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SENATE HANSARD 2 OCTOBER 2013 VOL. 23 NO. 07

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 2nd October, 2013.

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

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT

APPOINTMENT TO STANDING RULES AND ORDERS

COMMITTEE

          THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I would like to inform the Senate

that pursuant to Section 151 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,

Parliament must appoint a Committee to be known as the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.  In line with provisions of Section 151(2) (c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, the President Cde R.G. Mugabe has appointed the following to be members of the

Committee on Standing Rules and Orders: Hon. P. A Chinamasa,

Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Dr. S.T Sekeramayi, Minister of Defence, Hon. S.G.G Nyoni, Minister of Small Enterprises and Cooperative Development.  Pursuant to Section 151(2) (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Hon E.D. Mnangagwa has been appointed as the Leader of Government Business in Parliament.

In line with Section 151(2) (e) and 151(2) (f),  MDC has made the following appointments to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders;

Hon. T. Khupe, Leader of the Opposition in each House, Hon. I. Gonese, Chief Whip in the National Assembly and S. Mlotshwa, Chief Whip in the Senate.  We are still awaiting other members to be appointed to the Committee in terms of Section 151(2)(h) and 151(2)(i).

PROHIBITION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES DURING SITTINGS

OF PARLIAMENT

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  I also have to inform the Senate

that the Members’ Bar, with immediate effect, will not serve any alcoholic beverages during sitting of the Senate.  Only soft drinks will be served.

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: May I remind hon. senators to

switch off their cellphones before business commences.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

First Order Read: Adjourned debate on the motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

SENATOR MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  First and foremost, I would like to congratulate Madam Edna Madzongwe for retaining her seat as President of the Senate.  I would also want to congratulate you as Deputy President of the Senate.  Furthermore, I would like to congratulate the President for attaining his Presidency to rule the country of Zimbabwe.  I want also to thank Senator Monica Mutsvangwa for moving this motion.

Mr. President Sir, during the speech of the President, you will find that the President touched on a lot of issues, but I want mostly to talk about the livestock production.  You will realise that Mr. President, I come from Matabeleland South, which is in Region 5, where there is very little rainfall, which is below average.  In such areas; you will find that it is not only Matabeleland South; there are areas like some parts of Manicaland, Matabeleland North and some parts of Masvingo which are affected by this climate.  As a result, those areas I am talking about, received very little rainfall and they have poor harvest.  During the previous season, they did not harvest anything due to harsh weather.  By the end of last year, Matabeleland recorded a total of 9 272 cattle deaths due to the effects of drought. The most affected was Mangwe District with 5 476, followed by Matobo with 1 232, then Beitbridge with 1 015.  What does it mean?  It means that the national herd has been severely depleted due to years of adverse weather and harsh economic conditions.

The national herd currently stands at just over 5.2 million cattle.  Livestock is a critical asset in our societies for food, drought power, income and as value for wealth.  We are deep into that time of the year where cattle herds may dwindle to even more scary figures, especially if the rains remain erratic while mitigation efforts fail to reach the people.

When we speak of mitigation efforts, we are looking at the provision of tractors and balers so that as we approach the rainy season, we can harvest our little grass that we have and reserve it for the future in order for our cattle to survive.

Mr. President, His Excellency, mentioned the livestock-droughtmitigation programme, which comes as part of the Government’s drought mitigation efforts, aimed at complementing the current drive to rebuild the National Herd.  It is welcome news that the programme is in full swing.  Some farmers have already received the hay that is being cut and posted to affected areas.  We have also received some rations for pen-fattening and the supplementary feed for beef survival.  We welcome the idea because the national herd was going to perish.  Mr. President, in line with what was mentioned by the President, the emphasis will increase towards irrigation and water harvesting.  If we only speak about the feed that we get, we will not have spoken about the true picture of what is taking place in the areas.  Even water is a problem, the livestock hardly gets enough water and there is need for us to harvest more water in these drought prone areas. There are so many ways of harvesting water; we can drill boreholes in these areas, harvest running water in small rivers through construction of dams so that our cattle get enough water.

