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SENATE HANSARD 10 MARCH 2016 VOL 25 NO 34

Thursday, 10th March, 2016
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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

 

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

PRAYERS

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

+HON. SEN. KHUMALO: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Why do you not have specific dates for paying pensions to the elderly? The pension is very little and most of the money that they get is spent on travelling to and from the banks trying to collect their dues. Why not fix payment dates for the benefit of the elderly pensioners? Secondly, is the Minister aware that the pension money paid is not adequate or sufficient for the elderly’s rent and also for food?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I do agree that we have a problem in that regard. The current system we are trying to move to is a scenario where we use mobile money transfer so that the money is transferred directly into the beneficiaries’ phone lines. Yes, we have had instances where people have come to collect their money but there would be no money reflecting in the bank accounts. We are liaising with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that adequate information is relayed to the pensioners so that we do not have mishaps of this nature.

HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Comrade Minister, can you confirm that this month, monies for pensioners have been deposited in their accounts?

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: At this point in time, I cannot confirm that. Like I said, we liaise with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in that regard. They are the custodians of the funds as you will appreciate, while we ensure that the recipients get their dues. So, only the Ministry of Finance would be in a better position to

say when the funds will be available.

+HON. SENATOR T. KHUMALO: I am saying the amount you are paying is very little.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: If you want a clear answer, please pose your question in English.

HON. SENATOR T. KHUMALO: If I am to pose my question in English, the answers should be in English for most of the deliberations. We do not understand some Shona words, but we keep quiet here.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: But I thought he answered in English.

HON. SENATOR T. KHUMALO: No, I am just giving for the next time…

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, I am trying to help you here because you have repeated the question in a language that the Minister does not understand.

HON. SENATOR T. KHUMALO: Hon. Deputy Minister, I am saying the money which people are already being given, on its own is not enough. While it is not enough, there are also these complications of going up and down. How are they going to pay their rents as well as buy food with this little money? Thank you.

HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Madam President. I think that is a very pertinent question that the Hon. Senator has paused. In the Lower House just last week, my Minister went to pains to chronicle the happenings at NSSA. NSSA’s ability to be able to pay a fair pension has been greatly affected by the amount of rott that was happening at NSSA where some wrong investments were made, where pensioners’ funds were not deposited or placed on the market in a reasonable and fair manner.

We have since made significant changes at NSSA. You remember, we changed the board and there is a new board in place right now, that has been in place for close on to a year now. We made significant changes at the top levels, dismissing top managers. We have gone to pains to detail the amount of wrong investments that have been happening at NSSA. We are hoping that now, we have turned the ship around and going into the future, the association will be in a better position to pay out reasonable pensions to the beneficiaries.

However, I need to highlight that although this might not be comparing apples for apples, in the region, the pensions which we were giving out at US$60 compare reasonably well with other countries which are on US$40, US$53 and probably a maximum of US$70. Yes, I fully appreciate that considering the standard of living and the cost base in the country; we need to do a lot more at increasing the amount of money that is paid to pensioners on a monthly basis. I thank you.

+HON. SENATOR A. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Leader of the House. My question is in regards to this august House, the Senate. I have realised that at times we introduce motions in the Senate. These motions are then adopted. Therefore, when these motions have been admitted, as Government, as the Executive, is it not the case that the Minister responsible for that motion should come into this Senate and tell us how he or she is going to implement the motion which was passed by this august Senate?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam President. It is true that when a motion is put and is debated, invariably, it will cover various areas of endeavour, in terms of governance. It may cut across various Ministries, it may limit the safety of a particular Ministry. The general practice is that the Ministries affected by the motion should be able to come to the House and reply to the areas concerning their mandate in Government before the motion is closed.

Where the motion has been closed after that has been done, it depends on the recommendations of that motion as to what must be achieved. In the event that there is action required on the part of Government and again, it will be easy to find out which arm of Government has the responsibility to implement or to take action in relation to the adopted motion.

These things do not happen always perhaps, because some movers of the motion close the motions even before the Ministers are compelled to give replies to the debate. In that instance, even when a motion has been closed, there is no system where the House itself compels the Minister to implement what has been decided. In the past we had Ministerial Parliamentary Liaison Officers who made sure that each Ministry would watch out for any decision or adoption by the House relating to a motion; whether that particular Ministry has to take some action or whatever, they would report to the Ministry and the Ministry would take action.

Currently, that is not being done. The way to correct this is through our Parliamentary Caucuses. We must, in our Parliamentary Caucuses, make sure and tell our Ministers that this is what we want. They must take notice of your debate. They must take note of your decisions and this must be done through Parliament and of course through me, as Leader of the House, by reminding my colleagues in Cabinet that they should attend to replying to motions. That is what must be ideal in a democratic country like ours. I thank you.

HON. SENATOR CHIMHINI: My question is directed to the Acting President. It is an open secret that Government is struggling to pay its workers, to service external and internal debt and to resuscitate the economy. What policy has Government put in place to jump start the economy and to create jobs which were promised in 2013?

Secondly, has the ZIM ASSET policy worked, given that we are worse off than we were in 2013? I thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam President. The Hon. Senator says Government is finding it difficult. I am not sure if there are some governments who do not have some difficulties. It is true we have difficulties in raising the resources which we want in order to do the things that we have on our programmes. That is normal.

Also, I think you are fully aware that economically – you know a year or so back, we had put our projection for economic growth at about 5.4, 5.6. Upon revision of these projections, it has been revised downwards, which means there is a down trend in the growth of the economy, which also means the resources that will be made available to the fiscas has also been reduced. In consequence, the ability to do things that ought to be done by Government become constrained.

You have talked about ZIM ASSET. I am glad that you are also familiar and interested in ZIM ASSET. It is doing well. ZIM ASSET has structured the economy in four clusters and I think you know the clusters. These include food security, infrastructure development, value addition and social services. These are the four clusters which encompass the entire economy of the country.

With food security, what are we looking at. We are looking at how agriculture in this country should feed this country. To do so in the wake of the El Nino phenomenon which is now affecting the southern region, not only Zimbabwe, we in Zimbabwe are now promoting irrigation. We are now empowering our people around water bodies. We have instituted a programme where every single water body in the country should be utilised and making an assessment of who lives around water bodies.

Once that has been done, we shall compel those people to irrigate but it is Government which must empower them with irrigation equipment, resources, seed and fertilizer. Even that empowerment in terms of equipment, they will have to pay. Initially we will just give them and give them terms of payment. What it means is that those people or irrigation schemes will now be able to produce grain or agriculture products twice a year that contribute to the reserve of the country. That is in relation to agriculture, making sure that we cannot anymore depend on the natural rains that come but if we have a good season, we are happy. If the season is not good, we have the water bodies in the country which we must use.

