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SENATE HANSARD 6 JUNE 2013 VOL. 22 NO. 22
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 6th June, 2013
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock pm.
(MADAM PRESIDENT in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY MADAM PRESIDENT
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
MADAM PRESIDENT: May I remind hon. senators to switch off their cell phones before commencement of business.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President. I rise to
pose a question to the Minister of Health and Child Welfare. Can the Minister update this Senate on the recently mooted policy on „exporting‟ nurses to countries which have got a shortage of such labour force?
Madam President, can I ask another question.
MADAM PRESIDENT: The second and last because you should
only ask one question.
SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President. That is
why I sought for permission to ask the second one. Recently, there was news that there is a new ARV drug. What measures have been taken by the country to acquire the drug which can be administered to people living with HIV and AIDS? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE
(DR. MADZORERA): Thank you Madam President. I thank hon.
Senator Mumvuri for those questions. The first one is on the „export‟ of nurses, „export‟ in quotation marks because we do not want them to feel like commodities that are going to be put on the market. We are talking of the cooperation of Zimbabwe with other nations on the matter of human resources. Zimbabwe would like to start cooperating with other countries on the matter of human resources for health because we are well endowed with the skills and facilities to train health workers, particularly nurses.
We have the potential to train far in excess of our requirements. Sending our nationals to other countries to work there for a specified period of time will give them international experience that we need. It is good for us to train our youngsters and give them skills. Far beyond what Zimbabwe requires, we will continue to train nurses so that we empower our young people to become professionals. This is work in progress, we have not yet started and we have not put down in place the principles that will govern that cooperation with other countries. We have had some countries that have made direct requests for nurses and to train health workers for them. South Sudan is one such country in question. We also have other countries that are already cooperating with us in training doctors, for example, Lesotho sends 40 medical students to Zimbabwe every year for training. This has been going on for a few years.
We would like to accelerate this in the same manner that countries like Indonesia and Cuba have done so that we have Zimbabweans everywhere. It is also work in progress and it is not going to prejudice Zimbabwe in any way. We are talking about sending out those health workers who are excess to requirement. We believe that in the next few years, we will have a lot of such health workers.
The second issue was on the new drug for antiretroviral therapy. I am not sure which new drug the hon. senator is referring to. However, I
suspect that he is talking about Tenofovir, which is a drug that we are now using in place of Stavudine. That does not mean that Stavudine is a bad drug, we are still using it. Over 30% of our patients in the country are still on Stavudine and about 60 plus percent are on the new drug Tenofovir. These drugs work in combination. The reason why we are replacing Stavudine is because of its side effects which we do not like. However, not everyone reacts in that manner. Therefore, we still have a lot of people on Stavudine, living happily and getting value for money. We will continue to use Stavudine until we have run out of all the stocks in the country. We will not throw away any drug, but continue to use it on those people who do not react. By 2015, we anticipate that we will SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam
President. The Minister is aware that the issue of nurses is topical in this country. Having listened to the Minister‟s response, I see that he needs to clarify a few things. We are meant to understand that the real problem now is about having excess numbers of nurses in the country but it is a budgetary issue that we do not have enough money to employ enough nurses in all health centres. Can you clarify that because we believe that, what we are seeing in the rural areas, for example in clinics, in some areas we have health care nurses not those that are registered, which means there is a shortage of nurses in the rural areas. In some cases when a nurse goes off duty, there will be basically nobody to assist. So it is not about excess staff or excess number of trained nurses but is about the budgetary constraints. Minister, could you clarify on that?
- MADZORERA: I thank the Chief for this question. It is very important and I think we have tried to answer it before in the public press. We are not going to send our nurses out to deal with our budgetary problems, no, we are not. The issue of sending nurses out has nothing to do with the current employment freeze. In fact, right now we are short of several thousand nurses. When our economy comes right and we have money enough to everyone we want to employ, we will be able to mop-up all the nurses on the market and still remain with a deficit. We do not see ourselves being able to send out nurses over the next couple of years.
Even the development of protocols and signing agreements with other countries is not something that will happen quickly enough to enable us to use that as an outlet for our current employment freeze. So, the two are completely not related. The export of nurses is a long term vision; it is a long term plan that has got nothing to do with the current employment freeze.
You asked about the manning of rural health centres. At the rural health centers, we have primary care nurses whom we trained; they are the ones who man the clinics. We have two primary care nurses per clinic and it is true that when one goes on leave, there is staff shortage at the clinic. So, ideally we should have three or four primary care nurses but at the moment we are not able to increase that number though we have a new human resources establishment that I think has been approved by Treasury. Treasury now awaits funds in the future to permit the new human resources plan to come into action. We are still using an establishment that was done in the late 80‟s, but this establishment has been revised and we have a new establishment that has not yet been authorised to come into action for budgetary reasons.
However, every clinic has two primary care nurses who are trained for 18 months as nurses. They are quite competent to run health centres but yes, there is a shortage; two is not enough for a health centre. Thank you.
SENATOR CHIEF NGUNGUBANE: Thank you Madam
President. I would want to seek clarity from the Minister of Health on whether user fees for pregnant women were totally scrapped or not.
Some health institutions Madam President, are still charging pregnant women user fees and the reasons being that they are not covered by the Global Fund. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE (DR
MADZORERA): Thank you Senator. Chief Ngungumbane. The issue
of user fees, we are tackling it stage by stage. At the moment, it is the Health Transition Fund which is a multi-donor pulled fund that we are using to remove user fees at health centres. We have started with rural health centres where the most under-privileged people live. In terms of access to health, the people in the rural areas are the ones with the least access. So, to relieve their burden we have removed user fees at all rural health centres for pregnant women, for children under five and for the elderly who are over 65 years. We plan to move this very quickly to the district hospitals and we believe we have the money now to do that. So, we are working out the modalities of paying to the district hospitals. In other words it is a result based financing mechanism where a hospital that does 100 caesarian sections per month gets more than that one which does 60 caesarian sections per month. That is what we are moving on to and we have enough money to do that. The bottleneck will be at the provincial and central hospitals where we do not have money to cater for that. Women will have to continue to pay if they come to Parirenyatwa or Harare hospital and so forth.
All primary care clinics are now receiving money on a monthly basis, that is, US$750.00 per month in order to allow them not to charge the pregnant women and the other categories I have already mentioned. I would like to say that this amount is far in excess of what any clinic has been collecting so far in the country. Very few clinics have been collecting up to US$100.00 per month on user fees. We have given them a very generous allowance and many clinics have started actually using that money wisely through their health care committees to renovate the clinics and upgrade their situation. So, the future is looking bright. This programme, according to the finances we have will run over the next five years and the five years started in 2012. Thank you Madam
*SENATOR MUCHIHWA: Thank you Madam President. I
want to ask the Minister of health about cancer, mostly in rural areas and the outskirts of towns where there is no machinery to treat cancer. There are many women who are being affected with breast cancer as well as cancer of the uterus which result in the loss of life. As a ministry, what is your policy? What are you doing about the equipment that is used to treat cancer-chemotherapy? How best can we be assisted in that regard?
*THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE
(DR MADZORERA): Thank you Madam President. Senator
Muchihwa‟s question is very important. The issue of cancer treatment is on two sides, the supporting and the prevention.
Prevention of cancer should be the main issue and the main focus. People are now coming to seek assistance on cancer treatment when it is beyond control because we will then end up doing what we call, „polish treatment‟ so that one passes away without having to discharge smells or to be eaten by rats but that is not a good policy. We are encouraging people to be more pro-to-prevention. Women should check their breasts and whenever they notice signs of a pimple, they should run to the clinic no matter how small it is difficult to treat. This programme is done at all the clinics. In Harare, it is done at Chitungwiza hospital.
A doctor or nurse is able to examine a woman’s uterus and smear it with the acid; they will be able to see that there is cancer and take photographs of that. That type of cancer can be treated if it is quickly diagnosed. One can fully recover after treatment.
The machinery that you are talking about which is sophisticated, only comes in when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes; to the stomach and even the liver. These machines are only found at Parirenyatwa and Mpilo Hospitals. We bought two new machines; one of them is being installed at Mpilo; they are still doing renovations so as to house it because it cannot fit where the old machine was. There are such equipment as gummer cameras and so forth; the new equipment that was recently purchased. Our new equipment is now coming to the required standard. It is best even to diagnose cancer and it should be send to Provincial Hospitals. Thank you Madam President.
SENATOR MANDABA: I thank you Madam President, I just want to pose some questions and maybe remarks about nurses to the hon. Minister. Zimbabwean public is demanding quality care. I remember when teachers were in short supply; a programme like Zintec was introduced. This did not lower the standard of teaching but it took teachers gradually. The programme was arranged in such a way that, at the end of the training, the teacher was qualified; 18 months is not enough for a nurse to be trained to give quality care. This is why the referral centres; the tertiary institutions are overloaded with patients; therefore causing over work, off to the nurses who then the public complains of not being handled properly because they will be working under pressure. Surely, an 18 months trained compared to three years cannot give the same care. We expect that, even in rural areas people should be given quality care and those trained for 18 months need to
be upgraded. In actually fact, countries now are looking at degreed nurses to work in hospitals and we are still far away if we start by training primary care nurses. My suggestion and my call is that....
