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SENATE HANSARD 09 MAY 2017 VOL 26 NO 52

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 9th May, 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

ZANU PF CAUCUS MEETING

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  There will be a Caucus meeting for ZANU PF Members of Parliament on Wednesday, 10th May, 2017 at ZANU PF Headquarters at 1000 hours.  You will be advised of the agenda.  Please attend and be punctual.

BILLS RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:     I have received the following Bills from the National Assembly:

a) The Judicial Laws Amendment Bill (Ease of Settling Commercial and other Disputes) [H.B. 4A, 2016] and

b) The Deeds Registries Amendment Bill [H.B. 3A, 2016].

SECOND READING

NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS COMMISSION BILL [H.B.6, 2016]

First Order read: Second Reading: National Competitiveness Commission Bill [H.B.6, 2016].

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. BIMHA):  Thank you Madam President.  Madam President, you will recall that the National Competitiveness Commission Bill [H.B.6, 2016] sailed through the National Assembly successfully after going through the processes there on the 4th April 2017.  The National Competitiveness Commission Bill, hereinafter to be referred to as the NCC Bill is hereby presented in this august House for your consideration and approval.  I hereby present the Second Reading before the Senate.

Madam President, let me commence by outlining the background of the proposed NCC Act.  The NCC Bill will repeal and replace the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Act, hereinafter to be referred to as the NIPC to enable the rebranded commission to deal more effectively with the issues of competitiveness and ease of doing business.  The major affected changes relate mainly to the proposed functions of the new commission.  As you recall Madam President, the Cabinet at its 38th Session on 25th November 2014, discussed and adopted recommendations of the Cabinet Memorandum on the national pricing structure.  At that meeting, Cabinet directed that NIPC be rebranded and transformed into a new entity which will be responsible for the implementation of all the recommendations contained in the Cabinet Memorandum on the National Pricing Structure which sought to improve the country’s competitiveness and reduce the cost of doing business. 

Madam President, in order to implement the recommendations contained in the Cabinet Memorandum on the National Pricing Structure, the NIPC will be transformed into the new entity, the NCC, which will carry out the recommended mandates.  Thus, it is necessary to repeal the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Act [Chapter 14:32] and replace it with the National Competitiveness Commission.  Madam President, let me alert the House that all the law making processes for this Bill were complied with.

Explanatory Memorandum to the Clauses of the NCC Bill

Let me outline the clauses of the Bill to the House.

Clause 1 sets out the Short Title of the Bill.  The title is the National Competitiveness Commission Act which will focus mainly on the issues of Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business whilst the repealed Act, the National Incomes and Pricing Commission dealt with price control of goods. 

Clause 2 provides certain definitions of terms used in the Bill.  Key definitions such as “competitiveness”, “ease of doing business”, “cost of doing business”, “cost drivers” and standard definitions such as “rates”, “regulatory authority” and “tariff” are defined in the context of competitiveness.

Clause 3 provides that the State is to be bound by the provisions of the Act.

Clauses 4, 5 and 6 provides for the establishment of the National Competitiveness Commission, its composition as well as its functions and powers.  The NCC Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and a board which shall be composed of not less than nine and not more than twelve board members who are appointed by the Minister in consultation with the President. 

Madam President, at least half of the commission’s board members shall be women in line with Section 17 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013.  Their terms and conditions of office, vacation of office, meetings, procedures of the board, and so on, are outlined in the First Schedule of the Bill.  Madam President, the functions of the NCC Commission are outlined in Clause 6 (1) (a) (1) and they are to:-

a)    develop, coordinate and ensure implementation of key policy improvement processes, strategies and initiatives that will enhance Zimbabwe’s global competitiveness;

b)   monitor evolving sector specific subjects and strategies for enhancing Zimbabwe’s global competitiveness;

c)    review all existing and new business regulations to ascertain their impact on the cost of doing business and recommend amendments or repeals where appropriate to enhance competitiveness;

d)   continuously monitor the cost drivers in the business and economic environment and advise on measures to be taken to enhance productivity and address current and emerging cost challenges;

