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SENATE HANSARD 6 APRIL 2022 VOL 31 NO 32

         PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 6th April, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

         HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I move that Order of the Day No. 1 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

         HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  I second. 

         Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

MEASURES TO RESUSCITATE THE ECONOMY

HON. SEN. A. DUBE: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:

NOTING with dismay the prevailing drought and restrictive economic conditions which are exacerbated by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic;

CONCERNED at the plight of emerging small and medium scale businesses in the country which are failing to break even;

FURTHER CONCERNED at the rapid disappearance of Zimbabwe’s natural resources countrywide;

ACKNOWLEDGING that our natural resources can transform our country and bring about improved economic production, if well utilised, particularly in rural areas where there is still some wildlife and mineral wealth;

NOW, THEREFORE, urges and recommends the following:

(a) that Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, comes up with measures to resuscitate our economy and rescues small and medium businesses from collapse;

(b) that Government gives maximum support and assists in coordinating and implementing the measures taken by the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to preserve our natural resources; and

(c) that Government initiates a nationwide conservation awareness programme.

         HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  I second.

         +HON. SEN. A. DUBE:  Thank you Madam President.  My issue is very short, it is all about drought, the current situation which we are in.  During this season, we are in the process of harvesting crops, the rains have just gone.  People managed to plant but the rains disappeared.  We cannot change this but as a country, there should be some measures that we can talk about in order to alleviate the situation.  This problem also comes at the wrong time when we had the COVID-19 pandemic. As small enterprises, things were very expensive, the sector is still struggling, they have no food.  Madam President, this is going to be a very difficult year because if there is no food, there will always be disputes and criminal activities will increase.  In communities all over, they do not have enough food.   People had planted crops but they did not get enough rains.

         Again looking at small enterprises, people have failed to cope with the situation.  Things are at a standstill.  They have to start afresh. They should start buying food because there is no food in the country.  It is only Elijah who might have stopped the coming of the rains.  We cannot do anything, that is not the way of doing things.  Therefore Madam President, on our environment, we know that we rely on minerals, trees and animals. We are running out of these things because we are failing to run things properly. Criminals end up stealing our resources by burning the grass and animals dung. Others went to do mining and they mine for their personal benefit without taking proceeds to the national reserve.

         We were blessed with good resources. It is this time that these resources could have been most useful so that we can outsource food. We are now over-populated and we should not have people who are dying because of hunger. For this to happen, we should unite as a nation so that we do not waste our resources. Those who are into mining should mine and take the resources to the responsible authorities. We have animals and if we look after our resources properly, run them properly and take whatever proceeds to the national authorities, people can manage to buy food.

         This is difficult and criminals take advantage of the situation. They use the poor who are hungry to do things on their behalf and when people are hungry, they can do anything so that they can access food. We will not allow such a situation here in Zimbabwe. If at all we have good crops, criminals will take advantage of our situation that people are in poverty and they will use them to achieve their criminal activities as people try to feed their families. It is a difficult time and the youth will end up being used just like the girls who are asked to do things they are not supposed to do. They end up going into prostitution in order to feed the families at home. This is all because there is nothing for the family to feed on.

         Things are very difficult and by the end of the year, the situation will be critical until the next rains. We are grateful that our President has said no one will die of hunger. If it is possible, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should help the nation with whatever resources that are available to assist the people. They can use the reserve fund to arrest the situation which we are in. I think that will help us as a nation.  We can access those contingency funds so that they are channeled towards the drought relief to enable our people to be well fed.

         The Government should help the Ministry of Environment with resources for whatever endeavours they are in so that whatever resources we have should not be wasted. If we could put in a very strong law that those who waste resources be persecuted and given relevant sentence, that would help the country. It enables the country to have some money. Be they animals and minerals and whoever is abusing those should be arrested and prosecuted so that it helps the Ministry concerned. It is difficult for them because trees are being cut down and people are selling those trees for their personal benefit when the national coffers are empty.

         May the Government put in a strong law so as to help the Ministry of Environment so that they can work in a conducive environment? We are aware that there are computations on teaching rural communities, it is important indeed so that they know how to conserve resources. So there should be computations on awareness on how to conserve their resources so that they know that when those resources are used, they should be put in the national coffers.  Most of them do not know that such resources can be used for the benefit of the nation. Let there be awareness on such matters.

