You are here:Home>Senate Hansard>Vol. 21>SENATE HANSARD - 1 DECEMBER 2011 VOL. 21 NO. 14



Thursday, 1st December, 2011.

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






THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I have to inform the Senate that the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion has embarked on a programme to launch the Mid-Term Plan in all provinces of Zimbabwe. Up to date, only Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Mashonaland East remain due to budgetary constraints. The Ministry has therefore come up with dates for the launch in these provinces which are as follows:

a) Matabeleland North, 15th December 2011, at the Community Hall in Lupane;

b) Matabeleland South, 16th December 2011, at the Gwanda Hotel; and

c) Mashonaland East, 19th December 2011, in Marondera.

Hon. senators are kindly invited to attend the events.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I also have to inform the Senate of the changes in the membership of Thematic Committees where Hon. Senator Marava changes from the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment Committee to the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: May I also remind senators to switch off their cell phones before business commences.


SENATOR MARAVA: I would like to ask the minister that our Zimbabwean women are mainly cross borders and have been fighting to up-lift the standards of their children and their husbands in some cases. Now, with the improvement in the economy, I can see that there is still no improvement in the allocation of funds, especially to women who are business minded. Are there any plans that the Government has got to see women benefiting and achieving their goal for self enrichment?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (SENATOR GEORGIAS): Thank you hon. senator for that question. Yes, there is a problem because there is no mechanism put in place by the Government to protect the cross border women at the border posts. However, as you may know, there is a lot of unscrupulous people out there, it is going to be difficult to control, but I am sure the Government is going to look into this issue in the near future.

SENATOR HLALO: I would like to ask the minister to inform the House if there is any contingency measures taken to re-stock livestock in Matabeleland. If ever there is anything which we heard in the papers that Matabeleland now has got more donkeys than cattle and when Matabeleland itself is supposed to be a catchment area for quality beef which once went to the European Union. Are there any measures to reset Matabeleland as a cattle breeding place.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): It is a very interesting question from Senator Hlalo who in his own right, is a prominent businessman and cattle rancher, with more than 2 thousand head of cattle. I appreciate the question that he has asked because it is a very pertinent question to farmers in Matabeleland who are normally into commercial cattle ranching. I would like to remind Senator Hlalo that if I remember in Hon. Biti's Budget presentation exactly a week ago, he did mention the need to restock the country's herd, with obviously particular buyers focusing on Matabeleland. It is Matabeleland because it is well known and that there are facilities for cattle ranching. The Government is, amongst other things, considering restocking of cattle not only in Matabeleland but in the whole country. I did not bring my Blue Book with me, but I remember there is a facility, if I remember well, there should be plus or minus US$40 million to assist amongst other things, restocking of cattle not only in Matabeleland but for the whole country and particular buyers will focus on Matabeleland. So, I would like to urge Senator Hlalo to take note that this Government is going to be appreciative of the importance of agriculture and there has been some mis-apprehension with some people who I believe have got their sinister agendas, who have tried to trash the Budget trying to comment on it as if it is not aligned to the fact that we are an agro-based economy and that agriculture does not drive this economy. So I believe the Budget is very alive to those facts. It is a pro-poor Budget with a very deliberate focus towards social services, towards uplifting infrastructure in rural areas. Hence the various amounts of money given, not only to farmers, but also to hospitals in the rural areas, including the mission hospital where I was born, in Gutu. So I believe that we should really be appreciative of the fact that the Government is bending over backwards to do that. I am glad that Senator Hlalo, as one of the country's leading ranchers will see it fit to have some more two thousand or three thousand cattle, so that when we visit his ranch, we will see about seven thousand cattle before the end of next year.

SENATOR NCUBE: There has been a problem from the children who have finished their nursing school, they have not been employed for the past two or three years. What has the Government done to help those children since they graduated from their courses?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (SENATOR. GEORGIAS): Thank you Mr. President. As Senator Ncube knows, there is congestion in hospitals and a lot of qualified nurses have not been employed by and large right through the country. I am not sure that if another hospital was to be built, would we be able to absorb all these numbers of people that have been educated. The Government, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, is trying to do something in order to accommodate these unemployed qualified nurses. Until that happens, I am not sure what the Government has to do at the moment because there is a shortage of doctors as Senator Ncube might know. The shortage of doctors is another disturbing factor because professionals are leaving this country going outside. So, it will take a bit of time to absorb all these qualified nurses. I think the Government is doing something about it.

