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SENATE VOTES 11 OCTOBER 2018 28-12
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 11th October, 2018
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p. m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE
VISITORS IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE’S GALLERY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I recognise the
presence in the President of the Sanate’s Gallery of teachers and girl students from Epworth Secondary School together with Plan
International Matrons from Harare province. You are most welcome –
[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] -
APPOINTMENT TO THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform
the Senate that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders has designated the following Members to the Pan-African Parliament:
- Chief F. Z. Charumbira – (Leader of the Delegation)
- B. Rwodzi,
- P. Togarepi,
- S. Mathe and
- Dr. T. Mashakada
APPOINTMENT AS CHAIRPERSONS OF THEMATIC
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also have to
inform the Senate that the Standing Rules and Orders Committee has appointed the following Thematic Committee Chairpersons;
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) - Hon. Sen. Chief
Human Rights - Hon. Sen. O. Chidawu
Peace and Security - Hon. Sen. Dr. D. Parirenyatwa
Indigenisation and Empowerment - Hon. Sen. M. Mbowa
HIV and AIDS - Hon. Sen. M. Femai
Gender Development and Empowerment - Hon. Sen. S. Ncube
The full list of the membership of the Committees will appear in the Votes and proceedings of the Senate.
APPOINTMENT AS DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Section 136 (1)
(b) of the Constitution states that the person presiding at any sitting of the Senate must be “in the absence of the President and Deputy President of the Senate, a Senator elected for the purpose by the Senate but that Senator must not be a Minister or a Deputy Minister.”
Standing Order Number 10 (1) provides that “as soon as is practicable after the commencement of every Parliament, and from time to time thereafter as necessity may arise, the Senate shall appoint one of its members to be Deputy Chairperson of Committees who shall be entitled to exercise all the powers of the Chairperson of Committees excluding his or her powers as the Deputy President of the Senate.” I now therefore call for nominations for the position of Deputy Chairperson of Committees.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHITANGA: Madam President, I move
that Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira be elected the Deputy Chairperson of Committees.
HON. SEN. CHIEF NGUNGUMBANE: I second.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Is there any
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: I nominate Hon. Sen. Douglas
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Who seconds?
There is no seconder. I therefore declare Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira duly elected as the Deputy Chairperson of Committees.
APPOINTMENT OF THE CHAIRPERSON’S PANEL
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Standing Order
Number 10 (2) provides that as soon as practicable after the commencement of every session or as the occasion may require thereafter, the Senate shall elect two members, who with the Chairperson of Committees and the Deputy Chairperson of the Committees, shall constitute the Chairperson’s Panel.
Such members shall be entitled to exercise the powers of the Deputy Chairperson, save in regard to the acceptance of a motion for the closure. Now therefore, I call upon for nominations for two positions of members of the Chairperson’s Panel.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Madam President, I move that Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo and Hon. Sen. T. Mohadi be elected as Members of the Chairperson’s panel.
HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Any further
There being no further nominations, I therefore declare Hon. Sen.
- K. Moyo and Hon. Sen. T. Mohadi duly elected to the Chairperson’s
Panel – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] -
ORAL ANSWERS QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you Madam President. My
question is directed to the Minister of Defence. How far has the Government gone in redressing the issue of the victims of Gukurahundi and in dealing with the issues of the victims of the 2008 State sponsored violence?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Madam President, I would
like to thank the Hon. Senator for the question. Unfortunately, the
Ministry of Defence does not deal with Gukurahundi. I do not know which Ministry deals with Gukurahundi but if the implication is that there were atrocities as alleged, then the proper Ministry to ask should be the Ministry of Home Affairs where aggrieved people should report any offences that would have been committed. Again for the second question, the Ministry of Defence does not run the Government because the question was State sponsored, if it is there. The State is not the defence. I think the question has been misdirected. I thank you.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: My question also goes to the Minister of Defence through you Madam President. Zimbabwe signed and is a signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). When is it going to be ratified and domesticated?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCEAND WAR
VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): I would like to thank the
Hon. Senator for that question. I would like to ask if this question could be deferred to the future because I really want to go and get expert advice on it. I must be advised.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Hon.
Minister and I would adviSe Hon. Sen. Timveos to put your question in written form so that he can go and research.
HON. SEN. CHABUKA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. Are there any measures that you have put in place to arrest those people who stole our $15 billion? As you can see the country is now bleeding, we have no money, nothing. I thank you Madam President.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): With the risk of being
dishonoUrable, I was going to say the question is frivolous. However, through you Madam President, the question of $15 billion which has been raised by the Hon. Senator, if people make statements in jests and they are taken seriously, I do not think we will be right to give way to something which is not substantiated. If ever there is anyone who stole $15 billion and there is someone out there who may have evidence to that effect, that can be brought before the police and the police will investigate and arrest, not arrest and investigate. Thank you.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: On a point of order, Madam President. The Minister said the question was frivolous but this issue of $15 billion was actually raised by the then President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe and there was actually a committee that was formed to actually investigate to see who had actually taken this money. Actually, a lot of people were fired and others transferred to other ministries because of this $15 billion. So, definitely the question is not frivolous – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: You understand
HON. MADIRO: Thank you Madam President, I withdraw my
statement. My response is that when allegations are made, where crimes are suspected to have been committed or are being committed, the police will investigate because that is their mandate which is provided for in the Constitution. It is only where the police are satisfied that there is reasonable suspicion that the crime have been committed that arrest are done. So, statements have been made and so far there is no evidence about the stolen US$15bn, so there are no arrests.
HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Madam President, it is not a joke to be
here in this Senate, we were sent by people to represent them. People are looking at us out there. US$15b was stolen by people who were in Government, the President said that. You are the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and you are the one who can send police to go and arrest that person because the country is bleeding and it has no money, we want that US$15bn Deputy Minister. Are there any measures you can put in place to arrest those people who stole our money?
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Before you sit
down Hon. Senator, you direct your question to the Chair and not just straight to the Minister.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL
HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Madam President. With
due respect, I respect the Hon. Senator and there is no purpose or need to hide crimes by the police if it is there. So, we are available if the Hon. Senator has got evidence. My Hon. Senator is very strong, she may have evidence or may have heard that there is evidence, she can bring it forward then the police will investigate.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Maybe the Hon.
Senator was asking if there are any investigations which are underway –
[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. MADIRO: Madam President, investigations are done when someone comes forward to give evidence or report that a crime has been committed. If statements are made, maybe at political rallies for political purposes - then that is a different matter altogether because theft of such an amount of money is a serious matter. We encourage those who have got evidence to come forward rather than rely on statements made at political fora. I thank you very much.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: Madam President, the issue that we are
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Which one?
HON. SEN. SHOKO: The issue of US$15b.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think you were
supposed to notify me that you have a supplementary question so that I know you are making a follow up on the same question. I thought you were going to ask a new question without notice.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: I want to ask a new question.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: A supplementary
HON. SEN. SHOKO: No, I want to ask a new question without
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you I have got a
list of other Senators, please take your seat.
HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President, my
question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Do you have enough stocks for maize in case we are affected by Cyclone Elinino?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. NZENZA): Thank you for that question. I cannot answer whether we have enough stocks because I will need to investigate how many metric tonnes we have in stock. However, through our vulnerability assessment and our poverty mapping, we are targeting the most vulnerable groups in our society and they are receiving maize food handouts. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you very much. Hon.
Minister, what measures is Government taking to make sure that people are not discriminated on political grounds in the distribution of whatever will be distributed.
HON. NZENZA: Thank you again for that question. Our policy
is very clear; we will not discriminate on food distribution on the basis of a person’s political affiliation. However, I have heard of incidences where that has happened but what I would encourage the Hon. Senator is that if he has any evidence to please present it to me in writing and we will take corrective measures.
*HON. SEN. P. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam President. My policy question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans. When travelling along highways we have noticed that there are roadblocks which are manned by both police and soldiers. The usual thing we know is that roadblocks are manned by police. We have noticed that of late, soldiers have been taking part in these road blocks and also carry their guns. This puts fear on the travelling public, is this Government policy?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR
VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Madam
President and Hon. Senator for asking this question. Our Constitution spells out clearly the roles and functions of the military in the country. The most important of all is maintenance of peace and defence of the country. The other role is to work hand in hand with the Zimbabwe
Republic Police in the maintenance of law and order if need arises. What happens is if police on the ground sense that there is need for them to call for assistance from the military they can do so if there is a need.
This is enshrined in our Constitution which we crafted together that there should be a role set aside for the Zimbabwe Republic Police. When the police feel there is need for them to call for a back up from the military and when the military is doing that, they are complying with the request for assistance because they will be following the Constitution which talks of unity in maintenance of law and order in the country.
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: I just want to pose a question to the Hon. Minister of Defence and War Veterans who said they were invited by the police. I think we owe it to the citizenry because seeing soldiers on the streets is not good or a picnic for ordinary people. So, for how long; for what period were those soldiers invited, I think it should not be a secret. The nation should know what danger is being caused by motorists who will be faced with rifles to mann them. We have been having police manning our roads peacefully without intimidating us.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR
VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Madam President for recognising me and also would like to thank the Hon. Senator for the question. The initial question was that they see soldiers at roadblocks, not in town but I will answer both. The other part of seeing soldiers in town; we do not have enough accommodation in camps to accommodate soldiers. We have soldiers in Dzivarasekwa,
Budiriro and everywhere and when they go home, they go through town
– [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
The second part of the question Madam President, every country has got its security system and information on threats to the nation is divulged to the JOC and not anyone everywhere but because our Constitution provides that soldiers should help the police; it is actually the police that should complain if they did not invite the soldiers. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. ZIVIRA: Thank you Madam President. My
question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. Minister, when you distribute inputs to the rural areas, how much do you send out, considering the population in the rural areas, for example in UzumbaMaramba-Pfungwe, you find that there are 35 000 voters there but the tonnes of seed that you send there is it in line with the number of voting results that you get from there?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.