         Again, our neighbouring countries should be engaged so that they can help us in this situation which we are in. I have highlighted that we have awareness campaigns because people do not have any knowledge and rural communities especially should be taught about the importance of preserving our resources and the dangers of not doing.  So they should be informed that hunger is not brought by Government but by nature. Therefore, they should conserve our natural resources since the money that comes from those natural resources will come back to them and it will enable them to educate their children. I thank you Madam President. 

         *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President. I also want to thank the Hon. Senator who raised this important motion that reminds us that this is a difficult year especially when it comes to food security. It is a year where we thought we would get a lot of rainfall. We had a lot of rainfall only for one week and it filled up the dams but up to now there is no rain. The rains stopped when the agricultural produce in the fields still needed water. In areas like Midlands, Manicaland, Matabeleland, they experienced a lot of the dry spell and hence, it has put food security at risk.

         It means the Government is now faced with a challenge of ensuring that everyone gets food. Government cannot just sit back and relax when there is such a situation. The development plans that we had are going to be affected. We were focused on road rehabilitation under the Ministry of Transport and it was progressing well but this will be affected because most of the funding will go towards food security. The plans for development and resuscitation that were evident in most parts will not be achieved because of the drought. Even our budget that we had done, it was informed by good rains but it has been affected because we take into consideration the situation that we have now.

         We have to take that money and ensure that all people are fed and no one goes hungry.  It is something that we will have to look into especially towards the end of the year and this is further exacerbated by the fact that as a country, we have been faced with a lot of economic challenges. We have the majority of Zimbabweans who are living below the Poverty Datum Line and economists say 49% of the population is living under abject poverty.

         So in general, Zimbabwe is experiencing challenges because of the drought and it has worsened the situation especially the women and children will bear the brunt of the challenges. They have the responsibility to ensure that there is food in the home. So our grandmothers and our girl children are at risk. Figures show that poverty is at 76% in Zimbabwe over and above the 49% living in abject poverty. What it means is that we do not have jobs in Zimbabwe.

         Most youths are not employed and do not have means of sustenance but they are only able to get a little here and there through their innovativeness. If these youths have been employed in the midst of such a drought, it would assist in ensuring that they could provide food for their parents in the rural areas.  However, now it is impossible because the little that they get, for those who are employed, is not able to even look after them.

         The salary is deplorable especially for teachers, civil servants in general, even us as Parliamentarians.  I noticed that last month most Parliamentarians discovered that their salaries had greatly reduced.  From that salary, for you to buy a 50kg bag of maize is very difficult.  If we had employment, we could then assist those in the rural areas.  We therefore urge the Government to look into the issue of drought because it is a major one.  There is a lot of hunger, poverty and drought.  When people become angry they focus on the Government so that it can assist.  Everyone looks up to the Government as it is the father and the population is the children, they look up to the Government.

         So the Government is faced with a challenge to feed the children of Zimbabwe.  We urge the Government to ensure that when they start looking for food to distribute to rural areas, it should be given to everyone despite political affiliation and there should be no discrimination by religion or class.  Everyone should be provided food so that they are able to survive.  The Government should put in place systems that ensure that all people in Zimbabwe have food because we now have to survive on hand-outs from the Government.  I thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. DENGA: Thank you Madam President.  I stood to support the motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Dube on the issue of climate change.  Madam President, currently our nation is divided into three in terms of rainfall patterns: there is a region which did not receive much rain such as Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Matebeleland South.  This shows that the Government has to step in to ensure that people are provided with food expeditiously.  There is also the region which covers Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West where there was a lot of rainfall such that the crops were destroyed because of excess rainfall which resulted in flooding.  Most farmers in Mashonaland Central and West ended up applying fertilizer four times, Compound D and urea three times because of excess rainfall.  There are some regions which experienced drought such as Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Matebeleland.  There are farmers who obtained loans through Command Agriculture who will not be able to harvest anything and look after their families.  They will not be able to repay the loans.  So the Government needs to look into this matter and pave the way forward in terms of the loans acquired through the Command Agriculture Scheme. 