SENATOR DETE :I would like to ask the ministers. We are surprised because there is no soya bean seed in the seed houses. I do not know what is happening because you can go anywhere looking for soya bean seeds and you cannot find it. Even at the GMB, you can find maize seed but there is no soya bean seed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): Thank you Mr. President. I am happy that this House is very mindful of the importance of agriculture, judging from the questions that have been asked so far. Let me just emphasize that going through the Budget Statement, you would notice that even looking at the amount of money that has been allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture, where Hon. Made is the Minister, there has been efforts to facilitate inputs to farmers. Not only commercial farmers, but even the small scale communal farmers in the rural areas. Personally, I was not aware of the fact that there is no soya bean seed either at GMB or at the various seed houses. I can assure Senator Dete from what I have gathered, only last week I was talking to the managing director of SEEDCO, Mr. Zaranyika on some other business. The impression that I was given was that the country has been fully capacitated to get particularly seed maize because I was making a follow-up on somebody who wanted to pursue issues pertaining to seed maize. Although I did not ask about soya bean because I had not heard that there is a shortage, but let me assure Hon. Senator Dete that I will take it upon myself that I will liaise with Dr. Made. I am going to chase up with him and I believe that would be attended to since it has been highlighted and it has been brought up to the attention of Government. I believe that soya bean is one of the lucrative crops from what I gathered as an aspiring farmer. I wish I would be a farmer very soon, like most of us on this side of the House.

On a more serious note Mr. President, I can assure the hon. senator that Government will look into it. I will talk to Hon. Minister Made, a very good friend of mine, I will phone him tomorrow morning and I am sure something will be done.

SENATOR MANDABA: Thank you Mr. President. A lot of ministries have inadequate staff and establishments are closed. If I can give you an example, the Ministry of Health, apart from nurses, even doctors, radiographers, they do not have a full establishment. The Ministry of Agriculture has 23% of their posts in their establishment. My question is that in the Budget, was it budgeted for the existing staff or the full establishment, with the expectation that establishments will be increased? In other words what was budgeted for? This will then force the relevant authorities to explain, are they going to fill the frozen posts?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): The freezing of posts applies to the whole Government structure. So, it is not only the Ministry of Agriculture. In fact, it is a sad state of affairs in basically all ministries. You will find that in the department of research, which is critical, there are about two law officers in a situation where they must be 18. Then there is an issue that Hon. Senator Aguy Georgias related a few minutes ago, where you find young nurses trained locally and they cannot get jobs. It is not so much that there are no jobs, the critical thing is they cannot get jobs because the biggest employer of nurses in this country is the Government. The Ministry of Health cannot employ nurses even though there are vacancies in all clinics and Government hospitals because there is a Government freeze. To my own understanding, the freeze is going to be unfrozen with effect from the first of January. It was also a big problem to our Ministry with a bit of consultations. Treasury have said all Government posts remain frozen until January 31 without exception. So, whether it is critical or non critical, there is simply no capacity to employ them. Treasury now says come January 2012, those critical posts be filled and I can assure you Hon. Senator Mandaba, what we have been doing this past November was to do interviews, particularly on the critical staff. Come the first of January, all those who had applied to join the Ministry of Health will be absorbed. The same will happen to all ministries, so there is something to smile about because the freeze will be unfrozen within the next thirty days. I believe it is the same in all ministries, critical ministries like that.

Even the issue of nurses that Senator Aguy Georgias answered to a few minutes ago, where you find young nurses, qualified and trained locally cannot get jobs. It is not so much that there are no jobs but the critical thing is that they cannot get jobs because the biggest employer of nurses, for instance, health personnel in this country is the Government, through the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare. But, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare cannot employ nurses although there are vacant posts all over the clinics, Mission and Government hospitals because of the Government freeze.

