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SENATE HANSARD 06 DECEMBER 2016 VOL 26 NO 17

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 6th December, 2016

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

INVITATION TO THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE WEBSITE LAUNCH

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I wish to inform the Senate that members of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders and Chairpersons of Portfolio and Thematic Committees are invited to the Parliament of Zimbabwe Website launch to be held on Wednesday, 7th of December, 2016 at 0900 hrs in the Senate Chamber.

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I wish to inform the Senate that His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. R. G. Mugabe, will today, at 1500hrs address a joint sitting of Parliament on the State of the Nation in the National Assembly Chamber.  In view of the limited space, a few selected Senators will accompany me to the National Assembly Chamber.

          Business was suspended at Twenty-two Minutes to Three o’clock p.m. and resumed at Twenty Minutes to Four o’clock.

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT.

HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:

Madame President of the Senate,

Mr Speaker Sir,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Invited Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Comrades and Friends.

 

Once again, it gives me great pleasure to address this august House, this time as I make this year’s State of the Nation Address.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker, Sir,

 

In line with ZIM ASSET and the Ten Point Plan, Government has introduced several measures to promote local content requirements across all the sectors of the economy, especially in agro-processing, mining, manufacturing, construction and tourism.  Our major objective is to increase local capacity, create a skilled work force, and become a competitive supplier base.

 

The recently gazetted Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 has already started to bear fruit by improving the efficient use of foreign exchange, and in enhancing local production, thereby reducing import dependence.  A number of local companies in the plastics, packaging and food manufacturing sector, that include Tregers, Nampak, Proplastics and several others have been the immediate beneficiaries of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016. 

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

Acceleration of the implementation of policy reforms is supported by Government’s policy actions in revitalising agriculture, infrastructure development, unlocking the potential of small to medium enterprises (SMEs), encouraging private sector investments, fostering financial sector stability, and through the observance of zero tolerance to corruption.  The reforms are meant to both rejuvenate the national economy and contribute to poverty reduction.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

My Government is importing grain in order to address the grain deficit caused by the devastating effects of the recent drought.  To date, Government has imported over 300 000 metric tonnes of maize, whilst about 200 000 metric tonnes have been delivered to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots by our farmers.  Meanwhile, the private sector has also supported Government by importing 25 000 metric tonnes.  Add to this the amount of US$360 million for grain importation pledged by our Development Partners.  I wish to appreciate and thank the private sector and Development Partners who have joined hands with Government to ensure that our people get sufficient food supplies.

 

Government has introduced the Command Agriculture Special Maize and Small Grains Production Programmes, targeting a minimum of two million tonnes of maize from both irrigable and dry land farms among A1, A2 and small-holder farmers.  In addition, Government is also rolling out the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme to support 800 000 communal farmers.  Our aim is to revitalise agricultural productivity, so as to assure ourselves of national food security.

 

Beyond tobacco production, which has immensely recovered in the last few years, Government will support the farming production of a number of other crops such as soya beans, wheat and cotton.  Government is working on the resuscitation of cotton production in the forthcoming two seasons, by providing inputs to cotton farmers.  It is also part of the cotton resuscitation programmes to restructure the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe.

 

In the Livestock sector, Zimbabwe’s dairy industry is poised for further growth, as Government together with several industry players, is implementing comprehensive inclusive national milk production programmes that are set to ensure self sufficiency by 2020.  In 2015, milk production reached only 58 million litres against an estimated national demand of 120 million litres.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

It is pleasing to note that in 2016, mining generally performed positively, buoyed by favourable market prices, especially those of precious metals.  Cumulative declared mineral export shipments to June 2016, totalled US$981.4 million, contributing 63.4 per cent of national export proceeds, and the major earners being gold, platinum, diamond, ferrochrome and nickel.  Gold production by our artisanal miners has been steadily rising since the US$100 million support facility for the sector.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

I am pleased to note the tremendous progress achieved so far in accelerating the Ease of Doing Business, thereby promoting both domestic and foreign investment.  The recent promulgation of the Special Economic Zones Act should provide greater impetus to the country’s economic turnaround by facilitating foreign direct investment inflows, industrialisation, technology transfer, employment creation and increased export receipts. 