Madam President, the drought that we have faced shows that the budget that looks into the issue of the welfare of the people need to be revisited.  The number of people who are going to need food relief has tripled.  The Government should also look at the price of grain for those who would have harvested so that they are able to pay back the loans and look after their families.  Those are the few issues that I wanted to highlight in support of the motion raised by Hon. Dube.  I thank you.                                                                                                                                                                           

         +HON. SEN. MKWEBU:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to speak on the motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. Dube.  It is a very pertinent motion indeed as it has come at the most opportune time because we are beginning to feel the effects of drought throughout the country. 

         People had managed to plant and were not expecting drought this year because of the rains.  Unfortunately, that was not to be because we had too much rain that was extremely destructive.  Some roads were destroyed and need to be attended to yet again but the rains are brought by the Lord and not by us.  These rains managed to fill dams and rivers in some parts of the country but in some places, there are no dams.

         Turning to the issue of hunger, we look forward to those drought stricken places having dams as well.  We should urge the Government to harvest water so that we do not just let it flow – we need to build dams.  When we build dams in those communities, then we would not talk of the drought that we are talking about today.  We will reduce the chances and have irrigation systems as we will not rely on rains alone.  Yes, hunger changes the demeanor of humanity.  You cannot control a nation when the people are hungry.  They do as they wish because they are in need.

         Those who are engaging in mining should not do so willy-nilly, as farmers continue suffering cattle loss when their cattle fall into the open pits.  The Government should stop people from mining yet this is difficult to do since the people are in need.  The miners are desperate.  We had animals all over but due to hunger, our people are slaughtering four to five cattle to raise resources for their personal benefit.  We expect that we have animals like elephants to help the nation.   When we sell minerals such as gold, we can realise benefits from there after resources have been channeled to national coffers.  It is easy to sustain the nation.

Our budget was already in place before the national budget was formulated.  It is unfortunate that people do not acknowledge that the rains come from God.  Everyone is looking to the Government and His Excellency the President who is trying by all means to make sure that no one starves.  Dams are being constructed, roads are being rehabilitated, and the rains came and destroyed some of these roads.  The Government is trying by all means to uplift the lives of the people but some people are not acknowledging all that effort. Hon. Dube stated that people should engage in awareness campaigns and be informed of the arising situation.  They may see as if Government is not doing anything.  The Government is trying through His Excellency the President, to alleviate the situation but due to the call of nature, we are experiencing poverty which we were not expecting.

It is not easy to help everyone in the country but His Excellency the President said that no one should die of hunger.  He will try by all means to work hard to ensure that nobody dies of hunger.  As Zimbabweans, we should not just look at him alone but should play our role as well.  We should help in our own way to alleviate the situation.  When people harvest half of their expectations, they expect Government to fill up the gap.  We should not be crybabies.  Yes, we are experiencing a drought but His Excellency the President is working hard –he needs our assistance.   In the event that there is no dam in your area, let us try to harvest water for irrigation.  We should not behave like bird chicks that expect to be fed with everything; we should try to help ourselves.  Running a country is not an easy feat.  His Excellency the President promised the nation that no one is going to die of hunger.  We know that he will try his level best to honour that promise because this year, our silos do not have much. 

In my constituency, we have a few dams.  We request for a dam so that we can also irrigate and farm.  Water is life.  Water helps us in times of drought.  We irrigate small grains that ripen earlier.  If you irrigate maize crop from a borehole, the borehole will quickly dry up before the maize crop ripens.   When we plant small grains and irrigate them, they will ripen and people will not die of hunger.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add a few words on the motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. Alice Dube.  I stand in support of the motion.

The issue of hunger and also climate change, considering that we did not receive good rains is a matter of concern.  Previously, we have suffered because of climate change.  Climate change, changes the seasons as well as the different climatic conditions.  We come from different areas where we experience such challenges, and they affect us.  As a country, we urge the Government to ensure that we have a department that looks into the issue of the welfare, and food security issues of the people. 

I remember a few weeks back in this august House, I implored Hon. Mavima, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare that the economic outlook is a sorry sight throughout the country.  It rained but the rains were not evenly distributed.  We are saying that God is responsible for distributing rainfall.  In areas where we come from such as Mashonaland, it rained but the rain did not give people a break in order for them to cultivate.  This is not something that we have control over but is up to God himself.