MADAM PRESIDENT: Order, this platform is for posing questions not suggestions.
SENATOR MANDABA: Thank you, then my question is the 18 months trained nurses cannot give quality care and therefore should be upgraded. Those that were trained for three years need to be even upgrade further to go for degrees; if we are to give the public of Zimbabwe quality care. I thank you.
THE MINISTER HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE (DR. MADZORERA)
Thank you, I think Hon. Mandaba has asked a good question in a statement manner. I agree with in some respects; I disagree in others. The cadre we are training which is called primary care nurse is a very well trained cadre. I believe when the previous Government introduced the primary care nurse, it was believed that this was a cadre who could not leave Zimbabwe and work somewhere else. No sooner had we introduced primary care nurses, we discovered that they were very marketable. They were going everywhere to the UK to work as nurses. They are very well trained cadres and I am sure Hon. Mandaba will be the first one to say that but she wants them to be trained the way she knows training of nurses. Upgrading them, we do not have plans to upgrade primary care nurses at the moment. What we are doing is to train them in midwifery.
So it is 18 months of primary care nurse training plus, I think it is a year of midwifery training. A lot of them have gone through midwifery training. So that will make it two and half years of training and they are very good midwives after training. What they need is support and supervision. We cannot have; it is like saying let us have a brain surgeon at every clinic that does not work. We have gradations of health care delivery, so we start with the primary care clinic. They treat what they can treat; even the village health workers can treat malaria.
They are at the forefront of treating malaria but they get six weeks training. They are serving thousands of lives. We cannot expect everybody to be a neurosurgeon, no we start at the lower level, they do what they do and they refer to the district hospital. The important thing is for them to know when to refer. The district refers to the province and so forth, that is our referral system but support and supervision is extremely important and we resuscitating this. We must have doctors who visit the clinics regularly, not just for treating patients but for teaching and instructing the juniors. You will find that after 10 years of work, that primary care nurse will be like a mini- doctor because of the continuous visits that they get from superiors. Degreed nurses; a degreed nurse from the University of Zimbabwe is nowhere close to the registered general nurse that we train in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare. You give me to choose when I fall sick between a degreed nurse and an RGN. They have the practical experience, they train in hospital; they know what to do. How can you nurse when you train at the University of Zimbabwe?
Even their attachments to health institutions, I think are brief. They are not long enough to give them proper exposure and become proper nurses. We have a problem in Zimbabwe, unless we change the model of training and start giving degrees to nurses who trained in the Ministry of Health first and then we will have an adequately trained degreed nurse. Thank you.
SENATOR HLALO: Thank you Madam President, my question to the Minister is about the hospital in Gwanda. I do not know whether it is a provincial or district hospital. I had the misfortune of having my relative who was involved in a car accident and I went over to Gwanda to see the patient. The hospital looks like it is an old hospital; are there any plans to upgrade such facilities so that they also come incline modern institutions?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE (DR.
MADZORERA): Yes, Sen. Hlalo, Gwanda hospital is a provincial hospital.
It is supposed to be in good shape but a lot of our provincial hospitals are not in good shape. We have been upgrading these hospitals one by one through the targeted approach. We have not yet finished upgrading all the hospitals in the country. I am not sure whether Gwanda is on the targeted approach for this year where about 18 institutions were put on the targeted approach. I could check that later but, yes it needs upgrading; it needs re-equipping. In terms of reequipping, I should say I think we may be fortunate later this year if the equipment we ordered through Zimbabwe-Chinese comes, about
US$80 million worth of equipment. We are going to re-equip all our District, Provincial and Central Hospitals but still, I appreciate that the physical infrastructure needs upgrading at Gwanda Hospital.
*SENATOR MAKUYANA: Thank you Madam President. I also
want the Minister to explain the relationship between his ministry and the herbalists who are coming into this country, where we have the traditional medicines such as Tianshi; they are now numerous in this country. Are these people registered within your ministry because some of the drugs that they dispense have side effects? Thank you.
*DR. MADZORERA: Thank you for the question Senator Makuyana. These medicines that are being brought into the country and other numerous medicines that are referred to as traditional medicines are not regulated. There is no law to regulate these, similar to the traditional medical practitioners that we have here. We do have regulations in place and these are with the Attorney-General. We will gazette them in the not too distant future. It has taken us a long time to come up with these regulations because some of these medicines that are not documented, without names are difficult to regulate but we have come up with regulations that we are going to use to regulate the medicines in that sector.
It does not matter whether you use herbs from a n’anga or from anyone outside the country. If you have side effects, come and tell us as the Ministry of Health so that we can keep a record of those who have had side effects to these medications regardless of the dispenser of that medicine. It does help you legally and it helps us in the future. Thank you.
*SENATOR MANYERUKE: Thank you Madam President. I
would like to ask the Minister of Health and Child Welfare. There are children in our communal lands and it is in relation to HIV/AIDS counselling and testing progemme. Those that you train at provincial level are they under your ministry or are they being donor funded or donor driven. If it is not your ministry that is paying them, who else is paying them? Thank you
*DR. MADZORERA: Madam President, Senator Manyeruke‟s
question requires me to do some research because the ministry has its own HIV programmes. There were other programmes which were there; maybe they are the ones she is making reference to. These are paid by donors but they fall under our ministry because you cannot simply go to a clinic and say you would want to test people but we are working with donors and it is donor funded although they are attached to the ministry. I do not know why she has posed that question; whether the money or the number of workers is insufficient, I thank you.
*MADAM PRESIDENT: Senator Manyeruke, you are allowed to ask a supplementary question.
*SENATOR MANYERUKE: I am making reference to the
salaries because they go to work without remuneration, hence my need for clarification as to whether they are with the ministry or with the donors.
*DR. MADZORERA: It is an issue I will research into. If I am to equate them to our village health workers, the amounts that they are paid is little. They are being paid US$ 30 per month, I believe. So it is not proper for them to come every month to collect the money but after three months they come and collect the money. That was put in place so as to be economical to them in collecting their US$20 per month but this needs to be looked into.
*SENATOR CHIEF CHISUNGA: I would like to ask the
Minister of Health and Child Welfare as to why Mbire District Hospital shares commodities, equipment or material with Guruve when the two have since been separated. As we speak, we only have a single doctor and the vehicles that are being allocated are at Guruve and everything is managed from Guruve Hospital, fuel included. The administrators of health are also from Guruve. What is the Minister of Health and Child Welfare doing to ensure that Mbire District Hospital be a stand-alone hospital?
* MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE (DR.
MADZORERA): The question is difficult, it also requires me to go and research. That one hospital reports to another hospital is not new, that is what our structure is like but it requires me to research on the structure and find out why this district hospital is reporting to another hospital. I also want to research on whether its status is a district hospital or not. The designation then tells us where that particular hospital reports to through the structure. I thank you.
*MADAM PRESIDENT: You have heard these questions which
require detail. These should not be part of Questions Without Notice. If you want details, like the ones that have been given by Senator
Manyeruke and Senator Chief Chisunga, these are the types of questions that we should pose on Questions With Notice, where they are written and sent to the relevant ministry or they are sent to the Ministry of Health. All these questions that you have asked, he is going to make reference to once they are written questions. He will then task his subordinates to research and they will provide answers so that when we get into the Questions with Notice session, you will then be provided with your response. So, if there are things that you want to find out about what is going on in our constituencies, we should write down these questions and they should then become part of our Questions with Notice. That will be quite helpful because questions without notice are with regards to policy issues. So for the first 45 minutes, we will be dealing with the policy issues and from a quarter past three o‟clock, we will then be dealing with questions with notice and these are quite helpful if we were to bear that in mind.
*SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam
President. What is the policy as regards to the nurse aids? In the communal lands, we find that if the nurse has gone off duty, the nurse aid or the primary nurse, the one who wears pink uniform gives treatment to people. Is she permitted to treat people?
*THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE
(DR. MADZORERA): This is a good question from Senator Chief
Charumbira. Yes, she is permitted, depending on what she is treating. I, earlier on said our village health workers are treating malaria in my responses. There is what we called Chloroquine borders a long time ago. They used to move with bicycles and baskets full of medicines. They are trained on how to dispense those medicines depending on the symptoms. If those who wear pink dresses are at the clinic and you come at 1500 hours when you are suffering from malaria, because the nurses are absent, they will treat you. You will die if you decide to go back and come the following day. So, they have been trained to diagnose malaria and they can treat malaria there and there and it is legal.
