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SENATE HANSARD 3 MARCH 2022 VOL 31 NO 24
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 3rd March, 2022
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Today is Thursday and according to the Standing Orders, it is the day for questions and we start with Questions Without Notice. I have a list of Ministers who have tendered apologies and it is as follows:
Hon. C. D. G. N Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. V. P. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement; Hon. M Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services; Hon. D. Karoro, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement; Hon. D. Phuti, Deputy Minister of Information, Communication, Technology, Postal and Courier Services; Hon. J. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. Prof Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Hon. Prof. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Hon. Ziyambi, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
In the Chamber today, we have the following Ministers: Hon. Zhemu Soda, Minister of Energy and Power Development; Hon. Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development; Hon. Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Hon. E. Moyo, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and Hon. Musabayana, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you President of Senate. My question was directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, but I do not know if I can direct it to the Leader of the House.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I do not see the Leader of the House, but Hon. Kazembe will answer.
*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Mr. President. My question is - this year we did not receive good rains, do we have reserves for maize in our GMB silos so that if we are faced with a drought, we will have enough food?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. President Sir. Let me thank the Hon. Senator for his question. Yes, as Government, we always anticipate such things. For sure, we did get good rains but the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement said that he will bring a report in the next Cabinet meeting after investigating. We should not jump to say that we will have hunger. He is going to do a good investigation, but last week Cabinet agreed that those who want to import grains, they have removed the law which restricts people from importing grains. The Government is ready, but as I speak, there is a ministerial committee which was set up by the President which is looking into those issues of grain mobilisation. In short, I am saying our President always says that no one will die of hunger. As what the Government has been doing in the past, I want to assure this House that no one will die of hunger as our President always says.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care has just joined us, Hon. Dr. Mangwiro.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Hon. President. I listened to the Minister talking about importation of maize and other things in case there is hunger. Up to yesterday, the borders were not open. If there is any shortage of anything, the borders have not been opened although Government has pronounced that they are open to allow people to cross the borders, even to import anything.
HON. KAZEMBE: I would like to thank Hon, Sen. Eng. Mudzuri for the pertinent follow up question. Yes, Government declared the borders open. There was an issue of the Statutory Instrument which was supposed to be gazetted to operationalise that directive. That was dealt with by way of an order which I signed as the Minister of Home Affairs, to operationalise that directive that all the SIs must have been gazetted by now. If not, I would like to believe that it will be gazetted by tomorrow, but it was signed and it went to the AG. It was approved and it should have been gazetted. So I would like to believe that either today or tomorrow, it will be gazetted to operationalise that directive. I thank you Mr. President.
(v)HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Hon. Musabayana. I would like to find out from the Minister, what measures the Government has in place for our Zimbabwean students stranded in Ukraine due to the conflict? What plan is there to evacuate them? Thank you.
THE DEPUTYMINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA): I want to thank the Hon. Member for asking a very pertinent and contemporary matter. Mr. President, the Government, even before the outbreak of the war, had put in place mechanisms to ensure that our people who were willing or who feared for their safety could move to zones of safety. So our embassy in Berlin was doing the coordination, what we call the Berlin-Ukraine Coordination and in that process, we managed to register a number of students who wanted to move out of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the first few days, there was some skepticism. Some people did not believe that our Government could assist or really meant to assist the people, so very few people registered but when the war broke out, a number of students then registered. We have created a whatsapp platform group. About 257 students registered. The capacity was filled and another group was registered and most of the students are now communicating with our embassy in Berlin but over and above that, we have also managed to assist a number of students. I think there was a public announcement through Cabinet. I would not want to repeat that, but we continue to mobilise and assist and we have set up stations around Ukraine-Moldova, a Ukraine border, the Hungary-Ukraine border, the Poland-Ukraine border, the Romania-Ukraine border and the Russia-Ukraine border.
The only challenge that we have is, at one point we had some reports or allegations that Africans were not allowed to board trains to move out of Ukraine because some officials in Ukraine were favouring Caucasians, Indians and other races. We are yet to confirm that. Our Embassy in Berlin has since written to the EU requesting for safe passage of Zimbabweans. We have also written to the Russian Federation to ensure our citizenry get safe passage. We have gotten a positive response from Russia but EU did not assure us that they will assist because they said it would have been easier if Ukraine was part of EU. So to date, that is what we have done but we have also put together and funded our Mission in Russia to ensure that all the citizenry that pass through Russia would be able to be assisted and evacuated.
