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SENATE HANSARD 08 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 59

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 8th June, 2017

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

VISITORS IN THE SENATE GALLERY

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We have a special sitting today being the Open Day.  I wish to recognise the presence in the President of the Senate’s Gallery of the following schools; Morgan Zintec College and Rock Foundation Primary School.

CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP REMINDER

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to remind the House that all Hon. Members of Parliament are invited to a capacity building workshop, convened by Parliament in collaboration with the United Nations Agencies in Zimbabwe on the United Nations System and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Sango Conference Centre, Cresta Lodge in Msasa on Monday, 12th June, 2017. 

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  May you enlighten us on Government policy in terms of paying school fees for orphans in rural areas?  Suppose a child is now at university, do you proceed to pay the fees at tertiary level?  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Musarurwa for the question.  Government currently has a policy called BEAM and it is only focusing on primary and secondary education.  It does not look at higher education.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Do you have a policy in place now, that it is difficult for the aged to get their monies from the banks?  They end up coming to banks many times wasting the funds that they have.  What measures have you put in place to assist them from coming again and again to get their pensions?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo’s question which raises two points.  The first one is notification on when the monies are available and the second question is on when the cash will be available in the banks. 

On the first point, we are making it a point that we inform the populace when the money is going to be availed in the banks just like we are doing with the salaries. We avail dates at the beginning of the month when their payments will be coming through.  On the issue of the availability of hard cash once they come to the banks; we appreciate that currently there is a liquidity crunch in the country and it is a very tight position. 

What we are promoting and the Government’s position right now is that people should move on to either plastic money or mobile banking.  We are making that facility available to the aged so that the money translates onto their mobile phones or they can swipe at the available retail outlets.  I am led to understand that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has gone an extra gear up in availing points of sale for mobile money and the plastic card utilisation.

HON. SEN. MAKONE:  My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare again.  There have been incidences where people have been denied food in the rural areas.  I know that it is not your policy to discriminate people when they are going to be given food but when it does happen, what do you advise that it be done by those who are discriminated against?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  When we set up the Committees which look into, in the first instance identifying potential beneficiaries and when the food eventually comes in to supervise over the distribution process; we had set in place a review mechanism where in the event of anyone who is aggrieved comes back through the very same channels. There are the district, ward and provincial committees where aggrieved people can channel their complaints through. 

Over and above that, we also have dedicated social welfare officers in all the outlining areas. Surely, should complaints come through, we encourage whoever is the complainant to channel them formally through those channels and we will take it on board.  The Government’s policy is that nobody should be discriminated.  Once that complaint comes through, surely there are channels to bring it to our attention and we will take remedial action.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. MAKONE:  Thank you very much Hon. Minister for that answer.  Should it happen in the presence of those very structures that you are mentioning, what should we do?  Where do we go because it is happening and we would like to advise people what to do?

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE:  When I outlined the structure of those committees, the lowest committee level will be at ward level.  From the ward level we go to the district level, from the district we go to the provincial structures.  Surely, if the person has been discriminated on at the ward level, the second port of call will be the district level where they will obviously get an audience.  If it is still happening at the district level, by all means, they will cascade it up to the provincial level and by that time, believe me, word would have come to the Ministry and we will take remedial action.  

HON. SEN. MAKORE:  My question is again directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  At all times, we are told exactly that there will be additional workforce in various ministries.  For example, there were some promises in the Ministry of Health and Child Care and other ministries that we shall be employing people to the tune of almost 2 000.  I would like to find out the role of your Ministry in ensuring that such a thing is done or what is your role as related to such other policies of employment?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  When vacancies or employment opportunities arise in the public sector, the initial generation point would be the line Ministry that identifies those vacancies.  In this instance, Hon. Sen. Makore highlighted the Ministry of Health and Child Care - Yes, of note; the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is also on record as having that request.  Once that process has gone through, the Public Service Commission goes into verifying that indeed those vacancies do exist. 

The second point after that would then be to approach the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to see whether adequate resources can be harnessed to fund those positions.  Only then when the funding is in place and is of a sustainable nature and the vacancies have been verified, then the ministries are given a go ahead to recruit.

Yes indeed, that permission has been given to the Ministry of Health and Child Care and as we are speaking right now, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is also looking into filling vacancies - off the cuff, I would say to the tune of 2 300.

HON. SEN. SHIRI: My question is again directed to Deputy Minister Matangaidze.  When are we going to have the new Disability Board and what is the criteria used to choose the members?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  I am on record in this House saying that we are at a very advanced stage in coming up with a new Disabled Persons Act.  This Act will speak to the composition of that board, so we do not want to take the cut before the horses.  So, let that Act come through; we believe that certainly by the third quarter, the Bill will be coming through both Houses for deliberations and after that we should be able to fill in positions for that board.

*HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  My question also goes to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  Minister, you have indicated that there are jobs at times.  That is our Minister who specialises in disability.  As a parent Ministry, do you have a quota to say that those who have disabilities but with the qualifications are employed?

*HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Our plan as a Ministry is that we need to create a department that is led by preferably a person with disability.  As a Ministry, this position is already there on our organogram.  The challenge that we have is that whenever there is a vacancy in Government, it has to be funded.  What we are trying to do as a Ministry is that we want to see how we can rationalise how that can be funded.  We also have a plan to come up with a Disabled Persons policy which specifies that if we are saying people in Zimbabwe, between 7% to 10% are living with disabilities, if we are employing people, it will be good for us to consider that ratio in future so that it will be in the policy that we intend to develop in connection with disabilities.

+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: If there is anyone who is from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, my question is directed to them. 

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Is there anyone standing in for the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development?  Please bear with us, Hon. Member, there is nobody from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA:  This question is directed to the Minister of Public Services, Labour and Social Service.  What is Government policy regarding someone who passes away and the body is paraded on top of a commuter omnibus?

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I think that question should be directed to the relevant Ministry, but if you wish to respond Minister, please do so.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  I think you are correct, Madam President.  This question should be directed to the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage.

*HON. SEN. MALULEKE:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement.  Deputy Minister, what measures are you taking to A1 farmers who are in conflict because their plots are being allocated to some other people?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA):  Could the Hon. Member please repeat their question.  I did not hear her quite clearly.

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  The Minister is kindly asking you to repeat the question.

*HON. SEN. MALULEKE:  Thank you Madam President.  I was saying to the Deputy Minister, what measures have you put in place in rural areas where there are resettled A1 farmers because currently, there are double allocations and they are having two tenants for each plot and there is conflict.  The ones who have been there since 2004 are there, but new people come with offer letters.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA):  Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank Senator Maluleke for that question.  Senator, the issue of A1 farmers is that the A1 farms are allocated by the District Lands Committee and then there is the Provincial Lands Committee.  They send papers to the Ministry for recording purposes to approve, but they will have done that allocation already.  This is done at the districts.  They identify and write the list and they send it to the province.  The province then approves and informs them to distribute the land.  If they are A2 farms, they are also allocated at district level, it comes to the province and then the Minister approves. 

So, the situation that you are talking about, it is good if you put it in writing so that we know who has been affected.  Is it an A1 or A2 scheme?  There is no law that says that a person can be given an offer letter to a piece of land that has already been allocated.  I thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

VISITORS IN THE SENATE GALLERY

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I would like to inform the House that we have in the Gallery Waterfalls Gardens Junior School.  You are welcome.

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  Minister, I kindly would want to know what policy you have for our rural aged population who are now seriously adversely affected by the economic situation in the country due to their age because whatever policies, if there were any, they do not seem to be having an impact on the rural aged.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Marava for that question.  Madam President, when we come up and design social protection policies in the Ministry one of the key areas we look at is a group in our community that we call the vulnerable.  Normally, when we give a definition of the vulnerable, we are talking of the aged, child headed households, people living with disabilities and people who are chronically ill.  So, in place there already is that mechanism for us to identify obviously the help of the community, people who are vulnerable, the aged, that you specifically refer to. 

Regardless of whether there is a state of disaster in terms of food mitigation or not, our Ministry maintains a register of people that society has agreed are vulnerable.  We come in with intervention programmes to assist those people.  Typically right now, we avail maize meal as and when the situation allows.  We also give cooking oil, bales of clothing and other mitigation issues that we come up with.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.  What is your policy on making sure that 50/50 of people are given land - women and men.  The report we were given here says only 18% of women were given land.  So, when are you going to reach 50/50?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA): Thank you Hon. Sen. Khumalo for your very valid question.  On the 50/50, as you know it is a process.  We are still in the process of doing that. As we are allocating land, we also consider women.  However, most women have benefitted through their husbands.  Usually in our Ministry, we want the details of a married person; we need the name of the wife so that the wife cannot be allocated land elsewhere.  We also want women to get land.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. SHIRI: My question is directed to the Deputy of Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Matangaidze.  Honourablae, we understand Zimbabwe also celebrate World Play Day for children.  How important is it for us as a nation.  We see we have students in the Gallery and we want them to understand how we view this day.  Thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Shiri for her question.  Yes, Zimbabwe ratifies international protocols that mandate us to recognise those protocols.  We have the days of the elderly, disabilities even the day of the child.  If I remember well, Hon. Sen. Shiri we were together at Victoria Falls to commemorate the International Day of Disability.

          This year we started recognising the day of the children.  We did not give this as much visibility as we did with the Day of Disability because our budget was inadequate.  In the coming years we intend to do that more seriously.  In July, we have a day to commemorate the day of the civil servants that we will commemorate in Masvingo.  So, as a Ministry, we value these days and I hope that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa will be able to allocate adequate funds to commemorate these special days.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Tourism.  Hon. Minister, I would like to find out from you; we heard before on the issue of road blocks that some of these road blocks are the ones that cause the decrease of tourism in our nation.  How true is that?

