You are here:Home>Senate Hansard>SENATE HANSARD 08 MARCH 2018 VOL 27 NO 27



Thursday, 8th March, 2018

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




          *HON. SEN. KOMICH: On a point of order Madam President.  I want to start by thanking Hon. Ministers who have come to answer questions from Members. Since we have the new dispensation, we thought Ministers were going to attend question time in the Senate.  We are noticing that there is a continuation of the old practice of not attending to the question time in the House.  Out of more than twenty Ministers in the Cabinet, we only have four and this shows that these Ministers are not serious with their work.  This is contrary to what the President has called for. He called for seriousness and commitment to duty.  What is being shown by the Ministers is exactly the opposite of what His Excellency has advised and promised. 

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Senator for showing discontentment with what is happening but I would have expected you to congratulate the Ministers who have come to this House – [HON. SENATORS: Vatenda!] –

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  What is Government policy regarding roads in urban areas which are full of potholes and highly inaccessible? As a Ministry, what is your policy in alleviating such a situation especially in urban areas?

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam President, I thank Hon. Sen. Chief Musarurwa for such a pertinent question on Government policy regarding the maintenance of roads in urban areas.  These roads are full of potholes and highly inaccessible.  The Government stance is that local authorities such as those in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare et cetera have the mandate of constructing and maintaining their roads.  Government puts in place levies so that monies created can be used in the maintenance of the roads. 

          In urban areas, local authorities collect rates and the rates are meant for maintaining the infrastructure and some of the people who are looked after are the residents of that area.  Local authorities should construct storm water drains in these areas but drainages are connected to the roads.  As a result, we are saying local authorities should collect the levies for these roads.

          The second aspect is that Government created a levy after noticing that anybody who travels on these roads is destroying the roads.  Hence, there are two forms of collecting funds.  The first one is the licence fees which are collected by ZINARA and these funds are rechanneled to these local authorities. The second levy which is collected by the State is that whenever motorists pay for fuel, there is a tax levy in that which is given to these authorities and the funds is given to the Ministry of Roads and also local authorities in both urban and rural areas. These are referred to as road authorities and they benefit from this levy. We have realised that most of our local authorities, when they have received these levies from the State, instead of maintaining the infrastructure, they have been using these levies in paying the salaries. We have noticed that all the 92 local authorities in both urban and rural, we have been empowering them on how they can collect levy and also how they can maintain and refurbish these roads. I thank you. 

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. It is on the issue of licences. You are saying the councils are to look at the roads but the vehicles in rural areas go and pay their licences in town. Do you not think that that policy is taking money away from the Rural District Councils who were going to use that money for roads instead of waiting to be given after sometime? Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Madam President, if I understood your question very well, licences for cars or vehicles that are in the rural areas, the licences are paid in town and they should be paid in the rural areas so that the Rural District Councils can repair their roads. The answer is no. While the money is paid in a town, it is understood it belongs to the Rural District Council. That is why every now and then, sometimes three or four times a year, because you pay your licences quarterly, ZINARA makes sure that the money for licences goes back to the Rural District Councils. Some go back to urban councils. So, each council is a roads authority and they get money from ZINARA so that they can also look after their roads. Most of our Rural District Councils now have their own graders which they use to repair their roads. I am saying in addition to that, Rural District Councils charge you what is called development levy. Development levy is another term for rates which are paid in the urban areas and like their urban areas counterparts, that development levy should also be going to assist in the roads construction, although they get some money from ZINARA in two parts; the one part which is coming as a result of you paying licences and the other part which is coming because you are paying for fuel expenses or for pollution. All the Rural District Councils and Urban Councils, their levies or their rates is an environmental protection levy. So, the first protection for Rural District Councils is to protect your fields so that when they make their roads, they should be conscious of the fact that there could be a break of fire and so, they must make sure that when fire attacks your area, it does not cross from one farm to the other. That is why you pay your development levy and that is what we have been emphasising to councils that you need to explain to people why you are taking people’s money and you must show that you are able to give them service, which service you must describe to the people of the area. I thank you Madam President.

          *HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President. I am directing my question to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Hon. J. Moyo. We have people who are collecting parking fees. These people will be putting on reflective clothes which are Easy Park and they are collecting in urban areas. Where are they taking the money that they are collecting to? I have asked this question because despite the fact that they are collecting money, we still see that there are potholes on our roads especially in urban areas.

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Madam President. This is a good question. Councils are a lower tier of the Government. The Government has parastatals which help in the administration and also councils have parastatals of their own or they create a business centre of their own. The Easy Park that we are talking about clamps cars on the streets in Harare City Council. This is a business partner with Harare City Council because they realised that it will be a good idea to have somebody from outside running this project because if this business is run by the Council, there could be some corruption or some nepotism because if your car has been clamped and the responsible authority has officers who will be clamping those cars, there could be some political influence so that your cars are released. We have had these local authorities, some created in these parastals through selling beer outlets or business outlets. So, it depends on the priorities of each local authority.

*HON. SEN. SHIRI: My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi. My first question is we have an international law which is the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities and Zimbabwe is a signatory to that since 2013. What plan do you have as a Ministry to see that this law is domesticated in Zimbabwe because this piece of legislation has a lot to do on the welfare of people living with disability?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam President. I thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question regarding people living with disability and in reminding us that Zimbabwe is a signatory to such a Convention on the United Nations which is aimed at protecting the rights and the privileges of people living with disability. Let me explain what my Ministry is doing. There are a lot of Conventions which have not been domesticated. We need to domesticate them so that they can be implemented.  This law has been under the Department of Social Welfare and as the coordinating body, the Attorney General has written to the different institutions so that they get clear instructions.  All the Ministries are given instructions on rectifying such anomalies.