However, they cannot treat everything and dispense antibiotics. If there are those doing unlawful deeds, it is important that behaviour be nipped in the bud. I thank you.
SENATOR MHLOSTHWA: Thank you very much Madam
President. Minister, I want to know what the policy says about the caregivers. We are in the world of internet and there is so much internet coverage everywhere, even in the rural areas. You will find a nurse is always on the phone when there are patients to be attended to. What does your policy say on these issues? Maybe, by the time you crafted the policies, there were no cellphones. What should they do with these cellphones? Should they be taken somewhere like in the offices and then take them during lunch or should they have them every time whilst attending to patients?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE
(DR. MADZORERA): Thank you Sen. Mlotshwa for that question which is very important. I have never thought about the cellphones in the clinical setting. At the moment, nurses, doctors and every health worker are allowed to carry with them their cellphones. We have never made a ruling that bans cellphones in the workplace.
Your question and contributions are very important and causes us to think about what to do in future. The broader aspects of your question are on customer care and not really on cellphones because we could take away the cellphone and customer care will remain poor. We are very seised with the matter of customer care. The attitude of nurses and even doctors had really gone down during our period of hardship. Where life was really no longer valued very much because people were busy thinking about how to survive and they were even stealing things from the hospitals so that they can earn a living by selling them.
So, we need to bring back the culture that Sen. Mandava and others had long ago. In 2009, we had put together a committee of what we called elders but it failed to function because of financial reasons. The purpose of that committee was for these elders to go from hospital to hospital, clinic to clinic teaching the younger nurses particularly, the general etiquette. The way to behave and how to handle clients, they need to have that instilled in them because some of them trained during the hard times where they never saw a single client being handled properly. So, they do not know and we cannot blame them too much.
However, we are resuscitating this and we want to improve customer care. We are even looking at ways, through our quality department of having all our institutions ISO certified. What this does is, it puts quality in the fore of the mind of the health workers, so that they keep thinking quality, quality all the time. We hope that will improve the quality of care and I think that is the way to go rather than addressing the cellphone issue. If my cellphone rings and I am attending a client, I can ignore it and return the call later. If my mind has been properly trained and that is where we need to get to.
In terms of Standing Order No. 34, time for questions without notice was interrupted by Madam President.
REPORT OF THE 21ST SESSION OF THE ACP-EU JOINT
SENATOR MHLOTSHWA: I move the motion standing in my
name that this House takes note of the report of the delegation to the 21st
Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Budapest, Hungary from 11th to 18th May 2011.
SENATOR CHITAKA: I second.
SENATOR MHLOTSHWA: Madam President, the African,
Caribbean and Pacific and the European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU JPA) met for its 21st Session in Budapest from 11th to 18th May 2011. The Zimbabwean delegation was headed by Hon. Makhosini Hlongwane, MP (ZANU PF), Sithembile Mlotshwa, MP
(MDC-T), Hon. Thandeko Mnkandla MP (MDC-M), H.E. Ambassador
- M. Muchada and Dr. G. Chipare (Principal Director, Parliament of Zimbabwe) and Mr. M. Tavenyika, (First Secretary) at Zim-Brussels.
This JPA has three standing committees, the political affairs, the economic affairs and the social affairs. There is also a women‟s forum and other human rights and civic society meetings that are run concurrently with the standing committees. Madam President, I want to say that as I table this report that I personally, have benefited so much on, being sent to this ACP-EU JPA and I appreciate so much what I have gone through and what I have experienced. I think by now after all these years, I am a better person than I was before I went there.
The 21st Session was officially opened on 16th May 2011 by H. E.
Pal Schmitt, President of the Republic of Hungary.
Statements were also delivered by Louis Michel and David
Matongo, the JPA co-Presidents. Colleagues, you will note that this Joint Parliamentary Assembly has two co-Presidents, one from the EU and one from the ACP because they are two bodies. Andris Piebalgs, the EC Commission for Development; the Hon. Shamsudeen Usman OFR, Minister of National Planning Commission of the Federal Government of Nigeria and President-in-Office of the ACP Council; and the Hon. James Martonyi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and President-in-Office of the EU Council.
The co-President of the EU side, Louis Michel put emphasis on his statement. It is unfortunate that I do not have the statement to table it with me. I will make a summary of the things that he emphasised on. He put emphasis on homosexuals that in their part of the world, they see nothing wrong by legalising gay marriages. This matter was seized and the ACP side did not agree. …
Madam President having noticed two Hon. Senators conversing
MADAM PRESIDENT: Order, if you two have something to
really discuss, I advise you to leave the Chamber.
SENATOR. MLOTSHWA: The ACP side which is our side did not take well what Louis Michel was talking about. Our own coPresident David Matongo talked of the GNU and him being from
Zambia and being from the SADC, called on SADC as his region, to make sure that they solve political crisis by listening to the voices of the people so as to avoid the GNUs. That was part of his statement.
The statements generally focused on the future of the ACP-EU relations post-2020; the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on ACP-EU relations; the status and prospects for EPA negotiations; the consolidation of democracy in ACP and the EU and the future of the
EDF after 2013. Remember we were in 2011 when this Parliament met.
The statements were well received. The ACP Member States remain pre-occupied with the post-2020 period when the Cotonou Agreement ends because the EU remains very evasive as to whether there will be a successor agreement, and if so, what form it would take.
Zimbabwe, alongside Kenya, in the context of the ACP-EU
Standing Committee on Political Affairs whose report on “Challenges for the future of democracy and respecting constitutional order in ACP and EU countries”, referred to the two as examples of unusual country situations that necessitated power sharing arrangements. You will realise that around the globe, people that come and meet in this Joint Parliamentary Assembly are seized with talking about all the issues of all the countries that are members of that JPA. So the rapporteurs that were reporting under the political affairs, their topic of the report was,
“Challenges for the future of democracy and respecting constitutional order in the ACP and EU countries”.
The two countries, Zimbabwe and Kenya objected to naming just a few power sharing arrangements and called for either the inclusion of exhaustive lists of such countries, including those in EU. However, the final report adopted by the Joint Parliamentary Assembly specifically named Kenya and Zimbabwe as the examples of that time.
Zimbabwe was also discussed in the „Catch-the-Eye‟ debate with
Commissioner Piebalgs and with Hon. Janos Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and President-in-Office of the EU Council. In the debate, both Hon. F. Hajaig from South Africa and Hon. Piet van der Walt of Namibia, in his capacity as Chair of SADC, called on the EU to lift all sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, pursuant to the SADC decision.
The SADC group distributed statements to that effect.
Commissioner Piebalgs and Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi responded that the EU was ready to work with SADC on Zimbabwe as confirmed by the EU‟s engagement with the SADC Mission that visited
Brussels on 2 May 2011. The EU undertook to support the SADC‟s efforts towards the drafting of the roadmap to credible elections in Zimbabwe and added that the roadmap should not substitute the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Zimbabwe offered to host the next round of the ACP-EU Regional
Parliamentary meeting while Southern Africa gave initial support to the Zimbabwean bid. An inclusive decision would be required to buttress a firm lobbying strategy by the Parliament of Zimbabwe if it is to land the important meeting. The decision will be taken at the level of the Bureau.
Zambia eventually hosted the Regional Parliamentary Meeting in February 2012. You will realise that the report is old, we are now in 2013 but we are talking of 2012.
The Zimbabwe delegation really wanted the Zimbabwe Parliament to host the regional meetings that are held by this JPA. What they do is that they give a region to host these regional meetings. So it was the chance for Southern Africa to host this meeting and us, as Zimbabwe wanted really to be given a chance to host the meeting so that at least people would come and experience what Zimbabweans are like. You will note that the EU Members of Parliament were so keen to come and visit Zimbabwe if we had been given a chance to host this regional meeting but we did not manage. Hence, Zambia under Southern Africa, hosted the meeting last year in February.
Zimbabwe was also discussed during a luncheon organised on the margins on the 17th of May, 2011 by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO
Forum and the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN). The topic was
“Zimbabwe: What hope of free and fair elections without violence”. This was the topic that was discussed in 2011 by the human rights groups that had a site meeting and the people came and discussed Zimbabwe. We were put on limelight as the delegation because questions were posed and we were made to assure the JPA that Zimbabwe will hold elections without violence.
As it says here in the statement that we were presented with an opportunity to share different
- Proposes that Parliamentary capacity be adopted as an indicator of aid and development effectiveness and measured over time in the knowledge that it contributes to sound financial management, sustainable political stability and economic success.
- Recalls that ownership should allow partner countries to define own political priorities.
Engagement of non-state actors and local authorities.