          HON. A. NDHLOVU: Thank you Madam President.  With your permission, I would answer in English.  I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for asking such a very pertinent question which is not only topical but it is a question which affects our efforts to continue to grow the GDP of our country through tourism.  Madam President and all Hon. Senators here present, this is a matter which we as Government are seized with. 

          I would like to share with the Hon. Member that our Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry works very closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs.  We have a taskforce in place dealing with the matter. I would also like to share with you that the Minister of Home Affairs, a few months ago shared with the nation that Government is working towards E-road blocks.  This will make it smoother for our citizens and tourists to move on our roads.  I would also like to remind her and every other citizen of our country on the importance of the need for us to ensure the safety and protection of all citizens as well as our tourists.  I am positive that within a few months to come, this issue will have been dealt with through the taskforce which works on tourism on the safety on our roads.  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I think the Hon. Senator wanted to know how true that allegation is.

          HON. A. NDLHOVU: Thank you Madam President.  I do not understand which allegation she is talking about?  - [HON. SENATORS: That road blocks cause the decrease of tourists in our country.]- It is not necessarily true that we are losing tourists as a result of road blocks.  However, we work very closely with the private sector, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority which works with the Zimbabwe players on tourism which represents private sector interests.  The issue has been raised by players that tourists are complaining about road blocks but tourists are still coming.  That is why I have reminded you of the need for us as Government to ensure that our roads are safe, hence we need to have those road blocks but in a progressive way.  I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement.  I would like to know the difference between an offer letter and a title deed which is being offered by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.  Those who have offer letters cannot access loans from the banks.  What is Government policy on that?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA):  Thank you Madam President.  Thank you Hon. Member for the question you asked.  When we come to offer letters, it is something which has been offered to somebody to occupy the land whilst he/she is applying for a lease.  A lease is something which can be used to apply for loan in a bank; it can be used as collateral to acquire funds from the bank.  With the title deed, it is privately owned. When a person has a private land, he/she is supposed to have the title deeds which is different with the offer letter.

          *HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Chikwama.  Hon. Minister, is your policy to those people who acquire land unlawfully?  When you hear that, that is what has happened, what do you do?  We still have few cases of people being evicted from their land unlawfully. Maybe it can be done by people in power who are exercising power over those who are losing their land. 

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Senator, you cannot ask ‘what can you say’?  I always remind you to ask questions on policy.  You are not supposed to solicit the Minister’s opinion. What is your question?

          *HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Madam President.  What I want to understand is the current policy on the issue of those evicting others and taking land unlawfully? It is still happening although there are a few cases.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESSETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA): Thank you Madam President.  Thank you Hon. Senator for your question which I think is important.  The Ministry’s policy is that land is allocated and there is a process that is done.  There are Committees that start at district level and we have them at provincial level. I can say because of the fast tract land programme that we did, there was need for the creation of the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement in order to ensure that things are procedurally followed.  If there are people who have acquired land unlawfully or by force, you can write to the Ministry or to the province informing us that there is someone who has taken land unlawfully and by force.  Everyone is allocated land using the processes that I outlined before from districts to the provinces and to the Ministry.  If it is A2, the Ministry approves and then those people are given land. We already passed the fast track system phase, why we went through this system is because we wanted land to be owned by the black majority.  Now we are following the procedure that is in line with policy. I thank you.

          * HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: My question is directed to the Minister of Psychomotor, I do not know the full name of that Ministry.  Minister, I wanted to find out from you how far your Ministry has gone in terms of measures because we understand it deals with skills development and how is it aligned to the new curriculum that we have?

          * THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR LIAISING ON PSYCHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN EDUCATION (HON. SEN. HUNGWE): Thank you Madam President for the question raised by Hon. Sen. Chipanga concerning my Ministry.  That term is difficult for most people, even to interpret, they need to understand.  People want to know what psychomotor means?  People need to know that it is something new.  This Ministry Hon. Senator was formed because we had got to the stage whereby people could not secure jobs because the jobs that they were looking at were white colour or they could get them from mines or companies like Meikles.  These jobs were no longer available.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Sen. Chipanga, I want you to pose your question again.

          *HON. SEN. CHIPANGA:  Thank you Madam President.  I want to find out what is in place as of now.  Are there people who have been trained in your Ministry to start working so that we do not continue to be at a stage where they cannot get jobs?

