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SENATE HANSARD 04 MAY 2017 VOL 26 NO 51

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 4th May, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock), Hon. Zhanda.  What assistance are you giving to farmers to enable them to harvest maize considering that we have a bumper harvest and it is still raining? 

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the question.  I believe I once answered such a question. There are measures in place to ensure that farmers do not lose crops.  Government has combined harvesters which are functional and for those that are dysfunctional, Government is taking measures to repair them to help farmers harvest wheat.  Madam President, some of the maize still has moisture and the Government is looking at how many dryers are available.  The Government has also taken measures to repair the dysfunctional machines that dry maize.  We must dry the maize first before taking it to GMB.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA:  Thank you very much.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development. I would like to thank you for the arrangement which you made that the entire diamond minerals in the country are now under the production of the Government.  You did put up a consolidated company and you promised that it will be functional.  We would like to know the progress in establishing this company because we want the country to benefit from the diamonds. 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. MOYO):  Thank you Madam President.  There are some issues which are a problem in this consolidated company.  We have three problems.  The first problem is that there are some issues which are sub judice and have to be worked out before full implementation. The second problem we face is sourcing for mining equipment in order that we can be able to dig out the ore so that we can have enough diamond to reach our planned target.  The third problem is for us to have the necessary equipment and the qualified personnel to be able to quantify the amount of diamond underground; exploration of the quantity of the diamond mineral in the country.  If we can work all these we will be able to implement the production of the diamond in the country because we need machines which will drill and also, the cleaning of the diamonds.  When we are through with this, especially having gone through this case which is sub judice. We will be able to expand our production. We now have two companies which had stopped production but what is now happening is that these companies have now been merged into one. We are now mining diamonds at a reasonable place. I am sure the diamond production is on the increase. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: My question goes to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. What is the threat of synthetic diamonds on the future of natural diamonds?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): I thank the Hon. Senator for asking that question on synthetic diamonds. The synthetic diamonds are diamonds which are manufactured in a laboratory using chemicals. They are not natural. The natural diamonds are the ones which are God given and are found underground.  When we talk of the synthetic diamonds, they were initially developed to be used in machines which cut other metals because by nature diamonds are the hardest and strongest metal of all the minerals we have. Diamonds can cut through any metal or any material. What is happening is that there are now plans that these synthetic diamonds be used to replace the natural diamonds in manufacturing items such as rings, bracelets and other decoratives. There are plans for the replacement of these natural diamonds.

          We have noticed that we have people who are qualified who are able to differentiate the natural diamonds from synthetic diamonds. They believe that the natural diamonds will always be more precious than the synthetic ones and therefore we are asking people who are mining the diamonds that they should be able to do their production at a low cost. These are a favourite of the market because they are more favoured than the synthetic diamonds.  There could be a problem but this could be a very small problem in that these natural diamonds need to be produced at a competitive cost so that they retain their value against the synthetic diamonds.    Let me point out that the comparative of these diamonds - the synthetic and the natural is not a phenomenon peculiar to Zimbabwe but it is international.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: My question goes to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services in relation to the aged. What is the policy or how are we solving the issue of the aged going to the banks to collect money where they do not get the money and they are told to come the next day. What is the Ministry’s policy on reducing this problem being faced by the elderly?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo for that question. As the issue stands and regrettably, I do not think there is a deliberate policy earmarked towards that. In society right now there is a general understanding that we are supposed to give the aged priority in our dealings. We see that happening in most of the retail outlets where a special queue or jumping the queue - we accord that respect as a civilized society to our elderly. I would like to think that that should be happening with the banks as well. We can motivate the banks to work in that regard. I do agree with you that probably there might be need to come up with a detailed policy in that regard. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MAKORE: My question goes again to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. We so heard that in the Export Processing Zones, the labour laws will not apply. What is the rationale in terms of that?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Makore for that question. The position he brings up is not the correct one. In fact, our President is on record saying that there is no way we can make the labour laws not applicable in the Special Economic Zones. That Bill was indeed returned to Parliament, if you remember very well specifically to address that issue that we cannot bypass provisions of the Labour Act, Chapter 28:01 because it is particularly related to the Constitution of this country. There is no way that the particular Act would follow through. The correct position is that labour laws albeit amended will be applying in the Special Economic Zones. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services. May you tell this House what Government policy is when it comes to broadcasting because there are many stations that are talking about politics yet we do not have stations that talk about religion? What measures is the Government putting in place so that there can be radio stations on religion? I thank you.

          +THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I want to thank the chief for the good question. If we were not here today, we would be going round the country touring and telling people about upcoming and expanding programmes on broadcasting. If we have digitalization, it would enable broadcasting to be broad because we will have about 12 stations to be used by whoever. What it means is that whoever wishes to broadcast on religion, sports, entertainment, music, children, women, and education, there will be those 12 channels to broadcast to the nation. There are a few religious programmes now and there will be an opportunity 24 hours per day for 365 days. There will be channels broadcasting on religion or other programmes that I have mentioned above.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF DANDAWA: Thank you Madam President.

