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SENATE HANSARD 29 MAY 2024 VOL 33 NO 54

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 29th May, 2024.

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. MUZENDA: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 and 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.   

MOTION

REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION FOR      THE YEAR 2023

  Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Judicial Service Commission for the year 2023, presented to this House of Parliament in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

     Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you for the recognition Madam President. I rise today to express my appreciation for the significant strides made by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in its annual report of 2024. Specifically, I would like to acknowledge the progress made in promoting gender equality within the Judiciary. As we all know, gender equality has been a long-standing challenge in our society and it is heartening to see the JSC taking concrete steps to address this issue.

The report highlights the Commission`s efforts to increase the representation of women in the judiciary, including the appointment of female judges and magistrates. This is a crucial step towards achieving a more balanced and inclusive Judiciary. Furthermore, I commend the JSC for its commitment to addressing the gender gap within the Judiciary. The report shows that the Commission has taken steps to ensure that women are paid equally for equal work, which is a fundamental principle of justice and fairness. However, as we celebrate these achievements, I would like to highlight some areas that still require attention. Despite the progress made, women still face significant barriers to entering and advancing within the Judiciary. For example, the report reveals that women make up only 30% of judges and magistrates, which is still below the recommended international standard of 40%.

Additionally, while the Commission needs to increase female representation, there is still lack of diversity among women in senior positions. It is essential that we work towards promoting women in leadership roles and creating a more inclusive culture within the Judiciary. I would like to acknowledge the JSC`s efforts to promote gender equality while there is still much work to be done. I believe that these strides represent a significant step towards creating a more equitable society. I urge my colleagues to continue working towards this goal and to support initiatives that promote gender equality and justice. I would like to highlight the need for greater accountability within the Judiciary. The report shows that there are still many cases pending trial, and I believe that we need to prioritise addressing these issues rather than focusing on gender equality. I would like to emphasise the importance of addressing corruption within the Judiciary. The report highlights several instances of corruption. I believe we need to prioritise tackling these issues.  

I would like to express my appreciation to the JSC for their efforts in building courts in Matebeleland South Province. Specifically, I would like to highlight the construction of courts in Kezi, Filabusi and Esigodini, among others. The construction of these courts is a significant step towards ensuring access to justice for the people of Matebeleland South. It is estimated that over 70% of the population in this province live in the rural areas, and these courts will provide the much-needed service in the community. As a woman, I am particularly pleased to see the JSC efforts to improve judicial facilities in Matebeleland South. Women in this province often face significant barriers in accessing justice, and improved judicial facilities can help to address these challenges. Many women in Matebeleland South Province rely on the protection of these institutions for the vindication of their rights. I believe that these courts will play a crucial role in ensuring that women`s rights are protected. I would like to express my gratitude again to the JSC for their efforts in building these courts.

The people of Matebeleland are grateful for this investment and I believe it would significantly impact on the lives of the people of this province. However, I would like to emphasise that more needs to be done despite the construction of these courts. Many people in Matebeleland South still walk long distances to access justice. This is not only a challenge for individuals but has a broader impact on the community as a whole. I urge the JSC to continue working towards improving justice facilities in Matebeleland South. I believe this is critical for ensuring that the people of this province have access to justice and their rights protected. Thank you.

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

     HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

     Motion put and agreed to.

     Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for the year 2023, presented to this

 House of Parliament in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Human Rights Commission for the year 2023, presented to this House of Parliament in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Thank you Madam President for the opportunity you have given me to debate on the motion presented to this House by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on human rights issues. Madam President, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is one of the constitutionally constituted Independent Commissions to look into and investigate the rights of all citizens of the country of Zimbabwe.

They were established and have an Act of Parliament which directs that they make sure every citizen of Zimbabwe enjoys his or her rights as enshrined in our Constitution. The Commission in 2023, from January to December, received and investigated 815 human rights violation complaints which were spread across the country.  The 440 of them occurred in the Northern region of the country, 157 in the Southern region, 61 Eastern region and 157 again were received and actioned in Masvingo province.

The Commission, under the Administrative justice also received 496 cases during the same period, that is January to December 2023. The Commission carried out about 121 awareness activities in fulfillment of Section 243 (1) (a) of the Constitution, which entails promotion of education, research and advocacy in human rights issues. Some of the places visited are in the Southern parts of the country, which are Matabeleland South, Insiza and Beitbridge districts. In Matabeleland North, we have Nkayi and Bubi districts.

Madam President, the clarion call by the President, His Excellency, Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa of leaving no one and no place behind has seen the Human Rights Commission devolving and opening up offices in provinces. At the moment, it has opened in six provinces: namely Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Manicaland, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland West provinces, with plans to open in the remaining four provinces. This is a good move by the Commission, as citizens will not travel long distances to report cases of human rights abuse. Some fail to report because of distances.