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

For the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) Social Partners, as a collective, time is ripe for them to vigorously pursue the Social Contract, as agreed in the Kadoma Declaration.  Investor friendly measures to boost confidence, productivity and competitiveness, should be strengthened, while the key tenets of good corporate governance and policy consistency are also vigorously pursued.  I therefore urge all the social partners, primarily Government, Business and Labour, to work together to reduce the cost of doing business.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

Tourism continues to experience tremendous growth and development.  During the first half of 2016, Zimbabwe recorded a total of 902 435 tourist arrivals, receiving a significant increase from Asia and America.   The average national room occupancy rate has marginally increased from 41per cent to 42 per cent.  By year end, it is forecast that Zimbabwe will record 2.5 million tourist arrivals, which contributes to the GDP per cent.  The peace and tranquillity that we enjoy as a country positively contributes to the success achieved in tourism.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker, Sir,

 

The Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Ministry plays a vital role in the growth of our economy.  Government capacitates this sector through training, infrastructure provision, marketing and the creation of linkages and entrepreneurship development.  In order to improve access to finance by SMEs and Cooperatives, Government approved the establishment of a microfinance bank under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation.  The bank will be capitalised through the issuance of Treasury Bills valued at US$10 million.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

In pursuit of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, Government has, since Independence, introduced programmes to empower women economically, socially and politically.  To this end, we have put high on the agenda the establishment of a Women’s Micro-Finance bank.  This will assist women to establish and grow their business in the various sectors of our economy.   It is incumbent upon Government to ensure that funds are availed in order for the bank to be operational.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

Government is concerned about the high levels of Gender Based Violence (GBV), particularly against women and girls.  In response, Zimbabwe Republic Police and Courts have collaborated in establishing an elaborate multi-sectoral gender based violence mechanism.   Victim Friendly systems are determined to fight gender based violence in all its forms.  Government appeals to churches and community leaders to take a leading role in shaping an appropriate social fabric and moral behaviour in our society.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

The 2015 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey results have shown an improved child mortality for the under 5’s,  and also an improved child nutrition status, with child stunting going down from 35 per cent  to 27 per cent; and an increased ante-natal care for pregnant women.  It is pleasing to note that such good results have been achieved at a low cost.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

This year the power supply in the country improved significantly, with minimal load shedding since the beginning of 2016.  This is largely due to measures which were instituted at the end of 2015, such as enhancing generation from Hwange Power Station and increasing imports from the region.  Government is also working on increasing local power generation to close the local power production deficit.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has designed a comprehensive Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education.  The Curriculum Framework aims at equipping learners with capacities for creativity, problem-solving, decision-making, entrepreneurial and collaborative skills and team building.  This prepares learners to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Arts, Visual and Performing Arts, Humanities and Languages, Design and Technology, and Commercials.

 

In order to promote human capital development, Government has begun implementing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) policy strategy.  The STEM initiative has seen the enrolment of over 5 000 students to study ‘A’ level Mathematics and any two science subjects.  This is aimed at the development of STEM skills to support Zimbabwe’s quest for industrialisation and modernisation.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

In line with ZIM ASSET objectives Government this year created 69 648 stands for the National Housing Delivery Programme.  It is also working on availing land to formerly disadvantaged groups, including Youths and Women, in support of Youth and Women Empowerment and Development programmes.  Government has also designated the Urban Development Corporation (UDCORP), to spearhead urban development in general and housing delivery in particular.  UDCORP is championing the development of stand-alone urban centres which will be developed in Chishawasha B, Knockmalloch near Norton, and Umvutcha in Bulawayo. 

