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SENATE HANSARD 09 OCTOBER 2018 VOL 28 no 10

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 9th October, 2018

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

ORAL CHOLERA VACCINATION PROCESS

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the House that Hon. Members are invited to participate in the ongoing oral cholera vaccination on Wednesday and Thursday, 10th and 11th  October, 2018 at Parliament Clinic.  The programme will be preceded by presentation at 0900 hours in the National Assembly Chamber on both days.  Any Members who fail to be present for the vaccination process on these days can access any other designated vaccination points at the City of Harare Clinics. 

MOTION

NATIONAL DRUG POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move the motion standing in my name that-

 NOTING that a National Drug Policy is critical in ensuring that all drugs in the national drug distribution systems are safe, efficacious, effective and of good quality whilst it also strengthens administrative, and regulatory controls of the same;

CONCERNED that the existing legal framework, such as the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform), the Dangerous Drugs Act and the Medicines and Allied Substances Act are either outdated and do not sufficiently provide for procurement and use of drugs;

NOTING that these current laws criminalise drug and substance use resulting in drug users fearing to seek treatment for TB and HIV infections;

AWARE that, decriminalisation of drug use and drug policy reform as adopted globally by other countries are vital strategies to addressing the drug problem;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government to come up with a national drug policy and legislative framework that is grounded in science, public health and human rights to effectively minimise the effects of drug use within communities.

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I second.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you very much Madam President for affording me this opportunity to debate this motion.  Madam President, Zimbabwe does not have a national drug policy master plan.  Zimbabwe is now an attractive destination for international drug trafficking, why, it is because of our multicurrency system. 

Zimbabwe is battling an upsurge of illicit drug trafficking and misuse.  As a country, we need to look at this with an open heart and see how we can save our peoples’ lives.  Madam President, the current and existing drug policies, measures and strategies, so far have not really done much.  We really need to look at the law as a country, to see how we can improve the law. 

Madam President, as a country, it is time to craft measures to prevent HIV and AIDS because some of these drugs use injections and some of the things which can transfer diseases to their partners.  We have a lot of blood bone diseases and we should enact a good law that can help Zimbabwe and save lives.  We need to intensify coordination and cooperation between, Health, Education, Home Affairs and Justice Ministries to address the scourge.  We also need to empower women, families, teachers, health practitioners, community leaders, religious leaders and policy makers to deal with various challenges posed by drug use especially amongst the youth and ultimately encourage young people to lead happy and healthy lives and abstain from drug use.  Let us address drug use and drug addiction as well and other health disorders.

In conclusion Madam President, I want to say as Zimbabwe, let us have a national drug policy which will provide a framework that will control drug trafficking, provide for stiffer measures for traffickers and will galvanise various Government ministries, civil society, academia, donor agencies and other stakeholders to ensure the provisions of voluntary evidence based and human rights compliance health services.

Madam President, drugs are really an issue at this moment in time. A few months ago, I went to Bulawayo and this lady who was doing my hair actually told me that she had transferred her Form 2 son to go to Domboshava because they were boys that were selling drugs (and pills) at the school. You must know that when you crossover to Mozambique, there are drugs that are actually sold on the streets which can get our teenagers intoxicated. They actually get them when women go out there to get bails and they come with these little pills that they sell to our young ones.

So, drugs are really an issue and as a country we really need to look at these drugs and see if our laws that we have at this moment in time are enough, and if not let us really try and save our children so that they can have a better future. If we have a nation that has teenagers who are drunk all the time, drinking musombodhia, Zed and all that, surely the excellence that we expect from them will never be achieved.