e)    identify sectors of the Zimbabwean economy that have potential for global competitiveness whilst also paying due attention to issues of structure and size of industry, technology gaps, skills, infrastructure and mordernisation needs;

f)     review all price changes by public bodies ranging from Central Government, parastatals to local authorities that charge or levy user fees, rates from the public and clients;

g)    undertake research and maintain a comprehensive nationwide statistical database to be used in the analysis of competitiveness across all sectors of the economy;

h)   to develop periodic competitiveness frameworks and strategies;

i)      provide a platform for dialogue between the public, private sector, labour, academia and non-state actors on the subject of competitiveness;

j)      to build awareness and advocacy media on matters related to competitiveness;

k)   produce an annual benchmarking report on the National  Competitiveness such as the National Competitiveness Report; and

l)      perform any other function that may be conferred or imposed upon the Commission by this Act or any other enactment.

Madam President, let me state that in addition to the functions of the NCC Commission, the powers of the NCC Commission are elaborated in the Second Schedule of the Bill.

Clause 7 provides for the policy direction of the Commission.  In particular, it states that the Minister may give the Commission general directions relating to the policy the Commission is to observe in the exercise of its functions.  Procedures to execute policy directives are also detailed in this clause.

Clause 8 provides for the execution of contracts and instruments by the Commission as well as delegating some of the functions to authorised persons.

Clause 9 provides that the Commission shall prepare a report on all its activities and submit it to the Minister.  Madam President, let me make it clear that the NCC has to submit a report (National Competitiveness Report) on all its activities on each and every financial year.  Further, the Minister may request the report at any given time when it is necessary.

Madam President, the NCC shall act as the Secretariat of the Standing Inter-Ministerial Cabinet Committee and shall report to the Minister who will then report to the Standing Inter-Ministerial Cabinet Committee.

          Clauses 10 and 11 provide for the appointment of the Executive Director of the Commission and the employment of persons necessary for the conduct of the business of the Commissions.

          Clauses 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 relate to the financial powers of the Commission.  In particular, they set out what the funds of the Commission consist of , that money not immediately required by the Commission may be invested and also that auditors shall be appointed with the Minister’s approval to audit the Commission and give reports, statements or explanations in connection with the Commission’s activities, funds and property.

          Madam President, Clauses 17 and 18 provide for the powers of the Executive Director to obtain information, preservation of secrecy by every person engaged by the Commission, unless he or she is required to do by order of a competent court.  It provides that no liability shall attach to the Commission for any loss or damage sustained by any person as a result of the exercise or performance of any function in good faith.

          Clauses 20 and 21 provide for regulation that can be made in relation to the Commission as well as repeal the National Incomes and Pricing Act.

          Clause 22 provides for the transitional necessities to the effect that any regulations which were made by the Minister under the repealed Act and which were in force immediately before the appointed day shall continue in force as if they had been made by the Commission.

          Madam President, I hereby move that the National Competitiveness Commission Bill [H.B. 6, 2016], be now read a second time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee State: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS COMMISSION BILL [H.B. 6, 2016]

          House in Committee

          Clauses 1 to 22 put and agreed to.

          First and Second Schedule put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendment.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS COMMISSION BILL [H.B.6, 2017].

          THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. BIMHA): Madam President, I move that the Bill be read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): Madam President, I move that Order of the Day, Number 2 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the State of the Nation Address.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 10th May, 2017

                   MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. RTD. GEN. NYAMBUYA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 10th May, 2017

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Madam President, I move that Order of the Day Number 5 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING IN ZIMBABWE

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on HIV and AIDS in Institutions of Higher Learning in Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President. I stand to make a contribution on the HIV/AIDS subject as a Member of that Committee. Firstly, let me admit that HIV/AIDS is a technical subject from the nature in which the virus mutates and therefore, becomes difficult to deal with. That puts complications within scientific adventurism in terms of providing cure for the disease. So, at any one time we should be cognisant of the difficulties that human kind is going to face in dealing with this condition.

