You are here:Home>Senate Hansard>SENATE HANSARD 10 MAY 2018 VOL 23 NO 39

SENATE HANSARD 10 MAY 2018 VOL 23 NO 39

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 10th May, 2018

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that I have received the Shop Licences Amendment Bill [H. B. 10A, 2016] from the National Assembly.

          MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA:  Madam President, I move that Questions without Notice and Questions with Notice be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day on today’s Order Paper have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

DEVOLUTION AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

          First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on cultural development as being key to economic development. 

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Madam President.  We want to thank you for this motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Khumalo about the implementation of the devolution policy.  Devolution is a progressive move because it gives power to individual provinces or areas.  We noticed that when things are centralised, there is a problem in that somebody may not pick up the individual problem related to each of those provinces.  For example the roads, you will not know which roads are bad and those that need attention.  But if you devolve the power, the leadership in those areas will know areas that need attention; for example they will know where the bad roads are and where dip tanks are needed.  If you talk about natural resources, for example minerals, they know how to utilise these valuables to the best advantage.  When the community talks of the need to construct a clinic, they know the distances which have to be travelled by people.  Hence they will use their resources to construct those clinics in areas which are close to the people. 

          Madam President, what we are saying is when an area has its own natural resources, and when they are exploited, there is a percentage which should go to Central Government.  We need to be careful about what we are doing and also it is essential that the provinces be given power to utilise their resources.  Let me give you an example of what happened at Chiadzwa regarding diamonds.  People were not satisfied about the processes which were being used because the proceeds from diamonds did not benefit them, especially the people of Mutare and Chiadzwa.  They were saying the proceeds where being taken to other places.  Those people are saying if they are given an opportunity to utilise those resources, they will utilise those resources in a proper way which benefits the communities. 

          Let me give another example of granite in Mutoko.  Mining operations have been going on for quite some time but people of Mutoko are saying they are not benefitting anything from those resources because these are just taken away to develop other areas. 

          Madam President, I will now turn to culture in regard to language.  I may go to Binga and in Venda they will say Witani or Nda, I will not know what they are saying.  What we are saying is that if you go to operate in that area as an officer, please learn the language of that area.  Let me take a good example, when you go there as a nurse, patients will come and they will tell you that they have a problem in certain parts of their bodies but because you do not belong to that area, you do not know their culture, you will never know how to communicate with those people. 

          We have learnt that there are some officers like the VIDCOs, WARDCOs, these people go into areas where they do not know the culture and what they do is to distort the culture. In some areas, when you get to a certain place, they tell you the place is sacred and you have to remove your shoes.  These people do not know that culture and they end up defiling that place because they do not know the culture.  That is why in the past our forefathers used to say you have to marry within the community because we know our cultures and our family backgrounds but now things have changed.  In my case, if I am to move from Mashonaland to Matabeleland, if they try and tell me about their culture and customs in those areas, I will tell them that I do not know your culture; I know my culture and that is what I am going to practice and there is going to be a conflict. 

I am emphasising and pleading with officers who get employment in areas which are out of their cultural areas that they should learn the language and the culture hence, we need to practice devolution.  Let us decentralise the power centres so that people in those areas may benefit from resources in their areas.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  Thank you Madam President. I also want to add my voice to this debate which was introduced by Hon. Sen. Khumalo.  First of all, the statement which says cultural development is key to economic development, I thought it should be vice-versa because economic development would give boost to the cultural development. That is in my own opinion.  If we develop the economy using the resources which we have and we share them equally, we start interacting that way as what the previous speaker has already said.  Maybe one province is rich in minerals, the other in agriculture and so forth.  As we exchange these, we promote cultural development.  Culture takes many forms, for example language, habits of doing things, lobola, et cetera.  I am not really against the topic but I thought what must come first could be the economic development. 

As to the other actions which the Hon. Senator calls for, that this House supports the development of local languages, I think on that one we are in agreement and the Government is doing everything to support that.  It is only that there are no resources, people are not writing books about their languages, “vanotaura chiTonga havasi kuda kunyora, vanotaura chiKorekore hatisi kuda kunyora mabhuku.”  People should be urged to write those books and share with the others.  I have noticed with great interest that ZTV is doing a lot to promote these languages these days.  They give news bulletins in at least five languages and that is commendable.