          *THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR LIAISING ON PSYCHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN EDUCATION (HON. SEN. HUNGWE): Thank you Madam President.  I think the clarity that you sought is right now we need to start on skills training.  That is what we are expected to do.  It is now in place, what is lacking is the funding but the training and the skills are already in place.  We have identified the skills; we now know which skills are needed in agriculture, in mining and industry.  What is left now is just funding for that.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MUSAKA: As a follow up, I once asked this question sometime back.  Minister, the people of Hwedza are waiting and saying tipei mvuto tirove mhangura, Zimbabwe ibudirire.  The Hon. Minister said we are waiting for the budget and the budget has come.  So where are we, are we still waiting?  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I do not think the Minister needs to answer that question because he did say they have done their homework, they are just waiting for the money, ndozvavataura ndinovimba vedare munonditsigirawo ipapo.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI: Thank you Madam President. I had you say that there is Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement with us, I do not know the Minister, if I am wrong, Minister you just advice me that I am wrong.  I wanted to ask that there are people who went to resettlement areas; these people do not have leadership.  Now there is command agriculture and all these programmes need leadership to guide these people.  What is your policy because you said you do not want village heads and chiefs? Our people are staying like animals there.  I thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA):  I want to thank the Hon. Sen. Chief for his question.  I have not heard that in resettlement areas there are no village heads.  Where I am going these days they are there.  I do not know, maybe it has not yet been regularised and there is no policy to it.  In most areas, especially in A1, there are village heads and those are the people we see when we get to the area.  When we get there, we first see the village heads and the Committee Ward Members.  So, I think that now needs the Ministry of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage.  I thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

VISITORS IN SENATE GALLERY

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Before I call for further questions, I would like to advise the Senate that we have in the gallery, students from Seke Teacher’s College.  You are welcome. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          *HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.  As a nation, we request to be enlightened on where we went wrong in the UNWTO Chairperson elections.  We seemed to have been doing well but we want to know where exactly we failed.  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Minister, this is not a policy issue but we will allow you to answer it because it is a national issue.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. ANASTANCIA NDHLOVU):  Thank you Madam President.  You rightly said this is not a policy issue but this is an issue of national interest.  It was a national project, so with your permission Madam President, can I please answer in English because some words in tourism cannot be well expressed in Shona.

          Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Senator for asking this very important question.  As Hon. Senators and the whole nation were aware, the country was in the race for the position of the UNWTO Secretary General.  We have been campaigning since last year and Government represented by the President cleared the current Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Dr. Eng. Walter Mzembi to represent the country in that race.  Madam President, as I answer the hon. Member, please allow me to pay tribute to SADC and the AU for the support that they gave us as a country by endorsing our candidature.  Madam President Ma’am.  I will say that our candidate was a force to reckon with as the Member maybe aware as outlined in the media report; we led in the first round with 11 votes and Georgia following with 8 then others.

Madam President Ma’am, as the Hon. Member maybe aware, as the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, he gave it his all and as a country we gave it our all.  Allow me Madam President Ma’am to also thank His Excellency the President for supporting this bid in a manner never seen before.

          Madam President Ma’am, from the results of the first round, it is very clear to everyone who understands geopolitics that the first round was about tourism and the best candidate won – who is Minister Mzembi.  After the second round, we strongly believed but it all of a sudden became so real that Zimbabwe was about to take over and implement the reforms which our leader always talks about – the need to have a reform agenda at the United Nations and its agencies.  Of course as you are also aware Madam President and the rest of the Members, the country is under siege from the work of the imperialist and they did all they could for us to lose in the second round.

I have good news however for the Hon. Senator that the race is not yet complete as the candidate from Georgia who won a few weeks back needs to be endorsed by the General Assembly with a two—thirds majority of the membership of the UNWTO, which is 102 votes.  Therefore, the race is not yet complete and we will only know the final result after the General Assembly in Chengdu, which is scheduled for September this year.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member and to thank her for always showing interest in the growth of tourism.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Chikwama.  What is Government’s policy concerning those who are in the A2 Scheme which were pegged and there was a remaining piece of State land.  Now in the A2 Scheme, they are saying that there is not supposed to be any State land.  What does Government policy say in terms of allocation of this remaining State land?  I thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA):  Thank you Madam President Ma’am and thank you Hon. Sen. Mavhunga for your question.  When talking of land in Zimbabwe, if all land is gazetted, it is supposed to belong to the State.  For those who are there, if there is a portion that was left behind which belonged to the State, if you are in the A2 Scheme and there is State land, you need to follow the procedure to apply using the procedures.  Sometimes there is an open space because there is need to put a school or business and that is done by the Ministry to ensure that there are businesses or to build a school.  But, when we talk of State land, every land that is gazetted in Zimbabwe is State land.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: I think that there is need to clarify.  I am saying for the land that was left such as land which had barns and homesteads, are you saying that land should be left as it is or you are saying it now belongs to all those people in the surrounding area?  I thank you.

          *HON. CHIKWAMA:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Mavhunga for your question.  There are A1 Schemes and if an A1 has infrastructure that is there, that could be for the caretaker or it will be left like that.  Long ago, it would be left like that because a caretaker would be put there by the Ministry to take care of the place.  For those in the A2 Scheme, if there is infrastructure, the person who gets the land and there is property on his land, it belongs to him.  Currently, if there is no one where there is infrastructure, you apply as I said. 

