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SENATE HANSARD 28 August 2019 28-69
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 28th August, 2019
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF
BILLS RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to
inform the Senate that I have received the Education Amendment Bill, [H. B. 1B, 2019] from the National Assembly and the Bill will be set down for Second Reading tomorrow.
REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON NDIGENISATION
AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES IN THE MINING SECTOR
HON. SEN. MBOHWA: I move the motion standing in my name
that this House takes note of the Report of the Thematic Committee on
Indigenisation and Empowerment on the Implementation of Empowerment Programmes in the Mining Sector.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: I second.
HON. SEN. MBOHWA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to present our report from the Thematic Committee of Indigenisation and Empowerment. The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (IEE) Policy has gone through some amendments since the enactment of the Act in 2008, which required 51% indigenous shareholding in all businesses in the country with a net asset value of $500 000. In 2018, Government amended the IEE Act through Finance
Act (No 1 of 2018).
The Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment appointed by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders in October 2018 commenced its work at a time the change in policy was being implemented. As such, it became imperative for the Committee to enquire into the new policy, particularly in the mining sector.
Objectives of the enquiry
In embarking on the enquiry, the Committee sought to achieve the following objectives:
- To have a better understanding of the current policy framework;
- To assess the likelihood of the policy changes with respect to the intended objective of empowering the historically disadvantaged people of Zimbabwe: and
- To assess the level of implementation of empowerment policies in the platinum and diamond mining sectors.
The Committee received oral evidence from the Minister and
Secretary for Industry and Commerce on the current policy position; the Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, the Chamber of Mines and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation on the implementation of empowerment policies in the mining sector. The Committee also conducted field visits to ZIMPLATS, Unki and ZCDC in Marange to receive evidence on the empowerment programmes the companies have embarked on. The Committee had an opportunity during the visits to meet with some Members of the Community Share Ownership Trusts and people from the communities in which the mining companies are operating.
The Committee expresses its profound gratitude to the officials from the two Ministries, Chamber of Mines and Zimbabwe Miners Federation, Board Members and Management from the three mining companies, members of the community share ownership trusts who included chiefs and members of the public for their input during the
Committee’s enquiry. The valuable submissions are summarized in this report and formed the basis of the Committee’s observations and recommendations for the Executive.
The following section summarises the Committee’s findings on the empowerment framework in the mining sector. It highlights the notable programmes and efforts done by Community Share Ownership Trusts within their respective areas and provides various submissions from the communities and mining companies visited by the Committee.
Government’s Policy Position on Empowerment
Evidence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce
The Committee received oral evidence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and gathered that the department of empowerment now fell under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce following the restructuring of Ministries in 2018. The Minister of Industry clarified the current position on the policy by stating that the amendments to the policy had the effect of confining the 51/49 indigenisation threshold to only two minerals: namely diamond and platinum. The other sectors of the economy were, therefore, open to any investor, regardless of nationality. The major motivation for the amendment was the need to attract foreign direct investment into the country required for economic growth. The Minister pointed at the time that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce was working on producing a policy document on the empowerment policy.
During the Committee’s discussions with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, it came out clearly that there were calls by mining companies and their representative body for Government to extend the removal of the 51/49 indigenisation threshold. From the Ministry’s perspective, empowerment of the indigenous people would still be achieved without a legal framework compelling mining companies to implement programmes. The Committee was assured that the Ministry engaged investors on the need for them to implement corporate social responsibility programmes as a way of ploughing back into communities they were operating in.
Empowerment Programmes in the Mining Sector
The Committee gathered that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development had a number of programmes that were aimed at empowering the small scale miners. These included the creation of satellite offices close to the small scale miners’ operations for provision of technical advice. The Committee learnt of the existence of a government financial facility known as the Mining Industry Loan Fund introduced in 1924 which had been allocated one million dollars in the 2019 Budget. The other strategy presented to the Committee was the establishment of centralized custom milling and service centers, meant for processing gold ore and for provision of other mining related services.
Short term proposals for empowering artisanal and small scale miners included efforts by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to continuously release land to more people through accelerated processes of repossessing claims where non utilisation of land for mining purposes was identified. This land would be ring fenced for artisanal and small scale miners. The other measures the Ministry undertook to implement was the reviewing of the lengthy and costly processes of registration and replacing the Environmental Impact Assessment requirements for small scale miners with a form that is affordable and easy to implement. Wide consultations were promised on the review of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Act as it was expected to recognise small scale miners.
Challenges against efforts to empower the local people related to small scale miners’ failure to access financial facilities due to their informal nature. For those who managed to access the loans, there was a culture of not paying back thereby affecting the revolving nature of the
Evidence from the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines
From the mining industry’s perspective, submissions from the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines were that, the mining industry had played a big role in empowering communities through their corporate social investment programmes and enterprise development. Examples cited were empowerment activities through Employee Share Ownership
Schemes and Community Share Ownership Trust with ZIMPLATS, Unki and Blanket mine given as examples of mining companies that had fully complied with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Committee’s field visit to Zimplats mine
Submissions from Zimplats Mine
Since its inception in 2001, Zimplats mine had invested more than $200 million in socio-economic development projects which had resulted in improved infrastructure, health, education and income generation for the communities around its operations and at national level. It was gathered that Zimplats was currently developing an integrated development model for commercial cattle ranching.
