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SENATE HANSARD 07 MARCH 2019 VOL 28 NO 36

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 7th March, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

SENSITISATION WORKSHOP ON CLIMATE CHANGE

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to remind Hon. Senators of the Sensitisation Workshop on Climate Change being organised by Parliament of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for Members of the following Committees;

a)    Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.

b)   Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism and

c)    Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

All Committee Chairpersons are also invited to this Workshop.  The Workshop will be held at the Rainbow Towers on Friday, 8th March, 2019 starting at 0800 hours.  All participants must be punctual. 

APPOINTMENT OF THE PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: May I also inform the House that on Monday, 18th February, 2019, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders nominated the following Hon. Members to serve in the Privileges Committee;

·       Hon. Sen. F. Z. Chief Charumbira;

·       Hon. I. Gonese;

·       Hon. C. Madiwa;

·       Hon. T. Mavetera;

·       Hon. P. Mpariwa:

·       Hon. Dr. M. Nyashanu; and

·       Hon. J. Samukange.

The Committee’s terms of reference are as follows;

a)    to investigate whether Hon. T. Mliswa, Hon. L. Chikomba, Hon. A. Ndebele and Hon. P. D. Sibanda solicited for a bribe of $400 000 from Mr. James R. Goddard as facilitation fee for him to secure a mining contract at Hwange Colliery Company;

b)   if so established that the concerned Members of Parliament indeed solicited for a bribe, to then determine whether the conduct of the four members constituted a breach of privilege amounting to contempt of Parliament;

c)    To report in writing its findings and recommendations to the House on 15th March, 2019.

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I have a list of Ministers who have sought leave of absence.  They are -

·       Hon. K. Coventry - Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ;

·       Hon. Y. Simbanegavi  - Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation;

·       Hon. P. Mupfumira - Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;

·       Hon. R. Modi - Deputy Minister, Industry and Commerce; and

·       Hon. Prof. P. Mavima – Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.

          May I welcome the Ministers who are present; some of them had not been attending Senate for quite a long time.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. SEN. CHIEF NEMBIRE:  My, question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water Climate and Rural Resettlement.  Most of our areas in Zimbabwe are affected by drought.  I am asking the Hon. Minister to explain measures they are putting in place in order to carry out cloud seeding in the farming areas.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO). Thank you Madam Speaker.  Government has put in place cloud seeding measures.  Unfortunately, the conditions prevailing currently are not favourable for cloud seeding to yield any meaningful rains.  That is why the programme has been put on hold as of now until such a time when the ITCZ is over our country and other conditions are favourable to cloud seeding, it will be commenced.  Thank you Madam President.

          *HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Mudyiwa.  We were thinking that the black market for petrol and diesel is over after the raising of prices but, I do not know which plans you have in place that we can get diesel and petrol so that the prices of fuel do not go up.  Now queues have resurfaced for us to get diesel and petrol.  What plans do you have because we are tired of hearing the same story over and over again?  We heard that you have paid $6 million but still it has not helped the situation.  Thank you. 

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Let me thank the Hon. Senator for her question in line with the shortage of diesel and petrol in Zimbabwe.  The prices of fuel have gone up and I think all of us thought things were now okay but it was short-lived because the queues resurfaced, the reason being that if we create a gap, if we do not get enough foreign currency for us to pay for fuel, those are some of the reasons why we have long queues. 

But, because your question is about what plans we have in future to end this problem of fuel, we are doing a lot of things. As the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, we put plans in place but those who buy fuel are others.  Even those who deal with fuel are under our Ministry.  The other plan that we have in place is, I think you have heard from the Minister and the Permanent Secretary that we have liberalised the importing of fuel that big companies like mining companies, those who have free funds which they can use to import fuel are now allowed to do that.  Through that, you will see that the problem will be lessened in Zimbabwe. 

On top of that, we will also look at our NOSTRO accounts that in our foreign currency reserves, we do not have any shortages so that we will continue buying fuel and collect it from our depots in Msasa.  If there are queues, it is not a sign that there is no fuel but the fuel is bonded, which means that we cannot take it before paying.  That is what causes these queues to resurface. 

          On top of that, the service stations are now allowed to import fuel.   So because of that, I think this fuel shortage will be short-lived.  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHABUKA:  Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank the Minister for answering my question.  I heard her saying that the owners of filling stations are now allowed to fuel for their filling stations.  That is very good but my question is that if they are importing fuel on their own, is it not a sign that the prices will go up? 