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

Following the adoption by Government of the 2015 Civil Service Audit Report, the Public Service Commission aims to re-align, rationalise and restructure line Ministries and Government establishments.  The Commission is currently implementing a number of structural reforms including the abolition of redundant and vacant non-critical posts. It is also in the process of rationalising the duplications and overlaps of functions between and among some line Ministries, and is carrying out job reengineering, job enrichment and multi-skilling.  The resultant effect would be leaner and flatter structures that are economic and would thus enhance effective and quality service delivery.

 

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir,

 

Zimbabwe made history and left a permanent mark at both the regional and continental levels following our chairing of both SADC and the AU in 2014 and 2015.  The country championed the development and adoption of a regional industrialisation strategy hinged on value addition and beneficiation.  Zimbabwe also steered the adoption of the AU Agenda 2063, which is Africa’s development blueprint.  Meanwhile, we continue to call for the weaning of both SADC and the AU from overdependence on foreign funding, especially on critical issues of peace and security.

 

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

 

Zimbabwe is proud of its Defence and Security Forces who consistently execute their Constitutional mandate of safeguarding the country’s national sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, peace and stability.  Externally, the Zimbabwe Security and Defence Forces contribute to international peace and stability by participating in United Nations, African Union and SADC peace support initiatives.

 

Madam President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

 

Let me conclude by paying tribute to our peace loving people, who have endured all manner of economic hardships since we embarked on the historic Land Reform Programme.  I wish to commend them for their resilience, and urge them to cherish the peace and tranquillity that continues to be the envy of many.  Let us continue to find national pride in our core values of unity, hard work and freedom.  But lest we forget, let us pray to the Almighty to graciously open the heavens for more rain this season!

 

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

 

I wish to take this opportunity to wish the Nation an accident free Festive Season and a Happy and Prosperous 2017.

 

Tatenda!

Siyabonga!

I thank you.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 68TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENT UNION

          First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the delegation to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th December, 2016.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE STATUS OF CHILDREN’S HOMES

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on the status of Children’s Homes.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th December, 2016.

MOTION

SECOND REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Early Child Marriages.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MANYERUKE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to support the motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Makore on the information gathered during public hearings on early child marriages.  This touches us as a nation, especially where these incidences are rampant like in our province, Mashonaland Central, which is said to have the highest rate of early child marriages.  This is a concern to many parents because these days, children do not listen to their parents, neither do they pay attention to the guidance received from elders.    The Word of God, the Bible says that ‘obedience is better than sacrifice,’ because if one listens they get help and live well.

However, when children learnt about children’s rights, they began to misinterpret the word ‘abuse’ and it is becoming problematic especially in my constituency.  In school, a child may not understand every other English word, but the word ‘abuse,’ is well known by every child – [HON. SENETORS: Hear, hear.] – it is a problem to parents.  The children are not even aware of what the word ‘abuse’ implies in their lives.  If you counsel a child, he/she views it as abuse.  For example, if you ask them to dress with dignity, they view it as abuse – [Laughter.] – So, this word is becoming a nuisance.  We need academic professors to come up with a well thought definition so that the children may appreciate the proper meaning of the word ‘abuse,’ otherwise it could be an abbreviation of something unknown to us – [Laughter.] –

We in Mashonaland Central, particularly in Muzarabani Constituency where I come from, these issues are common.  Small children, particularly those we classify as living in poverty have their academic welfare taken care of by donor organisations such as the Campaign for Female Education (Camfed), so that they are able to access education.  Most of them are orphans who do not have both parents and yet they are the ones who are shunning school during the early stages of their education like in Grade Five or Seven.  As the year comes to an end like this, most of them are impregnated.  If these children are interrogated by their guardians to explain why they get pregnant when they know that their academic welfare is being taken care of by donor organisations and Government, they view that as abuse – [Laughter.] – they even approach the police to report their grandparents or guardians against abuse.