Madam President, I want all the Senators to debate this motion with the knowledge that they are saving lives and we really have to look at this issue of drugs together, not because it is me who has moved this motion. But, as a nation we are here to work and we really have to agree that drugs are a problem. We are there in the communities we live in and see our teenage boys and even our teenage girls are also now getting involved with drugs. What is going on? What is wrong with our country at the moment in time? We really need to make sure that we come up with a drug policy that is user friendly and that can help our nation. I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. SHOKO: Thank you Madam President for allowing me to debate on this motion. It is a very important motion to the nation as a whole. It does not discriminate whether you are a woman or man, or you support the opposition or the ruling party. It does not discriminate where you come from. It is a very important motion and if you go to the kombi ranks, that is where you will see the effect of drug. The boys there live in another world, the world that we do not live in. You then see that there is some lax in our own systems.

My understanding is that there is a drug control section or board that deals with those things and the police on the other side are supposed to also monitor all the drugs that are not allowed in the country. We are seeing as if there is a relaxation of these laws that deal with drugs. When you have youths that are completely drugged, you know that you do not have a good future because the youth is the future. We were a future sometime ago. If I look at most of us here, we are above 50/60s and therefore we are the present but there is a future that is maintained by our youths.

If your youths are drugged or drunk, they cannot think of any plans to advance the country. They will be busy taking the drugs that are coming in, for example musombodhiya or Zed which was talked about. These are very dangerous drinks. I am unable to give you the exact effects but I saw the effects of Zed when I conducted a seminar in Mutare. I said to the audience, look I am not going to give you tea today but I will give you money to buy whatever you want. I gave them 30 minutes tea time. When they came back after 30 minutes, some were sweating and making noise. I asked the class what the problem was and they told me, no, waende kunotora Zed. That meant to say they had taken Zed instead of tea. You can see how dangerous these drugs that are being brought in are to our communities and children.

Our children are mostly affected because they are unemployed and have nothing to do. Our facilities where we used to have youths doing sporting activities and so on are no longer operational and therefore, their sporting now is taking these drugs. Unfortunately, what happens is that when they have taken these drugs they become very dangerous even to their parents and the communities that they exist in. It is very important therefore, for this House to look at these issues seriously and without looking at any isms because they are very important to everyone because it affects all of us. If we do not debate this issue and move it to the Executive to then craft laws that inhibit the taking of these drugs then it will not be good for us. We will not have done any good and we will have let down the people that brought us into this House.

It is very important Madam President that this issue be debated and looked at seriously. I know that in this House we have experts that can help us understand the issue of drug. That is very important for us to understand because they know the effects of drugs; what happens whenever a child has taken a drug. We might not want to debate it because we are saying no, ndezvavo vakomana nevasikana but no, those are the future of this country or nation and therefore, we need to debate it seriously looking at the effects, the way forward and the crafting of the law so that we inhibit the issue that is now prevalent in the country. Madam President, with those few contributions, I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. NCUBE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 10th October, 2018.

MOTION

SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS OF VENDING

          HON. SEN. CHABUKA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:

          NOTING that vending has since become the main source of livelihood due to high levels of unemployment in the country;

          SADDENED by the heavy handedness on vendors by armed police which has not spared the general public going about their businesses especially in the central business district in urban areas;

          NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government;

a)    to engage in dialogue with vendors and their associations in an effort to finding a lasting solution to the problems of vending; and

b)   to construct proper vending stalls at easily accessible sites.

HON. SEN. SHOKO: I second.

          HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Madam President, I rise to debate this motion on the issue of vending where vending has become a main source of livelihood due to the high levels of unemployment in the country.  At the same time, the heavy handedness on vendors by armed police which has not spared the general public going about doing their business especially in the central business district in the urban areas.

          Madam President, let me start by saying that vending is not a criminal offence, vendors should not be treated as thieves, robbers and murderers.  Vending is a major source of livelihood and hence vendors should be treated with humanity – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]  -

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senators, order please, you can continue.

          HON. SEN. CHABUKA: With 95% of unemployment rate, with family obligations, looking upon a mother who might be a widow, and supposedly a bread winner, the only source of income and survival is vending.  This therefore, means that vending is a source of livelihood.