*HON. MUDYIWA:  Thank you Madam President.  Even if we allow them to import fuel into the country, that is why we are there as the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and through ZERA, we monitor such things.  Service stations used to import fuel but something did not go well in-between, that is why we stopped it and it was now centralised on the Government.  However, we are still looking at that and ZERA will be out in full force looking at such things.  We do not expect fuel prices to go up but when things like that happen, there are some culprits but we will be out there in full force so that we try to be within our limit and contain the prices at the current cost.

*HON. SEN. MAVETERE: Thank you Minister for explaining but I remember we heard the Minister coming up with good promises that we have secured fuel for two years. Is the Hon. Deputy Minister in conflict with the statement that was given to the whole nation? We want to find out where that money was channelled to.

*HON. MUDYIWA: Yes we heard that but we engaged each other with the Minister and we came to a conclusion that was not what he meant. As a Ministry we have plans to facilitate and one of the plans is that we want to secure money for fuel but it is not in place at the moment.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NGEZI: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines. What plans do you have as Government  when you have a disaster like the one that struck at Battlefields? People died because we did not have the means to pump out water from the mines. How is the Government prepared so that when disasters like that strike, it will be easy as the pumps with be within reach?

* THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): I want to thank Chief Ngezi for such a pertinent question. First of all, let me start by correcting Chief Ngezi because we did not have any problems in securing pumps to pump out water but the problem was on the size of the shafts. The shafts that these artisan miners do are very small. Some of them are 1 m x 1 m or 1 m x 0,5 cm but the pumps that we got were too big and could not get into the shafts. The one that we tried only went for about 10 m and could not go any further. So, we ended up using small pumps which could go into the shafts.

I think when you got there, you realised that in one shaft we could put about 2 or 3 shafts to pump out the water. That is the challenge that we faced. We got pumps from Zimplats, RioZim and Afrochine but the pumps were big. As Government we were ready like I said before. We were the first to respond but the challenge that we faced was that of the shafts that were small.

What we are doing from henceforth is that we are holding awareness campaigns where we tell them the minimum standards that we allow to be dug. Our inspectors will also come, supervising and checking whether people are adhering to those standard. We look forward to having teams called proto teams that will react to such emergency cases. Although we have Civil Protection Units in the provinces, we want to beef them with these proto teams. We get the proto teams from our big mines like Zimplats (5 people), RioZim (5 people) and Afrochine (3 people) so that in case of any emergency those are the people who first go with equipment.

We are not looking at water only but we are also looking at a situation where these small mines can collapse because they do not support the shafts. So those teams will be looking at such things in cases where disaster may strike.

*HON. SEN CHIEF CHIKWAKWA: Looking at cancer which has about 200 types. I want to ask the Minister what plans he has in line with cancer where there is no awareness, like prostate cancer. Also, on the issue of machines which are lying idle and we are told need about US$57 000. As Ministry what are they doing so that these machines can help people and you cannot say your country does not have US$57 000 to resuscitate those machines.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): I want to thank the Chief for such a pertinent question which gives us an opportunity to educate each other. Yes, you can say it is $57 000 and you think that it is little money but where it comes from they are saying it is not enough. That is where the problem is at this moment. The shortage of foreign currency is real. If we are saying we do not have foreign currency it means we do not have it. It is very painful for us in the medical field when we see people in the hospitals in difficult situations, especially when it comes to cancer, it is a disease that we are looking at as a Ministry.  We want all the cancer patients to get help. It is one of those chronic diseases which is very deadly.  We have received some letters and we have asked for money to repair the machines that we have.  I really appreciate your question Hon. Senator because it is also going to help us to get money.  I am also appealing to those who are watching, especially the RBZ; we are hoping to see them coming saying we have heard your plea and we know how difficult it is for you as a Ministry.

          Dear colleagues, people only start to run around if they are the ones who are directly affected.  So, we want to help each other that we should get a chance of getting money which is channeled towards chronic diseases.  The situation is the same with those who are affected by kidneys, for them to have dialysis, they should pay $200.00 and now because things have changed because of foreign currency shortages, they now want to increase up to $300. I had to stop that because how can people just wake up and change prices when us from the Ministry are there.  So, we want everyone who wants to increase to approach us and give their justifications.  They are not the only ones affected but all of us.  So, let us maintain our low prices so that we control so that we will be able to put into place everything that is in our country.

          This issue of cancer is an ongoing process; we want everyone to be aware that cancer is rampant these days.  The researchers are working very hard that they can get medicines to prevent cancer.  I was reading a few days ago on what is happening; there is this new thing called STEM Cell technology which is helping cancer patients.  However, I am not announcing that this is helping but this is a research that is being done so that we can curb this cancer menace.  At least this will give us some hope and we will have a way forward.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: What about the awareness of cancer in men that is prostate cancer.  It seems much is being said on cervical and breast cancer in women.