I do not know where you come from but throughout the country, there are so many water bodies which are lying idle without being used. This is why we have got a line of credit from Brazil in three phases. Part one of the first phase has been implemented. As a result of that one, we have now been able to give tractors, irrigation equipment, ploughs, planters and so on, a minimum of eight schemes in each province and support it with inputs so that they can produce. Each province has a minimum of eight schemes that have been supported but some provinces have got nine or ten but the minimum is eight.

The second part of the first phase, the equipment is arriving now. The third phase will come but beyond that we have also acquired machinery and equipment in the same sector of agriculture from Belarus. Again, during the course of the year that equipment will come. We are focusing on making sure we resuscitate our agriculture sector by empowering our people to produce.

Thirdly, we have something that we are working on with India and is quite at an advanced stage. That is about part of the ZIM ASSET. We also have the infrastructure development which relates to the refurbishment of the railways, as well as widening and dualisation of the highways in this country. The carnage on the roads, we must deal with that and it is also covered by ZIM ASSET, tourism and so on. We have now completed the Victoria Falls runway which has been made international. It can now receive any size of aircraft in the country. All that is visible to those who can see and it is there. These are aspects of ZIM ASSET.

Look at Kariba. Kariba South now, we have SINO-HYDRO which is constructing the southern bank extension where we are going to have 300 mega watts put on the national grid. We have Hwange seven and eight which will put on the grid 600 mega watts. All these things you cannot be blind to them. I am sure, you will now see them. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. Does the Department of Immigration which operates at the ports of exit and entry have any mandate to retain some cash during their operations, and if yes, how much is it per month?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): During the operational time of inflation, it was found that they were submitting all their revenue to Treasury, but when money was requested back for their operations there was nothing coming back due to the state of our country. The money would be used somewhere. It was then agreed that they can retain $100 000.00 per month to use for their operations and they are doing that. It is now flowing in the right direction. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Mine is not a question but I simply want to make a comment to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare …

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: If you have no question, you do not utilise this time. You use some other time – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Please do not confuse her, she is a grown Hon. Sen. Muronzi. Let me help her.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Madam President for protecting me. So, I will ask the Minister for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. What plans do you have to feed primary school kids because of the hunger which is stalking the country?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I thank the Hon. Senator for this appropriate question because the country is facing a serious drought and starvation which is affecting the pupils to the extent that we have some fainting while at school. This programme is under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. From the next term, we will be feeding the school children in the morning when they come to school. It is a new project.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA: My question, if I may seek permission to use the adage, the Shona words that kufa kwemujoni kamba haivharwe. The focal Minister is not here, therefore I am requesting if I can pose the question to the Acting President and Leader of the House...

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: You can only direct these questions because he has a lot of responsibilities and what you should know is that, you do not direct the question to the Acting President because the President will never come here and be quizzed by Members of Parliament. Take advantage of his other portfolio of being the Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and also in his capacity as Leader of the House.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA: My question relates to the high carnage in public transport on the roads. The Leader of the House alluded to it just briefly but I just wanted to know what bigger plans we have to reduce the carnage on the roads.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I thank the Hon. Senator for the question. There are various reasons why we have accidents on our highways. I think the major one and that is my opinion, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development might have a different one, is that one of the reasons is human error. This is one of the reasons where our road users are not taking much care and that they are not the only ones on the road. There are other people also using the road.

Secondly, our road has become narrow because the population of our motor vehicles has grown. It is necessary that we widen our roads as well as the current practice worldwide of dualising our highways so that traffic going one way is accommodated in one road going one direction, and the other going the other direction and motor vehicles going that direction are accommodation in that one road going the other direction. That is necessary.

          Secondly, I think it is necessary also to tighten or to introduce legislation which you Honourable Senators must do or suggest yourselves. You still find that people are driving motor vehicles on the highway, like myself I had my first drivers licence in 1959 and of course that was in Northern Rhodesia. The current drivers licence that I use I got it in 1980 when we became independent, which is 35 years ago. I am not so sure whether I am as good as I was that time. I think it is necessary to introduce a system where we continuously assess ourselves about how to use vehicles on the highway. I do not know how that can be done but it is something that can be debated.

          I think we need to introduce age limit on those driving buses. I do not think it is really wise and this is my personal view, to have a 23 year old with a good drivers licence to drive a bus carrying 80 passengers. These youngsters like music so much and their sense of responsibility is less than that of an older person. All those issues can be debated and brought to the fore so we all – it is not a question of what shall the Government do but what shall we ourselves do or demand our Government to do to reduce the carnage on our highways.

          The third point is the question of highway patrol. I think we need to have highway patrols to be more visible. Not road blocks, no, no, but highway patrols to make sure that cars which are on the highway are roadworthy. Like in other countries, if there is highway patrol they can see if a motor vehicle is smoking or in their view whether it is properly handled. They stop the motor vehicle and inspect. We need to increase our highway patrols. These are my personal suggestions but I believe that every citizen has a right to contribute to how we must improve and increase safety on our highways. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. Would you please clarify the Government’s policy on when and under what circumstances does the nation declare a missing person dead or presumed dead and issue a death certificate?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): I would like to go and research further on that question and then come back with the answer. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. MASUKU: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce. Bulawayo was well known for being a city that had all the industries working perfectly especially when we have this programme of ZIM ASSET. Is there a policy by the Ministry to try and revive the industries in Bulawayo?

          +THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Madam President, I want to thank the Honourable Senator for asking such a pertinent question on reviving the industries in Bulawayo. I will start by saying this is a very important question for Bulawayo because the city is renowned for being the industrial hub of the country. Even now the Government is trying by all means to revive all the industries in Bulawayo. Yes, it might not be a city with industries bellowing with smoke throughout because if we have too much smoke it can damage our climate. All that I can state is that Bulawayo is still regarded as the industrial hub of Zimbabwe; and Government is seized with this priority.

          I would like to inform Honourable Senators that all the plans that we are making are not only being targeted at Bulawayo but to all the provinces in the country. However, the question was directed towards Bulawayo and I will therefore give examples of industries that we are trying to revive and also concentrating on the question that what are we doing in trying to make Bulawayo an industrial hub. The Acting President touched on the ZIM ASSET programme and he touched on the issue of value chain approach. As I speak Government is trying to revive the clothing industry which is one of the industries that was well known in the City of Bulawayo.

          We are also looking at reviving the National Railways of Zimbabwe even though it is not under our Ministry but we realise that it is one of the industries that will revive the Bulawayo city. We are looking at the clothing industry and as I speak you all know that we have stopped the importation of second hand clothes so that we can revive the clothing industry. I want to inform this august House that all the clothing industries are actually acknowledging this good move. I want to urge all the Honourable Members from both Houses that if only they could take tour and check on the clothing industries in Bulawayo; they will witness that indeed some industries are doing very well in this sector.