Language development should be taken seriously. I totally agree with that.  We must all try to learn all languages but some of the languages have what Hon. Sen. Mashavakure said last time.  They are just dialects, so he ended up saying there is no Shona but I think there is Shona.  People who speak the same language like Bantu, if they understand each other, it is a compilation of languages and they understand each other.  Therefore, there is nothing wrong about that because Manyika, Ndau and Korekore can talk to each other and we cannot mann them to say this one is a language on its own.  There are dialects as well in the UK. I think the Irish and the Scottish speak different dialects but they speak English. 

On the issue of giving consideration to local people where employment opportunities arise, that one is debatable.  Those jobs which are not technical can easily be given to the locals and I totally agree with that.  You cannot export labour from outside to come and collect stones in Mvuma when there are people who can be employed there. 

On expediting the devolution process for planning, implementing and monitoring economic development and use of resources, again I am in total agreement with that statement.  I think it has been long neglected.  Provincial councils can take that place and the establishment of provincial councils is stated in the Constitution. For the past four and half years, no one has attempted to make them exist.  That is a breach of the Constitution.  I think it must be addressed and be effected.  It is a good idea because when we came up with that Constitution, we saw that allocation of resources, whatever percentage they get as what Hon. Sen. Mashavakure has said, 5% goes a long way in developing provincial projects. 

Lastly, Hon. Sen. Khumalo calls upon the House to ensure inclusiveness in all Government sectors such as parastatal management boards and Government ministries.  Again, this is debatable but I think should go on merit.  You cannot appoint people who are not qualified in boards where they cannot be competent to perform.  You can only appoint them considering geographical spread in the country.  With those words Madam President, I want to support this motion.  It stimulates us to debate and look at other angles.I think it is good that it should be supported and I want to say thank you for your kind attention. 

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Thank you Madam President.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 15th May, 2018.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 41ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Third Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 41st Plenary Assembly of the SADC-Parliamentary Forum held in Mahe, Seychelles, from 4th to 15th July, 2017.

                   Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 15th May, 2018.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Since we now have one Minister in the House, we can revert back to Questions Without Notice.  I wish to thank the Minister, I know he has brought his own motion which is on page 16 but we appreciate his attending the Senate today, therefore, giving us a chance to pose questions to him.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WIHTOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I would like to thank the Minister for turning up because other Ministers are moving around because there is some political business which they are taking up in other areas. 

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Cabinet is sitting today hence the Hon. Minister is here by a special permission because he has a motion which must be done today.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you very much.  My question to the Minister is on ZISCO Steel.  We were informed that it had once come to a point of reopening but suddenly there is no longer talk about it, what is the progress to date?

          *THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. BIMHA): We need to understand what the ZISCO Steel progress is all about.  When we talk of ZISCO, it is a very big investment and it involves a lot of things.  During the negotiations we have taken up the entire facets, the first one regards the mining of the ore; we have to hold discussions with the Minister of Mines.  The other facet is that we have to talk about electricity-power which is needed for the operation of ZESA, hence we need to have a meeting with the Minister of Energy.

          When we talk about ZISCO, we also talk about water and transport, these for we need to have talks with the responsible Ministries and they really take time because you tackle each item at a time.  We signed an agreement which was in broad terms outlining what we wanted to do and also the budget for the ZISCO steel re-opening and again the process to be followed.  After signing that agreement we then agreed that the investors would come and hold meetings with different departments which are responsible for the operations.

 Basically, we definitely signed an agreement and we have an investor who is prepared to take up this project.  The first part is that he is going to start with the long products and these are the  products which were being manufactured by ZISCO in the past.  There is going to be a second phase whereby they are going to manufacture what are called flat products. This is going to look like zinc protecting that which is inside the equipment.

On the third stage, they will be talking about the manufacture of stainless steel and this is the last stage in the value addition in the manufacture of iron and steel.  When you start manufacturing stainless steel, you will have more money which will be coming in from other countries.  This is a project which requires a lot of high powered electricity.  So, they need to set up their own thermal power station which is going to use coal and it is going to supplement the electricity which they will be getting from the local stations.  Therefore, we need to talk about precedent conditions.  They will tell you that supply us with this and then they we will get into the manufacturing product.