          HON. DR. O. MOYO: Thank you for reminding me Madam President.   As men, we always think that cancer is mainly rampant in women but we also have prostate cancer for men and also breast cancer in men and not only women’s breasts.  Cancer can just grow on any part of the body, so it is a good thing that we are educating each other.

          We encourage elderly men to visit their clinics for checkups of their prostate and it is a programme that is in the pipeline.  That is why we talk about primary health care which starts from villages up to rural health centres.  We have village health, rural health centre, district, provincial and central health care centres – all those are places which we want people to be taught and screened for cancer.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: We have got three machines that we are talking about, two at Parirenyatwa, one in Bulawayo.  Madam President, the foreign currency that we want, we can get it from tourists because these are state of the art machines.  So, when we talk about supplementary budget, where is the money directed to? Recently we had an outbreak of cholera and many people offered help to an extent that as Parliamentarians we also received prevention offered by those who were helping.  So, how come we do not have partners sourced by the Ministry of Health to help us prevent and provide health care on this deadly disease?  Where is the challenge?

          HON. DR. O MOYO: Thank you Madam President, I have had what the Hon. Senator has said.  The machine at Harare Hospital, Parirenyatwa and Bulawayo are the three big machines that we have.  Right now, we are busy making sure that those machines are resuscitated.  We are busy getting into partnerships because those investors have got foreign currency.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Hon. Minister, I have heard you clearly that you have a challenge of foreign currency to repair those machines.  We are crying that we cannot get US$57 000 from the Minister of Finance yet we are saying health is more important than anything else, so what plans do you have to repair all the machines?  From Chiredzi to Masvingo, there is only one X-ray machine which is working.  An elderly lady was involved in an accident but could not get help because there was no X-ray machine. This means the country has full of machines which are not working.  We are looking at the ease of doing business but we should look at how people can survive without X-ray in the whole province.  I thank you.

          HON. DR. O. MOYO: I am very grateful for the narration given by the Hon. Member of Parliament.  When we are talking of shortages of foreign currency, this is a problem.  I will repeat so that you may conceptualise what I am saying.  I am saying regardless of the shortage of foreign currency, we are trying our utmost best to get these machines working.  We also hold talks with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and you have told me that there are many industries and other areas that need that foreign currency.  What we should know is that limited foreign currency is for everybody. It is not a prerogative of the Health Ministry only and we know we need this foreign currency.  Let me emphasise that as a Ministry, we are now encouraging joint venture partnerships with investors.  The advantage of having investors is that they come into the country, bring in foreign currency and equipment and they rehabilitate and refurbish our equipment and modernise our archaic equipment.  In that way, we both benefit.  This is not an overnight venture but it takes time. We have to plan, make arrangements and make agreements so that we have progress and this bears fruit.  I will tell you when we have succeeded in these endeavours, everybody will be very happy regarding the treatment of patients and diagnosis.  What you asked is part of the solutions that we are working on in improving the health system in our country and acquisition of ultra modern equipment is our priority and prerogative.  Most of the equipment we are using is now 20 years old.  This means technically, it is very remote and very archaic.  What we want is for our health personnel to be equipped with modern equipment for their benefit... 

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Minister, please address the Chair and not individual MPs.

*HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Madam President, I was very happy when Members were asking questions pertaining to health because when we made our investigations and research, we were very much dismayed by the condition of our equipment.  As I have said, it is archaic.  We need ultra modern equipment which is up to date.  As I stated, we are waiting for investors to come in.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI:  Madam President, in our culture, we talk of the importance of health before we embark on making way for the dead.  My question is, Hon. Minister, have you heard that when you bought the health machines in 2011, they were told that they would need $2 million to be paid for five years so that they can be able to service and maintain this new equipment in good condition. 

HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Madam President, may the Hon. Member come out into the open and tell us which organisation he is talking about that has received machines in 2011.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Yes, Hon. Sen. Wunganayi, please can you explain?

HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI:  Madam President, we are talking about cancer machines which is at Parirenyatwa and Bulawayo hospitals.  This is the equipment I am talking about.  As a Minister, I do not think he has forgotten that he bought equipment for such organisations, he is quite an intelligent man. 

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  When we say, you should address the Chair, the reason is that if you target each other in these discussions like the way you are talking, you will end up exchanging ugly words.  Therefore, let us behave like mature Members of this august House.  I thank you.

HON. DR. MOYO:  Madam President, I am very grateful to this Hon. Member.  He has explained and he has talked about particular cancer machines.  I need to go back and make a research so that I can give a comprehensive report.  I think the best would be for the Hon. Member to give me time and look at the cancer machines bought in 2011 so that I give a proper response.  You know very well that I was not a Member of Parliament, not even a Minister.