It was further submitted to the Committee by the Zimplats mine that Zimplats was enhancing the contribution of SMEs to the attainment of Vision 2030 through linkages with large businesses in various value chains. Zimplats was progressing in this regard through its Local Enterprise Development Programme (LEDs) by integrating the small businesses into its value chain and providing business development support services as well as training and development opportunities
It was gathered by the Committee that 20 local enterprises had been registered to date under the Zimplats Local Enterprise
Development Programme. In return Zimplats had offered the following as part of its community empowerment initiative:
- Technical and financial support
- Developing platforms for market linkages
- Diversification opportunities in order to develop robust businesses
The Committee was informed that the Company’s empowerment initiatives focused on Community Share Ownership Trusts, Local Enterprise Development, Local Supplier Development, Local Industrialisation and Import Substitution schemes. Some of the activities covered by the schemes were brick manufacturing, welding and civil works, manufacturing of protective clothing and work wear, mining and supply of stone aggregate and river sand and manufacture of explosives, among others.
Submissions from the Mhondoro, Ngezi-Chegutu Zvimba
During its field visit to Zimplats mine and the community, the Committee first received a briefing from the company management and members of the Mhondoro-Ngezi-Zvimba-Chegutu Community Share Ownership Trust. The briefing was followed by a tour of Muchiriri
Poultry project, Mbandawe Primary School and Chingondo Secondary School, projects falling under Zimplats empowerment programmes. At the two schools, the Community Share Ownership Trust had built a block of two classrooms at each of the two schools. The cost of constructing each of the two blocks was reported to be US$20 000.00.
The Committee was informed that the Mhondoro Ngezi, Chegutu, Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust had done a number of community projects in education, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, health, Enterprise development and in transport and communication. Among many projects, the CSOT had completed Manhize Footbridge, Dumbe Primary school roofing, constructed a classroom block at Mhondoro
Ngezi VTC, constructed Domboshava clinic, bought ambulances for
Raffingora and Chivhere Clinic, constructed a mother’s shelter at Mukarati clinic, built Nyika classroom block and constructed Mumwe
Pipe Drift bridge.
Zimplats mine had made a payment of US$10 million in 2014 to the Mhondoro, Ngezi, Chegutu Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust as a once off seed capital payment. The Mhondoro, Ngezi, Chegutu-Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust had invested a sum of USD$1.4 million into Sable Chickens and was using the dividends from the investment to fund community projects. The trust was prioritizing projects in poultry, horticulture, honey and sorghum production as part of its enterprise development strategy to empower its rural community.
Empowerment projects in Mhondoro Ngezi
Findings from the Interactions with the Mhondoro-Ngezi-
Submissions from the community were that, the Mhondoro-NgeziZvimba-Chegutu Community Share Ownership Trust was now a commercialized business entity. The community argued that the CSOT was only focusing on enterprise development and in the process was benefiting only a few community members and falling short of its mandate of addressing key community needs. The community pointed out that they were not consulted by the Community Share Ownership
Trust on its intention to invest in sable chickens.
The Community Share Ownership Trust was burdening the community through its demand for collateral to fund enterprise developmental projects and made it hard for the community to access funds from the Trust. The relationship between the Mhondoro-NgeziZvimba-Chegutu Community Share Ownership Trust and the community was laden with tension and hostility as the CSOT was failing to regularly consult the community to explain its mandate and aims as the Trust.
The community felt that the classroom block built by the trust at Chingondo secondary school did not equate with the US$10 million given to the Trust by Zimplats mine highlighting that much more could have been done to address key infrastructure development. The school had shortage of teacher accommodation. The lack of women empowerment in horticulture and irrigation was highlighted as a challenge. The thrust of the Trust in enterprise development for the community in sorghum, honey and poultry production did not have market linkages for the community to sell their produce.
Empowerment projects in Shurugwi District – Submissions from the Unki mine management.
The Committee visited Unki mine in Shurugwi and received a briefing from the mine management. The company had given a total of
US$10 million in 2011 to Tongogara Community share ownership Trust. The company submitted to the Committee that the funds had been used for infrastructure development in the area of Shurugwi. Apart from the efforts of the Tongogara CSOT in infrastructure development, the company had been continuously fulfilling its obligation of cooperate social responsibility. Much of its focus had been in building health care facilities around Shurugwi.
Submissions from the Tongogara Community Share
At Msasa Primary School, the Committee received a briefing from Chief Banga a member of the Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust. The Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust had built and tiled an administration block put a ceiling and installed air conditioners. There were also four blocks of classrooms, F14 teachers houses, electrified the structures, built blair toilets, fenced the school and drilled a borehole.
The Committee was impressed by the buildings which had ramps to accommodate access by people living with disabilities. The cost of the
Projects at Msasa primary school was put at US$55 000.
The Tongogara CSOT had to date constructed Chirume Dam, Zviuma Clinic, drilled 150 boreholes in Shurugwi. Of the 24 wards in Shurugwi, the CSOT had allocated US$25 000.00 for projects. However, the amounts differed in areas where bigger projects were identified. The funds given to the CSOT had not been exhausted. The Trust had halted all expenditure and was currently considering getting into income generation projects to increase its funds for future community development projects.
The teachers at Msasa Primary school expressed satisfaction with the work that the Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust had done in building the school and providing the necessary infrastructure at the school highlighting that it had enhanced the learning process.
It was pointed out that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority
(ZINWA) was demanding US$30 from the Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust for each new borehole that the Trust intended to drill. This demand was proving to be too cumbersome for the Trust, stifling its ability to fully carry out its mandate of rural WASH in Shurugwi. This had made the Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust to halt all new borehole drilling projects in the area.
