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SENATE HANSARD 04 FEBRUARY 2016 VOL 25 NO 25

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 4th February, 2016

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

SUSPENSION OF THEMATIC COMMITTEE BUSINESS

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that all Thematic Committee business will be suspended with effect from today until Monday, 22nd February, 2016.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. I would want to find out the teacher to pupil ratio in our country. I would also want to find out what measure the Ministry has taken to deal with the issue of hot sitting? I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you President of the Senate for giving me this opportunity. I would like to thank the Senator for that pertinent question to explain the teacher to pupil ratio. This simply means the ratio between the teacher and the learners - we have three levels in terms of education in our primary and secondary Ministry. The first sector is the infant level which is ECD up to Grade 2. Under this group, one teacher should have 25 pupils. The second level is from Grade 3 to Grade 7, which we call junior school. We expect the teacher to pupil ratio to be one teacher to 40. The last level is the secondary level, whereby a teacher is expected to have 35 pupils. When we look at the last years of secondary school, which is A’ Level, the ratio is 1:25.

          However, when we look at disciplines that we call tech-voc, a teacher has at least 75 pupils. What we are saying is that a teacher can have a session, for example in woodwork. He can actually have 25 pupils to do practicals and after they are done, he takes another 25 pupils. So, what we are looking forward to is for the teacher to have at least 75 pupils for that person to be accepted under the Public Service regulations as a full load.

          We also look at special needs children, for example those who have handicaps, especially in hearing or sight. Such special needs children have their own ratio. One teacher should have one learner. We also consider that whereby a pupil has two handicaps, probably he is deaf and dumb; he is expected to have seven pupils. Under special needs, a teacher cannot have more than 19 pupils. I do not know if there are any other explanations that are needed beyond what I have explained. I would appreciate it if it were put in writing, should there be need.

Secondly, you asked about hot seating, meaning that there are two schools running in one school. Since independence, we never put a policy that said a school is now full. A school that we consider to be full is one that has boarding facilities because facilities can only cater for a certain number of children. If it is a day school and that stream is full, there should be an increase on the streams available. That is what has put pressure in our schools because in the last 15 years, the country was under sanctions and had so many challenges. What it then means is that our duty as parents to bring up our children has actually increased the number of children without an increase in the infrastructure. So, what we request as a Ministry is that we engage in joint ventures with those having private capital. At the same time, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has also promised that it will try and source infrastructure bonds. So those who want to deposit their monies and invest in infrastructure can benefit through rentals.

The third plan that we have to alleviate hot seating is to look for loans. We have a loan that was applied for and we were given by the Arabs, which we voted in favour of. We managed to get US$20 million and we are currently working on the papers to ensure that building commences. We also have countries such as China that are assisting us. We have plans to have six schools. I am sure you are aware of the one in Hatcliffe and another one in Lupane. We are hoping to open these schools mid-month. I thank you.

HON. SEN CHIMHINI: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Can the Minister clarify the position of recalling of teachers who had gone on leave and are now back in the schools.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): I would like to acknowledge the question but defer it so that the Hon Member can ask the question in writing to the appropriate Minister, who is the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.

*HON. SEN. MUMVURI: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development. I want to know whether it is Government policy that if a transformer breaks down, a person is requested to buy that transformer. There are also connections that are being done in schools, are they supposed to be bought by the schools or the Ministry should provide these?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA): I want to thank Senator Mumvuri for his question. I cannot say it is Government policy but that if challenges are being faced, people are asked to buy a transformer but what then happens is that after they have purchased the transformer, on paying the electricity bill, deductions are made.

On the issue of connections, I think I need to research more, so I will bring a written response.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development. These days load shedding has improved; may you enlighten the House on what measures you have put in place and how you are managing it?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA): Thank You Madam President but I do not know whether this is a policy question but I will respond by stating that these days we are buying electricity from Eskom and Mozambique (Kahora Bassa). That is what has alleviated load shedding in Zimbabwe.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Madam President, it is true that load shedding has improved. She said they are buying from different countries but we have always purchased electricity from elsewhere. We thought the challenge was because we did not have money. So what we need to know is the actual reason why things have improved. Is it because we now have money because we have always been struggling to pay for electricity? Are you saying we no longer have challenges in paying for electricity?

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon Chief, I think you are making things difficult for the Minister.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Madam President, I thank you for highlighting that the question has become too heavy for the Deputy Minister. The Chief wants to know why things have gone right and why we do not have problems with electricity. He wants to know why the situation has been alleviated which is a positive development and I do not understand what kind of spirit this is. Our aim is to ensure that people get electricity. We do not have extra cash but we are actually virementing funds from other areas to ensure that electricity is available.

          So, Chief Charumbira we are not saying that there is a lot of money but we are actually starving other areas to ensure that people get electricity. That is how things are as we speak. I thank you. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Vice President Mnangagwa.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President. My question goes to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. I am not very sure whether it is a policy question but somewhere somehow it links with the policy. My question …

          An Hon. Senator having passed between the Hon. Senator speaking and the Chair.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order!

