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SENATE HANSARD 9 OCTOBER_2013 VOL. 23 NO. 09
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 9th October, 2013.
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.
(MADAM PRESIDENT in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY MADAM PRESIDENT
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
MADAM PRESIDENT: May I remind hon. senators to please put your cellphones on silence before commencement of business.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
SENATOR MUSAKA: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on the motion in reply to the Presidential Speech, moved by Senator Mutsvangwa, seconded by Senator Mumvuri. I thank the two senators for giving an in-depth synopsis on the motion.
Madam President, I also join others who have spoken before me in congratulating you and your Deputy for being elected President and Deputy President of this august Senate. Furthermore, I congratulate you both on behalf of the people in my Senatorial Constituency of
Mashonaland West, especially the people of Sanyati, Chakari, Kadoma
Urban, Muzvezve and Mhondoro-Ngezi who voted for me in the ZANU PF primary elections among other candidates to be their senator for the constituency.
Madam President, I and the entire people of Mashonaland West Province wish to congratulate His Excellency President R.G. Mugabe for his charismatic able leadership and hindsight and awareness in politics for leading the team ZANU PF into an overwhelming election victory on the 31st July, 2013 harmonised general elections. Thank you President R.G. Mugabe for taking the country out of the jungle politics of GNU which was intended to lead the country on a path of the Arab spring of 2011 which is total chaos and perpetual conflict. The
Parliament of Zimbabwe had become a source of conflict debating Chamber instead of debating constructive ideas for the good of the people of Zimbabwe. Your deep comprehension of internal, regional and international politics is commendable and indeed a gift from God and Vadzimu vedu to the people of Zimbabwe.
Madam President, the politics of appeasement are a source of conflict/war. In 1935, Mr. Chaplain, the then Prime Minister of Britain came back from German to London waving a piece of paper in Trafalgar Square in London and told the people there that he had signed a peace agreement with Adolf Hitler to prevent Second World War. In two weeks time, after that meeting, Hitler invaded and attacked Poland and the Second World War started, millions of people were killed. This foreign conflict affected Zimbabwe in that, White Rhodesians and indigenous Black Rhodesians/Zimbabweans were recruited to fight for the British.
After that war, land for the indigenous Zimbabweans was taken away from them and created into farms which were given to White Rhodesian soldiers who had fought for the British as a token of appreciation for the war effort. The indigenous Black Zimbabweans who also fought for the British got nothing; they too should have been compensated by the British. The taking away of indigenous land also alienated the Africans and triggered the Second Chimurenga War and again many people were killed. Such is the politics of appeasement which President R.G. Mugabe had continuous rejected. However, one positive thing that has come out of the politics of contradiction during the past four years is that, it ushered an opportunity to create a new Constitution which is truly home grown. The people of Zimbabwe acknowledged the value of the liberation struggle. The document may not be perfect but it is from the people and there is always room for improvement.
Madam President, His Excellency, President Mugabe touched on a wide range of topics. He underscored the need to improve the agricultural sector. In my constituency, in the resettlement areas, people mainly grow cotton and maize and the main challenges that they face are as follows:
- Late delivery of inputs and the producer prices offered by both the Grain Marketing and the Cotton Marketing Boards. People are urging Government to come to their assistance to ensure timeous delivery of inputs.
- The purchasing price for their produce should be fair for them to be encouraged to continue farming in order to feed the nation and live a decent life and be able to pay school fees for their children.
- In the resettlement areas, schools, clinics and hospitals infrastructure is not good. Tobacco barns and some dilapidated and disused buildings are used as schools and clinics. I advocate that the Ministries of Education and Health actively look into this concern.
- Communication networks in the form of roads and IT (cell phone base stations) are not good. Some resettled farmers are giving up farming, preferring to be vendors in the urban areas.
- In communal lands, the challenges mainly are late delivery of inputs and poor producer prices offered by buyers. His Excellency has been very generous by giving people fertiliser, seed, food and other inputs required. In health and education sectors, both infrastructure and service delivery have been a success story for the ZANU PF Government since independence in 1980.
Madam President, in Kadoma Urban, I advocate for urgent attention to the following:
- The Dairy Board building needs new equipment and a supply of milk to make it functional. This involves revival of the dairy cattle farming in the area. Local and foreign investors are needed. The
Glass Factory and the Cold Storage Commission like the Dairy
Board face similar problems.
- The textile buildings are also idle. As I already pointed out, the cotton producers are no longer actively producing cotton due to poor buying prices offered to them by buyers. In addition, cheap Chinese imports have made it difficult for the local textiles to compete. The Government, local business persons and political leadership in constituencies need to work together and approach Chinese investors to invest in local cotton production. This will help revive the textile industry in Kadoma so as to create employment for the youths in both the urban and surrounding rural areas.
- The roads in the city are poor and the ministry responsible should be sensitised.
Madam President, my humble contribution to traffic congestion, especially by kombis in our major cities is as follows:
City Passenger Vehicles
Construction of transit ways or special roads designed for city public passage traffic only, with pick up and dropping points along the way allowed 15 to 20 minutes to drop or pick passengers going towards a specially designated depot on the outskirts of the city. For example, vehicles from Chitungwiza will be heading towards a depot in Glen Forest and vehicles from Dzivarasekwa depot will be heading towards a depot in Ruwa et cetera.
