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Thursday, 9th November, 2023.

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



THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, Hon. Senators, regarding Ministers, we are going to keep the list of apologies so that we see those who will attend next week and those who do not attend. Anyway, to those who do have questions without notice, you are free to ask the questions to the Ministers present.

          HON. SEN. MAONDERA:  On a point of order Madam President.  Thank you for affording me the opportunity.  Madam President, I think these Ministers are in the habit of absconding Parliament particularly when it is question and answer segment, they cannot continue to do that without censure.  It is important that this august House now take the measures because they are provided for in our Standing Orders.  Any Minister who blatantly absconds from Parliament without any reasonable cause must account for their attitudes.

          We are elected representatives of the people and the only way the electorate can interface with the Government is through the electorate representatives.  We are the electorate representatives of the people.  So, if there are no Ministers and if there is not even a third or a tenth of the Ministers to ask questions, how then should the electorate account for their issues that affect them every day.  There are a lot of issues that are affecting the electorate. I think we now need to apply the rules of the House without fear or favour. Thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Senator, I hear what you are saying. Since we are still starting, I do not think the number of Ministers who attended the last time was bad.  Since most of the Ministers are not here, I take note of what you are saying that from now onwards, we need to find out why these Ministers are not coming to answer questions into this House.  Today, we can continue with those who are here. 


          *HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. We note that there are a lot of buses which are coming into Zimbabwe. Madam President, 60% of the disabled people use public transport, what is your Ministry planning to do to facilitate buses which accommodate those who are disabled?  

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Hon. President of the Senate.  I want to thank the Hon. Senator Shiri for that pertinent question.  Indeed, this is a challenge that we face as the Ministry of Transport.  Regarding buses, when we import buses, we have the Ministry of Industry and Commerce that looks into that.  As the Ministry of Transport, we also ensure that these buses are licenced or given permits to use our roads.  Indeed, to those who will be importing buses, we urge them to make sure that such buses have provisions for those who use wheelchairs and that they have proper sitting arrangement.  We believe that this is a culture which we will continue propagating to people, even regarding buildings, this is the same thing that we urge those who are responsible for infrastructure development to ensure that buildings also have facilities which allow all the disabled to access such buildings.  We are going to work together so that the people of Zimbabwe are able to use our public transport.

          *HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  Thank you Madam President, my question is directed to the Minister of Transport.  Coming to this building, we have noted that the road is now dangerous and there is a truck which overturned by the bridge which is along Old Mazowe Road which comes to this place.  My question is, what efforts are being made to make sure that when Hon. Members come to this august House they are safe because the road is no longer safe?

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Madam President Ma’am.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for the question.  She raised quite a pertinent question. Let me inform this august House that indeed when we look at the different roads, I want to believe that the road she mentioned is a bit narrow.  Let me say that our purpose is that as time goes on, we want to create a road which will be convenient.  We will have a road that links Bindura Road and this place will be a wider road, you will no longer use this narrow road, but you will use the road which goes to Bindura.  I believe that it will be dual carriageway.  We are in a process where our engineers have already planned.  The construction of that road will be collaborating with other companies. 

          Madam President, we are not going to end there, but the road that was mentioned by the Hon. Senator will be rehabilitated from the Mbudzi interchange towards Kuwadzana roundabout.  It will be broadened, then the road will continue to Kirkman Road and it will go to Harare Drive and to the Westgate roundabout. We are going to continue broadening the road so that it becomes a highway,  which means that those who will be coming to Borrowdale will join the road along Harare Drive.  I believe that when we do that, we will have good roads, at the same time we are going to work on the Chirundu-Harare Road. 

          The other road which we are working on is Lomagundi Road as we drive to Chirundu.

          HON. SEN. MAGUNJE: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport. We are gravitating towards a fourth revolution the whole world. I would want to know what is the Ministry’s plans towards our developmental stages so that we are not be quote unaware? You are aware that very soon, most cars will be electric vehicles and it also means that if we do not have plans in time, we may suffer huge employment opportunities. Our people will get out of employment because of the new inventions which will come in terms of the electric cars.