Secondly Mr. President, I would like to emphasise as the report does on the relationship between HIV/AIDS on the one hand and poverty on the other. Two submissions have been made on that relationship. I would only want it to be understood clearly that we as the leaders in this countries and as the people charged with the relevant responsibility to run this nation, have a responsibility that we cannot avoid. Our responsibility is to deal with poverty that threatens our people and even our unborn children. If we do not do so, then we would have classified ourselves into a group that has contributed to the increase of HIV/AIDS in this nation.  if we continue to do that, than I would not be surprised as future generations will classify us or the political systems as also one of the drivers of the HIV state of the nation.

Mr. President, the report also relates to sex education. I know as black people we tend to have a negative attitude towards early sex education, but let us all understand that the earlier we infuse this information into the mental system of our children, the better for us and the nation. they will grow up knowing and understanding that what they have learnt at early childhood is of value to their development process.

Mr. President let me move on and briefly look at moral recovery. I once again emphasise that we as the people of Africa have carried an enviable link with our past. We are known for being less adventurous and therefore, being respect to our traditional values. I urge that this nation rediscovers those values. I urge that in our social vocabulary, particularly social sexual vocabulary, we increase the frequency of the word ‘no’ against ‘yes’.  That will contribute to our ability to manage this condition. 

The report also refers to the need for the subject HIV and AIDS to be examinable.  I think the Members of the Committee cannot be seen as having been adventurous.  It is important that all students and tertiary institutions understand as much as possible about this condition.  Why do I say so – because when you are at college, you are respectable.  During our days, those who were at college were known as umcollege.   When you walked past, they would say that one is at college.  I am sure that to some extent, it happens today.  People say the son of so and so is at college, the son of so and so is at university.

The manifest behaviour of the university or the college student is envied by many. You talk to many children and they tell you that they would like to go to university.  Therefore, if it becomes a subject that is examinable, it emphasises the value to which we attach the management of HIV and AIDS in this nation.  To some extent, I would like to commend the Minister of Finance for putting forward a levy that is designed to address the issue of post NGO support for our HIV and AIDS programme.  I am only concerned that if the economy does not recover, the returns from that levy will continue to dwindle and dwindle and dwindle.  Once again, the poverty cycle is likely to visit us and specifically, I am talking about the levy that they are putting on airtime.  That also applies to the AIDS levy, it will continue to dwindle.  We know it has dwindled. It may dwindle further and render a good will null and void. I therefore urge that we seriously look at our economy.  It is that economy that will be the source of poverty reduction. 

Another point that I would like to raise and probably my last point is that we are thirteen years away from 2030.  It looks like a long time but it is only two or three elections away to be precise and 2030 where we are hoping to achieve the 90:90 proportion.  It is only three years away.  The efforts we vest today is the effort that gives us the results that we desire tomorrow and inversely, the lack of effort we do not invest today is the lack of effort that is going to give us no return.

For me, it is imperative that we all look at the AIDS scourge which I must mention that some students felt that because there is now management treatment, it is not an issue.  It is still an issue.  We know that mutating viruses do change form and they become a stretch on research.  Therefore, I suggest that we all stick in there; the leadership in this country, the parents and traditional leaders. I want to go an extra mile and put a lot of emphasis on women.  This is not discriminatory.  It is known that women tend to be better champions of values.  Today, they are taking greater leadership roles in the country and in the world.

I urge that we give space to our women – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- and they champion this struggle for us if we want to achieve results.  With these words, I do not know whether I should call them few or numerous;  I thank you for the opportunity.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to support the report that was given by our Chairperson on HIV and AIDS.  I will add a few words as I am a member of the Committee.   It is true that what is in the report is what we witnessed in institutions of higher learning.  It was really sad. 

          Government has taken measures to end the issues of HIV and AIDS through the levies that were mentioned by the previous speaker.  Institutions of higher learning have adults who leave their homes but when they get to universities, they present different morals.  For example at one of the universities we went to, one lady said that she will not use a condom because she would have found a blesser to give her money and she would want to satisfy him by not using a condom.  This is so because she is given money.

In the first place, we were ashamed of what these students were saying.  We asked ourselves if the parents knew that their child has a blesser at the university.  The parents would have worked very hard by selling their livestock to pay fees and clothes for the children to be well dressed among others but the children have the audacity to stand up and say that they do not urge their partners to use condoms because they are blessers.  We asked them why they call them blessers and they responded that they are the ones who give them money.