HON. S. NCUBE:  Thank you Madam President.  Though my questions have been asked... 

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Are you bringing in a supplementary question.

HON. S. NCUBE:  No, it is not a supplementary question.  I was saying, though my questions have been asked, I am bringing in a new question but under the Ministry of Health.  Minister, have you had any budget for the cancer machines that are in Bulawayo and Parirenyatwa.  Two machines have never worked, they were only installed...

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Address the Chair Hon. Senator.

HON. S. NCUBE:  Madam President, there are two machines that are at Parirenyatwa Hospital that have never worked from 2011 and one machine was just installed but has never worked.  What is the Ministry doing about those machines?  They were installed but they have never worked.

*THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO):  Madam President, this is a repeat of the previous question that was asked by the other Senator.  I did ask for the leave of the House, to go and do my research so that I can give a comprehensive report when I next appear in this House.  If I try and respond to that now, I may not give the detailed information needed because Hon. Members have talked about the 2011 machines and I think I need time.  I thank you. 

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Minister, I ask you to give us the answer in detail and I think this will give you time to make your research so that when you come back you will give us a comprehensive report and this will be of some help to this Hon. Senate.

*HON. CHIRONGOMA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands.  What is Government policy regarding the way the cattle are dying because the dipping programme is not functioning?  How can we protect cattle from dying?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): Thank you Madam President.  This is a very pertinent question and we know most of the cattle are dying from tick-borne diseases.  This is a headache to all farmers and we do agree that many herds of cattle have died because of this tick-borne disease.  As Government, we will not sit down and watch these cattle dying.  We are going to increase the number of dip tanks in these areas.  The biggest problem in the failure of these dip tanks to be operational is we were not able to pay for the chemicals that we use in these dip tanks.  It gives me great pleasure to inform this august Senate that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is in the process of disbursing about $3 million for the purchase of chemicals for use in these different dip tanks and fight these tick borne diseases.  I know the problem we have is obtaining foreign currency.  As stated before, foreign currency is derailing our plans. 

          We also talked about the treatment of diseases faced by the cattle.  We are now encouraging farmers to be protective of their cattle and use them as an asset.  If a farmer has about a hundred cattle, please sell about two or three herd of cattle and buy medication for vaccinating the other remaining 98 cattle.  We know it is Government’s responsibility to protect the farmer and his cattle but there are times whereby we have to use our own initiative, with the farmer taking the initiative of selling this asset.  Cattle are an asset and farming is a business.  Thank you. 

          *HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA:  Thank you Madam President.  I am directing my question to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement regarding the death of cattle.  It is very painful because cattle are a source of wealth to the Africans.  Last week, farmers were told to bring their cattle to the dip tanks.  From what we know, this is a trick so that when farmers bring their cattle to the dip tanks, they are enumerated.  When they are enumerated, farmers will be asked to pay tax for each herd of cattle.  What pains farmers is that when these farmers pay the tax, Government will simply collect and leave the farmers without money to buy any vaccines and dipping chemicals.  That is why the Minister is now urging farmers to buy their own dipping chemicals which is supposed to be Government’s responsibility. 

          *HON. KARORO:  Madam President, I am mesmerised by what has been said by the Hon. Senator.  The Hon. Senator is saying we are telling lies, so what we may advise you is to go back to the constituencies and check on farmers who heard those lies.  The Hon. Member is saying farmers were urged to bring their cattle to the dip tanks so that when they collect the taxes, they simply go out into the darkness without supplying the necessary service.  Madam President, this is only happening in her area because in other provinces we did not hear of that.  May she please supply me with the name of the area where this happened; the dip tank and the district so that we know the Veterinary officers who are asking farmers to bring their cattle. 

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Member, please put your question in writing and state the details of where you come from and where this invitation was extended to farmers. 

          *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  Thank you Madam President.  I am directing my question to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  We had a very big problem in Mashonaland West where we have people who died in the accident which happened in Kadoma area.  Hon. Minister, what plans have you put in place so that these artisanal miners carry out their mining activities safely and operate legally? 

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA):  I thank the Hon. Senator for the question.  What I may advise is that we have not put any new laws but we already have laws that are in operation relating to safety of these farmers.  We are talking about miners who were involved in an accident in the areas of Battlefields.  These miners had been warned by the Environmental Management Agency that they should stop mining but they continued mining despite that warning.  What we are saying as Government is, maybe when we issue such warnings we should see whether people are adhering to our policies and if they continue doing these illegal mining activities, then we involve the police force to arrest them. 