          Also, you find out that in the motor industry, we have got filling stations and those filling stations if we take in electric cars, you find that service stations will not have a lot of customers. It means that they have to shift the technologies from petrol driven to electric driven. We are moving towards having driverless cars. If you look into the European countries and even in a few African countries, there are some cars now which are driverless…

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: What is your question so that the Minister can answer? Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MAGUNJE: My question is; what do you have in place so that we can catch up with the development which is coming?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank Madam President and let me also thank Hon. Sen. Magunje for the very important question relating to artificial intelligence at the end of the day, that is where he was going and also to appraise the august House that indeed, we are also having plans relating to electric vehicles. Under the purview of the Ministry, we have CMED and we are seized with it as we speak so that we have a number of our cars being electric vehicles and also buses, and we are endowed Hon. Madam President as a country through the availability of lithium in abundance.

We are saying in terms of value addition and beneficiation where we are also advocating for companies to start value add in terms of having batteries so that we do not just sell the lithium as it is. So, we are also moving towards the establishment of electric vehicles and where we are also giving incentives for companies to gravitate towards the use of electric vehicles. As we speak, within the fleet of CMED, we have a number of electric vehicles which have got a number of benefits in terms of environmental management and in terms of going green, and I am sure my colleague Minister will buttress that this is the desired way forward as a nation.

We are happy that you also talked about the advancement of technology and we are endowed in terms of fossil fuel as a country where we are having to import into the country fossil fuel, but there is no way you can just wake up and abandon the traditional. We want the contemporary measures to be in place, but we will slowly gravitate towards the introduction of electric cars with time. I want to thank the Hon. Sen. for progressive thinking that as a nation this is the desired position. Thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport. We have a lot of carnage especially on the highways. What plans do you have because you find that a lot of cars have got accidents along the roads and all those pieces remain there for quite a long time without anyone to take care of them? Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam President. Let me also thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi for that very important question which is quite a worrisome issue within the Ministry , where we have seen an increase in terms of road traffic accidents, and for the past two weeks, we had an Indaba together with our stakeholders so as to try and see how we can reduce carnage in our roads.  We are saying we have got scrap vehicles left, but I also want to appraise the august House that we have engaged CMED so that we tow such vehicles.

In terms of the obligation, it is up to the person, the owner, in the event that the owner survives or if it is a company so that they tow to a safer place. We have been seeing wreckage being left along roadsides which is not desirable and it causes accidents again. Once again, my appeal to the august House that wherever you see such malpractices, we are saying through the use of CMED, we are going to be patrolling and again through Traffic Safety Council doing the awareness programmes, but in the event that we wreck that to the nearest VID.

In terms of storage charges, we would levy the responsible owner of that wreckage so that when you collect your wreckage we will recover our costs, but the Hon. Sen. has raised a very important question which has also attributed to the increase in number of accidents that we are witnessing and it is also my humble plea that we must be responsible as the citizens so that whenever you have a breakage along highways, we must hasten and move with speed to remove such wreckages. Thank you.

HON. SEN. MAONDERA: Hon. Minister, we have seen one of the drivers of accidents are haulage trucks which they drive at night. What measures do we have to minimise haulage trucks and prefer the railways which can carry goods in bulk so that the roads are not overcrowded with the haulage trucks?

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: No, it is a question on its own and we cannot take is as a supplementary question. That question is different from what you are asking. You can bring it on its own. Thank you.

          +HON.  SEN. MOYO: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  My question is on the Hwange to Victoria Falls Road.  This road is in a bad state but the rehabilitation has since stopped, what is the problem?  The rural roads are in a bad state, we do not have buses to service us as residents because the roads are bad.  Bridges have been swept away and others are impassable.  There is also a road from Plumtree to…

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Member, I think my problem is, I do not understand Ndebele but to my understanding, you are talking of particular roads of which that is not a policy question.  If you have a particular question, you have got to bring it in written form so that the Minister goes and researches on anything to do with that particular road.  Do you understand that?

          HON. SEN. MOYO: Madam President, why I was stating the road, I wanted to ask a question after that.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: After what now?

          HON. SEN. MOYO: After that to tell the Minster to check on his policy to find out why that road has got a problem.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: We need to help each other my Hon. Senator.  If your colleagues can help you, which questions we allow to be asked in this House without notice.  You have to ask that question with notice, which will give the Minister time to go to his Ministry and get information about that road.

          HON. SEN. MOYO:  Thank you Madam President.  I will wait for responses on those two questions which I asked about rural areas.