I can say that we have a Committee that went round in Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West as well as Matabeleland North.  The evaluation team went around and they left a paper for one to apply for that property.  You could lease that land or you could make it an A2 farm if there is space.  If there is a homestead, and it is made into an A2 Scheme and there is enough land, it would be good for an A2 in order to maintain that infrastructure.  We realise that under the A1 Scheme, so much infrastructure was destroyed because no one really claimed that infrastructure but because we realised that, that procedure actually maintains existing infrastructure, we decided to follow that route.  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order time for Questions without Notice has expired.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: Madam President, I move that time for Questions without Notice be extended by 15 minutes.

          HON. SEN. MAWIRE:  I second.

          HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  Thank you very much Madam President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Marava for asking for the extension of time.  Madam President, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.  My question is directed to the Minister of Tourism. What measures, plans or programmes are put in place to promote domestic tourism and even regional tourism?  We have seen that there are countries who are benefiting a lot from domestic tourism involving even the rural areas in terms of cultural tourism.  What plans does the Ministry have?  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. A. NDHLOVU):  Thank you Madam President.  Please allow me through you, to thank Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa for this very good question.  I would like to share with her that Government, through our Ministry has a National Tourism policy that was launched in 2014.  Government has further developed a National Tourism Master Plan that is going to be the nucleus around which that National Tourism policy will be implemented.  The National Tourism Master Plan Madam President, has designated our country into eleven tourism development zones.  All that was done in a bid to try to promote domestic tourism and to ensure that we achieve tourism product development and diversification.

The Hon. Member will agree with me that every district or village of our country has some unique product to offer.  That means that where she comes from, there is so nuch tourism potential. I also urge her to work with my Ministry to see how we can also grow the tourism potential in the area that she represents because that falls under one of our tourism development zones.  In a bid to promote domestic tourism, that is very critical in growing tourism in our country.  Madam President, the President Cde. R. G. Mugabe, in 2014 launched the “Know your country, Know your Zimbabwe” campaign.  This seeks to see us involving our school children and the university students because we have realised that the big tourism economy such as the People’s Republic of China among others have become so big due to the domestic tourism in their countries. 

Madam President, over and above that, a few days back, the Acting President launched the National Launch that officiates the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Growth.  What do I mean by that?  The United Nations has declared 2017 as the year of tourism.  It therefore proffers a number of opportunities for our people to also play a part in tourism especially the formally marginalised groups such as the women and our young people. 

I therefore, call upon all Zimbabweans to take part in the sustainable tourism year.  A number of activities will be rolled out through our parastatal, the ZTA.  That will, in a way also grow domestic tourism.  Over and above that Madam President, it is very sad that our people do not have a holiday culture.  They probably think that a tourist has to come from outside the country, which is not necessarily so.  So all the efforts that we are doing are to ensure that we try to instil a holiday culture in our people. 

I am therefore urging them to visit the tourist attractions which are close-by to them because I believe that every district has something to offer.  Unless we do it ourselves, tourists from outside cannot continue to grow the economy for us.

She also spoke about what Government policy is in promoting regional tourism.  As a country Madam President, I will very briefly share with the Member that we work very closely with other countries in the region through Retail Southern Regional Tourism Organisation on Tourism and work with other countries at the level of the continent.  I am proud to share with her that the country was elected in March this year to chair the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Infrastructure and Energy within which tourism falls.  That will also help our efforts of growing regional tourism as we contribute towards the continent’s ambition to achieve our brand Africa.

Coming to the issue of promoting tourism in rural areas that is covered through the Tourism Master Plan that I spoke about, as soon as it is launched, we will have a session with parliamentarians.  Madam President, we will approach your office and that of the Speaker so that our national representatives of the people in our country are aware of these developments since tourism can contribute, not just our GDP but we also hope that it changes the livelihoods of our people in a sustainable manner.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Ministry of Tourism.  How far has your Ministry gone in developing a policy on accessibility so that even persons with disabilities can enjoy the nation’s tourist facilities? 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. A. NDHLOVU):  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking such a very important question.  As previously said, more than seven percent of our population is comprised of people living with one form of disability or another; therefore, they are a key stakeholder of this population.  It is Government’s desire through my Ministry that every citizen of this nation is able to enjoy tourism facilities that we have.  I am also very humbled to share with this august House, through you Madam President, that our Ministry also works very closely with the representatives of people living with disabilities from this august House.  We work very closely with both of them including Hon. Senator Anna Shiri.  Last year, you may be aware Madam President that the theme of the World Tourism Day was to do with inclusion and inclusivity of all citizens with a major and specific focus on people with disability. 