          As I have stated before, there is a Ministry which has been advised to work on this law so that it can be brought to Parliament and be registered as a law, so that people with disabilities are protected and benefit. 

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Prof. Murwira.  Hon. Minister, what plans to do you have to correct the distortions that are found in Universities?  The structures are so distorted that if you get, for example to the University of Zimbabwe and just interact with those in the Science Department, they will tell you that the favoured ones are the ones in the University of the North and us here are the less favoured, in terms of salaries, welfare and everything else.  No wonder why there is a proliferation of MBAs.  Even people who are Engineers are also rushing to go and do an MBA because they want to belong to the elite in the University of the North.

          Even some departments in the Sciences are manned by people who are not qualified; he is a Water Engineer but he is running Civil Engineering Department, as a result of those distortions.  What plans do you have to correct this? In addition, what plans do you have to have the universities become centres of innovation?  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Senator.  We have one of the most important policy initiatives that we have done.  It is to make sure that our universities deliver knowledge that leads to goods and services.  This basically drives the innovation agenda.  What we are basically saying is kuti ruzivo rwokungopfeka magown harwutibatsiri.  The knowledge of putting on gowns and look sophisticated; we want to be sophisticated not to look sophisticated.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, order Hon. Minister.  May I remind you that we should not mix languages?  If you are going to answer in Shona stick to Shona; if you are going to answer in English stick to English please.

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA: I will do that Madam President.  I will stick to English.  Thank you.  So, what we are basically saying is that our education has to have a meaning and one of the main thrusts which also derives from His Excellency’s statement is that our education must lead to goods and services.  For us to have an education that leads to goods and services, it means that there has to be something which is in between the knowledge and then the goods and services.  What is in the middle here are the innovation hubs.

          So, we have started the concept and the practice of innovation hubs where knowledge is incubated and then converted to goods and services and the assembly line.  We have started it on six State Universities; Zimbabwe National Defence University, University of Zimbabwe, National University of Science and Technology, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Harare Institute of Technology and Midlands State University.

          All this what we are doing is to make sure that we drive towards a knowledge that is not just for showing off - speaking good English, saying ‘hello, hello, good afternoon’.  It is about what does it mean?  What do we use it for, we do not eat nice language; we eat goods and services.  So, on that move on innovation, that is what we have done.  We have also started a process; one of the policies is to say every degree that we do must be accompanied by a body of knowledge, to say if you say I am doing geology, what does it mean?  What are the 10 or 11 things that I should expect from a geologist, not just to say I am an expert in geology; expert in geology, what do we expect from geologist?  We must have a list of saying, just like when the bread is okay from the oven, you can tell it is okay because it has certain characteristics.  Those are the things that we have also done to the universities to say we want bodies of knowledge so that what you cook and what you promise is what we get.  From that point of view, these are some of the things that we are doing.

          Also one of the issues is we have told universities, technical colleges and teachers’ colleges that stick to your mandates; you were not devised by mistake.  In a team we cannot have a team of goalkeepers alone, you will lose the game.  We cannot have a soccer team of number nines; strikers alone, we will lose the game.  So, we have asked universities and technical colleges, even within universities themselves to say stick to your mandate.  You cannot be civil engineer and head another department at the same time.  We must headed by experts.  Hon. Senator Sir, we have not reached our goal but the vision is very clear and we keep on moving; we keep on learning - but we are moving.  Thank you.

          +HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. July Moyo.  I am talking on behalf of the nature and I am representing the constituents from the constituency that I represent.  Two weeks back there was King Lobengula who was supposed to be ordained and that did not take place because the Government said that should not happen.  People obeyed the Government’s resolution and the chief was not ordained.

          People from my constituency still have questions that are the issue to do with ordaining chiefs a policy or it is only that it is not supposed to happen.  If it is something that is not supposed to happen the Government should come out in open and say it to the people.  If it is something that was supposed to be done and it was brought in a wrong way and the Government did not understand it, people are willing to understand from the Government.  Us as Chiefs we are not willing to do something that is contravening Government policies.  We are willing to work maintaining the peace that is there in the Government.  We also take into consideration that it is not the first time to have chief, in South Africa we have Chief Zwelithini and Lizwelonke.  In Zambia there is Chief Mpezeni and in the United States, there is a Queen.  All these are not fighting with the Government or trying to take power like what had almost happened.  We are therefore asking the Government to advise, we do not want to be involved into issues that will give us problems later.  We are also not in politics.  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators when you pose questions, we encourage that you do not have a long preamble, otherwise you will not get the answer that you want. 

          I had made up my mind to make this announcement after Hon. Sen. Musaka, but may I please appeal to all Hon. Senators that try and pose your questions with as short a preamble as possible.  Thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Gampu for his statement but I also want to say to this august House that together, we enacted a new Constitution.  The Chiefs were participants in that Constitution making process. In our Constitution, it is very clear that the traditional leaders as defined in the Constitution are in three parts only, the first one is a chief, in Shona ndi mambo, in Ndebele Induna but in our Constitution it is the Chief.  Then there is a headman and there is a village head.  So, when people who wanted to have a King wrote to us, we advised that in our Constitution we have no provision for a King. 