HARITATOS): Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Hon. Sen. For the question. I am not sure whether she is asking or she is
HON. SEN. NCUBE: On a point of order Madam President. The
Hon. Member who asked the Minister spoke in shona – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]–
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order! Order, can
I have order. Hon. Members, you are respected Hon. Senators, that is my duty to answer to that question, not kubhon’a.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President. I was saying
the question was asked in Shona and I expect the Minister to answer in shona. Thank you.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Member, I
think you are aware that every Member of Parliament is allowed to debate in whatever language which is allowed in the Constitution. So, the Hon. Minister should continue to answer you.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: Madam President, I always ask questions
here in this august House in Ndebele but I am always told that Ministers do not understand Isindebele. I expect every Minister to understand those three languages. Thank you.
*HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Madam President. I want to
thank the Hon. Senator for the question but I do not know whether it is a question or it is a comment.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: It is a question.
*HON. HARITATOS: We do not look at the number of votes but we look at what we have. We know that in Zimbabwe we have 1.8 million households, so when we are sending seed and fertilisers, we distribute that under the Presidential Scheme, helping households. We do not look at whether one is a voter or whether they are registered voters or not. We do not look at their skin colour, religion or political affiliation but we look at whether that person is a Zimbabwean. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Madam President. My
question is directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans. The people of Zimbabwe are now living in fear because we are seeing soldiers in town. The other reason why we are staying in fear is that there were people who were shot dead on 1st August, 2018 and we are wondering what kind of a life we are living. Who was the Minister responsible for releasing those soldiers to the public?
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: That question, as
the Presiding Officer in this House. This is a particular question and we know that there is a Commission which was put in place to investigate the violence that happened after the elections. I am appealing to the
Hon. Senator, this is prejudice. Let us wait for the findings of the Commission, and then we will take it up after the Commission has given out its findings.
*HON. SEN. FEMAI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. We know that in this country, when somebody spreads rumours and false information, that person should be arrested and prosecuted. My question is we have heard that the former President R. G. Mugabe announced that US$15 billion was stolen from the mining projects, so when is he going to be arrested for such falsehoods?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND
CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Madam
President and thank you Hon. Sen. Femai for such an important question. I am sure we are all aware of the Constitution which was crafted by the people of Zimbabwe and this is the supreme law of the country. It also states that individuals of Zimbabwe have a right of expression or freedom of expression. Whatever it is that they will be saying, whether it is falsehood or truth, nobody is arrested for that because we have freedom of expression as Zimbabweans. Thank you for such an important question.
HON. SEN. CHIEF NGUNGUBANE: Thank you Madam
President. I would want to direct my question to Dr. Nzenza, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Can you please clarify the position with regards the bonuses for civil servants? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): Thank you very much
for that question. At this stage, we are reviewing our pension funds as well as reviewing the Wage Bill which also includes the bonuses. Given the current economic turmoil, we would also take that into consideration and if you can bear with me for a while, we will be able to get back to you with the correct information. Thank you.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Hon. Minister, in your
considerations for the salaries of civil servants, are you likely to consider that civil servants salaries have been designated to dollars and they should continue to earn dollars rather than change their accounts to bond or RTGs as what has been confused in the media?
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, I
am just allowing you for that question to be answered because it affects nearly everybody but the civil servants bonuses have been talked about.
HON. DR. NZENZA: Thank you Madam President. Again, I am
not able to answer your question at this stage. That question can only be answered in consultation with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and all the other Ministers involved. Thank you.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Madam President, because of
what has happened the in current situation and the exchange rate that has been prevailing, we are expecting to see the Minister of Finance and Economic Development because we have not seen him yet, but we were hoping to see the Leader of Government Business. Unless there is a
Leader of Government Business today, we could ask questions because Government must be know where the ship is going. So, is there someone who is representing the Leader of Government business to ensure that they answer our questions in terms of what is happening to our money and everyone is worried in the streets and I thought we have given two weeks to expect the Minister of Finance and Economic Development but he has not been around.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I think that one is a comment Hon. Sen. Eng. Mudzuri.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: No, we are asking for the Leader of Government Business if he is here because Government business cannot move when the Minister is not there. For the two weeks, the one who has been leading Government business is the Minister of Lands,
Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. Hon. Sen. Rtd. Air Marshall Shiri has not been coming. So, we expect someone to take-over when he is not there so that he can answer our questions.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you very
much Hon. Sen. Mudzuri. I do not think we work it that way, to keep on changing leaders of Government business every time. If he is absent, we wait and we question those who are here. The leader of the House is there but today he is not in the House because of some other commitments. I think I heard the Hon. Minister answering that we are at the moment trying to negotiate then we come up with something so that we bring it in this House so that everyone will hear.
