You are here:Home>Senate Hansard>SENATE HANSARD 05 JUNE 2018 VOL 27 NO 47



Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

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





          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to remind the Hon. Senators that they are invited to the Parliament of Zimbabwe - ZIMRA Engagement Workshop at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), to be held tomorrow, Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, starting from 0800hrs.



          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam President, I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 1 and 2, be stood over until Order of the Day No. 3 has been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.



Second Order read: Second Reading: Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill [H. B. 19A, 2015].

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam President, I thank you and I thank Hon. Senators for your indulgence and I want to thank my colleague Hon. Dr. J. Gumbo for his indulgence.  Allow me Madam President to present the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill.  This Bill’s main intention is to decongest the Mines and Minerals Act and we will be doing this by way of repealing most of the sections with the aim of having these provisions being inserted in the mining general regulations. The Bill also intends to establish and provide for the administration of a computerized cadastral system.  Principles of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill – I will go through some of them; the first one being to establish a computerized mining cadastral system.  The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill seeks to repeal all sections pertaining to approved prospectors.  Further, it shall establish the computerized mining cadastral system and provide for new methods of registration of blocks of mining claims.

The provisions of the current Mines and Minerals Act on maximum hectares of blocks to be pegged shall to a larger extend remain unchanged.  The second aim is to provide for strategic minerals.  The Bill also seeks to authorise the Minister responsible for mines to declare any mineral strategic through regulations.  Also the third aim is to reconstitute the Mining Affairs Board.  The board shall be chaired by the Secretary, it shall consists of all principal directors in the ministry; the Director Geological Survey, and two other officials of the ministry will be members of the board.  Six members of the board will be appointed from the chamber of Mines, Zimbabwe Small Miners Association, farmers’ association, Institute of Chartered Accountants and one professional from any professional field relevant to the needs of the board.

          The fourth aim is the establishment of a new licensing system.  The Bill seeks to repeal sections pertaining to prospecting licences. It intends to substitute the repealed provisions with an exclusive prospecting licence, its form, duration, terms and conditions.  The rights conferred by an exclusive prospecting licence will substitute rights conferred by a prospective licence.  The pegging process will be done by mining surveyors and this will be a substitution for approved prospectors commonly known as peggers.

          The fifth aim is to provide for mining title and mining rights.  The Bill seeks to define mining titles and licences for prospecting and mining rights as licences for mining.  It also seeks to differentiate mining rights and mining titles.

          The sixth aim is to set up the office of the mining cadastral registrar.  The new provision for setting up the office of the cadastral registrar has been inserted in the Bill.  This office will be responsible for registration and management of mining titles and mining rights. 

          The seventh aim is to provide for protection certificates by a mining lease holder.  The Bill seeks to provide for protection certificates for mining leases and the appeal processes.

          The eighth aim is to provide for environmental protection.  Madam President, the Bill seeks to provide environmental protection through the establishment of a safety and rehabilitation fund which will be paid by mines for rehabilitation after mine closure or abandonment of mining location.

          The ninth aim Madam President is, the Bill also seeks to provide for an appeal procedure after forfeiture.  The Bill seeks to provide for an opportunity for representations after forfeiture.  This will also help in addressing the allegations of corruption by our officials.

          The tenth point Madam President, which the Bill is providing is to provide for beneficiation of minerals which we think is very important.  The Bill also seeks to provide for beneficiation provisions.  Currently, the Act only provides for beneficiation plants upon application by an interested person - to declare their plant as a beneficiation plant.  It does not compel anyone to beneficiate their minerals.  The proposed provisions will compel beneficiation plant owners to be registered with the Ministry. 

          The eleventh aim is to provide for listing in the Zimbabwe Securities Exchange.  Madam President, this provision of the Bill seeks to provide that no mining right or title shall be granted or issued to a public company unless the majority of its shares are listed on a Securities Exchange in Zimbabwe.  Any company that requires a mining right or title which is listed on foreign exchange outside Zimbabwe shall be obliged to notify the Minister of such listing and 85% of funds raised from such listing shall be used solely for the development of the mining rights and title in Zimbabwe.

          The twelfth aim of the Bill Madam President is to provide for sections on evidence and presumptions.  The Bill seeks to provide for circumstances where there is variance between the map position of a mining location and a ground position.  The proposed presumptions are that, the document purported to be a copy of a map prepared in terms of Section 20 or a part of such a map and purported to be certified as such by the Cadastral Registrar shall be admissible in any legal proceedings on its production by any person as prima facie proof of the boundaries of the area and any claims depicted thereon.

          Madam President, where a question arises as to the boundaries of any claim, location or other pegged area and there is a conflict between the position of a peg in or on the ground and the position of the peg as indicated on a map or plan curbed by the Cadastral Registrar then for the purposes of any legal proceedings where the position of the peg was determined by means of a global positioning system (GPS); the position as indicated on the map or plan shall be regarded as correct unless the contrary is shown.

          Madam President, the thirteenth aim of the Bill is to provide for prohibition of child labour.  The Bill seeks to cater for prohibition against child labour in mining locations.  This section compels miners to comply with the labour laws of Zimbabwe and this section also provides for the penalty of cancellation of his licence when one has employed a minor child.

          The fourteenth aim is to provide for sections relating to exposure to radiation.  Madam President, this provision is meant to align the Mines and Minerals Act with the Radiation Act, at the same time protecting the employees from harm.

          The fifteenth aim is to provide for transitional and serving provisions.  This is just a standard provision in the Act and this
Bill seeks to provide for those transitional and serving provisions.