My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture.  Throughout the past years, farmers were not getting their monies on time after depositing their grains at the Grain Marketing Board, what plans have you put in place to alleviate this problem since this year we are going to have a bumper harvest through Command Agriculture.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): I know in the past we had problems in paying out the farmers but in 2016, there were remedies put in place and farmers were paid on time for grain delivered to the Grain Marketing Board.  I am saying the farmers were paid in a short space of time because they were paid in a period of less than a month after depositing their grains.  When we export our goods, we are paid in a period of between two and three months but as we speak now, Government has given enough funds to the Grain Marketing Board to pay the farmers soon after delivery.  Government is also working hand in hand with manufacturers and millers so that they deposit their money with the G.M.B so that when maize is delivered, the farmers are paid on time and these grain millers and other private sectors benefit.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  As a Minister responsible for the workers and social welfare, we have people who are living with disability who were fired from Leonard Cheshire Home and they were advised to go to Ruwa Rehabilitation Center.  However, they are saying Ruwa Rehabilitation is not suitable according to their disability, so they are now living in the open, exposed to the vagaries of the weather.  Now, that they have that stand of, what is your Ministry doing about that?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Machingaifa for that question.  However, Madam President, if you refer to the Order Paper, Hon. Sen. Shiri had asked the very same question.  I have got a detailed response to that question, so can I tackle it at that point. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines; what Government policy do you have on ZMDC where people lost their jobs and these people are not employed and were not given any packages, they do not know that the company has been closed and are struggling in raising their children.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Thank you Madam President.  ZMDC is a Government company.  At the moment it has a lot of mines - we have three gold mines; Sabi mine in Zvishavane was closed but is being resuscitated.  As I am speaking right now, the chiefs in Zvishavane are at the mine being informed by the management that the mine is now working.  So those who were employed at that mine will get back their jobs.   The second mine is Jena in Silobela, we had some challenges, it was about to close but we are in the process of giving them money so that the mine would re-open.  The workers are not being paid but if we chip in as we did in Sabi, I think it will be well. With regards to the one in Chegutu, the pillars in the mines collapsed so we are looking for investors whom we can work with.  We are planning that the money that we got from Korea and China, if we get the money we can channel some of the funds there so that workers will be re-employed and get paid.

          However, on this mine, we should look at exploration and sink a new shaft because the shaft which was there collapsed.  We have other mines like Mhangura, those ones I am not very sure whether we will be able to re-open them.  In Alaska, the smeltering, there is a chance that if we can find some people who have the technology, we can re-open the plant.  We can also engage Zambia because they have their trucks which carry copper which they export to China, so we can engage them so that we can also do the same and export minerals as well. 

          ZCDC works under the ZMDC, there are also challenges which are there, which we are looking into.  All these mines had some challenges.  It is very difficult for ZMDC to get funding from all these companies, so they will not be able to pay their employees.  Yes, it is very true that they have gone for several months without salaries but we are working tirelessly to solve that.  So, we can only refurbish these mines so that we will be able to pay these workers.  We do not want this to continue, we are working very hard so that the issues at ZMDC will be solved.  Thank you.

          +HON. SEN. BHEBE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, the Hon. Deputy Minister Mathuthu.  Just a few days ago, there was a launch of languages to be used in broadcasting.  When are you going to start those languages in broadcasting?

          +THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU):  Thank you Madam President, I also thank Hon. Sen. Bhebhe for the pertinent question.  Only if she had been watching the news bulletin that was broadcast yesterday afternoon before 1800 hrs would she have realised that the news was broadcast in a variety of languages.  We have already started using other languages. 

It is just unfortunate that you were not available to watch these broadcasts as we have already started using the nine languages that we launched in Bulawayo last week with the exception of just a few other languages that we are yet to hire people with the requisite skills in the language like San.  We are yet to engage someone who can speak ‘Sili’ language though I do not like using the word ‘Sili’ which is the language that is used by the San to broadcast to them so that they are not frustrated.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Hon. Minister, we continue to confront a very sorry state of affairs when we visit our foreign missions, whether in Africa or outside.  It is a sorry state and a desperate situation where diplomats are not being paid; their belongings and clothes are found strewn outside their homes due to rentals owed even in the houses that they live in.  We have quite a number of foreign missions, maybe up to 50.  What plans does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have in place because our financial situation continues to be in a sorry state and does not seem to be getting any better any time soon?  What plans do you have in place to deal with that serious problem?  Even local staff are not being paid and diplomats in Zimbabwe are being paid in Zimbabwe but can only access $50.00 from the banks with their Visa cards.  One cannot build up a rental of $2000.00 from a daily withdrawal of $50.00. 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON. MBWEMBWE):  Thank you very much Madam President. I want to thank the Hon. Sen. for the question.  I think it is a very good question and we continue to reiterate that what is happening at our missions and embassies is a reflection of the economic challenges that we face back home.  So their situation is not any different from what we are experiencing back home.

However, as a ministry, we continue to make efforts to make their situation less difficult and ameliorate the situation.  We have about 45 embassies including consulates.  We have looked at them, their structures, downsized where possible and abolished some positions where possible, all in an effort to try and make sure that we have something that is manageable in the hope that the limited resources that we have will be able to cater for the remaining staff.  However the situation continues to be dire and as a Ministry, we will continue to make efforts to better their situation.  I think it also calls upon us as legislators to continue to make an appeal to Treasury to allocate more resources in terms of the budget to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Minister, what measures is your ministry taking to improve international relations as a way to woe investors, given that we are engaging foreign embassies and do not know how much they have done for them to justify their existence?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON. MBWEMBWE):  Thank you Madam President and I thank the Hon. Senator for the very pertinent question.  Let me start by saying that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the window through which we interact with the international world.  The efforts and programme of improving our relationship with the international community are the effects that we are doing back home in terms of ensuring that Zimbabwe is an attractive investment destination.  I think that is what you are asking about in terms of what we are doing to improve our relations so that people are happy to come and invest back home. 

I think that maybe my colleagues in the Ministry of Industry and commerce and Ministry of Finance will be able to competently respond to that but as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have been doing everything possible to make sure that we are able to market the economic reforms that we are carrying to do with the ease of doing business, One Stop Shop, regulatory environment that we are improving as part of reforms to try and attract international investment.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHABUKA:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Eng. Matangaidze.  Hon. Minister, do you have measures in place for people who are working in forestry plantations in Manicaland who have gone for months without getting their salaries?  They cannot look after their families, what plans do you have in place for these people to survive?  Now schools are about to open and they do not have goats to pay school fees with.

* THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chabuka for her question that is directly linked to forestry issues and thus becomes specific.  So I think we should engage the companies, management and the employees so that they can come up with payment plans for employees to get their salaries. 

There are measures that Government has in place when companies do not pay their employees.  They approach the courts but looking at the prevailing economic environment and before we take that route, there are ways where people can engage each other to resolve such matters.  So before we take any other measures, I think our labour officers should engage management and find out where their challenges are so that we can map a way forward, but if we fail, then we can take the other routes.  For now, I implore that the employees and the workers should come together and show each other the challenges they are facing for them to work together.  Thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  Recently, there was a report in the print media that the street children organised a clean-up campaign in the streets of Harare.  Is this a declaration that they are saying this is our permanent home?  If not, what measure is the Government taking to reduce or eradicate the number of children who are still residing in the streets, who most of them are not attending any formal schools.  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Thank you Madam President and Hon. Senator for your intervention.  Madam President, our Ministry is on record even in this august Senate saying that the place of the child is in school and every child has a right to decent upbringing.  The decent upbringing only comes up in a family structure, in a homely environment where the child has access to good feeding, good moral values as they grow up.  We do not believe that they can get those good moral values and good upbringing in the streets.  So, our first point of call is to take those kids from the streets into provided homes.

          We are moving away from even the provided homes, dormitory set up of the provided homes into homes which are reflective of the homely environment which every other school going kid goes through.  As Government, we are willing to partner private voluntary organisations in coming up with these homes where children living on the streets can be brought into these homes.  At our last count which was some 3 to 4 years ago Hon. Senator, we discovered that we had about up to 5000 kids who are living in the streets. 

          We believe that this is not an insurmountable task to take them out and put them into the structured homes that we are talking about.  To do that, we require assistance from society as well.  Some of us do encourage children to stay on the streets.  We do have funds that we want to extend to these children on the streets.  We are saying - why not formalize the way we give assistance to children on the streets.  If we formalize, instead of doing it in a haphazard manner where you drive up to the traffic lights, you take your left over from Chicken Inn or wherever and give the child who is on the streets.  You are promoting that because the child knows that by staying on the streets, they will still get assistance on the streets.  You are giving them money and if it is a girl child that you are giving money at the tender age of 10 or 12, we believe you are not promoting that girl child by giving them money. 

          So, as a society, I think it is a challenge to all of us to put our heads together and support these institutions that Government and the private voluntary organisations are coming up with and we channel funds towards that direction.  We see in certain instances where children on the streets are compelled to join in illegal strikes and issues like that.  So, it is actually wrong when you as a leader, you are getting a disadvantaged child to engage in those immoral activities, to engage in wrong things to serve a purpose, maybe political purpose so, we are saying let us support the institutions which are in place right now.  We believe the number that we are dealing with is not too big.  It is not insurmountable; we can actually address the issue about children on the streets.   I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  Hon. Minister, how can your Ministry assist the disabled who are found at the Beitbridge Border Post to get decent accommodation as they are found 24/7 and yet the border is the face of Africa and there are a lot of tourists crossing over there?  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi for that question.  Again on that one, if you go to the Order Paper, questions 27, 28 and 29 talk to the disability policies and what Government is doing to come up with positive interventions to bring about positive change and make better the lives of people living with disabilities.  May I request that when I have adequately covered those which I will do today; if there are any supplementary questions, then I will take that because I believe it embeds with the National Disability Policy which we are trying to work on so, with your indulgence Hon. Senator.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  The questions that the Minister is referring to are not specific.  My question is specifically on the Beitbridge Border Post. 

          HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE:  What I was alluding to was that as things stand right now, there is no deliberate policy targeting an affirmative action towards availing houses to the disabled in our society.  We believe that should a policy like that come through, that say, for argument’s sake there are 10 thousand stands in Beitbridge, there has to be an allocation of 8% to 10% of the stands that should go towards the disabled people in our society because 8% - 10% of our population comprises of people living with disabilities. 

          So, should a policy come like that and we need to be advocating for that policy to come through, then that will adequately address those issues.  Like I have said, 8% - 10% of the Zimbabwean population is living with disability.  If we then say whatever split of every programmes that Government institutes, whatever split has to reflect in the 8% - 10% being covered, then it comes up as a framework that is implementable that can adequately cover the challenge that Hon. Sen. Mohadi is talking about.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  What I would  like to know is, what policy framework has been developed or is being developed to limit the number of disputes in the gold mining area in view of the estimated loss of up to about US$5m as presented in the media every month?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Thank you Madam President. The Senator’s question is very pertinent. Yes, it is very true, we are losing a lot of gold but to account for it we do not know because the numbers that the media talks about is different.  Gold is lost in many ways.  Gold is lost when it is being exported because the owners are holding on to it.  According to our Act, if you have gold and you do not have a licence, you will be prosecuted despite how you would have obtained the gold. They will not declare the gold, that is problem number one.  The second challenge is that, right now we do not have money circulating in the country, so the people who have gold, if they want to sell it and do not get cash – or they want to sell on Sunday when banks are closed and they come across someone who wants to buy the gold and they get money, they will sell it.  If that person is buying unlawfully, that gold is lost. 

There is also gold which is lost when there is a wrangle and people take each other to court.  What happens is that the court will give a ruling that you should stop working together and they will be fighting for whatever would be coming out of the mine.  If they sell anything during that period of a wrangle, people will clamour for compensation.  So, these parties are stopped from operating until they have solved their issues.  This gold is not lost because someone has taken it but because production would have been stopped. 