- Calls on EU and partner countries to deepen and broaden the structured dialogue process for the civil society organisations and local authority engagement so as to ensure their full and meaningful participation in the planning, implementation, monitoring and assessment of budgets and programmes;
- Stresses that the territorial approach and multi level governance are key elements in more effective development strategies; calls therefore on the EU and the partner countries to take account of territories as a sphere of public action;
Calls on donors and partner countries to fully evaluate and deepen the Paris and Accra commitments through reforms based on democratic ownership and support for CSOs and local authorities;
- Also underlines the role of independent legal systems and free media in fostering good governance and accountability;
New Development Partnerships
- Recognises that 72% of the world‟s poorest people in the middleincome countries (MICs); recognises that MICs require different form of development partnership that focuses more in inclusive growth, economic diversification, redistribution of wealth and the promotion of development effectiveness through South-South cooperation and of peer learning and sharing of development experience;
- Recalls the need for aid adapted to the specificities and needs of fragile states, lower-income post-conflict countries and small island developing states (SIDs), and for strengthened efforts to cooperate with the poorest countries;
- Calls for aid to target the poorest people and not just the poorest countries;
- Emphasizes that aid should be looked upon as a catalyst and not as a means of development; recognises that the ultimate purpose of aid is to attain a state where aid is no longer necessary;
Division of Labour
- Calls on the EU to take a leading role on division of labour (DoL) in the context of high level forum-4 and to step up its efforts to increase donor coordination and DoL, accompanied by measures in favour of democratic ownership, the assumption of responsibility and better aid quality;
- Stresses the need to solve the problems of so-called „darling‟ and
„orphan‟ countries and neglect of crucial sectors such as health, education, social cohesion and gender equality;
Welcomes the adoption of the EU Code of Conduct on Division of
Labour in Development Policy by the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 15 May 2007 and points out that the EUs failure to fully implement the principles contained in the Code of Conduct on Division of Labour (DoL) misses the opportunity to make savings of up to EUR6 billion;
Private Sector as a Development Actor
- Recognises the growing involvement of private sector stakeholders in development partnerships; recognises the benefits of incorporating private sector development aid into aid effectiveness agreements, but also the need to clarify what roles the private sector could and should play and to link them to the achievement of MDGs and to sustainable development, as well as to the primary responsibility of the public sector; underlines the importance of not moving back to tied aid in this context;
Emphasises the importance of transparency and assessment of the impact of private sector development actors on development outcomes;
- Calls on donors to utilise aid to catalyse development of the domestic private sector, improve domestic regulatory institutions for the private sector and promote private sector development that incorporates the poorest populations and contributes to development objectives.
- Emphasises the importance of sustaining momentum on aid and development effectiveness beyond Busan;
- Recommends continuing to monitor and evaluate the implementation of and progress towards the commitments of the PD and the AAA; recommends that the next survey be conducted to coincide with the deadline of the MDGs in order to complement global reviews of development programme at this time;
Emphasises the importance of embedding aid effectiveness in a development effectiveness framework that priorities overall development outcomes and includes policy coherence for development and the involvement of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in order to better take into account the regional dimensions of aid and development effectiveness;
- Requests that an inclusive „Busan Compact‟ be launched at high level forum, which brings together specific time-bound commitments and initiates fundamental reforms in the global governance of development cooperation;
- Notes the emergence of new development actors, including individual countries whose approach is not governed by European cooperation standards and calls for a political, inclusive approach to those countries with a view to achieving a transparent overall development-cooperation dynamic;
SENATOR CHITAKA: We have all seen the report. I must say
that it is little bit of a mouthful for Senators to understand. However, I have picked one or two issues. The first is the age of the report – I think in future we should submit these reports timeously, otherwise they become irrelevant. This meeting was held in 2011and we are now in 2013.
The second comment that I would like to make is that if you look at the discussions and the whole structure of ACP-EU, it is premised mainly on the rich EU countries versus the poor ACP countries, the civilised EU countries versus the primitive ACP countries. It is premised on the democratic countries versus the non-democratic countries. I think it is about time we changed the model. We need to move away from these associations that have traditional archaic models and move into a partnership based on equality and respect.
As long as we are regarded as the poor cousins in this relationship, we will continue to have this mentality that we are poor when we are not poor. We are being made to believe that we are poor and if we continue to accept this partnership where we are beggars and they are the givers – munhu akajaira kupuhwa haazofungi kuti regai ndimbozviitirawo zvinhu
zvangu. It is about time we changed the protocol that we have about these ACP-EU partnerships so that we have a partnership based on real exchange of ideas and mutual respect.
I really do not believe that Africa still needs aid. Africa is rich enough without aid. As long as we stop people from stealing our wealth and develop our own people here, we will not need a single cent from the so-called developed countries. Look at this country for example, how rich it is with platinum and diamonds. Even the soils here are very rich, we can feed ourselves. We really do not need to be reminded to say we must give you aid. We do not need to be reminded about Cotonou
Agreement coming to an end – there are a lot of pages on „aid‟, I hope in the next few years we must go away from these kind of associations based on real mutual respect. I thank you
*SENATOR CHIEF MUSARURWA: I would like to thank
Senator Mlotshwa who was our representative especially in the Senate and the country. We are against the people who made the speech that we should let marriages of the same sex go ahead or allow lesbianism and gayism. We should have told them that Zimbabwe is a different country. We do not accept gayism and lesbianism. You should have told them that they should do that in other countries but not in Zimbabwe.
*SENATOR MANYERUKE: Thank you Mr. President. I would
like to thank Senator Mlotshwa on representing us in that international congregation and that she was able to meet with people from different countries and gather their ways of living. We thank her for this report which is very comprehensive. I also support the sentiments which were raised by Senator Chitaka that every Zimbabwean who has drafted the new constitution, believes in mixed marriages. We do not believe in gay marriages or lesbian marriages because we know that we have more women than men in Zimbabwe. We can even have polygamous families. We also know that the birth rate is high. As of now, we still find the birth rate of baby girls being higher than baby boys. Senator Mlotshwa, let me say you were very fortunate enough to fly out of the country and travel in an aeroplane. Thank you Mr. President.
REPORT OF THE 21ST SESSION OF THE ACP-EU JOINT
SENATOR MLOTSHWA: I move the motion standing in my
name that this House takes note of the Report of the delegation to 21st
Session of the ACE-EU Joint parliamentary Assembly held in Lome, Togo from the 16th to the 23rd September, 2013.
SENATOR CHITAKA: I second.
The 2nd Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) and the Standing Committees were held from the 21st to 23rd November and 19th to the 20th November, 2011, respectively. These sessions were proceeded by the meetings of the 26th Session of the ACP Assembly and
ACP Standing Committees held from the 16th to the 18th November,
- The official opening of the JPA took place on Monday 21st
The delegation to the above meeting comprises the following members of Parliament: Hon. Makhosin Hlongwane, member of the
House of Assembly and Head of Delegation; Hon. Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa, member of the Senate; Hon. Thandeko Mkandla, member of the House of Assembly; accompanied by Dr. Andris M. Rukobo (Principal Director, Information Services).
The ACP members of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and on 16 and 17 November in Standing Committee and on 18 November in the ACP Assembly.
3.1 Committee Meetings
Deliberations of members of ACP took place in three committees namely, Political Affairs, Economic Affairs and Social Affairs. A central discussion in the Political Affairs standing Committee as on “the
Political impact of the Libyan Conflict on neighbouring ACP and EU states”, which was led by Assarid Ag Imbarcaourne (Mali). With respect to the EU, the discussion focused on the impaction regional security. On the other hand, the impact on the ACP countries relates to humanitarian crisis, security and stability in the Sahelo-Saharan region and socioeconomic repercussion as ACP migrants who previously worked in Libya, making financial remittances to their countries, had to go back home after the fall of the Gadafi government.
The discussion concluded that the consequence of the collapse of the Jamahiriya for the ACP was generally negative and its long term effect will be grave. It was further observed that while some quarters might consider the “Arab Spring” good, the “winter” that followed might be long, uncertain and probably harsh. In the discussion it was also acknowledged that the African Union (AU) had been completely sidelined by the West in Libya, and Africa was therefore unlikely to fully participate in the reconstruction of Libya, as well as in finding long term solutions to the problems there.
Another issue which was discussed in the committee was the situation in Somalia which is considered to pose a threat to the Horn of Africa in terms of the humanitarian situations as well as the breakdown of law and order. It was pointed out by Kenya, which raised the issue, the Alshabab insurgents were committing heinous crimes in Kenya and had killed, abducted and maimed Kenyans and nationals of other countries, including humanitarian workers. As a result of this deteriorating situation, Kenya had no choice but to intervene in order to defend its territorial integrity. In exercising this inherent right to self defence, the Kenyan delegate argued, the objective of Kenya was to destroy Alshabab networks and restore stability in the region but had no intention of staying in Somalia any longer than was necessary on the situation. The delegate further proposed that the JPA should adopt a resolution. Ethiopia strongly supported Kenya‟s position. The discussion was further taken up in JPA committees and during the Plenary.