The operationalisation of the Administrative Justice Unit by the Commission which performs duties of the public protector is a positive activity to protect our citizens against abuse of power and maladministration by State, public institutions and its officials. All these moves by the Commission are a sign of good governance and promotion of democracy as we have independent institutions who check and monitor the work by our Government. The 815 cases I earlier on talked about, which were reported is evidence that the people of Zimbabwe are aware of their rights and where to report them.

Most of the cases were as result of the 2023 harmonised elections, infringement of rights, mostly by political parties’ agencies. The clarion call by the Commission is for political tolerance by all citizens, all political parties and everyone in Zimbabwe to make sure that even when it is during campaign period, each and every person has got a right or freedom to associate with any organisation without any infringement.

Madam President, the Commission applauded the Government of Zimbabwe on the provision of food aid to vulnerable groups and also issuance of agricultural inputs to the citizenry, which is a way of fulfilling the NDS1 and Vision 2030 of an upper middle economy. However, there is need for Government to increase the food aid, especially this year, 2024, where we have an El Nino induced drought hovering upon us. It is everyone’s right to food and the announcement by the Government that no one will die of hunger as food will be available. It is something we applaud as the Senate. It is everyone’s right to food and really because of this El Nino issue, I think our Government needs to double its effort and make sure it reaches every corner of the country, giving food especially to the vulnerable people. This time it is not about vulnerable people alone, but everyone as we did not have enough rains to have enough food for our population.

Madam President, we also have old people’s homes, children’s homes and people with disability homes who all need food. In our Human Rights Committee, we received a report from a Ministry Official that they last sent some money or food stuffs to old people’s homes in September 2023, which is a very bad situation. We urge our Government to take serious consideration of these homes as most of them have very vulnerable people like the aged who cannot work to get food for themselves.

Madam President, the Human Rights Commission needs funding to do its mandate which includes awareness and educating the people on their recourse whenever their rights have been infringed. They also need to research and carry out advocacy meetings with the citizens of Zimbabwe. They need to investigate complains given by the citizenry.  I urge Government through the Ministry of Finance that they consider this independent board and also give them enough money to make sure they can do all these activities so that they assist the citizens of Zimbabwe and make sure each and every citizen enjoys his or her right as enshrined in our Constitution.

They also want funds to decentralise, especially to the remaining four provinces, and even further to our administrative districts. Madam President, I think this Commission did a wonderful job in 2023, especially during election period when they were carrying out these awareness campaigns for people to campaign and vote peacefully. We applaud what the Commission did in 2023 and hope Government will take it seriously upon them to make sure they fund this Commission adequately so that they can perform their duties as expected of them. With these few words, I want to thank you Madam President for the opportunity and time you have given me to debate this motion. Thank you – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] -

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

HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission for the year 2023.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

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

HON SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  I move that Order of the Day, Number 7 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.   

MOTION

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES TO HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA ON ASSUMPTION OF THE PRESIDENCY OF PAP

 

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion that congratulatory messages be conveyed to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on his ascendency to the Presidency of the Pan-African Parliament.

Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. D. M. NCUBE: Madam President, I would like to associate myself with the motion raised by Hon. Senator Chief Siansali congratulating our own Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on being elected as President of the Pan-African Parliament.  This is a momentous occasion for us Zimbabwe and it is an honourous task Mr. President, which has been placed on the shoulders of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira. The Pan-African Parliament stands for many values and has many mandates, one of which is to unite and integrate Africa as a continent.  Generally, our chiefs are unifiers and it is only proper that a chief has been chosen for the post of President to bring Africa together and more-so, taking forward the vision of the founding fathers of Africa from Kwame Nkrumah right through to our own Cde. Robert Mugabe.

          The Pan-African Parliament also stands for representation and accountability and Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira has been a Member of Parliament for a long time and he understands the role which is required of him to ensure that governments which are in place all over Africa are represented.  Today, our own brothers and sisters down South are voting in numbers to elect their own representatives and as the norm, the Pan-African Parliament has observers to ensure that elections are free and fair and they pronounce themselves on the elections as our voice in the continent.  There are also issues of advocacy and accountability.  Those have also been placed on our Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira in that there is need within Africa for some of the issues which were raised by my colleague here, Hon. Senator Mavenyengwa on human rights on the rule of law on governance.  Those underpin the Pan-African Parliament. Therefore, it is only proper that our own chief superintends over those.  There are issues also Mr. President to do with conflict resolution and peace building.  There are a number of flash points within Africa and some parts of Mozambique - Cabo Delgado up north in our French speaking countries.  Some of those are actually initiated outside Africa.  Therefore, there is need for us to come together and know who is our real enemy, hence the position entrusted on our own Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira to make sure that there is peace and tranquility within our continent.  Many outsiders think that Africa is only associated with violence and turmoil. Therefore, Pan-African Parliament with representatives right through the continent, chaired by our own Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, can then sit down and share ideas.  There are also issues to do with economic development.   Today, our own President Cde. Mnangagwa was speaking in Kenya and I heard this over the radio as I was driving here.  He spoke eloquently about issues of connectivity within Africa, issues of integration in terms of services within Africa.  Those are some of the issues which can be articulated within the Pan-African Parliament with our own Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira pointing the august House in the right direction.