          Fortunately, for us as Zimbabweans when South Africans were making their Constitution we participated in many ways and they put in their Constitution that they will have kings who are in their localities.  We do not have that in Zimbabwe.  So, our advice was that we cannot have a King where it is not provided for by law.  Secondly, if you wanted a chief and there is a house which deserved to have a chief, they need to have one.  The Constitution went further and said to resuscitate a chieftainship , that job is no longer done by Government or through the Minister of Local Government, it is undertaken by the chiefs; organised in the Provincial Assembly of Chiefs in each province and later on in the National Council of Chiefs.  Only after those two organs have pronounced themselves, they can then bring it to the Minister who then sends for approval by the President.  That is what the Constitution says. 

          So, again when this matter which we dealt with in Bulawayo last week, we went and invited all the chiefs from Matabeleland North, South, we could have invited every other chief who has an interest about this issue of Kings but we thought we were dealing with one region.  We took with us the President of the National Council of Chiefs and his deputy to explain to the chiefs.  There are those who contest even the kingship, who ought to be a king but the chief’s bodies, if they had wanted this matter solved, the place to go, in terms of the Constitution was to the Provincial Assembly of Chiefs and later on to the National Council of Chiefs. As it turned out anyway, even the question of who ought to be king was contested among the houses that claim that kingship. 

We as Ministers once a matter is before the courts, were obliged to withdraw and allowed the  President of the Chief’s Council, Senator Chief Charumbira and his deputy Senator Mtshane Khumalo to then finish the deliberations and explained. Once the court had pronounced itself, again we gave the President of the Chief’s Council and his deputy to say please, let all the chiefs understand the ruling of the High court and withdraw from that position.  However, the position that we are taking as Government; is a position that has been taken in the Constitution

          For instance, there are those who want to revive Munhumutapa, we do not have that emperor in the Constitution and we advised them accordingly.  Last year, there were those who wanted to have a Rozvi King and we advised equally the same that we do not have that terminology in our Constitution.  Until the Constitution has been amended accordingly, we cannot advice anybody contrary to what the Constitution says.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Madam President.  I am directing my question to the Minister of Home Affairs. I have received messages from members of the Neighborhood Watch who have been in operation for the past 15 years.  We all know that what they are doing is voluntary but they wish they could get stipend.  What is Government policy regarding these security officers.

          +THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. MPOFU): Thank you Madam President of the Senate.  I also want to thank the Senator who has asked a question concerning the Neighbor-hood Watch Committees that they are not being paid. 

          I am not sure whether the question is on policy or on the operations.  In my own view, I think it is a question on operations of the Neighborhood Watch Committees whether they are paid or not.  The Members of the neighbor-hood are doing it as voluntary work. 

          The Neighborhood Watch Committees are doing a voluntary work, they are people who understand the community and they are trying to assist the policeman.  I do not know what their arrangement with the police or their terms of reference.  However, since it is a question that is directed to the work that the policemen do, I will try to go and ask their leaders on whether they are paid or not when they do the duties of a police officer and if they are paid, are they paid by the Government or the community or there are means used to pay them.

          In my own understanding, neighbourhood watch is voluntary work, yet it is a very important job helping the community to arrest corruption and anyone who goes against the law.  I will go back and ask who is supposed to pay them if they are paid.  I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Madam President.  I thought you had not recognised me.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. J. Moyo.  I want to understand your role as the Minister in the issues to do with local councils in towns.  There are people who have served local councils for many years but they are dismissed or retire from work without any benefits yet the councils do not take any action concerning that.  The affected people approach us with their plight and we do not know how we can respond to their plight as they are people who were dismissed from work or have retired from their service yet to this date they have not received their benefits to include the money for which they worked for.  Maybe you can tell us your role in such concerns.  Thank you Hon. Minister.  Thank you Mr. President.

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): On the question by Hon. Sen. Makore, our local authorities in both rural and urban centres are State institutions and they are guided by laws and statutes crafted through this Parliament, which are more than 50.  The other Act is the one which you mentioned, on labour.  The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing knows that if the employees from urban centres have their plights, they approach the Minister of Labour and Social Services.  The whole system to do with labour is there to help them and they are not supposed to come to me.  Council employees from both rural and urban centres who are grieved in their places of work, including unfair dismissal or any other kind of grievance, are supposed to approach the Ministry of Labour and Social Services because the Rural District Councils Act or the Urban Councils Act provides that if the employees are grieved, they approach the Ministry of Labour and Social Services and not the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF DANDAWA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  I want to know if it is lawful to have two chiefs presiding over a given area?  The other one is asked to preside over developmental issues as a chief because he /she is nearest to the area whilst the other is assigned to preside over cultural issues because he/she is the owner of the area from long back.  It is happening somewhere, can you explain to us on that issue.

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Madam President.  I think the law which we use, The Chiefs and Traditional Leaders’ Act, provides a boundary over which a given chief should preside.  That area should have a boundary but I know that currently, the issue of boundaries is still outstanding especially in newly resettled and the commercial farming areas.  Now we have concluded that every area where farming activities like breeding livestock is done should have a chief presiding over it, I think those areas could be having challenges which should be taken care of.  Such challenges cannot be solved by the Ministry alone, but the input of chiefs surrounding that area is also needed so that we hear their opinions to avoid conflicts. 