My understanding is that the freeze is going to be lifted with effect from the 1st of January, 2012. It was also a big problem in our Ministry and when I made consultations, I then discovered that Treasury had said all Government posts remain frozen until 31st December this year without exception. So, whether it is critical or noncritical, there is simply no capacity to employ because of budgetary constraints. Treasury now says, come 1 st January 2012, those critical posts will be filled and I can assure you Hon. Senator Mandaba that for the Ministry of Justice, what we have been doing for this past month November, was to do interviews particularly for the critical staff.

So, come the 1st of January, I am sure all the young graduates who have applied to join the Ministry from the universities and other colleges will then be absorbed and I believe that is the same throughout all the Government Ministries. I can say looking forward, there is something to smile about because the freeze is going to be unfrozen in the next 30 days.

SENATOR MANDABA: What we are saying is that the allocated budget will cater for those critical staff - have you enough on your budget? Is your budget accommodating what you are telling us now?

SENATOR GUTU: My understanding is that when a budget is done like in this case, this budget is for 2012, so, it is from 1 January, 2012 to the 31st December, 2012 and I would like to believe Treasury is mindful of the fact that if there are posts that have been unfrozen, they are also mindful of the fact that ministry by ministry, a particular amount will be needed to pay those people who are going to fill in those posts.

I can safely say that the mere fact that the unfreezing is going to be done, is clear indication that Treasury has taken into account the need to pay those people their salaries because I do not see how they can say unfreeze, employ and then they cannot pay the people. The reason why there is a freeze is because there is no money. The reason why the unfreezing is coming now is, I would like to believe, that there is going to be some money. This is a US$4 billion budget up from about US$2.4 billion budget last year. So it is an increase of plus or minus US$1.5 billion, which is by any standard, a significant increase in the country's budget for 2012.

SENATOR CHABUKA: I need clarification from the Minister. I need to know which criteria you are using to choose those children who go to South Africa on the Presidential Scholarship?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (SENATOR GEORGIAS) : I think that criteria is a responsibility of the Ministry of Education and the criteria that they are using, I am not aware. I am not sure what criteria they are using but surely something is being done by the Ministry of Education to accommodate children who are going to South Africa.

Just going back to a number of issues that have been brought up here, we must appreciate that we have a tight situation in this country. The environment is not conducive, especially as far as finance is concerned, we have no money. We have to do with what we have and allocate funds to the very necessary issues that need to be attended to and priorities of issues that need to be attended to and not because as I said, the budget is tight. Even the nurses that are not being employed, it is a question of the budget. It is not because there is no employment but because they cannot afford to pay all these nurses.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I think senators should be appreciative of the fact that some of these questions are very specific and require specific answers and therefore they need to be directed to those ministries under which the questions fall.

SENATOR MAKORE: Thank you very much Mr. President. It is very unfortunate that other ministers who we expect to attend to this are not forthcoming to answer those questions.

Mine is a developmental question. We have seen congestion in Harare, meaning to say if you move on foot, it is difficult sometimes to go through because you would be brushing on a lot of people, squeezing through. The very cause to that is that we have Chitungwiza, which is used as a dormitory town for Harare. With a population of close to, or more than that of Mutare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and elsewhere, this would also call for a complete complex of a CBD within Chitungwiza itself and again if that development can take place.

We do feel that it can reduce congestion and also even road networks during the time when people are going back to their villages, it is difficult to move. What plans do you have? I thought this is a direct question that has to do with Local Government and Housing?

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order, with due respect to you Senator Makore, it is a question that should be directed to the Ministry of Local Government. So, it would be very unfair for our ministers present here who at least are attempting to answer questions. I am not sure if there will be any one of them interested in responding to the question. Such a question predominantly is seeking clarification and policy of Local Government.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (SENATOR GEORGIAS) : I think it is a very ambitious question. Like I have just said, we have a tight budget. When you start talking about congestion and making construction of such a magnitude expenditure, where is the money going to come from? We must use our common sense in this House and not just pausing or expecting things that could not happen. It cannot happen because there is no money.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I do not think such a response helps the questioner because that is very demanding.