 The first stage which they wanted us to rectify was that the Government should assume the ZISCO debt so that when the investor is now operating, the other creditors will come and say ZISCO you owe us this much. The Minister of Finance, Hon. Chinamasa was talking about the ZISCO Debt Assumption Bill, this will mean that the Government of Zimbabwe will take up the responsibility of paying the ZISCO Steel debt so that the investor is not bothered about that debt.  We know that the Government has no money to pay for that debt but we have agreed with the investor that he is not going to operate in all the areas that are being undertaken by ZISCO. So, we are going to sublet these areas to other steel players so that the money which will be generated from that side is going to pay that debt so that ease pressure on the Government.

The other pre-condition is that this project should be given the national project status and we have already done that.  This means that there are some benefits which accrued when they have this status, like duty which is going to be wavered on some imported equipment for this ZISCO project.   They have also set a pre-condition that ZISCO Steel should be declared a special economic zone because it also has its own benefits.  The first registered economic zone is ZISCO Steel.  Any company which is in the programme of steel manufacturing will benefit from the economic zone.  So, these are some of the benefits which the investor has asked as a pre-condition for opening up ZISCO Steel.

The investor also asked that we should avail to them resources where they can get iron ore and limestone, including any other; like such coal, because it has different grades.  We also find that there is coking coal, it is not found everywhere but it is found in special places. So, we were delayed by this stage because the investor brought in his own prospectors to come and check on where there is this coking coal.  So they keep on leaving from place to place, searching for this coking coal.  What is now causing the delay of the implementation of this asset is that they should discover the coking coal, when they discover it then the ZISCO Steel project may even take up.  Like I said, we need to fulfill some pre-conditions so that as the identification of those natural resources and from then the programme can take up.  So I have come to inform the Hon. Members that the ZISCO Steel programme is alive and kicking and it can opened as soon as these pre-conditions are met.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, I would like to seek education from you because Zimbabweans are laden with these debt assumptions, can the Government not do something in costing so that the costing does not affect the Zimbabwean citizens, instead remain the paperwork between the buyer and seller so that they can negotiate about a going concern so that this thing is taken over as a going concern where going concerns are involved, employers and employees do their paperwork which does not involve the citizens because once we start involving the citizens we are overloading the Zimbabwean citizen who is already poor.  Can you not do something Minister so that the costing is an inherent issue between Government and the buyer?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. BIMHA): Thank you Madam President.  Maybe to explain it differently, obviously there is no investor who wants to come, invest his money and also at the same time take over a debt.  That is one of the reasons why the previous agreement did not fly because we went and negotiated with ESSAR and we said to them can you take over the debt?  ESSAR said we can take over the debt but we cannot just take over the debt and you do not do something.  We will take over the debt, but we want to mine and also export what we mine and then it became an issue, to say you cannot export raw material; you cannot export iron ore – so we went into problems.

          Therefore, the issue was that let the new investor come in with his money to invest into the production of steel and bring new equipment.  For your information, their assessment is that only 20% of what is at ZISCO is what they require. In other words, 80% of what you see at ZISCO is junk.  They will have to remove everything and throw it away; bring new equipment and a new plant.  So, they will bring almost 80% of the plant.

          However, because I said Government is in the process of taking over the debt but it is not a burden to the citizens, because we have found out a formula; a solution to get the required money for a number of years towards repayment of that.  Now, we have at ZISCO what are called coke ovens, these coke ovens, once they are in operation, they produce coke which is used locally and also for export.  There is a company that used to repair these coke ovens and they have agreed to come and rehabilitate the coke ovens.  They have also negotiated with the creditor, who is in Germany, to say we are going to resuscitate this company; make it operational, sell the coke and the money that we get will go towards operational costs and what remains goes towards repayment of the debt.  So there is no burden to the citizens.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development.  Minister, the new administration has been in power for the past five months, can you tell the House how much has been achieved in terms of resuscitating the economy, since you are the Minister of Industry?  Secondly, the President has indicated that $11 billion has been negotiated; can you say how much we have received in terms of real benefit, rather than mere discussion and commitment?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. BIMHA):  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  I do not think I would be the right person to give you figures, that would probably require the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  I will give you what I can. 

          The new establishment has been in office for a very short space of time but in terms of confidence building, I think it has done its best.  When you talk about investments, you talk about creating an environment where investors want to come and invest but how do you do it?  It is again a question of engagement; of re-assuring them that Zimbabwe is open for business. Secondly, you then give them the re-assurance that when you invest in Zimbabwe, your investment is safe; your investment is protected. I think that has been the message since the new establishment came into being.