However, we also know that chiefs are responsible for the harmony amongst communities and yet such harmony was once disturbed by whites who once moved them from their native land where they left the graves of their ancestors to relocate elsewhere.  Now, if we relocate others in those areas, there is need for dialogue if a new chief is to be ordained so that gravesites left there can be well preserved.  These issues can be well handled by the Provincial Assembly of Chiefs and the National Assembly of Chiefs because the chiefs are the ones who understand how these issues can be resolved.  They can then submit their opinions on the way forward to us and we integrate their views with our own research and we help each other to resolve any issues until we come to a consensus.  Our Constitution states that the chiefs are responsible for resolving the boundary conflicts and we believe that chiefs resolve issues in harmony because they are responsible for keeping national peace and our heritage.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  From a policy point of view, when are we expecting the police officers to resume their full duties?  I am saying this assuming that, when they resume their duties, they will be retrained, reoriented and removed from corrupt activities? That is my question Hon. Minister.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU): Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Sibanda. The question that he asked is a very important question.  Hon. Sen. Sibanda and all the Hon. Members in this House, the police officers in the past days or months were showing a sign of not having much zeal in their work following the operation that they were doing on road blocks and also the Operation Restore Legacy which brought the new Government that we have.  What we have done Hon. Sen. Sibanda and Hon. Members is that, there is now a misunderstanding between the police officers and the community.  The major problem is that the policemen were now doing what they want, not what the community wants.  No one could say anything to them.  When you tell them not to do some things, they will not listen to you and they do what they think is right.  Many people were harassed by those acts Madam President.  That is why when I was given that Ministry, we had a huge mountain to climb in trying to fix all those mistakes and try to restore the image of the ZRP.  We are trying to shake them up a bit by removing their leaders whom we thought were no longer working properly.  Some were moved to different departments.  You will realise that each police officers was acting according to the way they want.  Those who were doing human resources were using their own policies not known by other departments.  All departments were doing things in their own ways and no operation would know what is it they are doing.  It is only one person who knew what they were doing.  I have had so many meetings with them and some of them have seen or heard about that when I was laying out the ways they are supposed to be doing their work.  Police officers are for the community and they work with the people. 

The work is still ongoing and I agree with you Hon. Sen. Sibanda.  However, for you to change someone’s mind, you have to train that person.  Sometimes even if someone is trained, you need to re-sensitise that person because some of us tend to forget.  I was talking to them last week, there are certain police officers who have stayed for a long period in one district. Sometimes when you befriend people for a long time, it becomes difficult to arrest them.  We are trying to reshuffle them to change that mindset.  It is a very difficult operation that we are doing but what I know is, it is achievable.  The President has emphasised on restructuring the police force.  It is a huge task that we are doing.  You will realise that you are no longer seeing them on the streets, especially on the roadblocks, which is one of the major activities that they seemed to enjoy doing. 

They were no longer doing what they were trained to do and they were competing on who is going to the roadblocks because there were benefits they were getting from that.  We have closed all those loopholes.  We want visibility and accountability in everything that they are doing.  If a place does not have police officers or law enforcers, that is when there are crimes.  You will see them all over doing what a police officer is trained to do.  When someone sees a policeman, those who would want to commit crime, they will think twice. 

We are trying to re-sensitise them and we will deploy them in different areas.  We want to start from their leadership and try to re-assign them.  We are doing that exercise up to the lower ranks.  We want people to see different police officers and we are also asking from you Hon. Members to assist us in this exercise that we are doing.  Some of them have stayed for long and have built relations with the chiefs and the community members and when we try to redeploy them, some of them will negotiate with you so that you can understand them because they now have homes or other things that they have acquired in those areas. 

Some of them used to complain but now they have adjusted and they are willing to work with us.  Police officers are supposed to do their work according to how they are trained.  Those who have forgotten will be re-sensitised. I thank you.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  We have the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Rtd. Air Chief Marshall P. Shiri.  You are welcome Sir.

HON. SEN. TAWENGWA:  Thank you Madam President.  Having listened to Minister Mpofu about the police, let me be specific on one issue.  Hon. Minister, what are we doing in order to tame the traffic jungle, specifically here in Harare, in the CBD area, in terms of policing so that we enforce the law?  It is, Madam President, a nightmare to drive on certain roads during certain times.  People will be driving very fast against red robots, passing through red traffic lights, even if it is amber, travelling in the opposite direction on the face of oncoming traffic.  They do not mind doing that and driving on pavements, parking at traffic lines, loading and offloading passengers anywhere even at traffic lines.  What are we doing to tame the traffic jungle? It is a free for all now.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU):  I want to agree with Hon. Sen. Tawengwa about the chaos that we are experiencing now in most urban centres, especially Harare.  This development started and increased when we reduced roadblocks.  We have been talking to the Ministry of Transport together with the municipality, the Ministry of Local Government about the chaos that we are experiencing now as a result of increased traffic within our urban centres.  Several reasons have been given for that.  The other one is that there is reduction of roadblocks.  The other one is that the few roadblocks that are there, if any, vehicles that would not go into town have taken advantage of the lack of police controls in the roads to get into town.  Vehicles that are not supposed to be in town are now coming in to town, thereby increasing the traffic in town.  What we have done is that I have directed the police, through their Commissioner-General to ensure that we have got traffic controls and in fact, most of our robots are not functioning. Wherever robots are not working, there will now be physical control by the police. We have started that exercise, but for those traffic policemen to be effective, they have to be trained to control traffic in that manner. It is an old method which was used a long time ago where the traffic police would control traffic.

