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SENATE HANSARD 30 MAY 2024 VOL 33 NO 55

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 30th May, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Today is Thursday and in terms of our Standing Orders, we start off with Questions Without Notice.  Before we go to Questions Without Notice, I do have a very long list of Ministers who have tendered apologies and it is as follows:  Hon. Prof. M. Ncube, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion; Hon. K. D. Mnangagwa, Deputy Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion; Hon. F. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. S. Chikomo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. B. Rwodzi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Hon. T. Mnangagwa, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Hon. K. Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Hon. C. Sanyatwe, Deputy Minister Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. P. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. E. Moyo, Minister of Energy and Power Development; Hon. W. Simbanegavi, Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development; Hon. S. Nyoni, Minister of Environment, Climate and Wildlife; Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence; Hon. D. Garwe, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. T. Mavetera, Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services; Hon. T. Moyo, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. Z. Soda, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. F. Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development; Hon. J. Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement; Hon. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement; Hon. R. Modi, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. O. Marupi, Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; Hon. S. Sibanda, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Hon. J. Mhlanga, Deputy Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development;  Hon. E. Jesaya, Deputy Minister of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture and Hon. O. Mazungunye, Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

          Those who are present, it is a small team.  Hon. Prof. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Hon. Phuti, Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services; Hon. Mavunga, Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs.  It is not an ideal situation.  Can we start with these three? Hopefully some will join us.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you very much Mr. President. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Hon. Prof. Murwira. What is Heritage 5. 0 based curriculum? May you educate this House what it is all about?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. President. I wish to thank Hon. Senator Shiri for that question on what Heritage based Education 5. 0 is.  I will take it in steps. First of all, I want to define what heritage is. Now, heritage describes our endowments. Our heritage is our minerals. Our heritage is our water resources. Our heritage are our plants, which are trees and herbs. Our heritage are our animals, which is our fauna. Our heritage is our climate. Our heritage is our people and our cultures.

When we go to school, university or whatever place of learning even dare chairo, we go there to learn how to perpetuate our society, how to make our people live well by providing their needs, but, the needs of people come from the heritage. Our food comes from our crops that we grow or animals that we rear. So the purpose of school is to teach people how to understand this universe, this nature, so that we are able to provide what they need, which is food, which is shelter, which is health, which is connection, transport communication, which is also innovation, kuchinja usavi. This is what people need.

When we say a country is developed, it means when we want food, we get it. When we want kurapwa, we get it, health. When we want shelter, we build it. When we want roads, we build them. When we want communication, we make phones. We provide for what people need. So if food is one and not zero, health is one, not zero and shelter is one, which means all of them are there. We say, we are developed, so life is good. In order for these things to be provided, they come from this nature. So we have nature or what we call heritage on our left hand and we have what we need to leave nicely in dignity on the right hand. In the middle is our learning process, to learn how to process this nature to what we need, the shelter and what I have been talking about. So the education is now what I am going to talking about, which is in the middle.

 Now, the education must convert or must produce knowledge and skill. For example, if in plants, to know what the plants are doing so that we can make medicine from them, so that we can make food from them and so that we can make furniture from them. It is very simple. School is supposed to make us eat food. School is supposed to make us have phones. School is supposed to make us have transport. That is education. Education is the conversion, understanding of nature, conversion of our nature into what we use every day, so that we say we are Zimbabweans and we are living well. If this is understood therefore, I say how do we learn? How were we learning?

Now, in the colonial era, we were learning how to save the colonial master. How to be employed as a clerk, as a nurse and how to listen to instructions from the boss so that we can do the boss’s things nicely. While the boss, during that time, was learning how to convert stones into metal, how to farm so that they are rich. So they were learning well, but as for us, we were given education for reading writing and reciting so that we could speak perfect English. I have always said, perfect English Mr. President, the professor of your language is your mother. That is why it is called your mother tongue. You do not go to school to learn language because this you are already taught by the professors, mothers and teachers, how to speak. School is supposed to make us understand our heritage so that we derive a living from it.