As Ministry of Industry and Commerce, we have a regional office in Bulawayo and we would like to host all the Honourable Members to take a tour on all the clothing industries in Bulawayo. Whilst we are still looking at the clothing industry, the Ministry launched a cotton-to-clothing industry strategy in Bulawayo which is a sign that Bulawayo is an industrial hub for the country. We launched it in Bulawayo but it is for the whole country. We also realised that during the ZITF we should have a place where we host the SMEs using the money that we were given by COMESA which is €1 200 million which was donated to revive the industries. Some of the money has been used to buy the machines that will revive the cotton and leather industries.

I would also want to touch on other industries that have been revived in Bulawayo. The capacity utilisation of the industries had reduced to 30% but if we look at the industries in Bulawayo, there is for example, United Refineries. We have four industries in the country that primarily manufacture cooking oil and United Refineries is one of them.

United Refineries dropped to 30%. The capacity utilisation has now risen to 80%. Currently, they are also trying to look at the external market so that they can export the cooking oil. They are also trying to introduce local stock feed production. They are also venturing into soya beans production; this if one of the strategies of trying to revive the industries in Bulawayo. Last year, Arenel Industries invested US$7 million into a purification plant as a way of increasing production.

There are other industries that we have in Bulawayo which are doing well in the leather and clothing sector . Let me take this opportunity to mention that we also expect project proposals that the people of Matabeleland promised when I visited them in February 2015. At times they complain that people who get resources are from Harare and they takeover all the Bulawayo industries. Yes, this is one country. I would urge Hon. Members to encourage their constituencies to write project proposals that will qualify them to take part in reviving the industry. Some people from Bulawayo had promised to submit a proposal to establish a scrap metal processing venture. We waited and are still waiting for their submissions.

The United Refineries is owned by people from Bulawayo and we are very proud because that is a Zimbabwean owed industry on the other hand. We are trying to use our campaign dubbed ‘Buy Zimbabwe’. What we are saying is that when one gets into a shop, please consider buying Zimbabwe manufactured products. That is a way of reviving our economy - for example cooking oil, bath soap and many other things. Surely, one should buy local products. Yes, we have not managed to get most clothes made in Zimbabwe but all what I am saying to Members is, let us concentrate in ‘Buy Zimbabwe’ rather than buying in Zimbabwe. Most of our food stuffs are made locally; let us buy Zimbabwe.

When you are buying your cereal, check the manufacturer; if it is Zimbabwean, then buy it for it is another way of reviving our industry. I am mainly concentrating on industries in Bulawayo because His Excellency, the President has keen interest in knowing the progress on reviving Bulawayo industries. So it is very encouraging for members to know that he requests reports.

*HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: We have heard you explain very well. Those of us who have been to Bulawayo are happy that you know what is happening there. I would like to know the issue on banning of second hand clothes. We see that there is a lot of cooking oil and fruits on the market from South Africa. How far are we now and are we able now to produce enough cooking oil and fruits? There is also an issue of pricing. When you get into Pick n Pay, it is like you are in Capetown because all the things are imported. What plans do you have to ensure that we buy local goods?

*HON. MABUWA: Thank you very much for this pertinent question pertaining to industries. The plans that we have as a Ministry to promote local goods are in two folds. The first one is to ensure that prices are competitive. For prices to come down, firstly we sat down with the manufacturers and we highlighted that their products are more expensive than those that are imported. We then came up with what we call cost driver analysis. These are some of the issues that were investigated by ZEPARU which is involved in research. They said our utilities are expensive as compared to neighbouring countries. These include electricity, water and high wages. If an employee gets R1000 in South Africa, how many dollars is that here? If you give that amount to an employee here in Zimbabwe, can he or she say that they have been remunerated properly? No!

After concluding such research, we sat down with all the stakeholders for example ZESA holdings because industry uses electricity. We looked at the tariffs which the industries are charged and those charged for domestic use. If the industries are charged high tariffs, they will not be competitive. So reduced tariffs were negotiated for industry. We further approached Cabinet and proposed to change the National Income and Pricing Commission (NIPC) into a National Competitive Commission (NCC). We were given a go ahead. The legislation has now been proposed for amendment and we are coming back to this House so that we seek your approval of the proposed amendments into the new NCC Law. This will enable a new commission that will look into issues that will make our products compete with those of other countries. I take it as an opportunity that when this is brought into this House, I think it should be fast tracked so that it would be implemented.

As a Ministry, we have a department which goes into the supermarkets to investigate on issues of local product uptake. We will be looking at the space where the local products are being packed because in marketing they use the ‘catch the eye theory’. If a product is packed behind, one will not struggle to get that one but you just get a product that is near you. We investigate and advise the supermarkets accordingly. They should stock more of Zimbabwean products because they will be assisting in employing Zimbabweans. If we resuscitate our industries, we will have more people who are employed because and would afford to buy from supermarkets. It is common sense that no one will travel from outside the country (South Africa) to buy cooking oil. So it is a win-win situation for supermarkets to promote local industries by buying local products. Local supermarkets are encouraged to grow their customer base in this way. Cooking oil is bought by people in Zimbabwe, so if you stock Zimbabwean products, the people who buy are those who are employed. People are employed because our industries are functioning. We are therefore educating people on the ‘Buy Zimbabwe,’ so we go and preach this to the supermarket owners.

          However, we also talk to the buyers, especially when you get an opportunity to talk to Hon. Members that our home made products are really good. If I go out to buy milk in supermarkets, I know that we have locally produced milk and that which is imported. If you buy imported milk, you will be creating employment for the outside market, but if you buy locally produced milk, it means those industries will be resuscitated and they will employ more people. When I go out for shopping, I take time to find out where the product is produced before I look at the expiry date. Why should I buy Kellogg Cereal when we have Willards? Some people will say because it is delicious, but you will be selling away someone’s job. I will not exhaust everything since I am really passionate about industry and commerce. Thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity. I want to direct my question to the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa because he is the Leader of the House. Two weeks ago, there was a question on fuel coupons. We want to thank you because since that question was asked we are now getting our fuel coupons.

          My question is, as chiefs, when do we get paid? Our line Ministry is not seen in Senate and we do not have anyone to ask. We will therefore ask the Leader of the House. As chiefs, our jobs are now on the line because we are being asked by the people.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: The issue you raised that your Ministry is not represented here is not correct because every ministry in Zimbabwe is supposed to come here every Thursday. What you can say is that the Minister is not available. Every minister is free to come here as long as they are from the Republic of Zimbabwe.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: Thank you Madam President, that is what I wanted to say.

