died on 17th July 2022 at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo from complications caused by his muscular dystrophy. May his soul continue to rest in peace. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion. I would want to support the motion with a few words on loss of Hon. Sen. Khupe. Hon. Sen. Khupe was a Member of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development. He was always present and he represented his constituency of people with disabilities well. Every time be made a contribution, he made sure he represented people with disability. We used to travel as a Committee and he was always punctual and was committed and was a true representative of people with disability. He was committed to ensuring that all other opportunities that were availed to able bodied people were also available for people with disability especially on the issue of Presidential inputs. He raised the issue that people with disability should not be left behind on national programmes. Madam President, at this time that we remember Hon. Sen. Khupe, we want to pass our deepest condolences to the family of Hon. Sen. Khupe for the loss of a husband and father.

  *HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Madam President, Hon. Sen. Khupe was an amazing gentleman. He was someone who was pleasant to everyone as he greeted people with respect. He did not discriminate. We also heard of the work that he did in trying to address the plight of people with disability so that they can also be considered by the Government. He contributed a lot in terms of availing houses and buses for people with disability that would be accessible to different disabilities. These are issues that he always raised and that if possible, we know that houses that were built long ago were not disability friendly, they failed to consider the needs of people with disability but he was committed to ensuring that houses are built for disabled people for them to be able to access the houses without any challenges.

Madam President, Hon. Sen. Khupe was also a member of the SDGs Committee. Whenever we set as a Committee, he would not just sit and keep quiet and registered his presence but whenever issues were discussed in the Committee, he actively participated and gave his opinion and perspectives on issues under discussion so that everything could benefit people with disability. We used to travel in different parts of the country where the road networks were poor but he was never absent. He would always be present. Every time we would find him at the venue. This shows that he was committed to his work. He is someone who is respected and valued others. He also valued Government programmes.  Madam President, we want to thank Hon. Sen. Khupe for the work that he did for the Zimbabwean nation.

In conclusion Madam President, I want to pass my deepest condolences to the Khupe family for the loss of their father. We were there at the funeral and we could see the bereaved family was in mourning. I pray that God comforts the family, wife and the children. I want to end by saying that I also want to pass my deepest condolences to you because you have lost one of your members of the august House. I also want to pass my condolences to my fellow Hon. Senators for the loss of our colleague. I pray that may his soul rest in peace. I want to thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity.

 

          *HON. SEN. CHISOROCHENGWE: I met Hon. Sen. Khupe at Holiday Inn. He saw me passing when he wanted to disembark from his car and he said Hon, although you do not know me, can you come to me? I said to him ‘your wife will see me and I would be beaten’ and he said no, that is not going to be the case. He was someone who was free and always assisted others. When we went to Bulawayo for his funeral, we realised that his constituency was hurt because of the way his funeral was handled. He is someone who was committed to the fact that whenever there was a project, he would ensure that people with disability benefitted. He stood up for people with disabilities.

          What I also noticed whilst at the funeral, and I do not know if that can be addressed but I noticed that people with disabilities think that they are being stigmatised and discriminated against because they complained about how the funeral was handled. They said that other Members of Parliament die and a week is devoted to the media publishing about the death of that member yet with Hon. Sen. Khupe, it was not the case. What I am saying is that if only we could address that issue so that they do not feel discriminated. With these few words, I thank you. 

+HON. SEN. T. MOYO:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion tabled by Hon. Sen. Manyau regarding the passing away of Hon. Khupe.  Hon. Watson Khupe used to unite people within the family.  He was kind hearted.  It is not that he was born disabled.  He was born able-bodied just like some of us.  He got disabled whilst growing up.