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: My question Minister is that last time I raised this question about other currencies that are being used in Zimbabwe, like the Rand and the Pula. You will find that at schools, teachers are chasing children away from school if ever the parents are paying in Rands. As a result, most of the children are no longer going to school just because the headmasters are chasing them away from school. What should be done to these headmasters who are doing this as it is that all currencies are legal tender in Zimbabwe and Rand and the Pula as well? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Hon. President of the Senate. I thank the Hon. Senator Mohadi for asking the question. It is true that she asked this question before and I did respond to it to say that if there are instances where this practice of turning down what is a legal tender in this country in the multicurrency regime, if any of our institutions are turning down acceptance of this legal tender - those schools should be reported through our system. I am quite happy to receive the list from the hon. member and we will take some action. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. HLALO: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to ask a question. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. The question is, what is the Ministry doing to decongest in hottest grounds what we call VIDs since there is now a big population of vehicles and the VID depots still remain the small depots? Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Thank you Madam President. I thought you were going to do the same like you did for the Deputy Minister of Energy to say that is a difficult question and referred it to the Hon. Vice President. My response to the question from Hon. Senator Hlalo is that that problem has not been brought to the attention of the Ministry. The Hon. Member is referring to the population of cars having increased and that we should also may be have more vehicles VID depots.

Well, the relationship between the number of cars in town and those people who will be going to the VID depots for testing I think it is totally separate. It is not something that I can connect and come up with an answer which will satisfy me as in giving an answer. I would therefore, thorough you Madam President ask Hon. Senator Hlalo to put that question in writing stating the reasons why there should be a re-look at increasing these depots so that we can make an investigation and give a satisfactory answer. I would plead with Hon. Member to do that because it is not something that I can off the cuff give a satisfactory answer because it will need looking into the situation that he is referring to. I thank you.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity. I would like to ask whether there is a Minister of Mines because my question is in related to mines.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Mines is not covered.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Okay, sometimes they stand for each other and what about The Minister of Health and Child Care?

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: The Ministry of Health and Child Care is not covered.

HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Sport and Recreation. Minister there has been a lot of hullabaloo in relation to the Zimbabwean Football Coach. At that point there was an argument that of ensuring that we qualify to go to Rwanda. Now that the team crashed should we now say we need another coach?

THE MINISTER OF SPORTS AND RECREATION (HON. HLONGWANE): Thank you very much Hon. Madam President of the Senate and I thank the Hon. Member for the question. First and foremost let me state that question resides within the operational realm of ZIFA and Government does not influence the staffing issues around national associations. So, clearly it is not a policy matter. However, what I could advise the Senate is that there are consultations and discussions between ZIFA, the SRC and the technical team around the issues of whether or not that particular technical team can go on. Thank you. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Hon. E.D Mnangagwa. Hon. Vice President there is drought looming and it is an open secret that there will be very poor harvest this year and our farmers, no-matter how diligently they work will not be able to feed the nation. We have a pending disaster on our hands. When is the presidency going to announce that we have an emergency in the country so that you can start to mobilize resources internationally to feed the nation? Thank you.

*THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA): I thank Hon. Senator Makoni for the question. It is true that this year there is a drought and hunger is looming. Mostly, when a country is drought stricken as it is right now, we declare it as a season’s disaster in order for us to get assistance from NGOs and the Government. When we declare such, we actually explain how things are. That is what is underway right now but for me to say when it will be done, I cannot say. In the coming few days we will present this but we are not intimidating people that they will die of hunger because food is available in the country.

We got 50 000 tonnes from Zambia and we paid. The money that we used was able to get 15 000 metric tonnes. We delayed to purchase more grain because we wanted to see how the season would progress. As time went on the 34 000 was gone. Through an agreement with Zambia, we were engaging talks and we agreed and they are giving us another 110 000 metric tonnes. You might ask that we failed to pay 34 000 and now we are buying 110 00, it is because we were able to acquire $200 million to buy grain such that as a Government we are trying to ensure that there is food. We know that there is a drought and we are still working on how to present this to the nation as I have said. I thank you.

+HON SENATOR A. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam President. We are seeing at home beasts are dying and people are selling their beasts for $20 or $30, what steps are being taken by the Government to take care of the remaining beasts? What action is the Government prepared to take so as to avoid the death of all these beasts?

*HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA: Thank you. What she has asked now refers to livestock that are dying due to lack pasture and water. We have been informed that this is happening in most rural areas especially in Matebeleland south, Midland in the south, Masvingo and a few areas in Chipinge. We even have the number of livestock lost as a result of this. We have quite a number of measures in place such that if the Minister of agriculture had been available he would have done justice in enlightening the House on the measures.

You asked that question as a Government we are not idle to the situation we are assisting. There is a measure that has been taken to inform people that if their livestock have been affected by the said issues, they can come and report in order to get assistance. We take some of the cattle so that in future if the situation improves they can be given other cattle as these will have been used. With some of the livestock we can give them stock feed for them to survive in these areas.

This is being done by the Ministry of Agriculture together with the Cold Storage Commission to ensure that we do not lose a lot of livestock. In other areas we safeguard the female livestock and ensure that these are fed whilst slaughtering the male. It is a pertinent measure ensuring that we can grow our national herd when the situation improves. It is an issue that is under debate in Cabinet. Thank you.