Empowerment projects in Marange- Chiadzwa
The Committee visited the Chiadzwa-Marange area and received a briefing from the board and management of ZCDC before embarking on a tour of projects. During its interaction with the board and management of the ZCDC it was gathered that the company had handed over
US$5million to the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust in June 2018. The ZCDC highlighted that it had a mandate to give out 10% of its profits to the community of Zimunya-Marange
Community Share Ownership Trust every year.
The Committee visited the sewing project, which is an enterprise development programme for the community. Visits were also made to
Gandauta secondary school where the company built a computer room and science laboratory for the school. The Committee also visited the Chiadzwa clinic that was refurbished by the company. The company was reported to have assisted by installing solar panels and provided a pump for the clinic borehole. The company was also reported to be assisting in the procurement of drugs for the clinic. The following figures highlight some of the empowerment projects done by the ZCDC in Marange
Submissions from the Marange Community
The community highlighted that artisanal mining in diamond was present in the area but the people doing the mining were from Kwekwe, Gweru, Shurugwi and Chipinge, but the people from Marange were not being given the opportunity to do artisanal mining. The community felt that it was their right to be part of the artisanal diamond mining groups. However, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company security personnel was beating up people from Marange who showed any interest of being near the mining areas where artisanal mining was taking place.
The Zimunya-Marange CSOT was not known for there was little to no consultation done by the Trust to the community. That was lack of consultation by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company which was alleged to be misinforming the community and failing to live up to its promises or even coming to the community for scheduled meetings.
There was concern from the community over the re-introduction of ANJIN (a Chinese company) to mine diamonds in Marange. The community indicated that the company had massively exploited diamonds to its gain and failed to develop and empower the community during its tenure before the coming in of Zimbabwe Consolidated
Submission from the community further indicated that the ZCDC mining operations were leaving the environment damaged and less attention was being given to land rehabilitation by the company. The community indicated that the ZCDC had claimed that it had rehabilitated
24 hectares of land to date, but the community noted that only three hectares had been rehabilitated to date. It was pointed out that the Zimbabwe Consolidated Company had only done road rehabilitation in expectation of the Committee’s visit and little to no attention was being given to road infrastructure prior to the Committee’s visit.
The community highlighted that the policies governing natural resources were constantly changing and this was not giving the mining sector an even platform to operate under. The Government was said to be constantly announcing policy changes in the process, creating poor governance in the management of natural resources. In addition to that, policy discrepancies characterised by the delayed gazetting of the Mines and Minerals Bill and the Diamond Bill were leaving too much room for exploitation by companies.
The Committee highlighted that the Zimunya – Marange CSOT had alleged to have built a clinic but upon investigation by the community, it was discovered that the said project was a multi-stakeholder project where the community provided the bricks and PLAN International built the structure, and only the roof was provided by the CSOT.
The people of Marange alleged that they were being discriminated and alienated in job opportunities with allegations being on tribalism and an unfriendly Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company policy on recruitment. People from Marange employed by the ZCDC were being given three months renewable contracts whereas people from other areas were being given two to five year renewable contracts. They were particularly being overlooked in specific job areas such as diamond picking and security.
The community pointed out that security personnel in the area was harassing people, subjecting them to beatings for trespassing - even though they had national identity documents indicating that they were inhabitants of the local villages in Marange. It was further alleged that security was killing people and confiscating vehicles from villagers, demanding that they be cleared and licenced to travel in Marange.
Observations and Recommendations
Policy position on the Empowerment Policy
The Committee observed that there was no known empowerment policy following amendments to the Indigenisation and Empowerment Policy in 2018.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce should develop and promulgate an empowerment policy to guide investors and the local community by December 2019.
Mining companies’ contribution to empowerment
The Committee noted that there were some projects that companies had indicated to be implementing, nonetheless there were shortfalls in the said projects. It was discovered that the alleged beneficiaries of the projects refuted that they had any connections with the mining companies. The Committee visited Muchiriri Poultry project at Selous during its visit to Zimplats. Upon being asked, the project owner indicated that the project was a family project and fully funded by his parents in the diaspora and not by the mining company or the CSOT.
There is need for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s Indigenisation and Empowerment department to periodically carry out monitoring and evaluation visits to ascertain projects that are purposed to be funded by either mining companies or by Community Share Ownership Trusts. This will act as an accountability and performance marker of community development and empowerment projects in mining areas.
Employment opportunities for local communities
The Committee observed that although mining companies had presented to the Committee that they prioritized employing the local people, input from the members of the community indicated the opposite. There were claims that some people from China had been employed for jobs that could be done by the locals and they were being overlooked in menial job opportunities.
- The Ministry of Industry and Commerce should come up with a policy that mandates mining companies in platinum and diamond mining to set aside 60% of the workforce for locals.
- The Ministry of Industry and Commerce must make sure that the majority of educated young people from the platinum and diamond mining areas are assimilated into the workforce of the mining companies by December 31, 2020.
Visibility and Transparency of Community Share Ownership
The Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu-Zvimba Community Share
Ownership Trust admitted that there was a gap between the Trust and communities. This was confirmed by the community who professed lack of knowledge of the work of the Community Share Ownership Trust. The communities visited highlighted that there was lack of consultation and they were oblivious to the work of Community Share Ownership
Trust in the areas.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, through the department of
Indigenisation and Empowerment has to closely monitor CSOTs consultation programmes to make sure that they promote inclusivity and common purpose in rural development.