Inter-continental and Intercity heavy goods trucks
Construction of a ring road or drive belt on the outskirts of the major cities should be taken into consideration. Big trucks moving out of the city on their way to another city or country should quickly move into the ring road at the nearest point to find its way to Zambia, South Africa et cetera, without driving through the city. Similarly, a big truck from Zambia on its way to South Africa will automatically get in to the ring road without passing through the city area. This can be achieved by way of constructing flyover bridges or just on the ground. This concept of a ring road also has the advantage of decongesting traffic and getting to point A and B faster.
Urban Town Planning
The current practice of buying farms surrounding cities should be legislated against because it is encouraging the construction of shacks around cities. City planning should be vertical and not horizontal. It is cheaper to service in terms of infrastructure and every effort should be made to take into account townscape, which is the beauty and attractiveness of the city. I thank you Madam President.
*SENATOR CHIEF DANDAWA: Thank you Madam President
for affording me this opportunity to make my contribution towards this motion. I would like to thank His Excellency for the Speech that he gave when he was opening this Parliament. It is evident that the President played a major role in alleviating the suffering of the people who had huge council bills. In the rural areas, towns and in the public media, people are saying ‘thank you’ to the President for relieving them of these debts. It shows that the President has the people at heart and is aware of their problems.
During campaigns, he was talking about the problems he was going to solve. The campaigns were carried out in a peaceful manner, so we had peace during the campaigns, elections and after the elections. I would like to thank the President for such a peaceful atmosphere.
Let me now turn to the Council of Chiefs. I would like to say thank you to the President of the Chiefs Council, Senator Chief Charumbira and his deputy, Senator Chief Mtshane Khumalo for their able leadership. As leaders of the chiefs, you are good, capable leaders and I also want to thank you for your guidance. If you are able to lead people like the chiefs, who are able to listen and take advice from you, it shows that you are people of substance. Therefore, keep up the good work of leading the chiefs.
Madam President, let me now look at the chiefs as representatives of the chiefs in the provinces. Most of us were retained to our previous posts. It shows that other chiefs in our provinces saw that we are capable people and therefore we should come back and continue with the good work that we are doing.
The President also encouraged that irrigation should be improved in the country. Zimbabwe used to be the bread basket of the region and therefore we need to improve on the irrigation. In our provinces, we have seen that we can do well, especially when given enough support. As we stand, we are prepared as a province to return that bread basket status of the country.
In the agricultural sector, wherever you come from, either being farmers in the communal areas or A2 farms, we are all prepared to carry out our state duties. Therefore we are appealing to the Ministry of Agriculture to supply us with the farming implements, the seeds and fertilizers. We are asking the representatives of chiefs in Parliament on how far they have gone in acquiring implements for them. As chiefs, everybody looks upon us to get support in rural areas. In the areas where we come from, we have the elderly people who have nothing to give their families. The only person who can assist them is the Headman. These people come to their Headman for assistance and if the Headman cannot assist them, they go to the Chief. I am pleading with the Ministry of Agriculture that when they are disbursing inputs and implements for agriculture, which include fertilizer and seeds, they should also have an allocation for Chiefs. At the moment we are able to give the necessary assistance but we cannot cope with their needs.
I will now turn to the discussion on Agri-bank. In the last planting season, we had some farmers who benefitted from these finances. I have noticed that in my Constituency there are some farmers who applied for this funding from Agri-bank. Their applications were approved and sent to service providers who gave them the seeds and implements needed in their farming activities. Unfortunately, these service providers did not have the required items and the farmers lost out on that assistance.
I am very much aware of the fact that this mode of operation was followed because there were instances where farmers who were given cash directly from the banks abused it. Instead of being used in the farming activities, the monies were used on luxuries. Therefore, I would recommend that when these funds are availed, they should be given to the farmer directly and not through middlemen.
I will now turn to the health care of the constituency. There is a
Mission Hospital in Chidamoyo which is as big as Karoi Hospital. Unfortunately, the road leading to this institution is in a bad state, making it difficult for ambulances to operate effectively. Since 2005, we have been pleading with the powers that be to maintain this road so that ambulances can have easy access to this hospital.
I am kindly pleading with the ministries responsible to allocate funds for the maintenance of this road so that patients are easily transferred from Chidamoyo Mission Hospital to the Provincial Hospital. This same road passes across the river which is often flooded during the rainy season. I greatly sympathise with pregnant women who end up giving birth near this bridge because transport ferrying them would have failed to cross the bridge. In some instances, people have died during the rainy season because of the inaccessibility of this bridge.
May the responsible authorities allocate funds for the maintenance of this road to alleviate some of these problems?
I will now turn to the disbursement of the Constituency
Development Fund (CDF). I will give an example of what happened in my Constituency. This is not an attempt to belittle an hon. member responsible for these funds. In my capacity as the Chief of the area, I was not given the opportunity to give my opinion on the disbursement of funds.