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Moyo for such important questions.  I want to believe that going to Victoria Falls, indeed Hon. President, this is quite an important road.  It starts from Beitbridge via Bulawayo, then proceed to Victoria Falls.  This road is quite important to the country because our tourists who will be going to Victoria Falls use that road.  We are talking of a distance of around 700km and something, those who will be coming from Mashonaland West, we join from Karoi via Binga-Cross-Dete, then we join the Victoria Falls Road, which is this road we are talking of 60 km which is in a bad state.  This road was constructed in the 1960s and it is in a dilapidated state.  So, we are working on rehabilitating the road.  We want to make the road as good as the Harare-Beitbridge Road.  Hon. Sen this is the plan that we have regarding the Beitbridge- Bulawayo-Victoria Road. 

          Indeed, most of our rural roads – we are talking of 60 000 km of roads.  We have a big task but every year, we have been grading those roads. Now through the responsible line Ministry, we want to have a permanent and lasting solution so that when we have worked on a road it would have been rehauled to become new so that we can take about five or so years without attending to it. This is what we want to do.  This is our plan.  So, my request to this House is that as we go to our Rural District Councils (RDCs), this is where we come from, we have RIDA, please visit RDCs and RIDA, sit down with them, engage them. Some have tippers, some have graders and we can give you the fuel for the graders so that you can join the Road Rehabilitation Programme, instead of waiting for the Ministry or asking questions, you will be seeing progress in your respective areas.   I thank you.

          HON. SEN. R. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  I do not know whether this question needs a research or not.  I would like to talk about the Plumtree-Tsholotsho-Victoria Falls Road.  That is the shortest link as we attract tourist areas in our respective areas.  That road has been on the drawing board for quite some time.  I wonder whether the Minister of Transport has anything to do with that road.  The other road Plumtree-Mpoeng Road…

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: No, Hon. Sen. Ndlovu, I think this is the same thing that I told my Hon. Sen. Moyo,  that if we have particular roads, we have to put that in written form.

          HON. SEN. R. NDHLOVU: Thank you Madam President, I will put that in writing.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I do not know whether the Hon. Minister has something to satisfy the Hon. Senator.

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam President.  What you have said is correct, let us follow that.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: The Hon. Minister of Environment is here and he is going to present a Ministerial Statement.  So, we have to be here so that we hear what is happening around the country.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF NGEZI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport.  Do you have any plans of reviewing the work that is being done by companies that have been contracted to work on different roads around the country?

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam President.  I would also like to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Ngezi for such an important question.   His Excellency has people in his office who are responsible for implementation of Government programmes.  Indeed, we have seen that there are some who do shoddy jobs but the good thing is that Government does not pay before being satisfied that the job has been done up to standard.  That is why you see that we monitor our projects and I believe in all the projects that are going to be done, as a Ministry, we do not sit on our laurels in our offices.  We have Engineers responsible for every project that is in progress, which means that in every road rehabilitation project, you will not see us lying idle.

 If a road is fixed and you find that there are potholes, these are the old roads I was talking about because even for a pair of trousers, when it is torn and you patch it, the patch will continue getting tattered and torn.  This is the same with our roads.  So, I believe that even in this House, this is one of the jobs that we do.  We are Hon. Members who represent different constituencies; if there are any contractors who are not doing their job diligently, please let us know so that we help each other.  We want to make sure that the budget is properly used.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you, Mr. President. May you allow me to ask my question to the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities.  How far has the Government gone with the plans that were promised to this august House regarding the construction of flush toilets in rural areas and other peripheral areas?

          Also looking at what is happening in schools, we thank the Government for providing young girls with regards to the provision of sanitary wear and sanitation accessories.  However, we also need facilities that will enable our children to have privacy during their menstrual cycles.

 On the construction of chiefs’ courts in their different respective areas, what progress is there and how far has the Government gone with that programme?  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Thank you very much Mr. President Sir and thank you Hon. Sen. Chikwakwa for asking a double-pronged question regarding the first ablution facilities in schools and in rural households. In 2021, Government came up with technology that can be used to flush out waste using the water that people use for washing hands and bathing. This water put in tanks can be used to flash toilets like those in urban areas, the Cabinet also approved this.   We then decided to build, but the funding for the construction of such facilities was delayed, so last week we made a follow-up to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning regarding the construction of rural toilets particularly looking at Cholera and other water-borne diseases which come from dirty toilets.  We believe that when they complete this request then the issue of rural toilets will be taken into consideration.  We also did trial runs to see whether this works.  We went to Epworth and what was not there in the past two years was the funding for that project to be completed.