*HON. SENATOR MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. In the last few days we heard from the media that you are promoting science at ‘A’ level and students will be educated for free. Is it not possible that one day the Government would also come up with a position whereby such a measure could be taken at ‘O’ level and also deal with the issue that most teachers may discourage children to take up sciences in an effort to obtain higher pass rates? Is there anything that can be done to ensure that those children who would not make it to ‘A’ level can also get such assistance? I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to respond to the Hon. Senator regarding what he heard from the media both electronic and print. There are responsible authorities; it is not our Ministry that is dealing with this. Our plan to promote Science, Mathematics and technical vocational subjects, we have put it in the new curriculum. It begins at level one from the infants right up to ‘A’ level. Currently what we know is that our children since 12013 to 2015, we can give you a number of children who have gone through the curriculum that we currently have. However, there is an increase because we have a new curriculum that was introduced. If we compare the statistics and look at the E grade, it is a pass but it represents one point. This also depends on the combination of subjects. See table of performance below;

Advanced level graduates ready for tertiary education

SESSION

SUBJECT

No. of Students with a C or better

No. of Students with an E or better

2013

Biology

1220

2015

Chemistry

1202

2987

Geography

1714

6832

Mathematics

3215

5184

Physics

909

1504

 

SESSION

SUBJECT

No. of Students with a C or better

No. of Students with an E or better

2014

Biology

1058

1876

Chemistry

1118

2679

Geography

2814

6277

Mathematics

2797

6005

Physics

956

1769

SESSION

SUBJECT

No. of Students with a C or better

No. of Students with an E or better

2015

Biology

1593

2220

Chemistry

2035

3214

Geography

2544

9102

Mathematics

3771

7768

Physics

1119

1969

 

This past year, we announced the results two weeks ago and we told the nation that there was an improvement of 5 point something percent on the general performance. We also noted that on the improvement, the majority of students doing so well are girls. Referred back to table of statistics above.

          This is the mandate of my Ministry to work with the children to ensure that they succeed and proceed with their education to the next level. Thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: In relation to these results, have we done it in such a way that we can see how the performance is like in each province?

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: May I encourage Hon. Senators to stick to policy issues. That question is not a policy issue, you just want to know some information.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: I am asking if there is a policy that entails these results to be shown in relation to provinces- [Laughter ] –

          HON. DR. DOKORA: The answer is yes. When we released the results, we also structured the release into provinces. Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Sport and Recreation. As a policy matter regarding sport, football in particular, what is the Ministry’s policy to ensure that there is success. It has almost become a ritual that when the Zimbabwe national soccer team goes out to compete, any other national team competing against it would see it as a walk-over.

The impression given by the Minister to the other question was so quick and witty, almost to say, they are spectators. It is worrying and the Ministry should do something. What is it that they are doing as a matter of policy? As long as the recruitment base remains narrow, I am not sure whether much will be achieved. I thank you Madam President.

THE MINISTER OF SPORTS AND RECREATION (HON. HLONGWANE): Thank you Hon. President. Thank you Hon .Musaka for the question. I will start with the second comment that he made in respect to my answer to the earlier question. The question asked earlier on was about the coach for the national team. That is a staffing matter for the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).

The Government does not influence issues of staffing for ZIFA because that is interpreted as interference within the issues of football. Usually, this draws the ire of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA). That said, it does not mean that we do not do anything as far as the success of football is concerned. As Government, we should not be activity based or driven; we should be driven by issues of national strategy and structuring policy. If fully exploited, this should be able to provide the success dividend.

What are we doing as far as the success of football in the country is concerned. Let me start by saying that, having performed badly in the campaign in Rwanda recently, I have called the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) as well as ZIFA to sit down and do a post-mortem of what transpired. Some of the issues are technical and therefore fall firmly within the province of ZIFA. However, at a strategic level, the issues that we have diagnosed as being the problems, not just for football but for all national sport associations are issues that are structural in nature. How are our national sports associations, ZIFA included, structured?

How much outreach work do they have to do at the bottom of the pyramid, which is the grassroots sports?. Most sports associations do not have that kind of reach. In respect to football, there is a lot of football that gets played at the grassroots level. The problem is that football which is being played at the grassroots level is not organised, it is spontaneous.

Therefore, what we have said is that ZIFA should find itself present at the local grassroots structures. Put differently, we have asked all national sport associations to mirror the Government administrative structures in terms of how the architecture of their associations is designed. We have said whilst we will not want them to go to the sell which we think is rather over ambitious, certainly, we want them to be present at the ward so that they can compete in mobilising people for their particular sport cord. ZIFA has agreed to do that immediately, so that they begin to organise community clubs at the grassroots, but that is not enough.

The other key aspect of your question is that there is a lot of latent talent that is resident at the grassroots. How do we make sure that talent is given access to the national team? We have asked ZIFA to introduce a competition which is national in character that enables or provides an opportunity to community clubs to participate. In the process of doing that, Government, ZIFA, SRC and other stakeholders are involved in the talent identification process so that the talent that is resident at the grassroots, the bottom of the pyramid does not leak out of this barrel of a process that we have put in place, through the competition system that we are going to be introducing through ZIFA. That is what we are going to be doing.