Financial accountability by Community Share Ownership Trusts
The Committee noted that the use and administration of funds by the
Community Share Ownership Trusts left a lot to be desired. In Mhondoro-Ngezi the Headmistress of Chingondo Secondary school highlighted that they were not privy of the financial details, indicating the expenditure on material used to build the school block. The remainders of the bricks at the school were unaccounted for with allegations that they were used to build a bottle store elsewhere. The Committee felt that the number of projects done by the Mhondoro Ngezi-Zvimba-Chegutu Community Share Ownership Trust did not equate with the huge payout of US$10 million it received from Zimplats
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce through the department of Indigenisation and Empowerment must conduct an investigation into the use of funds by the Mhondoro- Ngezi- Zvimba- Chegutu Community Share Ownership Trust and substantiate what the CSOT had done for the community since 2014 in as far as empowerment and infrastructure development is concerned. The report of the findings should be presented to the Committee by April 2020.
State of buildings done by Community Share Ownership Trusts
The Committee observed that buildings constructed in 2014 at
Mbandawe Primary School in Ward 10 of Mhondoro-Ngezi were now in a poor state. This suggested that they were either of poor workmanship or there was serious lack of responsibility on the part of the community which was not taking good care of the built infrastructure.
There is need for proper quality control through the Rural District Councils to ensure that buildings constructed meet quality standards and are durable. Furthermore, beneficiaries of community projects should have active citizenship to take care of infrastructure and projects done for them.
Relations between mining companies and local communities.
The Committee observed that relations between mining companies, particularly between the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company and the community of Marange were bad, characterized by torture, beatings and mistreatment by the ZCDC security.
- The Ministry of Industry and Commerce should liaise with the
ZCDC and the Ministry of Home Affairs to address the inhuman treatment of the people of Marange at the hands of security officers. Measures to address the situation should be put in place by December 2019.
- The Ministry of Industry and Commerce through its department of Indigenisation and Empowerment must make sure that issuance of renewal permits for vehicles is decentralized from Harare to offices in Mutare by December 2019 in order to ease the plight of travelling from Mutare to Harare to renew vehicle permits.
- The Ministry of Industry and Commerce must ensure that entrance permits into Marange only apply to visitors and not the residents of Marange. This should be applicable by December
Traditional leadership in community development.
In Marange for instance, the role of the chief in community development was not clear. Chief Marange himself complained about projects being implemented without his knowledge. The Committee further observed that, there was a local leadership challenge between the headman and the Chief in the Marange area. The Committee deduced that, the ZCDC was dividing the community by recognising Headman Chiadzwa as the highest traditional leader in the area instead of Chief Marange.
The role of Chiefs in Community Share Ownership Trust and community development should be clear as defined in the regulations that govern CSOTs. Local chiefs should always be informed of any development projects in their areas as the custodians of rural development in Zimbabwe. The Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing has to address the improper traditional leadership hierarchy at Marange by informing the ZCDC and its board that the Chiefs are the highest traditional office in rural areas to avoid conflict and power struggles. The resolution of this conflict should be achieved by December 2019.
Addressing the marginalized and relocated communities
The committee gathered that the plight and welfare of the relocated people from Chiadzwa now settled at ARDA farm was a cause of concern. The people relocated from Chiadzwa to ARDA farm were reported to be living in dire poverty. The area that they were relocated to had no water for the community and the living area was too small for large polygamous families.
The Committee recommends for a thorough situation analysis of the area to be done by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to ascertain the welfare of the relocated community and take up drastic measures to address their welfare and livelihoods by December
The Committee appreciates the implementation of empowerment programmes by mining companies and Community Share Ownership Trusts in rural communities. However, there are areas that both the mining companies and CSOTs should address as highlighted in the report. Communities on their part should also appreciate some good work which has been done by mining companies and CSOTs by practicing active citizenship in taking care of built infrastructure and also cooperate by attending meetings called to discuss developmental issues.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: The Zimbabwe Constitution
promotes the rights of citizens to health, clean water, right to life, shelter, education and many more. During its fact finding visits to diamond and platinum mines and the surrounding communities, the Committee noted with concern that the mining companies have to empower the mineral rich communities by strongly developing the infrastructure and utilities of the communities they operate in. Accountability on mineral resource revenue and benefit sharing has to be the topical issue in the extraction of minerals in Zimbabwe and it has to start with the local mining communities.
The dust, smoke and mining effluent being discharged by the mining companies was posing a devastating health risk to the local communities. On a brighter note, the Committee was pleased that, the Zimplats, Unki and Marange Mines had managed to provide health care facilities for the local mining communities as part of corporate social responsibility. However, the extent of environmental pollution particularly in Marange was putting the lives of the people at risk. There is need for a holistic approach in tackling the issue of environmental degradation and pollution done by mining companies and this calls for a collaborative approach between the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to effectively address the environmental issues in mining communities in order to safeguard the lives of the people and their livestock.
The Committee gathered that CSOT had done a significant part in the provision of clean potable water to rural communities. In the case of Shurugwi, through the Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust the funds given to the Trust by Unki Mine were put to good use, with priority given to clean water supply. The Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust had bought a drill rig for borehole drilling and great exploits had been done in providing clean, adequate and potable water within the rural areas of Shurugwi.
However, the Committee noted with great concern that ZINWA was demanding US$30 from the Tongogara CSOT for each new borehole that the trust intended to drill. Chief Banga one of the chiefs at Tongogara CSOT noted that the monetary demands by ZINWA were
grossly affecting the ability of the trust to fully carry out its mandate in providing clean water to the communities of Shurugwi. It is the
Committee’s earnest opinion that an enabling environment be created for CSOT to fully carry out their rural development efforts by reviewing the policy that mandates ZINWA to collect fees from CSOTs.