          It rained heavily on the particular day when he became disabled and after that, his life changed.  In all the projects that used to happen, he used to partake.  I remember the week he passed on, he called me from Holiday Inn and said that he was not feeling well.  When I got there, he was sleeping on the car seat.  I advised him to go back home but he refused but I insisted that he should go back home.  What made him continue to come to work whilst he was not feeling well was because he loved his work.  In other instances, he would ask me to accompany him whenever he was attending different programmes that he was engaged in.  At home, he used to say every time he went to his rural home, he would ask me when last I was home.  He always encouraged me to visit my rural home.  So, as a family, they lost out in his passing on. I would like to thank the ruling party ZANU PF, because they were there from his passing on up until the last day of his burial.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to just add a few words on the departure of our beloved Hon. Sen. Khupe.  I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Manyau for tabling the motion in this august House. 

          We are very sorry as a House because during the last two months, I think Madam President, we lost about three Hon. Senators; may their souls rest in peace.  Madam President, I knew Hon. Sen. Khupe from the time when we were with him during the 2013 Constitutional Reform Programme.  You could not even tell a story that Hon. Sen. Khupe was a disabled person because wherever we went, Hon. Sen. Khupe would also be there.  He worked very hard during the Constitution making process.  Whenever we were in the meetings, Hon. Khupe would stand for the disabled community as a whole, not segregating anyone.  Even when he became a senator, he had no time to rest.

          I remember before his passing, one day when he was telling me that he had been at Beitbridge, I asked him what he wanted there and he said that he had gone to visit people who were living near the Old Renkini; that was Khupe because most people whenever they went there never gave themselves time to visit the people who live near Old Renkini.

Madam President, if we recall, we have lost someone who really

worked hard to uplift the living standards of the disabled community.  Madam President, I do not have much to say but let me conclude by saying that Hon. Sen. Khupe was very open.  He was open to everyone and would not even segregate people, whether by language or whatever.  He would speak to everyone here.  I know he was a special person due to his disability; we are missing something in this House because even when he was not feeling well, we would always be with him here.  With those few words Madam President, I once again thank you for giving me this opportunity and I so support this motion.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. MKHWEBU:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion on the late Hon. Sen. Khupe.  I also thank Hon. Sen. Manyau for tabling this motion on the passing on of Hon. Sen. Khupe.

          Hon. Sen. Khupe used to call me his friend.  Every time he would come in here, he would say my friend and I would say, Hon. Khupe, are you okay my friend; he used to be my friend.  For being my friend, I fought the liberation struggle with his brother who was a teacher.  So this is when I knew Hon. Sen. Khupe.  I met him when he was working on issues to do with his brother’s compensation for his children.  He was a merciful person regardless of his disability.  He would assist anyone who was in trouble, mainly his brother’s family.  He would always participate despite the fact that he was in a wheelchair; he would always help his late brother’s widow. 

          He showed much humanity, even in his community in Plumtree; no one would say anything bad about him.  Everyone would be saying Khupe! Khupe! Khupe!  One could hardly tell that he had a disability and was confined to a wheelchair.  His humanity earned him a very big name.  I was saddened when he called me from his hotel room on one of the days.  He told me that he was stressed.  I asked him what it was that was stressing him, he said there were so many troublesome things in life; that was the last thing he said to me.  I never got to know what it was that was stressing him.  Therefore, it became a very big lesson to me that when someone approaches you to tell you about their stress, you need to come forth, try to find out so as to assist.  I never opened up to further interrogate about what was causing the stress.  With these few words Madam President, I say my deepest condolences to his family and all his friends.  I continue to say, may his soul rest in peace.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. D. M. NDLOVU: Thank you for giving me this opportunity Madam President, to debate on the late Hon. Sen. Khupe.  When I came in, I found the debate on - what has been aired by Hon. Mkwebu is true.  Madam President, I was involved in an accident on the 21st October, it felt like something small but my right leg is sore up to now.  Hon. Khupe would always see me sleeping on a mattress each time I was travelling and he was the first to ask what happened to me, asking Hon. Sen. R. Dube. Then Hon. Sen. R. Dube told him that I was involved in an accident, no wonder why she is always sleeping on her mattress.  Then Hon. Sen. Khupe indicated that tell Hon. Ndlovu that we have wheelchairs, she should come and see if she can find a wheel chair that can assist her.  It was not the first time meeting him.  I had met him earlier on in Bulawayo in an organisation that deals with disability issues but the mercy that he showed to me was so much.  The wheelchair that I used to have before using a walking stick, I got it from Hon. Sen. Khupe. He is the one that gave me that wheelchair.  They drove me to his organisation and I tried fitting on the different wheelchairs in his organisation until I found one that I was able to use.

