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SENATE HANSARD 04 OCTOBER 2018 VOL 28 NO 09

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

APPOINTMENT TO COMMITTEE ON STANDING RULES AND ORDERS

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to inform the Senate that further to the announcement made on Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018 relating to the appointment of Members to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, the following Members have also been appointed to serve on the Committee:

1.                Hon. Sen. Perence Shiri, Leader of Government Business;

2.                Hon. Sen. Elias Mudzuri, Leader of the Opposition;

3.                Hon. Sen. Tsitsi Muzenda, ZANU PF Chief Whip;

4.                Hon. Sen. Lilian Timveos, MDC-Alliance Chief Whip;

5.                Hon. Sen. Omega Hungwe, appointed by the President of the Senate.”

For the avoidance of doubt, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders shall consist of the following:

1.    Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairperson;

2.    Hon. Mabel Memory Chinomona, President of the Senate and Deputy Chairperson;

3.    Hon. Tsitsi Gezi, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly;

4.    Hon. Sen. Lt. General (Rtd.) Michael Reuben Nyambuya, Deputy President of the Senate;

5.    Hon. Mthuli Ncube, Minister of Finance and Economic Development;

6.    Hon. Oppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence;

7.    Hon. Dr. Joram Gumbo, Minister of Energy and Power Development;

8.    Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly;

9.    Hon. Sen. Chief Air Marshall (Rtd) Perence Shiri, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;

10.                       Hon. Tabitha Khumalo, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly;

11.                       Hon. Sen. Elias Mudzuri, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate;

12.                       Hon. Pupurai Togarepi, ZANU PF Chief Whip in the National Assembly;

13.                       Hon. Prosper Chapfiwa Mutseyami, MDC-Alliance Chief Whip in the National Assembly;

14.                       Hon. Sen. Tsitsi Muzenda, ZANU PF Chief Whip in the Senate;

15.                       Hon. Sen. Lilian Timveos, MDC-Alliance Chief Whip in the Senate;

16.                       Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, the President of the National Council of Chiefs;

17.                       Hon. Royi Billah, appointed by the Speaker.

18.                       Hon. Sen. Omega Hungwe, appointed by the President of the Senate; and

eight Members, six from ZANU PF and two from MDC Alliance:

19.                       Hon. Marian Chombo;

20.                       Hon. Innocent Gonese.

21.                       Hon. Spiwe Mukunyaidze;

22.                       Hon. Mathew Nyashanu;

23.                       Hon. Sen. Sikelela Gumpo;

24.                       Hon. Sen. Morgan Komichi;

25.                       Hon. Sen. Tambudzani Mohadi; and

26.                       Hon. Sen. Sydney Sekeramayi.

DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also wish to inform the Senate that the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe is offering free defensive driving courses to Hon. Senators. The course takes two days to complete. Hon. Senators who are interested in the course should register with the Human Resources Department in office no. 405, 4th floor, Parliament building”.

ORAL ANSWERS QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

                    THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Today we have the following Ministers in the House;

1.    Hon. Eng. Matiza, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development;

2.    Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs;

3.    Hon. Kambamura, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development;

4.    Hon. Prof. Murwira, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development;

5.    Hon. Munzverengwi, the Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province;

6.    Hon. Matemadanda, the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans;

7.    Hon. Gwaradzimba, the Minister of State for Manicaland Province;

8.    Hon. Madiro, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; and

9.    Hon. Simbanegavi, the Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation.

          I would like to remind Hon. Senators that we will follow the procedure that we followed last week that is – I would ask Hon. Senators to introduce themselves so that we know each other better and the Ministers will also identify themselves when answering questions.

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you very much Mr. President.  My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  Mr. President, violence against women and children is on the high in this country.  I want to know what the Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Ministry is doing about it.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you very much Mr. President.  I want to acknowledge and thank the Hon. Sen. for a very important question pertaining to violence against women and children.  Yes, it is true that violence against women and children is prevalent in our country and as far as the police are concerned, matters which are brought before the police are investigated accordingly. Where there is what we call prima facie case, the matter is brought before the court and handled accordingly.  So, it is very unfortunate that we have so much violence against children in our society.  It is incumbent upon everyone in society to make sure that we reduce the culture of violence.  Thank you very much. 

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  What measures do you have in place as Government to address the police stations which were built during the Rhodesia era in rural areas such as Dotito camps, which are now surrounded by tuck-shops and Eco-cash agents’ structures in order to ensure that the dignity of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is maintained?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the question.  It is true that the accommodation for ZRP including their offices are now old and dilapidated and it is not a pleasant sight.  The challenge that we have is one that is known to all of us, which is the financial aspect in order to improve on these buildings.  However, what I want to promise Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi is that it is an issue that is under discussion in the Ministry, with the aim of improving and addressing this challenge.  We may be looking at the National Budget to ensure that we get an allocation in order to improve on the accommodation.  However, because there are so many ministries which are also vying for high allocations, we are hoping that it will be good for us to be allocated a reasonable amount.

I want to promise you that as a Ministry, it is our hope to improve the accommodation of ZRP.  Some of these homes are a sorry sight for the ZRP forces and their families.  For our ZRP officers to be able to do their work professionally, they should have decent accommodation and offices so that they receive the Zimbabwean populace who will be coming to report cases in dignified offices.  We cannot only look at the financial situation of the Government or the fiscus, but we are also thinking outside the box and trying to engage with partners in the private sector to ensure that the homes are improved.  Thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  Hon. Minister, we realise that in the city centre, the police are running battles with vendors which is causing challenges because the time that the council police and ZRP engage in running battles with vendors…

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, can you ask your question.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, we realise that there is a challenge in the city centre of running battles between the ZRP and vendors. I was also caught in a cross fire  It causes confusion, what are you doing about it?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr. President and I want to thank the Hon. Senator for that question.  Let me hasten to say that it is common cause that the work of the ZRP is to maintain law and order in the country.  The issue that you mentioned; for some time now, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has reiterated that what is happening is wrong because these are not designated selling areas.  This affects the health of the nation.  Currently, we are experiencing the cholera epidemic and it is said that prevention is better than cure. 