What I really want you to know is that some people borrow money from the bank and attach their houses as collateral and when their operations are stopped, it means that they will lose their houses and they become homeless.  That is a major challenge we face.  We are saying that now we are buying machinery, there is the GPS which is like a phone which can be used on your claims.  If that one is entered in our computers at the Ministry, no one can go and claim possession of that mining claim again.  That is the programme that we are embarking on and it is called Cadastre.  It is like here in towns where we have computers – that is why you find that urban stands are not haphazard because they are computerised and that is the programme which we want to introduce as well.  It will take a bit of time but once it is in place, I think all these challenges will be a thing of the past.

However, what we encourage is that there are people who claim mines which are not theirs, there are some errors which we encounter in our offices because of lack of due diligence.  There are some who are just criminals and some are jealousy of other people who are making money and claim other people’s properties.  We are solely responsible but some of the challenges are due to people who are not doing their work properly and also the machinery which is outdated which we are using.  We want to help each other so that we work together amicably and avoid tempting the people in our offices and ourselves as well.  We should expedite the computerisation of this programme just like in other countries.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, since this is a common phenomena of dispute, would it not be possible for the Minister to draft clear guidelines that people should use prior to going to courts.  I acknowledge your point about the delays in the legal system?

HON. F. MOYO: It is possible.  In fact, two weeks ago, I had a meeting and a discussion with the Judge President.  He gave us indications of what we could do as a Ministry discussing with the relevant arm of our courts to create a situation where it is not possible for people to rush to courts before the Minister has made a final decision.  This is because once the matter has gone to court, the Minister’s hands are tied. 

The courts are agreeing to say yes, there is a possibility where we could create an environment that allows all the processes within the Ministry to be completed before the matter is taken outside.  So, we are trying to look into that.  We think that we could also lessen the burden if there was moral behaviour on all those who are involved in mining.  We have shifted from agriculture into mining, so there is a stamped for claims.  We are doing chrome claims now and we are getting the same stampede such that there is violence on the mines because people see it as the next opportunity of growth in the sector of the economy.  So we just need to all put our heads together and try to make this sector work in a civilised way because at the moment we have problems as you said.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Hon. Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  Hon. Minister, considering that so many people have now been issued with mining claims and also that you are on record telling the nation and this House how much you would love to assist the small scale miners and so on, I and the nation would like to know whether in the farming areas we are coming out of the woods?  Are we also coming out of the woods in the mining industry?  If so, how do we measure that?  Thank you very much.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Thank you Madam President.  I do hold the same feeling, not only at a personal level but as Government and Ministry that there is an opportunity there; there is an economic opportunity for small scale miners.  All other sectors of the economy have got SMEs, be it agriculture, tourism, education, hospitality and so on.  So there will be that opportunity in mining as well and that is what we are trying to create.  That is Government policy.  We are in fact under pressure from Government to say, move with speed to formalise the activities of small scale miners.

Unfortunately, small scale miners come in two forms.  There are those who legally hold title, who are operating in an institutionalised manner and those who do not have any title who are not of fixed aboard who tend to migrate from area to area.  That is where our challenge is.  When we go to those who are structured, I can confirm that the national body, Zimbabwe Miners Federation formed by Government has got reasonable records which we are looking at.  We are actually trying to make sure that those are now readable and dependable. 

However, when it comes to the miners whom we are calling makorokoza, they do not stay in one area.  Once somebody says gold has been found in this district, they can travel across the country and they are working there, they have no house, they sleep in the bush and this is where we have a challenge. If you ask us how many these are, we actually do not know. What we are trying to do now is to work with the other Ministries, particularly the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to try and see how we can assist this group of miners. They work for other people who have got claims, they go in, either they formalise and dig ground with these people who have got title and they are charged a commission or they simply go and work, which is referred to as trespassing. These are the people I was saying when they find gold they will not come forward because they do not have any paper work to say how they got that gold.

So the formalised ones, we are getting somewhere, the monies that we are bringing in to capacitate – this is the group that we are capacitating which I would encourage Hon. Senators here - those who are interested, to enter that sector. Those who are not structured, yes, we have a challenge. We still have to get to the bottom of it - who are they, where did they come from, where do they work, do they have IDs, is it a mother, father or a child, state of health and so on. That is a big challenge for us but we are trying to see how best we can unravel that. I hope I have answered your question. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development. The question is, time and again we read in the media of gold and diamond minerals which have been discovered at some place or the other. When these minerals have been discovered at roadblocks, usually they are taken by the police. Will these minerals which are impounded at roadblocks be kept by the police or they are deposited into your custody. What is the process?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): What I expect is that there should be a decrease in the number of minerals which are impounded by the police.  What is happening is that the minerals which are impounded at roadblocks are taken by the police to be used as evidence of a crime which has been committed. When the courts are through and judgment has been passed, the minerals are taken back to the Ministry.  When you go to the archives, right now we do not have such minerals there. I thank you.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

REVIVAL OF THE THULI COAL MINE IN BEITBRIDGE WEST

19.    HON. SEN. MOHADI asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development whether the Ministry has plans to revive the Thuli Coal Mine in Beitbridge West.

  THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Thuli Coal Mine is under Special Grant (SG) 4541. The SG was initially issued to Firmo (Pvt) Ltd on the 30th June, 2006 for a period of 5 years, expiring on the 29th June, 2011. Exploration and mining was done during this period. However, mining operations stopped in 2010.

The SG was subsequently renewed in the name of Thuli Coal (Pvt) Ltd for a period of five years from 2nd October, 2012 and expires on 1st October, 2017. There has been no mining activity during this period. However, the Special Grant has since been taken over by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe who are the major shareholders in Thuli Coal (Pvt) Ltd.