Unfortunately, the past few days, things have since changed because Russia was removed from the swift platform of transferring money and because of that, we are now trying to see how best we can move those funds to another Mission that can access the funds and be able to assist our students to zones of safety. The President is indeed concerned about the safety and interest of our people in Ukraine and has ensured that we mobilise enough resources to bring them back to safety.
Having said that, it is important to highlight that there are certain cities where it is no longer very safe for those students to move, like the city that they call Kyiv. It is now impossible to move out of those cities and people are encouraged to stay in bunkers. It is important even for the parents to instruct their children or relatives accordingly so that they move as per the instruction that they have on the ground. I submit Mr. President.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: I must thank the Minister for a very elaborate answer. My question is, once you have put resources into an emergency like the Russian one, what is Government policy towards those who might have managed to go without going through the embassy? They might need to get some refund because they might not have had enough resources to come back home or do anything? Is Government going to refund some of those and also, was it not more important to give the German Consulate more resources since it is the one coordinating everything rather than Russia?
HON. DR. MUSABAYANA: I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mudzuri for the important issues that he has raised. There are two parts to the question as to what will happen to those that would have self-evacuated in terms of Government assisting those. Secondly, why are we not resourcing the Mission that is closer to the people to evacuate our citizens?
Mr. President, I think it is important to say that this is a war which was not planned, anticipated or budgeted for. Yes, we have contingency but in terms of our contingency, I think it is important to know that it is focused on those that have challenges with capacity to raise the funds. If people have capacity to evacuate, because most of those students are private students who have gone for private studies using their private resources, which means in essence they have the capacity to move back home. As Government, until and when resources are available, yes it can be discussed but when that arises I am sure it will also involve the august House to give them the go ahead to fund such activities.
For those that do not have capacity, like I have said - Government has mobilised. We also have private individuals or Zimbabweans who have offered to assist in evacuating the children or students who are in Ukraine, especially those that do not have capacity to use their own resources. As for the framework for those that have moved but want refund, I am sure we stand guided by Parliament because they are the ones who authorise such expenditures. Government or the Executive alone cannot make such decisions.
Before I sit down, it is important to say we have deployed enough resources around those countries that have access, capacity and capabilities to repatriate our students. I thank you.
THE HON DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Need I remind Hon. Senators that when you come into the Chamber, switch off your gadgets or put it on silent. I will not tolerate any further disturbance of business of the House.
We have been joined by two other Ministers; Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Hon. Sen. Matuke and Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Kambamura and also the Minister of Industry and Commerce has joined us Hon. Dr. Kanhutu-Nzenza.
(v)HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. In line with open market principles, does his Ministry have plans to remove the ban on private commuter operators to ease the transport challenges that the country is currently facing?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mpofu for that very important question. With your indulgence Mr. President, the purview of urban transport management system falls with the Ministry of Local Government. As the parent Ministry which superintends over the issuance of permits, that is where we come into play. According to Hon. Sen. Mpofu, the question that he raised was a Cabinet decision to ban commuter omnibuses from our cities and this is the status quo as we speak. I am sure further indulgence in that regard, the Minister of Local Government will be better placed to articulate that case. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Mpofu, you can speed up the process of getting a response by submitting a written question but the Minister will be in next week.
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Mr. President. My question was supposed to be directed to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation but because she is not in, I am not too sure whether Hon. Minister Kazembe may assist.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: He will try and answer it.
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Mr. President, may the Hon. Minister favour this august House by explaining to us what Government is going to do via its Ministry and the implementing arm, Sports and Recreation Commission now that Zimbabwe has been suspended by FIFA, and the world football governing body from all football activities that are run by FIFA, including Confederation of African Football inter-clubs competitions? This virtually means all our teams, in terms of football, are grounded. This means ZIFA cannot get funding from FIFA and no training conducted can be attended by our officials. Our footballers, the talented footballers who are dreaming of plying their trade abroad are no longer going there because they have been closed. What are the measures that the Government is going to take? I submit.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. President and allow me to thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi for the pertinent question. I would like to believe that it is a question being asked by most Zimbabweans. When things took a turn within ZIFA, this is one of the expectations. However, there are a number of issues that are being dealt with by the Ministry through SRC. There are a number of issues where ZIFA or SRC are in communication with FIFA. Among the things that I am referring to, there are also issues to do with court cases that affect the same people.
There are issues of allegation of sexual harassment that affect the same people and there are a lot of other things that councillors are discussing among themselves. So a lot is happening but it is the intention of this Government to see our Zimbabwean footballers, even the females who play football to really exercise and develop their potential by competing with other nations. It is not the intention of Government to disrupt soccer in the country but Government wants to see things happening in the proper way.