          So, we are deploying those that are knowledgeable to deal with that particular challenge that the Senator raised and this is part of the retraining that Hon. Sen. Sibanda spoke about earlier on. I want to assure this House that you will be seeing more of these traffic officers in areas where robots are not working, but it will be done by knowledgeable traffic officers in that old fashioned traffic control. We also appeal to the local authorities especially the councils to ensure that robots are in working order. This is because we have got more traffic robots which are not working than those that are working and that create a lot of problems.

          My colleague the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is here and he is nodding his head. Let us, as much as possible; ensure that our robots are in working order. Harare has almost a million vehicles that are using the roads, and with such a number of vehicles, you need an efficient robot system, but that is not the case in most cases. So, we are working together with our sister line Ministries to ensure that our roads have functional control systems such as robots, but the police are being deployed to attend to those situations in view of the increased traffic in our urban centres. Thank you Madam President. 

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Madam President. May I move that you extend by another 15 minutes?

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: I second.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Madam President. I am directing my question to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. What is Government policy regarding the admission of students in universities and colleges that the children should be admitted without the pre-requisite of Mathematics? Have you admitted that people of Zimbabwe are poor at Mathematics? If we are to follow that, are we going to develop Zimbabwe technically if we have people going for further education without passing Mathematics at O level?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Senator. I have to clarify this point of Mathematics. We have never said students should not do Mathematics at O level. We are saying, when you enter a certain degree, it was always being done at universities, for example that certain degrees like drama, although you have your Mathematics at O level, we do not need it as an entry requirement. Mathamatics as a subject at O level is very important but using it to bottleneck and disenfranchise students who want to do drama is very unfair.

          So, when you are doing engineering, science, agriculture and medicine, it is a must. Our policy is a policy of inclusive education that recognizes different talents which must be nurtured in their diversity to make this country great. The issue of this Mathematics came in 2016 when there was a regulation at technical colleges and teachers’ colleges which was saying, no matter what you do, you cannot enter college without Mathematics. What then happened was all schools of fine arts at Polytechnics began to have a huge fall in enrollment in the students because students with Mathematics would naturally want to go to engineering.

          So, certain schools at Masvingo Polytechnic, Bulawayo, Mqabuko, those departments began not to have students but instead, students or potential students were now on the streets. What we are basically saying is that mathematics as a subject is very important, but please do not demand it when a person wants to do Tonga, Shona, Ndebele, Chewa or politics. It is a way of disenfranchising our people from entering colleges. So, bottlenecking which creates a certain elite in a certain area, as I said before in another question, you cannot have a country or a football team which has goal-keepers alone. You will lose the match. You cannot have a team that has got strikers alone, you will lose the team. A country needs to be balanced and it has to recognise different talents. We will continue encouraging Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and me being a scientist, I do not apologise for that because I recognise that there are different talents and we should nurture them. So, we have never said no to Mathematics. It is very important and it is compulsory at O level but do not use it as an entry requirement where it is not required. That is our point. Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Hon. Murwira. What is your policy regarding the support of youngsters living with disability because we feel that there are some discrepancies and discrimination?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you very much for the question. Our first policy drive is that we are promoting inclusive education in this country. What basically that means is that all talents, abilities and disabilities are going to be taken care of.  Talking about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), my Ministry - you can actually remove the whole other names and just say STEM Ministry.  It is a Ministry of Science and Technology Development at the end but based on education at tertiary and also higher education, which are universities.

          We have started on special education needs, for example, I will tell you that at United College of Education, as well as at Mutare Teachers’ College and Reformed Church University, we have got special facilities, especially for the blind; computerised projects where we want even those people who cannot see to be able to read using machines, computers and everything.  So, our number one priority policy is called Inclusive Education.  What basically that means is we do not have a person to waste in this country.  Every person who has a head has to be used for national development.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science Technology Development. Minister, we read in the newspapers that Vice Chancellor Nyagura has been suspended but in today’s paper, The Newsday, it says he is till reporting for work.  What is your position, can you tell this House?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Madam President. Thank you Hon. Senator.  Hon. Senator, you are reading from the newspapers, which is okay.  With all due respect, I would say a correct position that we know is that the Chancellor, who is the President, who is the appointing authority of a Vice Chancellor; I am not even the appointing authority myself.  What we know is that I have never seen a letter on my desk which says the Chancellor has suspended a Vice Chancellor.  Thank you Madam President.

          *HON. SEN. MAKWARIMBA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  What is Government policy regarding the decentralisation policy; what has happened to that policy because it is now affecting service delivery in local authorities?  We had a situation where we have 75% of people living in the rural areas but we notice that most of the Ministries of Government are stampeding to grab power from local authorities. 

          For example, the vehicle licence fees, these used to be collected by local authorities but they have been taken over by the Ministry of Transport.  Why do they take away those licence fees?  My second example is on the allocation of land, you will find the Ministry of Lands itself allocating land in rural areas.  The third example is on the Land Commission, the Ministry of Lands goes to collect levies from local authorities’ resettlement areas.  As far as I am concerned, this is destroying financial ability of these local authorities.  What happened to the decentralisation of power because we find Land Commission going to settle disputes in local authority areas without involving the local authorities within whose jurisdiction the dispute falls?