SENATOR MAKORE: The clarification I am just seeking are plans not that you have money at hand Minister. When we are within a country we make advanced plans to combat certain situations. It is not just that we want it today or tomorrow. What plans do you have to combat that state of affair?

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: With due respect Senator Makore, I would advise you to make a written question so that you get a response from the proper minister or any of the ministries would have made consultations with the minister and then the House is at least given a proper answer.

*SENATOR MUCHIHWA: I want to ask on the issue of prisons. Is there anything that has been done in terms of the prisoners' welfare, their food and where they sleep because in the last report, they were complaining about the places they were living in and it showed that those places were not worthy living in. Is there anything which has been done within the last four months; or that you are doing to make the places better for people to live in? We have once said that; to commit a crime is not by will, it might be that or it happened accidentally or willingly but still a person deserves a descent place to stay; so we need to know whether you have done anything about it?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): Thank very much Senator Muchihwa for asking that question. I am particularly very happy because it is a question which directly impacts on my ministry. I can assure Senator Muchihwa that ever since I was appointed Deputy Minister in June last year, there has been some significant, spectacular improvements, in some cases, in the conditions of this country's prisons.

I remember that in July to August last year, I toured all the major prisons in this part of the country, including Chikurubi Maximum Security, Chikurubi Female prisons; Harare Central, Harare Remand, Chikurubi Farm Prison, Chinhoyi, Bindura and Mt Darwin prisons. The situation there was dire, particularly at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison because they did not even have those big pots that they use to cook; the 6 big pots were all not functioning. They had to use firewood and we all know what it means; if you are going to cook for 1 650 inmates which happens to be the population at Chikurubi Maximum using firewood. Very soon Harare and surrounding environs will be a little Sahara desert. So I am pleased to inform this august Senate that and also to answer Senator Muchihwa's question that there is an improvement and even the budgetary allocations have been in such a way that even if you go to our prisons today; obviously you are not going to see a hotel at Chikurubi Prison, you are not going to see a hotel at Chinhoyi Prison but you are not going to see a desperate situation like what used to be there.

I can assure this House that all our prisoners in this country, at least have 3 meals everyday as I am talking. For those who are doubting, they can verify; at least they are getting three meals every day and that is countrywide. So in my humble opinion, I would say that is not ideal but definitely it is a better situation than was there in June 2010 for instance. Also if you look at a prison like Mazowe, Mazowe Prison is a very interesting proposition. It has just been opened, the new complex and I can say all the prisons I have seen all my life in this world, Mazowe Prison is just a model prison. I think it is one of the best prisons I have seen in my life and the facilities at Mazowe Prison are such that if properly used; also considering that there is a big commercial farm just adjacent to the prison, Mazowe Prison can actually feed all the prisons in this country. So going forward, I see a situation with the help of institutions like ICRC, the Committee of the Red Cross; there is a significant improvement. Last year Mazowe Prison had one of the best hot cultural projects; courtesy of the Red Cross, they had a very big project on vegetables and they were actually supplying all the other prisons in and around Mazowe and including Harare prisons.

So just to give you an idea, the same applies to Khami Prison, they are in the process of - I think this will excite my sekuru, I think he has gone out the Hon. Senator Hlalo; they are actually coming up with a facility or a programme where they are getting more cattle to restock Khami Prison farm. Khami Prison, at its peak, had about 6 500 and as at last year, they were down to about 2 000. So now there is a programme to restock and to make sure that may be in the next 12 months or so, Khami Prison is going to be able to supply beef to all the prisons in this country. So that is the vision going forward. So a lot of things may not be happening because people do not talk about them but with due respect, I can assure this House that things are happening and I am sure prisons are far much better now. Thank you.