Right to Shelter
The Committee gathered that some of the communities who were displaced by mining activities were living in abject poverty. In Marange for example, the displaced families from Chiadzwa were placed at ARDA farm and given compensation packages. However, from the evidence that the Committee gathered there is still need for the ZCDC to assist the displaced families to augment their livelihoods to help them cope with the stinging effects of both physical and economic displacement.
The Committee commends the significant efforts that have been made by Zimplats, Unki and Marange mining companies and their respective CSOT in spearheading and promoting education in their respective areas. The Committee noted that the combined efforts of the mining companies and CSOT in education infrastructure development was influential in capacitating the rural populace of the mining areas, a great feat that will help in developing the next generation of literate and capable young people that will help in the transformation and development of rural communities.
The Committee gathered that the relationship between CSOTs and their communities was based on acrimony and bitterness. This was evidence of a long fraught relationship characterised by sour relations and submerged community engagement. There is need for intervention and monitoring of the relationship between CSOTs and the rural communities by setting up mechanisms of monitoring and evaluation on how CSOTs and their communities can enhance mutually beneficial relationship anchored on trust and common purpose. The communities should be able to liberally submit their interests to CSOTs which is a fundamental effort of integrated development planning that assimilates the views of all concerned stakeholders towards one common vision. This should be the way to go for CSOTs in as far as community development and community engagement are concerned.
Furthermore, it is the Committee’s submission that pursuant to the
Parliament’s oversight role all audit reports of all CSOTs be submitted to Parliament through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce so as to fully monitor and analyse the expenditure, accountability and transparency of all funds given to the CSOTs by the mining companies.
I will end with a biblical statement which says it is more blessed to give than to receive. And James 1 verse 27 states that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the Fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted form the world” with these few words, I thank you.
REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
ON FAMILIARISATION VISITS TO POLICE STATIONS AND
HON. SEN. DR. SEKERAMAYI: I move the motion standing in
my name, that this House takes note of the report of the Thematic
Committee on Human Rights on Familiarisation Visits to Featherstone,
Ngundu, Beitbridge, Gwanda and Plumtree Police Stations and Border
HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I second.
HON. SEN. DR. SEKERAMAYI: There was a general outcry
regarding the abuse of human rights of the accused persons in
Zimbabwe’s police holding cells across the country. Those who were in custody, the civil society and even the general public testified that there was need for the government to act immediately and protect the rights of the accused persons. Therefore, the Thematic Committee on Human Rights resolved to conduct familiarisation visits to selected police holding cells and border posts to ascertain whether the rights of accused persons were upheld and protected.
2.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE VISIT
The broad objective of the visit was to enable Committee Members to establish the potential reasons for the abuse of the rights of the accused persons in police holding cells and ports of entry. In more specific terms, the Committee sought -
- To ascertain whether police officers are trained on human rights issues during their initial and in-service training, ii. Determine the state and conditions of police holding cells with respect to the protection of human rights of the accused persons, iii. Appreciate the challenges faced by police officers with respect to upholding the rights of the accused persons in their custody, iv. Engage accused persons pursuant to the need to understand their concerns and challenges regarding their rights, and
- To appreciate the existing institutional framework for the effective realisation of the rights of accused persons at national ports of
In order for the Committee to get the official and technical insight into human rights issues, the Committee conducted familiarisation visits to Morris Depot and the Zimbabwe Republic Police Staff College. The
Committee visited Harare Central, Featherstone, Ngundu, Gwanda, and Plumtree Police Stations to observe the conditions of police holding cells and authenticate whether the rights of the accused persons are upheld at these stations. It also visited Beitbridge and Plumtree border posts to understand how the Immigrations Department and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority department in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police handled the rights of the accused persons at border posts.
4.0 COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS
4.1 Morris Depot
The Committee observed that police recruits are trained on human rights issues. Apart from the enabling legislation, the reference materials shown to the Committee included The Zimbabwe Republic Police Human Rights and Policing Resource Book and The Police
Duties and Investigations Manual. The Zimbabwe Republic Police Human Rights and Policing Resource Book is used to train police recruits. The manual contained investigations and procedure for all types of arrests, bail, civil matters and trivial reports, deaths, detaining of accused persons, all types of documentation required, using dogs, domestic disputes and how to give evidence.
The Committee was informed that in teaching the protection of human rights of the accused persons to Police recruits, the Constitution of Zimbabwe remained the prime reference book. The following sections of the Constitution were taken into account when teaching the rights of the accused to police recruits; Section 49 on the rights to personal liberty, Section 50 on the rights of arrested and detained persons, Section 51 on the right to human dignity, Section 53 on the freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman treatment or punishment and Section 70 relating to Rights of accused persons. The Committee could not meet the police recruits at the time of visit because they had passed out in November 2018.
The Committee was assured that at each stage of police recruit training, psychological assessments, not psychological tests, were conducted. These assessments were conducted at the foundational phase where police recruits are taught their theory and practical lessons. Then psychological assessments were repeated during the station attachment which lasted for sixteen weeks. Finally, during the consolidation phase which lasted for six weeks the last psychological assessments were done.
4.2 Zimbabwe Republic Police Staff College
The Committee was informed that the ZRP Staff College offered four Diploma programmes and three short certificate courses. The following programmes, namely, Diploma in Law in association with the University of Zimbabwe, Diploma in Public Relations in association with Bindura University of Science Education and Certificate in Public
Prosecution. These programs contained Human Rights issues.