There are also issues of knowledge sharing and capacity building which are important within Africa because we have got to benchmark among ourselves and make sure we actually lift the standard of our people in terms of poverty alleviation and hunger. We should also be in a position to share not only ideas, but the resources so that we can grow in tandem as African countries which are united.  So the post of President of the Pan-African Parliament given to our colleague is very important and should be celebrated - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear hear.] -  and ensure that we continue addressing the challenges within Africa.  We continue advancing the interests of our people within the continent.  With those few words Mr. President, I again congratulate our own Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira.

          +HON. SEN. S. MOYO: Thank you Mr. President of the Senate for affording me this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on the motion moved by Hon. Senator Chief Siansali congratulating one of our chiefs in this country and also a Senator. I am aware being a chief is something that is very important. I am hopeful that this motion will bring together all Members in this House because we are seated with the chiefs who are Honourable Members and also our fathers of the House because we are subordinates of the chiefs, including our own President. With those words, I congratulate our chief for getting the position of being the President of Pan-African Parliament.

          I realised that for someone to be a chief, he should be born in the lineage of chiefs and that person is given the authority to lead the nation, starting from where you come from, going further to national level where he became a Senator. For the few years that I have been here, I noticed that he contributed a lot. I also understand that he was a Deputy Minister of the Local Government. He worked very well and they say we should celebrate someone when he is still alive, instead of waiting for his death to start celebrating. In addition, our nation Zimbabwe will be recognised globally to an extent that everyone will know we have a son who can represent us and get a vote in Africa as a continent because they would have seen him as real leader.

          Furthermore, for the few hours that I have worked with him, I have realised that he is a great leader. When the leaders were counselling someone who was about to leave the village, for example when a girl is to marry, they advise her that she should work according to our culture. Here we are talking about our chief who from birth got authority and has no discrimination.  I am confident that everyone is optimistic that he will work well representing Zimbabwe.

          We also want our chief to lead from the front and to dispel the myth that Zimbabwe is not properly governed. They will realise that through our Hon. Chief, we have good leaders even against what they have been writing in the social media. I am happy that we have a number of chiefs in our midst to carry his duties even when he is not around. He was the President of Chiefs Council, deputised by Hon. Senator Chief Mtshane Khumalo. We are sure that he will meet a lot of chiefs as he interacts with many people. We are hopeful that he will plough back home in terms of teaching what he would have learnt outside the country.

We are saying here at home we have chiefs who were chosen by their ancestors to lead people in the right direction. Right now, we are seeing on social media that some chiefs who are treating their subjects as animals, forgetting that their grandparents and ancestors have given them powers to lead. I am saying that if there are some chiefs here, they should learn from Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira who we are celebrating today because they say he who is good, his good works will follow him.

Lastly, I want to quote from the Bible that respect your leaders. This nation recognises the chiefs and kings and as such, we can prosper if we offer them their due respect. The chiefs are supposed to work well so that we celebrate them tomorrow. This name called Zephaniah is not just a mere name, but it is word given to real man who has done a lot of work. Hence, I say let God give him strength to lead people with wisdom. He should also love those who did not vote for him because what is important is the unity and peace in Africa as we are one nation. I thank you.

HON. SEN. TSHABANGU: Thank you very much, President of the Senate. I must hasten to say this is a great opportunity for the people of Zimbabwe, myself included. It would be a mistake if I do not add a word to this important subject which has changed the political dynamics in the global community.

We are talking about a man whose leadership is identified and not questionable. Even when you cut his blood, it will ooze that leadership because he was born a leader. He was born on 10 June 1962 in Masvingo. What is Masvingo in English? Masvingo in English is a building made out of stones. We have a son who has built a foundation and was born in a foundation which was built of stones.  Masvingo has a population of about 1.3 million and Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira comes from that province.  Hh Here we are, there is the son whose parents watched him grow, they never thought Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira would rise and raise the flag of Zimbabwe to that extent.

          This is the man who was at the helm of one of the most important institutions in this country, the Chiefs’ Council.  It is this Chiefs’ Council that incubated the person whom we are talking about today.  It is this Chiefs’ Council that has made him to be what he is today. It is this Chiefs’ Council that has nurtured that soul and the potential in him today.  The credit must go to the Chiefs’ Council for them to nurture and bring such a son of the soil.  It is this Chiefs’ Council that we should admire.  They have their own transitional mechanisms and that is a model that we should use.  Every institution and country should use this model because their model is something that we can learn from and it is modern.  Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira has unfinished business in the African sphere and in African politics. They had to bring him back even if he had served his term.  You made it Hon. Sen. Chief and we are proud of the Chiefs’ Council. 