In areas where there were no rains at all, the Hon. Minister should consider the issue of food relief.  As we were in this House during Questions Without Notice session, we posed a lot of questions to the Hon. Minister.  He assured us that no one would die of hunger and that we have silos that are full of grain.  We also asked the Hon. Minister that because of the hunger that we are experiencing, there was a lot of rain and roads were also destroyed because of the heavy rains.  So in terms of road rehabilitation, we requested that this be done to ensure that food relief is transported to the various areas.

In some areas, you will realise that some roads were completely destroyed.  So there is need to rehabilitate such roads to ensure that food relief gets to the people.  In areas where there was no rainfall, I want to say that God is a just God.  If you look at areas like Muzarabani, people depend on mining and in Masvingo, people are depending on Amarula. The youths and the young are relying on mining as a source of livelihood. Let us applaud the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, the Second Republic as well as the Government, who promised and committed himself that no one will die of hunger. Everyone will get food relief. I do not think we can say it is a total disaster because there are those areas that have received better rainfall.

In other areas where I travelled, they have been able to harvest more than they usually get. Therefore, the issue of hunger is something that affects everyone and we all do not want to experience it. We mourn together with those areas that did not receive much rain and did not get anything. It is important that those who have more harvest should share with those who do not have. Madam President, with these words, I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MKWEBU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th April, 2022.

MOTION

EFFORTS TO CURB CORRUPTION

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion to introduce deterrent sentences to those engaging in corrupt activities. 

         Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th April, 2022.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS ON HIV AND AIDS SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM IN ZIMBABWE

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions on HIV and AIDS service delivery system.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday 7th April, 2022.

MOTION

SECOND REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY (ART) ROLL-OUT PROGRAMME IN SELECTED HEALTH INSTITUTIONS IN ZIMBABWE

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on the Implementation of the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Roll-Out Programme in selected health institutions in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MABIKA: Thank you Madam President. I want to support the motion moved by Sen. Kambizi. When we went on our tours, we realised that most hospitals require face-lifting. They need to be painted and renovated. In some areas, some hospitals did not have doors. It also concerns us that sometimes there are no doctors, no ambulances and other medical services. On the issue of CD4 count machines, we witnessed that most hospitals do not have machines. In areas where they have the machines, after taking CD4 counts, it takes them six months for people to get their results, which is something that we do not expect.

It should just take a day or two for one to get results.  We also witnessed that there were some hospitals that had expired drugs yet some of them are not given adequate medication.  If possible it would be good for people to be availed medication for a couple of months than for them to expire when people do not have enough tablets.  In one of the hospitals, when people come to seek medical attention they pay in RTGs and when the hospitals want to send an ambulance to a referral centre, the fuel is bought in US dollars.  So their request was that a law be put in place to be able to charge in US dollars so that they can meet such expenses that require US dollars.

         Madam President, there were also other challenges on the issues of cartridges for machines, there were no cartridges.  Some of the things should be monitored to check what is available and what is not, some of these things are small items that are easy to get but they are not available.  If possible, there is need to look into the issue of ambulances and to allow those who can pay the hospital in foreign currency to do likewise so that the hospital can operate in both RTGs and US dollars.  Also looking at the shortage of drugs such as Cotrimoxazole, there are some who revealed that there was also corruption that was taking place because some cannot afford to buy them through the black market or through a middleman, which is what is happening.  Thank you.

         *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to add a few words on the motion that was raised by Hon. Kambizi and the seconder.  Madam President, if we look at the background of HIV and AIDS from the time it started, people did not accept it. They were living in denial and most people sought medication in secret but because of the efforts of Government that raised awareness in communities, people have now accepted HIV.  What we know is that HIV is still with us but we do not want more infections and a high prevalence rate. This is only possible to ensure that it does not spread if they provide adequate resources to control HIV and AIDS.  Let me say if we are to consider the testing machines even in border areas, they should be available because we have vehicles that are coming in and going out.  Such congested areas require medical services.  Monitoring and evaluation is very important in Government programmes and projects.  It ensures that if medicines are distributed in hospitals and clinics, how long should it take for it to be used up. 