The Committee was informed that training for the Junior Officers Command Course comprises Inspectors and Chief Inspectors who by default are the first line managers in the organisation. The course capacitates officers in charge at Police Stations and the training encompasses issues to do with Human Rights and Policing.
The Committee was informed that the College also conducts induction courses for newly promoted Chief Superintendents and Superintendents. These Officers oversee disciplinary matters relating to breach of Human Rights by Police Officers. The Committee was further informed that the training programmes covered human Rights, contemporary policing, criminal procedure and constitutional law.
4.3 Harare Central Police Station
The Committee visited the police holding area and the cells. It observed that the holding area of approximately 2,5m by 3m accommodated twenty-one accused persons. Some of the inmates had not been fed from the previous day and were still being detained in the holding area, while others complained that they had their admissions of guilty fines ready but had not been attended to.
The Committee was informed by a certain woman that she was arrested the previous day and left her children at home with no food and no one to attend to them. She also complained that she had not been given an opportunity by the police to contact her next of kin to advise them of her arrest.
The Committee observed that Harare Central Police cells have three floors. First floor was inhabited by the accused male persons; second floor was occupied by the accused female persons while the third floor was the exercise room for the inmates. The Committee observed the dilapidated state of the cells and dirty blankets that were no longer unfit for human use. The cells had poor lighting and were too few to accommodate all the detained accused persons during the night. The Committee was disheartened by the pungent smell that reeked out of the cells because of the grimy state of the ablution facility. This exhibited a complete nonconformity to section 53 of the Constitution with respect to inhuman or degrading treatment. The Committee recognized that one could fall sick if subjected to the conditions of the police cells for one day.
4.4 Featherstone Police Station
The Committee observed that the interviewing room had no benches or chairs for use when interviewing suspects. As a result of lack of office chairs, suspects were interviewed seated on the floor. The Committee was informed that the police officers at the station attend refresher courses on Human Rights at their Professional Updating Centre (PUC) once every six months.
The holding cells infrastructure was constructed in 1962, was very old and no longer fit for human habitation. The accused persons’ toilets in the holding cells do not use a flushing system so buckets are used to flush the human waste.
The police officers washed the blankets but they did not have adequate protective clothing. Sanitary pads were not provided for female accused persons. The Committee observed that accused persons bathed in the same room they slept using a bucket without soap and towels.
4.5 Ngundu Police Station
The police station was originally constructed as a base for soldiers in 1943. There were no further developments to date other than the construction of toilets and one block. The Committee observed that there were no functional holding cells since the sewer system broke down in 2014. The station had no toilets for the accused persons. Police officers used the same blair toilets with the accused persons.
There were no water tanks to help meet the water needs for the station since a borehole could not be sunk because the station was built on a hill. Potable water from the council is rationed once a week at the station. As a result officers use drums as reservoirs of water for daily use. The station operated with one vehicle to ferry accused persons who commit serious offences to Chivi police station which is a distance of 60km away. It was submitted that Chivi Police Station holding cells could not accommodate the large numbers of accused persons.
General hands at the police station prepared food for the accused. Food was reported to be adequately provided. Only ten out thirty-four police officers had accommodation at the station negatively affecting the police reaction rate to a crime or incident scene. The Committee was informed that police officers at the station received human rights lectures to refresh their minds on the treatment of the accused.
4.6 Beitbridge Border post
The Committee observed that Beitbridge boarder post does not have facilities to take care of persons with disabilities. The border post does not have police holding facilities. Thus, accused persons are taken for detention at Beitbridge Police Station as soon as the initial documentation was finished. It is the police station that takes care of all the needs of the accused persons at the border post.
The Committee was informed that there is conscientisation and training on human rights for Immigration and ZIMRA officials as well as police officers to preserve and respect human rights of each and every person who avails themselves at the border.
4.7 Gwanda Police Station
The Committee learnt that the police station does not have facilities for persons with disabilities despite it being a modern police station. Disabled persons are housed in the Charge Office under the guard of police officers so that they can access underground facilities like toilet and bathing. At Gwanda police station, mock drills are done every week to show preparedness of police officers in case of fire.
The Committee was also informed that the Police Updating Centre (PUC) situated within the Police Station equips officers with full knowledge of human rights as enshrined in the relevant sections of the Constitution. It was submitted that cleaning of the cells is done by both police officers and the general hands on a daily basis. In addition, community service prisoners from the courts complement the general hands in the cleaning of the building.
4.8 Plumtree Border Post
The Committee was informed that Immigrations Officers generate a Certificate of Evidence, outlining clearly the offence committed and stating the provisions of the Immigration Act applicable to the offenses. After that, they do a warrant of detention before handing over accused persons for detention to the border control, that is, the police. It was submitted that the immigration officials exercise their powers of arrest according to Section 8 of the Immigration Act.
The Border Post is equipped with the requisite facilities to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. It was submitted that all ZIMRA offices at Plumtree Border Post are accessible through the ramps that can be used by those using wheelchairs. The Committee was informed that the accused persons are informed of their rights before being taken to the police station for detention. It was submitted that the 48-hour period is observed by the immigration officers and that they make sure that accused persons are taken to court immediately.
The Immigrations official informed the Committee that there is indirect training on human rights issues. The training was conducted through literature that is generated within the department. The literature explains arresting procedures, detention and how accused persons are treated.