Mr. President, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, should consider repairing and deepening boreholes in order to improve water yields.  Currently, there is a high risk of losing livestock due to weaknesses caused by lack of pastures and travelling long distances in search of water.  The ministry must also find a lasting solution to the rampant veld fires countrywide.  Mr. President, I was worried and shocked by the veld fires in the areas situated just after Masvingo.  If these veld fires continue, the country will be a desert within the next few years and there will be no more cattle or livestock to talk about.

Mr. President, it is a sad fact that a good number of our farmers in Region 5 did not harvest much due to poor rains.  Many families continue to lose their hard earned assets to grain traders and farming contractors’ debt collectors, particularly in reference to cotton farmers.

Over the years, Government and Non-Governmental Organisations have been rescuing the situation through food handouts.  However, these efforts are mere supplementary and inadequate for us to be comfortable with because we cannot supplement where nothing has been harvested.  In these areas, people did not harvest anything and as a result, there is hunger.

It is high time that the Government should dig deep into the establishment of widespread irrigation farming in arid regions.  Mr. President, apart from rearing livestock, people in Region 5 can survive through irrigation schemes; it is another solution for their problem. Most of the irrigation schemes that I am speaking about are not functioning.  There is need for a lot of rehabilitation for these irrigation schemes in order for our people to survive.  I would like to thank the Government of Zimbabwe for working very hard on the Mtshabezi dam project for reticulating water to Bulawayo.  It is indeed, a good gesture.  I would also like to comment on the irrigation scheme in my constituency, which is doing nothing at the moment, particularly the Zhobe dam.  It was built some years ago and there was a plan for an irrigation scheme which was done along the dam.  Unfortunately, that irrigation scheme never commenced.  I understand that the plans are there, but there is nothing happening. I would like to urge the Government to speed up this irrigation scheme so that people from Beitbridge would survive.

Mr. President, the Harmonised Social Cash Transfer Programme,  where more than 32 000 households in 11 districts, received a monthly allowance of $25 each, from the Government is a big step in curbing the drought effects and should be kept running.  The Government has commenced a 150 000 tonnes of maize importation programme, which should relieve several households in the priority areas such as Matebeleland South, Matebeleland North, Midlands, Masvingo and some parts of Manicaland.  However, it is disheartening that Zimbabwe, which was once called the Bread-basket of Africa, is now importing such amounts of grain.  Mr. President, now we have the land  to till, the people of Zimbabwe must work.  Given the lack of adequate capital faced by new farmers, it is a welcome move by the President to reassure the nation that the Government will provide farmers with inputs and better marketing incentives.  More support is needed with regards to farming implements, even if it means at district level to assist farmers in turn.

At the end of the farming cycle, the need for the operationalisation of the Commodity Exchange of Zimbabwe cannot be put better than what the President said.  Indeed, it should be hastened so that even as farmers put seed into the ground, they will be having a clear picture of what to anticipate and therefore plan accordingly.  In such times when adverse weather conditions are persistently taking a toll on small scale farmers, it is unacceptable and evil to allow their further exploitation at the hands of the monopoly of unscrupulous buyers.

Mr. President Sir, my speech would not be complete if I do not talk about the Beitbridge via Masvingo road because this road has taken a large population of Zimbabwe through accidents.  The road is very narrow and it is very old, with a lot of potholes.  If we consider roads to be maintained, to me, that road would be number one because this road

is the gateway into Zimbabwe.  It takes the face of Zimbabwe into Africa.  Every tourist who comes through South Africa travels along that road and the road is so bad.  You can hardly take a journey from here to Beitbridge without coming across two or three fatal accidents.  I know the President talked of plans to repair that road, of which it is on course, but it has not started and people are dying every day.  I think there should be speedy work towards repairing that road.

Mr. President Sir, I will also not forget about the Beitbridge border post.  Everyone, when thinking of going to South Africa, passes through that border post, which is an eye sore because the border is too small at the moment.  This border post, everyday, has about over 200 buses going and coming from South Africa and yet it is still as small as it was some 10 or 15 years ago.  You can imagine the population of the people who are crossing that border daily from our own country and other countries, yet the border is so small.  I think it is high time we think about it because if I am talking about Beitbridge border post, it is the post that brings in more money to this country than any other post.

Almost 70% of the revenue of Zimbabwe comes from that border and we should look after it.  With these few words, Mr. President, I thank you.

