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SENATE HANSARD 7 NOVEMBER 2023 VOL 33 NO 10
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 7th November, 2023
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE
SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to remind all Hon. Senators that Section 128 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that before a Member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, a Member must take his or her oath of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule of Section 128 (2) which states that the oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament. I, therefore, call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the oath of a Member of Parliament to Headman Moyo.
NEW MEMBER SWORN
HON. SEN. HEADMAN MOYO took and subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the law and took his seat. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MBOHWA: I want to thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi for moving this motion on 3 October 2023. Firstly, I want to congratulate you Madam President and your Deputy, Hon. Sen. Rtd Gen. Nyambuya for being re-elected to the position of President of Senate and Deputy President of Senate respectively. Again, Madam President, I want to congratulate His Excellency, the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for being elected to be the President of this country for another five years. I also want to commend the President for the peace that prevailed during the harmonised general elections in August this year.
Looking at the speech by His Excellency, I was touched when he explained that the economy of this country is on an upward trajectory. This indeed is buttressed by a lot of tangible projects that were initiated by His Excellency, the President. When I look at the economy of this country, indeed it is growing in leaps and bounds, and this dovetails well with his vision of achieving an upper middle-class economy by 2030. The industrial sector in this country is growing in spite of the sanctions imposed on the country by the Western world. The illegal sanctions imposed on this country have isolated us, but the President has stood firm in driving forward the economy of this country.
A lot of industries were opened during this era of sanctions. One such project that quickly comes to mind is the tomato canning factory that was opened in Mutoko, Mashonaland East Province. The opening of this factory has greatly improved value addition to all the farmers who are producing tomatoes there. In Mwenezi, there is a wine making factory that was opened recently. All this was achieved during the New Dispensation. Again in Manhize, there is a steel producing plant that was commissioned by His Excellency, the President. The commissioning of Unit 7 and 8 in Hwange has lessened load shedding in this country and we are now better off in terms of load shedding when we compare ourselves to other countries in the region.
The new Parliament building was brought about through the initiatives of His Excellency, the President. The New Dispensation has brought about state-of-the-art border facilities at Beitbridge and Chirundu. During the just ended Pre Budget-Seminar held here in Harare, the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion announced that the country had procured Cancer and dialysis machines. This bears witness to the fact that His Excellency wants to improve the health delivery system of this country. Several of our airports have been renovated in order to meet international standards and this will, in turn, attract more airlines to this country. I can go on and on because there are a lot of initiatives being done. This shows that His Excellency, the President is working hard to overcome sanctions and we see a lot of progress. God gave wisdom to His Excellency, the President, so that he may lead this country to prosperity. Indeed, we are prospering as a nation. I want to support what was done by His Excellency which indeed demonstrates that we are prospering as a nation.
His Excellency spoke about the steps that he has put to uplift the livelihoods of Zimbabweans through agricultural produce and the devolution programme, but I am going to focus on the issues that I mentioned. Madam President, we saw that the President demonstrated that he cares about improving the economy so that by 2030, we attain a certain status of achievement. Indeed, ours was a poor nation with drought, but His Excellency came and constructed dams. We can speak about the dams that were constructed like Marovanyati, Tugwi-Mukorsi, Dande in Guruve, et cetera. Madam President, I cannot exhaust them.
In agriculture, it helps us to note that there are agricultural programmes based on irrigation in our dams for sustainable livelihoods throughout the year. For those who plant or who put different seeds, they are assured of such livelihoods. Our wildlife, domestic animals and the people would live well. The wildlife-human conflict will be eradicated. Through Pfumvunza Programme, we are going to see food security restored. The coming in of Pfumvunza through His Excellency, has alleviated hunger, and because of these programmes, we have eradicated hunger. This comes from the President’s initiatives and his Vision 2030 is ensuring food security. Through solar, I believe that livehoods are going to be improved, which means that in every village where there is a borehole, there is increased food security through nutrition gardens. People will be able to value add their vegetables through drying them for future consumption.
The President continued talking about other issues which are pertinent to women because we know that when there is drought, women are mostly affected. To us as women, the State of the Nation Address really resonated with our needs.
I want to talk about minerals. Minerals are quite abundant in Zimbabwe. In every province, we have a number of minerals. What really touched me is that there is a Bill that we anticipate to go through the august House, which is the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill which is going to help us. On minerals again, the President mentioned that there will be US$10 million which should be allocated to the small-scale miners. This is where women will also benefit. We noted that loans will be quite critical, especially if they are targeted towards women because as women, we face capital challenges. What we request is that we add value to our minerals and then we can make a lot of money.
His Excellency, in 2017, said that we had 2.8 billion income from minerals, but now we are getting 12 billion from such resources. Madam President, this means that if we were manufacturing lithium batteries, our rings and necklaces from different minerals and selling them on our own, then we could be making more money, probably over 12 billion. The request is that those in the mining sector should ensure that we value-add so that we can realise our minerals.
Finally, His Excellency spoke about the devolution programme which is meant to empower the ten provinces. He said that even the fiscus would play a pivotal role in empowering the different provinces. If this is done, it means through the Devolution Fund, different districts in provinces would benefit in a way where schools will be built and our children will benefit….
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Member, you are left with three minutes.
HON. MBOHWA: Thank you Madam President, our clinics and hospitals would be state-of-the-art. Our roads and infrastructure would be at a certain level Madam President, where traders will be able to use good roads. Thank you Madam and I thank His Excellency for the good job that he is doing in improving the economy of Zimbabwe and attaining the middle-class economy by 2030 is feasible through his efforts. I thank you Madam President.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE
DEATH OF HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is with deep sorrow that I have to inform the House of the untimely death of Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe on Thursday, 2 November, 2023. I invite Hon. Senators to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Senator.