         Madam President, let me say that during lockdown, it was difficult as there were travel restrictions, people had to stay under lockdown and those people living with HIV and AIDS could not travel to go and get their medication regularly because Government was trying to ensure that people are not affected by COVID.  This also created more challenges, especially for those who are on treatment who needed to go and get medication.  Most of them were not able to get their medication. 

         As a nation, we should continue to look after people living with HIV and AIDS and they should be able to get their medicine to ensure that their lifespan is increased.  We know that the nation has the interest of these people at heart so that they also have a long life.  We hope the Government will continue to support our hospitals and clinics and to ensure that adequate resources are available so that our HIV patients do not face challenges.  Like what the other Senator said that as a nation we do not look forward to the expiration of drugs yet there are people who are sick.  What it reflects is that something is very wrong somewhere in terms of administration.  Administration should do its work at the various hospitals.  They should investigate why it is happening.  Government should be informed by the administration at the hospital.  It is a cost to the Government for the drugs to be destroyed because they have expired.  I think Government should work hard to monitor the distribution of medicines so that no money is wasted in procuring drugs that end up expiring.  That is important for us because drugs require money for us to bring them into this country.  So it is an issue that needs to be addressed by the Ministry of Health.  I thank you.

         +HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to share one or two words regarding the report that was presented by Hon. Sen. Kambizi. The report talks of their visit to NAC to ascertain the status of the availability of medication. NAC officials were saying that they have medication but they were waiting for other medication from their suppliers. The Thematic Committee visited different hospitals where there were petitions and patients were saying that they did not have enough medication especially those who are HIV positive.

         The Committee found that there were some expired drugs. Not all hospitals were distributing expired drugs but the hospitals confirmed that they were receiving expired drugs. There are no reported cases of side effects of such drugs which means that the expired drugs did not affect them. So the distribution of drugs, especially expired drugs is distributed according to a certain procedure or they can be thrown away. One or two hospitals had such cases. This was a difficult period of lockdowns and people were not able to commute to hospitals. Some were given three months supplies of ARVs and these ARVs were not enough to cater for the patients who were going to hospitals.  

         This is the biggest challenge that was faced by patients. So some expected to be given six months supply of medication but this was not possible. There was also a shortage of antibiotics like Cotrimoxazole. These were in short supply in hospitals. We noted that in hospitals, CD4 count machines were not working properly and the viral load machines were also in short supply and some were not working properly. So because of their importance, these machines should be in good condition so that when the Ministry of Health is given their allocation from the annual budget, they should be able to cater for such important medication which will be used in ascertaining the status of patients or their general condition because some tablets might not be good for the patient. They might be allergic to the medication.

         The other thing is that if there are no machines, you would find patients taking medication without proper diagnosis. This Committee did a very good job because people who are living with HIV are very important. These are people that are found in our society and there are a lot of people who are HIV positive. So for one to live positively with the virus, they have to take their ARVs. It is important that they are given their medication on time even contrimoxazole and other antibiotics which are used by those who live with HIV should be availed.

         I believe it is important that health care facilities are given what they need. In every hospital, there are OI clinics which cater for the HIV positive, yet in the past, they used to be served together with other patients and this resulted in them taking a long time before getting assistance. So, what the Ministry of Health and Child Care has done is very good in that those who are HIV positive are also being attended to by a specialised department which checks whether they have any other ailments like tuberculosis.

         At Filabusi hospital, we also noted that there is no roof. Patients are exposed to the sun and other weather conditions. So Government should look into that. This is a hospital which has not been renovated in a long time especially the female and male wards. It is demotivating for patients to be admitted at such a hospital where you find dilapidated structures, holes in ceilings.