          Madam President, vending has now become the only form of employment in the country, there is no alternative.  It is with a sad heart that vending has become a criminal offence in Zimbabwe.  They have been treated as enemies of the State and have been seen as a danger.  The Government has treated its citizens with heavy handedness; they have sent armed police who do not have a heart in dealing with civilians, leaving out the municipal police under whose jurisdiction vending falls.

          Madam President, I implore the Government to engage vendors and their associations in a dialogue as it is the only solution to all these problems we see today.  Government should have an alternative and put in place long lasting solutions. Vending sites must be constructed and must be placed at strategic places and must be accessible to the market.  Proper planning and engagement will go a long way in proving a lasting solution.  Government should know the needs of vendors and must endeavour to provide lasting solutions to the problems.

          As a woman, I am pleading that the Government must take action as soon as possible to save lives.

          *HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on this motion raised by Hon. Sen. Chabuka, it is a very pertinent motion.  When you look at the vendor issue, it is a very important issue which has to be tackled carefully.  We know there is a high rate of unemployment in Zimbabwe. As a result, men, women and youngsters who are unemployed are looking for ways for eking out a living.  We have heard in the past, where local authorities gave vending sites to these people but unfortunately, the location of these vending sites is not a profitable distance, there is no business in those areas. So these vendors end up moving back to the areas where they think they can make a living.  We are begging the Government to take a clear look and make a thorough research and analysis of this vending problem so that these vendors are allocated vending sites which are hygienic and profitable.

          We know - it is a fact, we cannot deny it that during cholera outbreak, people who were vending were really put out of business because the water they were using was dirty water and the Minister of Health and Child Care came here and gave us a talk on cholera.   He told us that the first victims who passed on because of this cholera outbreak in Budiriro were women who were operating these vending/market stalls because they were operating in dirty, places, unhygienic there was no clean water and no toilet facilities.  We need to look at these problems as Government and fund means of solving the problem of vendors so that when we allocate them vending sites, they are well planned and have all the facilities which are necessary.

          As far as we are concerned, just chasing away vendors from these sites is not solving any problem, we are fighting a losing war because they will be playing a cat and mouse game.  These people are so persistent because that is their only way of earning a living, if they give up vending, they will not be able to put food on the table and take their children to school.  As Zimbabweans, when a child completes his/her studies, diploma to degree level, they must be employed.  When I was looking, googling, I found out what is happening in South Africa. I realised that students in South Africa have a well outlined programme when they leave school.  They go on attachment or they go for employment and they will put into implementation what they will have learnt.  I wish Zimbabwe would also look at such ways of creating employment because I have noticed that most of our graduates are unemployed.  They are just seated at home. 

As of now, these vendors have devised a new technique; they now blow whistles when they see these police enforcement agencies coming.  They blow the whistles and the cat and mouse game goes on and on.  I am saying chasing these vendors is not a solution. As a country let us have that spirit of oneness, empathy and sympathy.  We know people are suffering from hunger, we know people are unemployed.  I may talk until the cows come home.  I am not a vendor, I am living a decent life, but I sympathise and empathise with the vendors.  We need to create a conducive atmosphere, a spirit of entrepreneurship.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday 10th October, 2018.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: Thank you Madam President. Madam President, allow me to start by greeting all Members of the Senate here present.  I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa for winning the just ended free and fair harmonised elections, which saw him being elected as the President of this country – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I want to say to him we are solidly behind your leadership, Mr. President.

          Let me also congratulate you for being elected as the President of the Senate. I sincerely believe your leadership will take us far as we carry out our duties.  I also wish to congratulate Rtd. General Nyambuya for being elected the Deputy President of the Senate.  My last congratulations, of course, go to my fellow Senate Members who have secured the mandate to represent the people in this august House.

          Our election in the Senate comes with huge responsibilities as it coincides with the dawn of the Second Republic.  Significantly also, was the official opening of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe which was held on 18th September, 2018.  The Session which the President addressed very well, he gave an insight into the priorities that the Government will consider in its quest to revive our economy.  Among the priorities highlighted was mining and agriculture.