The second question concerns the construction of courts for traditional leaders in rural areas.  We also sent our request to the Minister of Finance because we want to construct not just traditional courts, but accommodation for our traditional leaders and we are going to make a follow-up.  Once we get funding, that project will immediately commence.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: I want to direct my question to the Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare. What plans are there regarding pensions that are given to pensioners especially teachers who cannot go for pensions or retirement because of these meager pensions?  We knew in the past that teachers would buy cars, but now they get one million RTGS and they end up suffering from hypertension because of these meager salaries pegged in RTGS.  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. ADV. DINHA): Thank you, Mr. President.  Indeed, plans will be made to review the pensions, but what they are getting is what they have been contributing.  If the money was being deducted in USD they also should be getting USD pensions.  Therefore, because they contributed to RTGS, they will also get in RTGS.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Mr. President, the question regarding pensioners is quite pertinent.  We have got people who are pensioners, why, because they receive low amounts, do board buses to go and collect their pensions, and the pensions that they collect are less than the money they pay for bus fare.  Some pensioners are unfortunate that they do not get their lumpsum whilst they are still alive.  So, how can we help so that people get their pensions wherever they are?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR, AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. ADV. DINHA): Thank you very much Mr. President for that question.  However, the question should be directed to the Minister of Finance.  I thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DINHA):  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  I believe that question should be directed to the Ministry of Finance.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  I think there is need for a point of clarification.  The issue is that the Pensions Act is administered by the Public Service Ministry, not the finance Ministry in terms of the law.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI):  Probably, with your indulgence, let us give the Hon. Minister time to go and research further, but if you have something to say, you can Hon. Minister. 

          *HON. ADV.  DINHA:  Thank you very much Mr. President Sir, that is what I wanted to say. May you please give us the opportunity to go and look into the issue, then we will come with a Ministerial Statement to the august House.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Minister, please get comprehensive information.

          HON. SEN. ZINDI:  Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  It is my humble opinion to ask the Hon. Minister if at all he is postulating to come up with a policy that allows truck drivers to straddle the yellow line outside on the left side of the road so as to give way to smaller vehicles or to other motorists with smaller vehicles.  I am asking this question because you get locked or jammed in almost half a kilometre of truckers on the highway, and the truckers will never give way to smaller vehicles.  Whereas if one straddles as a trucker, the yellow line on the far-left side, there will be room enough for smaller vehicles to pass.  Sometimes the accidents which do occur on our highways are due to impatience by smaller vehicles motorists or drivers.  Is there any consideration in coming up with such a policy so as our roads or mostly the highways to be trafficable?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Mr. President Sir, let me also thank Hon. Sen. Zindi for that very important question. For those who have gone through the Highway Code, slow moving traffic must keep left.  You find that this is on paper, but like she has alluded to, it is not being practiced.  We are saying we also need to revisit the same modus operandi when it comes to driving.  You find Mr. President Sir, when some drivers cross borders, they will respect that, but within the country, they do not.  Mr. President, it is not necessarily the truckers, but even the small vehicles. If you are not moving in tandem with the designated speed limit, you must keep to your extreme left. 

          Mr. President Sir, we are saying during the course of last week, we had an Indaba again with Traffic Safety Council and other stakeholders.  As we were mapping our way forward in terms of managing and reducing road carnage, we are advocating for road champions where we are going to be broadcasting.  We are going to raise awareness, having the champions preaching the gospel of maintaining keeping to your left if you are not moving fast so that you leave the inner lane provided that we have got a dual carriageway. If it is not a dual carriageway, you see the way we are rehabilitating our roads and reconstructing our roads, it is a 12.5 metre road which can actually allow four cars in the same direction on the same road. 

          Mr. Speaker, you find that you will have such selfish drivers as alluded to by our Hon. Senator maintaining as if you are going to a wedding or a funeral procession.   We are saying this is not going to happen anymore, we are going to have the Police, Traffic Safety Council and VID working together so that we try to reduce such malpractices.  I want to thank the Hon. Senator to say, yes as we are also dualising our roads where we are not yet dualised, let us maintain our extreme left and we will continue preaching this.  As a Ministry, we want to pursue that very noble trajectory.  Thank you. 

          *HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have a supplementary question.  I would like to add that since they are working on the law, why not put that law in the Highway Code so that when people take their drivers’ licences or have their lessons, at that very stage they are taught about the conditions and state of our roads. . 