SENATOR DR. RUGARA: Thank you Mr President; my question is about the CDF. CDF has done one good thing; that is, it has helped the members of the Lower House to develop their communities, their constituencies but negatively it has given the senator wherever you are a very idle posture. Where the senator brings nothing to the constituency; they come to you and say senator, we need this dip tank repaired and you say you cannot because you have no funds. I feel it is for us in this House to say please let us have in the budget a share of the CDF. I am asking the minister whether there is any plan to give the senators the CDF? Is it there and if it is not there, they are all going to have a natural intrusion. I am sorry to have to say that but that is that. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order, order, with due respect to the senator, is it not prudent that; that question is directed to the relevant minister in writing. It is a very pertinent question to this House. Anyway, I see indication from Deputy Minister Gutu, he is willing to assist.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): The question that has been raised by Senator Dr. Rugara is very crucial especially for elected senators. It goes to the very root of how we elected members of this august House relate with our constituents and it is actually one issue which is going to cause all sorts of problems. Constituency Development Fund is given only to Members of the House of Assembly and not to members of this august Senate. It is unfair and I have actually personally taken it up at a different level with the Hon. Minister of Finance. I have made it very clear to him that we want a situation where senators; as Members of Parliament have a separate allocation from Members of House of Assembly because the danger that is there as Hon. Dr. Rugara has said is that when you go out there, particularly in rural constituencies where people do not really appreciate the dynamics of how these two Houses operate, the tendency is to say it is the House of Assembly member who has the money; it is the House of Assembly member who is relevant, it is the House of Assembly member who comes up with projects like what has been said by Dr. Rugara. So we have a situation where we have a dip tank in Bikita ward which is not functioning.

You just scratch your head and keep quiet because you cannot answer because you know you have no access to those funds. I am happy to inform this august Senate that I believe that I managed to convince the Minister of Finance to say look, when the next allocation of funds is done, it should actually be aligned to the fact that Senators are also Members of Parliament. I think the other problem that we have is that we do not have an enabling piece of legislation in this country like what they have in Kenya. In Kenya, it sort of irons out how constituency development funds are used. You find that every Member of Parliament, all of a sudden, becomes an agent for development because they have access to funds.

I believe that the danger we have in this country is that it has been done very well. Yes, I agree, it was an experimental basis. I think now we have to move forward and ensure that we have a piece of legislation that will specifically state that those funds are to be allocated to both the Senator and the Member of the House of Assembly. So since I am also affected, I am actually keen to have this matter addressed. I can assure Dr. Rugara that if something does not happen, I will keep knocking on the Hon. Minister of Finance's door. I have also raised it with the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Advocate Matinenga and I can assure the honourable member that we will not rest until that is addressed. Otherwise if I do not do that, I will also lose Chisipite and I do not want to lose Chisipite. Thank you Mr. President.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Can you please re-direct that question so that the Minister comes here so that the House hears from him.

SENATOR MARAVA: This one is a very hot question as far as I consider it. The Head of State, His Excellency, the President has given a special hand, especially at rural farmers. There is a fund that he has given or he is giving seed maize to the rural people so that everybody can go back to the field. I would like to ask the Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs what steps are on the ground to see that this fund is not abused or is not taken in different or wrong directions than the President intends. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): Mr. President, this one is indeed a hot question as the honourable senator has just said. I would not want to shy away from hot issues. I would like to believe Mr. President that the question asked by the honourable senator is pertinent to the extent that the problem that we are trying to address here is to have a situation where this Presidential Input Scheme is not politicised. I think this is what the honourable senator was basically saying if I understood him correctly. It is a fund which is basically a Government fund. It should cater for all people across religious and political divide. I do not know really what the situation is on the ground. I would like to believe that Hon. Senator Marava is aware of what is happening on the ground. He is Senator for Zaka and I believe that the rains have fallen in Zaka District and people are busy in their agricultural activities.

You would now know how the inputs are being distributed but suffice to state that the Presidential Fund, to the best of my knowledge, is a Government fund. It is not supposed to be and indeed it is not a political fund. So to the extent that it is a Government fund, one would like to expect that all distribution of inputs, of farming inputs from this fund, are done to each and every deserving person. This should be done throughout the length and breadth of this nation without bias regarding their political affiliation or their religious affiliation. I would like to believe that this is the ideal situation. I do not know what the situation is on the ground. I was in the rural areas last Saturday. I was told that where I come from, people have been given 10kg each for seed maize from this scheme. When I asked to say, was there any bias? At least one old man was honest enough to tell me that everyone was given. So I would like to believe that from Ward 35 in Gutu Central where I had visited, if that is the situation that is happening everywhere, then it is alright.