Therefore, we were taught to read, write and speak, which means teach, research and community service, they were workshops actually. When the Second Republic came in, we did an analysis and we discovered – let us call this education 3.0 so that we have a system in understanding. Why 3.0 – teaching, research and community service. We were having a situation in this country where we have literacy of 97%, but industry was going down. So then you wonder saka kudzidza kudii? togoti takadzidza tine zhara nekuti kudzidza hakufanirwe kukonzera zhara. We must be able to know what we are doing and be able to do things on our own. So the education that we were given was the education for serving the colonial masters. Now, we had to add the ingredients of education to make it produce goods and services that make us be able to make clothes, farm crops tiumbe hari dzedu, tigadzire mota dzedu.  Nekudaro we said the missing ingredients in our education were (1) heritage that was heritage that was talking about taidzidza zvinhu zvisinei nesu?Unonyatsokuona kuti ahhh munhu akanyatsokudzidza, but anenge achingotaura pamusoro paShakespeare. Normally Mr. President, we would say Shakespeare, Shakespeare, toti ndisekuru vako here Shakespeare.  Why have you and I had to know about Shakespeare? Ndisekuru vako here?

Anyway, then we said innovation and industrialisation is the aim of education. It is the aim that we put on clothes and shoes. We mend things that is the ultimate aim of education. Therefore, we added two elements to our education in the Second Republic, which are innovation and industrialisation. Now, we have education with five themes teaching, research, serving our people, innovation and industrialisation because the aim of a university kubika ma industry. The aim of a university kubika chikafu, kwete kubika zhara.

These five elements are the elements of a good education and these are the ones that make China what it is today. These are what makes United States what it is today. This is what makes the developed countries because they do not go to school kunoita zvekutamba.  Vanoenda kuchikoro kunoziva zvinhu kuti vagogona kugadzira ndege, zvikepe,sadza, Saka zvinhu zvese vanenge vainazvo because varikuzvidzidza daily. This is what we were doing before colonisation. That is how we built Great Zimbabwe. That is how we built Danhamombe. That is how we built Khame. This is how we built things because we were really busy doing things. All of a sudden, we started talking, he is very learned because Murwira anoposvonga chirungu. Chine basa rei? In China, they learn Physics without even learning English because physics has nothing to do with language, that is why you can do it in German, Portuguese, Spanish or Swahili.  Language is a tool for expressing yourself but in expressing yourself, science remains the same.  This is what we learnt.  In the Second Republic, we therefore said education has got to be transformed completely so that it has five aims and that it studies our heritage.  We cannot be studying Political Administration, BSc, when we have lions here.  We cannot study Elk, when we have balabala here, we cannot be studying things that have something to do with snow and ice, when we have never seen any here.  Therefore, our education has to take our heritage, use science, technology, innovation, biology, physics to understand how a musasa tree works, to understand how a muruma works, to understand how a mupembere  can be processed so that we can heal stomach aches, simple and straightforward – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –  I hope through this, I have explained the imperative of a complete revolution in our education so that it begins to speak to us nokuti vanoti hee  we are not employed but really a person comes from country x comes to your country, goes to an anthill, digs soil, makes hari  for you and you look for employment there, nevhu renyu.  This is what we have refused and we have said we have to change completely the way we look at education.  The results could be seen in two, five, twenty or thirty years.  It does not matter, as long as it goes into the future of a dignified Zimbabwe.  I thank you. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you.  I hope that clarifies what some people might not have been very clear on.  We have got one more Deputy Minister who has joined the Chamber; that is Hon. Kwidini, the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care.  You are welcome Deputy Minister.

          *HON. SEN. ZVIDZAI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I have a supplementary question to Hon. Prof. Murwira.   Now that the world is  a global village that from here to Greenland, it is taking seconds.  We are putting our people in paddocks so that they do not know more.  Are we not retrogressing because Zimbabwe has the knowledge to rule its country?

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. President and I also want to thank Hon. Senator Zvidzai for the question.  His question will help me to say, no, that is not what we are saying. We are saying the world in its formation, I will try to explain in Shona.  *The universe or the world has the laws of physics, the laws of gravity. If I light petrol, it will burn because it is returning energy to the sun where it got it from.  If a tree burns, it means it was created from the sun and it will return the energy to the sun.  The laws of universe are universal but the applications are specific. 

