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SENATE HANSARD 11 MAY 2017 VOL 26 NO 54

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 11th May, 2017

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

LAUNCH OF THE WASTE MANAGEMENT AND BIN ROLLOUT PROGRAMME

           THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I have to inform the Senate that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate will hold a Waste Management Launch and Bin Rollout to Parliamentarians on Thursday, 18th May, 2017 from 1000hrs to 1100hrs at the Africa Unity Square.  All members are invited to this event.  The launch is aimed at creating awareness in proper waste management and practices in all constituencies for a clear, safe and healthy environment.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. MANYERUKE: Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock).  Minister, do you have any means to supply us with combine harvesters in districts like Muzarabani?  Shortage of combine harvesters will result in late harvest for farmers on command agriculture as we have a bumper harvest this year.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Speech not recorded due to technical fault.  

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, translation is not coming through. Hon. Sen. Manyeruke, the Hon. Minister will have to respond to your question in English.  Is that okay with you?

          HON. SEN. MANYERUKE:  Thank you Madam President, it is okay.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  Thank you Madam President. I earlier said, I did once informed this Senate on steps taken by Government in making sure that there were enough combine harvesters to harvest our maize so that the farmers who want to grow wheat can go into the fields as quickly as possible in time.  As I said, Government did identify almost about 280 combine harvesters available in working condition and the other combines which are not in working condition.   Government is in the process of repairing those which are not in working order to make sure that the programme is accelerated. 

          We might have as many combine harvesters as possible but it will be possible to harvest all the maize at one time for every farmer.  So, if I can have some details as to where you are exactly so that I can get the office to check if there are any combine harvesters available in that area and how you can be accommodated as quickly as possible.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. What policy measures does your Ministry have or is contemplating to put into place to address the inadequate science laboratory facilities in regions where these are below standard.  I am referring specifically to Matabeleland where I estimate that there is approximately 12% availability of science facilities in rural secondary schools.  I am sorry I have directed my question to the wrong Minister, I wanted the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you.  We have already taken steps Hon. Chair.  In 2014...

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order, who is Chair?

          HON. DR. DOKORA: Hon. Madam President,  it is because I spend too much time in the other House.  Sorry Madam President. I was just saying that we have already taken steps as part of the strategy to mainstream the studies relating to the sciences and mathematics.  In 2014, we distributed to every secondary school including satellite secondary schools, the advanced Zim-Science kits which have a lifespan of four to five years.  As I speak now, we are looking at the resupply chain of some of the components that are perishable or that diminish through experiments carried out in schools.  Every school in every part of the country did receive the science kits that I am making reference to.

          Secondly, we have also encouraged the local communities, and I know in Matabeleland South, they are a model province for us because the rural district council there, Gwanda, for instance, has made sufficient efforts to mobilise parents to contribute to the construction of laboratories and with the support of the mining companies in the areas.  I think it was also through the instrumentality of the Community Share Ownership scheme.   When we received a couple of those laboratories, we did sing on the top of our voices that this was a model that should be replicated by other Community Share Ownership schemes across the country, but of course we are continuing to make efforts as I will indicate in another question from Hon. Sen. Mashavakure later on – what other strategies we have underway under the joint venture strategy.

*HON. SEN. MURWIRA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  How far have you gone in distributing computers in schools that are in the rural areas since we want to enhance our children’s education?

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): It would be useful Madam President to have the question in writing if statistics are required, then I can actually get the numbers on the table. But, the Hon. Sen. would remember that the computerisation programme was initiated by His Excellency the President, Cde Mugabe some fifteen or sixteen years ago when he began that process of donating computers to schools.  At first, it was desktop computers.  I know I have shared some thoughts on that matter before in this Hon. House.  Subsequent to that series of donations and perhaps continuing alongside that series, the Ministry of ICT here represented have also extended a helping hand to my schools particularly in the last year. There were some significant contributions that were made directly to the schools through their Universal Services Fund.

The third source is quite clearly the parents themselves and  the corporates who contribute as part of their social responsibility.  The matter that we continue to emphasise of course in our sector, is that the question should not be of providing a token to say, well we have given computers to a school when you have provided three computers. That is not very helpful.  We desire that when computers are donated to schools, the ratio of one computer to  eight learners be used as a yard stick or benchmark because that is the kind of minimum benchmark used by UNESCO.  So, if you have five computers and a school has over one thousand learners, you are saying that the computers are for use in administration and not for the learners. 

We expect parents, and we urge them, because part of the resources that we are deploying through the mobilisation of school improvement grants for instance, they also go towards helping in securing some of these tools but the parents must take an active decision to assist their schools.  I am aware that the Ministry of Energy and Power Development is also helping my schools by putting power.  It is only those schools with power that then can immediately focus on the ICTs or the use of solar and generators.  I thank you. 

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  My question goes to Hon. Minister Chidhakwa.  Thank you very much for coming, you have been away for a very long time.   I am happy to see you today.

Hon. Minister I am from Zvishavane.  I would like to know if ever Shabanie Mine is going to open because it has been closed for a long time and employees have not yet received the monies owed to them.  Since you are here today, it is good for you to bring closure to this.  Some of the buildings which housed Shabanie Mine have been given to Midlands State University.  People are now being moved away from their homes.  They are refusing to move because they are saying the mine still owes them their money.  It is actually good to address this with the emergency that it deserves.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA):  Thank you Madam President and I would also want to thank the Hon. Sen. for the question. 