          Now, how do you measure whether that re-assurance has been a success, you measure it by the number of enquiries; of people who now want to come to do business with us.  In the past I would see probably one investor in a month and then the investor promises to come back and then that is it; these days it is almost on a daily basis.  My problem is to manage my diary, because there are so many enquiries across the board.  That in itself, in my view, is probably one of the achievements so far; to create a conducive environment for investment, and also to give the re-assurance to would be investors that their investment is safe.

          This has not just been inquiries; there are a number of projects now on the offing; some which we have signed and others where we are expecting people to come in a day or two and that has been so much on the side of mining. There has been so much of interest in Zimbabwe. I have had the opportunity of accompanying the President in most of his visits to these places and wherever he has gone to, there has been overwhelming response from those countries wanting to do business with us. More importantly, he has also been very much out there to meet the diasporans and all Zimbabweans across the borders to come and invest back home. That has been well received.

          An example is the South African experience. When we went to South Africa, we thought we would meet just a few dozens of Zimbabweans. Unfortunatley, the whole entire Embassy was flooded with Zimbabweans in South Africa and in the end, they had to use screens for everyone to be able to see what was happening. The issue was that when the call was made to say Zimbabweans come and invest back home, you do not have to just come home. You might not even want to come home but invest back home. That resulted in that group of diasporans who have put money together; who went to engage financial institutions and taking part in the rehabilitation of our railway system. That in itself is an indication of the confidence that has now been built.

          In the past, probably diasporans were there but they never came together and say we want to invest back home. In my view, these are just some examples of what I think the new Government has achieved in a very short space of time. As we go forward, some of these agreements will now come to fruition and we will see more investment coming. When we went to China, as I said in the past we thought we had only this one investor who is coming to ZISCO. There is also an investor who wants to come to Zimbabwe and just do stainless steel. They are saying they can do it in four months time and they will be coming in June and July to enter into negotiations.

          This is a big company into steel and they just want to come and mine and produce stainless steel which will have a bearing on the industry. Once you have a country with a strong steel industry, you are assured you will also have a very strong and vibrant industry because your manufacturing units depend on the availability of steel. At the moment, we are importing all the steel that we require. Once we have this, it means we are no longer importing and that way, we will make a saving on our foreign currency. In addition, we will also create additional foreign currency by exporting what is extra to our requirements. So in short, I think the Government has done a pretty good job and let us encourage them to do more. Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Madam President. My question is on ZISCO Steel. The question is what is going to happen to the workers? Are they being paid even when they are not working and how many workers are we talking about? I remember at the time when they were retrenched, do we have some of the workers who have reached retirement age? How are they going to be compensated? In short, I am talking about the welfare of the workers and the payment of the workers’ salaries.

          *HON. DR. BIMHA: Thank you Hon. Sen. on the question regarding the welfare of the workers. This is a question which will be appropriately responded to by the board responsible for running ZISCO because as a Ministry, our jurisdiction goes up to a certain stage and the rest is taken by the board. I will simply browse through the whole question. At the beginning of all this, we made a mistake in that when there was shut down of ZISCO Steel, we did not hold talks so that we could conclude all the issues regarding the workers who have been retrenched so that whenever there was going to be any sales of the properties or assets of the organisation, the proceeds would be shared by the owners of the company and the workers.

          In this case, we did not take all these procedures. When the company shut down, we did not retrench the workers. As a result, they expected to be paid at the same time as they were paid and the result is that we now have the workers who are expecting their pay and the salary bill is accruing. That is why the Minister of Finance and Economic Development said he was going to create a certain fund which was aimed at paying the ZISCO workers so that if there is going to be need for retrenchment, they are going to retrench those people who were supposed to be retrenched. We have some who for one reason or the other, such as illness, may not continue, they have to be compensated.

          At the stage at which we are, we are now thinking of taking care of the workers who can be re-employed when ZISCO Steel is re-launched. We are also looking forward to the fact that when ZISCO Steel re-opens, the workers who are still capable and offer the expertise needed will be re-employed by the new investor. I am admitting we made a blunder in that we did not retrench the workers when ZISCO shut down, but we have some workers who are being compensated because they are carrying out some maintenance work at the ZISCO Steel. Thank you.