          Mr. President, Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira is an agent of change, he has changed the Chiefs’ Council during his reign. He is an advocate for change and has changed the welfare of the Chiefs’ Council today.  We have no doubt that he is going to promote the welfare for us all at that level.  We have got no doubt that he is going to be the champion for human rights, democracy, principles of democracy and human rights because he is an advocate for change.  He wants the place where people can come together regardless of their identity, colour,  geographical location or language, to come together and speak with one language and one language that is going to change their lives.

          So, Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira is a model for change and I debate and affirm that in his election, he was not opposed.  That on its own signifies that Zimbabwe has the potential, it has the talent and can change the African politics.  Zimbabwe can change the global politics and can still stand and rise in that arena and make things happen.  I hope Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will continue advocating for the welfare of the Chiefs’ Council and the people of Zimbabwe that together, as Zimbabweans we are one. Together as Zimbabweans, we can change the African dynamics of this world and we can change the world dynamics. Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira is going to raise the flag of Zimbabwe very high.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. NDLOVU: Thank you Hon. President for the opportunity you have given me.  Firstly, I want to thank the mover of this motion on the election of our Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira to lead the Pan-African Parliament.  Mr. President, in Ndebele we say that a real man is chosen from the youngsters, meaning that no matter how many you are, you must be chosen from amongst other men.  So it has been noted that the Zimbabwean son is the one who can lead Africa.  I also remember that the father of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira was also the President of the Chiefs’ Council, meaning that the family of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira are good leaders. The Africa Day will be commemorated with great confidence.  We are optimistic that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will bring good leadership and he will move Africa from the so-called ‘dark continent’ to a shiny one.  We hope that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will raise the flag of Zimbabwe and show what type our country is. Everyone in Africa and outside Africa can testify that Zimbabwe and Africa have gone out of darkness.

When I look out at the history of Africa, there was one political party, the African National Congress (ANC), which tried to unite the whole of Africa, speak on behalf of Africans and for the liberation of Africa.  We hope that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will take it from there that Africa restores its identity.  We have hard working people in Africa. 

The previous speaker talked about his birth place, which we do not doubt that the good deeds always follow a person.  We hope that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will be blessed with a number of words that there is a man from Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe being led by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa and when he is being respected by other countries, that is indirectly the respect of Zimbabwe, where he is coming from.  What I believe is that let us all celebrate him for his election, and the countries that have chosen him should not be disappointed but would be proud of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira.

          He is born from the chieftainship; he is not a politician, but he is a well-read person who knows that chiefs are supposed to be like this.  We have a country like Botswana that was ruled by a chief who became a President, President Seretse Khama who he led the country and there has never been a problem for the people of Botswana.  A number of countries have fought for their countries; sacrificing their lives.  Here is a son who was born in Zimbabwe; who was born, bred and learnt how to lead a nation.  Then, Africa looked at Zimbabwe and looked at him that there is a man whom we should elect to this leadership position.

          The growth of Africa is also that of Zimbabwe. For having a son like Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, I therefore thought I should add my voice on this election of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira to be the President of Pan-African Parliament (PAP).  I hope PAP will help in peace, security and stability in Africa.  I thank you. 

          *HON. SEN. WUNGANAI: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to add a few words on the motion by Hon. Senator Siansali.  I would like to add my voice on congratulatory messages being conveyed to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, a motion that was brought here by the mover. I am grateful to those that helped to have a messenger emanating from Zimbabwe who happens to be among chiefs to represent us in the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).  Personally, I have no doubt that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira is going to do us proud.  Ever since I have known him, he is blessed by the Lord.  At times these blessings come to a child when they are still young and would not know when a child will get there. 

          Chieftainship is attained when one is still in the mother’s womb.  I am saying I do not doubt the integrity of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira because I once worked with him and I know that he is learned and intelligent.  He is one person who is not jealous.  He is someone who can represent others through the chiefs that he leads.  My words to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira today are - our chief, life is a struggle.  Do not be stopped by barking dogs.  We are black people.  Africa belongs to the black people.  We all know that this position had been eyed by countries outside Africa and they have always had an interest in this position.  Mr. President, we are not British, neither are we Americans.  We have to fight for our Africa.  Sorry for vacillating from Shona to English.  This is an emotional issue and we have never been given the opportunity as African people to lead.  This position was only given to those who are not blacks because they would see us as incapable. 