When we further looked at this issue, as the report and the previous speaker said, the institutes of higher learning, that is where we find the learned who should assist the Government in implementing Government policy but they are doing the opposite. 

On drugs, one student said that when they go for studies, some students sleep over there and they will be taking drugs.  The girls will be high and will not even know who they were intimate with.  They will wake up the next morning and they will not recall what will have happened because of the drugs. It is sad that Zimbabwe is a small nation but the issue of drugs has become a menace.  That is an issue that we need to address as a nation in schools and with our children.  The issue of drugs is causing deaths because of being high and drunkenness.  The children will tell you that they do not know what would have happened, they will only find themselves waking up in the morning because of the drugs they would have taken.  As a Committee or as Parliamentarians, we need to sit down and consider what we can do.  The issue of drugs is there and the girl child is having “blessers” out there.  What are we going to do?  The parents are struggling, they do not have anything and they are sacrificing for their children to go to school so that they can have a better future. 

We also noticed a problem in that our lecturers might have policies on HIV and AIDS but the students do not know that.  This is a reflection in another way that they are not assisting these students to have awareness and consequences of HIV/AIDS.  We cannot leave out these lecturers because they are hiding out these policies when the students need to know what is happening.  We still have a lot of work ahead of us as a nation.  That is why we sometimes advocate that our Parliament be allocated more money in the Budget so that the Committees continue going on tours and do their oversight role.  If Parliament does not have money, Committees cannot perform their oversight function.  We will be seated here whilst Government policies will not be implemented.  The implementation of policies is good for the nation but because Parliament is not getting adequate resources, it is a stumbling block that affects our performance as Members of Parliament.  The Budget allocation to Parliament is very little and does not enable Parliament to do its work. 

When I asked, what do you want from those “blessers”?  They said they need accommodation and food.  If you tell them the traditional foods we used to eat, they do not accept that because life has changed.  We have realised that no student is not aware of the struggle that their parents are going through to take them to colleges but they are not taking cognisant of all that.  Let us look at it as a nation and find ways of reducing the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the institutes of higher learning.  There is too much freedom at the institutions of higher learning and some of these freedoms are now giving us challenges.  They are creating problems that are affecting the nation at large. 

We would also want to hear from this House, what we can do because we seem to be failing to handle this issue because when a country says we need to contribute to Aids Levy to curb the HIV pandemic, then you have children saying that they have “blessers” to provide them with  food.  It is a challenge that we need to address.  Let us share ideas because we might lose most of our children because of the situation that we witnessed.

We want to thank the Chairperson for presenting the correct report of what we witnessed in universities and colleges.  Some were requesting that they need clinics because it is difficult for them to access ARVs from their provinces and they miss some of their lessons.  This will also make people know that this one is living positive because they will have gone to collect their medication.  If the freedoms are not curtailed, we will still have the challenge.  This issue requires Government intervention as well as the drugs.  Can we really deploy in colleges, because it is happening – children are getting drunk and getting high.  Therefore, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate will remain high.  We want to thank the Committee and the Chairperson, Hon. Sen. Timveos.  I am sure your report will assist Government in coming up with policies. 

NAC is trying its best but it seems not to be working out.  We would want to think that once the Government adopts this report, I am sure they will be able to realise and come up with measures as to how we can reduce the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.  It is not only in higher institutions of learning, there is also a lot of mobility amongst people that are in love.  Let us assist each other and ensure that Government policy becomes successful.  I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would want to add my voice on the debate of the Report on HIV/AIDS and tour that we had as a Committee.  I am also a member of the Committee.  The other issue that we realised was that when students go to universities and colleges, the fees that they are told is not the correct amount. The figures are inflated when they get there.  So for them to communicate with their parents becomes a challenge.  That is why you find students ending up engaging in such activities because they know that their parents will not be able to afford the fees.  The male students end up engaging in artisanal mining and in drugs.  Their plea was that, learning institutions should inform them the correct amounts.  If it is $500, let it be $500 but when they get to the colleges, the money would be raised from maybe 300 to 500.  That child has no means of getting the $500 and they end up engaging in such activities. 