Prior to the celebrations, we took a tour of all hotel facilities in Harare to take stock of how accessible they are and it was realised that one or two in Harare had the facilities that he is talking about.  After that, we engaged in a process of the ease of doing business with which is chaired by OPC.  Part of the work that we seek to achieve is to ensure that we achieve inclusivity in tourism and with a major focus on people with disability.  I am very happy that Hon. Senator asked about that and they are aware of the efforts.  We work very closely with them and we shall continue to do that.  The Government policy is that every citizen of this country should be able to enjoy all the tourism facilities in their beautiful country.  I thank you Madam President.  

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Thank you very much Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Labour and Social Services regarding employment.  He explained that different Ministries give them the needed employment.  Is it in their policy to ask whether gender is taken into consideration because we now find that other ministries are taking it just to mean women not looking into both men and women. They are now employing women in everything and our young men are not getting jobs because they have taken into account that gender means women. Is the Ministry aware of that? Do you ask any question on the balances within their ministries because we want both men and women? That is gender is not women.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Members, I am appealing to you not to address because you are eating into the time that others like Hon. Sen. Marava would like to ask questions.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo for that question. The long and short of it Madam President, is that Government policy is very clear that there is a 50/50 representation on all opportunities as they come through. So that policy is there, 50/50 for both the boy and girl-child.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Education, Hon. Prof. Mavima. Professor, there is word going around that there is going to be closure of about +/- 40 schools in Matebeleland South, so I hear. I would like to know what Government policy is when issues like this take place because parents and children are both adversely affected. What are the Ministry’s plans?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Madam President and I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for that question. The truth of the matter is that there are not going to be any closures. There was a statement to that effect, and the Minister responded and indicated that there were not going to be any closures. As Government, we are not a business. We sometimes operate inefficiently in order to serve our citizens effectively. So, in situations where there is paucity of population and there are fewer students, we have to ensure that those students receive their right to education without interference.

          There may be a situation where we may have to consolidate some schools in the future but there is no immediate plan to close any schools in Matebeleland South. There are also situations in Matebeleland North and there is no plan by Government to close schools. It is Government’s policy to priorities education. We are known for our high standards of education in this country. Therefore, we are going to maintain that and maintain the right of our learners to go to school. So, there is not going to be any closure. Thank you.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

RATIFICATION OF THE MARAKESH TREATY

22. HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House when Government intends to ratify the Marakesh Treaty so that the blind and disabled persons in the country can benefit from easy access to published works.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr. President, allow me to start by saying the Government continues in its mandate of articulating the rights and needs of persons with disabilities through enacting and ratifying disability legislation. Not so long ago, the Government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In 2016, the Government through the responsible ministries, embarked on nationwide consultations to align the Disabled Persons Act to the Constitution. The proposed National Disability Policy currently awaits consideration by the full Cabinet. This clearly shows that Zimbabwe has made great strides towards advocating for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities through adoption of legislation which caters for the needs of persons with disabilities.

          Likewise, the Government has started taking the necessary steps towards the ratification of the Marakesh Treaty, which mainly focuses on ensuring laws that allow for the production of books in accessible formats for the blind and visually impaired without the need to ask permission from the holder of copyright (author or publisher).

          The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) recognises that intellectual property rights (including copyright) can act as discriminatory barriers to the right of people with disabilities to read. The UNCRPD thus created Marakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled.

          Zimbabwe is a signatory of the Marakesh Treaty since 2013. The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliament Affairs has already written and submitted a memorandum to Cabinet seeking approval of the proposed ratification. We await a response from Cabinet to this request.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Mr. President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 7 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 8 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.  

MOTION

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

          Eighth 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.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DAMASANE):   Thank you Mr. President.   I would like to respond to the robust debate that was done on the 21st July, 2016.

 Mr. President, I rise to thank the Hon. Sen. Makore who is also the Chairperson of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development for raising the motion on child marriages.  I would also want to thank all members of the Committee.  I would like to thank them for making an effort to gather evidence on the causes and impacts of early child marriages.

          I would also like to thank Hon. Senator on the robust debate on the motion, research and information gathered by the Thematic Committee and the debate raised on this subject matter.  It has given my Ministry more insights in developing strategies to end the scourge of child marriages.

          I am in total agreement with the issues that were highlighted in the report as well as insights from various members of this august House.   My Ministry has done several interventions to address the scourge of child marriages in Zimbabwe.

          LEGAL FRAMEWORKS TO ADDRESS CHILD MARRIAGES IN ZIMBABWE

          Mr. President, we acknowledge the legislative provisions that address child marriages which are:-

1.1   Constitution

The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) of 2013 on Section 78 (1) states that “Every person who has attained the age of eighteen has the right to found a family”

Section 26 (b) “Children are not pledged in marriage”

Section 19 (1) “The state must adopt policies and measures to ensure that in matters relating to children, the best interest of the children concerned are paramount”

1.2.  The Domestic Violence Act (2007)

The Domestic Violence Act provides for the protection of children from violence by identifying them as potential victims of domestic violence.