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Madam President, this is a too detailed question and from what I know, it will take the whole day to respond, if I may go deeper.  I will try to be brief, when the Constitution talked about decentralisation with the aim of empowering local authorities, especially in the Constitution law making process.  This was included in the Constitution that there is going to be decentralisation.

          We may not be able to give correct interpretation to this piece of legislation.  If one is to examine our Constitution, the policy on decentralisation is highly discussed and we find it in three chapters.  There is a chapter which discusses the principles.  The other chapter talks about local authorities and their jurisdiction.  We also have a chapter that discusses the fiscus and we notice that Zimbabwe is the only country which has a Constitution which empowers in three places.  The first one is the Constitution, the second is the Primary legislation and we encourage local authorities to implement the powers they were given which is in three stages, especially under Urban and Rural District Councils.  The second tier of power which talks about the full devolution of power to local authorities will check whether they have been given power to collect their own financial status.

          Our Constitution really empowers our local authorities and this is in certain chapters in the Constitution which talks about the budget of these local authorities.  We also find this in another chapter on financial regulations.  In most cases, we usually say this belongs to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development but when we check in the Constitution it also empowers the local authorities, and that is what we talk about when we talk of devolution or decentralisation.  The local authorities were empowered.

          The third aspect where you are given the powers to supervise your employees and in some countries the Town Clerk or the Chief Executive (CEO) comes from the Government, but in Zimbabwe local authorities are empowered to hire and fire the Town Clerk and CEOs.  We also have a principle of officer siderite, which says whether you have been empowered in such a way constitutionally, you still have to report to the parent Ministry where you advise them as local authorities your jurisdictions and parameters of operations.

          Sometimes we notice some greediness, especially in cases whereby the Central Government may grab some of the powers from the local authorities and through the devolution, the local authorities look for ways of regaining powers which had been taken from the local authorities.  For instance, the development levy which had been taken by the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture.  They need to have a dialogue and get protection from the codes.  The Hon. Minister came and explained what had happened and assured the nation that devolution had been fully implemented.  The local authorities have their powers back. 

When we talk about some other collection, we are not sure that our local authorities have been empowered to collect those levies.  For instance, in vehicle collection of fees, whenever you go through the tollgates, the computers will detect that this vehicle has not paid anything and hence they collect these levies and give them to the local authorities.

          ZINARA is encouraged to give the money which would have been collected to the rightful authorities and if that money is not disbursed on time, there will be a lot of potholes and the local authorities cannot repair or maintain those roads.  We are saying, when we talk of full decentralisation, Zimbabwe is in the forefront.  I have been called to other countries as an advisor on decentralisation or devolution of power.  I have given them lessons on how they can go about it. 

          HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  Minister, when are we going to witness the official opening of Binga Border Post considering that the staff houses were built about 15 to 20 years ago and they are collapsing now?  The Zambian side is already open and people are crossing using the Zambian entry but the Zimbabwean side is reluctant. 

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU): Thank you Hon. Chair.  I want to thank the Hon. Sen. Chief Siansali for raising that concern which concern is being addressed by the Ministry.  Yesterday I was asking for progress reports from my officials on the update of what has been happening in Binga.  I am aware that there are some nice structures that have been put up in Binga in preparation for the commissioning of that border post.  I am waiting for the report from the officials that we have assigned to look into that matter.  I think the reason is that the other stakeholders have not done their part in addressing that situation. 

          Hon. Sen. Chief Siansali, I have been there even before I became a Minister of Home Affairs and I was actually concerned about the lack of movement on our side yet on the Zambian side, the facilities have already been provided for that border post.  I want to assure this august House that this should be addressed within the 100 days plan that His Excellency has set us to accomplish.  Thank you.

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



1.   HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, and Rural Resettlement to explain:


(a)             Whether or not farmers in resettlement areas are insured against natural disasters;

(b)            How a farmer can be assisted in case of loses of one hundred and fifty or more hectares of maize crop due to veld fires.

(c)             How farmers are sensitised on setting up fireguards or fire breaks in place to avert veld fires.

(d)            What the Ministry’s policy is as regards the protection of farmers from unscrupulous buyers who want to cash in on maize that was harvested under the Command Agriculture Programme?


THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETLEMENT (HON. RTD AIR MARSHAL SHIRI): Mr. President Sir, let me thank the Hon. Senator for raising the questions.

a)             All farmers in Zimbabwe are responsible for the insurance of their properties against natural disasters.  The prerogative lies with the individual farmer.  So, some farmers are insured and others are not insured.  We do not normally look at the statistics or ask for them.

b)               Given the response which I gave earlier on, on insurance, normally it is insurance which is supposed to cover such misfortunes.  The farmer is responsible for insuring their crops so again it is not the responsibility of Central Government or the financier.

c)                The component should be referred to the Minister responsible for Environment.  However, generally, Environment Management Authority extension workers take a multipronged approach to encourage communities, including farmers to set up fireguards around their properties.  So, whilst we try and educate the farmers as agricultural extension workers, the responsibility to deal with veld fires lies under the Ministry of Environment.

d)               The Ministry has put in place Statutory Instrument 79 of 2017 which covers Command Agriculture Scheme for Domestic Crop, Livestock and Fisheries Production.  The regulation is there to protect farmers from unscrupulous buyers who want to purchase Command Agriculture maize.  What it means is that the Statutory Instrument forbids anyone from buying maize or any other products produced under command agriculture without prior authority.  Thank you.