          *HON. MHONA:  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  Indeed, that law is there in the Highway Code.  Drivers who do not comply with road regulations should know that those who drive at a low speed should go to the left side of the road.  This is the law they are taught whilst taking their drivers’ licence.   People read, but they do not apply when they drive along our roads.  What you are taught when you take the driver’s licence is what you need to do when you drive along our roads. Thank you.  

          *HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  Thank you for allowing me to ask questions.  I want to direct my question to the Minister of Public Service.  We are in a lean season, considering that a lot of people have harvested and those who did not harvest properly are being helped by Government, what is Government, through the Social Welfare, doing to help those who are in need of grain? How many tonnes are we targeting to distribute to the people?  My second question is that there are people who do not pay for hospital bills or services.  Is there an opportunity for those who cannot afford to be treated for free in public hospitals to get any assistance?  In the past this was there where people would just go and get treated for free.  I thank you. 

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. ADV. DINHA): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I want to start with the first question which spoke about food security that many people for now do not have food. As a Ministry, this is what we are seized with. In the past few months, we were targeting the areas which are dry and which do not have food. Now we believe that in November, we are going to be distributing food to all districts without choosing because every district should benefit because people do not have food in this season.

          In the next few weeks, we are going to be distributing maize throughout the country. We are waiting for funding from the Ministry of Finance for transportation of the grain and the Ministry of Agriculture to avail the grain. This is what we are waiting for so that this project and this programme is done as a matter of urgency.

          The second question is that - are there any beneficiaries who are benefitting from Assisted Medical Treatment Order (AMTO), this is happening and we have a lot of people who need medical help and they come to our Ministry and they are assisted. I believe in that regard for those who approach the Ministry, they have been getting assistance from our hospitals. Some wanted to be treated outside the country and this has been done for some critical cases. This programme is there for the benefit of those who cannot pay for their medical treatment who are in dire need. When they approach the Ministry, they are going to get assistance. All those who have come to get assistance have been assisted. I thank you.

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing No. 67.

          THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: There are a number of supplementary questions that were supposed to come up and there are also three other Senators that I have written who were supposed to ask their questions, but according to Standing Order No. 67, the time for questions has expired. With all due respect, I am not going to allow an extension but for the three Senators who were supposed to ask their questions whom I had already recognised, we will have to carry forward your questions for next week to allow the Hon. Minister to give us a ministerial statement.



          THE MNISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE AND WILDLIFE (HON. N. M. NDLOVU): Madam President, I am humbly honoured to address this august House on the deplorable state of solid waste management across the length and breath of the country and in all local authorities, be they rural or urban, but more conspicuous in the urban local authorities. It is a sorry state of affairs, and we should all take responsibility as Zimbabweans.

          Our streets are infested with all kinds of waste streams, from PE and glass bottles, paper, plastics, and light bulbs to diapers and medical waste among others. Mountains of illegal dumps have become the norm, and in some cases, they sit right in the middle of roads in high-density areas, blocking traffic and water drains.

          In Harare Metropolitan Province, the Environmental management Agency (EMA) has mapped over 2 000 illegal dumps of various sizes and we are still counting. Drainage systems are clogged and overflowing with litter. Sanitary lanes are now dump sites. Our highways are strewn with refuse. Hon. Members, this is the sad state of sanitation in our cities and towns. With this state of affairs, it is not surprising that year in year out we experience Cholera and Typhoid outbreaks.

          Over the last five years, the Second Republic has instituted various measures in pursuit of a clean and safe Zimbabwe. His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa launched the National Clean Up Programme in 2018. Using the rationale of moral suasion, the programme urged all citizens to clean up their environs between 0800 hours and 1000 hours on the first Friday of every month. Various stakeholders took heed of this initiative. Our principals religiously led the nation in the Clean Up Programme.

          During the same period, the Government in collaboration with partners, promoted the sound management of waste through national environmental commemorations, television and radio programmes, road shows, exhibitions and social networks, among others. We have taken the various local authorities to task, penalising them regularly for them to attend the crisis that is unfolding.

          Further, notable strides have been made towards sustainable waste management through recycling efforts. Records at the Environmental Management Agency indicate that more than 72 recycling companies recycle 20 000 tonnes of waste per month. While this is commendable progress, still needs to be done to cope with the waste we are generating.

          Madam President, while we acknowledge the above efforts, the sorry state of our urban and rural environs clearly shows that more must be done to attain a clean Zimbabwe. Self-introspection after five years of implementation of the various measures calls for a different approach. We have to ensure accountability by every institution and at every level.