Hon. President, if we have known that the mupembere tree is the same as the maple tree of Canada, we cannot go and get a maple tree from Canada for people to learn about trees.  So we are no longer giving examples from Canada but we will use local examples when we are doing our chemistry, physics or biology so that we understand about a tree.  Those in Canada will use their local trees.  If we want to eat fruits, we will eat our mutamba which are close to us then in Pakistan, they will eat apples which they have.

Mr. President, if we learn that all trees are indigenous, they are in the forest - we have different forests and in our forests, we find nhunguru, tsubvu, marula, matamba, mazhanje, et cetera. Our forests have a lot of wild fruits, the same in India.  In order for us to eat our marula, why do you not just use our wild fruits?  Colonisation will remove you from your place and then they will steal from your heritage places.  It is not like we are computerised; we do not want people who come and take things from us like diamonds and then they give us something in place of that but we want everything. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of War Veterans.  Mr. President, I want to understand from the Minister the issue of war veterans. We know that there is a board in place, which looks into their welfare and their businesses in mines, which they are supposed to benefit from as war veterans.  I want to know how the plans are cascaded down to those who are in the rural areas.  When are they going to benefit from those proceeds from companies which are being led by the board? 

          *THE MINISTER OF WAR VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE AFFAIRS (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank the Senator for a very pertinent question.  We know that our War Veterans Act, [Chapter 17:12] allows us to have a Veterans Liberation Board, which looks at all the funds that are directed to help the war veterans. This board is expected to uplift the lives of the war veterans.  It also empowers the board to look for funding elsewhere because the funds coming from the Government are not enough.  This board put in place companies whose assets were given to war veterans like mines, farms, and other tourism places.  The board is there and we have two companies in place, which are Power Zimbabwe and Veterans Investment Corporation.  We have not given you any updates because we were trying to find our feet.  We will update you on the progress, but I want you to know that the companies which were set up are there and they are in place to help the war veterans.   All these will be under the Veterans Liberation Board.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN MAVENYENGWA: Thank you Mr. President for the response from the Minister.  We come from the rural areas where we interact with war veterans and looking at the time they came from the war, their ages and the kind of life they are leading, we want to understand from the Minister if these companies are operational. If they are operational, when do you think those war veterans in the rural areas who are struggling are going to get assistance because I think this board has been in place for a long time?

          *HON. SEN. M. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I want to say that these companies have started working.  I think you heard from the news when they were signing performance contracts and we asked them to come up with strategic plans.  So the companies have started working, but what still remains is the transference of assets from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development into their hands.  We engaged the Ministry of Mines so that their papers will be in order to enable investors to come in and invest.  Also, when it comes to farms, we have plans that they should come up with five-year business plans so that each farm will be able to get loans and that they start businesses.  So I can confidently say that the work commenced, but it still has its teething problems and it is work in progress.

          +HON. SEN. S. MOYO: Thank you Mr. President.  I heard the Minister saying it is something wonderful. Following the Minister’s statement, he said that this is important and it is noble that the war veterans, all of them, be involved in the projects that she has mentioned such as farming, drilling of boreholes and businesses like mining.  My question is that Hon. Senator Mavenyengwa asked about those war veterans that are in rural areas and wanted to know how they will be able to access them in those remote areas and how they are going to benefit from such noble exercises.  I thank you.

          * HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  I want to thank the Hon. Member who asked about the comrades in the rural areas and how they can get assistance.  In our plans, we have our offices in the rural areas from the district, province up to national.  The duties of those in the national offices is to help the war veterans and our office to come up with programmes. Currently, we have awareness programmes and we are visiting all the provinces educating people on how we help them when it comes to projects and their health, and the benefits that they get from the Ministry.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. TSHABANGU: Thank you Mr. President, we can always remind each other about Nkayi and Victoria Falls Roads.

I must admit that he put up a very incredible answer earlier. What strategies is the Ministry implementing effectively to communicate the national learning goals to various stakeholders including educators, parents and broader community in order to build trust and foster support for the transformation of our education system?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. A. MURWIRA): I wish to thank Hon. Senator Tshabangu, first of all, thank you for the kind compliment. I will first say you know when there is a cloud that does not bear water, it still is a cloud. People get worried about that cloud, on why the cloud is not bearing water. Our education system at 1980, we inherited a literacy of about 10% and this country started working very hard to ensure that we improve the literacy of this country, which we did successfully. This is a very important step and foundation for education to have a literate nation.