There is exploration going on which started in June 2016. The current exploration is to come up with a feasibility study report with resource and reserve estimations. Thuli Coal Mine is, therefore, in operation with exploration underway.

MEASURES TO ENSURE THAT MINING FIRMS REHABILITATE THE ENVIRONMENT DEGRADED BY MINING OPERATIONS

20. HON. SEN. MOHADI asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain the measures the Ministry is taking to ensure that mining firms rehabilitate the environment degraded by mining operations.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Rehabilitation challenges cover historical, current and future activities. Historical challenges will be difficult to correct from a funding perceptive as some companies have since closed.  Government will have to come up with a policy on how this is going to be corrected going forward.  Current activities will be carried out in compliance with current laws of the country.  The Ministry has completed decentralization exercise or programme which has seen an increase in human capacity in the provinces and hence should be able to monitor mines better.  The amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act which are under review propose to make it mandatory for miners to have the prospectus from the EMA authority to ensure mining operations are conducted in an environmentally friendly manner.

          The Ministry itself also through the same amendments to the Act seeks to establish a rehabilitation fund which should be supported by mining activities current cash flows to make sure that rehabilitation is effectively done.  I thank you.

PLANS TO BOOST AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN RURAL AREAS

23. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to explain the following:

a)    Plans in place to boost Agricultural production in rural areas.

b)   Measures in place to capacitate the local fertilizer companies so that they are fully operationally;

c)    How people in communal areas benefit from Command Agriculture Programmes are going to benefit people living with disabilities;

d)   Whether the Ministry has any plans aimed at training rural people in obtaining Master Farmer certificates as was the issue earlier on;

e)    Whether the Ministry has any plans of resuscitating the District Development Fund (DDF) Tillage Unit to boost tillage programmes in the country;

f)     What the Ministry intends to do with obsolete equipment as a way of ensuring that it does not fall into wrong hands.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. President.  The response is as follows:-

(a)             The Presidential input Scheme, irrigation development, rehabilitation and modernization projects, more food Africa project, the cotton input scheme, the livestock input scheme and provision of extension services are all aimed at boosting agricultural production across the country.

(b)            This question has been misdirected on fertilizer production since it falls under the purview of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. 

(c)             Command Agriculture targets all productive farmers willing to enter into contract with the Government and does not consider disability.

(d)            The master farmer training is now under the department of extension and is ongoing despite the financial challenges.

(e)             The question has been misdirected as the District Development Fund is not under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture.

(f)              The Ministry disposes obsolete equipment under its purview in accordance with the set down procedures by the Treasury.  I thank you.

SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY PERFORMING ABOVE EXPECTATIONS

21.  HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce, to inform the House the sectors of the economy which are performing above expectations, given the fact that there is no tangible economic growth in the face of continued company closures in all urban centres.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA):  Mr. President Sir, firstly, allow me to apologise that I came in late due to a commitment that I thought was going to finish on time, I was discussing with people who came from outside the country.  Having said that Mr. President Sir, I am here to respond to a very pertinent question asked by Hon. Sen. Chimhini – Hon. Senators will appreciate that although the economy is facing a myriad of challenges, there are sectors that are performing above expectation.  The implementation of the economic blueprint, the ZIM ASSET and the Ten Point Plan, have been pillars to the resurgence of some economic sectors in the value addition and beneficiation cluster.

May I also highlight that the implementation of various Statutory Instruments among them the famous Statutory Instrument Number 64 of 2016, which are strategies to revive local industries have played a key role in meeting these objectives.  Members of this august House will recall that a recent survey conducted by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries highlighted that the average capacity utilization significantly increased from 34, 3% in 2015 to 47, and 4% in 2016.  This marked increase is indicative of some sectors that are performing above expectations. 

May I inform Hon. Members that the Agro-processing sector has generally performed above expectations and US154 million dollars has so far been invested?  Within that sector and edible oil sub-sector has increased capacity utilization from about 10% to an average now of 90% - this industry has also attracted $60 million in investment.  Refurbished existing equipment and has created additional 500 new jobs.  The cooking oil industry has also witnessed the entrance of new players that have invested to produce edible oils and other related products.

In addition, the yeast industry that almost closed managed to attract new investment and is now operating at 90% capacity utilization.  The biscuit manufacturing sector has gone up from 35% to 75%.  The detergent industry has increased capacity utilisation from 30% to 60%, largely as a result of increased investment especially in new technology. 

The personal care products sector improved from around 30% to an average of 50%, with Medichem experiencing an increase in demand of over 300%.  The pharmaceutical sector has witnessed growth from around 30% to now 65%.  A variety of drugs are now being produced locally and some players have increased their drug production.  The furniture sector has also witnessed increases in the production of bedding and related goods, with capacity utilization improving from 45% to the current 70%.  One of the companies has also commenced exports of bedding within the region and has increased working hours in order to meet demand for the products.

Downstream industries such as label and plastic packaging suppliers have also realised positive results from the improvements in the production levels of various companies.  As a result, capacity utilization in the plastics packaging industry has increased from 37% to 60%.  These companies are also investing in new technologies in order to meet the required standards. 

New investment in the chemicals and plastic sector totaling

around US$3, 5 million was realised during the period.  Nelspot Investments, Pro-plastics and General Belting invested in  a bottle-blowing, PVC and high pressure pump machinery respectively.  The former recently introduced a new washing powder soap which is called ‘Spotless’, through a subcontract with a Mauritian company.  The cement manufacturing industry invested nearly US$200 million whilst the dairy sector mobilised a total of US$746 000.00 and out of that, about US$520 000.00 was used to purchase 400 heifers in September 2016 to boost local milk production under the Dairy Industry Revitalisation Fund.  This is being led by the sister ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Livestock.