That said, we also have the school system that we are working with my colleague in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. This is Government policy and we are saying sport is now henceforth mainstreamed into the school system. That means sport has to be played in schools throughout the year not seasonally. Not only that, sport also has to be learnt in the classroom from ECD all the way up to the exit point at A Level. Thank you Madam President.

+HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I thank you Madam President. Hon. Minister, sport is employing people and people are now surviving on sport; what is Government doing to ensure that people take sport as a profession that can sustain their lives? I thank you.

+HON. HLONGWANE: I thank you Madam President. I thank you again Hon. Senator Mlotshwa for the question that you have put across. It is true that sport is clinging shocks to the youth in the country. What we are doing as Government is that if we are looking at football for example, those who start football clubs should be registered with ZIFA so that they can follow regulations that are put in place by us and ZIFA. This helps the sportsmen not to be cheated. People form clubs, let us say in Bulawayo, region 1 or region 2, sportsmen play, but they do not realise anything. We do not want that to continue. When a club enters into a certain level, that is competitive sport. What we want is that the sportsmen in that club should realise something out of that club. That means ZIFA has to regulate the registration of those clubs to make sure that the players do not play for nothing. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. We have our national airline Air Zimbabwe and we have seen that there has been an introduction of various airlines. Is our national airline Air Zimbabwe visible and when will it resume international flights like Gatwick and Heathrow? Secondly, have you found a partner to improve the services offered by our national airline Air Zimbabwe? I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Through you Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for his pertinent question which everyone is looking forward to as to what is happening at Air Zimbabwe. I want to explain that the Government is trying to come up with measures on how we can bring the national airline to its visibility. We are trying to ensure that we restore its operations and also improve on our airports such as Victoria Falls as well as Harare International Airport. With the difficulties that we are facing as well as the sanctions that the country was facing, it was difficult for us to acquire parts to keep our planes in good shape.

So, the sanctions were affecting us. Where we are as Government is that we have got to a point whereby we are looking for partners like what other countries are doing on the issue of airlines. Throughout the world Sen. Mumvuri and all those in this House, the airline business is struggling in all countries. Most countries are now in partnership when it comes to airlines to ensure sustainability and viability.

You said that Air Zimbabwe and the challenges that we were facing is doing quite well because if you look at other countries that do not have difficulties like us Zimbabwe, we were able to maintain our flights although they were few, but we used to service our routes. What we have mentioned about international flights to Gatwick and London, it is an issue that we are discussing as Government to ensure that we restore these routes. We have some loans which have affected our routes because when an aircraft passed through a particular country, it attract fares or taxes.

So, those are some of the challenges that we have. What I want to guarantee you is that the Government has plans to restore the national airline visibility and also to get others to partner with to ensure that our national airline becomes a strong and powerful airline like other countries. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Madam President. My question today is directed to the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa. I am happy that his rural home is also in Zvishavane. My question has to do with the policy that you used to move over 5 000 students from MSU to Zvishane where there is no infrastructure and classes. I understand that they are using Shabanie Mine offices, they are failing to acquire accommodation, and they are always on the streets. When you were considering this policy, how were you hoping to address the situation because the infrastructure is not available and the students are requesting for accommodation at my place. So, how are we going to address this? I am seeking for your guidance as you are the Vice President of the country. Thank you.

          *THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I thank you Madam President. I have heard the question that you had 200 pupils who came looking for accommodation. That is not the only challenge, even where they came from, MSU in Gweru, there are such challenges but we did not close the university because of that. Currently, other universities are following what MSU has done because waiting for the university to build infrastructure for the pupils will take years. So, as a Government, we agreed that each university and its council, if it can get companies to construct hospitals, a portion of the money paid for school fees can be used to pay the contractors. It is not the Government that said students should go and learn in Zvishavane, it was the University.

          I think it is better for children to face challenges whilst being educated than for them to stay home. Although challenges are there but students are being empowered in terms of education whilst the challenges you have highlighted are being addressed. Like what you are saying that you had 200 pupils who came to you looking for accommodation; yes these are challenges we face. So, we should work as a united force and address these issues.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We want to thank the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa for the response that he has given us as well as the enlightenment that he has given in the response.

          *HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Madam President for the opportunity to pose my question. It is directed to the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa. There is drought and poverty in the country. On the media, we see the Chiefs coming up, talking about the hunger that is affecting their areas. The people out there are now eating roots and they are pounding theses roots to sustain themselves. I do not know what measures you have put in place as a Government to alleviate that situation. I am sure these issues have come up and you are there as Government to help.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, you may not have been in the House when this question was posed. It has already been responded to, so you cannot raise it again, our rules do not allow this. Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President. I would like the Vice President to help us since he is here, about what the law says on mines. Do you want mines that are being used by other people or mines that are actually there? On this matter, I am referring to Chegutu. In Chegutu, if someone has a mine, that mine is being disturbed by us as Members of Parliament, it seems as though they are not paying tax, which ones do you prefer working with as leaders of the country? Is it big mines or artisanal miners?