However, as we went on, we needed to take the next step and I will tell you, I will be able to maybe demonstrate how and why we needed that step. Education, by nature, should cause the development of a country and it should be able to develop giants in a country. When we say giants, we mean those people that produce for the country, protect it and make sure that there is perpetuity in a nation to date.

However, we are now having a situation whereby the giants are crying. Just imagine getting into a kombi and somebody is trying to steal your money. Inside, there is a big giant and it is the giant who starts crying, then you know you are in trouble because the giant is supposed to be protective. So we really looked at the design of our education because we have very intelligent people in this country, but people were asking why this cloud is not bearing water.

When we looked at the design, we looked at the issue and saw that no, no, no we are learning, but we were leaving two elements which are innovation and industrialisation because the industries that are there did not fall from the sky, they came from the minds. Everything is a mental creation. We create straight from the mind and then into action. That is industrialisation, mass production of goods and services to satisfy human needs. So this by itself, just saying ladies and gentleman, citizens and residents of this country, our education is not working well for us and we must transform it. That is the message we have been taking since 2017 to 2018.

We went on to start by reforming the Manpower Planning and Development Act. Parliament then started moving across the country explaining why we needed to change this education or improve it so that basically, we could go into action to remove the element of parrots in our education system, because parrotology is very easy. Good morning, good morning, good evening, good evening, hello, hello; echo education of cramming was not helping us. However, it is a good beginning but it is not the end. So we explained this to the nation and Parliament, and the President passed the reformed Manpower Planning and Development Act with the support of the people of Zimbabwe. This Manpower Planning and Development Act is now saying education must lead to the production of goods and services. Industries must be produced from our education system. Nyika ichivakwa nevene vayo, through education science and technology development. What we learn at school is what must make us eat, sleep and move. Otherwise what else, where else will we learn how to develop this country except in school? If our schools are places where people cram to be little parrots, who will make salvation for this country?

We were barking up the wrong tree. We are now barking up the right tree and the Zimbabwean community really helped us to do that. So the new and amended Manpower Planning and Development Act was passed in 2021. We then went on to look at every University Act and we changed it with the support of Parliament, National Assembly, Senate and the community at large, to make sure that our universities now have innovation hubs and industrial parks. Now you can enjoy marula wine from Rutenga, that is an example of how the education should work.

In 2000 when we were visited by COVID-19, unfortunately we lost people and may their souls rest in eternal peace. However, what weapon did we use to make sanitisers because we had to fight COVID using three items? First of all, it was discipline which is Statutory Instrument. Secondly, they were masks and thirdly they were sanitisers, vaccines came later. Who made these sanitisers? They were colleges and universities.

First of all, we were cooking sanitisers in a pot until we automated them and ended up producing 2 million tonnes of sanitisers. This country has the lowest death rate from COVID-19, the world over. What did we use on heritage-based Education 5.0 and why? The reason is that the ethanol was coming from our nzimbe. Why heritage? The glycerol was coming from Mutoko, from our jatrofa and we mixed them and we made this country live as a system.

So it was very easy for this country to see that there was need to support this movement because it is liberation movement. It is the forth revolution from the First Chimurenga where we were fighting for our survival to the Second Chimurenga where we used guns, to the Third Chimurenga where we were getting our land and to the Fourth Chimurenga chepfungwa, where we are saying we will take this country forward by the way we think and do.

In addition, support for this movement is natural because everybody wants to be liberated and make their own cars, food and hospitals. A normal country needs dignity. How do you do dignity? By learning useful things. Who does not support that? We have enjoyed tremendous support from Parliament, community and we have moved all over and we have established industries. In Mutoko, we are having a bio-economy park. In Mwenezi we are having a marula park and we are beginning to build buildings on our own and began to produce oxygen for this country on our own. This is the issue of support that we have. We would appreciate more support Hon. Senator through you Mr. President of the Senate, to make this movement bold. China, Russia and United States is where it is because of pfungwa. Everybody who is developed is using pfungwa nothing else. So it is about education. So the support is natural. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAKAMBA: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of War Veterans and in her absence, I will direct it to the Leader of the House.  In his message last year in Mashonaland Central on Independence Day, His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa said that it was the first time for the Independence celebrations to be held outside big cities like Bulawayo and Harare. This happened because Mt. Darwin was chosen for the event.  During the war of liberation, Mt. Darwin experienced much of the brutality of the war.  People of Mt. Darwin are lagging behind when it comes to development of roads, schools and hospitals. 