          +HON. SEN. A.  SIBANDA: Thank you Madam President. Minister, I want you to explain to us clearly. We know that Zimbabwe has put it on record that they want investors but what we are seeing here is more of Chinese shops. Are these the same investors that you are talking about? What are we talking about when we are referring to investors?

          THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. BIMHA): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. We welcome investors both local and foreign and from wherever they come, we will welcome investors. However, the point that you are making is that there are investors and some of them Chinese and others are other nationalities who are investing in those areas that have been reserved for indigenous persons. I think that has now been explained that there are those areas in retail and other smaller operations which have been reserved for indigenous people.

In terms of the amendment that is there now, if a foreign investor wants to go into those areas, there has to be an application or justification for a foreign investor to go into those sectors reserved for indigenous people. However, there is also the recognition of some foreign investors who were already in those reserved sectors through the passage of time. There is that recognition that you cannot just send them away and you cannot stop them from operating because they were allowed a long time ago to operate in those areas. I think the law gives them the benefit to continue. It is the new investor who has to fall under scrutiny. So, there are all those reserved areas that are there for our people to operate. I think there are a number of departments in various Ministries which should support our local people in investing in those reserved sectors. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MANYERUKE: Thank you Madam President. I am directing my question to the Minister of Health and Child Care. Minister, did you hear what happened after you had distributed the tablets in the rural areas? People ended up suffering from diarrhoea after taking those tablets which were distributed.   What steps are you going to take to avoid a repeat of such a problem within the communities? 

          *THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you Madam President.  I am not aware of the tablets that the Hon. Senator is talking about which caused people to suffer from diarrhoea.  What I know is that we carried out a programme which was targeted at de-worming.   I am not very sure if this is the programme you are talking about. 

          *HON. SEN. MANYERUKE:  Yes it is the one I am referring to.

HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: We distributed medication which is on de-worming which was aimed at the adults and the infants.  At the moment, we are compiling statistics so that we may see what happened after the issuance of that medication.  We know it is a very good programme because it is aimed at removing these worms found in the bodies.  In some cases, individuals are not aware that they have these worms and the side effect is that when you have taken that medication, definitely you will have diarrhoea because it will be a way of extracting those worms from your body.  The Ministry of Health and Child Care is in the process of carrying out a research on side effects of such medication. 

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Hon. Minister, when you distribute these tablets, do you give explanation before you give these tablets to people to avoid what is now coming out. 

          HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Chimhini for the question.  This is not the first time that we are de-worming, it is a problem which has been going on annually.  Every year we are taking out this programme and we mainly target learners and we create a well laid out programme with explanations on what will happen after taking the tablets.  We also inform people that you will have diarrhoea so that you drive out these worms.  The underlining factor is that we create awareness of the effects of these medications, including diarrhoea. 

          HON. SEN. MURWIRA: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Many people are dying from cancer.  Cancer treatment is very expensive.  As a Ministry, do you have a programme of alleviating the problem faced by people suffering from cancer so that they can be assisted in the payment towards cancer medication and treatment? 

          *THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE: (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  As a Ministry, when we are talking about cancer, we are saying we should prevent cancer.  This is our first stage and that is why we have embarked on screening of cancer.  The First Lady is in the forefront in the campaign of cervical cancer so that we prevent it.  The other stage is that we have young girls from the ages of 9 to 14, we are vaccinating these young girls against cervical cancer.  Now that schools have opened, we are moving around the country vaccinating these young girls.  We are starting with the ten year olds; we immunize them against the spread of cervical cancer.

On, what are we going to do to alleviate the problem of treatment of cancer since the costs are very high?   Yes it is very expensive, when diagnosed, whether it is breast cancer, cervical cancer or prostate cancer, you get to the extent whereby you need to receive the treatment.  We have radiotherapy and this is expensive.  The session for radiotherapy is about US$200.  As a Ministry of Health and Child Care, we are discussing with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development so that treatment of cancer can be subsidised.  We are even talking about the diverting of some of the Aids Levy funds for the treatment of cancer.  A good example is what is happening at Mpilo; they have taken some of that cash and bought some equipment so that they can relieve the cancer sufferers at a low price.  As Government, we want to prevent cancer.  We need to immunize even to the extent of educating people on how to examine the cancer occurrence especially on breast, cervical and prostate cancer.  Women should be able to carry out some palpitations and men should be able to dictate the onset of prostate cancer, especial when they see that they are having a problem in passing urine.  For women, when they discover some growth in their breasts, they should know that there is a problem. 

HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Are you aware that malaria is now recurring in areas like Binga, a disease that we had fought out and it was no longer prevalent in the area?  Where are we going wrong because most patients are testing positive on it and the numbers are getting high week by week.  Thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE: (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  In fact, what is happening now is that in the region, Zimbabwe is recognised as one of the key fighters of malaria.  We are now in the stage of what we call pre-elimination.  You start with control and then you go to elimination.  We have now pre-eliminated malaria in the Southern region, actually Matebeleland South, Beitbridge area coming upwards but we are aware that there are areas where there are pockets of recurrence and this is because of some of the drugs that have been resisted by people.  In other words, there is some resistance to the treatment that we are giving.  We are aware of that.  Last year in 2017, we had very high incidences of malaria in Manicaland because the type of drugs that we were using to spray those mosquitoes resisted that, so people got bitten a lot in Manicaland and they got malaria.  In Binga, we are using a mixed type of spray, we are using the organophosphates and we are also using DDT and in some areas, those have been resisted.  Madam President, we are very conscious of the fact that Zimbabwe is one of the E8 countries on elimination of malaria, of the eight countries Zimbabwe is one of those eight.  I actually chair that E8 for the SADC region.  We are really in the forefront of trying to fight malaria but I am aware that there are pockets that occur malaria.  Yesterday, I was being told about Mudzi and we have sent our teams to find out what is happening in Mudzi.  The Hon. Member for Mudzi was telling me that there is this problem, so we have sent our teams to investigate.  We will do the same with Binga particularly if you can circumscribe the area that you are talking about so that it helps us.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. David Parirenyatwa regarding the under 18s accessing state of the art treatment of diabetes.  Last year, he promised a change of policy so that they also can access HIV treatment.  How far have you gone in changing the policy so that diabetic kids can also access freely their medicines?

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you very much Madam President.  I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Musaka for that question.  What we have emphasised is that we should at least satisfy first getting free treatment to children under five across the board, those over 65 and pregnant mothers.  So, mothers when they go for antenatal care, delivery and post natal care, they should not pay.  My problem is that even those that we have stipulated are not being met.  So we cannot begin to add another area when these three have not been fully met. 

I am aware that in certain areas where we say children below five should not pay, we know that in some areas the clinics are still insisting that they pay.  So, we need to clear that especially in the urban areas or in the local authority areas.  Government has said children under five should not pay, women who are pregnant should not pay but we are finding in Harare in the clinics, women are still being asked to pay and this is the reason why myself and Hon. July Moyo are meeting to say how do we harmonise this.  Your local authorities still insist on payment but Government has said do not pay.  So, we are going to sit down and harmonise that.  At this point in time, it is very difficult for me to add another group when these other three issues have not been properly satisfied.  We are aware this has come up.  It is not only that issue that has come up.  The issue of people with disability and war veterans has also come up to say should we not be treated free.  All those areas, in the end it is Government that must then avail those funds because we cannot get them from anywhere else.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  During the previous month, nurses were discharged on the basis that they were on strike.  I want to know exactly what happened to their conditions of service; those who were re-employed?  That speaks to the days accrued and the long service that they had?  Thank you very much.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you very much.  I would want to clarify that when nurses were dismissed, those who were dismissed were then also requested if they want to come back to work and we immediately asked them to resume duty.  What that meant was that their conditions of service had not been disturbed.  In other words, there was that continuum because they resumed duty.  We did not penalize them so to speak.  What just happened is, we said sign your form to resume duty and they resumed duty.  Thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI:  Thank you Madam President.  On the same note Hon. Minister, are you aware that those that were suspended are not the actual people that were absent due to the demonstrations but they were being victimised by their supervisors for not going for the demonstrations.

HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  We are aware that there are a lot of accusations and counter accusations.  That is why my teams are on the ground to find out from the Provincial Medical Directors, the Provincial Nursing Officers and the Senior Tutors in hospitals what really happened and this investigation is taking place.  We know there are accusations and counter accusations.  Some are actually saying you came to work and they are saying we did not come.  There are all these counter accusations and we need to put that into perspective.  In the meantime, service delivery is continuing and we are pleased with that. 