          A combined increase in employment was realised from 2 663 to 3 423 workers disaggregated as follows:-

(i)                          synthetic fibre sector – Blue Track and Sensational have

increased their employment work from 550 in 2015 to 1 050 in 2016.

(ii)                       plastic sectors from 2 070 to 2 272.

(iii)                    personal care products from 43 to now above a 100.

Government appreciates that there are some sectors that still face

challenges and will continue to implement policy measures to address these.  Chief among the challenges are delays being encountered in foreign currency payments across all sectors of the economy that has affected the manufacturing sector.  The delays have affected the importation of raw materials, equipment spares, consumables required by the sectors hence affecting local industry’s capacity to produce.  However some sectors have responded to our interventions and are performing above expectation as just outlined.  I thank you.

PROVISION OF TRANSPORT TO AGRICULTURE EXTENSION OFFICERS

          22.  HON. SEN. GOTO asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development –

          (a)     to inform the House what plans the Ministry has in place to provide adequate transport to Agriculture Extension Officers in order to enable them to monitor command agriculture, in view of the fact that the current fleet is inadequate;

          (b)     to state the steps taken by the Ministry to ensure adequate provision of stationery to the Agriculture Extension officers.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  Thank you Hon. President.  If you look at the Order Paper, you will realise that this question has been outstanding for a while.  The first time I came here to answer the question, the Hon. Senator was not around and I made a written submission.   When I returned the following week, it was still appearing on the Order Paper.  Again when I was about to leave, I pointed out to you that I had already responded to the question.  With your indulgence, in view of the fact that the Hon. Senator comes from my home area, I can answer the question again. – [Laughter.] –

          The responses to the Hon. Senator’s questions are as follows:-

(a)             The Ministry has purchased 200 motor bikes and 58 vehicles to facilitate monitoring of the Special Maize Programme which we termed ‘Command Agriculture’ which have been distributed to agricultural extension workers.  There are plans to purchase more if financial resources are availed.

(b)            The Ministry provides stationery and other office consumables used by agricultural extension officers when Treasury releases financial resources.  I thank you.

PROGRESS MADE ON THE ALIGNMENT OF THE DISABLED PERSONS ACT

27.  HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Public

Service, Labour and Social Welfare to update the House on the progress made in the alignment of the Disabled Persons Act (Cap 17:01) 1992, with the current Constitution following nationwide consultations made by the Ministry on the Act since 2016.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Mr. President Sir, allow me to start by commending Hon. Sen. Mashavakure for executing his representative mandate well over the years.  Indeed, his ability and that of Hon. Sen. Shiri, to identify and articulate pressing rights and welfare issues affecting people with disabilities in our jurisdiction will be remembered as a hallmark of disability rights advocacy.  – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.]

          Zimbabwe adopted a new Constitution in 2013.  In tandem with this positive development, as Hon. Members of this House might be aware, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare had consultations on the alignment of the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17:01) to the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  The consultations were held in all the provinces of Zimbabwe with technical support from the inter-ministerial task force on the alignment of Acts to the Constitution.  The Ministries of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development played an important role in facilitating.  The Chairperson of the National Disability Board was also present during these consultations.  The consultations were aimed at generating stakeholders’ input to inform amendments of the Disabled Persons Act.

          In January 2017, a consolidated report of the proceedings was compiled.  We are currently in the process of formulating Draft Principles that will be submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation for onward due verification and validation processes.

          The Government will continue to engage society to convey their views about fundamental matters affecting persons with disabilities.  This is critically important and should not be left to persons with disabilities alone, but all Zimbabweans willing to contribute in the process of sustainable development of our country.  I thank you Mr. President Sir.

MEASURES TO DOMESTICATE THE U.N. CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

          28.  HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House what measures the Ministry is taking to domesticate the U. N. Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities either through the alignment of the Disabled Persons Act of 1992 to the Constitution so that it incorporates the convention into the national law or to alternatively domesticate the UNCRPD separately.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): We need to give due acknowledgement to the objectives of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to ensure equal rights to persons with disabilities by elaborating in detail the rights of persons with disabilities and setting out a code of implementation.  Indeed, this convention is a milestone in the global battles to reframe and realise the ideals of persons with disabilities as human rights.  The Republic of Zimbabwe ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the 23rd of September, 2013.

          It is worth noting that our constitutional founding values and principles recognise the inherent dignity and equal worth of all human beings.  This provision and indeed many others in our legislative framework mirror some of the general principles underlying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

          Section 22 under National Objectives is an expression of intent and commitment by the State to meet goals of development for the disability fraternity.  Section 83 makes explicit constitutional commitment towards the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights of persons with disabilities. 

          Mr. President, having said the foregoing, it is important to note that Zimbabwe remains committed to ensuring the full and effective inclusion of persons with disabilities in the development agenda.  As outlined, our laws are in tandem with the aims and spirit of the UNCRPD.  As such, domestication of the UNCRPD will be undertaken through the Disabled Persons Act Amendment Bill.  This will incorporate the provisions of this important human rights instrument.  I thank you.

PROGRESS MADE ON THE FORMULATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL DISABILITY POLICY

          29.    HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to inform the Senate the progress made in the formulation and establishment of a National Disability Policy.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr. President, let me start by informing this Hon. Senate that this policy is a culmination of extensive consultation with Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs), relevant line ministries, academic community and human rights organisations.  It is a consolidation of inputs from all these stakeholders.  The purpose of the National Disability Policy is to provide coordinated guidance in the development of social services intervention strategies aimed at enabling independent and empowered lives for persons with disabilities.

          To date, significant progress has been made.  This document has been successfully considered and approved by the following Government policy fora:

·       Cabinet Committee on Legislation (CCL).

·       Cabinet Committee of the Working Party of Officials.

·       Cabinet Committee of Ministers (Social Services and Poverty Eradication Cluster).