When this project was initiated, Chiefs were involved in the mapping out of projects to be embarked on in the constituency, but when the funds were availed, the Development Committees and us the Chiefs, were not informed or consulted on the disbursement. The hon. member who collected the funds used it as they saw fit.
In some instances, an hon. member bought a motor bike which was only ridden by either him or his son. Members of the public would then ask the Chiefs whether they were involved in such purchases as we were involved in the initial planning stage. To Chiefs, it was a shame. I am appealing to the ministry responsible for the disbursement of these funds, in this new Parliament, to channel these funds through Chiefs or senators who are mature and will be able to handle these funds responsibly.
Lastly, Madam President I congratulate you for the job well done in the last session, for your progressive leadership and we are together again in the 8th Parliament. May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your appointment as the leader of this august Senate and we also look forward to a progressive session. I also promise you that we are behind you all the way and will give you all the support you need.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (DR. SEKERAMAYI): I
move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday 10th October, 2013.
ALIGNMENT OF THE LAWS TO THE CONSTITUTION
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the harmonisation of existing legislation with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. CHASI): Thank you Madam
President, I rise for the first time in this Senate. My name is Fortune
Chasi, and I am the Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. I just want to congratulate you Madam President and all senators for having come to this Senate.
I have a small request, the Ministry has noted the motion, as the senators will recall, the Constitution covers every piece of legislation in this country and we would like to prepare a very comprehensive report for this august Senate. Accordingly, I move that the motion be stood over in order to allow us to do the report.
SENATOR MARAVA: Thank you Madam President, I truly
believe that once a motion has been put on the Order Paper, people can debate it. Therefore, there is nothing to be afraid of, if senators debate this motion as it was seconded. I am sure the majority of senators here are happy about it and would have wished to debate it.
MADAM PRESIDENT: When senators move motions in the
House they eventually expect the ministry concerned to respond to that motion. In this case the Ministry is advising the Senate that they are attending to what your motion is about. Of course we cannot stop you if you really feel like debating but we know that the Ministry is advising the Senate that they are working on what you are requesting them to do.
SENATOR MARAVA: Madam President, thank you very much,
but I am 100% sure that whilst they are looking into the nitty-grities of this motion, the Senate can go on with business as usual, especially on this motion. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Ko unogopopota…]-
MADAM PRESIDENT: Order, if I give you the floor to respond
to what has been brought in here; you do not have a right to respond to another hon. senator like that. Withdraw your statement.
SENATOR MARAVA: I withdraw the statement, Madam
MADAM PRESIDENT: Hon. Minister Chasi, I do appreciate and
thank you for your response but the hon. mover of the motion insists that he wants his motion debated.
*SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam
President, I would like to congratulate you. We have shown that we are mature people in the Senate and we differ from those who are younger than us. We do not want to argue over petty issues. Firstly, Senator
Marava reminded us through his motion that there is need to amend the Constitution through tabling of Bills in the House. He said that this should be done through alignment of the Constitution with what is happening. We notice also within the Constitution that the laws have to be harmonized with the Constitution, that is happening. This is what has been stated by the Minister that these have to be done, and therefore, I am pleading with you hon. senator, in order for the Bill to be in the Senate, there are processes which have to be followed before the Bill is introduced. It is not a matter of just bringing them haphazardly, but they have to go through processes such as the Attorney General, the Cabinet, the Gazzeting and all those processes. Also, you have to look into the number of days the Cabinet has been in place.
At times you find that with the current scenario some ministers are not well versed with the operations of their ministries because they are new in those positions and therefore, they are now looking at how they can best respond to the motion raised regarding their ministry. As a result, what they are now looking at is that they have no time to harmonize this or prepare this Bill and bring it into the Senate. So, we need to give them time to prepare for this Bill. But if we go up to the 20th of November, then we will feel there is some delay. Madam President, I am now pleading with this Senate to give the new ministers time to look into the Bills. They should go and look at them in their offices so that when we start, we will be starting on a new slate and everybody will be prepared. I am appealing to hon. senators.
Yes we know it is true that Bills should come. But we are talking to people who have just been recently elected into office. Therefore, they need to be given time because you find that if we cannot get along together at such a time, it remains to say that we will have a hard time especially when the Bill is introduced, because now we have drawn battle lines before the Bill has come. If the Bill comes, there will be chaos. I plead with the hon. senator to follow the advice.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. CHASI): Thank you Madam
President. I wish to assure this august Senate that the Ministry is treating this matter as an extremely urgent one, and that a considerable amount of work has already been done. All that we are seeking is to ensure that when the report eventually comes to this Senate, it is detailed and that hon. senators can have an informed debate on the matter. I wish however, to add that legislative drafting is a highly technical and specialised field. Unfortunately, in our case, we have a shortage of staff in this area caused partly by the inability of Government to recruit staff. As hon. senators will be aware, there has been a freeze for quite some time, but nonetheless, we are burning the midnight oil every day to ensure that these matters are put in order. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENSE (SENATOR
SEKERAMAYI): Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 10th October, 2013.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE, the Senate adjourned at Six Minutes past Three O’clock p.m.