So, as parents, we have huge problems in our households and we hold grudges over the children we have and the orphans who were left in our guardianship.  We toil day and night in order to make sure that these children are well taken care of in terms of their education, clothing and food, but they do not appreciate that effort.  They think that when you do that, you are the worst enemy in their lives and yet they spoil their future. 

I appeal to this august House to come up with solutions on what should be done when a girl child elopes before they reach the lawful age of marriage, for example, if my child elopes to Hon. Makore’s home and Hon. Sen. Makore insists that the culture requires us to pay a bride price in marriage.  We need to put our heads together so that the law is aligned accordingly since culturally, if we just live with a girl who would have eloped without marrying her, if she eventually dies, we face the problem of avenging spirits.  It is also unlawful for the girl’s parents to receive the bride price for marriage if the child is under the lawful age of marriage.  So, there is a lot of inconsistencies and as parents, our hands are tied because the children are not obedient – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – It is so touching because we are no longer living in the past where a girl child used to be given away in marriage soon after birth due to poverty and hunger but it was also done according to our proper cultural practices, which is different from what is happening now.  Nowadays, children have found a scapegoat by reporting to the police that they are being abused because they do not want to be stopped from engaging in immoral activities.

They only see things from their own side and they do not see the other side.  These children are failing to see that their parents are working very hard to improve their lives.  Even with this STEM programme, they are not looking at it as something good but, they only see the bad side.  They will be mocking everyone from their aunts to the teachers.  So, as the Senate, we are pleading that this needs to be really looked into and we ask the Lord to intervene so that our children understand that they do not know some of these things.  I want to thank you Mr. President for the time that you have accorded me.

          HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th December, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 39TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. D.T. KHUMALO:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to debate this motion.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi and Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa for bringing this report to the House.  There were a few interesting sections which I am going to debate on today.  I was interested in the section that deals with early marriages which we have already been discussing in here.  When I was watching on television, I was also interested in the discussions on the issue of early marriages and that SADC was coming up with a model law that might be adopted by the SADC member countries.

          My interest in these early marriage issues is that, it has been recognised that, an educated woman brings up a healthy, clean and well fed family that is an empathy of the communities also emulating what they are seeing in the clean home, the clean and well fed children.  So, if we educate our women, SADC has seen that the community or the country which has educated women, those women make the whole community and even the country to be educated because women are an example within a home.

          I also had an interest in that, if we delay the marriage of the girls, they would continue with their schooling and that means, their children will have a better nutritional status.  We would have reduced wasting and stunting.  The women will be able to also feed their families properly and that would mean that the communicable diseases which we are talking about will be reduced.  We notice that there is an increase in diabetes, high blood pressure and cancers.  Why are there increases in these diseases?  We are having these increases because of the life that we are now living.  If we eat properly like in the olden days, we do not have such diseases.  Therefore, if girls are delayed in marriages, they will be educated and be able to feed their families.  They will encourage people in the community to also exercise because some of these diseases are because people are just eating and not exercising.  Therefore, there is need to encourage the girl child to go to school.

          Also, the refined foods which we are proud of and are eating - especially us Parliamentarians, when we go home, we look shiny and very well.  The communities think that we are very well when in actual fact we are also eating wrongly because we lack the understanding.  If we had been given the advice within our homes by our wives and daughters who are educated, we would be taking this seriously and looking at the diet that we eat so that we live healthy.

          The problem which I see because of women getting married early is, we also understand that health itself is affected by living and eating properly.  Therefore, there will be less absenteeism at workplaces.  So, there is need for economic development in the country.  Absenteeism at work will not always be there and productivity will be effective because of the educated women and wives within the surroundings.  I am therefore saying, SADC understands very well that these are important issues.  So, let us continue educating our girls and reduce early marriages.