 This person who had disability was so merciful.  Even when I used to work with him when we met at work, he used to encourage unity amongst us and he indicated that when there are some disagreements, it is critical that people sit down and discuss until they get to an understanding.  Up to now, my family and I will never forget him. Right now, my father who I am staying with always indicates that we should go home and get a goat to go and present to the Khupe family like we had planned, regardless of the fact that he is no more.

I was pained because when he was buried, I was out on Committee business but I sent my husband whom I indicated was present at the burial even though people did not recognise him, but I am happy because I managed to make it to his burial.  Up until now, I want everyone to know that the wheelchair that I use, I got it from Hon. Sen. Khupe. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MANYAU: I move for the adjournment of the debate.

HON. SEN. CHISOROCHENGWE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 29th September 2022.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 7TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARIANS NETWORK ON DEVELOPMENT EVALUATION HELD IN MOROCCO

Third order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 7th Annual General Meeting of the African Parliamentarians’ Network on Development Evaluation.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President, I want to thank the mover of that report Hon. Sen. Chief Nechombo. Indeed as Africans, we fought the liberation struggle and attained independence but without freedom.

We were caught between the West and the East.  When we look at countries such as Russia, America and other western countries and the way they do things, it is different from our economies.  The West has put systems for us that they want us to follow.  When we hold elections, they come in as observers to assess whether we have done what they want us to do in terms of the standards they set. They sit down in Washington New York and London and make assessments on our performance based on their standards.

          A country like Zimbabwe will never meet their standards because what those western countries have done is that they have imposed their systems on us and yet as Africans, we need to come up with our own systems. The current governance systems in use in Africa were imposed by the Western and Eastern countries. We cannot take systems from the West and from the East completely.  We need to come up with our own African Government system.  I was happy to hear that the meeting agenda was to look into the issue of coming up with an African governance system that we can use as Africans instead of using the Western and Eastern systems.  Only then we will be able to have our freedom with a system that will not attract assessment from the West.  With such a system, we are united and those from both the east and the west cannot rule over us.  If we are to look at traditional leadership in our country, there was a system of ambassadors (nhume) and that was the African Governance system to work together.  This is an issue that was of concern to me.  Another matter that caught my attention was that of integration of African people, one Africa, one country not one continent.

          This is a very good initiative in our historical background; people like Muammar Gaddafi and Kwame Nkrumah were advocates of this integration of Africa.  The current generation should fulfill these aspirations.  What caused us to be exploited by western countries are the divisions within Africa.  The wealth of Africa from Cape to Cairo is along the same belt.  The partition of Africa by the West divided our wealth to ensure that we do not have one policy on farming, mining, we cannot have one defence system and foreign affairs so that we fight amongst ourselves.  We fight our own in the name of opposition parties and ruling parties. We are divided by the western countries and when we fight they then find ways to come and exploit us.

If we unite, they will not be able to do that.  Although there is a will that we integrate as African countries like we did in SADC, ECOWAS, EAC, Central African Region, et cetera, this is not enough.  Those who are out will try and divide these blocs.  This spirit, like we had in SADC and the rest, must continue to prevail because we are all blacks.  If you see a Nigerian or a South African, before they speak, you will not know they are Nigerians or South Africans, which means we are all black people and we must unite.