The economic Affairs Committee discussed a number of issues including “The impact of debt on development financing in ACP countries”. The meeting looked at the increased levels of sovereign debt following the global financial crisis.
The causes for the high levels of sovereign debt were identified as negative balance of payments in ACP countries, weak public sector governance, lack of effective tax system burden of conditionality attached to contacted foreign loans and other factors which result in a lack of availability of reserves to fund the economy in times of crisis. The reliance of ACP countries on foreign capital, at the expense of local capital was especially emphasised.
The committee emphasised the need for members of Parliament to develop skills to deal with issues of debt and the economy and play an oversight role which was their core mandate.
A discussion also took place on, “Price volatility, the functioning of global markets for agricultural products and their impact on food security in ACP countries”. Price volatility, it was pointed out, had considerable impact not only on consumers, but also on producers, especially small ones. As a result, it was emphasized that it was necessary to fund solutions and make interventions.
Discussion on the matter centred on:
- Efforts made by some developing countries;
- Safety nets, including subsidized food to the poor and emergency food stocks;
- The need to identify local investment, before looking for investors
Other discussions that took place were on agricultural policy, an update on the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) and the Economic partnership Agreements (EPAS). With respect to EPAS, it was reported that negotiations were still underway. Delegates however expressed serious concern on the consequences of the measures, and that the EU was not negotiating in good faith.
The Social Affairs Committee discussed “The inclusion of persons with disabilities in developing countries”, pointing out in particular the linkage between poverty reduction and sustainable development and disability. Another discussion was on “social and environmental impacts of mining in ACP countries”. Emphasis was placed on the need for developing national capacity and strong regulatory frameworks to keep check on foreign mining companies, and the need for political support in safe guarding the populations from the effects of mining. Particular attention was also drawn to the need to invest revenues accrued from minerals sustainably e.g. in human resources.
3.2 ACP Assembly
The plenary of the ACP Assembly took place on Friday, 18th
November, to exchange views on matters to be discussed at the
ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, review reports of the 3
Standing committees, namely Political Affairs, Economic
Development and social Affairs, with a view to forging a common ACP position on the various issues and matters and Resolutions to be adopted by the ACP-EU Joint parliamentary Assembly.
The Secretary General, in his remarks, referred to the historical context of the ACP with the signing of the Lome Convention in 1975, the significance of the ACP block of 500 million citizens, and described it as the largest economic space and trading block. He underlined the democratization process in the ACP and the growing culture of peace in Africa. However, there were still challenges related to poverty with consequences on the life chances of people, the environment and development.
Reports on deliberations in the Standing Committee were also presented. Focus was on the Lisbon Treaty, the Libyan crisis and the impact of Niger, Africa, Europe and beyond, the situation in Somalia as well as updates on situations in ACP countries including Madagascar.
The reports from the Economic Affairs Committee focused the discussion on price volatility, current status of EPAS, negotiations,
BANANA measures, draft resolution on debt and agricultural policy.
The Committee on Social Affairs reported on disability and mining and the environment. They emphasised on the need for developing national capacity and strong regulatory frameworks to monitor foreign mining companies and the need to safeguarding people from the effects of mining. It was agreed that there was also need to invest revenues accrued from minerals for example to human resources.
4) Official Opening
The formal opening of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly took place on Monday, 21 November 2011. In his address the President of the National Assembly, referred to the democratic process taking place in Togo. He noted that the JPA was historical, as it sought to initiate a process of renewal and establish new beneficiaries since the signing of the Lome Convention.
The EU Co-President of the JPA, Louis Michel thanked the President of Togo for hosting the JPA. Officially opening the meeting, he underlined that Togo had taken its rightful place on the world stage. He went on to say the holding of the JPA in Togo was a demonstration of support by the ACP/EU to the Togolese people and the efforts it is making politically and economically.
He also touched on the importance of the democratic governance debate to the JPA, the “Arab Revolution”, food crisis and the situation in Somalia. Mr. Assarid, the ACP Co-President of the JPA spoke of diverse issues that faced the JPA, among them debt, the Lisbon Treaty, urban development, access to medicine and the consequences of the
“Arab Spring”. With respect to the situation in Libya, he pointed out the challenges posed to countries in the region, arms especially the questions of dealings, drugs and lawlessness and called for EU support in dealing with challenges.
In his solidarity message, the President of Niger disputed that the ACP was characterised by authoritarianism and oppression. He pointed out that the key challenges were food security, energy and transport, threats of terrorism.
In his address, the President of Togo pointed out that the agenda of the JPA was broad and sought to address issues of concern to the ACP and the EU. Among the key issues is the need to look at the situation in Northern Africa. To look at security, especially the problems of piracy in Somalia and Gulf of Guinea; and the crisis in Europe and the solutions that are being applied and the issue of globalisation. He then pointed out that while the existence of the ICC was appreciated, there is growing discomfort about it in Africa. He said that there is a growing perception that only citizens of African countries have been indicated by ICC. He suggested that the life span of the ICC should be limited.
5) Discussion in the ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
STATEMENT BY ANDRIS PIEBALGS
In his statement, Mr. Andris Piebalgs, Member of the Commission responsible for development referred to developments in different parts of the world including the “Arab Spring” and the challenges that these developments brought forth to the ACP and the EU, and elsewhere. He emphasised that the EU development policy must keep pace with these changes. In particular, there was need to devise poverty alleviation strategies. With respect to the link between “good governance” and development, the crucial role of Parliament and civil society was emphasised. Moreover, democracy and respect for human rights should anchor discussion of development. Other important issues include the centrality of agriculture as a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Access to Medicines
There was also a discussion on the access to medicines with focus on malaria, cost of drugs vis-à-vis the incomes of the people. The discussion also touched on the need for safe and affordable medicines, the link between poverty and access to medicines and the need to respect local traditional knowledge systems. The case and success of Cuba in medicine generally and use of herbs was referred to. The Commission emphasised the importance of quality control and implementing comprehensive health reforms, as well as prioritising and promoting research.
Another discussion was on the international justice system. The ACP countries took the view that the ICC was being used against ACP mainly African countries and that there was duplicity by Europe on the matter. Consequently, the ICC had been undermined as the same countries which talk of and appear to champion human rights, violate them in Afghanistan and Libya among others with impunity.
Delegates of the EU, however, defended the ICC and pointed out that, according to Galher there is not only “heavenly justice but also earthly justice”, and disputed that only Africans were targeted, but the Europeans were also being tried at the Hague under a different court.
The Plenary Assembly also discussed the reports from the three Standing Committees, namely Political Economic and Social and received reports from the workshops on Energy Public Health and Participation of Young People. The workshop on energy observed that there was need to shift to renewable resources and to massively scale up energy initiatives, as energy is a security issue. The workshop on Health observed that malaria was a major public health issue but was faced with the challenges of development of medicines and mobilisation of resources. The workshop on Young People emphasised the need to improve institutional capacity.
- The Joint Parliamentary Assembly was generally a success and a range of issue was discussed and there was robust between the ACP and the EU debate. The main focus was on the Arab Spring, especially the consequences of the situation in Libya, piracy in Somalia and the Gulf of Guinea, the crisis in Europe, EPAS and governance issues, generally.
- The delegation drew lessons and made contributions to various issues under discussions.
SENATOR CHITAKA: Firstly I would like to commend my
sister Senator Mlotshwa for bringing this report to this august House. I have a few comments. The first comment is unlike the earlier report that was presented in this august House. This report did not mention Zimbabwe. In other words, Zimbabwe was not on the agenda of these meetings of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. Zimbabwe was not on the agenda. I think it will be important to us as a country, to strive to make sure that Zimbabwe does not continue to be on the agenda of these forums. It is my hope that after the coming harmonised elections, Zimbabwe will cease to be an agenda item at these regional and international forums.
I also note the successes on the discussions reported in the report about the conflicts in Libya, Somalia et cetera. It is worthwhile to note that it is when Africa intervenes directly when we get amicable solutions. Africa has had a history of failure to intervene; we play lip service to a lot of these conflicts. Sometimes we actually fuel conflicts by taking sides. It is only when Africa makes a decisive stand and actually backs it up with muscle whether military, financial or diplomatic muscle that we see results. Results are now happening in Somalia because of the direct intervention of the African union force led by Kenya and Uganda.
We also note that in Libya Africa dragged its feet until the Europeans intervened and now we are crying that Africa is being sidelined. It is because the African Union dragged its feet, they did not want to be seen to be supporting one side or the other, at the end of the day the conflict was resolved according to the dictates of the European Union. So, we cannot complain, takatorerwa basa racho.
We also come to Zimbabwe where you notice that because of the direct intervention of SADC and the African Union, the situation in our country after 2008 was stabilised. So, we would hope that Africa continues in its intervention and not shy away from dealing with the difficulties that can beset our Continent.