What pains me are the “blessers”.  The “blessers” are elderly people.  They go there with their expensive cars, the Hummers, the Discoveries, the Ford Rangers, you name them and approach these children.  These children are not approached by men of their age and I always ask to say, what is making you go for elderly men?  Some people do not even take their HIV tablets at home and the wife is not even aware.  The student then is not able to advocate for a condom because she wants money.  The male students end up going to do drugs because there are no elderly women or there are few of them who can look after these young male students. 

At one institution, the students told us that the administration does not even ask them where they were going when they knew that there were blessers to spoil them.  What do they think will happen after being spoilt by those blessers?  I do not know what spirit has come over our children because the child does not even want to use the condom and they will tell you that I want one with a good scent.  You forget that you came to school to educate youself so that you are empowered and you can have a better future.  The sad thing is that the female students can become pregnant, leave school and the male student stays at school.  The girl student is always at a disadvantage.

          Regarding our children, we need the Almighty to intervene.  We can make efforts to eradicate HIV/AIDS, but it does not seem to be working.  At one workshop, the children said that they want to be intimate at the age of nine years.  If they engage in sexual activities at nine years, then it means that they will become HIV infected at a tender age.  Our children are now seized with a satanic spirit.  I will continue hammering on the issue that men should not go after these young students.  Why do you go to take the young children because you do not even eat a raw apple or guava?  The reason why you do not eat it is because it is bitter – why can you not go for people of your own age?  They do not even go after the elderly ones but they want to go for the young ones.  No one is going after your child.  Your child has been probably taken abroad but you want to go for other parents’ children and infect them with different diseases because when you become of age, you already know your status.  But, you go and look for young female students or maybe it is because of this myth that if you are intimate with young children, you will be healed.  Is that true?

If you meet someone of your age and you are both positive, you can look after yourselves but if you go after the female student, you have spoilt her life and when that girl finally gets pregnant, she is already HIV positive and she will infect her husband.  Let us leave these students so that they can marry and give birth to children who are not HIV positive but at a later stage, that child may become infected by the HIV/AIDS virus.

          On the issue of grants, if that money was available for the welfare of the students, then probably we would be having less of this promiscuity because sometimes they can spend the whole day with nothing to eat and just having maputi.  Some are unable to go back to their rural homes.  Sometimes they do not even have bus fare to go probably to Bulawayo or their provinces to go and get their next supply of ARVs.  That is what is affecting the lives of most of these children.  Some of the teachers were asked if they knew about their children and they responded to say, sometimes they would only realise that the child is not coming to school, only to discover that they had died and were already buried.  With those few words, I want to thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity that you have given me.  I want to thank the Chairperson of the HIV/AIDS Committee, Hon. Sen. Timveos for the report that she tabled in this House and the seconder of that report, Hon. Sen. Masuku.  I am a Member of that Committee and what we saw when we went round is disheartening Mr. President. 

What concerned me most was that if a person is on ARVs, that person has to go and get ARVs from their provinces.  Imagine having to travel from Lupane to Mutare.  I had my brother’s child who was on ARVs and once a person defaults, it affects him and the person can die.  So, my request is that when one is no longer in that province, there should be measures to ensure that we have a policy that ensures that that person can access the ARVs in the area that he is.  So, I think that is something that should be considered by those in the Ministry of Health and Child Care that if they have a card to show that they are on ARVs, they should access those tablets in whatever areas they are in.

          Mr. President, what I witnessed was that there was an issue on poverty, hunger, as well as accommodation.  My request is that, this House and the Government should ensure that there is adequate accommodation for the students because it is true that if a person does not have shelter, they will do anything in order to get accommodation.  What we are saying is that the Ministry or the Government should ensure that universities and colleges have adequate accommodation for the students to enable us to debate and come up with measures as to how we can deal with the issue of HIV/AIDS.

          Mr. President, on the issue of blessers, the students said that if I get $500, does it warrant me to use a condom because that person will have blessed me, so I also have to return the favour but without knowing that it is detrimental to the life of the child.  We are pleading with the Government in this House that we should ensure that policies are put in place because sometimes the child has nothing at her disposal. 