          Today, we are happy that we have been given this position.  Let us show our good leadership qualities as Zimbabwe so that this will put to rest any doubting Thomases who doubted our capabilities.  Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, I may reiterate that he will not fail because of the intelligence or wisdom he has.  This wisdom, I would want to believe was God-given at the time when he was born and he was born a chief.  I am grateful that the few words that I have said should also be heard by Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, for him to raise the Zimbabwean flag high.  In addition, in PAP, he should also remember the chiefs that he leads so that they can also follow in his footsteps.

          Our chiefs are not in that position in PAP because they only required one.  Let us also raise the standard of living for our people as Africans so that our future will be bright.  You would also receive the honour because as we sit in this august House, you sit with commoners.  I would like to congratulate Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira that the work that was given to him should be done and discharged diligently Shumba, the clan name so that we can also be respected out of your good deeds.  I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. PHUTI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC HEMODIALYSIS FACILITIES IN DISTRICTS

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the treatment of chronic kidney disease in Zimbabwe.       

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. ZHOU: Thank you President of Senate for giving this opportunity to add a few words on this motion that was brought by Hon. Senator Zvidzai. Issue of kidney ailment is now porous, it has become an endemic and it has caused many deaths, death is now too common amongst us. Our lifestyles could also be because of the diet that we have and the use of oil instead of peanut butter. In the morning, one will have jiggies and other such things. It could be another reason. I know this has already been said by others.

 If we look at prophets, doctors and traditional healers, they should also be consulted with regards to conventional forms of medicine. We would also want to find out what causes these kidney ailments. If that research is conducted, we will be then be able to map the way forward. In the majority of cases, some people say such herbs are useless because there is no scientific proof, but we know.

Long back, we did not have many cases of the chronic kidney disease as it is nowadays. There is the Abuja declaration that was done in Abuja, Nigeria that a country should set aside 15% of the National Budget annually for the health sector. If that were to be done, we would be in the right direction as a country because we will be putting aside that 15% for the health sector and prioritise kidney treatment.

As a country, you would realise that we were prioritising malaria, cholera, tuberculosis and I am of the view that we should also prioritise the issue of kidney ailment so that it is also at par with other diseases that I have mentioned. There will be few dialysis machines and majority of them might not be working with some being outdated. We need a budget to cater for that so that our hospitals have state-of-the-art equipment to be able to deliver in the fight against kidney ailment. There should be continuous improvement.

We have learnt from other countries that kidneys are not affected at the same time, but one after the other. If one kidney is removed, a person can live 40 or more years using a single kidney. We need to research so that we have expertise in that area so that our people would not easily die due to kidney ailments.

Let me hasten to air that because we have got few dialysis machines and at private healthcare centres, it has become expensive and there will be long waiting lists in Government health institutions. The dialysis patient should undergo treatment once every week so that they can live long. It becomes difficult when there is a backlog and patients cannot be treated at the same period. If one were to become ill, let us say, in Binga, they need to travel 500 km to Bulawayo to receive medical attention or use the dialysis machine. Would that be attainable in this environment where they have to travel this long distance on weekly basis? There should be decentralisation on provision of kidney ailment machines so that those in Binga can access them at Binga District.

I also look forward to the situation where we will have continuous assessment and educate our children that should they have a problem with stomach ailments, they should quickly seek medical assistance. They should be examined by the doctors before the system is affected in terms of the removal of excretion and blood circulation resulting from the malfunctioning of the kidneys. I thank you for affording me this opportunity Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. MAKAMBA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO ZUPCO AND PRIVATE TRANSPORT OPERATORS

          Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the inadequacy of public transport in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. ZHOU:  Thank you, Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion which was brought in by Sen. Tongogara which refers to transportation of the public. This is a very pertinent issue because as a country, we are looking forward that our vision 2030 will not leave anyone behind.  We also see that when it comes to public transport, it is one of the 14 pillars which are found in the National Development Strategy One (NDS1). Transport is one of the 14 pillars. If there is no vibrant transport, the 13 pillars will not be complete. As Government, through the Ministry of Transport, we should develop our transportation from air, rail transport and even including the road transport. As a country, we are constructing top of the range airports like the Robert Mugabe International Airport, Buffalo Range, Victoria Falls but it is only open to airplanes from other countries but we also want Air Zimbabwe to revive Air Zimbabwe so that the flag will be raised higher.

Air Zimbabwe would also go to regional countries. We were very proud when we used to travel with Air Zimbabwe in Mbuya Nehanda and Matojeni, I think you know these airplanes. I used to be very happy boarding those airplanes when I was going to Oliver Tambo Airport. Now, you find that we have Fastjet. If we go to the Airport, we have a choice of other airplanes like Ethiopian Airways. It would be very beautiful if you board your own airplanes like Air Zimbabwe.