If we unite, then Africa will become the jewel of the world.  It is the only continent that is rich in world resources than any other continent in the world.  If we unite, exploitation will stop in Africa because we will be having one President.  Now as we are sitting here, we are with Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, he is the President of the Parliament for the whole of Africa and I hope that is where we are heading to.  Our own Zimbabwean currently heads a Parliament for the whole of Africa, we must be proud of that.  That is where power comes from in Africa. We liberated ourselves from the colonialists as black people but now we do not have freedom because we are under sanctions.  We will only be following suggestions from other people.

What makes us fail to do that is, we want to develop our country using an unknown vehicle that we are not able to change the gears.  A vehicle that is operated by Western people and this is a foreign ideology that we cannot understand; that is why we fail to unite ourselves and develop our country.  I am happy because we can   do everything for our country on our own.  I want to thank the Committee that brought this motion. We must work hard to make Africa one country.  I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 29th September, 2022.

MOTION

FOURTH REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON PEACE AND SECURITY ON THE BENCHMARKING VISIT TO THE PARLIAMENT OF RWANDA

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Fourth Report of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the Benchmarking visit to the Parliament of Rwanda.

Question again proposed.

+HON. MKHWEBU:  Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the motion. This Committee indicated that there is a flight, Rwandese Airways that comes to Zimbabwe twice and I applaud this development in our country. It is good that this Committee has brought out positives from Rwanda. If only our Government, under the President of Hon. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, can continue to work hard to see our country develop like what is going on in Rwanda. Rwanda saw a moment of the death of thousands of people under the Rwandan genocide. This is not what we are looking forward to happening in all the countries, especially in Africa. We are not anticipating what happened in Rwanda during that time to happen in any of these countries, especially Africa.

It was also indicated under this report that the Rwandan people showed displeasure in the way the UN peace-keepers handled this genocide. It was also indicated that in Rwanda, people from different parties are engaging in the affairs of their country in totality. We have the majority bringing in the President and the rest bringing in the deputy and so forth. With this unity, we do not have anyone insulting the President in Rwanda. They continue to promote peace and unity which is what we need to learn from, that we need to understand each other, be united and discuss issues amicably. The different parties in Rwanda teach us that people need to respect each other. Let us not insult each other. We need to work together.

When we pull in different directions, we do not get anywhere and even our children do not learn anything from that. We need to unite and learn to work together in Parliament and in our country as a whole. When it is necessary for us to deliberate amicably, we need to do that. This report taught me a lot as it indicates that there is peace and unity in Rwanda. It means this country has so much peace because we realise it indicated that security is top on the list. If only the same can be done in our country so that we bring peace especially in the small towns. Things are not well in the small towns. With these few words Mr. President, I would like to thank you.

*HON. SEN. BAIPAI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to the report on the Rwandan trip. In the Parliament of the Republic of Rwanda, about 80% of the total population are women. It is something which amazes me. They encourage women to take more leadership roles compared to men. The Rwandans are peace loving people. Their love is shown all over and by everyone. Even if you walk in the streets not knowing your way, they will lovingly help you.

The Members of Parliament of Rwanda are committed to their work and they lead by example. Rwanda is on the 5th position in terms of promoting the women in leadership positions. I was very impressed because many women are participating in leadership positions. I was very happy as a woman because the majority of MPs in Rwanda are women. Their sitting arrangement in Parliament is in alphabetical order. If you are a Member of Parliament, you are not allowed to hold a ministerial post and ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister which also amazed me.

Their roads are in good condition and are very clean that you will be ashamed to throw litter. There are many security personnel moving around and people are free to move around without fear. During the middle of the night, you can see women walking freely because there are no thieves. Security personnel are always available moving around manning different places and streets. The situation is different to ours. They also have their museum where fallen heroes and those who died because of genocide are buried. They take their visitors to these places to show them the graves of those who dedicated their lives. As a country, we must emulate this idea so that we do not forget our fallen heroes.