As long as we have to ensure that it is not done on a partisan line, as long as it is done on a non-partisan line, as Government, we have no problem with that. Obviously, if it is done on a partisan basis, you honourable senators, particularly Hon. Senator Marava, you have every reason to raise this up with the relevant ministries and with the relevant organs of the State. I believe that appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that this fund is not used for political reasons. Thank you Mr. President.

*SENATOR KABAYANJIRI: Thank you Mr. President. I stand up because I need to understand how we can proceed with questions for oral answers. I was thinking that Senator Gutu has just said it all and has justified it in a very satisfactory way to us as hon. senators. That issue is a problem to all of us but it is also on the Order Paper and it is on the Question Time. I was thinking that Senator Gutu, is he responding to these questions representing the relevant ministers or he is responding to these as a minister using his own knowledge? Because, if we get responses from the relevant ministers, then we will be convinced.

So if we discuss it without a full answer from the relevant minister, how then are we going to get a correct answer at the end of the day? Whilst at the same time I was explaining, it is true, it is a very important debate, and that is why we are asked to put our questions within seven days so that the relevant minister can research and present it to this august House. I just want to understand how best we can go about this issue. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: As I stated before that in questions that are very specific, it requires senators to write or seek proper answers by putting their questions in writing. So it does not mean that if an oral question has been answered, that is it. You can still put your question in writing to the relevant minister. The ministers here present assist in giving information because by right, they should at least have ideas of what is happening in other ministries, but suffice to say, if you think you are not satisfied, a written question will be tabled. Thank you to the Clerk. He has just pointed out to me a relevant Chapter that is on page 27 of the arrangement of business in our book here - Subsection 4, "That questions may be put to a Vice President or a Minister relating to Public Affairs with which the minister is officially connected, or to proceedings in the Senate or any matter of Administration for which the Vice President or Minister is responsible. Questions may be put to a Senator, not being a Vice President or a Minister, relating to any Bill, motion or public matter connected with the business of the Senate, of which the Senator has charge". Hon. senators should feel free to write questions to be answered by the relevant ministers.

*SENATOR FEMAI: I do not know whether my question is very specific or otherwise but I am going to know that when I am being corrected by you. My question is on the issue related to the laws of the road traffic and the police are still using the same laws. We realise that when travelling along the road, a motorist using the wrong lane is actually told to pass by the traffic police whilst myself, being on the correct lane, can be stopped. What concerns me is, are laws still operational? This is what causes accidents, the one on the wrong side being advised to proceed.

Secondly, I want to talk on the road law on pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians, we all know walk, even as we grew up, use the right side and the motorists use the left. You find a person using the wrong side and this will cause us to clash. I want to know from the minister if these laws are still operational? This causes a commotion, people should be told if the laws have changed because this causes our jackets to be torn when we rub shoulders with others.

*THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you Senator Femai, these are the questions that are specific and need a response from the relevant ministry. We should not cause commotion in this House with questions that particularly need specific answers from the relevant ministry, they require the relevant ministry's experience to clarify the situation. I persuade senators to actually put their questions in writing and the relevant minister will be persuaded to come and answer. It is a very crucial question.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (SENATOR GEORGIAS): The hon. senator stays in Mbare? Do you see the congestion of transport on your road? It is not the law that has changed but it is the population and the traffic that has changed. Sometimes it is very difficult to control people. You cannot do the impossible at the moment because that is what it is. I stay up north on the road to Mutoko, sometimes it takes me time to get into town because of congestion. Traffic, I do not know what is going to happen in 5 years time. There will be a lot of traffic-jam on the road. People will not be able to get to work. It is not a question of the law being changed, it is a question of the population increasing and people buying cars. This is why there is so much congestion.

The illegal control by the police, it is something that is very unfortunate if it is happening. I think it will be better to take it up with the Minister of Home Affairs and seek clarification to see what can be done.

SENATOR SIBANDA: I do not know whether the ministers are going to answer my questions. As we are approaching the rainy season, I am really concerned about our roads and the traffic. Our roads are so narrow and we have seen people losing lives. What is happening to the toll gate money which is being paid every time when a vehicle passes through the toll gate?