Mr. President, I used to work for a certain organisation of blind people in Kenya. The Director who was from Kenya would say that if meetings were happening in Kenya, Nairobi, he would make sure that he would buy a ticket from Kenyan Airways so that he would support his country. As for us, we are giving business to other airlines like Emirates on a daily basis. We should also compete in the air with other airlines. What I am saying is that it is very important for us as a nation that we should have that dignity so that our airplanes would also fly and we should use them. By 2030, our economy will be improved.

Coming to the railway trains, they can also help when it comes to the shortage of transportation because trucks are damaging our roads. If we have goods trains ferrying coal from Hwange, because the road to Hwange is in a deplorable state, I think that is being caused by trucks which are carrying coal. If we could put that in the goods train, long back we used to have goods trains travelling from Hwange to Bulawayo and Harare and you would find that our roads were being preserved. This issue of transport is very pertinent when it comes to public transport. We should make sure that our trains are moving. You would find that in Bulawayo from Emganwini, Nkulumane, Nketa or Luveve, all those people from the locations in-between would board trains to and from work and it was very easy. 

  Mr. President, when it comes to buses in the rural areas, if you want to go to Zvishavane like where I come from in Mberengwa, you have to wake up early, 12 midnight for you to catch a bus.  If you get there around 2 am, you would find that the bus would be already leaving.  So people living in the rural areas have challenges in accessing towns because they travel early in the morning and come back late at night.  You find some boarding on top of the buses as if they are luggage because they want all people to get to their place. I think we should do a lot so that we get more buses.  When it comes to the kombis, you find that most of them are not roadworthy and some of them do not have the requisite papers.  You find that people in Bulawayo will say that this time, it is easy you can put your unroadworthy vehicle on the road.  If you just bribe the policemen, you can also bribe the VID people and we end up having accidents.  I think we should have strict laws when it comes to VID. They should be investigated.   

Lastly, I think we should strengthen the issue of having a road national fund so that buses can be bought.  The buses are friendly to people living with disability, especially those in wheelchairs so that they can be able to get in and out of the buses with dignity.  Most of the buses, you find that those people on wheelchair will be lifted up in order for them to get access into buses, which is infringing their dignity.  I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity.  Thank you.

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

     HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA:  I second.

     Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT SERVICES FOR TEENAGE MOTHERS

  Eleventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the effects of teenage pregnancies.

     Question again proposed.

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

     HON. SEN. GOTORA:  I second.

     Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

 

    

 

 

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 80TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND THE 45TH CONFERENCE OF APU HELD IN COTE D’IVOIRE

          Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 80th Session of the Executive Committee and the 45th Conference of APU.

Question again proposed.

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

     HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA:  I second.

     Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION ON THE ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO RUSSIA

          Thirteenth Order read:  Adjourned debate on the Report of the Delegation on the Election Observation Mission to Russia on the Russian Presidential Election.

Question again proposed.

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

     HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA:  I second.

     Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

MOBILE BIRTH REGISTRATION EXERCISE

          Fourteenth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the challenges faced by the people living on the border areas on the issuance of birth certificates.

Question again proposed.

           HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I want to add my voice on the motion moved by Senator R. M. Ndlovu on the difficulties being faced by our citizens staying on the borders of our country like Chiredzi South and Sovelele in Mwenezi for them to acquire birth certificates. The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa has always said that we do not have to leave anyone or any place behind on any services that are being offered by our Government. This includes these remote areas which should be included in services being provided by our Government.

          It is a right of every Zimbabwean to have an identity document. For one to be a bone fide citizen of Zimbabwe, one has to have a birth certificate which leads to one acquiring an identity card or a passport. For every child to register for any school examination, one needs to have a birth certificate. Most children in the far away areas of the country are finding it difficult to acquire birth certificates because of different reasons. One such reason is the distance from the Registrar’s Offices where one is required to bring witnesses to have a birth certificate, especially orphans whose parents would have passed on. They are told to come with witnesses and these offices are far away. They need a lot of money to travel to fund and feed these witnesses. It will be difficult for orphans to get these birth certificates.

          Most students are dropping out of school because they do not have documents which is a sad story and goes against the mantra of leaving no one and no place behind. In border areas like Chiredzi, some young people will end up crossing the border into neighbouring countries like South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana to work on farms because they would have failed to proceed with school due to lack of birth certificates. Brilliant children are denied a chance to showcase their talents as they fail to finish school because of lack of birth certificates.

          I now urge Government to make sure requirements for one to have a birth certificate should be favourable and relaxed so that all disadvantaged children and citizens can have birth certificates without any difficulties. Roads in remote areas should be graded so that citizens can travel easily to Registrar General’s Offices.

          Mobile registration teams should be sent to these very remote areas for citizens to be able to access birth certificates. Government should not only wait for election period to send these teams, but should do it even now before we go for elections – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] -

          The Minister of Home Affairs should take heed of this call for assisting our people living in the border areas to acquire birth certificates. Services should go to the people and not for the people to walk or travel long distances to seek services.  

          The President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa always says that people should not walk long distances and all civil servants should practice servant leadership, hence the need for the Ministry to make sure they go and serve the people from their areas. There are vulnerable groups like the disabled, orphans, single mothers and some poor people who live in the remote areas who can live with their children and wives without birth certificates, yet it would be their right to have birth certificates for their children. One can marry and have children with a father who does not have a birth certificate. The mother too would not have birth certificates and how do we expect the child to have that birth certificate?

          Government needs to take this issue seriously and serve its people, especially in the border areas since it is everyone’s right to acquire and have a birth certificate. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. PHULU: I was born in one of the border areas and I resided in border towns where there is no radio communication such that when you want to listen to the radio, you listen to the South African channels if you are in Beitbridge. If you are in Plumtree, you listen to radio stations in Botswana and if you are in Binga, you listen to stations in Zambia. After so many years after Independence, we have no reason to say there are other places that can be called remote. Even though they are at the border and far away, but for them to be called remote 40 years after Independence, it is something that is very upsetting. We need to look at it as Government and have a solution to it.

          We need to amend NDS1 in order to make sure that for every development that we are mentioning in this House, there is prioritisation of border towns. We can have good roads in Bulawayo, Harare and Gweru, but why is that the budget is insufficient and we remain with no roads that lead to the border towns. If you look at Matabeleland South Gwanda Road is in a bad state – in between there are no roads. We are preparing a motion on roads and we are going to debate that. This is one cause that is making it difficult for people to go and access birth certificates. If you are in areas like Bambadzi and you are supposed to get your birth certificate in Plumtree, there are no roads that lead to Plumtree. The buses cannot make it to these destinations because there are no roads. We are appealing to Government to look into this issue and have accessible roads to service centres.

          If we look into decentralisation and devolution policy of this country, which I have never heard us debating that much in this House and I have not heard its implementation. As we are talking right now, there are development officers who were elected by the people who have not made any visible tasks. Devolution makes references of these issues that Government services are supposed to spread countrywide and be present at Bambadzi. There should be electricity and a Registrar Office where people in need of birth certificates go to.

          The motion that was brought in by Hon. Ndlovu makes reference to this other silent issue – even in Bulawayo and Harare, there are children that do not have birth certificates. Border towns have more challenges than those found in urban centres like Harare. In these border towns for example, the father is in Botswana and the child grows up to five years.  They do not even know how to register this child and it is a long journey to travel to Bulawayo and you will be told that they want the father and also the father’s relatives but the father will be staying in Botswana. This is a challenge which is perpetuating the issue that children are failing to access birth certificates.  We need also to look into this issue.  The Constitution of this country [Chapter 3] looks into the issues of citizenship. 

The Government has amended this section. Before, children without enough documentation were really faced with a great challenge on how to access birth certificates.  They end up going to the courts and will just be given any male around the area and told he now belongs to John; he is his son or child.  For now, there is no person who is denied citizenship and it is not possible for a Zimbabwe citizen to stay in the country without proper documents. The law permits that people should have citizenship documents, but we are lacking implementation measures on such issues. Those at the Registrar’s office are supposed to be brought for oral evidence by the relevant Committees and be asked their position since the Constitution states that everyone is supposed to have documents.  Those with the fathers that are not present, what are the measures that are being done for them to have proper documents?  With those words, I support this motion that was brought by Hon. Sen. Ndlovu and I support the recommendations.  There must be mobile birth certificate registrations that spread countrywide and targeting the border town areas such that if they are given two to three months intensively, everyone will be able to register.  Those who would have missed out, we can now implement other policy measures that can make it easy for those people to be assisted.   Officers that are deployed in these areas need to be trained so that they understand that people can go to Botswana and come back to Zimbabwe without going through the border towns.  They must be well conversant with the languages of those areas. This is one issue that is causing a hinderance in the allocation and issuance of birth certificates. I want to invite every Senator to come and support this motion in this Senate because this is a motion that will assist the children of Zimbabwe.

HON: SEN. TSHABANGU: Thank you very much Mr. President. I do not know whether the rules will allow me to present the report which was done by the Methodist Church.  I just want to pick a few things from that report and flag them out. They were interviewing students in these remote areas who happen to find themselves in this predicament of failing to have national identity cards because of various reasons.  For this august Senate to get the sense of what I am trying to put across, I want the august Senate to connect to feelings of the children who are unable to secure these important documents. If Mr. President you will allow me just to pick two, three or four and then we can, as we move…

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Go ahead.