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I request that you direct your question to the rightful Ministers. Yes, I am aware that the Vice President might have answers to that and that he is Leader of Government Business but let us follow the regulations. Mines is not represented unless there is someone representing mines. I am saying the Vice President cannot answer the question but I am just saying let us observe the rules of debate in the Senate and pose appropriate questions to the appropriate Ministers.

          *THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam President. We want all of them, those who have companies and the infrastructure to mine. We also want those who use manual labour, like hoes, we want things to be done the proper way. Gold that is extracted by machinery is gold and even that which is extracted by hoes is also gold, so we want all that gold. So what the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should do is that if people come together and form a group to mine, they can get recognition. What we do not want is for people to just wake up and start extracting gold in an area without the knowledge of the Minister, it has to be guaranteed. So what I guarantee is that the Member of Parliament for Chegutu, Hon. Nduna, was with us today and we discussed these issues. We advised him that what we do not want is a dis-organised set up. He has said there are 10 000 miners who mine using traditional equipment. What we want is for them to be organised and to work within the confines of the law. We do not want those without the relevant documents to come and mine where there are miners with proper documentation. That is what can bring in money into the fiscus and make Hon. Chinamasa happy. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF. NEBIRE: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services but in her absence, I am directing my question to the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa. We have maize from GMB that came to the rural areas. In my area, the grain is there but when it came, people went to get assistance. The price is $11.25 a bucket. I need to be enlightened on whether that is the price countrywide. From other sellers, we buy maize at $5 per bucket. The grain is there and no one is buying it. So, I want to be enlightened as to whether that is the national price for the grain.

          *THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam President. Those who are experiencing hunger are in two phases. There are those who are disadvantaged and are being assisted by the department of Social Welfare. These have already been noted by the Social Welfare. There are those who need to purchase their own grain. We cannot say Hon. Chimutengwende is a welfare case but he has to buy. What you have asked is the price of maize. What I advise is that you put your question in writing and address it to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. They will enlighten you on the price. For me it would be difficult because I am not aware of the price of a bucket of maize. What I know is grain is in two phases. What I know is, some grain comes to the various communities and is given as aid. That is, mostly to vulnerable groups such as child headed families and the elderly. Some have to buy but for me to know how much a bucket costs, I would not know. So, if you put your question in writing, Hon. Made will be able to address that. I thank you.

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PROGRESS ON EDUCATING THE NATION ON EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate the progress that the Ministry has made to educate the nation on the effects of climate change.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the question on the progress my Ministry has made to educate the nation on the effects of climate change.

          Madam President, Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) emphasizes the promotion of education, training and public awareness on climate change. To this end, my Ministry has since developed a National Climate Change Communication Strategy embedded within the National Climate Change Response Strategy. However, we have engaged the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education through the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU), to mainstream climate change at all levels in the current curriculum review and I am glad there has been progress in that direction.

          Several universities have already started teaching climate change as a subject in their geography departments. We intend to continue having the climate change subject being more visible at tertiary level. In addition, my Ministry has initiated the programme of secondary school debates on climate change issues. So far, the programme has covered Manicaland, Bulawayo, Harare, Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Matebeleland North provinces. These debates are expected to become an annual event throughout the country. The aim of these debates is to raise awareness amongst our school children, as well as stimulate innovative ideas, research and technological interventions in climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. In this case, we are applying the principle of “catch them young”.

          Madam President, my Ministry participated in the 2015 Edition of the Harare Agricultural Show, from 24th to 29th August, 2015. During the exhibition, climate change causes, impacts, possible mitigation and adaptation strategies and on-going national programmes were shared with visitors to our exhibition stand. An educational book published by UNICEF and the Institute of Environmental Studies (University of Zimbabwe) titled “Children and Climate Change in Zimbabwe”, was distributed to school children during the exhibition. Climate change Question and Answer Competitions were also conducted and children were given t-shirts printed with climate change messages for information purposes.

          My Ministry has also taken advantage of the print and electronic media, which has seen our officials going on radio and television to explain to the general public what is happening in terms of climate change, the opportunities available for adaptation initiatives as well as what we can do in our respective constituencies to address these impacts. We wish to carry these programmes on a weekly basis if resources permit.

          We have engaged various environmental journalists to come up with effective ways of raising awareness on climate change. The Ministry has also created a website to post various climate change activities on ongoing programmes and projects. The climate change management, www.climatechange,org,zw website has been developed with an interactive platform where comments and feedback can be posted. The Climate Change Management Department has also created a facebook page CLIMATECHANGEZIM which is aimed at capturing the attention of those using social media platforms.

          I therefore urge all Hon. Members to visit the page and appreciate the interesting discussions taking place there since its inception at the end of November, 2015.

          My Ministry is currently developing a National Climate Policy. A draft has already been availed and consultations are currently taking place. I am happy that in our policy consultations throughout the country, we tried to be as inclusive as possible.

          Traditional chiefs, youths, children and the disabled amongst the various constituencies, have participated in these processes thereby generating rich ideas which we have captured.