          The President also on 18th September, 2018, whilst opening the First Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe singled out agriculture as the key sector in the resuscitation and growth of the economy.  Indeed the President was absolutely right.  As part of the Senate, I wish to bring to the attention of this House that agriculture has the potential of contributing double its current GDP.  This understanding or projection could even be surpassed, especially if the strategic or comprehensive plans are laid down and followed, as said by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa.

          The President was very clear on the need to maximise land utilisation so that production can be increased.  Indeed, concise planning development and use of water bodies throughout the country will yield unbelievable results in the agricultural sector and of course, the economy.  This, Madam President should be possible in an even shorter space of time, especially if the call by His Excellency for further investments and cooperation is heeded.

          Equally important to this matter is the need to align production to the industrialisation agenda as said by His Excellency President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa. The President, under the new dispensation wishes to seek a quick revival of vibrant agro-based industries.  Such industries will definitely help in making available products from cereals, cotton, vegetables, horticulture, fruits and dairy.  Resultantly, unemployment can be reduced as the value addition process is put into effect.

          Madam President, allow me to move on to look at mining.  It was not surprising that the President did not end his speech without talking about mining.  His Excellency educated Members present that the mining sector remains yet another key component of the economic recovery programme.  Indeed, our precious minerals which include diamond, gold and platinum can add value to the economy.  However, research has shown that the rate and level of extraction remains low.  As a matter of fact, His Excellency’s vision of further reviving the sector and broadening the range of minerals exploited becomes vital if the economy is to move in a positive direction.

          I would like to reiterate that on a very important aspect as this point in my presentation as highlighted by His Excellency the President in his speech on the opening of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe.  It is imperative that the Government continues to facilitate acquisition and use of appropriate modern, efficient and adaptable technologies by small scale miners so that efficiency and output are increased.  Such initiatives Hon. Members can only be achieved if the vision by our President is closely followed and only if we act on it.

          Let me end by remembering the girl child who in our endeavors should be taken on board.  It is imperative to note that our children are our future; they are our tomorrow.  The girl child is as equally important as the boy child.  This implies that leaving them out of development projects in this case agriculture and mining would be similar to compromising our future as a nation. It will therefore be part of our agenda in the Senate to make sure that policies and laws relating to mining and agriculture are designed in such a manner that also respect the concerns of the girl child – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We would be happy to see laws regarding employment and even ownership of mining claims protecting and promoting the girl child respectively.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: Thank you Madam President.  First and foremost I would like to congratulate you for being elected the President of the Senate and your Deputy Hon. Nyambuya.  Madam President, I stood up so that I add my voice to the motion that was moved by Hon. S. K. Moyo and seconded by Hon. Mbowa. I followed the speech that was delivered by the President of the State, on uplifting of the jobs that are available in the Government and how the Government conducts its business on day to day basis.

          Firstly on construction of the roads, I would like to congratulate the President, we have a road that connects Gwanda and Maphisa. For many years that road was not completed, but with the new dispensation the road has been constructed. Madam President, I quote from the Presidential Speech that the Government will improve infrastructural development. I would like to thank the new Government for the maintenance of Gwanda/Maphisa Road. This is an old century road which has not been maintained for many years, but now work is in progress. It connects Gwanda/Maphisa to Mpoengs Boarder Post to Botswana. I thank the Government for that. I am expecting the Government to do more for the whole country to improve road networks. The railway lines must be renovated to promote adequate supply of transport to citizens of our beloved Zimbabwe.

          I also quote in the Presidential Speech that agriculture remains a key sector in the resuscitation and growth of our economy. We are happy in Matabeleland that some farmers were given cattle for rearing and also the excavation of Tuli/Manyame Dam which is in progress will promote irrigation hence, employment creation and reduce poverty within families. The Government must continue excavating dams in Region 5 because this area receives little annual rainfall.  Short seasonal crops must be supplied to farmers to increase crop yields especially sorghum.