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

CAPACITATION OF DISTRICT HOSPITALS ON HELPING MALNOURISHED CHILDREN

          2.  HON. SEN. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain why district hospitals do not have the capacity to help malnourished children and to send them to private or mission hospitals for recovery. 

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you for your question.  We, as the Ministry of Health, have capacity because we have the various food supplements, F100, F75 and RUTF for management of acute malnutrition.  However, some select to go to private institutions.  We prefer that for malnourished children that they be taken care of in public institutions but should they choose to go to private hospitals, that is a choice that they may have made.  We insist that for malnutrition, children should be seen at our public institutions and we have got capacity to look for that.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  We visited some hospitals and we got that information from the hospitals themselves.  They said they were not able and that is why they are taking children to mission hospitals.

          HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Yes, I am aware that in certain institutions, parents have been preferring mission hospitals and I must thank the mission institutions.  They have done a good job in most of our rural hospitals and that is why you find a lot of people preferring to go to Karanda and other places because they do very good work.  So, we are not fazed by that.  If they choose to go to a mission hospital, that is a very good thing.  In mission hospitals, all the nurses are paid by the Government of Zimbabwe.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Supplementary question Madam President.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Senator, be organised.  If you are going to have supplementary questions, please pose them supplementary 1, 2, 3 et cetera.   

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Where we went, it was doctors themselves who explained that they are not able and that is why they take them to the mission hospital which is next to them.  It is not that we were told by nurses but we were told by doctors themselves.

          HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Thank you Madam President.  I still agree with you.  If there is an agreement that we send to a nearest mission hospital, it is a good thing.  I do not think mission hospitals should isolate themselves, they are really part of the system.  Thank you.

ONE THOUSAND NUTRITION DAYS FOR MOTHER AND CHILD

3.    HON. SEN. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain why district and provincial hospitals managements are not aware of the one thousand nutrition days for mother and child.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): The Government, district and provincial hospitals are aware of the 1000 days and trainings continue to occur.  We have district and provincial nutritionists who cover and promote the one thousand nutrition days.

NUTRITIONISTS ON DECISION MAKING IN DISTRICTS AND PROVINCES

4.  HON. SEN. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care whether the Ministry is aware that nutritionists are not part of the decision making team in districts and provinces yet this is where critical issueS relating to hospitals are discussed.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): We are now aware that in the new Health Act, the district nutritionists and provincial nutritionists are now members of the district health executive and provincial health executive teams respectively.

FOOD NUTRITION AS A SCIENCE SUBJECT

5.  HON. SEN. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain why food nutrition is not recognised as a science subject when training nurses.

     THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. President.  Nurses have got a specific own curriculum.  We only give certain specific nutrition topics according to the request of the nursing fraternity to satisfy the needs of the nursing fraternity because the trainings are for nurses specifically and not just for nutritionistS.  However, subjects that cover nutrition are also given to nurses to cover the issue of nutrition.  I thank you.

     Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA) in terms of Standing Order No. 62.

MOTION

ICT LITERACY PROGRAMME

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to address the ICT divide between rural, urban, young and old in the country.

Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 15th May, 2018.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 4 to 10 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 11 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE MARRAKESH AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE WTO AGREEMENT

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AAND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. BIMHA):  I move the motion standing in my name:

THAT WHEREAS, Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states or governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

WHEREAS Zimbabwe is a member State to the World Trade Organisations (WTO) since 5 March 1995.  In December 2013, WTO member states concluded negotiations on a new agreement, the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), at Bali Ministerial Conference;

WHEREAS the Member states adopted a protocol of amendment to insert the new agreement into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement.  In accordance with Article 10 (3) of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO Agreement. Any new agreement negotiated will enter into force once two thirds (2/3) of the WTO member states complete the domestication process and submit Instruments of Acceptance / Ratification.

WHILST Zimbabwe was in the midst of finalising its internal processes, on the 22 February 2017, the number of other WTO member states reached the required threshold to two thirds (2/3) instigating the protocol to enter into force;

AND WHEREAS the protocol has to pass through Parliament for approval and Presidential assent before the instrument of acceptance is submitted to the WTO secretariat, Zimbabwe as a member of the WTO is supposed to accept the Protocol of Amendment; 

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Protocol be and is hereby approved for acceptance.