          The Government has done everything in its power in order to curb cholera.  Vendors sell perishable goods such that cholera can be spread through these goods.  Vendors are not supposed to be selling their wares everywhere.  The council has by-laws that govern where people are supposed to sell their wares from.  There is no country that allows a person to sell from wherever they want.  The Central Business District (CBD), as mentioned, there are those who pay licences in order to conduct their businesses there without any challenges.  However, the vendors are now everywhere.

          We know that the economy of the country is in a terrible state and people are trying to earn a decent living but they should also follow the law and not take the law into their own hands.  The Constitution gives the ZRP the mandate to protect that law, but the vendors are leaving the issue of livelihood and are now blaming the ZRP who maintain law and order.  Let me promise the Hon. Senator that the police will not stop doing its work as mandated in the Constitution.  However, what we are saying is that people should go to designated vending sites and you will see that there will will be order in town.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  Minister, I want to find out what Government’s policy is regarding prosecutors who are working in areas where they were born in.  Where we come from, we realise that there is a challenge.  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I want to thank you Mr. President and I want to thank the Chief for the question where he is asking about prosecutors working in areas that they live in and what would happen to them.  The prosecutors are professional in their duties and they even took oaths to follow the code of ethics that guide them.  If there is a family member who they think has a case and he cannot handle the case, they can recuse themselves.  However, if there are people who are engaging in corruption in the sense that they are protecting people in their community, we can take the cases to the Prosecutor General to look into the issue.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  What is the Government doing concerning the traffic accidents that are happening?  The heavy vehicle trucks are travelling at night and we have people who are driving without licences.  I thank you.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO):  Thank you Mr. President.  The question that has been posed is an important question because we are losing a lot of lives and we are losing relatives through traffic accidents.  Moreover, there is the issue of people who are driving kombis and do not follow the traffic regulations thereby distracting other road users.  In short I say, it is an issue that is being addressed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in order to contain the indiscipline on the roads. Our children, especially these kombi drivers, we do not understand what has become of them.  When you look at their ages, they are very young and are engaging in such mischief. The ZRP, however are doing everything in their capacity contain the problem.

On the issue of accidents of heavy vehicles that travel during the night, I think the law can always be amended if there is a challenge and we need to tighten our laws.  We can repeal the laws to contain the accidents being caused by heavy vehicles on the roads.  We only come in when the law has been enacted but I want to thank the Hon. Senator for that observation because it is a problem in our country.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Is there a law that says that if a person is involved in an accident without a licence, he can be jailed for so many years?  I am talking of a mandatory sentencing for such a crime.

*HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. President.  The legislation is there which says that if you are driving vehicles that carry commuters, you should have passed a medical examination and also to be of a certain prescribed age.  Furthermore, the fines have been made exorbitant and it is under consideration.  So, we are hoping that if the fines are increased, it will deter such behaviour.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: My supplementary question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  I want to find out - when accidents happen, we hear of so many people who will have died and they are given State assisted funerals.  So, my question is that, after the burial, are there any measures that are taken to ensure that the bereaved families can continue being assisted, because in some cases, the deceased will be the breadwinner and the children will need to go to school and school fees and medical bills to be paid.  I do not know if there is any policy to that effect?

*HON. MADIRO:  Thank you Mr. President.  The question by Hon. Sen. Tongogara is very important that if a breadwinner is deceased and there are dependants, the lives of the dependants change for the worse; is there anything that is done to ensure that the surviving family are looked after.

I think the question Mr. President the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. It is not under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, but what we do is to assist in the burial of the deceased together with the Local Government Ministry. I believe that the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, if they are here, they can assist to respond to that question.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  We have more Ministers who have joined us, Hon. Mutsvangwa, Information..

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  We have some more Ministers who have joined us.  We have Minister Mutsvangwa Information and Broadcasting Services, the Minister of ICT, Minister Kazembe Kazembe and his Deputy Minister Muskwere.  I want to recognise Hon. Sen. Femai, Hon. Sen. Chief Chararumbira and Hon. Sen. Shoko – [Hon. Sen. Chirongoma having stood up.] – Garai henyu pasi Sen. Chirongoma ndakuonai.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President.  Mr. President, I do not have a voice, I will ask someone to read the question for me.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Mr. President, I have been asked to read the question for her.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Can the Minister highlight on the spread of cholera nationwide and the mitigation measures in place.

*THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. President.  I am glad for the question posed.  I think this is a good question because it will enlighten the Members of this august House to know the status of cholera in our nation.  Cholera outbreak is there and it is not anything to joke about.  It does not choose who to attack, be it tribe or political party.  It cuts across everyone.  We are teaching people that we need to be hygienic.  Hygiene has to start with us in order not to get cholera.  We are engaging in conscientisation of the cholera outbreak.  Secondly, in the areas that we live, we should dispose our waste in the proper manner.  Thirdly, the water that we are drinking should be boiled.  Fourthly, we come into contact with many things, so we should develop a habit of washing our hands constantly.