          HON. SEN. S. MPOFU:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. O. Moyo.  What is Government policy on preventing the smuggling or importation of counterfeit drugs into the country?  What measures are there to stop such medicine being sold on the black market?  Thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO):  Thank you Madam President.  Thank you Hon. Senator for that very educational question.  We encourage people to stay away from buying medicines which are being sold on the streets.  It is very dangerous but you will continue finding these people coming through.  However, we are working together with the police department to ensure that those who try to smuggle drugs are apprehended.  The ZRP has got a department which deals strictly with that and they are working in conjunction with our Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe. 

So, I just want to thank the Senator for that question because some people think that if they get medicines which are cheaper in the streets, they think that they are doing themselves a favour they are actually doing themselves harm by taking those medicines. You could end up with some permanent conditions as a result of taking those counterfeit medicines.  When we say counterfeit medicines, sometimes those medicines might even not be effective. They will fill up the capsules with ash and you think that you are taking a proper antibiotic or if they want to cheat even better, they will fill it up with powdered paracetamol.  That is very common, so that you feel some relief of pain because of that paracetamol which you will be thinking it is probably an effective antibiotic.  It is encouraged Madam President, and I am happy that this is a live session, we also want the constituents to know that they must not buy medicines off the streets. There might be shortages of medicines in Zimbabwe and there might be some unscrupulous pharmacies who might be selling medicines at high prices and people resort to go and buy medicines off the streets - we do not recommend that. We are actually going to set up a blitz on all those people who are selling medicines off the streets.

          Those are fake medicines and they are medicines which are not supposed to be given willy-nilly. Medicines have to be prescribed and we have to be absolutely careful on what we ingest as humans in terms of medicines. It must be the correct medicines. I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. SINAMPANDE: Madam President, we are asking for the extension of time to the Questions Without Notice for 15 minutes.

          HON. CHINAKE: I second.

          *HON. FEMAI:  Thank you Madam President. Let me start by explaining.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Can you start by posing your question?

          *HON. FEMAI: That is where I am going. Madam President, if I do not give a narration of what I want to ask they may not understand me.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: This is Question Time, and so please just ask your question. The time for debating will come later. My question was going to come from my narration because you cannot just scratch seeing what bites you.

          *HON. SEN. ZIVIRA: I am directing my question to the Minister of Health and Child Care. The Minister has explained that there is going to be an awareness programme for people to be tested for cancer. Supposing there are lots of people who have been attacked by cancer when we have so many cancer machines which are out of order, it means most of these people will end up going to queue at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think this question is no longer relevant because you are coming to the same question. So, you do not have to ask the same question in different ways. We have talked of the breakdown of machines. So, my apologies please.     

         *HON. SEN. GUMPO: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. I do not know whether he has heard that Kariba Hospital has been burnt by fire. The dispensary has been destroyed and all the medicines have been burnt. All the X-ray machines and offices are burnt.

          *THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): Yes, Madam President, we have heard the news. It is sad that our hospitals are burnt down. Last month Mbuya Nehanda was destroyed by fire and now it is Kariba. The fire started in the pharmacy and they are saying it is an electrical fault. It spread to the X-ray department and another section which was burnt down. They were burnt down to ashes. With the shortage of foreign currency, we are now in a dire situation and so we are now engaging our partners UN and WHO. Thank you Hon. Senator and I think that is where he comes from.

          *HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: We have noticed that most of the machines in these hospitals are breaking down and we have fires starting at these hospitals. Are these hospitals fully prepared for fighting such fires because we need to have fire extinguishers? I am asking this question because in most cases when the Fire Brigade comes to such scenes of fire, they do not have equipment to put out those fires.

          *HON. DR. O. MOYO: Yes, Madam President. In all our hospitals, there is no hospital which is allowed to operate without fire fighting equipment. All this equipment will be there and the water will be there. We may have problems when these fire fighters come to extinguish the fires when they do not have water but as health institutions, it is part of our regulations that each and every hospital should have functioning fire extinguishers which are checked every quarter on functionality and see if they can be used for such disasters.

          *HON. SEN. ZIVIRA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. At the Passport Offices, a lot of people are applying for these passports and yet the workers are very few. People get up very early in the morning and leave late without getting any services. What is the Ministry doing to curb this problem?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Madam President. I thank the Hon. Senator for asking this pertinent question. We know that we have a lot of people who have applied for passports. Let me put this on record. The problem is not on the shortage of workers but on the accessories and equipment needed for the manufacture and printing of passports. The main problem in this issue is foreign currency which should be used in purchasing stationery for printing these passports. As a result, we have fewer people who are allocated these passports and many people are turned away empty handed.