It was submitted to the Committee that if an accused person is prosecuted, ZIMRA does not have detaining powers but hands over the person and the facts of the case to the police who then handle the accused. The person is allowed and heard through representation and also allowed to appeal to the regional office if the terms are set by the station here. If their client is not happy with the regional office ruling, they are allowed to appeal to the Commissioner General. If one is still not happy, the client is allowed to take the authority to court.
4.9 Plumtree Police station
The Committee learnt that all recruits are taught human rights issues, including the rights of accused persons both theoretically at the depot and practically during attachment through mentorship. The police officers received lectures on human rights issues at the station.
The Committee was informed that the police officers prepared food for the accused persons. Their food is mainly sadza and boiled matemba or beans. The officers take turns to wash clothes and blankets for the accused persons because they do not have general workers. The station does not have a stove to cook for the detained accused persons. There were no police officers at Plumtree Police Station who were trained to communicate in sign language although a training programme on sign language is ongoing. Plumtree Police employs the service of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare for assistance.
ANALYSIS OF THE FINDINGS
5.1 Human Rights Trainings
The Committee established that police officers are regularly trained on human rights issues. Their neighborhood watch team is also trained on human rights issues to uphold the rights of the accused persons. ZIMRA and Immigration officers are also educated on human rights issues.
5.2 Old Infrastructure
The Committee observed the need to construct modern police stations in Zimbabwe. Some of the visited police stations like Ngundu, Featherstone and Plumtree had very old buildings. Ngundu police station was originally constructed as a base for soldiers in 1943 and no further developments were made to date.
5.3 Meals Provision
The Committee discovered that three unbalanced meals were being provided for the accused breaching the right to nutrition. Dried kapenta and beans were the only relish available. There were no special arrangements for the accused persons with allergies and other medical conditions that require special types of food. It was up to the police officers on duty to provide food for those with special diets on humanitarian grounds.
5.4 Lack of Office Furniture
There was shortage of office furniture at police stations thereby the accused were interviewed seated on the floor.
5.5 Sewer System and Running Water Challenges
The Committee observed that only Gwanda Police Station had no sewer system challenges, Ngundu police station holding cells were closed due to sewer challenges. Water was generally a challenge in all the Station visited by the Committee, only Gwanda police station had access to running water. Other police stations visited had no running water, thereby forcing the officers on duty to fetch water for the prisoners to flush the toilets. This situation is not only burdensome for the police officers but it is also a health hazard to the accused persons as the toilets are inside the holding cells which in most cases are stinking and attract flies because of unavailability of running water to flush the toilets.
5.6 Police Vehicles
Although police vehicles were available at all police stations that were visited by the Committee, it was disheartening to realise that the vehicles were inadequate for the policing areas that each police station covered. For instance, at Ngundu police station there was just one police vehicle yet due to the dysfunctional ablution facilities, accused persons at the station had to be transferred to Chivi Police Station. Only Gwanda
Police station had three vehicles.
5.7 The Accused’s Blankets
The committee noted that although blankets were available on all police stations they were very thin and not warm enough especially during winter time. To make it worse the prisoners sleep on floors thereby rendering the blankets less useful during cold periods.
5.8 General Hands in Police Stations
Among other concerns that the committee noted was the unavailability of general hands on all the police stations that were visited. What this entails is that police end up carrying out duties that are outside their mandate such as preparing food and fetching water for the inmates to bath, flush the toilets and cleaning cells for the inmates.
5.9 Sanitary Wear for Accused Females
The unavailability of sanitary wear for female prison inmates is also a huge cause of concern and a burden for female officers who end up providing these basic needs for the inmates at their own expense.
5.10 Health Facilities
It was encouraging to note that there were health facilities within a kilometer radius from the police stations visited. This eased the burden of having to go long distances with inmates should they require medical attention. Some clinics were within walking distances considering there is unavailability of transport to ferry inmates which is an advantage especially in times of emergency.
5.11 Sign Language Trainings
It was very encouraging for the committee to establish that all police stations visited, there initiatives though inadequate to cater for the deaf and dumb. Although such initiatives as training in sign language to cater for the deaf and dumb were in place, it was disheartening to note that in Gwanda the holding cells are on first floor and there are no ramps or lifts to carry the inmates to that floor. It meant that disabled inmates had to be detained in an office outside the cells which is unlawful and risky.
5.12 Cooking Utensils
There were no proper cooking utensils like stoves thus the police have to resort to firewood at their own cost. They did not have pots making it difficult for police officers to prepare meals for the accused persons.
Cognisant of the above observations, the Committee recommends as follows;
6.1 The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage must construct modern police stations that guarantee the protection of the rights of the accused person by 2023. However, Ngundu police station needs immediate attention.
6.2 The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage must ensure that at least two police officers at each station are trained in sign language by 2020.
6.3 The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage must avail at least two police vehicles at smaller police stations and three vehicles and above for busy police stations by 2020.
6.4 The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage must ensure that the accused persons are provided with balanced meals by 2020.
6.5 The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must upgrade border management systems at all ports of entry by 2020.
6.6 The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage must ensure that immigration officers are properly and regularly trained on human rights issues by 2020.
6.7 The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage must recruit general workers to fill the vacant positions at most police stations by 2020.
6.8 The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage must ensure that sanitary wear is made available for female accused by 2020.
Informed by these pertinent observations, I now commend this report for consideration by the August House. I thank you!