Cholera is caused by dirt.  We will have taken in dirt through our mouths and it gets into the body.  What has been happening is that, if you look at Harare, the sewer lines that have been put, the settlements have not been well built.  Those sewer lines are more than 60 or 70 years old and they have become dilapidated and depleted.  In that case, they block and they burst.  The burst sewer pipe will now push the water pipes and the sewer water gets into the drinking water.  The people who will access that water, will now be drinking waste and it causes cholera.  We have this happening mostly where houses are built everywhere.  The stands are very small and before water system is connected, people drill their wells and build toilets close to the wells.  The waste will seep through into the well and we end up drinking the water, yet we are taking our own waste.  I will put emphasis on our waste, that is what causes cholera.

The way things are being planned and the way homes are just built everywhere is what causes cholera and typhoid.  It is all because of unclean water.  What has happened is that when the cholera outbreak started, I was appointed and found myself landing in cholera, a baptism of fire as I call it.  However, we were lucky because where I had come from, Chitungwiza is the area known as the endemic area of cholera and we had system.  Those are the systems that we took and set down with the city of Harare and adopted them to address cholera.  The first interventions that we did was to decommission all the boreholes that were found contaminated.  Secondly, after decommissioning, we had to provide clean water, because we cannot decommission boreholes without providing clean water.  That is why it was declared a national disaster.

The national disaster was good in the sense that we could request for assistance from other countries in the form of financial assistance.  Most countries heeded to the call of the national disaster.  Econet came through, the President also donated some money, the POSB also donated some monies and those funds enabled us to get bowsers.  Some were bringing water and up to today, they are still providing water.  I was in Budiriro yesterday and someone donated one million litres.  Some gave one thousand litres and up to today, there is water.  Water is vital because if we let people drink water with waste, it means that more people will be infected with cholera.  We set up tents at treatment centres in many places. 

At first, we were getting more than two thousand people a day.  You could see the graph going up and deaths also increasing.  The epicentre where the cholera outbreak started at Tagarika Shopping Centre in Glen View, there was a lady who used to cook food using that water from contaminated boreholes.  She would give people to wash their hands and eat the food.  Three people died after eating food from this woman.  I am sorry to say that that woman also passed on.  It kept recurring but after providing clean water, we have realised that there is now a decline.  At first the graph went up, it levelled and started going down because of the measures that we had put in place to control cholera.  The figures that I can give, in short are that we have more than 10 000 people who passed through the treatment centres for cholera and 49 people lost their lives to cholera up to today, but we say that no one should die of cholera.  It is not permissible at all.  If a person is diagnosed with cholera, it should be treated.

The challenge was the type of cholera because it was mixed with typhoid.  What we call the first line of medication failed to fight cholera, so what it meant was that we had to use more advanced medication.  The advanced medicine was more expensive and was not available in Zimbabwe, but we had partners who came in and availed that medication.  So, that is what has helped the graph to go down.

Where we are right now, we have a few people coming to treatment centres.  The numbers have gone down, but the day before yesterday, I was shocked that in Bulawayo there were two people who got cholera.  I had just left Bulawayo where I had gone to have sight of it and I noticed there was one area that was in trouble and I think that is the area where it all started. 

We have now come to another stage of controlling cholera.  We are now giving vaccines to prevent cholera.  What I am saying is, even if you drink water with waste or contaminated water, it will prevent one from getting cholera.  The vaccines started being administered yesterday.  I want to say that the whole nation , the whole of Zimbabwe, will be able to get vaccines, but the only challenge is that it is trickling in bit by bit, but what is good is that we start with the area where it started, the epicenter, then we give them medication.

I also took the medication.  There are some who may think that there are side effects.  I personally took the medication to show people that it does not have any side effects and up to today, I am still alive.  I do not think I will die this evening.  Mr. President, this medication needs two doses; the first day and you take the second dose within a period of six months.  If you take that medication, you will not get cholera for five years.  So, that is where we are right now, we are giving cholera doses and we are addressing challenges everywhere where people are settled and we are ensuring that people get clean water.

The solution, Mr. President is to avail clean water.  What we have done are just temporary measures.  The solution is to address the issue of water and sanitary system.  The solution is to stop what has been happening where people just eat from anywhere because you do not know where it came from.  There were others who were found by environmental health officers washing their vegetables in dirty water.  We were used to that.  We had taken that to be right.  So, unclean water to wash vegetables - we then go and buy those vegetables we would then get sick.

So, what we are saying is that we need to educate each other so that we do not get cholera.  For us not to get cholera, we have a mantra that is there on the issue of awareness, Mr. President.  Every Honourable Senator should go and educate people in the constituencies where we come from that we need to eat clean food, we need to boil water, we need to wash our hands and we need to assist each other in maintaining healthy and hygienic environments.  Our theme is cleanliness is next to Godliness.  Zimbabwe shall be clean again.  We want to go back to that era when Zimbabwe was clean, Harare was clean, Bulawayo was clean, and all the cities were clean.  That is what we are hoping for, but if we leave the situation as it is, we will be destroying and killing each other as a nation.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  We want to thank you Minister.  What of the homes that are being built by the land barons?  They are just putting wells and blaire toilets all over.  I visited a relative of mine who live in such a place.  Are there any measures that you have taken?

HON. DR. O. MOYO:  In our Ministry we look at the issue of hygiene but those who deal with the engineering and where a septic tank should go is not the responsibility of our ministry.  All we can say is that the septic tank and the wells must be a considerable distance from each other.  That is the mandate of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  So, they are the ones who ensure that where there are land barons, it is being done in a proper way.