          Having noted the despicable and deplorable state of solid waste management, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa declared a State of Disaster on Solid Waste Management in Harare Metropolitan Province on 31 July, 2023 in terms of Section 27 (1) of the Civil Protection {Chapter 10:06]. Under the declaration, my Ministry through EMA was mandated to:

  • Coordinate the use of materials and services made available by local authorities within the Harare Metropolitan Province during the State of Disaster,
  • Endeavour to remove illegal solid waste dumps using a range of activities, include mapping, quantification, and clearing of illegal waste dumps and direct local authorities within the Harare Metropolitan Province to establish appropriately designed and designated waste transfer stations;
  • Direct local authorities within the Harare Metropolitan Province, under its supervision, to undertake period collection, including sanitary lanes;
  • Direct local authorities within the Harare Metropolitan Province, under its supervision, to install bins in streets and public places;
  • Undertake, together with local authorities within the Harare Metropolitan Province, awareness campaigns through roadshows, radio and television programmes and specific sector cluster meetings;

Since the declaration, the following has been achieved to date: -

  • Two thousand illegal waste dumps were mapped, of which 862 were cleared.
  • Awareness campaigns continue to sensitise citizens on the importance of a clean environment;
  • Some pole litter bins have been mobilised and installed in Harare;
  • Further, a command centre has been set up to coordinate, monitor and report on the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Programme.

However, the local authorities in Harare Metropolitan Province are yet to ensure regular collection of waste, mainly due to inadequate waste management equipment.  Further, EMA must still be fully capacitated to deal with its new mandate through Statutory Instrument 140:2023.  As I present to you today, Treasury has managed to release USD1.1 billion dedicated to the programme.  The Statutory declaration was supposed to spun for three months ending 31st October, 2023 and His Excellency the President has seen the wisdom in continuing with this programme under the declaration and has since extended the implementation period to 31st December, 2023, through Statutory Instrument (SI) 219:2023.

  Mr. President, Government after further deliberating on the state of cleanliness in the country, noted the continued failure to manage solid waste and additionally approved the following measures to curb the unsustainable accumulation of waste:

- that a Statutory Instrument (SI) be promulgated to make the National Clean-up Programme compulsory for Government ministries, departments, agencies, local authorities, the business sector, vendors, retailers and manufacturers.

-That local authorities should localise the SI by promulgation of the relevant by-laws;

-That funds collected by local authorities from residents for waste management will be ring-fenced to ensure that the authorities do not divert the funds to other uses, with EMA supervising the usage of the funds;

- That deterrent fines for public littering will be introduced and enforced and repeat offender charged with no option of a fine, but given mandatory community service;

-That road and rail authorities be compelled to ensure that road and rail servitudes are litter-free and to undertake regular clean-ups along the servitudes and at lay-byes;

-That public transport vehicles that dump waste along roads should be fined up to Level 8, with the responsible transport operator or owner also being liable;

-That all political parties should be compelled to mobilise their constituents to remove their campaign materials from the environment and ensure that it is correctly disposed of, with the assistance of local authorities;

-That awareness and education programmes be undertaken, starting with a re-launch of the National Clean-Up Programme to embed a mindset against littering and general disorder.

  The Ministry has since developed a robust and all-inclusive national clean-up revitalisation programme, which we are rolling out in response to the Cabinet directive.  As the first step towards implementing this directive, my Ministry has since drafted the SI and engaged all ministries through the respective Ministers in a letter dated 1st November, 2023.  A meeting with all urban local authorities also took place to ensure the uptake of clean-up at the local level.

  The 3rd November, 2023 National Clean Up was our key barometer to test the new thinking around the revitalisation of the National Clean-Up and I went to report that positive energy was noted.  The Parliament, through the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality led by the Speaker, Hon. J. Mudenda, was a significant highlight that has to be replicated and consistently sustained.  They came out in numbers, cleaned and made critical media statements.  If this can be repeated across all Parliamentary Portfolio Committees, that would be a massive statement towards reshaping the clean-up narrative.  Community mobilisation for clean-ups should spread to Rural District Councils, wards and villages.  To this end, councillors and traditional leadership are critical pillars going forward.

  A total of 2 056 (104% increase from last month) clean up exercises were done nationwide, with 67 857 (42% increase from the previous month) participants partaking in the programme, signaling marked improvement in stakeholder participation and collective action.  A total of 2 398.79 cubic meters of waste removed from environment.