         So Madam President, the devolution fund should be disbursed so that this hospital is renovated. I believe that it has been ignored for a long time. Every Member of the Committee noted with dismay that 42 years after independence, we still have such a hospital. So, even devolution funds Madam President, should be channeled towards the rehabilitation of such wards like the female ward because patients need a healthy environment so that they can have a peace of mind in hospital.  With those few words Madam President, I would like to thank the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS which moved around the country gathering information regarding different hospitals.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Madam President.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MKWEBU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th April, 2022.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th April, 2022.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SEN. SIMON KHAYA MOYO

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the untimely passing on of the late Senator for Matebeleland South, Hon. Senator Simon Khaya Moyo.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Madam President.  I thought I would add one or two words on the life of Cde. S. K. Moyo.  Senator S. K. Moyo was a son of the soil, a child born in Zimbabwe.  We are deeply pained because of his untimely departure on 14th November last year.  This man was a leader and a man of value. 

We understand that he went to Fletcher High School and went to the industry to start working.  He was someone dedicated to what he wanted to do.  He was able to join the liberation struggle as he worked in the office of PF ZAPU whose leader was Dr. Joshua Nkomo until we attained independence.  Cde. Simon Khaya Moyo did not look at the different tribes of the people of Zimbabwe but he knew and embraced all Zimbabweans.  As traditional leaders, every time we met him, he would be very respectful to us as traditional leaders, whether young or old, he was a man who deeply recognised and valued our cultural norms and values.  He was full of respect.  Cde. Moyo’s dedication and hard work was recognised by the leadership and he was promoted to being an ambassador in South Africa before he came back to Zimbabwe to work for the Government.  For us, he left a legacy and that legacy is all about honesty, integrity, cadreship and patriotism. 

The country experienced a lot of challenges such that most people fell off the radar but Cde. S. K. Moyo continued to soldier on. It is not only the Moyo family that lost a father but Zimbabwe as a whole because from the time of his birth until the time of his untimely departure, he was not a child of the Moyo family but of Zimbabwe.  So, we have both lost a son of the soil, a hero among heroes and someone who was dedicated, steady and full of humility. 

Most people thought that he never at any given time got angry or questioned issues because he was very humble.  He was a man filled with humility and it was easy to tell that he was easygoing and easy to relate with.  As we engaged with him, we then later learnt that he was a good man.  We are pained and it hurts us that we do not have him in this House.  He contributed a lot in terms of the development of the nation and he left us the button stick to ensure that the independence we enjoy today should not regress. So we need to work for our nation.  I felt that I could not sit and debate because I knew him when I was still a school going child at Milton Boys High School and I learnt with his nephew.  So he is a man that I have known for quite a long time.

         I want to say rest in peace Cde. Khaya Moyo; if we are to meet again, we will meet.  To the Moyo family, I want to say that we are also deeply pained and have experienced the same loss as you have experienced.  I thank you.

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

         HON. SEN. MKWEBU:  I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

         Debate to resume:  Thursday, 7th April, 2022.

MOTION

PREVALENCE OF DRUG ABUSE BY YOUTHS

         Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the prevalence of drug abuse by youths.

         Question again proposed.

         ^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate.  Today’s youths are a lost generation because they survive on drugs. 

Mr. President, I come from Matabeleland South where we have border areas like Plumtree and Beitbridge.  Our youth in these border areas are a lost generation because even an elderly person who is 80 years old cannot be equated to these children.  These children that we are talking about do not even know what schools are because of drugs.  They are always high on drugs.

Mr. President, it is very painful if we are to talk about these youths.  It is said that there are drugs that are called Mutoriro, Musombodhiya and Mbanje.  Whenever they are high on these drugs, they are not found to be doing anything.  They will be idle for the rest of their time, when they sleep; they are likely to wake up maybe during the evening.  If we are to talk about their education, they are unable to further their studies because of these drugs.  Even if they are to go to school, teachers always face difficulties trying to get them to be attentive in class.

Coming onto their health, they are not healthy because of these drugs.  Every time they take the drugs, they forget that they are supposed to take a bath, eat, and dress in clean clothes.  Mr. President, even if these children were to be employed, they do not stay on the job because of the influence of these drugs.  This is because no one takes them seriously, thus some of them even fail to secure proper employment and they become problematic to their parents. 