What I want to let you know, Senator, is that the Local Government and the Ministry of Health and Child Care are now working together with mayors.  Our mayors are working with us.  We do not want to lie, we are working well because we all want good health.  So, we need that control.  If those control measures are there and the plans are adhered to and recommendations given by the Ministry of Health and Child Care are put into place, we will not have a challenge, but it is true that there are others who are mischievous and that is where we have the Local Government and the Home Affairs coming in to ensure that things are being done in the proper manner.

*HON. SEN. O. SIPANI-HUNGWE:  Thank you Mr. President.  We want to understand on this matter because health is very important.  Before I debate, I want to congratulate the Minister on his appointment as the Minister of Health and Child Care.  We saw the Minister taking the medication.  What we request is that the medication or the vaccine is not available for everyone and currently, it is trickling in.  If I leave this House where can I go and get the vaccine?

*HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. President.  Hon. Senator, I thank you for that question it is a very good question.  I think I need to start by enlightening you that WHO gave us 500 000 doses and they are already in the country, but what I had already said is that we would start with the epicenter then we would spread out to other provinces.

Yes, you are here in Harare at the moment and there are other doses that will be received on Sunday and they are about 900 000 which means we will have 1.4 million and we will get another 1.4 million that are also coming in.  So, I believe that if we are in Harare, we will complete vaccination in Harare and we will go to the hotspots.  We will first deal with the hotspots like Bulawayo that I have just mentioned, Buhera, people died there as well, it is a hot spot and in Mutare around Chipinge area.  Those are hotspots and we will be looking into these hotspots. We will also get other doses that will enable us to cover the whole nation but it will take more time. If you want to be amongst the first 500 000 people who are going to be vaccinated, as I see that the Hon. Senators here wants to be vaccinated and seem to be requesting in a subtle manner, we can bring the clinic here so that they can receive the vaccine. I do not see anything wrong with that and let me work towards that to ensure that we get doses here. We started with health workers and I do not want to lie about that. We started with them because they are the ones caring for those people suffering from cholera. Therefore let me try to use the clinic here so that the cholera vaccination is administered here at Parliament Building. Naturally we were supposed to have the vaccines administered on all of us in local authority and Government health centers such as clinics. However that request has come from Hon. Senators, I will have failed if I do not protect our Hon. Members and I believe this will also assist you Hon. Senators. Thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to ask my question. The question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. What measures do you have in place regarding heavy vehicles which are causing accidents on the roads?

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MATIZA): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for that question. We have a number of measures focused on the issue of transport and we are actually looking at ways through which we can improve the transportation of goods and passengers in the nation at large so that we grow our economy. I am happy you mentioned rail, and other means of transport. You also mentioned road and left out air transport. Those are some of the means that need to be addressed for our economy to develop. We also have inland waters and as a result, we also need to address the issues around water transport and to ensure that the waters are navigable. Such means of transport are actually important for the growth of the economy.

          You talked about accidents on the roads and the broader issue that we are talking about is safety on the roads. People should be safe when traveling and what we are saying is that the roads should be wide enough, visibly well marked to the extent that when one is driving, they should be able to see what is happening. The drivers themselves need to be checked if they are appropriately licenced to drive the vehicles they are driving. We currently have a big challenge of fake drivers and other people who just get on the road knowing that they have other challenges that do not allow them to be driving on the road at that time. You can be involved in an accident because of speaking on the phone while driving, stress due to domestic violence from home and, all hinges on need to take safety precautions seriously.

          We have the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Council that looks at the issues of road safety. The Traffic Safety Board exists but it does not have the authority compared to authority that the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) has. With the VID, if your vehicle is found to be unworthy to be on the road, they are legally empowered to impound it yet  the Traffic Safety Council lakes the authority to do that. What we want to do is to come back to this Parliament so that we amend existing laws and empower the Traffic Safety Council to have teeth to enforce its authority.

We also face challenges on permits issued out to commuter bus operators. These appear to be too many than the number of people commuting. We view that as a result, there is competition among the commuter bus operators and hence accidents are increasing. There are many other factors contributing to this problem and we need associations that have to be formed by these operators so that they self manage. Without associations, we are going to continuously have these problems and we are going to take serious measures to ensure that commuter operators cannot get a permit from the Ministry without being a member of the association. That measure will ensure that people adhere to the road traffic rules.

          You will find that in other regions like Bulawayo, there are associations and these associations have assisted in curbing road carnage. We are taking a number of measures to further reduce road carnage and that includes post accident measures. We are working on the Road Accident Fund to ensure that we always have sufficient funds to assist road accident victims such as the injured. Those should get emergency support such as being ferried to the hospitals on time. We are working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care on that note to ensure that we have specialist medical doctors in various fields so that we are able to manage that in all emergency phases.

Under railway transport, we have a policy to recapitalise our railway system and I am sure you have read in the papers that the National Railways of Zimbabwe is partnering with DIDG Transport Consortium that is bringing in US$400 million to recapitalise the national railways system. The railway system is important as it helps to transport cargo that is being transported by heavy vehicles on our roads which are now a major cause of accidents on the road. The move will also ensure that our roads are better maintained and have a longer lifespan.

In the same vein regard we are also engaging in the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) project financing model to speed up achieving our goals. Our airports should also be well equipped to make sure that we do not always have air transport accidents. We are addressing the air traffic control and radar control systems to ensure that we do not have air transport accidents. Generally, the issue of accidents is an issue that we are addressing. We have a number of measures and if we implement those, Zimbabwe’s road, rail and air transport systems will be safe. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  My supplementary question is on accidents. Looking at statistics which say that HIV is number one killer in causing death, road traffic statistics say it is number four. Minister, before we talk about air transport and rail, what is in place to prevent these accidents on the roads because that is what is claiming the lives many people?

          *HON. ENG. MATIZA: I believe I once touched on that question when I said that our roads should be redeveloped and I said there are a lot of networks under build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) so that the road network is smooth. I also said that for accidents to be curbed it all starts with the driver. If the driver is not licenced, is drunk and driving a defective vehicle, that person can cause an accident anytime. What we have before us is the need to address those issues. Those without licences should be arrested.

VID should be able to execute its mandate. What we want is for VID to be computerised and integrated. If your car is impounded by VID, it is computerised. If it gets to the road block and your number plate is entered, it will show that this vehicle was impounded and is defective. That is another deterrent that we are talking about.

          Coming on to trains, if the rail system is working it will put less pressure on our roads because the weight on the roads will be reduced and we have a longer life span. That weight should be on the trains and not on the roads. That is why I said on road accidents we can reduce that. On the issue of drunken drivers, we need breathalyzers. It should be checked whether the level of drinking that you have is able to take you to your destination.

          We are working with the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Council who are engaged in massive education. It is even being done in primary and secondary schools and it is in their curriculum that they should know the road rules and regulations. The pedestrian has to know the signs. If they see the red robot they can think that it means I am crossing. Children need to be educated. All these efforts should ensure that we reduce road accidents.

          HON. SEN. SHOKO: I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by fifteen minutes.

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: I second.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: In order for us to cover as much ground as possible, I am requesting Hon. Members to be concise, precise and straight to the point so that we have as many questions as possible.

          *HON. SEN. CHABUKA: My question is directed to the Minister of State for Manicaland Province. What measures have you put in place to assist the Municipality of Mutare because people in Dangamvura go for one week without water? What measures have you put in place to ensure that there is water in Dangamvura? 

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MANICALAND PROVINCE (HON. DR. GWARADZIMBA): It is true that in Mutare there is a challenge of water supply currently. The measures that are in place are, that we had a meeting with the Provincial Medical Director in Mutare, Mrs Mafaune, the city council, stakeholders and other residents in order to address this challenge. There are pipes that are similar to those that were found in Harare which are dilapidated and we are running around trying to get bowsers to ensure that the residents get access to clean water.

          We have managed to get $400 000 that was sourced by the City of Mutare in order to address the water challenges. I thank you

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. Can this House know where the youth training centres are dotted in different provinces of Zimbabwe?

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: That is a specific question and I would urge you to put that in writing.

          *HON. SEN. ZIVIRA: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  There was the issue of Gukurahundi in Matabeleland and Bulawayo which resulted in children without birth certificates and national identity cards. Some of these people even failed to register for elections. What measures have you put in place to assist the people of Matabeleland to enable them to register and vote in the next election?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): I want to thank the Hon Member for that question. It is a Zimbabwe citizen’s right to get documents such as birth certificates.  There is no discrimination in acquiring documents but it is a right to get those documents.  If there is an issue that children are failing to get these documents because of need of witnesses, I believe that it is not only the relatives or the parents who can witness but the community as well.  In rural areas, there are village heads who know the subjects in their areas and these can go and witness for the children and they will be able to get documents.  I believe it is not only in the mentioned area but it applies throughout the country.  What is needed is that the MPs should ensure that their constituents and the Registrar are aware of this information to enable people to get their documents.  Mostly, it is because of lack of dissemination of information or just the lack of interest to get those documents.  If one says I cannot get a birth certificate and go to the Registrar’s office they can be assisted.

          HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: My supplementary question to the Minister is - what is it that is needed by the orphaned gukurahundi children to get birth certificates?  Who is supposed to accompany them so that we take that information to the people who are supposed to take them to the offices.  I thank you.

          HON. MADIRO:  In my response to the Senator, I have said that witnesses are not limited to parents or relatives for anyone who requires registration in the form of birth certificates.  May I remind the Senator that even for the new voters roll, it was made very clear that an affidavit is evidence enough to warrant an officer to respond to anyone who requires to register as a voter.  As you are aware, voting is a fundamental right and the Constitution of Zimbabwe protects that right.  It is incumbent upon the Government through the relevant pathway to make sure that the vote is effected.  Let me assure the Hon. Senator that it is a question of knowing that the witnessing has been relaxed.  It was a bit stringent before but now it has been relaxed.  If there is clear evidence that no close relatives are surviving, we have our community set-up because there are no traditional chiefs at kraal head level who do not know their subjects.  They can witness and facilitate the issuance of birth certificates.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  This is an important issue but the problem is that it cited gukurahundi.  From all areas where we come from, we also have orphans who are also experiencing these challenges.  So, this has nothing to do with gukurahundi.  In my area, I am in trouble daily.  Hon. Minister, what you said is not what is happening on the ground in rural areas.  As chiefs, we write those affidavits stating that the children are members of the community.  They ask the child to still bring witnesses who will be 100km away.  I know you are new Minister, but you need to educate your officers to do the right thing.  We are tired of this.

          *HON. MADIRO:  I may be new in this House but I am not new in terms of living in the rural areas and having witnessed such incidences. It is true that most people are experiencing challenges but I believe that the chief knows that our President and Government have reiterated that corruption is not permissible.  There are other people who make things difficult for others by demanding bribes.  So, if they want to assist they ask for something before assisting the individuals.  That is why we have such a challenge.  However, I believe that where it is happening, it is important for you to bring those matters to the provincial heads to enable the Ministry to address those issues.  There is a lot of corruption taking place and you may find someone demanding a cow, a goat or a chicken.  I know the Hon. Members and the chiefs are alive to the concern of their communities.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF. NGEZI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Health.  Is there anything that can be done to quicken the process of having a post mortem for persons who will have been murdered?  People are spending two weeks waiting for the post-mortem because they cannot bury their relatives before the post-mortem results.  The delay is mainly due to the fact that the doctor will not have come to the particular area.  It then becomes expensive and people will no longer have resources to use.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): Mr. President, I thank the Hon. Senator for the question.  The situation is that, there are two types of post mortems.  The first one is when one dies in a hospital after being admitted there for 24 hours, it is possible for the doctors at the hospital to do the post mortem. However, if a person dies before arriving at the hospital, the description is, ‘brought in dead,’ which leads to the need for an investigation on whether that person was not murdered.  We also look at the medical history to investigate if there is evidence of the presence of any chronic illness.  This can be done by the doctors at the hospital. 

          However, if there is no history of any chronic disease, we have to wait for the police and the involvement of police means that there is need for a forensic pathologist.  In Zimbabwe, we have very few forensic pathologists, I think we have two.  In Bulawayo we have one and we were being assisted by the Cubans who used to send forensic pathologists.  What this means is that if it is in Harare, we have to wait until Wednesday to get the forensic pathologist to do the post mortems.  However, we have other pathologists who are not called forensic pathologists, they are histopathologists who can conduct general postmortems. 

So, what we encourage is that, they should also go and capacitate themselves so that they become forensic pathologists on police cases that are simple to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe are not affected.  The histopathologists are also assisting in some cases which are simple.  However, if a human body is found in a river or a well, it becomes a police case and it needs the services of a forensic pathologist.  We surely encounter these cases and it disadvantages the families of the deceased because they have to spend a lot of money in sourcing food for mourners at the funeral. 

We are working towards getting our own forensic pathologists in Zimbabwe.  It is a challenge that will persist until we get these pathologists.  We are also submitting requests to allow us to engage histopathologists so that they also do what forensic pathologists do.  On a contrary note, you will understand that if your relative is deceased through murder; you would want to have ample evidence on the case.  Therefore, it is necessary to have pathologists who can do a professional job.  It is sometimes better to wait, particularly on murder cases, in order to get evidence from a specialist in the name of a forensic pathologist.  I thank you.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

CURBING OF CHILD MARRIAGES

          1.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to state measures being taken to curb child marriages.

 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for posing a very pertinent question.  Mr. President, the importance of ensuring that child marriages and any other vices inherent therein are eradicated in our country cannot be understated.  Stemming from the constitutional provision making 18 years the legal age of majority and following the Constitutional Court ruling that any marriage involving persons under this age is null and void, it is beyond contention that such marriages…   

Some Hon. Senators having stood between the Hon. Minister speaking and the Chair

          THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, can we have one question at a time.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. President.  I was saying; following the Constitutional Court ruling that any marriage involving persons under this age is null and void, it is beyond contention that such marriages are illegal.

          Mr. President, as Hon. Senators may know, the process of aligning legislation to the Constitution is ongoing and the majority of the Acts are at an advanced or completion stage.  Some of the statutes being aligned namely, the Marriages Act, Customary Marriages Act and the Children’s Act are meant, in part, to deal decisively with the issues of the prohibition of child marriages.  Much of the issues relating to the prohibition of child marriages and similar vices are being taken care of by the ongoing alignment process, and I am confident that this will put to rest this matter.

          Mr. President, may I reiterate that Government is committed towards ensuring that the rights of children, including their right not to be given up for marriage or marry before they reach the age of 18, are promoted, respected and fulfilled.  Such a process involves stakeholder consultations to ensure that the relevant laws reflect this commitment.  I thank you Mr. President.

AWARENESS OF MARRIAGE LAWS

2.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to state measures being taken to raise awareness of marriage laws, particularly to women in rural areas.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank Hon. Chimbudzi again for posing this question again.  Public awareness and outreach programmes in general are of paramount importance.  Such programmes on marriage laws, not only to women but to communities, religious and traditional leaders will enhance and facilitate implementation of these laws.

          There is need to educate the woman on the full content of her rights under any marriage regime and even extending to inheritance laws.  Outreach is a necessary component to facilitate full understanding of the legal system relating to marriages, the various enforcement mechanisms and effective implementation. 

          Mr. President, one crucial awareness raising method is the accessibility of legal aid and advice relating to marriage laws.  The Government is working towards improving the provision of legal aid to people who cannot afford legal representation and this encompasses women based in the rural areas.  As provided for under Section 31 of the Constitution, we are taking practical measures within the resources available to decentralise the Legal Aid Directorate to all provinces in Zimbabwe.  In 2014, we managed to decentralise to Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo.  In 2015 and 2016, we managed to open offices in Bindura, Gwanda, Chinhoyi and in 2017, we opened offices in Hwange and Marondera.

Mr. President, to ensure that the general populace is aware not only of the services that we offer at legal aid directorate but also of constitutional provisions as well as any other concerns they may have.  We carry out awareness campaigns on the Constitution where we ensure that we let people know where they can find their nearest legal aid centre and the services that we offer.

          We recently embarked on a constitutional advocacy programme in Mashonaland West where members of the public had an opportunity to air out their views and concerns as well as pose questions on legal issues where clarity was required.

          It is my firm belief that this reach can surely extend to women in rural areas where not only marriage laws are addressed but various legal issues as a whole.  We have seen an increase in the demand for our services which is an indication that many people are beginning to know about the Legal Aid Directorate.  Our lawyers have also been seized with a lot of deceased estate cases, most of our clients being women.  I thank you Mr. President.

REUNIFICATION AND REINTEGRATION OF CONVICTS INTO SOCIETY

          3  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to explain the Ministry’s role in the reunification of convicts with their families and reintegration into society upon their release from prison.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. President.  I want once again to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for posing the question.

          Let me start by explaining a bit about our rehabilitation programme.  The importance of having rehabilitation programmes that focus on changing the offender into a law-abiding citizen cannot be overstated as it culminates in the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services carrying out its mandate.  Mr. President, the Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services has a mandate to protect the society from criminals through incarceration and rehabilitation of convicted persons and others who are lawfully detained and their reintegration into society while exercising reasonably safe, secure and humane control.  This is in accordance with Section 227 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

          Mr. President, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services offers prisoners opportunities to participate in different activities for their rehabilitation and these include:-

-         Farming activities

-         Skills training

-         Academic education

-         Spiritual counseling

-         Knitting and

-         Wood carving, among others.

These rehabilitation programmes are focused on spiritual development, vocational training and educational development that prepare the prisoners for their lives when they are reintegrated into society.  The main thrust of the rehabilitation programmes is to restore prisoners to the status of law-abiding citizens.

Mr. President, prison visits are a tool used by the Prison Service in Zimbabwe to keep prisoners in Zimbabwe in touch with their families.  This is in a bid to keep families intact and foster familial connections that will provide for easy unification and reintegration when a prisoner is released and in turn lower the likelihood of reoffending.

Mr. President, in a bid to improve the general positivity of prisoners and give them motivation to prepare for re-integration, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs through the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services introduced the family week last year.  It is meant to improve the rehabilitation of offenders while facilitating their reintegration into society through enhanced interaction with various stakeholders such as churches and other interested parties. 

Mr. President lastly, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service is working towards improving its rehabilitation programmes so as to reduce the number of offenders who reoffend after being released.  I thank you.

COMPUTERISATION OF GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS

9  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services to clarify the Ministry’s role in the computerisation of Government departments, for instance, the Criminal Intelligence Department (CID) which still uses typewriters.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. KAZEMBE): I would like to start by thanking Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for asking such a pertinent question.  The Ministry as you would appreciate is mandated to ensure an ICT enabled environment throughout the country.  This covers mainly policy and other related issues such as connectivity, infrastructure and awareness.  Further, the Ministry provides the central ICT requirements for the whole of Government departments such as the Public Finance Management System and e-Government.

Coming to the question by the Hon. Senator, the Ministry of ICT and Courier Services like any other Government department, relies on monies from the Treasury.  If financial resources were readily available, the Ministry would buy computers and give them to all whom maybe in need of them.  However, due to the scarcity of resources, this is not possible.  What this means is that, any affected Government department can approach Treasury, get the resources to buy their requirements and in this particular case, the computers then the Ministry will provide connectivity and any other ICT technical assistance that may be required.  I thank you Mr. President Sir.

CAUSES OF CANCER

11 HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of health and Child Care to explain -

a)     The cause of cancer and whether it is hereditary; and

b)     Measures being taken by the Government to control it.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. O. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to appreciate the question asked by the Hon. Senator on the causes of cancer, whether it is hereditary.  I am not going to go too deep into the medical jargon.  Let me start by saying, the known inherited causes are based on our lifestyles, the food we eat, our physical activity levels.  The lifestyle diseases are those which are caused by intake of alcohol for instance, you will end up with liver cirrhosis or smoking, you will end up with lung cancer.  Pollution also accounts for about 2 percent of all cancers and 80 percent are due to environmental factors.  The most common types of cancer are prostate cancer in men and cervical and breast cancers in women.  We also get breast cancers in men, it is not just in women.  You also get brain tumours, they are quite prevalent.  Most cancers are not inherited however, they just happen.  Some people are born with a gene mutation that they inherit from their mother or father.  This damaged gene puts them at a higher risk for cause when cancer occurs because of this inherited gene mutation. 

This type of cancer is referred to as hereditary cancer.  Like I said, it could occur in breast, in ovarian, in the colon, rectal or even in prostate.  There are capabilities of genetic testing for some of these hereditary cancers.  These hereditary cancers account for 5 to 10 percent of all the cancers.  In terms of the treatments that are available, there are many types of cancer treatments that are available in Zimbabwe.  Most have a combination of treatments such as surgery with chemotherapy and all radiation therapy.  You may also have immune therapy or hormone therapy.

Mr. President, major improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer are being witnessed particularly in high-income countries.  Currently, over five thousand new cancer diagnose of all types are made here in Zimbabwe annually.  Experience have however shown us that this is just the tip of the iceberg as many cancers are not captured by the routine national health information system because the patients do not present for treatment or register deaths.  Of those who do report, the majority are already at an advanced stage of disease with limited access to screening.  The current cancer treatment and palliation services are unable to meet the existing demand. 

The cancer programme in Zimbabwe Mr. President, is guided by the Cancer Control Prevention Strategy which is there from 2014 up to 2018.  The Cancer Prevention and Control requires a population wide integrated and coercive approach to cancer that encompasses prevention, screening, diagnosis and support.  Palliative and rehabilitative care are also part of that integrated approach.  While cancer survival rates have been noted to vary by type of cancer, the major causes of these low survival rates has been identified as lack of access to early detection and early treatment.  There is a national cancer forum whose mandate is to monitor performance of the national cancer prevention and control programme and advise the Minister of Health and Child Care accordingly. 

In conclusion, Mr. President, we have to address cancer issues holistically, from health promotion, prevention, screening, the treatment and the rehabilitation.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Thank you Mr. President.  There has been talk that cancer can also be treated using traditional medicine.  At your Ministry, you have both traditional medicine and the western medicine, how far can you go with that as a Ministry?