          My Ministry held a National Climate Change Conference where the National Climate Change Response Strategy was officially launched by the Hon. Vice President, E.D Mnangagwa. The Conference saw participants drawn from the rural communities, especially women farmers, school children, Local Government Authorities, academics, reasearchers, Government Officials, NGOs, politicians as well as MPs coming to attend. We registered a total of over 4800 participants drawn from all walks of life.

          At the National Climate Change Conference, a children’s education book titled “Children’s Thoughts on Climate Change” was also launched. The book was developed as part of the Eco-Schools Programme Zimbabwe, with input from my Ministry and was printed by the French Embassy in Zimbabwe. The book presents children’s understanding and experiences with climate change. It further provides climate change information in a simplified manner, understandable by the ordinary primary school children.

          As follow up to the national Climate Conference, my Ministry has stepped up consultations for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) for climate change in response to the calls by the conference participants. One NAP consultative workshop was held in September 2015, in Manicaland and in 2016, the process is expected to cover all the country’s provinces, consulting all relevant stakeholders including smallholder farmers, women, children and the disabled groups.

          The Ministry further recognises the need for setting up committees at lower levels, district or ward level to educate and address environmental issues including climate change.

          Madam President, my Ministry will, continue with its efforts to cooperate with our strategic partners and other Ministries to educate the nation on the effects of climate change.

DISCRIMINATION OF DISABLED CHILDREN IN SPORTING ACTIVITIES

 

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Sport and Recreation to explain the measures that the Ministry has put in place to ensure that children living with disabilities are not discriminated against in sporting activities.

THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON. HLONGWANE): Section 32 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe stipulates that;

The State must take all practical measures to encourage sporting and recreational activities, including the provision of sporting and recreational activities for all people”.

As a signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted on 13th December, 2006, the Government of Zimbabwe has taken practical steps to promote the rights of people living with disabilities including prevention of discrimination on the basis of disability.

          Specific to sport, my Ministry oversees the implementation of the National Sport and Recreation Policy, which ensures that opportunities for sport and recreation are granted to all Zimbabweans regardless of gender, disability, religion and social status, among other considerations. The Paralympic Movement in Zimbabwe was among the stakeholders whose input was captured in the draft National Sport and Recreation policy, which is currently going through approval processes.

          The Government of Zimbabwe, through the Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC), actively supported efforts to establish the Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee (ZNPC) as an umbrella body to further the Paralympic movement in Zimbabwe and to promote the participation of people living with disabilities.

          Since 2008, the Zimbabwe National Paralympic Games (ZNPGs) have been staged as a platform to avail sporting opportunities to people with disabilities and the Games are held annually. The ZNPGs also serve as a platform to select gifted sportspersons with disabilities to represent in other competitions such as the African Union Sports Council (AUSC), Region 5 Under 20 Youth Games and the African Games. In the recent Region 5 Under 20 Youth Games, which Zimbabwe hosted, the visually impaired athletes fared well and they contributed a total of 18 medals for Team Zimbabwe. The following are the names of the athletes and the medals that they scooped for Zimbabwe.

 

Name

Category

Medal

1.Elina Sithole

100m

Gold

2.Luck Chitimbe

1500m and 400m

Gold and Silver respectively

3.Tapiwa Bhasera

400m and 1500m

Both Bronze

4.Dorcas Nyamupfukudza

800m and 1500m

Silver and Bronze respectively

5.Fidelity Mhone

100m, 200m and 400m

Silver, Silver and Bronze respectively

6.Faustina Madziva

1500m

Gold

7.Shepherd Gumede

100m and 200m

Both Gold

8.Pray Mbongeni

200m an 400m

Both Bronze

9. Libetra Moyo

100m and 200m

Both Silver

10.Easther Mavura

800m

Bronze

 

 

From these games, four athletes qualified for the African Games, which were in Congo Brazaville in 2015. Elina Sithole did us proud by contributing a bronze medal to the overall pool of our medals.

          In the past, we had athletes who excelled on the international scene such as Elliot Mujaji, who scooped gold medals in Paralympic Games of 2000 in Sydney, Australia and 2004 in Athens, Greece.

          Government has been assisting ZNPC officials to attend regional and international meetings. In 2014, Zimbabwe sent two officials; Mr. Michael Bulagango and Mr. Witness Magulula to Rio, Brazil, to participate in the inspection of Paralympic infrastructure for the Paralympic Games to be hosted in the city in October this year. Zimbabwe has managed to send officials to represent Zimbabwe at all the AUSC Region 5 meetings since the inception of the ZNPC.

This is evidence demonstrating the Government’s commitment and support towards the participation of people with different disabilities. Last year, Government, through Treasury released USD40 000.00 in support of the annual Danhiko Paralympic games.

          In November 2015, Zimbabwe sent a Wheelchair Basketball team to Algeria to participate in the Rio 2016 qualifiers.