          I will also say, the educated woman herself is able to come up with a job to employ other people.  If you produce good work yourself, you are then able to employ other people as well.  You may find that most of the street vendors who are keeping this country running at the present moment, left school after having acquired some skills.  That is why they are able to sit in the streets and come up with some jobs where they can employ other people so that they can feed their families.  If you have been unable to go to school and your children are dirty and you are unable to feed them, you feel embarrassed.  You might find that those women who are in the streets have some form of education, therefore, they have continued with educating their families.  While we are only talking on the issue of girls, I am a gender person.  I think most of the people in the SADC region, who are coming up with these ideas are gender conscious.  We should also look at the boy child.  We need not delay their education. 

          What I have found these days is, there is more concentration on the girl, sidelining the boy.  When a girl is raped, we see it in the television, newspapers and all forms of media.  They are advised to go for advice somewhere, what about the boy child?  The boy children are being sodomised.  They are being given drugs, nobody says anything about them.  They are our children as well; we have to look after them.  In one of the streets in Bulawayo, there are two boys who have been sodomised in a short space of time.  They ended up at Engutsheni because there are no social services that look after the boys and counsel them. They end up mentally disturbed because there are no people to help them.  Can there be a drive as well for the boy child.  They are also in serious trouble.  People are even ashamed to talk about their sexually abused boys.  I think we need to look at those children as well, they are in trouble.

          One of the sodomised boys is even saying when I see all these men who I live with, I think they might abuse me as well.  When these children are taken to such places, they should not be mixed with adults because these children are under stress; not sleeping because they are afraid of the old people with whom they are staying with at Engutsheni.  I am saying let us look after both children.  Gender is not women; gender is both boys and girls.

          I thank the Zimbabwe Government on the issue of women because women are also getting high posts.  Nobody can argue about that.  My only problem is that they are not being made heads of boards.  Parastatals, very few of them have women who are in charge.  Why can we not have women who are in charge of parastatals?  Government boards, why are we not having women as Chairpersons of those boards?  Those are few areas I could say, may be we are a bit lagging behind but generally, we are doing well in Zimbabwe.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MASUKU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th December, 2016.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. BHOBHO:  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion which was raised by Senator Nyambuya on the Presidential Speech, which he presents to us each and every year.  I find these speeches very important to the nation of Zimbabwe.       Our leader was chosen so that he would lead this nation with wisdom.  Each time he thinks of good things that should be done to his people, he brings it to Parliament.  He has the pleasure to deliver these speeches to this nation.

          I have a few words which he talked about concerning the old people.  There should be a law concerning the old people so that they are given the respect that they deserve.  Even in banks, old people should not stand in queues together with the young people.  They should be served first before the rest of the people have been attended to.  You find that most of the time, our President finds it fitting that the elderly should not stand in queues for a long time as this is not good for old people.

          This Senate comprises of mature people.  So, we want to thank our President who has the wisdom to think that this should be put into law that everyone should be aware of it.  When we get to certain places, old people deserve their respect.

          The President also touched on our leaders; our chiefs.  Each time when he comes to deliver his Speech, he does not forget to address the chiefs.  He emphasises that we should go back to our culture of respecting our chiefs. Whatever we are facing is because we are not respecting our chiefs because that is our roots; that is where we come from as a nation.  If we respect the chiefs of this nation, all the things will be placed in order and life will be easy for us because when we respected the chiefs in the old days, that is how we got our independence.  This is how we came to have our President R. G. Mugabe, who is governing us in a good way, always thinking of his people and what they want.  This can be recognised from his Presidential Speeches.

          Even as wise as he is, he comes down to this House so that we move together as a nation.  These are the few words that I got when he delivered his Speech.  I think we should listen very attentively to what he says because it helps us together with our children for us to have a good nation which is governable or which can be governed by our President who was ordained by God.  Thank you Mr. President.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th December, 2016.

          On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Ten Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.   

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 06 DECEMBER 2016 VOL 26 NO 17