*HON. SEN. NDIMIRE: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. May I know when we are going to have the disability policy?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): Thank you again for
that very relevant question. I think it will be right to say we are almost through in preparing this policy. It just needs some minor tweaking and I should be able to present it in the next ten days. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. SHUMBA: Thank you Madam President. My
question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. What is Government policy – when we look at some of the sports, the urban areas have lots of sports such as hockey, cricket, golf, swimming darts and when you go to the rural areas, the only sport which is there is football, netball and basketball. My question is what plans does
Government have in spreading all these other elite sports being practiced in the rural areas such as rugby, tennis and swimming so that our students in rural areas may also benefit from these and they can live on them but these learners are denied the chance to partake in these sports. What plan does Government have in spreading the wings to the rural areas?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND
RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI): Thank you Hon. Senator.
My Ministry has laid down policies that these elite sports such as hockey, cricket, golf and swimming be spread to institutions in rural areas. In my Ministry, we have a Sport Community Development Department whose main mandate is to spread these elite sports to the rural areas, especially in schools. We want sports to be played in rural areas and we are working hand-in-glove with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. We also have officers who are in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education who are the coordinators of this programme so that we work together for the success of this project. We also have officers in the Ministry who partake and work together for the spread of these elite sports to rural areas.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. My question
is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. I would want him to explain if he could assist us on the issue of citrus in the Beitbridge district, which is mostly needed for juice making by Schweppes. Do you have any arrangement pertaining that issue? I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.
HARITATOS): Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Hon. Senator. I would like to ask the Hon. Senator if possible to put her question in writing so that I can consult as I am not aware at this stage. I promise within a week I will have an answer. Thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. What is Government policy regarding the police that when somebody is apprehended for theft or any other case, they would start assaulting that person before investigations. This morning, the President of the ZCTU, Mr. Mutasa was assaulted and thrown into a lorry. It was a grievous assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm. Is that Government policy that you assault people before thorough investigations have been done?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND
CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr.
President. The question asked by Hon. Sen. Komichi is a very important question. Let me say, it is not Government policy that if somebody is apprehended on suspicion of committing a crime is assaulted because citizens of Zimbabwe have a right of being treated fairly. When we look at the special case which you mentioned regarding ZCTU, the best I can advise is for the Hon. Senator to put his question in writing. We will make investigations and give a response.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President. My
question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Culture and Rural Resettlement. I would like to understand the Government policy regarding Zunde Ramambo inputs now that the rains are upon us?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.
HARITATOS): Thank you Mr. President. I would want to thank the
Hon. Senator for his question. Again Mr. President, I would like the Hon. Senator if he could please put his question in writing so that I can consult so that I come back with an appropriate answer. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. SHOKO: Thank you Mr. President. We talked
about the $15 billion which is said to have been stolen from the minerals. There was an Inter-ministerial Committee which was set up and investigations were held. Consequently, I am pleading with the Minister to give us the findings and conclusions of the committee. This board was instituted by the former President, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe and this august House is not aware of the findings of that committee. Can the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage furnish this House with the findings?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr.
President. Thank you Hon. Sen. Shoko for such a question. This question has a specific item which is aimed at and therefore I would advise the Hon. Senator to put the question in writing so that I can go and make my investigations and bring the answer.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHITANGA: Thank you Mr. President. I
am directing my question to the Ministry of Home Affairs. What is Government policy regarding the building of base stations in the different rural areas so that people can access the police service nearer to them?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr.
President. I am not sure whether I heard him correctly. The Hon. Senator is asking the Government policy regarding the putting up of police posts so that people can access police services near their places of residence. Again, this is one of the questions where I would want to go and make some consultations about Government policy regarding the erection of these posts and then come back with your response.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Mr. President.
My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. Why is it that when there are disputes of land in our courts, the legal department of the Ministry does not represent their clients whom they would have allocated that land? Why are other beneficiaries of land withdrawn from their land in favour of new beneficiaries? Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.
HARITATOS): Thank you Mr. President. I would want to thank the Hon. Member for his valid two questions. I think it would be best instead of me giving my personal opinion, he would rather put it in writing and I would consult with the legal teams so that we give a proper answer to a very relevant and important question. Thank you Mr.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: On a point of order Mr. President, Mr.
President, we are going to have a problem that the Ministers are just saying write to us continuously when they come here, they tell us to write. Mr. President, we are kindly asking you to ask the Ministers to get acquainted with the situation so that when they come into this House, they can help us understand these issues that we are asking. We are coming here to represent the citizenry or the population and we must do it effectively. We can do it effectively if the Executive is helping us out because we are also helping them. Mr. President, I ask that our Ministers, even if they are new, they should start doing something.
Hundred days is going – because they are measured on 100 days. Hundred days is only in January. I am kindly asking that our Ministers do something when they come to this House. They must answer the questions that we are asking because a lot of questions have been said to be put in writing.
Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira having stood up without being recognised by the Chair.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I want
to make a statement. I have heard what you have said. I think the
Ministers too have heard your concerns but I would like to remind Hon. Senators that questions without notice are supposed to be questions on policy, general policy concerning that Minister. Now, if it becomes a technical question or a detailed question, it is only fair and I think it is just that it be put in writing. That is why we have the second part of today being Questions With Notice. Those are written questions whereby your questions which are technical and detailed are then answered by the Ministers after they have consulted their staff.