Mr. President, what also pained me was that in the institutions of higher learning, sometimes there are no hospitals and there are no adequate medicines.  So, I am saying in these institutions of higher learning, we would want this House to support that they also put hospitals, adequate human resources and medicines to ensure that people get their medication on time.  My request in this House and from the Government is that the issue of HIV/AIDS should be taken as a subject and it should be given adequate time for students to learn about it because we realised that awareness and HIV/AIDS is inadequate.

My request is that this House and the Government should ensure that HIV/AIDS becomes a subject and students should be given adequate time to learn about it. When we talked to the lecturers, all was well but when we met with the students it appeared to be a new topic. Mr. President, that should be looked into and HIV/AIDS should be a subject. The other thing I wanted to say is that as the august House, we are supporting that if possible there should be that subject so that people can be educated. With these few words, I want to thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President for this opportunity that you have given me. Mr. President, this is not a new issue but what we realise is that it depends on where the children is coming from. Morals do not just start from the highway. I am sure that within our homes, sometimes it is a challenge because you may be living with someone of loose morals. You find that the mother and father are actually scared of their children and cannot reprimand them just because the child is now a graduate. That child getting such treatment feels that I am now honourable and it becomes difficult to talk to them. They see us parents as uneducated and do not listen to any counseling that may come from us.

My request is that men and women, fathers and mothers, and even the nation at large, know that a child is a child no matter how old they are because their actions or behaviour reflect on you as the parent. Even if a child is married, whatever they do in that family, where she is married it will not reflect on the child but you the parent. The issue of HIV/AIDS is there to stay. There are a lot of people who look beautiful but they are on ARVs. The ARVs are just the same as BP tablets. What is the difference? Take your ARVs so that you live longer but do not go amongst the innocent students and get into intimacy when you know that you are infected.

People should be wary of their morals. I have realised that institutes of higher learning are no longer admirable. When a child comes home on vacation, they come home as if they are children with morals and yet what they do there is bad. Even the administration should have laws and regulations that control these children. If you go to the avenues, you will find young girls there. Now, we call them sex workers meaning that they are workers in that field. How will the Government assist? If we are to pay that levy, will it be able to save everyone? It is impossible.  So let us try and find out the traditional norms and values that we need to inculcate in our children.

I have an experience whereby one lazy person got into the middle of my field with a UD truck and stole my maize. If you do not work with your own hands, know that there are two things. You need to be able to do the mental or to work with your hands. So, if you cannot work with your hands, ensure that you are academically educated. If you are not educated and cannot use your hands, what can you do? We want to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos and Hon.  Sen. Chimhini for the report that was tabled.

As was said by other Senators, it is good for our children to have values but the elderly should not abuse students but this is very difficult because you hear others talking of wanting the sweet sixteens’.  As old as we are, where do you think we are still going? Even if the sweet sixteen comes to me, what will I do with that sweet sixteen? So, we want to emphasise Mr. President, that we need to know our ages. I realise that Sen. Musaka is enjoying it but I am serious. It is important Mr. President for us to know our ages. We also want to urge our children to be tested and find ways of living their lives. With these few words, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Mr. President. I am happy with the debate that is before us. Firstly, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos for the report that she tabled from the Committee on HIV/AIDS. Yes, it is a very important issue but what is good should be appreciated, not to say these things when a person has died. I think our Government had foresight that HIV/AIDS would affect the nation and even development. They came up with a policy that would then come and assist everyone in the nation. Medication was sought and if I am not mistaken, Zimbabwe is one of the countries within the SADC that managed to reduce the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate through awareness campaigns.

I want to thank you so much Hon. Makore for what you said. I was laughing with my colleague here that it is as if we discussed what you said. I am one of the Hon. Members who are saying poverty is what is leading our children into such promiscuity. Why is it in colleges, hospitals and such other institutions only? I agree with Hon. Makore that charity begins at home. Some have said that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. If both mother and father are in the home and we see our children going and coming back at whatever time they want; we get into bed and sleep knowing that our child is not yet at home. We tell others that you should be aware that John might knock.