They also help victims of genocide and victims of different abuses. They keep them at the health facilities until it is safe to go back to their homes but currently they do not have the capacity and they have not found a donor to help yet. Their hospitals are very good and neat. These health facilities are one-stop facilities as everything is done at one place. They do not refer their patients from one facility to the other.

In terms of salaries, they are paid RWF2 500 plus US$200 to service their cars. When we told them about our salaries, they asked how people like us survive since we do not have money. They encouraged us to help those at the grassroots so that they emulate what is being done by those in decision-making or leadership positions. I thank you.

^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to say a few words regarding the benchmark visit to Rwanda by the Peace and Security Committee led by Hon. Sen. Dr. Parirenyatwa. I would like to thank them as a Committee for this benchmarking visit because we used to just hear that in Rwanda, looking at the issues of women affairs; women are accommodated more in the Rwandan Parliament. Indeed, this is true from the report that we got on this trip whereby more than 62% of the Rwandan Parliament are women. It has made us realise that as Zimbabweans, since we are in the 30 something percent mark, we do not know if we are going to reach 50/50% by 2030. It is good that we have some of our members who managed to visit this country under this benchmarking visit.

They also indicated that the forces in Rwanda are hardworking and work day and night. Even if you are to walk during the night, you are 100% sure that you are secure and protected. This is pleasing because these people are fully enforcing their laws. Yes, we have the police in our country but due to the criminal activities that are happening in our country, we realsie that in other instances, our police force are being killed while on duty. Inasmuch as their salaries are high, we continue to urge Government to increase their salaries so that they do not partake in corruption.  As we speak, corruption is now more like cancer in our country; no one is bothered about their duty and promoting the work of our Government.  People are keen in filling their pockets.

          What I also gathered from this report is that the Rwandese love one another.  They love each other despite the fact that there was ethnic fighting in the past, which has caused the death of many people, usually referred to as genocide.  This taught them that it is not proper for people to segregate against each other, either tribally or ethnically.  Currently in Zimbabwe, we realise that we have 16 official languages and if you are to speak in one of the languages included in the 16 official languages, you hear someone saying you are speaking in a language that I cannot understand.  Then you ask yourself, why is this person saying this, is my language not allowed to be used; is it a language for donkeys or what?  That on its own shows that we look down upon each other, which is not proper. 

          As we are, we are God’s flowers.  He created us as we are.  Why should we look down upon each other?  Yes, as someone who is speaking in a language that is regarded as a minority language, I was created by God.  Therefore, do not despise me.  We need to show love to each other, let us not look down upon each other so that we do not promote hate amongst ourselves.

          Looking at the job offers that are there, let us not segregate each other through nepotism.  Let us give equal opportunity according to merit whenever an opportunity arises.  Let us not segregate each other according to ethnicity but instead show love to each other like the Rwandese.  We need to love each other as Zimbabweans.  We are Zimbabweans full of love. 

Mr. President, I thank you so much for this report that was tabled by the Committee on Peace and Security, headed by Hon. Sen. Dr. Parirenyatwa.  They managed to bring positive messages to this House that will promote us as a country.  With these few words, I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. NKOMO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 29th September, 2022.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 51ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of

the 51st Plenary of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MABIKA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 29th September, 2022.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF COUNTER TERRORISM HIGH LEVEL CONFERENCE HELD IN ITALY

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism High Level Conference on Parliamentary Support to victims of terrorism.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MABIKA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 29th September, 2022.

MOTION

PROVISION OF FUNDS FOR COMPLETION OF DAM CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need for government to provide adequate funds for the completion of dam projects.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 29th September, 2022.

MOTION

PARENTING AND EMBRACING A RECEPTIVE CULTURE FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN THE STREETS

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on vulnerable children living on the streets.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to air my views on the issues that have become of concern.  I want to thank the Senator who brought this issue to the House and I am sure that she had been disturbed by street kids.  As we move in the streets, we meet with these kids seated on street corners and engaging in their activities that give them a source of livelihood.