          The sixteenth aim is, we have a Second Schedule to the Bill which provides for conditions for riverbed mining and penalties associated thereof.  Let me briefly touch on the rationale for amending the Mines and Minerals Act.  The Mines and Minerals Act was promulgated in 1961 before the majority of those of my age were born and was lastly amended in 1996.  So, this is an archaic Act which has been overtaken by events, hence in our ease of doing business programme, we felt that we needed to amend this Act.  The amendment of 1996 was only to insert provisions on special leases.  The current Mines and Minerals Act is like a procedure manual.  There is need to decongest the Mines and Minerals Act so that clauses which need constant amendments are embedded in the mining general regulations.

          Madam President, the provisions in the amended Mines and Minerals Act will facilitate greater participation by indigenous Zimbabweans in the mining sector.  There is also the need to enhance environmental protection provisions of the Act and encourage environmental responsibility in prospecting, exploration and mining.  The amendments will promote the preservation of culture and historical monuments. 

Madam President, Government policy is to promote beneficiation in all areas of the economy and mining is one of the sectors which are lagging behind in as far as beneficiation is concerned.  The amendments will promote beneficiation of minerals and mineral bearing products in Zimbabwe.  The Zimbabwe mining industry has many small scale miners in the gold sector.  Disputes are rampant in the small scale mining sector, therefore hindering growth and production.  The amendment will provide for a strong and efficient decision making and dispute resolution mechanism.  Disputes between farmers and miners are some of the impediments for growth in the mining sector.  There will be minimised land use conflicts with respect to prospecting, exploration, mining and farming.

          Madam President, the use of a manual system in a techno-centric world hinders development.  The computerised mining cadastral system will boost investor confidence as far as mining title management is concerned.   The growth of the mining sector is anchored on intensive exploration programmes which are critical for the discovery of mineral deposits and generation of geo-scientific data that can be used in various land use planning processes. 

          Madam President, the country is expected to fully benefit from the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act in terms of boosting investor confidence and growth of the mining industry and the economy at large. It also has to be noted that by amending the current Mines and Minerals Act, mining disputes will be reduced. The amendment will also facilitate proper administration of the computerised mining cadastre system which is line with the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe. I so submit Madam President and move that the Bill be read a second time.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: First of all I want to thank the Minister; this is a welcome development - taking into account the amount of corruption and sometimes the manifest chaos in the mining sector. I thank him for taking that initiative to bring this Bill to the House.

          Secondly, I note that the Mining Affairs Board will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary. I thought that the thinking in Government today is to exclude the Permanent Secretary from a lot of Boards because he is the supervisor and also the Board Chairman. I do not see how you can supervise yourself if you are the Chairperson.

          The third point I want to make is about environmental rehabilitation. I am sure most people who are into farming will agree with me that a lot of farms have been damaged by mining activities. However, the Minister is proposing to deal with that, which also is welcome. My worry, however, is that he says that much of the rehabilitation will take place after closure. I would wish that a lot of rehabilitation occurs as maybe shafts and other pits become unusable so that the farmer is left with land on which to farm whilst the mineral is extracted, not to wait for a total closure in the pack.

          Fourthly, is the conflict between farmers and prospectors. I think that is a positive development again because quite often farmers find that the prospector just walks into your farm as if he is walking into the Indian Ocean, pegs the place without your knowledge. The first time that you will see him is when he comes to mine and quite often there is conflict which is generally lost by the farmer. Related to that is the mapping position and the cadastre system. I think it is more practical to say that the map places the peg here and therefore, it is more acceptable than the cadastre system. I find that quite positive.

          The next point I want to make is about dispute resolution. Once again you have taken the right step in my opinion. It is no use - I had a dispute for one year. Minerals remained underground and my focus was on chucking out the invaders and my family suffered. So, everything suffered around that whole scenario. If we could have a dispute resolution and I think I must give myself a pat on the back because I remember I made that suggestion to the former Minister that we need a code of conduct to govern the dispute system.

          Last but not least, I support computerisation. A lot of Government offices are a nightmare when the officer is hiding behind paperwork and you wonder how easily he can provide a service when he is in that situation. Therefore, I strongly support the computerisation of the mining system.

          Lastly Minister, I would like you to take bold steps to deal with corruption. It is serious in the mining sector, very serious and more serious than you guys imaging. I think that we need to seen a message across. If we do not, it is our resources –

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, Hon. Senator. Who are ‘you guys’?

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Okay, thank you Madam President. I am looking at in the sense that when we are outside, maybe we are guys together. My apologies Madam Speaker.

Minister, I urge you to take stern action against corruption, it is more than we can afford in that sector. I had got to the point where I was saying minerals are depletable, non-renewable and when we lose them into the wrong hands, they go down the drain and Zimbabwe as a whole is a total loser. With those few words, Madam President I would like to thank the Minister. I thank you.

HON. SEN. RTD BRIG. GEN. NYAMBUYA: I rise to say a few words in support of the Bill which was brought by the Minister. This is actually a very important Bill for this country. We all know that if we talk of an economic recovery or trajectory, one of the sectors which is essential to move this country forward, is obviously the mining sector. We are endowed and indeed we are one of the few countries in the world which has got so much in terms of mineral resources to the extent that some of the minerals we are the only country or one of the few countries which has got such resources like platinum, rare minerals and so on.

What has been holding us back besides other issues which we all know is the fact that the current Act which has been in use as the Minister himself has admitted that it was archaic. It is a piece of legislation which was promulgated during the colonial era and was not addressing the current situation. Therefore, I congratulate the Minister for taking this very bold move which is overdue to bring this Act, modernise our mining regime so that we can realise more and actually exploit our resources to the maximum.

The first point that I will make is that it is clearly from the way this Bill has been crafted is such that it is going to improve the ease of doing business in this country. We talk so much about promoting and ensuring that investors who come into this country are able to invest and open up their businesses with as much minimum fuss as possible. The current Bill is actually talking to that issue very much.

One of the issues which has excited me is the fact that the tendency which has been prevailing in the mining sector has been that many people and this actually applies to the big companies that were holding many claims for speculative reasons or purposes. This new Bill is talking to that and ensuring that people are no longer going to hold on to claims for speculation. What we are doing is that we are encouraging and promoting a situation whereby a resource becomes dead capital.

So, congratulations Minister, this is actually a very important piece of legislation which you have brought, which is going to improve the exploitation of our resources.  I also welcome very much the fact that the people who are going to be pegging claims are now going to be qualified surveyors as opposed to the old system where you had people who just knew how to operate a GPS, they would come and peg and at the end of the day, we had so many disputes because the people who were pegging claims were not qualified and many of them were overlapping to the extent that there was chaos, especially where the small scale miners were operating.

I also welcome very much the fact that this Bill is talking to the issue of child labour.  We have seen this across the sector, a situation whereby some children were being abused to the extent of being made labourers.  I also would like to commend the fact that we are looking at value addition.  Madam President, for as long as we remain a country which exports commodities, we are going nowhere.  We should not be known as country which exports commodities, because exporting commodities is actually exporting jobs, it is actually exporting foreign currency and the fact that this Bill again, is addressing the issue of value addition is very important and commendable because the sooner we address the issue of value addition; the better, and we will benefit.

These minerals we are talking about are not going to be here ad infinitum.  They are going to be finished, they are finite resources.  So, let us make hay while the sun shines.  Let us make maximum use of these resources whilst we still have them.  They are going to be finished and our children and grandchildren will spit on our graves if we do not realise maximum value from the resources which were given by God.

Lastly, Madam President, I would like to concur with the last speaker who talked about the issue of the Permanent Secretary chairing the Mining Affairs Board.  I think that aspect, I am not quite comfortable with it.  The Permanent Secretary is the accounting officer, so if we have a situation whereby the accounting officer is going to make some profound and substantial decisions, I wonder how the issue of checks and balances is going to be addressed.  Otherwise, Madam President, I think this is a piece of good legislation which is going to move us forward.  I thank you.

+HON. SEN. MKHWEBU:  Thank you Madam President.  I stand to support the Bill that was raised by the Minister, especially on the appeal on the forfeiture.  The appeal on the forfeiture has been taking too long to be ratified because of lack of transport, especially on the miners, if the mine has forfeited.  The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development expressed that they do not have any mode of transport to go to the site.   Minister, our request is that if there are any problems that are supposed to be solved between the miners, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should have transport that can be used on the ground. 

There is also the issue of disputes.  It used to take almost five years for a dispute to be settled and there will not be any production to the Government and that affects a lot of miners; if we can reduce the number of years or months where disputes are settled.  One speaker who contributed before me indicated the issue of corruption in the mines.  There are those who steal from other miners, at the end of the day you are told that there is a dispute at your mine, therefore you cannot do anything.  This is a good Bill that you brought, it is very progressive when you look into the economy of the country.  There are so many investors that are coming into the country.  Please, let us see a difference and have a modernised way of handling mines.  I thank you Minster.

+HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I thank you Madam President, for the time you have given me to add my voice on this Bill.  I agree with this Bill so much, as I have heard that the people who are dealing with the environment, will handle those who disrupt the ground.  What I like is what the Minister highlighted, that those who would have dug trenches when mining will also correct that before they are done with their mining activities.  It will be a continues correction.

The other thing, Madam President, is the issue of distance, especially to someone’s homestead.  I have my cousin who was asked to demolish their home because of the minerals they had identified.   They said the gold belt goes under the house and they had to mine. As the Minister has highlighted, there will be specific areas that one can cover when it comes to mining close to ones homestead. 

The other thing that is interesting out of this Bill is that those who will be coming to do mining should also talk and have an agreement with the owners on the land where they intend to mine.  There are times whereby you just see that close to your homestead there is deforestation that has been done without ones consultation as the owner of the land.  This is a good thing that there has to be an agreement between the miner and the owner of the homestead where they intend to mine.  I think this is a very good thing that the Minister has brought whereby there has to be an agreement between the miners and the owners of the community where they intend to mine.

The other thing that I think is a good idea, some of the things I have mentioned them before, I will emphasise on this because even some of the members have already indicated on that.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I also rise to give a few comments in support of the Bill.  You have to excuse me, Madam President, if I did not capture some of the points.  They might be repeated because the last two speakers spoke in a language which I might not be very fluent in – [AN HON. SENATOR: Inaudible interjection.] – yes, that is my shortcoming.  Madam President, the first remark that I want to make is that, this Bill is quite archaic.  It was established in 1961 and amended in 1989, 29 years ago.  Why this casual approach to the Bill which deals with an important sector like mining sector?

          As was said, mining is one of the sectors which makes the economy grow but at the same time, the mining sector is the most disorderly sector causing a lot of chaos in the country.  There are a lot of minerals in every province, you can name it, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and everywhere but some of the activities going on there are not organised.  They are actually causing deaths sometimes and land degradation.

          In his presentation, the Minister said, beneficiation is optional if I quote that one correctly.  Why does it become optional?  We want to give an emphasis on beneficiation like what Hon. Sen. Nyambuya said, we are exporting jobs if we make it optional that companies export their minerals at their own will if they do not wish to beneficiate, we are losing income.  Why can it not be compulsory?

          The cadastre registrar department says, they said the map position takes precedence over the physical ground peg.  That is correct and it should be like that but people always fight.  I want to ask a question; how competent is this department to expeditiously deal with such disputes if pegs are causing a lot of disputes between or among individuals?  Another question is; does the Bill stipulate how many mining claims or concessions an individual or entity can hold at one time?  For example in the agriculture sector, the famous saying is that one man, one farm.  Does this apply in the mining sector as well?

          Lastly, promotion of artisanal or small miners should be given more emphasis on how we are going to treat this and try to minimise conflicts among artisanal miners and the effects of land degradation in the areas where they mine.  However, this Bill is a very welcome piece of legislation.  If it is passed, I think it will go a long way in answering some of our economic questions which we want to address.  With the new dispensation, I think it is a very welcome Bill.  With those few words Madam President, I want to thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF NGUNGUBANE: Thank you Madam Chair.  I rise to support the Bill by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  Madam President, I will not say much, as most of the ground has been covered by my colleagues.  However, I would want to raise the following issues;

Firstly, the issue of land and mineral rights, am I not supposed to have both land and minerals rights when I am allocated a farm?  I see a person carrying a prospectus saying he would have been given a permission to come and mine in your land.  That is a source of conflict and I wish that this issue is addressed because both agriculture and mining contribute to the country’s GDP.

Secondly, I would like to dwell on the rehabilitation of the environment as a traditional leader.  I am not pleased to say that the miner has an option to fence his or her claim.  If they do not, what happens?  Currently, there are serious problems out there where small scale miners come in and mine, they do not fence the area, they leave it like that, animals are trapped in there and die and that is a loss to the farmer.  The farmer is not offered compensation.  Yes, the farmer can take the miner to the administration court but we know it is very cumbersome and time consuming. 

I would like the Minister to address the issue of plough back.  The area is damaged by miners.  The miner sells his/her product to Fidelity.  We want a portion of that money Madam President to go back to the community to help rehabilitate the environment that would have been damaged by mining activities.  With those few words Madam President, I would like to support the Bill.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President.  I would also want to add my voice to this Bill.  A lot of issues have been said but I still have some areas which are a bit grey to me which I would like the Minister to elaborate further.  He talked mostly about protecting the environment.  I think that is the issue of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).  However, you will find that, even though it is like that, it is done haphazardly in such a way that it does not carry weight at the end of the day.  To these small scale miners, it is not done, they just do their mining and leave the area like that and I do not know who should take care of it. 

Looking at the issue of river bed mining that was mentioned, you will find that it causes a lot of land degradation and silting, and a lot of dams are silted because of this type of mining.  I do not know what the Government has put in place at the moment; how they should avoid this river bed mining Madam President. 

On the issue of beneficiation, really, we need plough back into the areas where mining is being done.  I am repeating this point that there is need because, where everything is extracted from the soil, we have to plough back so that rehabilitation takes place.  With those few words Madam President, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution.  This is a very important Bill and when we talk of mining, we are talking of a very important aspect of the economy. There is a lot of land degradation going on as a result of pits which are left behind without reclamation after mining. That is mainly because this sector is highly capital intensive and further requires high expertise. We appreciate the fact that you have noted the need to protect workers in the mining sector and Madam President, we have heard of miners who have lost hands and legs as a result of collapsing pits. Some of the miners are being crushed as a result of an avalanche as stones and soils capsize into the deep pits. Therefore it is important that we further seriously look into issues of safety of the mine workers.

          My other issue is that these deliberations should not just end like talk-shows. These laws should be implemented. Most people say they fail to implement these policies and programmes because they lack the money for that. That is why we are saying mining should be universal and cooperatively done by the Government together with the private citizens involved so that both parties benefit. Hence we need to support this Bill so that our mining activities are carried out sustainably.

          We notice that we once debated this issue of mining when we were looking into the diamond mining that was going on in Marange as well as other gold mining areas. In most of those areas, people were just digging-up holes and also used dangerous chemicals resulting in the poisoning of domestic animals such as cattle which ended-up drinking the contaminated water from contaminated water bodies such as rivers. These miners might not necessarily use the dangerous chemicals such as cyanide near river banks but when it rains, the water flows with the cyanide and fills the rivers, thereby contaminating the water. 

          One of the other problems caused by unsustainable mining which is rampant in this sector is siltation of dams. That happens because these miners extract minerals near rivers and/or in the river beds. Hence there is further need for us to take steps towards curbing that problem if we should protect our land resource.

We also noted that whenever some minerals are discovered in a particular area, there is always a mineral-rush in that area and as a result, we have to take effective steps towards controlling those new mineral resource rich areas. It is common knowledge that mining can lead to development and prosperity of the indigenous miners. In the 1960s, we had very few economically prosperous people but now, many people are economically prospering due to mining. Therefore those people need to be further supported so that they practice sustainable mining. I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We have debated and adequately made our contributions to the discussion. We now want to hear responses from the Minister.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam President, I want to thank the Hon. Senators for their contribution to this debate. Hon. Senators have indicated that they are very much interested in our minerals and how we mine relative to our natural environment. As a result, I want to thank every one of them for the support. By and large, I have noticed that almost everyone Madam President is in support of the Bill and that is highly commendable. Hence I thank all the Hon. Senators.

          However, let me address some of the issues that have been raised by some of the Hon. Senators including those who are hereby present. I am not seeing Hon. Sibanda and I think he is no longer around. I want to thank him very much for supporting the Bill. He raised a lot of concerns but generally he also supported the Bill very much.

He was concerned about the Permanent Secretary who has to chair the Board. He questioned why the Permanent Secretary is provided to chair the Board, citing whether our current thrust as Government is not to move away from that kind of practice. In that regard, our belief is that our minerals are precious and non-renewable. Therefore we need the accounting officer to chair the board. May I clarify that it is not a Board in the normal sense of a company board. It is more of an advisory committee that should look into the issues of mining and hence the Board must not be seen in the manner that you view a Parastatal Board. We believe that we have a precious resource that is non-renewable and we need that diverse membership. If you look at the membership of the committee, there is a diverse group of people included in that Board to form the advisory board.

In terms of administration, the Permanent Secretary administers the Act and as such, they should have oversight of whatever is happening as raised from the advisory Board. Again, I can reiterate that this is not like the Board of a private company in terms of how the board operates.

We also spoke about the issue of environmental rehabilitation that is by and large covered in the Act. I know that we have a whole section that speaks to how the environmental issues are to be dealt with. In fact, there is a fund that has been set-up to take care of environmental rehabilitation. Therefore issues of the environment which you are much concerned with have been tackled adequately in the Bill Madam President, to ensure that whatever happens, we end up with some rehabilitation of the natural environment so that it is well preserved for our future generations.

You also raised the issue about conflict between farmers and prospectors. This is another area that the Bill is trying to address and if you go through the Bill, you will find that there is a whole section that speaks to those issues. Coupled with that, he also spoke to issues of wood; noting that farmers should be allowed to harvest wood. There is a section that provides for the farmer to make reservations to say that, I want wood that has been cleared from that area. That was taken into consideration and basically, the issues raised are the same issues that the Honourable Members of the Nation Assembly raised.

Hon. Sen. Makore supported computerisation, indicating that right now, people are hiding around the issue of these huge files by stating that I am still looking for the file whenever particular information is requested. Therefore, computerisation is the best thing to do. I am happy that Hon. Senators are concerned about the issue of corruption. This is one of the issues that this Bill seeks to address when it becomes law. It will help in tackling the issue of corruption and, computerisation is one of the strategies. Even the issue that we have been talking about regarding the Permanent Secretary chairing that committee is also another measure that is being put in place towards dealing with the issue of corruption.

Hon. Sen. Mkhwebu also talked about the situation in which there is a land use dispute yet someone will be mining as the dispute is in the process of being resolved. Those are some of the issues that this Bill is going to address Madam President and again, I want to thank the Hon. Senators for highlighting those issues. Those issues have been problematic and we are trying to address with the broader view that the ease of doing business will be realised adequately.

Hon. Sen. Nyambuya, I want to thank you for supporting the Bill and indicating that indeed our country has lots of minerals and hence we have to handle those minerals in trust. Ensuring that the future generations will not look at us and quoting what you particularly said, “…spit on our graves”. You commended Government in that we are moving towards having qualified surveyors to deal with those issues. In addition, in terms of child labour, we need to live up to our international obligations in terms of banning child labour. Again, this is another progressive piece of legislation that will deal with those issues if passed into law. This Bill is going to further deal with the issue of value addition and beneficiation. It does not provide beneficiation as optional. It says that we have to do that. So, it is one of those issues that are going to be dealt with in the Bill.  I have spoken about issues of the Permanent Secretary being an accounting officer. Hon. Sen. Mkhwebu, I think I have dealt with some of your issues that you raised, I want to thank you very much for supporting the Bill. She was very passionate that we need to have appeal processes expedited, not this business of saying that there is no transport to come there to solve the issues.

          As we move towards improving our ease of doing business, those are some of the issues that will be addressed and I think the Bill takes care of those issues.  The Bill also provides for efficient conflict resolution mechanisms in order to minimise disputes; the system will be computerised and small scale miners have been defined; this aspect will be clearly elaborated when regulations are now made in terms of the law. I thank you very much Hon. Sen. Mkhwebu.

          Hon. Sen. Khumalo was very much concerned about environmental issues; again if you go to the Bill, Section 257 (c), (d) and (e) speaks to those issues that we are speaking about; the safety and rehabilitation fund being set up.  So, those issues are there, they are covered and your fears should actually be thrown away and smile.  We are moving towards ensuring that it happens.  On the timber issue, I have alluded to it. 

Hon. Sen. Mumvuri, I thank you very much. Indeed, our law was very much archaic and you asked a question why the casual approach. We had this sector closed to the general populace and we coined a term makorokoza to our own people.  No white man was ever coined a mukorokoza, so we are in the right direction Hon. Sen. Mumvuri.  We now want to have a law that allows us to do mining in this age that we are now living in.  I thank you very much for your comments and concerns and it indeed promotes artisanal miners, they are now defined and are no longer outcasts.  We will have regulations that will also clearly define what they do; issues of land and mineral rights are also taken care of.

          Hon. Sen. Chief Ngungubane, my Hon. Sen. from Mberengwa, thank you very much for supporting the Bill. You spoke passionately about environmental issues.  I know our chiefs are very much concerned about environmental issues. Kumusha vanoda kuti nzvimbo dzedu dzigare dzakanaka, that issue again is taken care of - rehabilitation of the environment, like I said if you go to the Bill, Section 257 (c), (d), and (e), it speaks to those issues; they have been taken care of in the Bill.  I want to thank you very much. 

You also spoke of issues to do with ploughing back into the community.  I think the provision for these are still there in our laws to ensure that we have the community trust to take care of issues to deal with ploughing back into the community. 

          Lastly, I thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi and Hon. Sen. Makore, you were supporting the Bill. Again, the issues of concern that I noticed relate to environmental issues, river bed mining and environmental degradation. All these issues Madam President, are taken care of in the Bill and we believe we have come up with a progressive piece of legislation that will ensure that as we move forward as a country, we will ensure that our minerals benefit the generality of the population.  We have a piece of legislation that will govern the mining industry.  I want to thank you Madam President and I move that the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill [H. B. 19A, 2015], be now read a second time.

           Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.



          House in Committee.

          Clauses 1 to 62 put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendments

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.




          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.



          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to advice the Senate that I have received the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill [H. B. 4, 2018] from the National Assembly. The Bill will be set down for Second Reading tomorrow in the Senate.



          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam President, I move that we divert to Order of the Day Number 2 on today’s Order Paper. I thank you.

          Motion put and agreed to.



          Second Order read: Second Reading: Civil Aviation Amendment Bill [H. B. 4A, 2018].


          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.



          House in Committee.

          Clauses 1 to 2, put and agreed to.

          On Clause 3;

          HON. SEN. SHOKO: When we discussed this Bill last week, we said it was going to be presented on Tuesday; unfortunately it has been brought today. The Minister said they were going to be two companies; the Civil Aviation and the other one. What I wanted to understand is, does Clause 3 cover what the Minister said. For example where he said one is going to be the regulator and the other one the operator because I am trying to figure out which is the operator or the regulator. I have been trying to check and I though number three was going to give us that.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Thank you for the clarity which the Hon. Member is seeking which does not relate per se to this. This clause is simply ensuring that there is now separation of the two; Civil Aviation Authority and the Airports Company. What you are concerned about perhaps, you will see it as we go and when it describes the functions of each and every section. This one is simply separating them so I think it is in order.

          Clause 3, put and agreed to.

          Clauses 4 to 20, put and agreed to.

Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading:  With leave, forthwith.




Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.



Second Order read:  Second Reading:   Public Health Bill [H. B. 7, 2017].

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you President of the Senate.  I want to talk briefly on the Second Reading of the Bill and just to appreciate that this particular Bill went through various consultations in provinces and also, we have got an intact report from the Committee on Health which we really appreciate the comments.  They were very pertinent.  The scope and the principles of health are really covered in that Bill, but also most importantly, some of the areas that were touched upon are already covered in other Acts, particularly the Medical Services Act and that covers a lot of what had been said by some of the people in the provinces.

Consultations, I am glad, spoke about all issue in health and it was a very good approach to do that and we then look at what is pertinent for this particular Bill.  So this Bill, as you are all aware, the Act was first promulgated in 1948 and this is the first time it is really being looked at again and we think that this is going to make us go forward in terms of public health.  With those few words, thank you very much Mr. President.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I would just like to add a few comments.  I thought the Chairperson would read a comprehensive report which we compiled because the hearing was undertaken by the two Committees, the Committee on Health and Child Care and the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS. 

We went around the country and it appeared that this was another old Bill promulgated way back in 1923 or thereabout.  I think what the Minister is talking about is the amendment of 1948.  It was quite divorced from the services which were being offered in the countryside or everywhere in the country.  The first thing which some of the residents or the public noted was that there tended to be a monopoly of posts where they complained to say why medical practitioners are given almost every responsibility on every health institution and of course their concerns might be correct, but we found it later in our deliberations that a medical practitioner is the most qualified person to do the work in any institution.

If there is a nurse or environmental health officer who may want to take up that job, he cannot supervise the medical doctor.  We noted that and we tried to convince the people that we cannot water down that title. 

The other things were their concerns on promotional posts. They were organising themselves to say; if we have also acquired degrees as Nursing Officers and Environmental Health Officers, we must be in charge and do some of the things which are done by the doctors, provided they are supervised by the doctors.  There tended to be a gang of people like workers’ committees coming together and when they spoke, they clapped hands in order to try and influence the outcome of the public hearings.

          Notably, some of the health practitioners complained that they were working without adequate protective clothing and that should be taken into account by the Government.  The other issue of contention was how the Government protects its people against carelessness of some sort when they are carrying out their duties.  They said that there should be a clause which protects them, whether it is done intentionally or unintentionally. 

          We also noticed that there was a conflict between the councils or regulating authorities like the Rural Service Centres where business people are granted permission to operate business without adequate toilets for the public.  They only construct toilets for themselves.  If people gather at a public place, they do not have access to those toilets; they are locked for the workers and staff only.  We thought that was an anomaly which must be rectified now.  When people congregate together, they need access to toilets and it should be a provision that before an institution or a business operates, there should be adequate ablution facilities.  We thought that the health practitioners might recommend that, but through corruption, some of the councils open those businesses without the adequate facilities in place.  Those were some of the concerns which we noticed.

          At the end, I think we came up with a good report as said by the Minister.  We deliberated more than twice to come up with an acceptable modern Public Health Bill, which is what we have here.  I want to support this Bill and let it pass and then stimulate further debate from my other colleagues who went out with me.  It was a worthwhile public hearing which we undertook up to Binga and back.  Thank you very much.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: The issues that I am going to bring out within the Public Health Bill relate to the relationship between the health workers and the Rural District Council.  The importance of the information that is derived from the Ministry of Health and Child Care;  I know they meet occasionally once a month to discuss the health issues but they do not leave the reports from the Ministry of Health and Child Care within the Rural District Councils (RDCs). 

As you know, the RDCs have health committees and within that, you do not see the linkage between the two reports from the health facility, for example, the hospital and the RDC itself because they have a health committee and health clinics.  I thought the importance of the reports remaining with the RDC is so that they can also – these days we believe in inter-sectoral participation on issues.  For example, if there is diarrhoea within an area and the  RDCs have that information, they will also assist the Ministry to alleviate some of those problems. 

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has Nutrition Officers, they collect the information on the worst areas.  If that information also remained with the RDCs, they would also work with the Ministry to reduce the problems within those areas.  Those areas can be malnutrition, diarrhoea or measles.  Once the RDC has that information, they will plan accordingly so that there is the synergy and there is not only vertical reporting of the information within the RDC.  The information is also left within the district for them to use it for planning and prevention of some of the diseases which they can deal with.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF NGUNGUBANE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate this Public Health Bill.  Mr. President, as a Member of this Committee and indeed, as a Member of the Senate, this is a milestone achievement for both the Committee and the House, let me say Parliament because we are talking of a Bill that was first enacted in 1924.  There were several stages where it was amended.  Indeed, it has been overtaken by events and I would like to congratulate the Minister for coming up with this Bill.  At least we are slowly getting rid of the colonial mentality that is still in our minds.

Hon. Minister, as a Chief, I will speak mainly as a Chief.  First and foremost, I would like to say, this is a good Bill, it is a positive step.  However, I have the following observations that I would want to bring to your attention.  First and foremost Mr. President, there is no representation of traditional leaders in the Advisory Board.  Various sectors are represented. 

Speaking of public health, who are the custodians of public health in the rural areas?  It is the traditional leaders.  So, it is my plea Hon. Minister that in your Advisory Board, there should be representation of traditional leaders.  Hon. Sen. Mumvuri talked about the issue of public toilets in business centres.  Those are the issues that we come across with on a daily basis as traditional leaders.  So, when there is representation at the highest level, it will indeed assist traditional leaders to be conversant and be aware of what decisions are being taken at the highest office.  That is the first point.

The second point Mr. President, I think the Minister should clarify on what constitutes a chronic illness.  This is because when we travelled around, most health centres were not aware of what constitutes a chronic illness or an emergency.  Some nurses were even afraid because they would say, they needed to first consult with the Accountant so that they get permission to treat that patient.  If they treat a patient without permission, then the onus will be on the nurse to pay for those fees.  I know that Section 76 is quite clear, but there is need for clarity with what is happening.  What is happening on the ground is not in tandem with what is on paper.

Next Mr. President, is the issue of language.  I remember very well when we went to Beitbridge, the elderly people were complaining that they speak Venda and they were getting people coming to serve in their health institutions not conversant with their local language. That creates a language barrier and as such, patients can be offered wrong treatment because the patient and service provider would not have understood each other. I hope that is taken care of Mr. President.

Clause 35 Mr. President relates to the consent of the user. There is a worrying trend that is happening, where nurses do not seek consent of the patients. You will hear them saying we have decided to test you for HIV/AIDS yet this is a patient’s right to privacy being violated but at the same time, if you look at the role these health professionals are playing, they are indeed saving lives. There is that quagmire Hon. Minister and I think the nation should robustly engage in a debate to say should the health service providers be mandated to test without the consent of the patient. At the same time I think Section 57 does not allow but the reasons given by the health service providers are genuine. So I am saying as a nation, we need to engage on a robust debate. One thing that also came out is the issue of the rights of people with disabilities. Their consent is being violated where I come with a disabled person to the hospital and I have to interpret when they are being told that they are HIV positive. As a result, already as a person accompanying that person, I already know their status which is on the other hand a clear invasion of their privacy. I hope that will also be addressed Hon. Minister.

We also appeal that in the training curriculum of the health professionals; let us have Braille and Sign language incorporated in the teaching of nurses, doctors and all other health service providers in our national health delivery system. I do not have much to say but Mr. President, I would want to finally say I am in full support of the Bill. However there is another point that came up. I want to appeal to the Minister that please, let us remunerate Village Health Workers (VHW) since they are playing a very pivotal role. It is their personal sacrifice to serve in those villages but as a nation, are we giving them what is due unto them? The answer is no. So I appeal to the Minister of Health to seriously address the plight of VHWs. With those few words Mr. President, I would want the Minister to raise the pertinent issues further and I am however in support of this Bill. Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you President of the Senate and I would like to thank the Hon. Members of the Senate. Their contribution in terms of comments, recommendations and observations are very pertinent and useful. Hon. Sen. Mumvuri, you raised and highlighted that the doctor is the head of the team. Even in the hospitals, it is the doctor who writes prescriptions and says this one should go to the X-ray et cetera, and for now, perhaps I think this is the best person to lead in the provinces. The debate can continue but for now I think we keep the status quo. I think we will appreciate that. Your recommendation from the report states that and that is exactly that. You are talking about protective clothing and I think that is important. We need our people to have appropriate gloves and goggles whenever they need them. That is why we always appeal that there must be more money allocated to the health sector because those are the areas that suffer first when there is inadequate money. I think it is good that we have raised that.

The issue of toilets for the public in business premises is also a very important one. We are finding out that it is not only in the rural areas but munoumu kunana Fouth Street nekukunana Market Square. What will the people use as an option? That is why you are finding haasisiri ma alleyway (masendiraini) as we used to know them. Haasisiri ma sendiraini chaiwo. These issues need to be taken congisant of by the authorities of cities and by Government as a whole to ensure that at least we have public toilets. We suggested that there be public toilets and private toilets as well so that there are alternatives and choice. That is why we will continue to have cholera and diarrheal diseases.

Hon. Sen. Khumalo, the health sector committees are very critical to us and the Bill addresses the issue of governance by stating that there will be a board established in each health institution. A district hospital will have its own board and then there will be Health Centre Committees. Those are critical and we now receive a weekly surveillance report in my office. Reports on where there is cholera and where dogs have bitten people are coming. For example last week there were 549 dog bites in one week. Fortunately, none of them was rabid but it means that dogs are on the loose. They are just roaming around and we advise that some of them be shot because we do not know their status really. We are also finding that there are a lot of snake bites reported, for example, but I get that report every week. The reports come from these Health Centre Committees because they convey the information to the nurses though I think we still need to strengthen the communication between the committees and the national health delivery system. You seem worried that may be they are not getting as much information as they should. That further needs to be strengthened.