This memorandum seeks the Senate to accept the protocol amending the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation in order to make the Trade Facilitation Agreement binding on Zimbabwe.  As a member of the WTO, Zimbabwe is expected to accept the protocol of amendment.

In December 2013, World Trade Organisation member countries concluded negotiations on a new agreement, the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the Bali Ministerial Conference.  In line with the decision adopted in Bali, WTO members adopted a protocol of amendment to insert the new agreement into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement.

On 22nd February, 2017, the TFA entered into force at the WTO when Rwanda, Oman, Chad and Jordan submitted their instruments for acceptance bringing the total to over the required threshold of 110 acceptances.  According to Article 10 of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing that WTO Agreement, a new agreement will enter into force once two thirds of WTO members complete their domestic ratification process.

The protocol of amendment has been accepted by the following African countries; Botswana, Chad, Cote D’ Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, South Africa, Togo and Zambia.

All the internal legal processes for the acceptance of this protocol of amendment were undertaken, that is it was scrutinised and examined by the Attorney General’s office.  It then went to the Public Agreements Advisory Committee and it was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and also approved by Cabinet on its 4th meeting on the 22nd February, 2017. The protocol was approved by Parliament on 8th March 2018.

The Trade Facilitation agreement provides for expediting the movement, the release and clearance of goods including goods in transit and also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.  It also provides for technical assistance and capacity building on trade facilitation provision.

The provisions of the agreement are classified into three categories which are premised on a member country’s capacity to implement and these provisions are as follows:-

·       Category A contains provisions that a country designates for implementation upon entry into force of the agreement.

·       Category B contains provisions that a country designates for implementation on a date after a transitional period of time following the entry into force of the agreement.

·       Category C contains provision that a country designates for implementation on a date after a transitional period of time following the entry into force of the agreement and requiring the acquisition of implementation capacity through the provision of assistance and support for capacity building.

Zimbabwe conducted its Trade Facilitation Needs Assessments in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017 to identify national trade facilitation needs and to self-designate the TFA provisions into categories A,B and C.  Work is already underway to improve the implementation of the provisions of the agreement through work in the National Trade Facilitation Committee.

          Benefits of the Agreement: - Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement will expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit and will also facilitate effective cooperation between customs and other authorities  involved in trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. This would contribute to reducing costs of trading and improve on efficiency, transparency and reduction in bureaucracy and corruption through the use of technological advances.

          Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement will boost the current national efforts towards improving the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe.  This augurs well with ZIM ASSET which is prioritising a holistic approach to tackling Zimbabwe’s trade facilitation constraints to enable the country to meaningfully tap into trade and investment opportunities offered in the region and the rest of the world.

          Ratification by Zimbabwe of the Protocol of Amendment to insert the Trade Facilitation Agreement would also facilitate the sourcing of funding from development partners for trade facilitation projects as provided for in the agreement.  In the light of the benefits that will accrue to Zimbabwe, on implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement.  In light of the benefits that will accrue to Zimbabwe on implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement, I invite Senate to approve the acceptance of the protocol amending the Marrakesh Agreement, establishing the World Trade Organisation, to insert the trade facilitation agreement into Annexure 1 (a) of the WTO Agreement.  I hereby request this House to ratify the protocol.

          HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Hon. Minister for bringing this motion to this House.  I find it very clever; very simple and straight forward, in the sense that it eases up movements of the traders, especially nowadays that most people are cross border traders.  To me, it is so much an acceptable move - totally regard that we will make things easier for those traders within these member countries.  I want to accept that it will move cooperation and it will improve friendship amongst those countries for trying to ease up the doing of business amongst these people, in the sense that it is a one stop-border-post.  In other words it avoids the multiple questioning of people over issues that are very straightforward, especially going to be accorded one entry which does not even stop them at the border.  It appears that you will have done a great assistance to these people by virtue of this motion.

          Mr. President, I just stood to support this motion that this agreement eases up and assists the majority of our people who are involved in this kind of business.  I want to thank you over that motion. 

          Motion put and agreed to.                                                    

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. BIMHA), the Senate adjourned at Three Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until, Tuesday, 14th May, 2018.

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2018 17:45
Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 10 MAY 2018 VOL 23 NO 39