          *HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Ministers are saying there is a shortage of foreign currency but Zimbabwe is endowed with a lot of diamonds. Are these diamonds not able to give us enough foreign currency for our services?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA):  As miners, we mine these diamonds and take them to the Minerals Marketing Authority of Zimbabwe and they take these to the Reserve Bank.  So, I would advise you Hon. Member to put your question writing.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House. In the old dispensation, we had problems with the food distribution programme in rural areas and members of the opposition were denied access to food. The food was disbursed on partisan lines.  As far as we are concerned, as of now, because of the El Nino effect, there is going to be a lot of drought.

          My question is - what is Government policy regarding the distribution of food to people who will be suffering without practising partisan politics?  What is Government’s policy - because we have already started disbursing food handouts to people?

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you very much for the question on the distribution of drought relief to people suffering from hunger, especially in rural areas.  We not only distribute in rural areas but, we have also been distributing in urban areas.  As Government, we distribute food to everybody within the country and we do not discriminate according to race, colour, creed or partisan lines.  In rural areas, the Government works through the existing channels such as chieftainship, councillors and the names of the householders to benefit are written down and the food is distributed according to that plan.  If ever there is anybody who is distributing food against these guidelines, then that is illegal.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  The question was, if food is going to be distributed now, are you going to give food to everybody?  The Hon. Member wants to hear the plans which you have.

          *HON. ZIYAMBI:   Government has not changed its policy.  Ever since we started food distribution, we did not distribute food handouts according to partisan lines, but what we looked at was, are you part of the people who were written down as beneficiaries in these villages.  Maybe the problem which is faced by Hon. Sen. Komichi is that we have people concentrated belonging to one party in those areas.  So as far as he is concerned, when he asked those people receiving food, he thinks that they are only giving to people of the same party, yet everybody is a beneficiary. – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, Hon. Senators, you should allow the Minister to finish answering the question which has been asked and if you do not agree or you feel that the question has not been answered properly, you have a right to ask a supplementary question.  Let us have order in the House.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PROTECTION OF ZRP OFFICERS AGAINST ARMED CRIMINALS

          16.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to state measures being taken to protect the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers against armed criminals. 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO):  Thank you Mr. President.  I thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the question. 

          Mr. President, I wish to point out from the onset that, my Ministry is indeed concerned with incidences in which police officers are harmed by criminals during the execution of their constitutional mandate.  My Ministry strongly condemns such acts of narrow mindedness and barbarism.

I want to assure the Hon. Senator that, the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers are trained to maintain law and order and to protect property.  In the performance of their duties, the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers have to confront armed criminals, at times and in order to do so, the police officers are trained in weapon handling and self defence.  Periodic refresher courses are also taken by the police officers to keep them abreast with changes in criminals’ modus operandi.  Specific sections like the Criminal Investigation Department and the Support Unit normally pursue armed criminals such as poachers and armed robbers.  The officers will be armed and will take the necessary action to bring the criminals to book.

          However, officers from other sections may also encounter armed criminals and if they are also armed they will respond to the threat. If not, they will call for back-up. As national leaders, we should also inculcate in the minds of the citizenry that police officers need to be accorded the respect they deserve, particularly during execution of duty.

          As a Ministry and Government, we should continue to preach the gospel of peace and tolerance towards each other. In this regard, it is my fervent hope that unscrupulous elements in our society take heed. Thank you Mr. President.

SPREAD OF DISEASES ON CATTLE

19.   HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to explain to the House measures being taken to control the spread of cattle diseases in rural communities in Chegutu and Mhondoro areas.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): Cattle in Chegutu and Mhondoro are dying from tick-borne diseases because of shortage of dip chemicals. Dip chemical manufacturers are failing to access foreign currency to import raw materials. The Department of Veterinary Services is prioritising those areas with the little dip that becomes available. We are also urging farmers to dip their own cattle using registered chemicals from registered outlets. There are fake dip chemicals on the market. The Department of Veterinary Services has also conducted mobile clinics and treated more than 1000 cattle for free. Awareness campaigns are ongoing.

WHEAT BUYING PRICES AND PAYMENT MODALITIES

          20.   HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to inform the House the current wheat buying prices and payment modalities.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): The current producer price for wheat is $621.50 per metric tonne net (RTGs) and millers are purchasing the same at $407 per metric tonne. GMB is paying farmers through its Systems Application Procedures (SAP) system into their bank accounts in a similar manner as payments are made for maize deliveries.