If possible Mr. President, we should come up with a policy that will criminalise those who sell drugs.  It is done by people who we see and know.  What is required is to make sure that stiffer penalties are given to the drug peddlers.  For example, they should be given 10 or more than 10 years imprisonment.  If we continue to have the drug peddlers not being criminalised, it is not taking us anywhere.  We therefore need to see to it that the drug peddlers are criminalised so as to save a future generation.  If we continue at the current rate, we will not have any generation to talk of.  Today’s future consists of drunkards who do not even know where they reside because they do not even know what they are doing when they are drunk.

We need to be each other’s police to see to it that we get these drug peddlers arrested.  The problem is that at times when you report the drug peddlers to our law enforcement officers, in other instances are paid monies in a corrupt manner. Therefore, our efforts go unnoticed. We need to see to it that as parents, we look after our children and see to it that the law enforcement agents are doing their work accordingly. Meanwhile, we parliamentarians need to have a policy that will get the drug traffickers arrested and criminalised and stay in jail. With these few words, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEFCHIKWAKA: Thank you Mr. President for allowing me to add my voice to the important motion that was raised by Hon. Dube. Mr. President, I am a custodian of our culture but today we are struggling with the abuse that is done by our children on drugs. There is a singer who said the problem is not the headache but what has caused the headache. We need to look into it and see what has caused the drug abuse. My research has reflected that as parents, we are the cause. Yes, we are coming up with legislation but some of the legislation is what is destroying our children. It is slowly destroying our nation because our children are no longer being brought up in a dignified manner. You cannot reprimand them because of the legislation that protects their rights.

Mr. President, we have legislation that prohibits corporal punishment but when we look at us in this House, most of us are above 50 years but every one of us experienced corporal punishment at some time. We were afraid of taking in beer including what we call seven days. If you came back home late, whether male or female child, you were beaten but nowadays we are faced with the abuse of drugs such as mutoriro and other drugs because if you are to reprimand your child as a parent, especially in terms of the time they come home and his associates, the next day you will be appearing before the courts, charged with the abuse of your own child.

Mr. President, that is appalling. We want to play the blame game but I think we are the cause of what is happening because we are just adopting and making laws that are not in tandem with our culture. Where has our culture gone to? When it comes to disciplining a child, it is not a challenge but as we are in this House, we do not want to break the law. Our children have become rogues, to the extent that they can even use a knife on you. They say whatever they want. In the home, they do whatever they want. For a parent to discipline your child, you are arrested. Police themselves are also parents. The judges are also parents. We continue to emphasise and hammer on that which is destroying our children. Can you imagine what will happen when we are no longer there and these children remain on their own with such legislation? What kind of nation is it going to be? What kind of father is going to be there? Will the country continue to develop as what is happening today with such legislation whereby we cannot discipline our children?

Mr. President, I am deeply pained with the way we are progressing as a nation that we are unable to discipline our children. We are unable to reprimand our children. Children are abusing drugs because that has become their way of life and it is now being seen as the norm. We come here and end up disturbed with what is happening. We want to look at the sustainability of this nation. Look at the cases that they are involved in. There is so much murder and so much violence. People are being killed as if they are chickens because they no longer have fear. Children are sexually abused because of these drugs. This is all because of the laws that we have put in place that have resulted in us failing to control our children.

Mr. President, I am requesting that a nation without laws, a nation without culture is not a nation. I am appealing that we go back to the drawing board and to our culture and ensure that we discipline our children so that they know that taking or abuse of drugs destroys the nation. It will be a nation of strong stuff and all these drugs that are abused. For them to be afraid of such drug abuse, they end up hating you. Mr. President, I am concerned about the children that we have raised. We have caused this because one is knitting while the other one is undoing knit. Can you say the way you were brought up, your parents were cruel. We did not even know how kachasu is brewed and some of these beers they are taking. Our parents used to grow cannabis but we never abused it because we were told that if you were found taking it, you will be disciplined thoroughly. We did not even know it was called mbanje because they had their own name for cannabis because they did not want us to abuse those drugs.

Nowadays, a child cannot sleep in the home without shouting at his parents and without even taking drugs because as a father, you cannot reprimand your child because you are afraid of being imprisoned. Let us go back to the drawing board and relook at our values. We should know where we came from. I thank you.

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

         HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

         Debate to resume:  Thursday, 7th April, 2022.

         On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU seconded by HON. SEN. MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at Fourteen Minutes past Four O’clock p.m.

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