My second point is about agriculture. Agriculture has been mentioned in the report referring mainly to price volatility. I think we should press upon our partners in the EU especially that sometimes it is better not to give aid but to teach the person how to fish or farm. It is better to support agriculture rather than to give us food. The emphasis should be giving us the know how through extension services, helping us to farm better, helping us to produce food for feeding them because they do not have the land whilst we have got it and not to impoverish us. They want to make sure that we are incompetent in farming and at the end of the day also dictate their prices by subsidizing their own farmers in Europe. We should urge the European Union, our partners there, to at least, instead of giving us food, give us the farm implements, inputs and the knowledge to do the farming.
Just like in the Health Sector as described by the Minister, Dr. Senator Madzorera here, I think we do not need doctors because we have very competent doctors. What we need is the equipment and the support in the form of drugs.
Coming to mining, I noticed that there is a section on mining referring to the environmental damage that is being done especially by the multinational mining companies. I would have loved to see a commitment from the „so called‟ developed countries. I say „so called‟ developed countries because I think it is a misnomer to call them developed countries but instead we have to call them the industrialised countries maybe. Describing them using development, I do not think that way.
The industrialised countries have been talking about local laws and regulations to regulate these mining activities to avoid environmental damage. I challenge them to also put regulations and penalties in their countries to penalize their companies which are here polluting our environment. They should be penalized in their countries of origin. Their countries should say, “you went to Chiadzwa and dispossessed so many villagers there of their land without compensating them, so we are fining you here as the European Union” and have the money taken back to the host countries like Zimbabwe, to resettle and compensate the people who have been affected there.
They cannot have their cake, eat it and at the same time say, deal with the people who are degrading the environment whilst the companies degrading the environment are mainly from outside the country. Let us lobby, my sister when you are there next time. Lobby that yes, we want to preserve our environment but help us …
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: Order, Order! She is not
your sister in this Chamber, she is an honourable senator.
SENATOR CHITAKA: My apologies to my Honourable Senator
Mlotshwa. Sometimes we forget that we are in the Senate but ukama haugezwi. If I can conclude, I was about to conclude Mr. President. On the mining issue, my submission is that our representatives to this forum must lobby that these companies which come here to mine, should mine but when they pollute and damage the environment, the penalty should not just be given locally but there should be some penalties also instituted in their home countries. I thank you.
SENATOR MAKORE: Thank you very much President for this opportunity you have given me. Firstly, I want to thank Senator Mlotshwa for a very eloquent report she has submitted to this House. I noticed that this organisation is a very meaningful organisation due to its sincerity and tolerance in discussing political, economic and social affairs of Africa. To me, it is a good institution because there, we localize our discussion in an attempt to arrive at appropriate political, economic or social solutions.
Of great importance, I noticed that there are many wars in Africa and in particular that of Somalia although we continue to have wars in Africa. I believe this organization, if supported and respected, we will arrive at solutions very amicably. To me, it is a great honour to localize our discussions and get concerned with the solutions of Africa which are perhaps more homely domesticated and which can be arrived at very peacefully.
We should also be concerned about the highest level of development in terms of agriculture because there is need for an element of food security in Africa. That is very important. We experienced something very sorrowful in the case of Somalia in the past years. We noticed Mr. President that people were coming here from Somalia on foot and proceed down to South Africa. Some of them were as thin as this ball point and I do not know why. You could hardly look at a person of that nature twice.
I think we must give social support to this organization and any other similar organisation that shall come later. That organization should be encouraged to bail out other countries in Africa which get into such situations of hunger. To me, it is so much important Mr. President.
The other factor which I should look at very seriously is that of the judiciary. We are clamouring that the judgments that are being done elsewhere by other international institutions either regarded as fair or not, are being upheld. There are judgments being made by other international organizations on countries which they sort of reign over. These organisations steward their member countries and look into whatever crimes that could be committed in the relevant countries. This is a challenge to Africa because we do not have unity and courage that can push us to form such form of institutions to control ourselves.
Thanks to this idea that is coming from the Africa, Caribbea and Pacific Union (ACPU) member countries. I think it is important and it is supported but this is not the only thing that we can do. Let us start from social support up to such other levels as well, but I believe a unity of approach and the intense with which that can be encouraged to build institutions of that nature will create pride for Africa. After that, we can also deal with our own issues in Africa and compete with other international countries.
I want to support also the issue of mining in terms of its social aspect. Yes, we have a lot of riches in Africa and again these countries depend much on the raw materials from Africa. What we can only be far short of is giving value to our primary goods available; otherwise Africa can be the golden state above all other countries internationally. It is rich in these resources.
Be that as it may, we do not have adequate support mechanisms to avoid a lot of land degradation. Holes are being dug everywhere and I think while mining is important also; the environment is on the same note very important.
On quite a number of unsustainable mining activities we are undertaking, we are engaged in them because of hunger and a lot of other problems that we have in Africa and particularly in Zimbabwe. We see these mining activities injuring a lot of people because we do not have sophisticated systems that could help reduce the incidence of such tragedies due to mining incompetency.
I think under this organisation that we have, something can be initiated as to how best we can approach these particular problems in Africa. I do not want to go further because I think it is now too late. I want to thank you over this little contribution.
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE: I
move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11 June, 2013.
RATIFICATION OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION
CONVENTION ON TOBACCO CONTROL
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE: I
move the motion standing in my name;
THAT WHEREAS Subsection (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution provides that any Convention, Treaty or Agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more Foreign States or Governments or
International Organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS the World Health Organisation Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) was opened for signature on 16th June to 22 June 2003 in Geneva and from 29 June, 2003 to 28
June 2004 in New York;
AND WHEREAS Article 35 of the World Health Organisation
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control provides for the deposition of instruments of ratification or accession with the depository;
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Subsection (1) of Section 111B
of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Convention be and is hereby approved for accession.
Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600 000 are people exposed to second hand smoke. Tobacco causes disease in nearly every part of the body that you may think of. The major pathology caused by tobacco is cancer, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular conditions, tooth decay, hair loss, premature ageing, and hearing loss. Nearly any part of the body can be affected. For men, this is particularly important, tobacco can cause impotence. It is a major predisposing factor for most of the communicable diseases.
Passive smoking is just as dangerous as active smoking.
Mr. President, I am presenting the WHO FCTC. This Framework Convention, which we call in short the (WHO FCTC) was developed in response to the globalisation of the tobacco epidemic. It is an evidence based Treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. The Convention represents a milestone for the promotion of public health and provides new legal dimensions for international health cooperation. I wish to underscore once again, that the WHO FCTC is purely a health Convention that seeks to promote and protect the health of the public in our countries. It is not a Convention on tobacco growing.
Article 3 of the Convention clearly states the objective of the
Convention as follows;
The objective of this Convention and its protocols is to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco, consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, by providing a framework for tobacco control measure to be implemented by the parties at the national, regional and international levels, in order to reduce continually and substantially the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
The WHO FCTC is the first International Treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO. It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on the 21st of May 2003 and it entered into force on the 27th of February
- It has since become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced
Treaties in the United Nations history. As at November 2011, the WHO FCTC had 174 parties. In Africa, 40 of the 46 WHO Afro-region countries have signed and ratified the WHO FCTC and have become parties. Three parties namely Zimbabwe, Malawi and Eritrea have not yet signed. The other 3 countries namely Cote d‟Ivoire, Ethiopia and Mozambique have signed but have not yet ratified the Treaty. The deadline for signing was June 2004 and countries which did not sign by that date can now only be party to the WHO FCTC by accession.
Let me enumerate the guiding principles of the WHO FCTC which are set out in Article 4 of the Framework Convention. These include;
- Every person should be informed of the health consequences, addictive nature and mortal threat posed by tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.
- We need strong political commitment to develop and support comprehensive multi-sectoral measures and coordinated responses, taking into consideration;
- The need to take measures to protect all persons from exposure to tobacco smoke.
- The need to take measures to prevent the initiation to promote and support secession and decrease the consumption of tobacco products in any form.
- The need to take measures to promote the participation of indigenous individuals and communities in all tobacco control programmes.
- The need to address gender-specific issues in tobacco control strategies.
- International cooperation, particularly the transfer of technology, knowledge and financial assistance.
- Comprehensive multi-sectoral measures and responses to reduce consumption of all tobacco products to prevent the incidence of diseases and premature disability and mortality due to tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.
- To deal with issues relating to liability within and across borders.
- The importance of technical and financial assistance to aid the economic transition of tobacco growers and workers whose livelihoods are seriously affected as a consequence of tobacco control programmes.
- The participation of civil society is essential in achieving the objective of the Convention and its Protocols.
Article 5 of the Convention sets out the obligations of the State under this Protocol, these include; employing effective legislative, executive, administrative and other measures to achieve the stated objective. In particular, the State must protect public health policies developed from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry according to national law. The main provisions of the WHO FCTC include demand-side management and supply-side management. The coredemand reduction provisions of the Convention are contained in Article
6 to 14. These include;
- Price and tax measures - to reduce the demand for tobacco, particularly for the youth and may include restrictions on importation of duty-free tobacco products by travellers. In the process, countries can also raise funds for health care through price and tax measures.