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND HON. MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam President. If I have heard the question correctly, he is saying that they are not getting salaries, but it is the chiefs who are out there who are not getting their salaries and he is excluded. However, they are supposed to get their salaries. It is probably taking long but to say chiefs are not earning their money is not true. The truth is that they are supposed to get their salary. I do not know how much they are renumerated but I know that they get salaries.

I think you should direct your question to the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage, Hon. A. Ncube. I think he is the one who is well-informed on that. However, at policy level, chiefs are supposed to be renumerated each month. If they do not get their salaries, the first step is to approach their Minister, Hon. Ncube and if it is true, the Minister will approach Hon. Chinamasa and the matter will be looked into. I do not know when they last got their salaries because they do not tell me when they get paid. I have informed you on how these things work. Thank you.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you very much Madam President. My question is directed to the Hon. Vice President, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of the House. Hon. Acting President, I wish to know how an aggravated circumstance is defined when determining a death sentence. Thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND HON. MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Hon. President of the Senate, I as Minister of Justice, do not determine aggravated circumstances in the commission of murder. It is defined in the Act and not by me. It is defined in the Act by Parliament. If you want to know what is constituted, put your question in writing and I will quote you the Section where it is defined and the provisions under which it is covered. You will not expect me to stand here and recite that section. However, I do not define it; it is defined by the Act. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MAKORE: My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. This could be a follow-up question because in the last quarter of 2013, you assured this House that ZISCO Steel will have advanced positive changes in terms of …

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order. You are wasting time, please ask your question.

HON. SEN. MAKORE: That is the question that I am asking Madam President. Can we find out what is the exact and current position regarding the assurance you gave us in 2013.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Madam President. Yes, the Hon. Senator is correctly quoting the Ministry which I represent as having issued a statement in the last quarter of 2013. The issued statement was obtaining then, but as you know, businesses are not static, neither are their environments. The deal for the ZISCO Steel resuscitation is still on, taking into account the dynamics that have since occurred. The circumstances were in terms of the international price of steel, which dropped and led to hesitancy by investors, which is common in any business investment that if you feel during your diligence procedures, that there is something that can cause you to over invest in a certain portfolio, you then take the necessary precautions. So, we were disadvantaged because of the negative international prices on the world market of the steel.

However, the demand which is still there, especially in our part of the world has made us not to give up, but to still continue with a new look at the same deal of resuscitating the ZISCO Steel, but looking at other opportunities of even having the current investor partner with other more interested investors. We are currently looking at other suitors who have been attracted by wanting to resuscitate parts of the ZISCO Steel. We are also going to be using different approaches. If we do not get an investor who will take the whole portfolio but take departments especially strategic business units of the ZISCO Steel, we are going to be going through that route.

What I would like to assure the Senate is that ZISCO Steel negotiation is a living file which we are working with. We could, if it was a written question, correctly give the timelines and what we are currently doing. I know that next week the Ministry will be responding to a written question from the Lower House which has been asked on the same question. I think through you Madam President, I would request the Hon. Senator to refer to the Hansard of the Lower House where we will give a written response to the same question. I thank you.

Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES IN PLACE TO CONTROL FERTILIZER PRICES

  1. SEN. GOTO asked the Minister of Industry and

Commerce to state the measures the Ministry has put in place to control fertilizer prices in order to protect consumers from being prejudiced by unscrupulous dealers.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Madam President. Hon. Members may be aware that during the third quarter of 2015, Government introduced a 25% duty on imported compound or blended fertilizers and the ring fencing of fertilizer producing companies to allow them to import in cases where they fail to meet demand. This was an initiative by my Ministry with support from other line Ministries such as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. The objective is to increase the economies of scale and increase competitiveness for local fertilizer producers, thereby enabling them to sell the fertilizers at reduced prices.

          As of September 2015, the local fertilizer manufacturers managed to reduce the prices of fertilizers by 6.5%. This attributed to an increase in capacity utilisation from 30% in 2014 to 80%. By November 2015, the price of fertilizer had fallen by 13%. Compound D fertilizer used to sell at $640 per tonne or $32 per 50kg, and by November 2015, the price was $550 per tonne or $27.50 per bag. Ammonium Nitrate was initially $700 per tonne or $35 per bag, but has declined to 620 per tonne or $31 per bag during the same period.

          Furthermore, with support from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Ministry assisted the local fertilizer manufacturers to secure funding for plant refurbishment as well as acquire new machinery. Dorowa is operating at close to 100% capacity whilst work is in progress at Zimphos to set up new acid plants. This will go a long way in reducing the input costs which translates to a further reduction of prices for compound fertilizer.

          The Ministry is also in the process of setting up the National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) targeted at addressing the major cost drivers in the country. Hon. Members may be aware that a study was carried out in collaboration with Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit (ZEPARU) to identify some of the major cost drives being experienced in the economy. The results of the study pointed out that power, labour, water, regulatory costs, finance, transportation and trade logistics, taxation, levies and fees, and information communication technology are some of the major cost drivers of the economy is experiencing.

Efforts are underway to address these cost drivers. This will be one of the main tasks of the NCC. Let me take this opportunity to appeal to Hon. Members to expedite the passing of the NCC legislation so that the Commission gets to work as soon as possible. The amendment of the NIPC Act into the NCC will be tabled before Parliament very soon. I thank you.

ADVANTAGES OF MARKET RESEARCH

  1. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce to explain-
  • The advantages of the market research;
  • to further explain why market research is indispensable; and
  • how market research assists in the monitoring of growth of companies as well as that of competitors.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Madam President. This is more of an academic question. So, the response is that:

  • The advantages of market research can be summarised as follows:
  • Helps to identify opportunities in the market place.
  • Assist to quantify the market for existing products and estimate the potential market for a new product to be introduced in the market.
  • Market research minimises costs and risks for example, you may find that the particular location where you wanted to open a shop already has a saturate market in your line of business which should make you refrain from making that decision and look for a more appropriate spot.
  • Market research helps to establish trends and market positioning of different businesses at particular moments in time. This is important for bench marking and monitoring progress for decision making and possible interventions.
  • Market research encourages continuous product development.
  • Through enhancing understanding of the clients or customer needs and demands, market research ensures availability of the correct or wanted products to the right customers.
  • Market research also enables the adoption of appropriate pricing models in different niche markets.
  • It ensures the availability of right products in the right places and at the right time and;
  • Ascertain the distribution methods situated to the product and the niche.