All Hon. Senators observed a minute of silence.
THE HON PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform Hon. Senators that a reception in honour of the Pre-Budget Seminar will be held at the Rainbow Towers today at 1800 hours. All Senators are invited.
HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Thank you Madam President of the Senate. Good afternoon. Firstly, I would like to welcome Hon. Sen. Headman Moyo who has just joined us in this august House. Welcome Hon. Sen. Moyo. I would want also to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate and add my voice on this very important motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Kambizi, seconded by Hon. Sen. Anna Shiri, on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Hon. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa.
Firstly, I would like to congratulate His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for a resounding free, fair, credible and convincing victory on the 23rd of August, 2023 Harmonised Elections. I would also want to take this opportunity to congratulate you Madam President of the Senate and your Deputy Ltg. General Rtd. Nyambuya for being appointed again to serve this very important Upper House as the President and Deputy. Congratulations Madam President and also to all Hon. Senators, I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate you fellow Hon. Senators.
I want to applaud the Government of Zimbabwe being led by His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for a job well-done during the past five years despite the effects of illegal sanctions by the West and its allies, the effects of Cyclone Idai and the Coronavirus pandemic, among others which have affected development. Despite all those challenges, the Government managed to make strides in developing Zimbabwe our motherland.
The President’s mantra, nyika inovakwa nevene vayo using available local resources has paid huge dividends as a lot of development took place in the country. The Government managed to do wonders despite the challenges mentioned above. This new auspicious, magnificent and gigantic artwork by the Chinese Government is one of the great achievements by the Second Republic in a short space of time. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- This shows that the President’s declaration that Zimbabwe is friends to all and enemy to none, is working as friends like China are coming in handy. Other projects such as Robert Mugabe International Airport which has been uplifted to world standard, the Beitbridge Border Post and Beitbridge/Harare/Chirundu Highway are products of good leadership by His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa.
Madam President, I want to talk about food security. The Government has constructed many dams such as Tokwe- Mukorsi in Masvingo Province, Marovanyati in Manicaland and Gwayi- Shangani in Matabeleland North among others, in a bid to mitigate effects of climate change. The country now has surplus irrigated maize, wheat and other crops, making the country food self-sufficient. The country has been importing wheat for many years but the emergence of the Second Republic has changed everything making sure that no one will starve as food is now in abundance.
The country’s Vision 2030 of an Upper and prosperous middle-income economy is already being realised before time due to hard work by the Second Republic. Since the country now has many water bodies, there is need for acceleration of more irrigation schemes, small, medium or large-scale without leaving any place or any one behind. There is also need for the Government to commence in earnest, its well-received nutritious gardens in each of our 35 000 villages in the country.
The rural community is very happy to the project which will leave most of them practicing farming as a business, as a garden on health, fish, vegetables and different fruits. This would enable them to get money to send their children to school and also upkeep of their families. In that vein, ZINWA and ZESA should also augment efforts by the Government in food security measures by making sure that there is affordable water and electricity all the time especially in the farming areas.
Madam President, the Government of President E. D. Mnangagwa managed to send a satellite named Zimstat 1 aboard a non-surrogate into the space for ease of predicting rainfall pattens and warn farmers if little rainfall is expected, like the 2023/2024 season which is an El Nino focused by the Ministry of Agriculture through that satellite.
Mr. President of the Senate, I want to acknowledge the good work by the Second Republic led by President E. D. Mnangagwa on the mining sector whose production has risen from USD3 billion to USD12 billion, which is a very huge improvement or development. This is attributed to production from small scale miners of gold and also miners of lithium. However, there is need for the country to beneficiate on its minerals to stop selling raw minerals. Investors who want to beneficiate our minerals should be welcome and engage including our own citizens. Small-scale miners also need Government assistance in the form of loans so that they can acquire equipment, protective clothing, gadgets and also be able to protect miners from accidents. Recently, we have witnessed some accidents occurring in small-scale mining areas.
On infrastructure, the Government is showing signs of revamping it before the expiry of Vision 2030. The roads, clinics and schools among other things, are being constructed in almost every corner of the country. However, more attention should be paid to rural areas and farming communities like Chiredzi and Mwenezi districts of Masvingo where schools are still very few and far away from the learners. Electricity and infrastructure in rural areas need to be improved as most rural areas do not have electricity and network for communication. Learners in rural areas are lagging behind their urban counterparts who have electricity and network all the time. The Government has started construction of provincial pharmacies, hence the need to increase drugs, especially in rural areas where many clinics are being built through devolution funds and Constituency Development Funds.
I also want to touch on ICT, that is on communication. On communication, the rural folk need more boosters for network coverage because many rural areas do not have network. It is a problem communicating in rural areas. When you need something from some parts of the country, you have got to drive to that area, especially in the Chiredzi border areas, they use South African and Mozambique networks instead of using their own country’s network. So, I think there is need for Government to look into this issue seriously, especially in terms of communication.
I think these are the few additions I had for the motion which was tabled by you, Mr. President and seconded by Hon. Sen. Shiri. I thank you for the time you gave me.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that the debate do now adjourn
HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 8th November, 2023
On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA, seconded by HON. SEN. MAVHENYENGWA, the Senate adjourned at Fifteen Minutes past Three O’clock p. m.