- Non-price measures - to reduce the demand for tobacco, namely, protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor working places, buses, commuter omnibuses and other public places.
- Regulation of the contents of tobacco products – regulation of tobacco product disclosures including disclosure of all toxic constituents and emissions in the tobacco. Ensuring that tobacco product packaging and labeling do not promote a tobacco product by any means that are false, misleading, deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about its characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions including any term, descriptor, trademark, figurative or any other sign, that directly or indirectly creates the false impression that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than other tobacco products. These descriptors may include terms such as „low tar‟ or „light,‟ „ultra light‟ or mild.
These are misleading terms, all tobacco is harmful.
Health warnings describing the harmful effects of tobacco will also be prescribed for every packet of the tobacco product, education training and public awareness of Tobacco Control Measures, in particular the health risks and addictive nature of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. Put in place a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship subject to our legal environment. Finally promote cessation of tobacco use and provide adequate treatment for tobacco dependants.
On the supply side of the equation, the core supply reduction provisions are contained in Articles 15 to 17 and these include;
Combating illicit trade in tobacco products, this includes putting in place a tracking and tracing regime to assist investigation of illicit trade in tobacco products;
Prohibit sales to and by minors;
Prohibit the manufacture and sale of toys, sweets, snacks and other items that appeal to minors in the form of tobacco products;
Provide support for economically viable alternative activities for tobacco growers and workers in cooperation with regional and international organisations;
Article 19 of the Convention deals with issues of civil and criminal liability including issues of compensation;
State parties to cooperate with each other through the Conference of Parties and exchange current information on health effects of tobacco;
Share information on legislation and regulations and assist each other in legal proceedings relating to criminal or civil liability;
Mechanisms for scientific and technical cooperation and exchange of information are set out in Articles 20 to 22;
Parties are to initiate and cooperate in research that addresses the determinacy and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke as well as research for identification of viable alternative crops;
National, regional and global surveillance of tobacco should be integrated into tobacco control programmes.
Article 21 sets out the reporting requirements under this Convention and the information that should be reported on and shared by the parties every two years. Articles 23 to 27 establishe the institutional arrangements and financial resources of the Convention.
There are two major institutions in this Convention; we have the Conference of Parties and the Convention Secretariat.
The Conference of Parties is the governing body of the Framework
Convention of Tobacco Control and comprises all parties to the
Convention, that means all the countries that have signed the
Conventions. It regularly reviews the implementation of the Convention and takes decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. The Conference of Parties may adopt protocols, annexes and amendments to the Convention. Its regular sessions are held every two years and this is where we as a country have been missing out because if you are not a member of the Conference of Parties, decisions as a country are made for you and as a major tobacco growing country we have been losing out over the years. Now, we want to sit at the table with the other decision makers in the Conference of Parties.
The second important organ is the Convention Secretariat which serves the Conference of Parties and its subsidiary bodies. It supports parties in fulfilling their obligations under the Convention and translates the decision of the Conference of Parties into programme activities. The Secretariat cooperates in its work with relevant departments of the WHO and other international organisations and bodies.
If we come to financing arrangements, each country finances its own programmes in its own country. But there are other international financing mechanisms and the Convention Secretariat assists countries to access other financing mechanisms at a global level, particularly in the area of assisting farmers to transmission from tobacco to other crops.
Zimbabwe wishes to accede to the Framework Convention on
Tobacco Control with the following interpretative declarations;
The Republic of Zimbabwe declares that the national strategy targeted at encouraging tobacco production and exports will continue to be pursued because of tobacco‟s critical contribution to the National Gross Domestic Product. With respect to matters relating to the support for economically viable alternative activities and crops to tobacco proposed by the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control of the WHO adopted by the WHO Assembly on May 2003, Zimbabwe further makes the following interpretative declarations;
Zimbabwe declares that in the context of preamble paragraphs 15 and 16 and of Articles 4, 17 and 26 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of the WHO, there is no prohibition to the production of tobacco or restriction to national policies of support for farmers dedicated to this activity;
In addition, Zimbabwe declares it to be imperative that the Convention be an effective instrument for the international mobilisation of technical and financial resources in order to help developing countries to make economical alternatives to the agricultural production of
tobacco viable as part of their national strategies for sustainable development;
Zimbabwe also declares that it will not support any proposal with a view to utilising the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control of the WHO as an instrument for discriminatory practices to free trade and competition;
The Government of Zimbabwe declares that in the context of Article 5, 3 and noting the champion to this declaration, consultation in respect of this Treaty will be in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe;
The Republic of Zimbabwe declares that its interpretation in the context of Article 21,1 of the Convention is that the implementation of Article 13,4 D of the Convention concerning disclosure to relevant governmental authorities of expenditures by the tobacco industries on advertising, promotion and sponsorship not yet prohibited will be subject to national laws regarding confidentiality and privacy;
In considering the protection of the country‟s interest upon acceding to the FCTC, it should be noted that Article 30 of the FCTC state unequivocally that no reservations can be made to this Treaty. In this regard, Zimbabwe therefore, signs the FCTC with the interpretative declaration as per the United Nations Treaty, Clause 3, 6, 2 interpretative declarations. This is the essence of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Mr. President and I lay it before the House for approval.
*SENATOR MAKUNDE: Thank you Mr. President Sir, I would like to say thank you to the Minister for introducing this Convention to this Senate. The Minister also showed us that, we are trailing behind as Zimbabwe and of course we have some countries like Malawi who have not yet signed this Convention.
The youths of today are encouraging the country to move to catch up with the times. At times when we hear of these effects or controls on tobacco; what comes into the minds of tobacco farmers in
Zimbabwe is that we are going to run out of business because tobacco
is our cash crop. We also know that the tobacco we grow is not just for smoking but there are other bi-products.
I once visited China and Singapore; you find that whenever you go out of the country, when you go to Singapore, when we arrived, we were taken to a smoking room. When we were smoking, they were spraying some chemicals on us so that we would not affect other people through passive smoking. You will also find that in such countries they have also banned smoking in hotel rooms. Zimbabwe as a country, we have to move with the times because the mover of this Convention is a professional medical doctor. He is aware of the ills and health hazardous associated with smoking of tobacco. We have noticed that in some instances we had smokers who would smoke even if they are coughing until they drop down, they still continue smoking. Therefore, it means there are some side effects on this tobacco. As far as I am concerned, I move that this Convention be ratified by
Zimbabwe, I thank you.
*SENATOR CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Hon. President, the hon. Senator who had made contributions has said much of the things I would have wanted to say. I will say I support the motion or
Convention on tobacco growing because you will find that when people are towards old age, they smoke tobacco but this is disturbing and destroying their health. I have my paternal uncle, who is affected by tobacco. If it was not for tobacco, he could be in his good health. I personally, am a very big tobacco farmer in this country and I felt the urge that I should be part of this gathering so that I support this Convention on tobacco.
We all know that, our country is under siege from illegal sanctions but we also know that tobacco is a cash crop; it is giving more money in this country. Our country is supported by money from tobacco and our country is run by this cash crop. I think you also support me, not only tobacco but we also note that agriculture is the backbone of our economy with particular emphasis on tobacco. Minister, you are in health and through your deliberations, please protect our farmers because we know that tobacco is not only for smoking; it has other uses. In health, I know it is used for treatment.
Minister, I heard that Zimbabwe stated that it will continue growing tobacco because we find that there are some people who smoke in their countries. They have their way of smoking especially enclosing people in a protective way, but Zimbabweans we have our own ways of doing our own things. I appeal to you Minister, when you are in that fora, please protect the farmers in Zimbabwe. What is needed is for you to create an educational programme whereby people may be protected from passive smoking or from other illnesses which you discussed like importance inhumane, damage to the teeth and other things. What we know Minister is that some of these countries also support this, so that they continue with the sanctions programme.
*SENATOR MTINGWENDE: Thank you Mr. President Sir. I know we have stayed for quite a long time this room; we are tired but I think this is an important issue which we should discuss that has been brought by the Minister. Yes, I heard something which was said by the Minister in his presentation and I am very glad because of that. I also think we have heard of the many problem and ill-health problems which come through tobacco.
We know that no matter how smart somebody can be, or no matter how prosperous they can be, as long as that person; that individual is smoking, we find that he is compromising his personality because of the addictive nature of tobacco. Therefore, we believe in our short memories, short knowledge on health, we say tobacco really has health problems and I personally support the Minister who introduced this Convention. It is a pity that we have not ratified this Convention but we are glad because this Convention is going to be passed as soon as the day before yesterday because we have been given the guarantee that we are not going to be stopped from farming tobacco.