Madam President, part (b) of the question is as follows:

  • Market research enhances understanding of the target market,
  • Competition or the environment which is critical for planning ahead,
  • For unearthing the opportunities and potential challenges,
  • For establishing the distinctiveness or differentiation of the proposed reform or new product with respect to what is obtaining on the market or;
  • For providing an opportunity to take corrective action to change perception vis-à-vis what competitors are doing or, guiding communication with existing and potential clients and also helping businesses to discover their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses so as to strengthen their market positions.
  1. c) How market research assists in the monitoring of growth of companies as well as that of competitors.

          When market research is done as an on-going exercise, it enables business analysis and establishes particular trends within the national economy, regional and the global environment. Concomitantly, information from market research helps one to benchmark and monitor progress of the various businesses in relation to performance, their needs, challenges and establishment of new markets, which is useful in making decisions and taking remedial action where necessary.

          My Ministry is mandated with the important responsibility of formulating and administering policies that promote industrialisation, trade promotion, consumer protection, standards and quality assurance development as well as entrepreneurship for socio-economic development. Market research has enabled the Ministry to carry out its mandate effectively by providing the necessary evidence to inform policy formulation, particularly in the preparation of our key policies such as the National Trade Policy (NTP) and the Industrial Development Policy (IDP) as well as strategic interventions. The Ministry has utilised research to implement its programmes that include the Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival facility (ZETREF), the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Facility (DIMAF) and currently research is very critical towards the achievement of value addition and beneficiation thrust under ZIM ASSET.     I thank you.

MAINSTREAMING OF VISUALLY HANDICAPPED STUDENTS INTO TECH-VOC SUBJECTS

  1. Hon. Sen. Mashavakure asked the Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education what steps the Government is taking to mainstream visually handicapped students into practical, technical and vocational subjects, especially at Primary and Secondary levels.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND

SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR LIAISING ON PSYCHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN EDUCATION (HON. SEN. HUNGWE): To answer the first question, Zimbabwe has a range of policies that support and promote the inclusion of children with disabilities, among them the Zimbabwean Disabled Persons Act (1996) that addresses the rights of people with disabilities in a range of sectors, including the education sector.

  1. Currently, Section 83 of the New Constitution states the rights of

people with disability and measures for their empowerment.

  1. In line with the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Education and Training (1999) regarding the learning of students with disabilities, the number of resource units for the visually impaired has been increased from 50 to nearly 400 throughout the country.
  2. Plans are underway to create a “think tank” designed to tap ideas on strengthening psychomotor skills development from relevant entities outside Government Ministries or Departments. This will include a representative from an organisation that caters for learners with disabilities.
  3. My office, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, is working towards the development of a Policy Framework on Entrepreneurial, Technical and Vocational (ETVET) Skills Development for all education levels, which will include the needs of the visually handicapped.
  4. Implementation of the New Education Curriculum will further ensure the organising of in-service workshops for teachers to learn braille, sign language, early identification of disability, making the national braille printing press functional and increasing the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) allocation for children with disability to 20%.

CONDUCT OF POLICE OFFICERS AT ROADBLOCKS

  1. Hon. Sen. Mashavakure asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state whether it is legal for police officers at road blocks to refuse to display or disclose their Force numbers by, for example, covering them with jerseys.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.

MGUNI): It is illegal for police officers to refuse to display or

disclose their force numbers and names at roadblocks. Prior to the

advent of the economic hardships, all police officers wore metal force

numbers, which were being imported into the country. Through

wear and tear, these metal numbers could not be replaced because of

lack of funding. However, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)

devised a cheaper method of replacing the force numbers. The number

and name of the police officer is now being sewn on the top of the left

pocket of the shirt.

          The ZRP has no funds to complete the whole process at once. To

that end, the process has been put in phases. It is therefore not

uncommon to see that some police officers wear name tags and others

do not. Only the availability of funds will see the process getting

completed. Where one notices a police officer hiding his or her force

number, it is in the interest of justice to note the time, date and place of

roadblock and report immediately at the nearest police station.

          The ZRP has no road block schedules in place, which makes it

easier to investigate such malpractices. Where it is not practicable to

report to the nearest police station, a call can be made to the National

Complaints Desk at Police General Headquarters on Harare number

  1. The Zimbabwe Republic Police values transparency and

accountability in all its operations.

NORMALISATION OF RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES

  1. Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state the Ministry’s plans regarding the normalisation of relations with neighboring countries that are deporting Zimbabweans for no apparent reason.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): I would like to advise the Hon. Senator and the House that Zimbabwe’s relations with its neighbouring countries are very good. This is confirmed by the permanent joint commissions which we hold with all the neighbouring countries on an annual basis. During this time, any problems that will have arisen are openly discussed and resolutions are sought. As far as I know, there are no Zimbabweans who have been deported for no apparent reason. Internationally, foreign nationals are deported for either having no legal status in the country or for violation of the relevant country’s legal code. The Ministry continues, through relevant departments, to engage respective countries to fine tune the deportation modalities. The Hon. Senator must be aware of the role that the Ministry, together with other stakeholders has played in representing the interests of our nationals in some of our neighbouring countries.

I would like to give an example. We went to Botswana, our neighbouring country, where we managed to gather the chiefs from that area. They lodged a complaint against us where they were alleging that a lot of Zimbabweans are jumping the border and stealing from their side. So, when those people are caught, they are the ones who will be deported back to Zimbabwe. In short, the relations between us and our neighbouring countries are sound and do not require any normalisation. I thank you.

          ELECTRIFICATION OF BEITBRIDGE BORDER POST

  1. 6. HON. SENATOR CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state when the Ministry will electrify Beitbridge Border Post to enable the scanning machines to work as expected?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): I would like to advise the Hon. Senator that she could direct the question to ZIMRA because they are solely involved in doing that and it is their scanners as well. I thank you.

CURBING OF CORRUPTION AT BEITBRIDGE AND PLUMTREE BORDER POSTS

  1. 7. HON SENATOR CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state the measures that the Ministry has put in place to curb corruption at Beitbridge and Plumtree border posts.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): I would like to indicate that I think recently, you have seen that in Beitbridge the systems have been upgraded and we have installed a lot of cameras and now we have a control room that can track all the activities of the corners that were believed to be hot spots. However, I would like to advise the Hon. Senator that the anti-corruption fight at the two identified border posts, Beitbridge and Plumtree, is ongoing and requires the collaboration of all stake holders, particularly in the Government.

I will not compromise the strategy that we are about to introduce because by divulging them in this forum, I will be actually not doing justice to us because we want to catch those people. Therefore, I think it is important that we work hand in hand together. We thank the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. We saw them launching the anti-corruption bid, where we want to join and eradicate corruption in the country. I thank you.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING AT BORDERS

  1. 8. HON. SENATOR CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state the steps that the Ministry is taking to deal with human trafficking at our borders?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): In response to the question, I would like to advise the Hon. Senator and also to inform this Senate that my Ministry again, together with other stakeholders, is well seized with this matter and is in the process of identifying syndicates engaged in human and other trafficking.