You even heard on the Youth Day, His Excellency the President also alluded to that fact that fraud and criminality must be avoided in our sport. As Government, we will not allow people to engage in fraudulent activities and all these other activities that have been alleged to have happened whilst we watch. The whole idea is to have clean football. We have had problems and to be very honest, how much have we been benefitting as a country from the current set up even if we had not been banned? It is a question of attempting to compete and the results have been mediocrity if you like. Government’s intention is to ensure that football is administered properly in the country. I hope and trust that the engagements that are taking place within SRC and ZIFA will bring better results for the country. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for according this opportunity. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. I want to find out on the plan that the Government has taken in trying to rectify the plight of teachers for them to go back to work. Is there any monitoring going on to find out whether they are doing their work properly?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very much Mr. President and thank you very much to the Hon. Sen. for that question. Government has already attended to issues that have been raised by our teacher unions regarding their welfare. I am sure that this past week, you might have read in the papers that an agreement has been signed at NJNC. So, regarding that issue in our view, it is already a closed chapter and when you look at the situation in the schools currently, most of our teachers, above 95% are back at work. Our situation in the schools is now back to normal. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to pose a question. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport. I want to know the Ministry’s plans about the Chilonga Bridge because people are perishing since 2000?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President and I thank the Hon. Sen. Maluleke for that question. I thank you Mr. President for reminding us that these kinds of questions must be written down to enable adequate time to research and prepare for the response. I however applaud His Excellency the President, for giving the people of Chiredzi a listening ear. When we went to see this bridge, we found out that the soil composition to support this bridge requires certain type of machinery and certain depth so that we will not have a problem of this bridge collapsing again.
I want to let the people of Chiredzi know that we are solving this problem. We are not limited to the bridge only but right now, we are in the process of rehabilitating their roads. After that we will now reconstruct the bridges.
(v)HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to ask this question. My question goes to the Minister of Home Affairs. Hon. Minister, for the recent past days, there have been robberies being perpetrated on our citizenry by private commuter operators who are not operating under the ZUPCO flagship, popularly known as mushikashika. What is the Government doing to try and make sure that our people are safe when they travel? The second part of the question is; we know and the Minister has already said that it is still our policy that public transport should be provided by commuters who are registered under the ZUPCO. Why do police allow these people to ply our public roads carrying people whom they eventually rob? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. President and I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for the questions. I will start with the first question where the Hon. Senator said there is an increase in robberies as a result of people using the mushikamushikas and what the police is doing. Mr. President, the police is doing its utmost best to bring to book everyone who is committing crime regardless of whether they are mushikashika or legally authorised transport. So, I can assure the Hon. Senator that the police will arrest anyone who commits crime. In fact, of late, we have heard newspapers and statistics of people and criminals that are being apprehended and this is happening every day. Only yesterday, we had armed robbers who were arrested and this is happening every day. So the police will continue to arrest anyone who commits crime regardless of whether they are using mushikashikas or not. I would like to thank you.
(v)*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: My supplementary is that the issue of robberies is a serious one, people are being robbed daily. As a Ministry, what are you doing to ban these mushikashikas on the roads?
*HON. KAZEMBE: I thank the Hon. Senator for the question. Firstly, these vehicles we call mushikashika; I understand we will be referring to those small vehicles. When these small cars start operating as commuter omnibuses, that is when they will be given the name mushikashika. What I want the Hon. Senator to know is that everybody uses their own personal small cars. When they pass through a roadblock without carrying people, you cannot tell whether these vehicles are mushikashikas or not. What they will do then thereafter you will not be able to tell. We cannot ban these small cars from plying our roads because we do not know whether their intention is to carry people or it is ordinary citizenry traveling in their cars. The policy is that small vehicles that are not meant to carry passengers must not carry passengers just as what ZUPCO operators do. We cannot ban them from plying our roads. What I have to assure the Hon. Member is that whoever commits a crime will face the rule of law, whether they are in a mushikashika or Benz. I thank you.
(V)HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA: Thank you very much. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and it is about the new mode of vehicles which are using electricity. I read that some driving schools have purchased these cars and they are now in the country. Is there policy and any research done to see the feasibility of these cars and how they will assist us? I thank you very much.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Sen Chief Mathupula for the pertinent question. In any given nation, issues to do with climate change mitigation and adaptation is the zeal and the drive where we are moving in that trajectory. As a country, we are also trying to align ourselves to perform in that regard. The Hon. Senator has talked about CMED having procured electric vehicles and I am glad to say that is true but we do not have a policy in place yet to replace the traditional vehicles that we have. It is also my humble plea to the august House if they see it fit so that it becomes mandatory. However, as we speak, such kind of vehicles plying our roads are not many. We are happy that if we continue in that trajectory of procuring more electric vehicles, it is the way to go in this contemporary environment. I am sure that as we then move in that direction as a country, we would also be in a position to ensure that we educate our citizenry on the need to move in that direction. We have seen that in a number of jurisdictions they are moving along the way of procuring electric vehicles. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: We have also been joined by the Deputy Minister of Energy, Hon. Mudyiwa.
*HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy. What is Government policy on procurement of fuel in RTGs used by ZESA? ZESA employees are failing to execute their duties because they are waiting to get fuel sold using RTGS. What kind of government policy is this? For them to get foreign currency, they have to endure a very long and complicated process to have that approved. May the Hon Minister please explain that? I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Hon. Sen. Eng. Mudzuri for the important question. Zesa holdings is an entity that does its own administration. They are supposed to buy fuel using the money that they generate. They also get RTGs fuel from Petro-Trade but if they face serious challenges, they can always approach the Ministry for assistance. I think there are just administrative issues within ZESA Holdings.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: There is no need for a supplementary question. The Minister has said she is not aware, so we will ask her to find out and let us know how you are going to solve the problem.
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. What is government policy pertaining to the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Fund towards areas with three road authorities? We have such a scenario in the rural constituencies where other roads fall under the purview of the Ministry while others fall under local authorities and others under DDF. How do they disburse the funds to the three authorities?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Sen. Mathuthu for the important question. Allow me to make a presentation to this esteemed august House on the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme which was enunciated and championed by His Excellency, Cde E.D Mnangagwa last year in February.
Mr. President, the owner of roads is the Ministry of Transport, however we are also mandated to delegate authority of administering roads to road authorities, which therefore calls for the three road authorities; one which is under the purview of Ministry of Roads, local authorities and rural district councils. There comes a problem where the said authorities are not performing according to the dictates that they are supposed to be superintending over their roads. The Minister again is mandated by the Road Act 13:18 to take over the neglected roads. It is in the public domain that roads in our communities fall under the local authorities and we have seen that they are in a dilapidated state. Let me also thank and brag about the listening President again. He has seen it fit for us to go deeper into the local communities and take charge of those roads and as a Minister, I am also mandated, according to Section 5 of the same Act I have talked about, subsection 5, to buttress that. His Excellency therefore introduced the Statutory Instrument 47 of 2021 to support the taking over of roads and I am happy Hon. Sen. Mathuthu has raised that point.
We are no longer talking of road authorities as we stand. Because our roads are in a sorry state The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development is going deeper to take over roads and I want to assure the people of Zimbabwe that you will see us right in the communities, in the locations rehabilitating roads because local authorities have dismally failed to take charge of their roads and precisely, we are working on that. My team is busy now trying to scope a number of roads in these communities. You will see tremendous improvement towards rehabilitation of our roads, so do not be worried, Hon. Sen. Mathuthu, that this is a DDF, this is a rural district council or this one is a local authority road. You will see my team coming. Taking congnisance of the fact that resources are scarce, Mr. President, we therefore make a humble plea to the people of Zimbabwe so that they bear with us that we are using domestic resources and make sure that whatever we rehabilitate, we also want the support of the citizenry. Thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Hon. President. My supplementary is around the work that has been done so far. It is good that you have taken over the roads all over the country according to the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme. My supplementary question is around your policy towards quality control because some of the roads that have just been done have not lasted a season and there is such bad quality control that we might be pouring resources which are wasted within one season. What is your policy towards quality control in your take over?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. The issues of monitoring and evaluation were not in the First Republic. The coming of the Second Republic has come up with a vibrant monitoring and evaluation department and I can say in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, before paying, we have got a team of engineers that will go and supervise the works and not necessarily supervising, if we are reconstructing a road, we have got resident engineers on site. So the assertion that roads that are being rehabilitated are not lasting, you will find Mr. President, circulating on social media and I want to say and address the people of Zimbabwe that we have got weak roads that have not been rehabilitated for years. Precisely, the Emergency Road Rehabilitation phase 1 was doing the pothole patching in sections and after patching those, you then cover the sections. You do what we call fog spray and I am sure the engineer is very familiar. If you fog spray a road, you will then not tell where you have rehabilitated and patched potholes. So the weaker portions will come to develop potholes and that is what you have been seeing.