Mr. President, the work that is done by those children is work that is supposed to be done by adults. Those children become adults before they have even matured.  What we call a child under normal circumstances is a child who sleeps in the home and is depended on the mother and father for sustenance in terms of food and everything else.  That child is supposed to be provided for by the parents.  When engaging in other activities, they are taken as children but when we look at the children on the streets, they are performing roles of mothers and fathers. They spent their time in the streets looking for money to fend for themselves and to look after their parents or to even send their siblings to school.  This is being done by a child who is below 10 years.  

The child matures mentally at the wrong time, they take up responsibilities that should not be theirs but because of poverty we find them in that situation and engaged in such activities.  For sure, the Government should be concerned with such practices where a child is forced to head a family at a very tender age. 

Some of the children are very rough whilst on the streets but that is how that child has now been socialized and has developed.  They even use vulgar language because it is the environment that is affecting their language.  So those children should be given an opportunity to live as children and they should be taken to their centres that should be funded by the Government and other stakeholders in the private sector for them to go through the process of being children until they are mature adults.

When we leave them on the streets they become vulnerable to abuse, especially the girl child.  They can be abused in different forms including sugar dads and they are also prone to infections such as STI’s and HIV and AIDS.  They are also susceptible to drug abuse because there is no one to control them since they are already adults on their own.  So they end up engaging in substance abuse of which no one can rehabilitate them because they are not in action.  So we are going to lose this generation because of these children in the streets.

We are all aware that substance abuse is not good at all and causes mental health issues and these children are vulnerable to such. Their population is even increasing in the streets.  As you move around in the CBD and get to any traffic lights, you realise that almost every traffic light has street kids.  Currently, our financial situation in Zimbabwe is dire s such that before people can give them some money, you find that when you are in a vehicle you can stop and send them money via ecocash, but they do not even have phones.  Most people would love to assist these children but they will not be having cash, so you end up questioning yourself how we help these children at the end of the day.  Hence the Government should come up with measures to ensure that the Social Welfare Ministry addresses the issue of these children.

 There should also be research to investigate the root cause because that causes the children to go the streets; they did not just come from heaven or from the hill.  Is it not possible for some of them to be re-integrated into their families so that there is rehabilitation?  They can then be intergrated into the communities and live with their relatives.  These are issues that need to be investigated and come up with measures to ensure that these children are taken care of because at the end of the day we would have exposed our dirty linen in public. Their presence in the streets can be interpreted by tourists as levels of poverty. I remember a country like Ethiopia sometime back, when you visited Addis Ababa, you would be surprised to see alarming numbers of beggars. Currently the rate has gone down, which means efforts were made to reduce the number of beggars on the streets.

Some of the challenges causing poverty are because of poor economic performance of our country.  Government should come up with strategies to ensure that there is economic resuscitation; if we have a fully functioning economy with industries in place, that would eradicate poverty because people will be going to work.  If our economy is facing challenges, the Government cannot address poverty but with a functioning economy, there are funds to ensure that we deal with the issue of street kids. 

Government must take full responsibility for these children to have a decent livelihood for this matter to be brought to rest.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank the Hon. Senator for raising the motion, as you travel in the streets, you see them kicking balls into the streets. These are some of the challenges that we are faced with.  The Bible says that the Lord has a soft spot for orphans and widows. Some of the children born in the streets are children born of parents with disability especially those who are visually impaired and the children end up staying with their parents in the streets.

Some of the children have become burgers.  Their mindset has been affected and I think that the Department of Social Welfare should ensure that they have the psychologists to assist these children.  Some of the children are very intelligent. If it was possible, those intelligent ones must be assisted.  Those with capacities can even engage in the different trades even assembling motor vehicles and all the different trades.  They do have the capacity and if they are assisted, they can be better people.  With these few words, I want to thank you Hon. President.

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

HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 29th September, 2022

On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU, seconded by HON. SEN. MKHWEBU, the Senate adjourned at Nine Minutes past Four o’clock p.m..

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment