PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 20th October, 2021
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to remind the House that the 2021 Pre-Budget Seminar will be held from 22nd to 26th October, 2021, at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls. Hon. Senators who have not yet confirmed their attendance with the Public Relations Department must do so. Officers from the department will be stationed at the Members Dining Room on 20th and 21st October, 2021. Hon. Members from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands and Masvingo Provinces will drive to Victoria Falls while those from Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central Provinces will travel by charter flight. Please, note that the departure time from the Robert Mugabe International Airport is 1400 hours on 22nd October, 2021 and the expected arrival time in Victoria Falls is 1500hrs. Members will be picked from Parliament and respective hotels at 1200hrs. The return charter flight will leave Victoria Falls on 26th October at 0700hrs and arrive in Harare at 0800hrs.
In order to comply with COVID-19 regulations and to ensure the safety and health of participants, Hon. Members are required to have a COVID-19 test undertaken within 48 hrs of the conference. COVID-19 testing facilities shall be provided in Parliament Courtyard from 20th to 22nd October, 2021. Hon. Members travelling by road who fail to be tested in Harare shall be tested at the Elephant Hills Hotel upon arrival. Hon. Members traveling by air should be tested in Harare as the COVID-19 test results will be required before boarding the flight. Hon. Members are therefore, required to bring their National Identification cards and COVID-19 test results.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
+HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to make a few contributions. I would like to first thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi for tabling this motion thanking His Excellency the President who addressed both Houses and was seconded by Hon. Mabika. I thank them for the important motion.
Mr. President, His Excellency the President thanked the people of Zimbabwe for the unity of purpose at a time when the nation was being ravished by the COVID-19 pandemic and the way people managed the situation by agreeing to be vaccinated in order to curb the pandemic. Even though we were in the middle of a problem, it was not exacerbated because people were cooperative.
The President also spoke about very important things such as mining. He is looking forward that it will grow by 11% and help the nation to attract foreign currency because this will help our economy to grow. He also said that communities where mining is taking place should be helped because these miners do their mining and go away and they leave without putting any development but leave holes on the ground. People must be assisted so that they get something from the mining activities in their area. He again advised that there must be Committees that look at how the miners are contributing in the communities, be it schools or some other things.
He also gave an example of South Africa, that there is a place called Impala Platinum which helped their communities. The farming areas are lacking in development because miners just mine and go away. He said that mining brings in a lot of money and this will help the country to develop. He thanked the security sector for doing a very important job because our country is peaceful; most countries envy us for that. He also talked about agriculture and thanked the youths who are engaging in agriculture. This shows that the country has a bright future.
Youths are engaged in cotton and tobacco farming; there is development in that area. For a country to survive, it must be into agriculture. We fought for the liberation of our country so that we regain our land. We are now farming, we are independent and agriculture creates employment. In the New Dispensation, there are quite a lot of things that have happened, particularly in Matabeleland, there is the Zambezi Water Project which has been there for years.
I observed that there is a project being done at Gwayi-Shangani Dam. His Excellency commissioned the work and in two months’ time, the Gwayi-Shangani Dam will be finished. In 2021, we installed pipes from the Gwayi-Shangani Dam for agricultural purposes. We have realised that irrigation as we are talking is all over. Lupane is a place which is very remote but because of the New Dispensation, there is irrigation which is taking care of 90% members of the community.
There are a lot of children in the community who are benefiting from the irrigation scheme. As we speak, His Excellency the President has been at that place again. I will not forget to mention that when we went to launch that irrigation, His Excellency is a person who likes and listens to the people. We wanted to know what the people’s problems are. He did not fly, but went by road to Lupane to see for himself the situation on roads. He drove from Bulawayo to Lupane, which is 400 kilometres by road. The people of Zimbabwe are thankful because our President is a humble man. We are thankful that we have a hospital at Lupane…
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Senator, your time is about to expire.
*HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President. The President is fulfilling his promises. He also talked about sanctions that they should be removed. We have a President who implements what he says. He leads from the front and we are grateful for his coming here. We see that things are happening and we are witnessing that.
+HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the Presidential Speech which was tabled by our President, His Excellency Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa. I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi for moving the motion and his seconder Hon. Mabika. Mr. President, His Excellency has always said that he is a listening President. When he was delivering his speech to the nation, he started by recognising the people – that is why he talked about the COVID-19 pandemic which befell the whole country and has also affected us as a nation. There are steps that he has taken as a leader in order for us to curb the spread of the virus in our nation.
The people of Zimbabwe took heed for what the President was saying, that it was a national disaster and that the nation must be on lockdown, , mask up whilst staying at home. The nation listened and it shows how good our President is and he thanked the nation for adhering to COVID restrictions. Due to adherence to COVID-19 restrictions, the statistics of the virus are now going down. If you find a leader thanking his people, it means he is a good leader and has his people at heart.
The President further talked about farming, we know that when we took the land, nothing was taking place but because of his vision, we started seeing change in the farm mechanisation by going out to look for tractors. People were used to using cattle for farming but now we are being taught that farming is a business and we were encouraged by our President to use tractors. The youths were also incorporated into farming because if the youths become farmers, it means there is a future.
His Excellency also said that farmers are now getting their money in time. Long back, there was a backlog of 2 years and they could not go back but now farmers are getting paid in good time so that they can go back to till the land in time for the next season.
Mr. President, our President also touched on transport. In Zimbabwe, we have got transport challenges but now we have ZUPCO buses which will lessen the volumes of traffic in our roads since most people will leave their cars at home because of this reliable transport system. Those who run commuter omnibuses were told that they should operate under ZUPCO. It does not end there but Air Zimbabwe bought a new aircraft so that our airline would also be revamped so that we raise our flag as a nation. There was an MOU with Qatar Airways which means that we would have joined other nations and they would know that there is Zimbabwe because there would be an influx of tourists coming into our country.
The President also talked about the abuse of drugs by our children. As a leader with the desires of the people at heart, he saw how the challenge has befallen our nation. Our children are being affected by these drugs. His Excellency set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee which would look at the challenges of drug abuse in our nation. Those who were incorporated in this Committee are working very hard. However, I want to encourage those in the Committee to find where the drugs are coming from and who is bringing them in. We only find our children with these imported drugs which are coming through our borders. We should join hands with those who mann our borders in order to nip this problem in the bud.
Mr. President, His Excellency also touched on manufacturing. He said those into manufacturing in Zimbabwe must not import but manufacture things here. Our shops should have an influx of locally produced goods. That will make our local manufacturers to work hard and convince people to be proud of our locally made products. As they buy the goods, this leads to the development of our economy.
For example, tomato puree should be made locally. The President encourages that goods should be manufactured locally, that is why he went to Mutoko and opened a canning factory there. Now, we have a factory in Mutoko where our tomatoes are being processed so that we also export locally manufactured and processed goods.
The President also talked about gender equality, that there should be equality between men and women depending on what one is capable of doing in their lives. That is why he opened the Women and Youth Empowerment Banks so that those who have skills and talents can access funds from those banks and be recognised for their talent. This will encourage our people to showcase their talents and be honoured because we have noticed that during Heroes celebrations this year, the President honoured a number of people, and not only the heroes of the liberation struggle but everyone who did something recognisable. This means that the nation belongs to all of us and not only for those who were involved in the liberation struggle.
Lastly, I want to thank the President on the war veterans issues. There was the crafting of the Liberation Struggle Act, the Liberation Struggle Board, Heroes Dependence Board and the Heroes Commission Fund so that all those who contributed to the attainment of our independence are recognised and honoured wherever they go.
Mr. President, I want to thank His Excellency the President because of his message which touches on the lives of all Zimbabweans. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. FEMAI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the Presidential Speech. Firstly, I want to thank him; I might be repeating but that is what touches my heart. The health of the nation – not knowing what is happening in hospitals, but from what I know, on the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people survived because of the guidance from our President. I am so thankful for that because he remembered that people should not perish because of this pandemic whilst there is a Government in place. He made decisions and the number of infected cases came down. Yes, some perished but many survived and we are so thankful. We are not yet out of the woods as COVID-19 is still with us but he is busy averting its effects such that even if it comes, we have a leadership which is solid.
We were so lucky because we were blessed with rains and the President came up with the programme of Pfumvudza. People were provided with agricultural inputs and our silos are full. It does not mean that all the people have adequate grain but those who actively participated in the concept of the Pfumvudza Programme were able to harvest well.