During the war, we know that the first white person to be murdered was murdered at Altena Farm in Mashonaland Central, Mt. Darwin.  In 1963, Cde. Tungamirai and Cde Kaseke kidnapped the white district administrator, they hid his car and kidnapped him and went with him to Zambia. …

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI): Hon. Sen. Makamba, please ask your question.

*HON. SEN. MAKAMBA: My question is, war veterans are lagging behind on issues of development and we want to know the plans that are there to improve the lives of war veterans in Mt. Darwin?

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Now, the question is specific to a particular province but if the Hon. Minister has something to respond, he can respond.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Yes, Hon. President, the question is specific, but I want to say that Government policy says that it is not going to leave anyone and no place behind.  There is no place that must lag behind. That is our principle which is used to address all the problems in the country including the area that he has mentioned, unless if he has specific things that refer to Mt. Darwin.  The Hon. Minister can have a written question so that he will find time to investigate on the issue.  I advise Hon. Sen. Makamba to put his question in writing.

HON. SEN. KABONDO: Thank you Hon. President, my question goes to the Hon. Minister of ICT and in her absence, I now redirect my question to the Leader of the House.  A few weeks ago, State media reported Starlink as a security threat.  What circumstances have changed that has led to the expediting of the licencing of the very same company that had been labelled a security threat a few weeks ago?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. President and I wish to thank the Hon. Senator for her question.  I want to start by saying we have freedom of speech.  So media can write, but it is not a Government Gazette and I think this question is very important because it makes us be able to explain how Government policy is pronounced.  If it is real policy, it is either announced during a Post Cabinet Briefing or it is announced through a Gazette.  Media can write, for example, it can write that Prof. Murwira is a monkey, but I am not.  They can write but what is written does not reflect Government position, Government has channels that it uses to pronounce real policy, whether it is State media or any private media, media is media and as long as it is there, people can talk.  Sometimes social media says what it wants and it is allowed, but it is not factual. Government has channels that it uses to communicate.  So when you now see His Excellency the President or any other official Government in media now pronouncing either the accreditation or non-accreditation of a certain communication company, then that is when the truth begins, the rest was speculation.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. FANUEL: Thank you Mr. President…

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, there is no translation, can someone assist.  Hon. Senator, can you also tell us to whom your question is directed.  For progress sake, Hon. Sen. Fanuel, while somebody is trying to fix the issue of translation, let us proceed and we will come back to you.

          HON. SEN. R. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President.  My question was going to be directed to the Minister of War Veterans but I think the Leader of Government Business will take it up. It is with regards to the payment of school fees for the children of war veterans.  Quite a number of children are being sent back for non-payment of school fees.  I would like to find out how far he is ready to pay the backlog of those children’s school fees.  It disturbs them when they are sent back home to fix the issue of school fees, et cetera.  These children’s parents are former combatants who have nothing.  They are old but they had children after the war and are former political detainees who are more than 68 years who have nothing to assist their children.  The Government came up with a programme but it does not meet it.  So, I wanted to find out how far the Ministry expects to pay the backlog of school fees.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. President.  First of all, Government policy is to pay.  There is no contradiction on the policy.  When it comes to practice, which is where there might be shortfalls in execution, it is very specific and this question can actually be written down so that the Hon. Minister, when she is there, can detail the exact steps that they are taking.  Very specific to alleviate any problem that may be arising, we would be very pleased if it is done that way.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator Ndlovu, you are advised that you put that in writing so that the actual Minister can then bring a proper response with regards to your question.

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 67.

          HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I move that the time for Questions Without Notice be extended with 15 minutes.

          HON. TSOMONDO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          ∞HON. SEN. FANUEL: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Education.  The President said there is no one who should be left behind, but I have realised that in our district, Binga, we are still lagging behind.  Learners in primary schools are not doing well.  The teachers being employed in Binga cannot speak or write Tonga.  We are grateful that a few have been employed.  Why is the employment of teachers in Binga being only for people from other provinces who do not speak our local language? If you go to the hotels, you will find no one speaking in other languages besides their own language. What is Government doing to employ teachers who are from Binga?