Those who have been watching the press will recall the victories we have scored, especially in the southern and western part of the country in regards to the smuggling of minerals and wildlife. Recently, there has been an Inter-ministerial Committee chaired by Hon. Dr. Chombo, which is concentrating mostly on human trafficking and we have acquired sophisticated equipment to check for humans who can be hidden in false compartments. I think that will yield results.

As I report, my Ministry has put detecting mechanisms in place to identify human trafficking syndicates. I can promise you that the results will speak for themselves in the short term. This effort is ongoing and you will be happy to know that as we intensify our efforts, we now have the appropriate legislation on human trafficking. Thank you Madam President.

MEASURES TO ADAPT TO EFFECTS OF DROUGHT

  1. 12. HON. SENATOR MOHADI asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to explain measures the Ministry is taking to adapt to the effects of drought especially in the lowveld.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI – MASHIRI): I would like to thank Senator Mohadi for the question. The country, in general, has received very low rainfall due to the effects of the El-Nino induced drought which has been noted as the strongest in 18 years. The Meteorological Service Department has indicated that the El-Nino may persist until April 2016. Currently, according to the Met Department, 95% of Zimbabwe has received below normal rainfall, with Masvingo Province being the hardest hit. As a result of the drought, water provision for domestic and agricultural purposes has been severely compromised.

The average storage levels in the countries water bodies which ordinarily provide for irrigation and portable water, stands at 51% against an anticipated average capacity of 70%. The lowveld areas of Zimbabwe are located in the Runde catchment which lies mainly in Masvingo province, Manyame catchment which mainly lies in Mashonaland Central and West provinces. Runde catchment has the lowest dam level, at 25.1% on average. Such areas as Sango border post, Buffalo Range, Rutenga Ngundu and surrounding areas, have critical portable water shortages and places such as Mukwasine, Hippo Valley and Triangle have critical irrigation water shortages with water supplies that are not able to take them to the next rainy season. In the Manyame catchment some of the critically affected areas are Muzarabane, Marongora and surrounding areas.

Madam President, in adapting to the effects of drought, my Ministry through ZINWA, has put in place the following measures. We are drilling boreholes in areas where water sources are drying up. We are also releasing water from dams with adequate water to augment or feed into dams with low levels of water. We are also constructing infrastructure such as small pipelines, to help supply water to stressed areas as well as providing off-take valves for the benefit of communities along the pipelines.

In emergency cases, water bowsers may be used to supply portable water to people. A Drought Response Committee has also been put in place to come up with strategies to combat the effects of the drought. ZINWA is also working closely with local authorities on issues of water use and also ensuring that there is efficiency. We are also engaging stakeholders and civic organisations to help mobilise resources needed for drought mitigation.

Madam President, in order to implement the strategies to mitigate the water supply shortages in all areas, financial resources are required and we believe all the arms of Government, donors, NGOs and all other stakeholders will play their part. I thank you.

WATER TREATMENT WORKS

  1. HON. SEN. GOTO asked the Minister of Environment, Water

and Climate to state whether the Ministry is carrying out water treatment

works using chloride of lime in protected wells in Wedza area, in view

of the fact that the communities in this area are concerned about

sanitation of the water that they are drinking.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND

CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): I want to thank Sen. Goto for the

Question. Madam President, I believe that the Hon. Member is asking

whether the water in the Wedza area is suitable for drinking or not. The

Ministry of Health and Child Care has health technicians who work with

the communities to check whether the water from wells is suitable for

drinking. Where it is suspected that the water is not suitable, samples are

taken for testing at ZINWA laboratories or independent laboratories.

Were necessary, Aqua tablets or chlorine tablets are used to disinfect the

water bodies.

          Madam President, the chloride of lime the Hon. Senator is talking

about is used where there is sewer sanitation. When the sewerage has

spilled over, that is when chloride of lime is used to sanitise the area.

ASSISTANCE TO COMMUNITIES ON LOCAL WILDLIFE CONSERVANCIES

  1. HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA asked the Minister of Environment

Water and Climate to explain measures being taken by government to help communities to benefit from their local wildlife conservancies.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND

CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Madam President, I would like to thank Hon. SEN. Mavhunga for the question. In Zimbabwe, wildlife conservancies can be placed in three categories. The first category of conservancies is those received from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement. Seven conservancies were handed over to Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement for management in 2007. The conservancies are as follows; Save Valley, Gwayi River, Midlands, Bubiana, Chiredzi River, Lalilangwe and Bubiana Bubye Valley.

          In the Save Valley Conservancy, guided by Cabinet Resolution of June, 2014, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is working with local communities under the following Chiefs; Tshobani, Budzi, Ziki and Gudo. The chiefs have developed a trust and are registering the Trust Deed. A draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been developed between the trust and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for the management of some properties in the conservancies. The MOU have a provision to establish a decision making body where both local communities and the Authority are equally represented. The Authority is going to be guided by the above mentioned decision-making body in the management of the farms under its jurisdiction. Local communities are tentatively set to receive 70% of the proceeds from business being run by the Authority. The MOU will be finalised once the Chiefs’ Trust Deed has been registered.

          Gwayi River and Midlands farms were allocated to various indigenous A2          farmers who are running them as wildlife conservancies. Bubiana and Chiredzi River conservancies are virtually non-existent as conservancies, but are now isolated small portions of the original farms due to land allocations under the land reform programme. Mujingwe Ranch in Mwenezi District was in the former Bubiana Conservancy and my Ministry is currently considering the best model to manage it. Bubye Valley and Malilangwe have foreign investment and going by the Cabinet Resolution of June, 2014, a working model is going to be developed from earlier projects that are being implemented.

          Madam President, the second category consists of new conservancies developed by indigenous farmers. Some indigenous farmers have brought their farms together to form conservancies. These include the Shangani Game Sanctuaries and Shangani Game Ranch Safaris. The role of my Ministry is to assist in feasibility studies, giving technical guidance in setting up the appropriate governance systems and institutional structures, wildlife management and business development.

          Madam President, the third category consists of community conservancies. These are conservancies being set up by local communities and one of these is the McKenzie Conservancy in Nyaminyami District, Kariba. In these projects, communities work very closely with their Rural District Councils. My Ministry assists with technical guidance and also in anti-poaching operations.

          As a guiding principle to ensure sustainable utilisation and community development, communities are priority or primary beneficiaries from conservancies because they are the custodians of the animals, co-existing with them. As such, my Ministry is also working with external partners such as the European Union who are willing to fund community projects using the CAMPFIRE model in wildlife conservation and management. I thank you.

DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD AID TO DROUGHT STRICKEN AREAS

  1. HON. SEN. MOHADI asked the Minister of Public Service,

Labour and Social Welfare to state Government’s plan to distribute food aid to drought stricken areas of the country.   

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR

AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): It is the responsibility of Government to care and assist its citizens, especially in terms of drought through provision of food assistance. Government through the Ministry has been assisting food insecure households since October 2015, based on the ZIMVAC 2015 Report, which reported a total of 1, 5 million people being food insecure at peak hunger period. In January 2016, ZIMVAC carried out a Rapid Food Monitoring Assessment which reported that the number of vulnerable households has increased leading to the declaration of the State of Emergency and Disaster by His Excellency the President.

          After the declaration of the state of disaster, the number of vulnerable beneficiaries doubled from 1, 5 million to 3 million and to date a national taskforce has been put in place to oversee the importation and distribution of grain to these people until March 2017. Government has a plan in operation and people are being assisted in all the eight rural districts. I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

NORMALISATION OF RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES

  1. HON. SENATOR CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state the Ministry’s plans regarding the normalisation of relations with neighbouring countries that are deporting Zimbabweans for no apparent reason.

      THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): I would like to advise the Hon. Senator and the House that Zimbabwe’s relations with all its neighbours are very sound.

      This is confirmed by the Permanent Joint Commissions which we hold with all of them on an annual basis which any problem areas are openly discussed and resolutions sought. As far as I know, there are no Zimbabweans who have been deported for no apparent reason.

      Internationally, foreign nationals are deported for either having no legal status in the country or for other violations of the relevant country’s legal code. The Ministry continues, through relevant departments to engage respective countries to fine tune the deportation modalities.

      The Hon. Senator must be aware of the role of the Ministry, together with other stakeholders, has played in representing the interests of our nationals in some of our neighbouring countries. In short, the relations between the country and its neighbours are sound and do not require any normalisation effort.

ELECTRIFICATION OF BEITBRIDGE BORDER POST

  1. HON. SENATOR CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state when the Ministry will electrify Beit Bridge Border Post to enable scanning machines to work as expected?

      THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): The Hon. Senator should note that the issue of scanners falls under the purview of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) which reports to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

      I would request that the question be re-directed accordingly to the responsible Ministry.

CURBING OF CORRUPTION AT BEITBRIDGE AND PLUMTREE BORDER POSTS

  1. HON. SENATOR CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state the measures the Ministry has put in place to curb corruption at Beit Bridge and Plumtree border posts?

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): I would like to advise the Hon. Senator that the anti-corruption fight at the two identified border posts, Beit Bridge and Plumtree, is on-going and requires the collaboration of all stakeholders, particularly in Government.

          I will not compromise strategies by divulging them in this forum but I would like to assure the House and the nation that my Ministry has already got its shoulder to the wheel to unravel any shady dealings not only at Beit Bridge and Plumtree but at all our port of entry and exit. I would like to promise that in the very short term, some of the measures my Ministry has initiated will be apparent, with results, of course.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING AT BORDERS

  1. HON. SENATOR CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state the steps that the Ministry is taking to deal with human trafficking at our borders.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): I would like to inform the House that my Ministry, again, together with other stakeholders, is well seized with this matter and is in the process of identifying syndicates engaged in human trafficking.

          Those who have been watching the Press will recall the victories we have scored, especially in the Southern and Western parts of the country as regards smuggling of minerals and wildlife. As I report, my Ministry has put detecting mechanisms in place to identify human trafficking syndicates and I can promise you that the results will speak for themselves in the short term.

          This effort is on-going and we are happy that as we intensify our efforts, we now have the appropriate legislation in the form of the Trafficking in Persons Act. I thank you.

DISRUPTION OF WAR VETERANS MEETING AT CITY SPORTS CENTRE

  1. HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Home Affairs to explain the reasons for the disruption of the peaceful gathering unnamed war veterans at the City Sport Centre on 16th February, 2016. Also to state the name of the person who filed a complaint against war veterans? Finally state the measures taken by the Ministry to correct the image created by the event portraying the police as partisan.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): The Zimbabwe Republic Police has a constitutional mandate as established in Section 219 (1) of the Zimbabwe Constitution. This mandate includes:

  • Detecting, investigating and preventing crime.
  • Preserving the internal security of Zimbabwe.
  • Protecting and securing the lives and property of the people.
  • Maintaining law and order, and
  • Upholding the Constitution and enforcing the law as may be established by law for the purpose.

In this regard, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) had a

constitutional obligation to ensure that there was no disruption of normal public service in the Central Business District (CBD) on 16th February, 2016.

          The war veterans did not give police sufficient notice to hold public gathering as specified under Section 24 of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), Chapter 11:17, hence no authority to sanction the alleged gathering was given. On the other hand, no authority or clearance to use either ZANU (PF) Headquarters or City Sports Centre had been granted by the relevant authorities. The City Sports Centre venue was locked while at ZANU (PF) Headquarters, there was another function which had already started.

          The Public Order and Security Act (POSA) clearly stipulates that a five (5) day notification period has to be given to the regulating authority for a public meeting while a seven (7) day notification is required for holding a public demonstration.

          These are legal requirements and conditions which are supposed to be met by conveners before they embark on a gathering or demonstration. The requirements will assist the police to make a threat assessment in order to make relevant deployment with a view of maintaining law and order and this was not met. By merely not meeting the stated requirement, the gathering was unlawfully constituted.

          The Hon. Senator should take note that no one is above the law when it comes to the maintenance of security and peace in the country. the ZRP has a constitutional mandate cited above.

          The war veterans were blocking and interfering with the smooth flow of traffic and people’s movement in the CBD. Police officers were deployed to disperse the war veterans since they had gathered unlawfully. They were dispersed peacefully and no one was assaulted.

          On the complainant, police are not aware of the alleged complainant who reported a case against the war veterans. we are even interested in finding out the nature of the so called complaint. The Hon. Senator is free to reveal this person to this august House if she is privileged to know him or her or contact police authorities and tell them the name of the alleged complainant for possible inquiries to be carried out, if any.

          Let me point out that the ZRP does not need a complainant to disperse unlawful gatherings or demonstrations when it comes to maintenance of law and order in the country.

          His Excellency, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, Cde R. G. Mugabe dealt with this question when he held a State of the Nation Address on 19th February where he adequately responded to issues to do with the role of police and other State parties in observing and enforcing the law in the promotion of peace and security in the country. This includes war veterans who were duly advised to follow laid channels to air their grievances and not engage in unlawful gatherings.