SENATOR MUCHENJE: Thank you Hon. President Sir and I say thank you to Hon. Minister for this tobacco Convention which we have not signed. The other reason which we have is that we have some problems in this country; we are farmers and I am one of the farmers. The problem is we have problems in getting farming implements which may be used in ploughing other cash crops; as a result we resort to tobacco. If only we could have some ways of getting support for getting other cash crops, definitely we would diversify. Therefore, Minister, we appeal to you to support the farmers through campaigning for implements and cash inputs so that farmers can grow soya beans, ground nuts and other cash crops so that they may leave tobacco. We plead with you Hon. Minister, go to your Cabinet colleagues and ask them to give support to financial schemes which are in support of farmers so that they can diversify from tobacco. I know Minister, you have told us of the disadvantages of growing tobacco but you know we should wean ourselves from this crop slowly. Therefore we will start to reduce the hectarage of tobacco and take in other crops.
You told us farmers who grow tobacco and also workers in the tobacco industry; that we can also be affected by the damage caused by tobacco. Minister, we plead with you, we appeal to you, please promote education on the disadvantages of smoking tobacco or working in a tobacco environment, so that these people can be protected from the tobacco. They should therefore be supplied with protective clothing.
Minister, you also know that many of the farmers who grow tobacco have big harvests and we find that most of the tobacco that we grow in this country is exported. We only have very little which remains in this country for our own use and therefore we appeal to you, Minister, we need to look at the problems faced by these farmers so that we have this education. We need to have the education for the farmers and for workers in the tobacco production so that they can be protected from the ills brought by tobacco. I plead with you. As I have said before we need to promote protective clothing, safety at work places, such as the supply of protective clothing in tobacco factories so that those who operate from these factories do not suffer from illnesses caused by tobacco. We also need education on how tobacco really affects us. If possible, tell us each and every part of the body that is affected by tobacco. I thank you.
*SENATOR MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me
this time to make my contribution on the harmful effects of tobacco to people who smoke and to none smokers. I believe that this is a good programme for us but it is bad for the farmers because if they are to harvest their crop and get a lot of money and then they are told that it is harmful to health, I do not want to believe that they would be in support of such a policy.
As farmers, yes, as dependant as we might be, Minister, I also board buses and public transport, smokers do not respect non - smokers that will be in these public vehicles. To those who read newspapers, you read that a non smoker is more affected than the smoker himself. We do not understand how this happens. This issue about smoking is difficult to people but I say it is good if there are other ways in which people can be taught. The Convention does not say that farmers cannot grow tobacco but you have mentioned that tobacco is not only grown for purposes of smoking but there are other things that it can be used for. The issue of tobacco is that there should be a way in which smokers can be stopped.
I have lost four of my nephews as a result of smoking. They died miserably. They were admitted in hospital and thereafter passed away. This is a good Convention, Minister. People need a long life and need to live with their families in a healthy environment. They should also enjoy good health. If we know that this is something that kills, we should commend the Convention because there is lack of discipline among smokers in buses, commuter omnibuses and public places.
Those who smoke are addicted to the extent that they will tell you that they cannot think properly without smoking. It was mentioned by Senator Mtingwende that the person will be smartly dressed, smartly dressed as I am with my neck tie and then you see a person smoking a cigarette. That diminishes the smartness and you are causing other people to fall ill. I thank you for such a Convention. Without further ado, I thank you Minister and Mr. President. I say we should ratify this Convention.
*SENATOR MARAVA: Mr. President there is one thing about the passing of this Convention, it is that Zimbabwe is now going to be a signatory and is going to join the progressive world. We will also be part and parcel of the conference of all parties and we should not be left behind all the time because it is not a good habit. We should always be amongst others so that we can benefit. Our absence among such gatherings is disadvantageous to us.
The second point is that it concerns our Zimbabwean farmers. I have looked for a substitute crop for those farmers who, to a large extent, were making a livelihood on tobacco. I have failed to come across a substitute. Your Peace and Security Thematic Committee led by the Senator Mumvuri went to Mashonaland Central and we saw that there was massive tobacco production; there were about 800 employees.
A lot of progress has been made through the production of tobacco.
In fact, you say that there is nothing like mild in cigarettes. You said that all tobacco is harmful and that there is no better tobacco or worse tobacco than the other, so I failed to come up with a substitute. Then there is the issue of addiction, Mr. President. There are those who say it is easier to give up drinking than smoking, so this addiction that is so strong in tobacco caused by nicotine, what is it exactly? How can we avoid it and what would be the way forward. I thank you.
*SENATOR MANYERUKE: Thank you Mr. President, I also want to add my voice on this Convention that has been brought by the minister. I only have a few issues over the strategies to control tobacco. If it were possible, you would go into the farms where people are resettled; those who were left by the commercial white farmers. Most of them are smokers because of debts owed as a result of not being paid by the commercial farmers. They are competing and smoking at the time they will be harvesting tobacco. Twelve year olds and fourteen year olds are smokers. I once went to the compounds where they live and wondered how such young men would be smokers. They need strong education on the harmful effects of tobacco and that it causes a lot of diseases such as lung diseases. When you see someone who smokes, you see smoke coming out. It is only that you live in towns. In the communal lands those who roll tobacco, you see steam coming out or smoke coming out and there is a stench that comes out from these people. I do not understand exactly what the tobacco stench is. You have a difficult act to follow, Minister, in as far as ensuring that the people know about the need to save the health of the country. Thank you Mr. President.
*SENATOR:CHIBAGU I would like to thank you 100%. There are some children who are very miserable. In my area people were caught; they made a fire on the mountain and they were smoking tobacco. There is tobacco and there is also dagga which they smoke which causes the rotting of lungs. A lot of children have died because their lungs were affected by such drugs. This gospel should be spread time and time again so that people would appreciate those who are uneducated believe in smoking. In my constituency, there is a lot of work to be done because a lot of people drink their beer, the illicit brew and as a result people die. They also die as a result of smoking dagga.
I am happy and I give you my support about this Convention. I urge you to start preaching the gospel to the constituents so that people‟s lives can be built. Tobacco is not good, especially dagga, together with this illicit brew called kachasu. They become incoherent when they speak and their demeanor is reprehensible. I thank you for what you have done and I invite you to my constituency.
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE:
Thank you Mr. President. I would want to thank the hon. senators because of their support to the Convention on Tobacco Control. I am quite pleased by the acceptance of the topic and the contributions by the members. They have shown that they have really appreciated about the important declarations that we agreed to as Cabinet. That this is how we are going to sign, so that we can protect the growing of tobacco in
Zimbabwe as it is our cash crop.
I appreciate that hon. senators are in agreement and they have appreciated, in terms of financial assistance, which is an issue that they have raised. It is the duty of the Convention to enable us to raise funds, even at international level to assist the farmers that are going to stop growing tobacco, they will be assisted. They have barns and other things that will have been rendered useless. This in relation to how best we can compensate farmers, so that they can have new infrastructure to grow tobacco, soya beans or other crops.
This is the intention of the Convention, to look for funding for farmers that will no longer be involved in tobacco. No one is going to be forced to stop growing tobacco at the moment. Our main aim at the moment is for people to stop smoking. I agree with the Hon. Senator that most of our tobacco is not for local consumption but for export and only 2 percent is used locally. A lot of people want our tobacco, so we supply them.
My duty is to ensure that we safeguard the welfare of Zimbabwean people only and they will look after themselves in the export market.
Protective clothing, yes, I have heard about it. There are regulations that are there in terms of people who use chemicals for spraying but there are laws that need to be enforced by the Ministry of Agriculture. I will inquire from our counterparts and find out because this is important.
It is a big issue that smokers do not respect non-smokers. We have a Statutory Instrument No. 62 of 2003 that bars people from smoking in public areas such as buses and so on. That is gathering momentum as we draw nearer towards signing of this Convention. As citizens, we have done our duty and we should not allow people to smoke in our presence. That is also what the Convention seeks to correct. I agree with you, it is very difficult to stop smoking than beer drinking. Our tobacco is very addictive. The use of the Convention is to also help those who want to stop smoking. I am sure those who watch films, there are certain people who have nicotine patches as they will be trying to stop smoking so that their bodies do not receive big shocks as they stop smoking. It is also part of the Convention, to assist those who want to stop smoking.
Tobacco control strategies, from former white commercial farms, we have heard about it and we are aware of this issue and we will see how best we can assist these youths that have now been addicted to tobacco since they do not have any other alternative.
The last issue, Mr. President, which I want to comment on, is that of dagga. Dagga is problematic but we have a law that criminalises the planting and growing of dagga. This is different from growing tobacco and it is illegal to grow or smoke dagga. It needs to be controlled because it damages the brain much worse than tobacco and it is criminalized. I thank you hon. senators.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD
WELFARE, the Senate adjourned at Nine Minutes past Five o’clock
p.m. until Tuesday, 11th June, 2013.