          Secondly, we have war collaborators who have been vetted for the past two years but they are not getting anything.  They worked during the liberation war, when are they going to get their benefits?  The papers are in the offices.  Why are officers in those offices for war collaborators not getting vehicles to manage and get to those war collaborators and the masses?  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Fanuel, I give you the benefit of doubt because you had two questions directed to two different Ministers, but coincidentally the Leader of Government Business happens to be taking charge of that?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I wish to thank Hon. Sen. Fanuel for those two questions.  One has to do with policy on teachers and languages.  The Zimbabwe Constitution of 2013 recognises 16 languages.  Now, what is happening in the education sector is to make sure that we comply with that Constitution.  It is a process.  What has happened now is that for all teachers’ colleges, from 2018, a person who enters a teachers’ college has to learn three more languages other than their own.  The first crop of graduates from 2018 to 2020 came in 2021; graduates who are multi-dialect.

          As we move through time, because we are guided by the fact that Murwira as a biological person, can die but Zimbabwe will remain.  So, the policies that we leave must continue building the country.  Hence, this policy of having teachers that can speak the language of the child is alive and we are implementing it to the extent that one of the issues that we have done in terms of teachers’ colleges – in 2019, we started Hwange Teachers’ College.  We recruited 150 students from Hwange who speak Nambia and some who speak Tonga.  This is an attempt, although we are teaching languages across the whole country but we are, for the first time, very specific .  We also now have an industrial training college in Binga and Hwange as I said.  In Plumtree, we have the first polytechnic college, since the beginning of time.  This shows you the direction of Government policy, on inclusivity in making sure that our people have access to education wherever they are.  It is to our advantage that we have got people that are educated and productive.  It is not a disadvantage at all because we want every brain to work for this country.  So, the policy there is very clear.  In terms of the speed of movement, this is what we always need to improve every day because we cannot say we are 100% correct but the direction is correct and we will be moving in that direction and continue to move in that direction.

          Secondly, the question was on vetted veterans who are receiving nothing at the moment.  Again, it is important to know that Government is the one that vetted, which means they have an intention to pay. 

However, again we might have difficulties at the speed at which we are doing things, but the most important thing is that it is being given attention. We know for sure that there have been financial instabilities of some sort caused by all sorts of external factors. Now that we are stabilising the economy and we have the ZiG which is a heritage-based currency, we believe that as things get stable, cries will get less and solutions will get more.

*HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you Mr. President. I wanted to ask from the Minister on the issue of languages. What are you doing with the tertiary colleges so that the minority languages like the sign language that have been left behind, are also taught in colleges? Thank you.

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question on the teaching of sign language. We have implemented what we call Midlands State University National Languages Institute. That was launched by His Excellency, the President about three years ago. Our aim is to have the expertise in all the languages. If you get there, you will have people speaking Chewa, isiNdebele, Shona et cetera. We are trying to promote direction.

At the United College of Education in Bulawayo, you will also see that we have introduced the special language programmes, including Mutare Teachers’ College. We have an overall policy that no one is supposed to leave training from the Teachers’ Training Colleges without three languages besides their mother language. We have started seeing the results/fruits, but we are not yet there. It is a journey. As we speak, we managed to translate the Constitution of Zimbabwe with the Midlands State University. It has been translated into all the official languages in Zimbabwe. We did the same with the COVID-19 pamphlets.

We are appealing to the Senators and all the Parliamentarians to continue providing more financial support towards this direction. It is important that we leave a legacy of peace and treasures. I thank you.

HON. SEN. KABONDO: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank the Minister for his response. Thank you for the strategies that you are doing. However, I am requesting that when you get time, do audit and go to Binga, and see what we are talking about. I thank you.

Question Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT in terms of Standing Order Number 67.