On the road network – the Road Rehabilitation Programme is progressing very well, with a very good pace which is visible. If we travel along Harare/Plumtree Road, Harare/Beitbridge Road and all the other major highways, it shows that they are being rehabilitated and maintained. Our grievance is that this programme should be extended to small roads. Because of the small cars which we drive, we are getting into a lot of expenses. The way the roads are being rehabilitated, the President is making sure that our cars will not be damaged but I think it should also be extended to the residential areas, especially the high density suburbs because if you go to low density suburbs, you find that the roads have been rehabilitated. This should be extended to the high density areas as well – I know he can do it because he has already started.
Still on roads, I think pirate taxes should really be investigated because they do not follow traffic safety rules. They are the ones damaging the roads that will have been rehabilitated by the President. The pirate taxis should be investigated so as to find out why we have a lot of illegal taxis on the roads. Who owns them? We also want to think that because our roads are now good, the trucks that come from South Africa in transit to Congo are now passing through. We hope that we will get a lot of foreign currency from those trucks. Those who were shunning our roads because of potholes are now using our roads. This is why I say our President had an insight and vision.
The President also talked about the economy of our country, that our economy is in the hands of SMES. Those people should be grouped so that they can pay taxes because if you are an illegal miner and mining 25 kg of gold every month and you are not paying taxes, how do you expect the Government to operate? I think those people should be grouped according to their sections so that they pay taxes from what they would have mined because the land belongs to the State, so they should pay taxes. This will help our economy to grow and we will not keep on crying about foreign currency because gold on its own is foreign currency. There is no one who sells gold in Zimbabwe dollars but in USD which is foreign currency. They sell and pocket the money.
When the President speaks, people should listen. The President wants us to have many cattle. He has seen that we no longer have cattle in our country and that is why people are now demanding cars as lobola payment. Cows should be brought back so that people can use them as lobola payment.
Lastly Mr. President, I want to talk about sanctions. Yes, there are some who say sanctions are good while others are saying they are affecting us. It is true sanctions affect us, they are not good for us because if you find yourself with a catapult, you see a bird in its nest and you attach it, it means you have killed the chicks as well because if you kill the mother you have killed the children as well. We are President Mnangagwa’s children and if he is under sanctions and we are his children, where do we get food from because the person who gives us food is the one who has been slapped with sanctions? So, it means we should build our economy on our own. If we have illegal gold panners paying taxes and if we engage on Pfumvudza, it will help us to build on our economy. I want to thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.
^HON. SEN. MALULEKE: I would like to thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the address made by His Excellency the President. Firstly, I would want to start with the Beitbridge-Harare Road, we have been witnessing a lot of accidents and a lot of people perishing. The road has been repaired, there were a lot of issues that needed the attention of Government and we thank the President – through his efforts, he managed to outsource funds to enable the roads project to be a success.
He went on to mention the issue of the airports, the Robert Mugabe International Airport and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport. I was pleased about the Buffalo Range Airport; this is from my province. The late Vice President Hon. Sen. Muzenda started the construction of the airport before passing on. He said that he wanted tourists to visit his hometown but unfortunately the Lord called him before he completed the project. Fortunately, His Excellency the President, Dr. Mnangagwa took over the project and I applaud him for this good work.
He went on to say that farmers need to be assisted by giving them 300 tractors and 200 combine harvesters. A lot of wheat was planted around the country and this previous week we received rains but those farmers who benefited the combine harvesters managed to finish harvesting their wheat before the rains started. Now the wheat is in the process of being transported to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB). We applaud the President because this shows that he is a visionary.
My province is a cattle ranching province. The President assisted in issues of livestock through the provision of tick grease and dip tanks. He encouraged the Agritex and veterinary officers to work tirelessly. He also promised to distribute seed to farmers, unfortunately maize seed was limited since the region promotes the cultivation of sorghum and cotton.
He emphasised that the province has limited schools infrastructure and this promotes youths to venture into drugs. I have a relative who was given school fees but he fled to Harare and spent a week without eating because he was high on drugs. Truly, I want to inform you that drugs kill, the young man passed on and this is not good. If people who deal in drugs are arrested, they should languish in prison because they are a danger to society. The young generation is perishing at an alarming rate compared to the elderly. This is threatening the future of the State since the young generation is the future leaders. I beseech this House to take note of this problem of drugs.
Again, there are 14 Bills that need to be aligned to the Constitution and this is a mammoth task. I request that all the Ministers attend Parliament so that we can interact with them so that the Bills can be successfully aligned to the Constitution. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi, the mover of the motion and Hon. Mabika, the seconder. I thank you.
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Mr. President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 21st October, 2021.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU, seconded by HON. SEN. A. DUBE, the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Seven Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.