I do not think that Ministers can be so technical to know that we have got so many police posts in this country or a Minister can answer about issues of a legal nature. Some of them are not even lawyers. I think it is only fair that we restrict our questions without notice to policy issues. If we do it that way, we will have a win-win situation. I thank you for your understanding.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. President.
I think it is unfair to classify the question directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture as a written question. The question is - what is the policy with regards to litigation against a beneficiary of land when they are taken to court over that offer. If you are given an offer letter for a piece of land and you settle there and then you are sued by somebody; what is the policy? Does the Minister represent you in court? It is a policy issue Mr. President, there is nothing to be written about it. Do you represent the beneficiary in those circumstances? It is a policy issue. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTERS OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE,
WATER, CULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.
HARITATOS): Thank you Mr. President Sir and thank you to the Hon.
Member for his question.
The policy of our Ministry is that if there is a dispute and it originates from our Ministry, our legal team will represent us. It was my intention to give a reply with regards to policy but I felt that it was inappropriate because the question was not about policy from the previous member. The legal position or policy of our Ministry is that if we are the cause of that dispute in favour or against, our legal team must represent the Ministry in court. It is not correct for our lawyers or legal team to be absent in default. That is the first question.
With regards to the second question, it is not our policy to withdraw and give it to someone else unless due course. I thank you Hon. President Sir.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
- HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to state the measures being taken to encourage people to report cases of incest.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Mr. President, I would
like to thank the Hon. Senator for asking the question on what we are doing to encourage people to report cases of incest. I wish to point out that cases of incest naturally fall under the cluster of crimes of passion which in the majority of times are committed clandestinely. They can only be brought to the fore when the incestuous relationship turns sour or is discovered by relatives. Be that as it may, Madam Speaker, I want to assure the Hon. Senator that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is currently carrying out intensive awareness campaigns throughout the country and the thrust is mainly on cases such as incest and other prevalent crimes.
Mr. President, in the process of raising awareness among communities, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is engaging traditional and civic leaders, schools and other respectable members of the society to assist in spreading the word on the repercussions of engaging in criminal activities such as incest and of course, other general crimes. The ZRP is also currently intensifying community engagement process to find a lasting solution to this problem. The response by the communities has been positive and overwhelming. I also wish to point out that in the unfortunate event that a crime of incest is committed, the ZRP invokes the necessary legal instruments to bring the culprits to book and ensure that the law takes its course without fear or favour. I thank you.
STIGMATISATION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITY
- HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain the measures that are being implemented to end the stigmatisation of children with disability.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): Government has put in
place several measures to ensure that children with disabilities are not stigmatised. The steps that we have taken are as follows:
- 10% of the Basic Education Assisted Module (BEAM), is channeled to schools that educate children with disabilities.
With this initiative, children with disabilities are managing to attend school and some are receiving special education that helps them to interact well with other children who do not have disabilities;
- Psychosocial support to parents for children with disabilities is also being offered by Social Welfare Officers in partnership with Government and other non-governmental organisations. This initiative involves support groups given by caregivers better known as family clubs;
- The domestication of the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities which advocates for Human Rights Based Approach to disability issues will also ensure that stigma is eradicated among children with disabilities;
- The Zimbabwe Government, through the Ministry of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare has come up with a
National Plan of Action for orphans and vulnerable children. This was done in 2010; the initiative was to ensure that all children are given equal opportunity to survive. Under this programme, there is another initiative namely, the Case Management System which was put in place in 2010. This is a holistic approach that ensures that all children receive services.
Furthermore, this system is evidence based and it comes from the community where volunteers are selected and trained in child protection. The community volunteers are known as Community Child Care Workers (CCW).
This is the direction which Government, through my Ministry, will be moving towards during the Ninth Session of Parliament. I thank you.
ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS WITH MECHANISED EQUIPMENT
- HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement what the
Government’s policy is regarding assistance to farmers in the form of mechanised equipment such as tractors, ploughs and disc harrows since agriculture is the backbone of the nation’s economy.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE,
WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.
HARITATOS): Thank you Hon. President Sir and thank you to the Hon. Senator for the question. Government is making efforts to increase agricultural production and productivity through mechanised agriculture and the following strides are being made:-
- Government, through the Department of Mechanisation, is involved in the mobilisation of farm equipment for farmers by negotiating supply facilities;
- Some of the schemes which are ongoing include the More Food Programme which has realised the supply of mechanised equipment including tractors, ploughs, disc harrows, planters and knapsack sprayers as well as irrigation equipment. The equipment is meant for smallholder farmers and is payable over five to seven years;
- Government has also concluded a facility with Belarus through the Trade and Development Bank (PTA) and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for the supply of 440 tractors, 210 planters,
40 combines for A2 farmers to be payable over five years;
- Government has also availed 12 combines for the harvesting of grains through selected mechanisation service providers and farmers;
- Government has also tendered for the procurement of 20 combines, 20 driers and 20 thrashers to be sold to harvest service providers;
- Government has also mobilised funding for the repair of farm equipment through the Command Agriculture Programme where 237 tractors, 40 combines, two grain driers and an assortment of implements were repaired;
- Government has also introduced the ‘tillage voucher’, for improved access to tillage and harvesting services for Command Agriculture farmers. I thank you.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. President and thank you Hon. Minister for your response. Can you clarify this mechanisation programme where in rural areas most of the people who really produce maize – even outside the Command Agriculture
Programme use tillage from tractors and pay for the service?