          Inputs should be issued in time to small scale farmers to increase yields. The Government must give loans and equipment to A1 and A2 farmers. Government parastatals which help farmers like DDF, mechanisation must service their equipment in time and help the communal farmers to increase agriculture produce, hence the big river being filled with small streams. The irrigation schemes like Muza and ARDA must continue being supported by the Government to increase crop production, just to mention a few.. The Ministry of Agriculture must be concerned with projects like poultry, fishery, goats and these projects must reach the people.

          On water and sanitation, the Government must continue providing drilling machines to ensure that safe and clean water is supplied to all corners of the country. The Ministry concerned must cater for that water in the urban areas that it is well treated before it is supplied to residents in order to reduce diseases, like nowadays where there is an outbreak of cholera. Old pipes must be replaced with new ones to ensure that people have access to clean water. The Government must deal with corruption in the drilling of boreholes because some individuals end up taking machines for their own benefit leaving people suffering.

          Madam President, I quote from the Presidential Speech that the Government will facilitate further the revival of the sector and broaden the range of minerals exploited. As mining is the key source to foreign currency, the Government should supply machinery and equipment to promote mineral production, especially gold. The Government must fight corruption in the mining sector especially gold smuggling. The offices dealing with disputes must be corrupt free to ensure that mining is done effectively. Black market and unlicenced buyers must be stopped to increase gold sold to Fidelity.

          I would like to ask why the Mines, Minerals and Border Control Unit is overriding the ruling of Mines Directors in disputes. This is causing some people to end up mining without licence, hence the smuggling of gold outside our country through the black market. The powers of M.B.C.U. must be limited to avoid overriding the Mines Director. In all, the 9th Parliament should seriously deal with corruption. With our hard-working President, His Excellency Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa and his democratic leadership, we can have a better and beloved Zimbabwe. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. GUMPO:  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to congratulate you and your deputy for being elected.  Madam President of the Senate, this is my contribution to the President’s Speech at the opening of the Ninth Parliament on 18th September, 2018.

          The President has already been congratulated by some of our honourable colleagues in this august House at the recent sittings.  I would like to join the colleagues by praising the President for the well-presented and eloquent speech which touched on many matters that need to be addressed by the Ninth Parliament for our country to recover and move forward.

          The President has challenged all of us as law makers to lead in this national assignment of turning our country into the most favoured investment destination in the sub-region and Africa as a whole by creating a conducive atmosphere, thus creating an ease of doing business by examining those elements within our country and the economy that are likely to hinder the ease of doing business, to name a few.

          The pending current environmental challenges that include countless veld fires that occur during summer annually have a huge adverse impact on vegetation by creating degradation.  The problem of water and sewer reticulation throughout most municipal areas whose impact if not corrected is likely to scare away prospective investors and will also affect the ease of doing business. 

          Madam President, the President touched on the Public Health Act which needs to be aligned so that the country is guarded against the unpredictable health hazards and diseases such as cholera.  We all hope the Ministries of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and that of Health and Child Care will pay attention to these pending disasters and take firm corrective measures. 

          The elimination of the monster called corruption should be a priority for this august House in order for the country to operate in a safe environment so that national assets will be safeguarded.  All arms of Government, as well as, those of the private sector should be used to fight this ugly animal called corruption.  We all pray that the Ministries of Home Affairs and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs take the President’s remarks on corruption very seriously before it gets too late to find a lasting solution.

          Madam President, as I have already alluded to above, the current Ninth Parliament has a mammoth task; that of aligning a good number of laws to the Constitution.  Most of these laws are meant to support the country’s effort to rebuild the economy in order for our country to be accepted by the international community as an equal trading partner and to become more competitive to attract Foreign Direct Investment. The team spirit of this august House will bring about the intended and desirable results as the House continues to debate all issues that will bring about improvement in our economy.   I thank you Madam President.    

          HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 10th October, 2018.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA) the Senate adjourned at Twenty Six Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.