2.   HON. SEN. GOTO asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, and Rural Resettlement to:

a)    Inform the House what measures have been put in place to assist farmers who lost their crops due to water logging and veld fires after benefitting from the Government’s Command Agriculture Programme.


b)   State whether the repayment of debt to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) would not be spread over a period to allow farmers to first recover from their losses so that they may remain viable as farmers.

c)     Further state how farmers who could not access fertilizers would be expected to repay their loans in view of the fact that they are not able to meet their obligations due to poor yields that they realised.

d)   How Government would support those farmers affected by the shortage of diesel and electricity during the winter wheat cropping season, and also in view of the fact that some farmers have abandoned their activities mid-way through the season due to lack of such resources.


THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETLEMENT (HON. RTD AIR MARSHAL SHIRI): Thank you Mr. President.  The response to that Hon. Senator is that; Command Agriculture Programme offers a loan facility with a view to compliment farmers’ own efforts.  Farmers are expected to pay back the loan.  Farmers who are not able to meet their current obligations for whatever reasons, including natural disasters, a case by case approach will be applied to address their concerns.  However, we would like to encourage all farmers to insure their farming activities.

          The second question was to establish whether the repayment of debt to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) could not be spread over a period to allow farmers to first recover from their losses so that they may remain viable as farmers.  Hon. Senator, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has not communicated anything that gives GMB authority to roll over farmers’ debts, but the reality of life is; obviously, if a farmer defaults, Treasury insists that payment be made at one point or the other.  Obviously, a clever farmer would come up with some repayment mechanisms which might actually involve repayment in subsequent months. 

          The third question required the Minister to further state how farmers who could not access fertilizers would be expected to repay their loans in view of the fact that they are not able to meet their obligations due to poor yields that they realised.  Farmers who could not access fertilizers were expected not to have planted anything, it would be probably unwise for a farmer to proceed to plant maize without any fertilizer at all.  If they did proceed in that manner, then they took the risk and they should be responsible for the risk they took. 

          The last part of the question was on how Government would support those farmers affected by the shortage of diesel and electricity during the winter-wheat cropping season and also in view of the fact that some farmers have abandoned their activities mid-way through the season due to lack of such resources.  Winter-wheat farmers were given inputs that enabled them to produce and pay back their loans.  No load-shedding was reported and any power outages maybe attributed to technical faults.  As far as we know, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) tried its level best to attend to all faults within reasonable times.  So, if there is a specific experience which some farmers went through, we would appreciate if they approached us with the details so that we can see how best we can assist them.  Thank you Mr. President.



3.  HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, and Rural Resettlement to explain to the House why the Mupotedzi Irrigation Scheme in Honde Valley, under Mutasa Rural District Council was abandoned considering that the Government had already spent money on irrigation pipes and the perimeter fence for the area which was allocated to beneficiaries.

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (RTD. AIR MARSHALL SHIRI): Hon. Senators, the irrigation scheme was not abandoned; however, farmers require assistance to run the pump.  A team comprising of technicians were deployed on site to mentor farmers on how to run the pump.  The team is expected to leave the site when satisfied that farmers are now capable to operate the pump without challenges.


10.  HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture to explain to the House why the Ministry has failed to curb incidents of blatant infringement and flagrant breach of copyright legislation where piracy of music, books and other intellectual property rights is being conducted with impunity on daily basis as if there are no laws to stop piracy.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURE (HON. DR. MPOFU): In terms of Section 219(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is responsible for detecting, investigating and preventing crime among other duties.  As a proactive measure and to be more effective, the ZRP established specialised sections such as the Licence Inspectorate Unit and the Cyber Crime Unit to deal with issues of intellectual property on a daily basis and offer protection to writers, artists and music composers among right holders.

It is imperative to point out that the ZRP regularly conduct raids on illegal vendors of pirated discs and books where they seize, confiscate, forfeit and destroy infringed copies by fire through use of a blast furnace.  In addition, the police have always been involved in anti-crime awareness campaigns with a view to educate members of the public against engaging in piracy.  The campaigns target both offenders and intellectual property right holders.  This is achieved through the electronic and print media as well as through awareness campaigns in public places.

We are also lobbying for the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act [Chapter 26:05] to target the consumers and not only the peddlers.  We have enlisted the help of the judiciary to ensure repeat offenders are given stiffer penalties, preferably custodial sentences because some offenders are escaping with small fines which are not deterrent enough and in the process, continue to flout the law.

The fight against piracy and theft of intellectual property rights should not only be left to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture alone. There is need for a multi-sectoral approach to weed out pirating of music and books.  Intellectual property rights owners or their representatives, local authorities and other key stakeholders must regularly work with the ZRP in joint operations to curb the menace.



          First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the call on the Executive to provide alternative resettlement areas for communities from Zvehamba, Mahatshe and Matankeni.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President for allowing me to say a few words about the situation in Kezi, Matopo. I understand that this community resettled in this area in 1912. These people have lived there as said by everyone.  In 1947, the then Government had an idea of moving them but decided not to and they pegged the area where they were and said it was going to be State land called ARDA.  What I noted Mr. President is the fact that the white man’s Government realised that it was not right to move these people because if they thought that it was right, after pegging, they should have removed them, but they did not.  I think it was also for that reason that they had not found a suitable place to resettle these people.  This is because in 1947, my family lived in Matobo and those who have areas to go to, the Government used trucks to relocate them to Tsholotsho, Nkayi and so on.  This means that for these ones, the Government did not find a place to relocate them and that is why they were left there.