  The observations were as follows:

-The mandatory clean-up approach resulted in more extensive coverage compared to previous programmes;

-Road servitude stretches of the highway being cleaned by InstaToll (Tollgates) are very clean; however, the observation was that areas beyond the livestock control fence are littered;

-Roadblock sites for ZRP are littered and there was no clean-up attending to any of these sites;

-Harare Province had the highest number of localised events, while Midlands had the least;

-There was limited participation at rural service centres due to late information dissemination of the programme; and

-There was a tendency for open waste burning in some instances.  I think these were people trying to get rid of the waste collected.

  I just highlight a few areas as I note going forward.  We will continue to mobilise stakeholders through their associations, which include Residents Associations, Trusts, Churches, Business Communities, Transport Associations, Recycling Companies among others.  We will endeavour to optimise rural participation, and to do this we will engage the National Chief’s Council and the Provincial Chief’s Councils for further cascading of the programme to villages.  We will also liaise with local authorities to continuously collect waste, through following set waste collection schedules.  I want to thank you Madam President for this opportunity to deliver this Statement before the august House.  I thank you.

  THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Members, we are going to resume the Business of the Day.  In case some might want to seek clarification from the Minister, before I excuse him.  You are free to do so. 

          HON. SEN. ZVIDZAI: I would like to applaud the efforts of the Minister in attempting to build a livable Zimbabwe, our weather environment is pleasant.  I have been to several places, Rwanda and Namibia and in those places, you do not see any litter on the ground.  The situation is different here. Minister, there is a bit of a challenge that local authorities face with respect to managing solid waste.

          Local authorities are not allowed to collect foreign currency, they do collect their revenues in ZWL yet all the filling stations where they collect their fuel need USD.  The local authorities also try to queue up for forex at the auction floor and most of them are not very successful and their hands are also tied with respect to accessing foreign currency on the black market.  So, they are left stranded between the horns of a dilemma as to what to do with respect to collecting waste.

          My proposal Minister is, if you could assist local authorities to access foreign currency timeously on the auction floor that might help them to cut away more solid waste.  I thank you.

           HON. SEN. MAONDERA: Thank you Mr. President Sir.  I stay in high-density suburbs here in Harare.  I have seen an exercise where your EMA officials were working with the City of Harare collecting mounts of cabbages.  However, the problem now is where they have collected, there are already mounts of cabbage, so are not creating a vicious circle that as you are solving this problem, you are creating another problem?  Are we not curing the symptoms instead of curing the disease?  Your Ministry should spend more time educating the communities and also capacitating, like what my colleague has said, local authorities with vehicles and fuel so that they collect garbage.

          If you ask residents why they are dumping garbage, they say, yes, they appreciate your effort to clear the mounts of garbage, but after you have cleared the garbage, local authorities do not have fuel and trucks to continue collecting solid waste.  My opinion is that may we continue to capacitate local authorities so that residents will have proper disposal of solid waste.  

          HON. SEN. MACKENZIE: Hon. Minister, I think this is a commendable initiative, in terms of the fines, what happens to those local authorities that are not cooperating?  As Hon. Sen. Maondera has said, it becomes a vicious cycle not because of incapacitation, but because of willingness to participate and cooperate with the Government. 

          Secondly, you also mentioned that police roadblocks are characterised by litter yet you indicated that there are fine levels where people are supposed to be fined.  Even if the police themselves are not responsible enough, who is then going to arrest those who are littering?  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. RITA NDLOVU: Thank you Hon. Minister.  The problem that we have is that starting within this building, when you go right round, you realise that there is not even a single bin and you wonder where litter is going to be dumped.  At the end of the day, we will even made this place dirty, there is a need to provide bins.

          Also coming to the locations where we stay, I am not sure Hon. Minister what can be done as a way of making our places become clean cities?  There are different ways that the Government is trying, but if you go to Bulawayo, for a city like Bulawayo, you will realise there is so much dirt in the city, people just drop litter anywhere.

          In the suburbs where we stay, the garbage collectors, I am not sure whether they were contracted by local authorities or not, you will realise that the garbage collectors in Bulawayo do not have a specific time of collecting, even at 0500 hours they will be moving around collecting garbage.  They also have specific garbage that they collect and they will tell you that you need to pay for any garbage collection.  If you put too much garbage, they do not collect.  