Now we have taken an approach to rehabilitate continuously a stretch of road so that if we rehabilitate 2km we are not just patching sections but we are rehabilitating the entire section. If I can give a good example the current road, our flagship road, Harare-Beitbridge Road, we are even going 2 metres deep to reconstruct the roads. So there is no way that road will peel off but alas, you will find on social media some of the roads being circulated. The only reason, even some local authorities were doing pothole patching, grass cutting, but going forward, we want to make sure that if we rehabilitate a road, we would construct it properly so that we will not have cases of potholes surfacing along the way. So you will not see that happening and that was the reason behind the mushrooming of those potholes you were seeing because those sections were weaker and they were not rehabilitated completely. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: My question goes to the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Kazembe. Hon. Minister, over the past few days, we have seen a flaring up of politically motivated violence. The common one was the violence in Kwekwe where one person was killed. We have also seen violence in Gokwe, Dzivarasekwa as well as St Marys. My question is: what is the Government doing to forestall this ugly development in our country and in your answer, Minister, if you can advise us what the Government has done regarding the people who have perpetrated violence so far. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mwonzora for such a pertinent question. For starters, as a Government, we do not condone violence of any nature. Coming to political violence, His Excellency the President, on each and every opportunity, has spoken against violence, in particular political violence at each and every gathering. As Government, as police, we do not condone violence. Anyone who commits violence, be it political or any other form, will be accountable.
Speaking about the recent events, people have been arrested. What is very critical, Mr. President is that we need to be very careful. If we analyse where the violence is occurring, there is a pattern. There are a lot of gatherings but there is a pattern that we seem to be seeing. Nonetheless, violence is not condoned at all and no one is above the law. So those who have been involved in violence in recent incidents, the majority have been arrested.
Talking about the recent one which I think Hon. Sen. Mwonzora is referring to, the Kwekwe one, 16 people have already been arrested and I think there are five, if I am not mistaken, that are suspected to have been involved in the murder case of the one person. However, it is premature to point fingers at each other. Let us allow the police to carry out thorough investigations.
Mr. President, it is very sad and unfortunate that our people are quick to conclude investigations that are yet to be concluded. Like I said earlier on, there is no one who is above the law. So whenever an incidence of violence takes place, police will ensure that they get to the bottom of it to ascertain who caused it and who was involved and there will be no sacred cows. No one is above the law. We will get to the bottom of it but I want to appeal to the citizens to stop the blame game and allow the police to investigate. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. ENG MUDZURI: On a point of order. I am not disputing your ruling that the Hon. Minister must go and investigate. My point of order is, can the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development come back with an answer to this Senate because as the Minister of Energy, the answer lies with her to ensure that the utilities of Government work properly.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think I have already made a ruling that the Minister should come back with an answer. That is what you are worried about.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Yes.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have already made that ruling. Thank you very much.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by the HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 67.
ORAL ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE
GOVERNMENT BENEFITS FROM FOREIGN BASED MINING
- HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain to the House whether or not the Government is benefiting from foreign based mining companies.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): The mining sector plays a significant role in the economic development of the country. The sector continues to immensely contribute to the economic development of the country, contributing more than 60% of export receipts and more than 13% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Government is benefiting from foreign based mining companies in Zimbabwe in the form of their immense contribution through;
- Payment of royalties and taxes they contribute to the fiscus;
- Complimenting Government efforts by their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes that involve social and infrastructural support to local communities, thereby impacting much on local development outcomes. The mining industry’s role of CSR in the local communities compliments Government in promoting inclusive development in Zimbabwe. The extent of mining companies CSR addresses the key issue of natural resources governance;
- Infrastructure development in form of roads/railway lines, power lines and houses for employees. ZIMPLATS in Mhondoro constructed 80km road network from Selous to Mhondoro where their operations are;
- Employment creation for the local communities;
- Skills and technology transfer;
- Foreign Direct Investment, the coming in of the new dispensation has increased investor appetite. In that regard, the mining sector has received substantial foreign direct investments in the areas of exploration, opening up of new mines, resuscitation of old mines as well as expansion of existing operations. Therefore, a number of investment projects are at various levels of implementation. Notable investment projects that are either coming or bouncing back on stream include Caledonia Mining Corporation, Eureka Gold Mine, Bravura, Shamva Gold Mine, Muzarabani Oil and Gas Project and Tsingshan Iron Ore and Steel, Murowa Diamonds codenamed Jewel Project.
- By generating the much needed foreign currency in the form of revenue generated from export proceeds of our minerals produced. In 2021, the mining industry generated US$5.2 billion.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 67.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA), the Senate adjourned at Ten Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 8th March, 2022.