The proposed National Disability Policy currently awaits consideration by the Cabinet.  The adoption of this document is critical in that it will offer a good yardstick, upon which we can constantly review our challenges and successes towards realisation of disability rights as human rights.  I thank you.

MEASURES TO ASSIST DISABLED PERSONS

          30.  HON. SEN. SHIRI asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to explain the circumstances where a group of disabled persons were in violation of the Constitution evicted from Leonard Cheshire institution where they had been residing for more than thirty years and if the Ministry could inform the Senate what measures had been put in place to assist these people.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr. President, subsequent to sustained and prolonged legal struggles between the executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe and the residents at Masterton Cheshire, the Constitutional Court on the 23rd of November, 2016 ruled in favour of the executive.  The implication of the judgment was the granting of due authority to the executive to evict Masterton residents who had been refusing to vacate the residential care home for over two decades.

          To date, in line with our mandate of promoting, protecting and ensuring the welfare of persons with disabilities and providing social assistance to vulnerable groups, the Ministry has undertaken several assessments and interventions aimed at ameliorating distress amongst the residents at Masterton Cheshire Homes.

          Mr. President, as per assessment, chief amongst the submissions by residents, were the need for a reprieve of 3 months (7 December to 7 March) to enable them to seek alternative accommodation and an appeal for capital to initiate income generating projects.  My Ministry duly relayed these appeals to the executive of the organisation, which acceded and committed to disburse a loan limit of US$800.00 to each resident.  Out of the 17 residents, only 3 submitted applications for this facility.

          It is worth noting that the residents have not welcomed the idea of cooperating with the Ministry on the way forward pertaining to their welfare needs.  Nevertheless, in recognition of the importance of providing a safety net for these residents, our officials have since come up with a plan to avail a smooth transition for these residents.  In this regard, Ruwa National Rehabilitation Centre stands ready to provide alternative accommodation and food rations to the residents for a month upon eviction.  Families of the residents will be traced to facilitate reunification.  Seed capital of US$800.00 will be availed by Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe to enable initiation of income generating projects.  This will be a worthwhile foundation for integration into communities.

          Mr. President, the foregoing interventions put into perspective the need to prioritise the planning and development of community-based services as developmental alternatives to institutionalisation.  Section 22 provides the basis and intent for living up to this ideal.  In the long run, community-based models of care are socially and financially less costly than institutions.

          Deinstitutionalisation aims at reforming institutional processes so as to reduce or eliminate reinforcement of dependency, hopelessness, learned helplessness, and other maladaptive behaviours.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Mr. President.  We are informed that Leonard Cheshire did change the constitution or part of it along the way.  What is the legal aspect regarding an organisation which changes part of its constitution to meet its need?  I thank you.

          *HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: I thank Hon. Sen. Mashavakure for the supplementary question.  When this idea was being discussed, it was before the courts and the fact that some parts of the constitution guiding Leonard Cheshire had been changed, the courts took into account all those changes.  When a case is before the court, it is termed subjudice and as a Ministry, as one of the three arms of the State, we cannot interfere.  We listen to what has been said by the other arm of the State which is the Judiciary.  I do see those people because it is on my way whenever I am moving around.  I sympathise with the people living with disability who are living in the open.  I think the best we can do is to find a solution on a win-win aspect so that Leonard Cheshire is happy and people living with disability are happy.

*HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to ask my question.  Hon. Minister, you have just told us that you pass through Cheshire and the people living with disability are living in the open.  You are saying as a Ministry, you cannot go against the judgment of the judiciary.  We are saying, as Government, when you are passing through that place and see people living with disability when we are experiencing rains and inclement weather conditions, what do you want these people to do?  How do you solve such a problem because you are saying you have personally observed that?  Can you afford getting sleep after observing this?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Hon. Sen. Makone for the supplementary question.  Hon. Senator, our wish as a Ministry is that there should be a solution to such a standoff.  As a Ministry, we are saying, we need to hold an indaba and solve this problem.  We are asking these Cheshire tenants to move into the Ruwa Rehabilitation Centre, they do not have to be staying in the open place.  There is an alternative accommodation in Ruwa and they will also be fed during that time and their food will be paid for.  Even if they want to go and demonstrate, whilst they are at Ruwa, there is a chance for them to go and do that and the Ministry will be looking into their problems. Further to that, we sent transport to these people who were staying at Cheshire so that we ferry them to Ruwa where there is shelter and they turned down that offer. 

Let me talk about institutionalisation, it is now international.  The idea of institutionalising people is now outdated.  Such a vulnerable group of people should be living in families and their families should be looking after them.  The idea of having people living in a dormitory is now outdated.  People are moving away from institutionalization.  These are families; they should be supported to have a family structure as well.  Whatever assistance Government can come up with, that will give a family structure that is what people should be looking at. So people should desist from the whole concept of living in an institutionalised structure.

Yes, maybe it is a culture shift, or there is a need for a paradigm shift in their minds.  Together, if we continue engaging, we will come up with appropriate solutions which do not bring in a culture shock in the way they move going forward.  I thank you Mr. President.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO ENSURE WOMEN ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE WOMEN’S SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL RIGHTS

          24.  HON. SEN. BUKA asked the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, to state the measures in place to ensure that women in both urban and rural areas are knowledgeable of the women’s socio-economic and political rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DAMASANE):  Mr. President, I would like to thank Hon. Senator Buka for raising the question and as you are all aware, my Ministry has been given the mandate to socially, economically and politically empower women as enshrined in our Constitution.

          Mr. President, over and above the contributions made through input into legislative processes, the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development in conformity to the national economic blueprint the ZIM ASSET, seeks to increase and strengthen women’s participation in the economy and especially the three critical areas of mining, tourism and trade which contribute significantly to the mainstream economy.