What values are we inculcating in our children? I am saying this issue lies with the parents. As parents, we need to educate our children because some of the behaviours that we are doing as parents, if we are the ones being seen picking up girl children, my boy child will say whatever my father is doing is right.  If the girl child sees me going out while the father is not there, she will assume that that is right.  Every time, we always want to blame the Government.  Who really is the Government?  The Government is us the people.  We should not continue piling things on the Government but we should address these issues.  The Government has enough problems to deal with resuscitating the economy. 

What troubles me in Zimbabwe is that we have shunned our values.  I once mentioned that when we were growing up, the girl child used to be with the grandmothers and mothers in the kitchen.  The boy child would be with the grandfathers and fathers.  Children were advised on what was expected of them.  Now, there are no such situations.  We now talk about the Government.  Should the Government come to our houses and tell us how to raise our children?  We are now saying that they come from home to college and the money is not adequate. 

From my assessment as a person who comes from rural areas, I have noticed that those children who are poor are the ones who are well disciplined at colleges.  Those who lack discipline are from middle and wealthy families.  When you look at the issue of drugs, those are the children who are a problem.  When we come here, we do not look at the real matters.  We always say that the Government should do this and that.  We are the Government, let us instill discipline in the areas where we come from and also follow our values as Africans.

I have a young sister, the last born in our family who went to the United Kingdom in 2000; I remember she came back in 2006 and she was saying that in terms of drugs, what is happening in Europe is bad.  It is not a crime for a child to indulge in drugs.  Our children are moving around – their mothers are in Europe and they go there and come back.  Mothers and grandmothers go there because they have been invited by the children.  When we get and come back, we shun our values.   When you get into the street, you see someone as old as my mother wearing a trousers moving around.  They have already left dresses and they want to show people that they have come from Europe.  They would like to show that they are different and that they are more superior.  There is a difference there. They would have already lost their African values. 

In these institutes of higher learning, we have a challenge in the caliber of lecturers.  I heard that the Committee Members from this Committee mentioned that it was evident that the lecturers have the policies in their offices but the student is not aware.  Why is that lecturer holding that paper?  Is it not that they were given the policy to give awareness to the students.  As legislators, when we go to our constituencies, we are also supposed to raise awareness on the issue.

For us to be Ministers and Members of Parliament, we came from those lecturers.  So, they should educate the children as to what is expected of them.  I think the other challenge that I have noticed is that in colleges and other universities, most of them are male.  Since they are male, they are those men who no longer have morals and values.  Instead of being guardian to the children, they end up wanting relationships with the girl student.  For the lecturer to say if you sleep with a man without a condom you will get HIV and AIDS, it then becomes difficult.  They no longer give that knowledge to their children. It is not happening because their conduct is not right.

There was once a policy that stated that if a lecturer or teacher was caught having a relationship with a student, that lecturer or teacher had to be dismissed.  We have a challenge here in Zimbabwe.  We will continue mourning that if only the Government had more funds and could do a, b, c and d.  That person should be dismissed, as was the policy.  So, all of that is not being done.

I do not agree that students are poor and do not have money to pay.  I was in boarding school at form two level and we would be sent to school without a trunk but we behaved knowing that we had come to be educated.  Students would not go out of the school yard without a pass.  Why is it that today students are allowed to go out of the school yard without a pass?  We need to come up with rules and regulations.  We are not implementing policy.  The policy is there but it is not being implemented. 

I am not in the Committee but I am happy and impressed by the visits that were done by our colleagues.  Right now, it has become enlightenment to all of us and a shock that children do not want to use condoms.  If the Committee had not gone out, we would not be aware of the challenges that are happening.  As we are in this august House, let us go and raise awareness in our constituencies and also inform parents that this is what the children are engaged in at colleges.  We should know that charity begins at home.  Values are inculcated at home.  If we are not organised and we are not of high moral value as parents, we will not manage.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAKWARIMBA:  Thank you Hon. President for the opportunity that you have given me to add my voice to the report on HIV and AIDS. It is a painful issue because there are very few of us who have not lost relatives due to HIV and AIDS.  I would like to thank the Government on this issue that it has done its part and has put in place the HIV and AIDS levy. This has enabled a lot of people to survive.