Hon. Sen. Chief Ngungubane, yes it is a milestone and we are pleased that Members of the Senate and even Members of National Assembly there said this is something that we must appreciate and I think it has been outstanding for a very long time. It is actually long overdue and we needed to modernise our Public Health Act. I think this is a real landmark for us all. You are part of that new movement. You also talked about representation of traditional leaders but if the Senator would look on the item that talks to the Advisory Board, I think it is 4 (t) Mr. President, it does give provision that the Minister can appoint somebody from the community. I hope that we can stimulate that to make involvement of the traditional leaders more effective. I think you have a point and our traditional leaders here are now increasingly very visible and we like that. Their participation should be well reflected here and I think that is another issue that we will advise to be taken care of somewhat.

Chronic illnesses and emergency, if you are hit by a truck next to Avenues Clinic unconsciously, Avenues Clinic is not supposed to ask you for payment upfront when you are at that stage. That is an emergency and they must treat you and then ask for payment later. For us, an emergency is something like that and if you have a stroke, it is an emergency. If you have got a diabetic coma and that means if you are diabetic and you lose your consciousness because of diabetes, it is an emergency. If you have heart attack it is an emergency and there are emergencies that are known to be emergencies. Now a chronic illness is an ongoing illness and that is what a chronic illness is, if you look at diabetes, hypertension - blood pressure, cancers are ongoing chronic illnesses and there is a feeling that those should be taken care of as they are in the non-communicable diseases group (NCD).  This is why there is now a lobby for the cancer levy; in some quotas people are urging that there be a cancer levy. So all those issues should be taken account of, maybe not necessarily in the Act but I think overall as a policy for Government.  This should be looked at in a very serious manner.

          Language is important; I think we will need to liaise with the Ministers who are responsible for teaching language to also look at our nursing schools.  I do not know whether or not it is practical to teach SiNdebele and Shona in all these schools but it is something that we must seriously consider.  If a doctor is deployed to St. Lukes and all his life he has been residing in Harare, it is incumbent on them to learn some Ndebele – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – It helps because then when you say, Unjani?  Then the person must be able to respond appropriately. When you want to ask what is wrong with you, you must say it properly and at least get an inkling of what the person is saying in return.  Where is the pain?  So, I think that it is important because you can miss an intimate diagnosis or distinguish it through language sometime and I think it is important.

          Consent in testing, yes there is now what we call ‘shared confidentiality’.  If I am with a person living with disability and I take them to an HIV testing centre – that information is shared while we are together.  It is called shared confidentiality and we are assuming that the person you have come with may share your confidentiality.  It is very difficult because each person is an individual, they may not want that.  On the other hand, we are now saying that every pregnant mother should be tested for HIV so that we protect the unborn child.  Again, there is a dilemma there in terms of stigma and confidentiality.  We do not want to stigmatise them but also, we want to protect the person who is the unborn child.   We are also promoting voluntary counseling and testing.  We should not force anybody for testing, no.  There should always be voluntary counseling and testing so that you protect the population.

          Sign language, that is an important one to learn.  We saw on television, Hon. President, somebody interpreting in sign language during a presidential speech – not in this country and they were doing the wrong things – [Laughter.] -  I think that it is very important that this sign language is popularised.  I think there are certain things that we may be able to learn.  The world is changing and people’s rights need to be more respected.  So things like sign language are things that are coming in that must be taken on board and seen how best it can be done so that everybody is catered for.

          Remuneration of Village Health Workers (VHWs), I think that is critical.  We have articulated it in the past and for now; they are getting $14.00 a month.  They sometimes get a thank you and sometimes no thank you at all.  We have tried to say, let them be part and parcel of our establishment so that they are appropriately remunerated.  We have argued on that and as you know, our economy is not so good.  We want more nurses, for example, the VHW or the community health worker (CHW) is doing so much work.  They are the ones who go in the villages and urge pregnant mothers to go to clinics; they advise you about the possibility of diabetes and so on.  They really have a lot of work that they are doing and need to be appropriately recognised with remuneration.  Voluntary work is not voluntary any more when these women have children and families to look after.  I think that it is appropriate to point that out.

          Mr. President, I now move that the Bill be read a second time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.



          House in Committee.

          Clauses 1 to 3 put and agreed to.

          On Clause 4:

          HON. SEN. CHIEF NGUNGUBANE:  Thank you Hon. Chair, mine is an appeal to the Hon. Minister.  He said that as traditional leaders, we are covered in a section where it says, ‘community’ but if you say community Hon. Minister, it is too open.  We have other community leaders living within our community.  So, my appeal is that it should be specific.  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I take note of what the Hon. Chief has said and like I said, traditional leaders are really now very visible and we need to give them that recognition. I thank you.

          Clause 4 put and agreed to.

          Clauses 5 to 23 put and agreed to.

          On Clause 24:

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: All other health officers are there but there are no nutritionists; why did they go to school when they are not made visible?  I am requesting that they also be appointed so that they can do their job effectively and are understood by persons.  When I worked in the province and the Provincial Administrator recognised the nutritionist. Our information was effective because we were part of the team. If you are not appointed then that is the end of you.  You are just a useless person there. Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to recognise what the Hon. Senator has said. As you are aware, there are many other health cadres outside nutrition.  There are laboratory scientists, rehabilitation technicians and many other cadres; this was extensively discussed but we want to take note that no health practitioner is less important than the other.  I think that should be recognised.  When we run these institutions, it is important to know that sometimes environmental health officers or community nurses usually are the ones that really run around in the districts but also the nutritionists go round the districts.  So, this was extensively discussed but I want to take note that every health professional employed in our Ministry is as important as the other; none is more important.  So, I take note.  Thank you Mr. President.

          Clause 24 put and agreed to.

          Clauses 25 to 139 put and agreed to.

First Schedule, put and agreed to.

Second Schedule, put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported without amendment.

Third Reading, with leave, forthwith.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Mr. President, with the leave of the House, I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA), the Senate adjourned at Six Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 05 JUNE 2018 VOL 27 NO 47