SENATOR GOTO:  Mr. President Sir, and hon. senators, I want to congratulate the new President of the Senate and Deputy President of the Senate.  I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Mutsvangwa and His Excellency for his address to Parliament on the occasion of the Official Opening of the First Session of the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe.

Mr. President Sir, allow me to thank the Zimbabwean people who brought our country back home, called Zimbabwe, by electing a ZANUPF Government; principled people, a determined party.

Mr. President Sir, I want to thank the President for his call against corruption.  This shows that His Excellency is a principled person.  We must all follow his example.  Corruption has killed our country and has become sanction number two after the sanctions imposed by western imperialists.  It must be fought against by the Zimbabwean people.

Mr. President Sir, I would also want to thank His Excellency for alluding his strong support for the inputs programme.  The agricultural sector in the country succeeds through the aid from the Government.  We thank you, your Excellency, for fulfilling your election promises.  I want to call upon the responsible department, which will be implementing farmer support services, to heed to the President’s call to shun corruption, the unnecessary evil.  Let us utilise our resources, land in particular, in a productive manner; the daily saying by His Excellency.

I hope the infrastructure challenges we faced in 2011 will be implemented this time around by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, especially the narrow road from

Mushandirapamwe to Wedza Growth Point in Mashonaland East Province should be widened.  Let us deliver now, what we promised the people.  Let us work hard so that our Government does not go down.

We should not depend on donors, it kills us.  I thank you.     *SENATOR MACHINGAIFA:  Thank you Mr. President, I am

Senator Machingaifa.  Firstly, I would like to congratulate the President of the Senate, Senator Edna Madzongwe on her election, as well as the election of her deputy who is the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Chimutengwende. I would also want to congratulate all of us as senators on our election to this august Senate.

I would want to extend my congratulations and best wishes to His Excellency President R.G. Mugabe on his landslide victory in the recent harmonized elections.  Here in Zimbabwe we see His Excellency as our God and our savior; he saves us.  I would liken His Excellency in biblical terms to the time when Peter struck off the ear of one of the people who had come to arrest Jesus and Jesus took the ear and placed it back.  No one in Zimbabwe can do that except President Mugabe.

Mr. President, I would want to thank the people for what they did because they brought the country which was in the doldrums back to the correct path.  His Excellency, touched on a number of issues.  When he said so, he was laying the groundwork so that the ministers who are Zimbabwe’s capable and able sons and daughters can then follow.

I will touch on water, specifically dams.  The ministers that are responsible for dams should assist us.  I once read a certain book once upon a time which says water should be harnessed when there is rainfall because once you fail to harness it you have lost it.  Harness it through dams or any forms of harvesting so that you can use it for livestock or even crops.

I would also want to touch on the other issue concerning stock feed.  Livestock is having a torrid time as a result of veld fires.  Is there something we can do about it?  I think the ministers responsible should come up with a project of grass cutting so that this can be used as stock feed during the summer times so as to save our livestock.

In Mashonaland East where I come from especially in Hurungwe, we have tobacco farmers.  I appeal that Hurungwe and Karoi should have tobacco auction floors because we have the problem of having most of the money that is made in Karoi and Hurungwe being spent in Harare.  If we had tobacco auction floor most of that money would have been used in that area.  In Hurungwe West the Member of Parliament who was there did not complete his or her duty.  There is Nyamhunga Clinic which is in a sorry state.  If the Ministry of Health were to look into that clinic, they should address the anomalies bearing in mind that there are people who need to access it.

Before I finish off, if it were possible, farmers in Hurungwe could have an agricultural training college to teach the youngsters about farming, specifically tobacco growing.

Lastly, it is the issue which without being mentioned would leave my debate incomplete.  There is a road that leads from Magunje and at the moment it is not tarred.  There is also the road from Magunje to Makande; during the rainy season, it is not accessible.  In fact it could be accessible by boats instead of motor vehicles.  The minister responsible should address this situation because we promised people that we are going to deliver hence that translated into landslide victory.  Therefore, this is the time to come together and come up with new programmes and deliver to the people.  I thank you so much Mr. President and all the hon. senators who have listened to my debate.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR LIAISING ON PSYCHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN EDUCATION (SENATOR

HUNGWE):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 8th October, 2013.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR LIAISING ON PSYCHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN EDUCATION, the Senate

th adjourned at Six Minutes past Three o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 8 October, 2013.

 

 

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