Section 3 (1) clearly states the following as unacceptable forms of abuse derived from cultural or customary rights or practices that discriminate and degrade women:

-pledging of women or girls for purposes of appeasing spirits; or

-forced marriages; or

-child marriage; or

-forced wife inheritance.  I know when we say it in English it does not pull the heart.  Forced wife inheritance Mr. President – kugarwa nhaka as in 2017.  Ukungena owsintwana.

2.  GAPS IN LAWS THAT CONTINUE TO PROMOTE CHILD MARRIAGES

I am happy that the Constitutional Court outlawed clauses of the Customary Marriage Act Chapter 5:07 which had no limit for marriage as well as the Marriage Act 5:11 which allowed minors to marry by written consent of their legal guardians.  This has been a positive move in our campaign to end child marriages.

However, it is critical to note that the same legislative provisions still have got limitations which this august House has to align.  The gaps in laws that continue to promote child marriages are as follows:-

The Maintenance Act Chapter 5:09 in Section 14 states that maintenance for a child shall cease when they marry, meaning that the Act recognises child marriages.

Section 8 of the Matrimonial Causes Act states that a maintenance order in favour of a child shall cease when the child marries, meaning that it recognises child marriages.

The Guardianship of Minors Act Chapter 5:08 states in Section 4 (1) (b) that a parent who is granted the sole guardianship shall also have the power to consent to the marriage of a minor.

The General Laws Amendment Act Chapter 8:07 in Section 12 (5) permits the operation of laws that grant majority status at an age earlier than 18 years.

Mr. President, with the state of affairs of such gaps in our laws, I call upon this august House to realign these laws so that the issues I have highlighted are addressed in order to protect our girl children from child marriages.  I do agree with the debate that there is need to implement concrete activities that address the root causes of child marriages, for example economic hardships referred to in the report.

3. THE MINISTRY’S INTERVENTIONS

Mr. President, my Ministry has not been sitting on its laps.  I would like to outline the interventions that my Ministry has been doing to address child marriages.

The following has been done:

-Launch of the African Union to end child marriages which was held in 2015.

-Held a massive march in February 2016 in celebrating the constitutional ruling outlawing child marriages which some Hon. Members here present attended.

-The Government of Zimbabwe is carrying out advocacy and awareness raising campaigns throughout the country to sensitize people on effects of child marriages.

-Provinces are engaging traditional leadership in dialogues on ending child marriages.  The Chiefs developed a communication on ending child marriages as far as in 2013.

-The Ministry is working with partners in carrying out radio programes on the campaign to end child marriages.

-Also use of Mai Chisamba Show as a media strategy to reach out to many people is being carried out with various partners.

-We are also working with the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) and Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA) on the campaign to end child marriages.  The ACCZ have conducted sensitization meetings within their churches in all ten provinces.

Mr. President, all stakeholders under education, economic, empowerment, reproductive health rights, safety and protection and leadership development have been working tirelessly together with my Ministry to end the problem of child marriages.

More specifically, the Ministry working with development partners is developing a National Action Plan and Communication Strategy on ending child marriages.  The National Action Plan is being finalised.

The Action Plan will focus on the following:-

·          Coordinated response by all stakeholders in ending child marriages so that we speak with one voice.

·       Participation of young women in activities to end child marriages.

·       Education of girls which entail increased school retention of girls in secondary school.

·       Alignment of marriage and child protection laws to the Constitution.

·       Capacity building of law enforcement agencies

·       Curriculum development.

·       Developing partnerships with traditional leaders.

·       Strengthening community based child protection mechanisms.

·       Socio and economic empowerment of girls.

4. CONCLUSION

Madam President, I would like to end by emphasising that the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development seeks the support of this House in pushing for a speedy realignment of laws and the adoption of the SADC Model Law, as well as the marriage Bill that is being drafted by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. 

Mr. President, let us all be ambassadors of ending the early child marriages scourge in our constituencies.  Let us be the guest of honour at every function within our Constituencies.  It will get us somewhere.  I thank Mr. President.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you Minister.  I want to take this opportunity to thank your Ministry for showing respect for Parliament by responding to this motion.  We have been crying for this from various Ministries.  Some Ministries never appear to respond the way you have done and I want to say special thanks to you for being here as Deputy Minister Damasane and I hope other Ministries will take a leaf from what you have done.

HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I want to take this opportunity also to thank the Minister over the response to this well debated motion on early child marriages.  I also would want to thank all the participants who participated in this debate and really expressed concern as regards to early child marriages. 

As has been spoken, Hon. President, there seems to be a lot of work to be done as regards the constitutional alignment to sort of align all these pieces that have been mentioned by the Minister so that they also comply with the current Constitution. 

Yes, there have been some launches, we do agree, but I have stood here, Mr. President, to move a motion to adopt this particular motion that we raised, so that it becomes something so much more tangible.  Thank you very much Minister.  

I therefore move that the motion on the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Early Child Marriages be adopted.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I also want to thank you for being patient for all this time until the Minister has come to respond.  Thank you.