HON. SEN TSHABANGU: Mr. President, the ratio is about 44% of the children who do not have documents in various areas of our communities. One child in a certain school that I am not going to mention, when he was asked about his story, this is what he responded; ‘I do not have a birth certificate because my parents separated when I was very young. I am staying with my grandparents who are very old’. The other one said his father lacks transportation and money to enable him to process the birth certificate despite the fact that this will enable him to access education.  The other one said, ‘I am staying with my parents but they do not have the money for me to travel to the Registrar’s office’.  The fifth one said, her parents are divorced, ‘I am staying with my mother who does not have a birth certificate and identity card to enable me to process my birth certificate. This is beyond my control, but my wish is to have a birth certificate like other children.’ The other one said, her situation is similar, her father died and she is staying with her grandmother. She does not have money to take her to the Registrar’s offices for her to attain the birth certificate. The other one said, ‘my parents divorced, my mother remarried and left me in the care of my grandparents. When my mother remarried, she never looked back on us and I did not manage to secure a birth certificate which is a pre-requisite for me to sit my Ordinary level of examination. The issue is eating me day and night.  I do not know what I should do, whether I am going to write my O’ Level examination, only God knows.’ She continued and said, ‘I am a bright student in school, I am afraid I might fail to sit for the examination and my future will be doomed.’

Mr. President, these were stories of our children today who are living in the outskirts of this country, who cannot access education because without a birth certificate, you may not sit for examination; you may not be enrolled in any school.  These are the circumstances of our children who have lost their parents under difficult and different circumstances.  They are unable to attain and get proper education.  It is my plea, when I listened, the reason why I put this, everyone of us in this House is a father; is a mother; is a grandparent.  One way or the other, we have children; great grandchildren, I put this so that we can attach our contributions so that we can attach whatever feelings that we have to those children who are yearning to be heard;  to those children who are voiceless; to those children who do not have these important documents to this date.

          I am putting across this message to you; to this House so that we make sure that the Government of the day facilitate, put programme institutions that will make it easier for every child who is born on this earth to be identified.  It is important, if there is something that anybody can take everything away from us, but nobody can take away our identity – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- These children, we are taking away their identity.  We are depriving them of their identity, which is enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe which we fought for, which our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers fought for – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          Mr. President, I know two good friends of mine from the other bench, I have learnt a lot and I will continue to learn a lot.  They have voted for this sternly.  They have the experience.  They have got the wisdom and I admire them. May God bless them on the other bench.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. R. M. NDLOVU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. D. M. NCUBE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

MOTION

REHABILITATION OF CENTRES FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN THE STREETS

Fifteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the plight of children on the streets.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to conclude the motion that I brought to this House, pertaining to the issue of children living on the streets.  This motion touched the hearts of all Senators in this House.  The way it was debated showed that this problem of children living in the streets is a nationwide problem.  I want to express my gratitude on the way the motion was debated because it brought out many issues and a lot of recommendations in order to curb his problem in our country.  All Senators showed that they have an interest in seeing this problem over because of the recommendations they shared in this House.  This showed oneness.   If the recommendations that came from Hon. Senators are taken on board, this problem will be a thing of the past. 

My appeal is that if we bring such motions in this House, the responsible Minister should at least read our debates so that he responds – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – He should come and tell us what they are doing as a Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in order to curb this problem.  We know this problem cannot be solved in a short space of time but at least if the Minister comes and assures us that he has read in the Hansard what we discussed as Senators, we would be happy.  He can tell us steps they are taking in order to implement our recommendations. If they remain silent, we would not know whether they value these contributions and whether they are doing anything in order to curb this scourge in our country.  We might think that they are saying you debated this motion, but as a Ministry we are doing nothing about it, which makes us unappreciated.  This matter touches on the health and well-being of children living in the streets. 

There is this motion which was in this House concerning children without birth certificates, who cannot go to school, even those who are intelligent, they are affected if they do not have birth certificates.  It is a very important motion which you Mr. President, can take our message to the Minister that Senators are appealing to you that when we bring a motion in the House, can you please come and share with them what you are doing as a Ministry.  It was once done when there was a motion on gender.  The Minister came and explained to us that he had read our debates and told us what they were doing as a Ministry.  This gives us courage to continue crafting motions because we would be aware that those on the helm of this Ministry are also with us.  They read and take on board our recommendations and also advise us on what they will be doing in line with the problem at hand.  I now move that this House adopts the motion.

Motion that this House –

RECOGNISING Government's commitment to vision 2030 of leaving no one and no place behind;

ACKNOWLEDGING Government's endeavours and initiatives to provide shelter for street children;

CONCERNED about the increasing number of children opting to live in the streets;

DISTURBED that these children are exposed to extreme health hazards, crime and abuse;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon:-

   a) The Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion to avail more resources to the Department of Social Welfare to enable rehabilitation centres that will accommodate children living in the streets in recruitment of more social workers;

    b) The Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Entreprises Development to invest in programmes that improve the livelihood of vulnerable families and reduce poverty at the household level; and

   c) The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to promote family integration in all its programmes, put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Sixteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th May, 2024.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA, seconded by HON. SEN. RUNGANI, the House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

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