          However, I am saying, now, I understand the bulldozers were deployed there and razed their land.  These people now have no land on which to farm and continue with their lives.  I am saying, where is our humanity if we can do that?  The whites could not find a place for that.  For my people who lived there, they moved them because they had found a place in Nkayi and Tsholotsho in 1947.  We were all moved from there and relocated in different areas because the Government of the time had found a place to relocate us.  I am saying, the Government had not found a place and it is us now who are moving the people of Mahatshe and Matankeni to nowhere.  These people their fields are being grazed when they are not moved to where they are supposed to be.  I am continuing to say, our Government has agreed to look into SDGs 1 and 2.  The SDG 1 says, we are to remove poverty in all its forms from people.  The SDG 2 says, end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition of the communities in our country.  What are we doing to the people of Mahenke of Matobo when we are grazing their land and not giving them the land - when as Government, we have promised that we are going to remove poverty in all its forms?  We are also to ensure that there is food security for everyone.  Are these people not part everyone, we are taking their land and not improving their food security so that they can lead better lives with their children? 

The SDG 2 that is talking about the food security which is going to be allowed and people will be helped, I think Government has been doing that by providing Command Agriculture to the country, because it wants to remove all forms of poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe, but what about these people for whom we are now increasing the possibility of hunger?  It says reduce malnutrition but we are increasing malnutrition to those communities, why are we doing that, yet we have agreed as Government that there will be food security and improved nutrition.  It goes on to say, we will remove stunting and wasting, but we are not removing stunting and wasting from these communities.  We are increasing stunting and wasting, yet our Government itself has pledged that it is going to tackle Goal number 1 and 2.  These two Goals lead to the third goal.

If Goal 1 and 2 are achieved, we are not going to have problems with Goal Number 3, because when malnourished people have low immunities, they are easily affected with diseases.  The children get diarrhoea when they are malnourished.  We say this is State land which the previous white man’s Government said that I have no place.  I have not created a place to send these people, we are the ones who, yet even our number 1 goal among the five goals that the Government has, food security and nutrition.  The Government itself has said it wants to eradicate hunger and nutrition.  I am requesting that our Government, maybe at the time, the new dispensation was not there, I am really hoping that the new dispensation is going to look at the issues like this one where people have their land.  Even our traditional ways of looking after our graves, I understood yesterday when there was a discussion that their graves have been ploughed down and ARDA has taken over and reduced the graves into nothing.  Ubuntu, I hope the new dispensation is going to look into that.  I thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity with the understanding that Government understands the first two Goals 1 and 2, because they are affected by what is happening.  I thank you.


Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 13th March, 2018.



Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Access to Safe and Clean Water in Rural areas.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Mr. President.  Perhaps you can guide me here.  We thought this issue was a very important motion that we raised, as a Committee that I think needed response from the Minister himself.  That, as a position, for which this motion has been on paper for too long, I intended to withdraw the motion from the Order Paper today.  I need your guidance whether I should withdraw it or we wait for the response from the Minister.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I was inquiring, I thought you had contacted the Deputy Clerk, Ms. Dingani.  If there is no communication, you have to move for the adoption of the motion and internally, in terms of administration and management, they will ask for a Ministerial Statement.  Are you ready to withdraw it today.

HON. SEN. MAKORE.  I am ready.  Mr. President, firstly, I would like to thank all who contributed to this motion.  I am not in a position to pronounce a list of contributors except to say, I thank you all over the valuable contributions that you made.  Mr. President, with these few words, I think I am moving for the adoption of the motion:

That this House takes note of the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on access to safe and clean water in rural areas.

Motion put and agreed to.



Third Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on protection of consumers from corruption.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MANYERE:  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mawire for raising the motion, seconded by Hon. Sen. Makore.  The issue of money is very painful and I am just summing up what others have already talked about.  It is very painful because if you go to the banks now, you will have to go there very early in the morning and you are given only $20.  It is very painful because we are the legislators – so, where do we get our money from when we are given these pay slips.

          If you go along First Street, you will find that there are these illegal money changers who pester you for money and it is a challenge which is rampant in Zimbabwe.  Yesterday I went to buy some car parts and I was told that they have a three tier pricing for US dollars, bond notes and swipe, they have three different prices and you have to buy.  It is really a sad thing and it is even affecting the people in our constituencies because they are asking where they can get money from.  So I think that Government should do something.  Should we just keep on looking at it and up to what stage and who is going to solve this issue?

          Mr. President, I am really pained.  We have our Reserve Bank here and Dr. Mangudya is there at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe – are there no papers for printing money or what is happening?  Do we have printers?  Was the printer stolen? 

I think that the Government should intervene so that all of us live peacefully.  Tomorrow as I will be going to my constituency, everyone will be waiting and will say that the Senator is here as they think that the Senator has money because she is coming from Harare.  The people who raised this motion were hurt by the results and it is hurting us as well.  So, we are asking the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that we should go to the bank with him so that we see how he is getting his money, because for us it is painful.  We should unite as a nation so that our wealth is not played with.  We know that there is a lot of corruption whether we agree or not because some people are getting the money that they want through corrupt activities.  I am just adding on to what others have said already.  Thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 13th March, 2018.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MASUKU), the Senate adjourned at Twenty Five Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 13th March, 2018.


Last modified on Friday, 09 March 2018 07:59
Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 08 MARCH 2018 VOL 27 NO 27