RECONSTRUCTION OF DAM WALLS DESTROYED DURING THE PAST RAIN SEASON

          21.   HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to apprise the House when the reconstruction of dam walls which were destroyed during the previous rain season will commence.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): I will give a background to appraise the House in line with the question raised by Hon. Senator Chief Chundu. A total of about 266 dams were destroyed or extensively damaged by rainfall, especially during the 2016/17 flooding season. The total investment required for the rehabilitation of dams which were breached or damaged by Cyclone Dineo is approximately US$67 million. US$2 million was availed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development last year, 2018 (in September), to carry out the rehabilitation of prioritised dams, which implies there is a deficit of US$65 million.

          For the availed $2 million, rehabilitation work commenced on a total of 23 dams tabulated below (Table 1). However, due to the changing prices of key materials such as cement, the budgeted resources are no longer enough to complete the works. The Ministry is anticipating additional funds from the 2019 Budget for the continuation of the rehabilitation exercise.

          Apart from the $2 million facility, the Ministry has also been rehabilitating some of the community dams under the National Water Harvesting Programme through the Water Fund. Work was done at 33 community dams under the programme, with the rehabilitation work completed at dams such as Muchesu Dam, Ward 12 in Binga; Village 7 Dam in Ward 15, Bulilima and Chitowa Dam in Ward 6, Murehwa District.

          Table 1: Priority list of breached and damaged dams requiring rehabilitation

Province

District

Dam

Description/Nature of damage

Estimated Cost

Harare

Harare

Eyecourt

Repair of breached wall

$150 000

Manicaland

Mutasa

Odzani

Repair outlet works

$50 000

Manicaland

Mutasa

Smallbridge

Repair outlet works

$50 000

Manicaland

Mutare

Nahoon Estate

Repair damaged wall

$65 000

Mashonaland Central

Mazowe

Negomo

Repair dam and outlets

$75 000

Mashonaland Central

Mt. Darwin

Kangaire

Remove silt

$75 000

Mashonaland Central

Centenary

Mhene

Repair of breached wall

$100 000

Mashonaland East

Marondera

Efexdale

There is leakage under the spillway cill

$75 000

Mashonaland West

Kadoma

Claw

Repair radial gates

$125 000

Masvingo

Masvingo

Magudu

Repair of breached dam

$100 000

Masvingo

Chivi

Makonese

Repair dam, de-silt dam and outlets

$75 000

Masvingo

 

Zanada

Repair of damaged dam

$100 000

Masvingo

Chiredzi

Chipisa and Landsdowns

Repair of damaged wall

$120 000

Matebeleland North

Bulilima

Mananda

Removal of silt and repair of dam

$75 000

Matebeleland North

Bulawayo

Upper Umguza

Repair tilting gates and outlets

$85 000

Matebeleland South

Kezi

Valley

Dam repair and outlet replacement

$75 000

Matebeleland South

Insiza

Silalabuhwa

Dam repair and outlet replacement

$125 000

Matebeleland South

Gwanda

Tuli Makwe

Outlet replacement and rehabilitation of pumping infrastructure

$210 000

Matebeleland South

Beitbridge

Beitbridge 1 and 2

Maintenance of dam embankments and access road (excl grouting required on dam 2)

$70 000

Matebeleland North

Kwekwe

Exchange

Repair dam and outlets

$65 000

Midlands

Mberengwa

Mayoka

Repair of dam

$60 000

Midlands

Gweru

Mutorahuku

Remove silt and open outlet works buried by silt

$75 000

Sub-total

 

 

 

$2 000 000

 

RESUSCITATION OF SAND ABSTRACTION IN MUKUMBURA RIVER

          22.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to state when the Ministry will resuscitate sand abstraction in Mukumbura River in order to provide a constant water supply to Mukumbura Growth Point.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): I would like to inform Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi that Mukumbura River morphology was affected by the 2014 floods resulting in the changing of the river course into an entirely new channel and affecting the water abstraction point. As a result, there was need to relocate the abstraction point and due to landmines infested in the areas demining exercise was first required.

The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) was engaged to do the demining and the water supply was resuscitated in June, 2014. The whole centre started receiving constant water supply. However, in 2015 the yield of the borehole reduced significantly and very little water was being pumped and was not sufficient to meet the water requirements of the area. The pumping operations proved costly and were subsequently stopped. A hydro-geological assessment done showed that the area has very poor underground water potential.

          A new abstraction point has since been identified. However, as usual, demining is required before the work commences. The designs of the new system are now in place and work will commence as soon as the demining process is completed. The resuscitation of the system will cost approximately $900 000 and the Ministry is seized with the mobilising of funds to immediately embark on the project. Currently, the community is relying on water supply from a borehole drilled at Mukumbura Township.