My issue is in two parts.  In my opinion, some of our policies as Government as well as our traditional knowledge were supposed to be merged in order to fight such diseases. I think of the legal age of majority that gives children the right to do whatever they want and not allowing the parents to intervene. 

I go to our traditional norms.  We had aunties who would seat down with the child before she is married.  I am surprised when we talk of the children using condoms.  Long ago, a child could not engage in sexual intercourse until they got married.  In our area, if a child indulge before marriage, a blanket was bought and a big hole was put to show that that this child was no longer a virgin.  Where did the aunties go?  They are the ones that are telling them to use condoms, is that the way we can advise our children.  What was better was that as elderly men and women, we should be looking at the fact that, where did our values gone, then come together and see how we can bring them back. 

When we look at the issue of the children who are abused by their parents.  Who will the child listen to if the Government says, leave that child, she has become of age.  If a stick has to be used, it must be used for a child to have good values.  Let us have such policies in place.  Why do we need traditional leaders if we are not using them.  Why can we not bring the parents together and advocate for virginity testing to be done for a child to get married.  When your child is getting married, you do not even know whether the child is still a virgin or not, you just charge and you are advocating for the use of condoms.

Mr. President, I think we need to seat down and come up with better ideas and not to think that things should work this way, yet we are giving our children the freedom to go and engage but with a condom.  The parents are there, looking after the children, giving them everything.  Mr. President, it is painful.  I passed through some nightclubs at night and the girls are naked.  You come here and blame the sugar daddies, what do you want them to do when people are naked on the streets.   That is not the case and with those few words Mr. President, I want to thank you.

+HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU:  Mr. President, thank you for giving me the opportunity for me to add a few words on this motion that was brought by Hon. Sen. Timvios in this august House.  I am not in the HIV Committee, however, I was very much touched by what was being contributed by most Hon. Senators.  It is saddening for us as chiefs as we see that our values are slowly eroding away from people.  Some previous speakers spoke about sugar daddies who are so much of a problem in institutions of higher learning.  It is true that they are indeed problematic because they fall in love and abuse these young children.  Their intention is not to marry them but for them to benefit from them whilst abusing them. 

People no longer have conscience at all that is why they do such scurry things.  Truthfully, if you have a girl child and you leave them at home, you go to an institution of higher learning take advantage of another child who is same age as your child because you have money, where is your conscience.  That is where our problem is.  If the Government is to strengthen the laws concerning this issue, it would go a long way in assisting to curb this issue. 

Concerning the issue of transmission of HIV/AID, people who do this intentionally, should be put under the law.  There should be a law that takes care of these actions so that they pay for their deeds.  Conscience no longer exist amongst us as people and this is caused by what we call democracy.  The human rights that we always talk about.  The children that move around with sugar daddies and do what they want believing it is their right to do whatever they want, whenever they want and to have sugar daddies, however it is a bad thing.

I remember the former South African President, Thabo Mbeki once released a statement that HIV/AIDS is nonexistent but it is there because of poverty.  He said that what perpetuates HIV/AIDS is poverty and people did not understand what he meant.  What he meant was that our poverty and suffering as Zimbabwe and the whole of Africa is what leads our children to handle themselves the way they do, having sugar daddies and dating for money’s sake.  I have heard that these sugar daddies are now referred to as “blessers”.

As chiefs, we are here to advise you and to correct you in your wrong ways. It is amazing that the pastors, the bishops, the elderly and even Members of Parliament are amongst those who do wrong.  As we sit in this august House, I beg with you Hon. Members, let us have conscience.  Let us go to church; perhaps the Lord could have mercy upon us.  He said it in his Bible that if you follow my commandments, you will not die of diseases of foreigners.  The diseases that are referred to are like HIV/AIDS.  What God is saying is that we should follow his commandments.  We should have our conscience and people should not be brave.  That is a very bad thing.  With those few words, I thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. BUKA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 10th May, 2017.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU, seconded by HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA, the Senate adjourned at Nine Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 07:08
Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 09 MAY 2017 VOL 26 NO 52