          However, we thank the Ministry for the effort that they are making, but we further request that they not put specific policies on how people should dispose of any litter.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE, AND WILDLIFE (HON. N. M NDLOVU): I want to thank the Senators for the very critical points of clarity that they have raised.  Hon. Sen. Zvidzai highlighted the challenge of foreign currency.  We have engaged the four local authorities and I must highlight that none of them have brought the challenge of foreign currency.

          We have even analysed that we subscribe to the principle of polluter pace, which is why we are now saying let us ring fence the funds that are collected for waste management so that they are deployed.  We are then going to be able to assess their adequacy and we have realised that a huge amount close to 60% is diverted to other uses. 

          Local authorities, now more than ever before, are getting support from the central Government through devolution funding where we really expect to see them deploying more of those resources towards this crisis which is evident for everyone to see.  You are even seeing smaller local authorities investing in dump trucks which is not reflected in these higher urban local.  For Harare, I think they have around 45 refuse compactors, only five are functional.  Some of them are small issues that just needed maintenance. Once they have a malfunction they are parked.  For a city which we believe require not less than 200 dump trucks, the situation will obviously persist.  I think it will relate to one of the issues, the vicious cycle that was highlighted. 

          While I acknowledge that they are part of operations that may need foreign currency, I think the problems in our local authorities especially urban local authorities require first a mindset shift.  For them to prioritise the issue of waste management, I am happy to say that with the support that we got from Treasury with respect to this disaster, we have set aside funds I think up to 72 000 to repair 20 of the compactors that are down for the City of Harare to enable them to try and improve their capacity to collect waste.  This is the major problem that we are facing. 

          Mr. Speaker, I have taken note of the issue of maybe the need to allow them to gain access to forests.  I will really have to check if at all they do bid in the auction floors and we will be able to liaise with the Minister of Finance and the Reserve Bank on this one.  The issue of resurfacing waste, I think we can all agree here.  No one wants to stay with waste wherever they are. As long as waste is not collected, people will go and dump.  The reason they are dumping it at the end of their road is because they do not want dirt next to their households.  It is a given and the clearance of waste that we were doing was because of the directive that we got which should have correspondent with the directive that the local authority publishes a routine waste collection schedule and follows it to the end because it did not happen that is why we are seeing the waste resurfacing.  I do not think it is really an issue of conscientisation of people.  If the waste is not collected, it will find its way to the illegal waste dumps.  That is why we are prioritising the repair of these refuse compactors and we hope that it will alleviate the problems in a way. 

          We have been fining the local authorities that are not playing the ball.  We tried to work with them.  There are a number of them with the capacity issue but also, we believe that their priorities are now well aligned.  We have been sitting with them to realign and our desire is to see them prioritising in the next budget especially from the devolution funding acquisition of equipment that will enable them to manage solid waste. 

          We have engaged, I am happy to say the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Police have attended our meetings and we have highlighted the need first for them to erect bins where they know they have permanent roadblocks.  They should have portable bins where the roadblocks are spontaneous because it is giving a very bad picture. I hope that going forward they will implement the measures that we have agreed. 

          I do not know what we have to do with Parliament.  Parliament has a responsibility to put bins outside so that Hon. Members can dispose of litter.  I am told there are no bins, maybe it is work in progress.  Just as the local authority has a duty to make sure that they give residents bins which they collect, we expect that most of these authorities avail these bins.  It helps us in managing especially litter that is left all over. 

          We all agree I am sure that the situation in our country is not something we can be proud of.  I think the opening remarks, I think it was Hon. Sen. Zvidzai if I am not mistaken who was to compare our country with other countries.  What was once a sunshine city has just become an open dust bin.  We will be engaging our traditional leadership starting I think next week on Wednesday, we have a breakfast meeting with the Chiefs’ Council.  We believe that if we have a whole of community approach to some of these challenges that are even affecting the image of our country, we will be able to address them decisively. Thank you Mr. President – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you very much Hon. Minister for clarifying all the issues that were raised by Hon. Senators in the House. 



          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS FOR THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA):  Mr. President, I move that Order of the Day, No. 1 be stood over until the rest of the Order of the Day have been disposed of. 

Motion put and agreed to.



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

          Question again proposed.


          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 14th November, 2023.



Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption for the year 2022.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETARANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): Thank you Madam President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 14th November, 2023.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINSITER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Sixteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

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