For example, in Zaka rural area tractors are down all the time yet people have been paying and no tractor or grader has come – nothing has come to the aid of locals who have been paying all along. To be honest with you, I am one of the people who have consistently paid to DDF for tractors. What is happening to assist these rural farmers because the same could be happening in Nembudziya, Nyanga or Plumtree? What is happening to the money that is being paid and we end up with zero tillage or breakdown of tractors all the time? Like now they should be ploughing but there is nothing.
HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Mr. President and thank you to
Hon. Senator for his very valid question. Basically, what we have done as Government is introducing these forms of assistance to assist our people but we as Government cannot do it alone. Therefore, that is why we have the mechanisation services and providers which include farmers.
For example, a farmer has a combine harvester; we encourage people to also go there and employ their services. We also have what I mentioned, the tillage voucher service whereby you pay for the service and the farmer takes his tillage voucher to the person that he wants the service from and that person must guarantee him that service. So as Government, we are trying to assist several players including those who benefitted from Command Agriculture with better equipment for them to be able to pay and get the services that they would have paid for. I thank you.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: I was referring to communal low
income farmers who produce most of the maize that you sell to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), if you look at the agricultural statistics. What is happening to ensure that they also get tillage on time so that they can produce as much as everyone else who has paid? You are talking of a voucher but we pay directly to DDF yet we do not get the tractor services as they are always broken down. There have been no tractors for the past five years.
HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. President Sir and thank
you again for the supplementary question from the Hon. Senator.
Basically, DDF unfortunately does not fall under our Ministry but again
I spoke of the More Food Programme and an agreement with the
Belarusians which is between the Trade and Development PTA Bank.
Let me focus on the More Food Programme, this was a Brazilian deal and that was an amount of, if I correctly remember US$98 million. So we have only received US$38 million in phase one and are in negotiations to receive the remaining US$60 million. So basically, we are trying to support especially our small scale farmers which you rightfully said contribute the majority of the maize that we produce in our country by partnering with these organisations that will give us funding to be able to ease the mechanisational requirements required by the small scale farmers. Our priority is to farm in time and to be more productive and efficient for our farmers.
So it is in our interest to support our small scale farmers. I assure you that it is at the top of our priority list.
YOUTH TRAINING CENTRES
- HON. SEN. S. NCUBE asked the Minister of Youth, Sport ,
Arts and Recreation to give a breakdown of Youth Training Centres in Zimbabwe province by province.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND
RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI): Thank you Mr. President.
As part of its youth development and entrepreneurship skills development programme, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation currently administers 72 Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) of which 51 are fully established while 21 are still to be developed on vacant land that has been allocated by local authorities. In addition, the Ministry has 10 established National Youth Service centres, of which three are on vacant land. These training institutions are distributed in all the provinces of the country. The aim is to have at least one VTC in each district and one National Youth Service Training Centre in each province. The Ministry is currently reviewing its training programmes so that they mould young people into responsible citizens equipped with
the necessary like skills and entrepreneurial skills to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the vision 2030 national development agenda.
Distribution of Vocational Training Centres by Province
Total No. of
Hon. Member, if you are interested to have the list of Vocational Training Centres by their names, I am obliged to give you a document with the names of the actual vocational centres.
HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: I would like to know how those students are enrolled, that is, what is needed when they want to be enrolled?
HON. SIMBANEGAVI: Hon. Senator, for the enrollment at our VTCs there are no academic requirements that are really needed. Any young person between the ages of 15 to 35 can enroll at any one of our vocational training centres. The aim of these VTCs is not really to ensure that students come out with academic qualifications but to equip them with life skills. At these vocational training centres we offer skills such a welding, electrical engineering, clothing technology and other handicrafts. So, any young person who is in need of developing their own skill can enroll at any one of our vocational training centres.
However, it does not mean that those with 5 O’ levels cannot enroll. We have some vocational centres that have been linked with
HEXCO and we offer national certificates at these vocational training centres. Those with five O’ levels can also enroll at these vocational training centres so that when they progress to their second year they get the level two certificates and then they qualify to also proceed to those formal polytechnic colleges that are under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to enable them to proceed to get diplomas. Thank you.
CASH SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY
HON. SEN. SHOKO: I move the motion standing in my name
that this House –
NOTING the debilitating liquidity crisis facing the country;
CONCERNED that the introduction of Bond Notes has failed to improve the cash crisis;
AWARE that the cash crisis has affected procurement of essential goods and commodities that drive our economy;
NOW, THEREFORE; calls upon the Executive to urgently find ways of improving the cash situation in the country.
HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: I second.
*HON. SEN. SHOKO: Mr. President, I am going to debate on my
motion and the issue is that there is shortage of currency in this country.
People are living a pauper’s life because they cannot access cash easily. As you are aware Mr. President, we were informed that we will be able to utilise on buying RTGs, Swipe or even cash. So we had these three ways of purchasing. As time progressed, we were then informed that there was going to be an introduction of a bond note whose monetary value was equivalent to the American dollar which is 1:1. If I give you a Bond note, you will give me the equivalent in the American dollar. We were informed about that by the RBZ Governor and this was also emphasised by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
As far as we were concerned, we thought this was a very good idea and very noble but unfortunately, all these ideas which were brought forward are no longer being practiced. Companies are no longer accepting these other forms of payment. When the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning gave his statement, he also informed us that our currency is now in two divisions. We now have what is called RTGs and I am not very sure whether this refers to the Bond note. We were also advised to open another account in United States dollars but what is worrying is that when we banked our cash with the financial institutions it was in American US$ and we are now not sure what is the value of our accounts with the banks. Is it Bond currency or is it United States dollar?
What is now obtaining is that the Bond notes which were introduced are no longer available in the banks but if you go along the streets, especially along Simon Vengesai Muzenda Road, that is where you find these bond notes but in financial institutions they are not available. When you go to the shops - instead of using cash we are using RTGS. My main problem is that when I visit my rural area and I want to buy some peanuts or maybe caterpillar for relish, the old lady in the village who is selling that item does not have a phone where we can carry out telephonic exchanges. What this means is I go back to town a loser, I cannot buy the traditional food I want and the old lady in the rural areas has no money because she cannot access electronic exchanges. What is now happening is we are now buying money, we cannot buy anything using cash but we are now buying cash on the black market.
What is happening is this - because of cash shortages in the country, there is no production in our industries and as a result the products which are supposed to be imported in this country cannot be imported. In hospitals, people who are contributing to medical aid insurance are not treated on the strength on those medical aids because these hospitals want cash. When you go to pharmacies you cannot buy your prescriptions because they do not take medical aid cards. We gave the responsibility of creating wealth to the Government such as the Ministry of Finance and the Governor of the Reserve Bank. Are they aware of what is going on? Maybe some of us are very fortunate that you can access these bond notes.
As an individual, I do not even remember the time when I last handled liquid cash in my hands. Most of the population of this county lives in rural areas - maybe it is easier for us town dwellers, because we can have a chance of going to swipe in the shops. I can also purchase through RTGS, but let us think of those people who are living in the rural areas, they cannot use RTGS neither can they use swipe like the example I gave of an old lady in the rural areas who is selling traditional foods and I cannot buy from her because she does not have swipe machine or telephonic transfers. What the old lady wants is liquid cash so that she can live on her products. I am begging Government to make an emergency look into this problem which is in the country because the country is now coming to a standstill, no progress because people cannot access cash. We thought when we introduced RTGS, the dollar and swipe, there was going to be availability of liquid cash. The obtaining situation is that there is no liquid cash. What we have realised is that anybody who is selling anything are not accepting RTGS or electronic transfers but what they want is cash.
Mr. President, lack of currency, liquid cash is now a problem. We may debate in this Senate and be repeating ourselves like a record which is going on and on and can only stop after it has been removed. At this august Senate let us not be a talk show, we are wasting the tax payers, we are wasting our money, we should implement what we talk about. We are the law makers and yet the laws we talk about are not helping the people who are the electorate who voted us into power. I am appealing to the Government, especially the Reserve Bank Governor and the Minister and Ministry of Finance; they should work hard so that the people can have liquid cash flowing easily in the country without getting it on the black market. If that is not rectified, we will have problems - such difficulties which will even go beyond what we encountered in 2008.
In 2008, I may say things were easier because we had bearer cheques. Of course, there was inflation which led to trillions which is no longer there. The US dollars are no longer there, the bearer cheques are no longer there, we are now in a difficult situation. We are in a precarious predicament. If you fall sick and go back to PSMAS, they will tell you that if you do not have liquid cash we are not going to treat you. All the manufacturers, all the doctors, all the nurses and all the hospitals and clinics are now calling for cash so that you get their services. Again, I am emphasizing this issue should be treated as a case of emergency. We need to have liquid cash easily accessed and not on the black market. With those few words, I thank you.
+HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President, I want to take this opportunity to add my voice on shortages of money that has been brought into this Senate. I want to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Shoko. What I want to say is the leadership of this country does not care about its citizens. The leadership of this country think of themselves and they are really causing so much pain for us and what is paining us a lot is the Minister of Finance cannot come into this Senate or attend any Sitting for he knows that he will be asked issues to do with money. I believe he is informed not to come or he will be asked question about money. You realised even our ruling party, they are saying different things that are not the same, for example Minister of Finance will say something going the other direction, Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo will say something and Hon. O. Mpofu will say something else. I urge you not to take things for granted.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: On a point of order Mr. President.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON.
SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): What is your point of order?
HON. SEN. MOHADI: My point of order is it is not useful to mention names of other people when they are not in the Senate.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Point of
order not sustained, proceed, Hon. Senator.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. President. I want to appreciate the motion which has been brought today. It is sad that when I was trying to ask a question, there was no one to answer. We need the Leader of the House or the Minister of Finance or someone who can take this to Government. What we are talking about today might never be read by anyone for a long time. We can continue debating but I think we want you Mr. President to enlist the audience of the Minister of Finance or Leader of the House by next week so that we get an answer to what is happening to this financial situation. It is important that someone from Government answers and it is our duty as the Senate to interrogate Government on what they are saying…
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order,
order, I think you are debating now. I think your comments are noted.
+HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President. I feel so much pain and I am wondering why they are taking us for granted. Mr. President, I will not apologise for mentioning those names, for those people were out on national television which is being watched by everyone. There is nothing wrong about mentioning their names for they came out on TV saying different statements and saying things which are not the reality that is on the ground.
As I speak today, exchange of United States Dollar (US$) to RTGs was at 400%. For you to get US$100, you have to transfer 400 bond notes. How many people are able to manage that? We are staying in a country that is causing so much pain to its citizens. Like I mentioned yesterday, you had to change with 400 bond notes to get US$100; we have people who are outside the country; I know I am not the only one in that position.
When I asked the money changers yesterday, they said we are looking for the US$ and they wanted to buy that US$ from anyone. They were so desperate to get the US$ and I know the people who are in those deals of exchanging mone are always hiding. I am wondering why they are not being arrested. Who is the owner of the money? The Minister of Finance should come and explain to us. He should tell us where the money is. There is no way we can keep on buying US$, it is very difficult.
For the US$ to be introduced into this country, it was through Inclusive Government. I want to mention that ZANU PF Members did not know that there is US$, now you want to hide that US$ and you want to act as if it is your money. Why should I buy US$100 with 400 bond notes? What are the children who are outside the country going to survive on? When I was looking for money from the bank, I was told to go and buy money outside and deposit it so that I can transfer it.
I have not even paid fees for my child and when I approached the Minister, I was told to contact Eduloan. Even if I have the money, you will realise that most of you have taken the money and pocketed it. How are we going to survive as a country? Even medical aid is now demanding US$. It is fine for you, for you were going there and you were being given US$. I did not know there were two different slips, a US$ slip and a bond note slip.
Tablets for Blood Pressure are not available; even a cough syrup goes for $7 or $15, how many people are going to manage to buy that? How many people can survive buying medication for such prices? Why should you rule a country that you are not able to uplift? There is no way you can agree to that. When people are trying to say out their views, they are being beaten up, so the Minister should come and respond. We want that money; we want to be told how we are going to be paid. For example, at the end of the month, that means we do not have any money. We want to know – if you are saying we are saying things that are wrong, one thing that you should know is that this is a sin that has been committed. It is just as good as being stabbed whilst you are alive.
Where is the money? We spoke about the issue of US$15 billion and the issue was not dealt with properly. We have money in the banks but we do not know what is going to happen to that money. There are many taxes in this country, let me read them out. We have income tax, which is known as the corporate tax, there is Pay as You Earn (PAYE), employees’ tax. There is also Value Added Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Customs Duty, Surtex, Instant Duty, Capital Gains Withholding tax, Excise Duty, Special Excise Duty, Carbon Tax, Withholding tax under contract of 10%, Non-Resident Shareholders’ Tax, Resident
Shareholders’ Tax, Non-Resident Tax on Remittances, Remittance Tax on Residents, Non-Residents Tax on Royalties, Automated Transaction Tax, Demutualisation, Aids Levy, Tobacco Levy, Intermediate Money Transfer Tax, Non- Executive Directors’ Fees, Property Commission
Tax, Insurance Tax, Presumptive Tax, Informal Traders Presumptive
Tax, Toll Fees, Mining Royalties, Stamp Duty, NOCZIM Debit, Redemption and Strategic Levy, Petroleum Importers Levy, Skills
Development Levy and Various Licences Levy. Where is the money?
There are few people who are benefiting from the money that we are making in this country whilst others are living in poverty. Why should we lie to each other? That means most of you came here not because you won the elections, if you won elections in a painful way, you should be knowing when we are talking about this money and we demand that the money should be in the country and everyone benefits from it. We should be singing the same hymn. People are being taxed so many times and at the end of the day there is no money in the country, where is the money?
I want to support this motion. We want the money and we want the US$, the one that we brought through the Inclusive Government, not the printed notes that you are printing. When Governor Mangudya was asked, he said that it was at par with the US$ but today we are in trouble. Hon. Sen. Shoko, thank you so much for bringing this motion before this House. We are hurting and we do not know what is it that we are going to do but we believe God will intervene one day. I thank you.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 16th October, 2018.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MOHADI, seconded by HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI, the House adjourned at Twenty-One Minutes past
Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 30th October, 2018.