          My Ministry will continue to support the participation of all citizens of Zimbabwe in Sport and Recreation activities, regardless of their abilities. I thank you. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

POLICY REGARDING FUEL PRICING

  1. HON. SEN. GOTO asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain the Ministry’s Policy regarding fuel pricing in Zimbabwe.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA): Thank you Madam President of the Senate. Fuel prices in the country are determined through a fuel pricing model, normally referred to as a Fuel Cost Built-Up, which sets the maximum pump prices applicable at any point in time. This model was produced through consultations between the Ministry and the oil industry. It is therefore an agreed pricing model.

          The Fuel Cost Built-Up takes into account all the cost elements associated with supplying fuel to the end user. These cost elements include, FOB (Free on Board) price, pipeline costs, taxes and levies, administrative and distribution costs and profit margins allowed at the different levels in the supply chain.

          FOB Price – we get our fuel from two international markets, Mediterranean or Arab Gulf. This fuel is delivered to Beira and local oil companies buy their fuel from Beira. The FOB price is made up of the fuel price at source, related costs of shipping the fuel to Beira (include freight, ocean losses, insurance, docking fees) and the margins of the international oil traders.

          The applicable FOB price at any point in time is the lower of the two between the Arab Gulf and Mediterranean markets. The country has no control over the FOB price as it is an external factor determined by the international fuel demand and supply conditions.

          Pipeline costs – refers to the costs of transporting fuel using the pipeline.

          Taxes and levies – The levies and taxes on fuel are duty, Carbon Tax, ZINARA road levy, Debt Redemption Levy and Strategic Reserve Levy. This amounts to 46 cents per litre for diesel and 63 cents per litre for petrol. These are fixed costs and are not affected by changes in international oil prices.

          Administrative costs – include storage and handling, clearing costs and financing costs up to the Msasa depot.

          Distribution costs – include inland bridging costs, additional storage and handling and secondary transport costs. These are costs associated with distributing the fuel from the NOIC bulk storage facilities to service stations.

          Profit margins – these are maximum permitted profit margins for oil companies and fuel retailers.

Fuel pricing review

Fuel prices are reviewed on a weekly basis to ensure a quick response to movements in international oil prices and any other related costs. When international prices are going down, consumers must quickly benefit from the lower prices. When they are going up, fuel suppliers need to be protected from any adverse impact.

The Zimbabwe Regulatory Agency implements fuel price changes whenever there is need. They also constantly monitor pump prices to ensure compliance with the permitted maximum prices. This is done weekly.

Petroleum Sector Pricing Study

          Government is in the process of reviewing the fuel pricing template with a view of improving. In this regard, a Petroleum Sector Pricing Study is being conducted.

Interim measures

          The Ministry has taken the following interim pricing policy measures in order to address the imbalances in the fuels market.

  • When reviewing prices, the maximum FOB fuel prices will now be based on the lower of the two between the Arab Gulf and Mediterranean markets instead of an average.
  • Removal of the wholesalers storage and handling costs of $0.015/litre as the majority of companies are utilizing the storage facilities operated by National oil Infrastructure Company and therefore are not incurring any additional storage to warrant it.
  • Applicable margins for wholesale and retail of fuel is now going to be an absolute 6 cents instead of 7% of product cost landed at Msasa, which varies margins unnecessarily for operators when external factors change. This measure is meant to protect consumers when prices are going up while at the same time ensuring viability of business.

The implementation of the above interim pricing measure resulted in a 7 cents and 4 cents reduction in the maximum pump prices of petrol and diesel respectively. Thank you Hon. Deputy President of the Senate, Sir. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear. Hear.]-

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

OPERATIONS OF INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs what the Ministry is doing to ensure the following:
  2. That the Anti-Corruption Commission effectively conducts its constitutional mandate and produces tangible results to instil public confidence in its work.
  3. That the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission maintains its independence, thereby avoiding situations such as the one experienced on the 10th June 2013 by-election in Hurungwe where the Commission investigated and confirmed incidences of political violence by some politicians but could not act on the findings.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Madam President, Hon. Chimhini has asked very important questions. Firstly, I would like to kindly request that the questions pertaining to the Anti-Corruption Commission be referred to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The rationale of this reference is that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission falls under this Ministry. The Ministry of Home Affairs would be in a better position to answer the question since the Anti-Corruption Commission receives its budget allocations and sends their annual report through the Ministry of Home Affairs. Therefore, I kindly recommend that this question be referred to the Minister of Home Affairs.

Madam President, I would like to proceed to address the other two questions pertaining to the independence of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and voting of Chiefs when there is a division of the House in the Senate. For the purposes of clarity, I will give an official position as follows: The Government of Zimbabwe has been maintaining the independence of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. The Ministry has done so by adhering to the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Firstly, the Constitution lists the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission as one of the independent commissions outlined in Section 232 of the Constitution. It is to be noted that Section 235 of the Constitution protects and promotes the independence of these commissions. Section 235 reads as follows:

  1. The independent Commissions:-
  2. are independent and are not subject to the direction or control of anyone;
  3. must act in accordance with this Constitution; and
  4. must exercise their functions without fear, favour or prejudice, although they are accountable to Parliament for the efficient performance of their functions.
  5. The State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level, through legislative and other measures, must assist the independent Commissions and must protect their independence, impartiality, integrity and effectiveness.
  6. No person may interfere with the functions of the independent commissions.