*HON. SEN.  DR. O. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. President and I thank the Senator for the question.  Yes, we hear that there is traditional medicine that assists in treating cancer.  We also hear that there are herbs that assist.  What happens with cancer is that you cannot stop anyone from using the medicine that he or she wants.  You will find people ending up going to hospitals and at the same time they are also using traditional medicines. They also go to herbalists, therefore they go to all areas.  Whatever comes is taken.  As a Ministry, yes, we do have a department that deals with traditional medicines.  That is the other issue that I am thinking that as a new Minister, I would want us to research on.  We will get best practices from other countries like China and India because they use traditional medicine.  In Australia, they also use traditional medicines and in other countries, they use cannabis to treat cancer. 

However, on the issue of cannabis, we do not want to rush into it because for us to be able to grow it, we need to have security measures in place.  If we just tell people to use cannabis, we will end up having people who are high because of the improper use.  What we want to do first is to ensure that we conduct trial tests before we introduce cannabis medicine by getting it from other countries for our trials,  whilst at the same time preparing to have our own using people who are already in it from other countries.  They can come in and have their trial tests and they can also have their small farms to grow cannabis like what we were doing at the diamond area in Chiadzwa.  We do not want to rush into it.  It is a good suggestion, we will research on it and address the issue.  In our department of traditional medicine, we do have our experts there.  We know that our ancestors used to treat a number of diseases, so on the issue of cancer, we cannot downplay any medicine.  Whatever would have assisted you is what you can take.  I thank you.

CURRENT MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE

12.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the Senate of the current maternal mortality rate and measures being taken to reduce it.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. O. MOYO):  The death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the termination of pregnancy irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes are a challenge not only for Zimbabwe but for most developing countries.

Currently, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) stands at 651 deaths per 100 000 live births in Zimbabwe (ZDHS 2016).  The previous ZDHS (2011) had shown that the MMR was 960 deaths per 100 000 live births.  Although there has been a significant decline in the country’s MMR, it is still unacceptably high.  Zimbabwe did not meet the 2015 MDG target on MMR and is now strengthening the health system in a bid to meet the sustainable development goal of 70 deaths per 100 000 live births…

The Hon. Minister having been code-switching.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order Minister, stick to one language.  Our Hansard people have got difficulty in translating two languages so stick to one language.

HON. SEN. DR. O. MOYO:  My apologies Mr. President.  Maternal deaths do occur due to three delays:

Delay 1: Delay to make a decision to seek help by the woman.

 Interventions in place to address delay 1 include health education at health facilities for antenatal women, out patients attendees in children’s ward, targeting women and in general wards including men.

Removal of user fees for maternity services is being implemented in all public health facilities and it is of great help in removing financial barriers in accessing skilled health care.

Involvement of the community through community based health workers.

Delay 2: This is a delay in reaching a health facility.

The interventions for this delay number 2 is that we, as a Ministry, have and are continuing to strengthen mothers’ waiting homes (MWHs) at health facilities by improving the infrastructure, resources and services which women access while staying in the maternal homes , for example the measurement of blood pressure, fetal heart beat checks, urinalysis and so on.  The Ministry of Health and Child Care is also striving to strengthen the referral system for pregnant women.  A recent assessment of the ambulance service was conducted and findings being used to mobilise support for ambulances from partners and the Government.

Delay 3:  Delay in getting the appropriate care at health facilities when the mother has arrived at the health facility.

So, what is it that the Ministry of Health and Child Care is doing to avoid this delay?  The Ministry has insisted that health worker capacitation in providing emergency obstetric and neo natal care (EmONC) at all levels is available.  Lower level facilities are capacitated to provide basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care (BEmNOC) while higher level facilities are capacitated to provide CEmONC services.  The capacitation includes training of health workers in obstetric emergencies and life-saving skills, supplies of drugs such as oxytocin, magnesium sulphate and equipment such as anaesthetic machines and patient monitors.

The Ministry also introduced the blood coupon initiative with the help of funding partners which saw women accessing blood for transfusion for maternity causes for free although blood is now free for everyone.

The electronic partograph was introduced and piloted in Mashonaland East province in 2017.  This allows real time monitoring of women in labour and real time documentation of events as they occur.  The initiative is now being rolled out in other provinces as a module in the EHR.

Other Interventions

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has introduced advanced low cost interventions to count and account for every maternal death both in the community and in health institutions.

Strengthening of the family planning services, especially method mix and accessibility help reduce maternal mortality.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care also developed, piloted and rolled out the electronic maternal and perinatal death notification system.  This system allows timely notification of maternal deaths electronically so that interventions are put in place timely to avoid deaths of women from the same causes which killed others.

The community maternal deaths surveillance initiative is an intervention targeting to have community-based workers to actively search for and report maternal deaths occurring in the community to enable more accurate estimation of the magnitude of deaths in the country.  

With the above stated interventions and many more, the Ministry of Health and Child Care aims to reduce avoidable maternal deaths in the country and bring down the maternal mortality rate (MMR).  I thank you Mr. President.

EASING TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN CITY CENTRES

13.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain measures being taken to ease traffic congestion during peak hours in city centres.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MATIZA):  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for the question.  While it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for the management and design of road infrastructure and services in the urban areas, my ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing plans to provide rail services at peak hours where rail infrastructure exists.  Thank you.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62. 

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MANICALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 9th October, 2018.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MANICALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA), the House adjourned at Twenty Eight minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 9th October, 2018.