The second question is about the behaviour of Zimbabweans on environment. I have observed, if you go from Bulawayo up to Beitbridge along the road, you see empty cans, bottles and chicken inn papers ...

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order hon. senator, is that two questions or one?

SENATOR SIBANDA: Yes they are two, I said two, what is going on with environment .................

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: You are only allowed to ask one question and when it has been responded to, you can come up with another one.

SENATOR SIBANDA: I will rest with the first question of toll gate fees and our roads.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (SENATOR GEORGIAS): With due respect Mr. President, the money from the toll gates, I do not think it is enough to construct a road of about 20km. What they get at toll gates is really a little amount but of cause if it is saved over a period of time, it can be used to construct a reasonable length of road. At the moment I do not think there is enough money to construct a road using the toll gate money.

SENATOR SIBANDA: My second question was about the environment in Zimbabwe. You can travel from Bulawayo up to Beitbridge, you will see a lot of litter. People are throwing away whatever they use cans, papers all over and if you go to Beitbridge border, what you will find there is totally unacceptable. Once you cross to South Africa, the situation is different. What is the Minister of Environment doing especially to the roads and all this rubbish we are seeing along our roads?

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, for your information Senator Sibanda, I should have ruled you out of order because you are only allowed one specific question - you can only follow it up with a supplementary but the other one is substantive, you are not allowed but I have allowed you that latitude. Any Minister who would want to respond?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank Hon. Senator Sibanda for coming up with that very pertinent question. It is actually a national problem, this problem of littering that we as a nation - I do not know what has gotten into us as Zimbabweans. I remember when we were growing up, you would not see any litter, the roads would be clean, the streets would be clean, offices - even Government offices would be clean but now, I do not know what culture it is that has gotten into us where we seem not to be concerned about the environment.

You will notice that Mr. President, there are By Laws in all local authorities, including where we are here in Harare, which are supposed to deal with issues of littering. There are very strict anti-littering By Laws, they have always been there since the colonial days. The difference now is, during the colonial times, those by-laws were strictly enforced. If you would move around, eat your banana and throw the peel on the road/pavement, you would immediately be dealt with by the Municipal Officer, with time, people then got into the habit where they would not litter.

So, I would like to believe that the problem is not so much with the law because the laws are there. I believe even the Rural District Councils have by-laws to deal with littering, to deal with how you dispose of waste - both liquid and solid waste and all those things you can think of. I am sure Senator Chitaka here, a practicing Engineer can bail me out. The laws are there but the problem is the enforcement is close to being non- existent. So, I believe, it is an attitudinal problem and I would want to believe that as Government, there is need for us to embark on a massive conscientisation or advertising campaign where people are discouraged from littering.

Sometimes, instead of playing some of these songs that cause division amongst the people, we could use that time on radio and television to beam messages to discourage people from littering, to encourage people not to just abuse their environment. So, I would want to believe that the public broadcaster and also the public print media and even the private print media should play a role. It is a pity, I do not see any media people up there, but assuming that they will get to read this particular version of the Hansard of today's debate, it is really everyone's problem, we are a nation of leaders.

If you go to other countries, I have never been to Rwanda but I remember talking to somebody who had been to Kigali and they were saying that Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda is the cleanest city in Africa but Harare used to be the sunshine city. Now, I believe, we are one of the dirtiest cities in this part of the world. So, I believe, it is really just a question of attitude and I think, it should start with us as legislators, as Members of this august House, more so, members of the Senate to conscientise all public meetings that we address from now onwards going forward. Let us talk about anti-littering. Let us have an anti-littering message, Mr. President. Thank you very much.

Questions Without Notice interrupted by THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT in terms of Standing Order No. 34 (6).



First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 57th Session of the Executive Committee and the 33rd Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of the African Parliamentary Union.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Mr. President, I move that the debate be adjourned.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: 6th December, 2011.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS , the Senate adjourned at Twenty Two minutes to Four o'clock p.m. until Tuesday, 6th December, 2011.



Last modified on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 07:41
Senate Hansard Vol. 21 SENATE HANSARD - 1 DECEMBER 2011 VOL. 21 NO. 14