RESTOCKING OF LIVESTOCK IN RESETTLEMENT AREAS

23.   HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement whether the Ministry has any plans to restock livestock in resettlement areas and to clarify whether it is permissible for A1 farmers to breed goats.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): The Government is pursuing the Command Livestock Programme which does not discriminate on type of farming area to be restocked. Both A1 and A2 farmers are permitted to breed goats. In actual fact, every farming sector is allowed to breed goats.

RESUMPTION OF THE WATER AND SANITATION PROGRAMME

24.   HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to advise when the Ministry would resume the Water and Sanitation Programme under which wells were dug in rural areas, thereby improving access to clean water.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): The Government, through the Ministry of Health and Child Care and District Development Fund (DDF), used to have programmes under which family wells were dug or blasted in rural areas. Targeted areas were Manicaland and Mashonaland provinces, due to the relatively high water tables. Now the focus has shifted to borehole drilling, piped water schemes rehabilitation/construction, equipping of deep wells and rehabilitation of mal-functional boreholes, due to the climate change scenario. Mainly communal water points are developed for the communities and households with capacity are encouraged to develop their own, in this case, wells. Various programmes are being undertaken in the rural areas where such development are realised (e.g. the Rural Wash Programme).

          The Ministry is also drilling boreholes in the rural areas under the National Water Harvesting Programme through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and the programme is also on-going and is being intensified in light of the expected El Nino induced drought this year. To achieve this intensification of the programme, $2 million has been allocated for the programme under the 2019 National Budget.

DDF used to have programmes under which family wells were dug or blasted in rural areas.  Targeted areas were Manicaland and Mashonaland Provinces due to the relatively high water tables.  Now, the focus has shifted to borehole drilling, piped water schemes, rehabilitation or construction of deep wells and rehabilitation of mal-functional boreholes due to climate change scenario.  Mainly communal water points are developed for the communities and households with capacity are encouraged to develop their own, in this case wells. Various programmes are being undertaken in the rural areas where such developments are realized, for example the rural watch programme.

          The Ministry is also drilling boreholes in the rural areas under the National Water Harvesting Programme through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority. The programme is also on going and is being intensified in light of the expected El Nino induced drought this year.  To achieve this intensification of the programme, two million dollars has been allocated for the programme under the 2019 National Budget.  I thank you

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

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 on Today’s Order Paper be stood over until all the Orders of the Day have been disposed off.

          HON. SEN. KHUPE: I second

MOTION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS SUFFERED BY ZIMBABWEANS

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion condemning all forms of violence.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. SIBANDA: I second

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th March, 2019.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 2017

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Annual Report.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. A. DUBE: I second

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

MOTION

IMPORTANCE OF INTERCROPPING AND GROWING OF SMALL GRAINS

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to educate the nation on the importance of inter-cropping and growing small grains.

     Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. GUMPO: Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to add my voice on the motion that was brought into this House on small grains.  The motion came at an appropriate time to us. As Members of the Senate, we have to take this motion very seriously.  However, one thing that I am happy about is that more of our female Members of Parliament in this House debated a lot on this which is an indication that this motion is very important when it comes to the lives of the people.

In my own view, I think we should give this motion a name to say all homes are homes because of a lady.  More of the female parliamentarians in this house debated and contributed a lot on this motion which is a sign of how important the motion is.  Women are the ones who take care of everyone in the homes and when we look at what is happening, we are experiencing a drought season which might be a warning to us.  So this is a motion that is very important which reminds us to look back on what our grandparents used to eat and what they used to feed us on. They used to feed us on small grains.

We do not know maybe in the next coming years we might have drought again and if that is going to happen, it is an indication that as a country we are faced with a challenge. In my view, I think as the Members of the Senate, we should take this motion seriously when we look at our life in the near future.  It is my wish that the motion that was brought by Hon. Sen. Tongogara will end up being a Bill that will be brought into Parliament to indicate on how much of small grains should we plough as a nation comparing with other grains that we plough as a nation.  We should have a certain percentage that will force everyone in this country to plough, for example, if it is 10% or 15%, everyone in the country will have to adhere to that and this will protect our food security.  If we face another drought season and we do not have small grains, we are most likely to face a challenge as a nation.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 12th March, 2019.

MOTION

SILTATION IN RIVERS AND DAMS

Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the level of siltation which is threatening the existence of most rivers and dams.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 12th March, 2019.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA, seconded by HON. SEN. KHUPE, the Senate adjourned at Fourteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 26th March, 2019.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 07 MARCH 2019 VOL 28 NO 36