Motion forthwith adopted.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF POPULATION GROWTH IN ZIMBABWE

Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on Zimbabwe’s low population.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA:  I thank you Mr. President.  I wish today to wind up the topic as I have been advised by administration that the rules are that it has achieved its maximum number of days allowed on the Order Paper.  However, I wish to thank again all those who debated and those who did not debate.  It is their democratic right to do so.  I suppose not standing up to debate a motion is also a decision and a constitutional right.

However, it generated intense debate.  That is how it should be in a democracy.  I think that is what Senators should do in a mature manner.  With your permission, Mr. President, I would like to lengthen this debate if you allow me, since I am going to move for an adoption, for me to really thank all those who supported by reading out their names as a way of thanking them and then I will respond to those who actually also expressed a different view.

Mr. President I wish to thank Sen. Murwira for supporting the motion, Sen. Bhobho, Sen. Komichi, Sen. Mustvangwa, Sen. Goto, Sen. Mawire, Sen. T. D. Khumalo, Sen. Manyeruke, Sen. Makore, Sen. Mavhunga, Sen. Juba, Sen. Mashavakure, Sen. Maluleke, Sen. Chimbudzi, Sen. Machingaifa, Sen. Ndlovu, Sen. Mumvuri, Sen. Chief Chiduku, Sen. Chief Nembiri, Sen. Chief Dumbu Sithole 4, Sen. Muronzi.

I thank them all for supporting the motion vigorously with passion for Zimbabwe’s population.  However, Mr. President, I also wish to give a reply to six senators.  If you wish I can read their names.  Their sole objection to the motion was, Zimbabwe’s economy is not right for such a move.  Mr. President, Zimbabwe’s economy is number two to South Africa.  That is an economy.  An economy characterised by a various number of activities - manufacturing, mining, transportation etc. 

Most economies in Africa are dependent on one functional thing.  Until recently, Zambia’s economy was dependent on copper which has a functional weakness on the world market.  Once nobody buys copper, the whole economy collapses, there is no economy; equally the same with Botswana diamonds.  That is not an economy.  Yes it is not.  They may say the standard of living is very high, the GDP – these misleading statements about GDP are so misleading.  The day no one buys diamonds as diamonds are only bought by those celebrities with excess money and not everybody.  You know it is not an economy really when you run on an economy like that.  When you compare to Zimbabwe’s economy, Zimbabwe’s economy is vibrant, it is brilliant, it is doing well.  It is characterised by policies that work, as it is at the moment.

Now, Zimbabwe’s economy – if you want, Mr. President, go to any supermarket anywhere, whether you are in a turf which is some kind of rural area, whether you are in Kadoma, go to OK, in Chinhoyi, in Shurugwi, you go to any supermarket, look at the number of trolleys.  Everybody is shopping.  Is this an economy that is collapsing?  Is this an economy that you can actually cry and say things are not working?  Look, the economy is brilliant.  What do you want us to do?  Who does not have problems? 

So, this argument to shout that look, Zimbabwe’s economy is collapsing and we are Senators.  That was some of the argument here by some of the Senators saying no, we cannot adopt these policies of actually encouraging population to grow because our economy is in shambles, what shambles?  This economy is doing well.   Even our President once said this when he was in South Africa, that Zimbabwe’s economy is number two.  Zimbabwe has developed and we have gone ahead.  Look at the roads we are constructing; the mining; our Command Agriculture.  Mr. President, unless you want me to read, there are only six people who brought in the economic argument that no, we cannot embark on population as a sort of encouragement.  I move….

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: On a point of order.  Mr. President, the Hon. Member is now debating.   We thought he was going to wind up his motion but now he is debating to such a depth that it arouses our anxiety to debate.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: Thank you Mr. President.  Zimbabwe’s economy is not fragile.  Therefore, we should embark on foresighted policies.  We should have depth and understand international trends; what is happening all over the world.  That I already debated.  I do not want to tell you the advantages of bigger populations; I can go into history and show you what happens if we do not have people.  Even fighting war, you cannot fight a war if you do not have people.  Mr. President, I move that the motion that (quote) be adopted.  I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, order.  You know Senator Musaka is a General, a very educated General.  He is loaded with a lot of competences but just to comment and say, I think in this House we are debating.  Once we say debating, it means there will be different views.  If we all agree; in fact we should accept that for us to be of any value, when we debate we should have divergent views.

Some people who have written a lot said, wherever there are more than three people and all agree, it means there is someone who is not thinking.  It is very healthy that we have divergent views.  It only means that we have exhausted all eventualities and possibilities so that when we move ahead, we know the possible pitfalls and then we take care of them.  So, it is healthy that we debate in different direction but at the end of the day, we adopt the motion. 

          On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU) the Senate adjourned at Thirteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until, Tuesday, 13th June, 2017.

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 16:31
Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 08 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 59