As noted in Section 235 (2), the Government of Zimbabwe and all other institutions have a duty to assist these commissions to maintain their independence. Other well-known guiding principles to ensure independent commissions maintain their independence are the Paris Principles which relate to the status of national institutions. Article I reads:

The composition of the national institution and the appointment of its members, whether by means of an election or otherwise, shall be established in accordance with a procedure which affords all necessary guarantees to ensure the pluralist representation of the social forces (of civilian society) involved in the protections and promotion of human rights, particularly by powers which will enable effective cooperation to be established with, or through the presence of or representatives of:

  1. Non-Governmental Organisations responsible for human rights and efforts to combat racial discrimination, trade unions, concerned social and professional organisations, for example, association of lawyers, doctors, journalists and eminent scientists;
  2. Trends in philosophical or religious thought;
  3. Universities and qualified experts;
  4. Parliament;
  5. Government departments (if these are included, their representatives should participate in the deliberations only in an advisory capacity).

The national institution shall have an infrastructure which is suited to the smooth conduct of its activities, in particular adequate funding. The purpose of this funding should be to enable it to have its own staff and premises, in order to be independent of the Government and not be subject to financial control which might affect its independence.

In order to ensure a stable mandate for the members of the national institution, without which there can be no real independence, their appointment shall be effected by an official act which shall establish the specific duration of the mandate.

Madam President, the Government of Zimbabwe has largely adhered to the Paris Principles to ensure that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is independent. The Commission had its Commissioners vacancies advertised, public interviews were conducted, the relevant short-listing was conducted and submitted to the President who then appointed the Commissioners. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has its own premises independent from the Government, they also have their own budgets and are only answerable to Parliament by submitting annual reports in order for Parliament to evaluate if they are effectively performing their mandate.

Madam President, with reference to Hon. Chimhini’s question pertaining to the 10th June incident, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission received complaints of politically motivated criminal violations of human rights at Spring Farm, Hurungwe Central District in Mashonaland West. The Commission carried out its investigations. It then generated a report and thereafter, it acted on its findings by directing the Commissioner-General of Police to act upon the findings as outlined in Section 243 (h) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission also acted on another complaint alleging violations of human rights of an independent candidate in Hurungwe West By-elections in Mashonaland West. This complaint was submitted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission carried out its investigations and generated a report with specific recommendations which it submitted to ZEC for consideration and action.

Therefore, Hon. Members, the assertion that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission could not act on its findings is not factual. The Commission has already acted in line with their mandate of directing and making recommendations to other institutions for further action.

VOTING BY CHIEFS IN THE SENATE

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to clarify the position regarding the voting by chiefs where there are divisions in the Senate on purely non-partisan lines and to state whether the whipping system is correct, in view of the fact that Section 281 (2a-c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe stipulates that traditional leaders must not act in any partisan manner.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Madam President, in response to Hon. Chimhini’s question, I will start by outlining general proceedings in Parliament. Generally, as we all are aware, various issues are discussed and require the approval or disapproval of the House. It is to be noted that clear proceedings of the Senate are regulated by the Standing Orders as provided by Section 139 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Standing Rules and Orders provide that if in any House the presiding officer fails to determine whether the majority is for a decision or against it, the Presiding Officer must call for a division of the House. When the division of the House is called, voting is carried out in accordance with Section 138 of the Constitution. During this time, all members present vote and the vote of the majority decision prevails.

Madam President, Hon. Chimhini is questioning why chiefs should vote since Section 281 (2a-c) forbids them from acting in any partisan manner. Section 281 (2a-c) provides thus;

Traditional leaders must not –

  1. Be members of any political party or in any way participate in partisan politics;
  2. Act in a partisan manner; and
  3. Further the interest of any political party or cause ....

It is to be noted that when chiefs in Parliament, carrying out their duties as Senator Chiefs, they are not acting to further their own interests but they would be acting as representatives of the communities that they belong. In like manner, when there is a division in the House of Senate, Senator Chiefs vote in relation to the interests of the communities that they represent which is not in violation of Section 281 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

However, if a Senator Chief verbally and openly expresses themselves to be acting in violation of Section of 281 (2a-c), that would not be considered a violation of the Constitution and is not recommended. I thank you.

POLICY ON REMOVAL OF TRANSFORMERS FROM CHIEFS’ HOMESTEADS BY THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION AGENCY

  1. HON. SEN. SINAMPANDE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain the Government’s policy on the removal of transformers from Chief’s homesteads by the Rural Electrification Agency.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): With respect to Mzola Business Centre, the policy is that business centres that require power approach REA and apply for electricity connection. Upon receiving an application for electricity connection, REA personnel will provide the business customers with a quotation. The quotation is given at 50% of the actual cost of erecting the power lines to the customer’s premises. Normally, we recognise that for rural communities, it may be difficult to raise all the 50% required in one installment. Our policy provides for a 10% down payment with the balance payable over three years at 4% interest per annum.

     On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Eight Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 23rd February, 2016.

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 04 FEBRUARY 2016 VOL 25 NO 25