*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I want to thank Hon. Sen. Dr
Sekeramayi for bringing up this motion on police station visited by our Committee. At Featherstone we observed that it was clean and we thought there is less crime being committed. When we are looking at human rights, it is not about prisoners only but even the police officers because they are human beings who need to be protected in order for them to do their job well. Their complaint was that they do not have grounds men. We were disturbed to learn that police officers do sometimes wash the accused persons’ blankets, instead of concentrating on the core business of interrogating the accused people. The
Committee also wanted to understand how the camp was operating when police officers were cooking for prisoners.
On transport, the station had only one car. The shortage of vehicles was making it difficult for accused persons to attend court on time as the one vehicle will be needed for other duties. We saw that the rights of prisoners are not being observed. When we went to Gwanda Police station, as was said by the previous speaker, it is not easily accessible. It is like you are going up the hill. It is a very old police station.
The police officers are in a very sorry state. It does not even show that it is a police station. We had informed them beforehand that we were coming, hence they had cleaned up the place. We also received the same complaint that police officers are cooking for prisoners and they do not have accommodation. The Committee felt sorry for police officers staying in a single room with their families. We feel that the Government has to do something about it. If someone stays in an environment that is not conducive, they may not perform well at their job. We feel that the rights of police officers have to be observed. We had to sit on logs because they do not have anything to use. Mr. President, it is our request that the Ministry of Home Affairs has to see that the station is refurbished. A lot of police officers stay in the nearby suburbs. Police officers have to get a good place to stay so that they work well.
Mr. President, we also went to Gwanda. It is a well built police station compared to other camps we saw in the rural areas. It is very beautiful but the problem is, there are no lifts in the buildings. It is a provincial office for Matabeleland South but they had no cars. That is a complaint we received in all police stations we visited. If it is possible, cars should be provided at every station.
We visited Beitbridge Border Post. They were working well but what bothered us is that at every station we visited, we did not see the accused persons. A lot of things were hidden to us. What we do not understand is whether people are not committing crimes. When we arrived there, we were told that the Member-in-Charge was not around. In some of the police stations, floors were clean and floor polish had been applied. We were surprised to find out that most of the police stations do not have even a single person detained.
We are asking the Ministry of Home Affairs to visit the camps so that they may appreciate the situation on the ground. You see police officers dressed well but where they are staying is not habitable. It is not a healthy situation to find that police officers do not stay at the station and quite often they will be cleaning and looking for firewood for the accused persons. We are not respecting the rights of police officers in these police stations. They should concentrate on their job. They are the ones who are doing all the work which is not supposed to be done by police officers. Their offices are very clean and if you ask them, they say they start work at 6am instead of 8am. They start at 6am so that they clean offices. This means that the rights of police officers are not being respected in police stations. Mr. President, we are requesting that the Ministry investigates what happens in these police stations. We visited few police stations but I believe that this is happening across the country. Thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. DR. SEKERAMAYI: I move that the debate do now
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 29th August, 2019.
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the protection of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MATIIRIRA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to support the motion which was brought by Hon.
Sen. Chifamba. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Chifamba. Mr. President, it is very true that the environment of the country needs to be preserved. As we are all aware that the country needs to be beautified by promoting and looking after our flora and fauna – we would have preserved our environment.
One of His Excellency the President’s programmes is planting of trees. He saw it befitting that trees are planted wherever there are no trees. Even when someone is allocated land where there is no vegetation – you will find them growing grass to make the place beautiful. We know that grass and trees preserve underground water and should people uproot trees or dig pits everywhere this will destroy the environment. We implore Government for effective implementation of laws in the preservation of our environment.
If we were to travel around the country there are some sacred places where you are not allowed burn grass, dig or cut down trees. The places have a refreshingly pleasant environment and this is what should be prevailing countrywide. I think the issue of protecting and preserving our environment has been over emphasised in this House because this is what sustains us as Zimbabweans. Unfortunately, relevant laws are not being effectively executed in this country hence the rampant destruction of our land. In rural areas people are engaging in digging and cutting down of trees and children end up falling into these open pits.
Provincial District Administrators, forestry structures, police officers and traditional leaders should work in conjunction with the ministry in eradicating this scourge that is currently affecting our environment. Even our animals will look healthy and thrive when our environment is preserved.
I am in support of the motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. Chifamba. It implores us to work together through our village structures to make sure that we preserve our environment. Our children will be happy to grow in a country that has sound environmental preservation regulations. Tourists to the country will also appreciate and enjoy our tourist attraction areas hence the importance of this motion.
As Government, we have to put our heads together and conserve our environment together. We should not just talk but take action in terms of awareness campaigns aimed at preserving our environment. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 29th August, 2019.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 4 to 7 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 8 has been disposed of.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S
Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J. F. Mudenda’s bilateral visit to the Shura Advisory Council, Doha, Qatar, 30th March to 4th April.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE: Thank you Mr. President for
giving me the opportunity to windup the report by the Speaker of the
National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J. F. Mudenda’s on his bilateral visit to the Shura Advisory Council, Doha, Qatar.
Mr. President Sir, I would like to thank all Hon. Senators needless to mention them individually who contributed to this report. It is always an advantage to visit a foreign country but unfortunately, it is not all of us who can get to visit foreign countries. For those of us who had the opportunity to visit those foreign countries on parliamentary business – it is always helpful because you get new ideas from other countries. I wish that we could all get to visit foreign countries and bring some new ideas with us.
Mr. President, having said this, I would like to move that the motion be adopted.
Motion that this House takes note of the report of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J. F. Mudenda’s bilateral visit to the Shura Advisory Council, Doha, Qatar, 30th March to 4th April.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON.
SEN. M. NDLOVU, the Senate adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.