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

APPOINTMENT TO COMMITTEES

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI): I have to inform the House that in terms of Standing Order Number 19 (3), the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders has appointed the following to Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, Committee Chairpersons and the Parliamentary Legal Committee:

  1. Sen. S. Moyo, Indegenisation and Empowerment;
  2. Sen. S. Ndebele, Gender and Development;
  3. A. Gumbo and Hon. Sen. K. I. Phulu, to serve on the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT OF CCC PARTY MEMBERS IN PARLIAMENT

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the House of the following changes in the leadership development of CCC Party Members in Parliament:

Hon. L. Karenyi-Kore, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly;

Hon. Sen. S. Tshabangu, Leader of Opposition in the Senate and overall leader of the Opposition in Parliament;

Hon. Sen. S. Mlotshwa, Chief Whip in Senate;

Hon. Sen. S. Zvidzai, Deputy Chief Whip in the Senate;

Hon. E. Mushoriwa, Chief Whip in the National Assembly;

Hon. B. Nyandoro, Deputy Chief Whip in the National Assembly;

Hon. S. Mhlangu and Hon. Sen. K. Phulu to be Members on Standing Rules and Orders Committee;

Hon. O. Sinda, Deputy Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus;

Hon. C. Chinanzvavana, Organiser for the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus;

Hon. J. Makuvire, Member of the Executive Committee in the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus Executive;

Hon. S. Matsunga, Member of the Africa Parliamentary Union Delegation;

Hon. S. Tshabangu and Hon. M. Kademaunga, Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Delegation;

Hon. N. Mlotshwa, Member of the OACPS EU Delegation;

Hon. H. Chidziva, Member of the Pan African Parliamentary Delegation;

Hon. L. Karenyi-Kore, Member of the SADC PF Delegation; and

Hon. M. Ngwena, Member of the ASSECAA Delegation.  

HON. SEN. ZVIDZAI:  On a point of privilege Mr. President Sir.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Yes, go ahead.

HON. SEN. ZVIDZAI: I would like to inform you and the House of my unavailability to serve as Deputy Chief Whip in the Senate. I thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI):  Order, because we no longer have any Ministers in the House, that automatically means Questions With Notice are all deferred.  We will move to business of the day. 

HON. SEN. GOTORA:  Before we move Mr. President, I have a point of privilege to make. It looks like our Ministers are not taking seriously the business of Senate.  We have more than thirty Ministers in the country; that is inclusive of the Cabinet Ministers and the Deputy Ministers.  It is a shame; we come and sit here when there is not even one Minister on a day designated for questions to be answered by Ministers.  I think the appointing authority needs to relook at what is happening because this is not the first time.  What I know is, even from the Ninth Parliament, it was the same and the Eighth Parliament it was the same.  It looks like we are not moving anywhere.  The people who are here are people representing millions of people out there who ask them to bring issues to the Ministers.  What are they going to tell the people who sent them here?  Thank you – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Senator Gotora.  I have taken note and will take it up with those seniors to me, and ensure probably something is done about it.  I know it has been a long time that this has been spoken about but I for one will definitely make sure I have knocked on the doors. 

MOTION

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

First Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion that a congratulatory message be conveyed to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on his ascendancy to the Presidency of the Pan-African Parliament. 

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. SHIRI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th June, 2024.

  MOTION

ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC HEMODIALYSIS FACILITIES IN DISTRICTS

Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the treatment of chronic kidney diseases in Zimbabwe. 

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. S. MOYO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th June, 2024.

MOTION

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO ZUPCO AND PRIVATE TRANSPORT OPERATORS

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

          Question again proposed. 

          +HON. SEN.  S. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  I want to add my voice on the motion that was tabled in this House by Hon. Sen. Tongogara.  First and foremost, I want to talk about issues to do with migration in urban areas or movement in urban areas.  Most people use buses or omnibuses, small cars such as the ones that we refer to as Honda Fit and we also have trucks.  All these modes of transport that I have alluded to, we realise that is what is being used in urban areas when they are moving from one place to another. 

          Mr. President, what I then ask myself is that our country got independence in 1980 and up to now, we are still struggling on modes of transport to use, especially in urban areas.  We realised that we once had a COVID pandemic where we saw the ZUPCO buses that were being bought by the country.  What I do not know is whether they were being bought by Government or a private company.  There were so many buses that were bought.  You realise that even buses from rural areas were contracted to assist in transport, especially in urban areas. 

          Mr. President Sir, after the COVID, we realise that we no longer see these ZUPCO buses.  My question therefore is, what happened to the mode of transport that was under ZUPCO?  It is a question that I am posing to the Minister of Transport that after the COVID era, we no longer have the buses, the ones that were being contracted under ZUPCO.  Were these buses contracted under a private company or what? 