          May I also remind the Hon. Senator that the ZRP has a constitutional obligation to maintain law and order in the country without fear or favour.

FUNDS COLLECTED BY POLICE OFFICERS

  1. HON. SENATOR TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House the maximum amount that can be collected by Police Officers. Clarify the use of P65 Forms used by the Traffic Police and State measures the public can take when a Police Officer fails to issue a P65 Form.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): The maximum amount of fine that can be accepted for a single offence by police is US$20.00. This is clearly outlined in Schedule of Deposits Fine. However, the total amount of fines that can be accepted from an accused person depends with the number of offences committed and these are charged for separately on the official police ticket book.

          For instance, a motorist can be charged for not having a valid vehicle licence, no headlights and worn out tyres. These offences are indicated separately on the police ticket books.

          On P65 Forms, ZRP does not have any P65 Forms in its traffic enforcement system. Part three of the question is catered for by answer in part two of the question.

PROGRESS ON THE WHEREABOUTS OF ITAI DZAMARA

  1. HON. SENATOR TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Home Affairs to update the House on progress made to establish the whereabouts of Itai Dzamara.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has been investigating the disappearance of Itai Dzamara since 9th March, 2015. Justice David Mangota issued a Provisional Order on 13th March 2015, directing the ZRP to submit fortnightly reports on the progress of investigation to the Registrar of the High Court and these have been judiciously submitted.

          The ZRP is pursuing all possible avenues to locate Itai Kadiki Dzamara as directed by Justice Mangota. The Ministry of Home of Affairs, Ministry of State Security, Human Rights lawyers and Dzamara’s relatives are actively involved in the investigation with the police. Periodical meetings are being held with all concerned parties with a view to establish the whereabouts of Itai Kadiki Dzamara.

          The ZRP, through the Press and Public Relations Department, has appealed for information which may lead to the location of Itai Dzamara through A press statement, which was broadcast on ZBC TV news hour on 13th March, 2015 and all the print media houses in the country on 14th March, 2015.

          A reward of US$10 000.00 has been offered to anyone who supplies information which may lead to the arrest of the suspects involved in the abduction of Dzamara or his location. This reward still stands. I thank you.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE VOTERS’ ROLL

  1. HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to state measures taken by the Ministry to ensure that the administration of the voters Roll formerly under the purview of the Registrar General is completely taken over by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as provided for in the Constitution.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): The Hon. Sen. Timveos asked a very pertinent question pertaining to the measures being taken by the Ministry to ensure that the administration of the voters roll which was formerly under the purview of the Registrar General is completely taken over by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as provided for in the Constitution.

It should be noted that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has already taken over the administration of the voter’s roll as witnessed by the by-elections being done around the country. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is the one conducting the by-elections. This is being done in accordance with the constitutional mandate that was bestowed upon the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission by the Constitution.

Madam President, indeed, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission took over the voter registration and the keeping and maintenance of the voter’s roll from the Registrar General’s Office by virtue of Section 239 of the Constitution. Section 239 of the Constitution stipulates the functions of ZEC among other things as follows;

  • To register voters
  • To compile the voter’s roll and registers
  • To ensure the proper custody and maintenance of the voter’s roll and registers, and
  • To delimit constituencies, wards and other electoral boundaries.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has already taken charge of preparing, conducting and supervising presidential, parliamentary and local government elections which will be conducted in the near future.

          Madam President, the General Laws Amendment Bill, which is currently before Parliament, has captured non-substantive changes to the Electoral Act. The Ministry focused on important sections of the Act in order to facilitate the reforms ahead of the by-elections that have been held in different constituencies throughout the country. The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is working on a comprehensive Electoral Act that will address all substantive issues that were not included in the General Laws Amendment Bill.

          There are also discussions on the need to establish the biometric voter’s roll which requires time and resources to put it in place. This system captures unique physical features such as fingerprints and facial scans for purposes of identification instead of ID number and photographic images verifiable by the naked eye. This is the point where ZEC would need the assistance of the Registrar General. I thank you.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Before we move on to the next order, I wish to sincerely thank the Acting President, but in his capacity as Leader of Government Business for making sure that the Cabinet Ministers do attend to our questions. As you have noticed, we only have two which were deferred from last week and are again being deferred. Thank you.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 6 be stood over until the 7th Order of the Day is disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

COMMITTEE STAGE

GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 2A, 2015]

Seventh Order read: Committee Stage: General Laws Amendment Bill [H.B. 2A, 2015].

          House in Committee.

          Clause 1 and Short Title put and agreed to.

          Clauses 2 and 3 put and agreed to.

          On Schedule Part XX:

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I move the amendments standing in my name that:

PART XX

CRIMINAL LAW (CODIFICATION AND REFORM) ACT [Chapter 9:23]

  1. On page 22 of the Bill line 41 delete “section 195A” and substitute with “section 196(1)”.
  2. On page 24 of the Bill line 18 delete “subsection (3)” and substitute with “subsection (2)”.
  3. On page 24 of the Bill line 20 delete “(3)” and substitute with “(2)”.
  4. On page 22 of the Bill after line 17, insert a new section as follows—

         “15(1) By the repeal of section 96.”

              (2) By the deletion of the word “criminal defamation” in the Second, Fourth and Fifth Schedules.

     Amendment to Part XX put and agreed to.

     Part XX, as amended, put and agreed to.

     On Part CVII to CXVII:

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I move the amendments standing in my name that:

  1. On page 54 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CVII.
  2. On page 55 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CIX.
  3. On page 56 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXII.
  4. On page 56 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXIII.
  5. On page 57 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXIV.
  6. On page 57 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXV.
  7. On page 58 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXVI.
  8. On page 58 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXVII.
  9. On page 59 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXVIII.

     Amendments to Parts CVII to CXVII put and agreed to.

     Parts CVII to CXVII, as amended, put and agreed to.

          On Part CXXV1:

HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE: I move the amendment standing in my name that:

AMENDMENT OF PART CXXV1

TRADITIONAL LEADERS ACT [Chapter 29:17]

On page 63 line 33 of the Bill, delete subsection (4) and substitute with-

“(4) Subject to this section and to subsections (5), (6) and (7), the Chiefs Council as it is constituted on the date of the dissolution of Parliament continues in office and to function as such until a new Council is elected in terms of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13].”

Amendment to Part CXXV1 put and agreed to.

Part CXXV1, as amended, put and agreed to.

 

Senate resumed.

Bill reported with amendments.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE 133RD ASSEMBLY OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU)

First order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Zimbabwe Delegation Report on the 133rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION

AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 15th March, 2016.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Twenty Five Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 15th March, 2016.

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 10 MARCH 2016 VOL 25 NO 34