          To sufficiently address the social and political rights of women and girls, the Ministry also runs women in decision making programme where Ministry officials sensitise communities on the 50/50 principle in both rural and urban areas.  The programme advocates for women to take up decision making and political positions to ensure that women’s concerns are included at all levels through their participation.  Participation of women in these key decision making positions is important in pushing issues that affect them and encourage people to use a gender lenses, for example non-taxing of sanitary ware.  The programme also empowers women with knowledge of their political rights.  The 50/50 campaign encourages women to be actively involved in decision making and leadership fora.  The campaigns are happening at provincial, district and ward levels.

          Mr. President, in addition to this, the Ministry is developing an online database for professional expert women which will be useful in providing female candidates for board appointments as they arise in the ten provinces.

          The Ministry is in the process of developing a strategy on women in decision making, that is in both the public and private spheres and also in politics.  The main objective of the strategy is to increase the number of women in decision making at all levels.  Hopefully, we hope to see this reflected in the Parliament and Senate as well as in the public and private sector.

          The Ministry in partnership with partners such as ZWALA and WILSA are carrying out a programme on legal literacy where communities are sensitised on family laws as well as the gender provisions in the Constitution.  The content of these sensitisation meetings includes marriage laws, inheritance laws, maintenance laws, Domestic Violence Act and the Children’s Rights.  These sensitisation activities are carried out down to the ward level where a lot of women are.

          I submit an attachment of the Gender Provisions in our Constitution.  I thank you.

          THE GENDER PROVISIONS IN THE CONSTITUTION

PREAMBLE

RECOGNISES AND ACKNOWLEDGES THE ROLE PLAYED BY BOTH WOMEN AND MEN IN THE NATIONAL LIBERATION STRUGGLE LISTS THE VALUES EQUALITY.

          2 (2) The obligations imposed by the Constitution are binding on both natural and juristic persons including State institutions.

          3.      Values include: (e) Recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of each human being, (f) Recognition of the equality of human beings and (g) gender equality.

          6.      Official languages are expanded to 16 and this gives women voice to participate in national development processes.

          14.    Under empowerment and employment creation, the State is entreated to ensure appropriate and adequate measures are undertaken to create employment for all especially women and youths.

          15.    The State should put in place to ensure food security.  This is usually a woman’s role and concern.

          17. (1) The State must promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society by:

          (a)     Promoting the full participation of women in all spheres on the basis of quality with men.

          (b) (i) Taking measures to ensure that both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of Government at all levels,

          (ii)    Women constitute at least half the members of all Commissions and the elected and appointed governmental bodies.

          17(2) The State to put in place temporary measures/affirmative action measures to rectify gender discrimination.

          19.    Provides for Children’s Rights.

          21.    Provides for elderly persons.

          22.    Provides for persons with disability.

          24 (2) (d)  Under work and labour relation, the State and all Government agencies must endeavour to secure the implementation of measures such as care that enable women to enjoy a real opportunity to work.

          25.    Provides protection of the family by putting in place measures for the:-

(a) Provision of care and assistance to mothers, fathers and others (b) Family members in charge of children and

(c)     For the prevention of domestic violence.

26.    Provides that marriage should be freely and voluntarily entered into, no child pledging, equality of rights and obligations of spouses during marriage and its dissolution, provision for protection of children and spouses upon dissolution of marriage.

27.    Provides for the State to:-

          (1) Take all practical measures to promote free and compulsory basic education for children and higher tertiary education and

          (2) Ensuring that girls are afforded the same opportunities as boys to obtain education at all levels.

29.    The State must take all practical measures to ensure the provision of basic, accessible and adequate health services.

34.    Provides for domestication of International Instruments.

36 (1) (a) Women can pass citizenship to their children.

40.    Citizenship cannot be lost through marriage or dissolution of marriage.

48 (1) and (2) Guarantees the right to life, (d) excludes women from the death penalty.

48. (3) Refers termination of pregnancy to be regulated by an Act of Parliament.

51. Provides a right to inherent human dignity for every person in their private and public life and to have that dignity respected and protected.

THE ACTS THAT SUPPORT GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

·       Equal Pay Regulations (1980).

·       Legal Age of Majority Act (Lama) 1982.

·       Labour Relations Act (1984).

·       Public Service Pensions (Amendment) Regulations (1985).

·       Matrimonial Causes Act (1987).

·       Maintenance Amendment Act (1989).

·       The Electoral Act of 1990.

·       The Administration of Estates Amendment Act (1997).

·       The Sexual Offences Act (2001).

·       Domestic Violence Act (2007).

ANTENATAL AND POST NATAL CARE FOR MALES

31.  HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare whether male partners attend antenatal and post natal care, in view of the fact that many children are orphaned, and if not, to state how they are encouraged to do so.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Madam President, let me start by acknowledging that, it is indeed my Ministry that is mandated to provide care and support services to orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.

However, as we may all agree, children belong to the whole society, both men and women alike.  Therefore, by the same token, the mandate of care and protection of children cuts across several line ministries and organisations.  Pursuant to this understanding, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare works closely with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to encourage the involvement of both parents or guardians, relatives and the community at large in providing care to their children as well as to orphans in our society. 

However, with regards to the specific evidence based programming and policy interventions, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is better placed to respond to this matter.  For example, I am aware, from my interactions with young parents, that male partners’ attendance at antenatal and post natal care sessions is directly recorded at local health service centres like clinics and hospitals in the country.  This therefore should provide a worthy basis for design of strategies to encourage the participation of male partners in ante and post natal care.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I move that Order of the Day, No. 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU) the Senate adjourned at Sixteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 11th May, 2017.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 04 MAY 2017 VOL 26 NO 51