          Also Mr. President Sir, we need to take into realisation that there were trains that were being used as long back as 1985, if I remember, well up to 2000.  I once used a train that was coming from Bulawayo to Harare – there was a BBR train from Beitbridge to Bulawayo. 

This was a goods train but to my surprise, all these trains are no longer moving.  This motion is very important but we need to prioritise issues so that when we talk about transportation, we need to know where we are supposed to start from.  I started by talking about things we are no longer sure how they are being run. We will take for example Honda Fit cars which can carry about 14 people when it is supposed to carry only five passengers.  You then ask yourself if there are any laws because why should 14 people be carried in a Honda Fit? 

The first thing that we should take note of while on issues to do with urban areas; when I look at countries such as Zambia, they are doing so many things like road rehabilitation, ranks and transport.  If we are to talk about transport, we cannot avoid talking about roads.  We cannot have food stuffs without having a pot to use to cook the food.  That is why I am alluding to issues to do with roads.  We do not have proper roads.  I do not know what policy is being used by Government and what they are saying to private transporters.  That is those with their own cars or are able to procure buses that can operate in urban areas.  Why are they not contributing in rehabilitation of the roads?   In rural areas there are transport challenges because we do not have good roads and we do not have bridges in town.  So, until the Government fixes the issues that I have alluded to and also have a policy where they can engage private companies to participate in the improvement of transport in both urban and rural areas, we will still face the same challenges. 

We have Senators in this House who are well up and can assist in improving the mode of transport.  For example, where I come from in Matabeleland South, we do not have buses but we rely on cars that are provided by people in the diaspora.  However, they are also complaining about incessant breakdowns caused by the poor roads.  I think this motion should have started with dealing with the roads before trying to deal with transport.  We are having a major problem with our roads because of the many accidents that have claimed many people’s lives. 

Last weekend people lost their lives in Lupane along Victoria Falls Road.  All this was because of the bad road.  The car hit a pothole and overturned.  Most of the accidents that have been experienced along the roads are caused by bad roads.  Our law enforcers who are always operating road blocks let a Honda Fit carrying 15 people pass through the roadblock and nothing is done about it.  We do not have any laws being enforced to curb this practice. 

I want to urge the Minister of Transport to be present when we debate such issues in this House.  Hon. Tongogara indicated that when we talk about issues that we need resolved, for example this transport issue, we need the Minister to be present in the House so that he understands exactly what we are talking about.  It is only when the Ministers avail themselves to this House and hear our concerns, that they will take our issues seriously. We need to have all the Ministers present every time the House is sitting so that they can hear our pleas.

 I wanted to add my voice to this motion and emphasise that until we work on road rehabilitation and have a policy in place to engage private players to assist in road rehabilitation as well as bringing in different modes of transport that the problem will persist.  In rural areas people have to wake up as early as 4 o’clock in the morning to get transport.  Even in urban areas, civil servants who are being transported by Public Service Commission buses go to work as standing passengers because they cannot all sit in the buses. Government should come up with a strategy of having people knocking off work at 4 o’clock p.m. so they can also get home early rather than getting home very late and going to the buses very early.  It is very difficult for women who are supposed to do all the household chores and prepare meals, assist their children with homework and prepare everything for their children before going to bed.  Some of them drop off the bus and have to walk for 3km to get to their homes.  Sometimes they are robbed on their way to and fro the bus stations. 

With these few words, I feel that we need to support this motion and also come up with a strategy to engage Government and find out if we are on the same page and talking the same language.  There are so many people who have lost their lives in accidents because of the poor roads.  Yes, he did say the road to Parliament is being rehabilitated and that is a very good thing.  But why can we not have a budget for all the other roads such as the Plumtree-Ndolowane Road?  When you look at the map, you can see that the road was rehabilitated way back but when you move on that road, there are so many potholes.  Once we have good roads, we will have many modes of transport to use because people want to use their vehicles on good roads.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

     HON. SEN. SHIRI:  I second.

     Motion put and agreed to.

     Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th June, 2024.

On the motion of HON. SENATOR GOTORA, seconded by HON. SENATOR. FANUEL, the House adjourned at Nine Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday 11th June, 2024.

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