The Ministry regards SMM as key to the revival of the economy in that region.  Historically, SMM played a very critical role in providing employment opportunities and incomes for the communities.  I believe that if we were to revive SMM, combined with the new entrance of Unkie and Mimosa and very shortly you will also see; following approval by Cabinet of another entrant, Todal which is a platinum mine.  We have been looking at various ways, for a long time SMM was under judicial management and we have received various proposals from the judicial manager as to how he saw the resuscitation of the mine.  To a lot of the proposals, we did say no, but we did agree to a situation where the SMM would reduce some of its structures and be able to raise some money which would then be pumped into the revival of Gaths Mine initially.  There are a number of things that need to happen, all the earth moving vehicles need to be refurbished, but the plant itself needs to be refurbished.

We went into an arrangement where the university would take over some of the houses and that would help the university to deal with the immediate problems of the students, at the same time providing liquidity to the mine for the purposes of reviving the mine.  I am happy to say that we did send a team two weeks ago, because one of the things that was very problematic was the issue of the market.  You are aware that there has been a very strong lobby against the use of asbestos and I am happy to say that a delegation arrived back home from Geneva, where the meetings were held.  I have information that the asbestos lobby, the continuation of the use of asbestos got a reprieve and we will be able to continue, with the support of Russia, Kazakhstan and a few other countries.  That is the one side.  A delegation that we sent to India, went to look for the markets and I am happy to say that we were able to establish a market of fifty thousand tonnes per year, plus another ten thousand tonnes which ordinarily goes to Turnall for the manufacture of asbestos sheets and so on. 

From a marketing point of view, I feel comfortable that we can proceed perhaps not at the same level, because when the company closed, I am advised that it was on 80 000 but we may be able to start on 60 000 and see how we can move forward.  From an equipment point of view, what we did was, we included the bill for the equipment, particularly for the earth-moving equipment under the small scale mining equipment which I spoke about when I was at the Trade Fair.  So, there will be some money that will be outlaid from that small scale facility, but there will also be some $15 million that we are negotiating.  I will be finalising the details with the Minister of Finance next week so that we can move forward. 

I want to assure you that it has not been an easy walk.  Not many people were keen to go into asbestos because of the big lobby, not even financers were ready to come on the table because they were not so sure whether the company would be able to resuscitate and be able to repay back their money.  I want to assure you that now we have reached a stage where I can confidently speak.  I am not ready to come to Zvishavane yet on that matter, I have been to Zvishavane on other matters, but not on that matter.  I want to firm up on a few things so that when I come, I want to be able to speak with a voice of authority.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Mining Development.  Is it Government policy that gold panners can go onto somebody’s farm and start mining?  If it is not allowed, what measures can the farmer take to protect his farm from these illegal miners?

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA):  Thank you Madam President.  The law says, if a farm is below 100 hectares, consent from the farmer is required.  So, a miner cannot go onto a farm that is below a 100 hactares without the consent of the farmer but the law also continues to say, such consent cannot be unreasonably refused.  What that means is that, there has to be agreement, particularly with respect to the arable land where the farmer is doing activity.  Where the farmer is not doing activity, that area should be made available to the miner but where the gold or any other mineral is exactly where the agriculture is best suited for, the current position is that the farmer must be compensated.  If it means relocations, it may mean relocation but there has to be full compensation to the farmer by the one who wants to do the mining. 

If the farm is above 100 hectares, there is no consent required but on approving the mining permit, at the stage of consultation, the farmer must be consulted and he must say what he/she wants.  In that case also, the farmer must be compensated and compensated adequately for current infrastructure developed as well as for future loss of revenue the farmer would have secured.  Normally, that is where the pushing and pulling begins, how much would the farmer have earned over a period of time.  What we have done is that, just today Madam President, we started a discussion in the National Assembly to discuss the National Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill.  It will obviously come to the Senate and clarification on those matters will have to be given. 

Madam President, let us just say that I think that can be managed. The problem has been so much the fact that there were big farms of about 3 000 hectares, then we subdivided those farms into six hectare plots.  Somebody may have had a mining claim there and he was not required to ask for consent because the farm was 3 000 hectares; but when the new farmer came, the new farmer found a miner who had rights but the miner was now competing for a six hectare plot when yesterday it was competition between 3 000 hectares of farming and mining.  Now, it is six hectares and mining. Those are the issues that we are now trying to correct in the Mines and Minerals Act so that we can move forward. 

It is important to note that these two resources are our resources as a country. We cannot ignore agriculture because we need it and we cannot ignore mining because we need it.  What we must do and what I entreat this House to do is that as we craft the laws, let us recognise both titles – the mining title and the agricultural title so that we do not sterilise resources which would otherwise have developed the country.  So, let us come up with mechanisms and we will be proposing them to you – mechanisms that will allow a farmer to do what he/she wants to do and also allow a miner to do what she/he wants to do.  Thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  My supplementary question Minister is, would it not be courteous for the prospective miner to pay a courtesy call to the farmer largely because a purchased farm is private property and in my opinion, it is protected by property rights and cannot just be entered into willy-nilly?

HON. W. CHIDHAKWA:  Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Senator for the question.  Not only should it be courteous to enter a freehold entity; but even leasehold, where somebody is holding a lease.  It is not proper for anybody to just walk in and start digging without telling the other person that, ndauyawo, ndakabata kapepa kangu aka, can we discuss about it?  That is provided for in the environmental and social impact assessment.  When that environmental and social impact assessment process is made, they are supposed to hold consultations with the local leadership, the DA and the local farmers so that when they use explosives who will be affected or when they use such things as cyanide, who will be affected.  It should be done not just as a matter of courtesy, but as a matter of principle.  Once we have done the Mines and Minerals Act, we will publish a Code of Conduct of relations between the miner and the farmer so that they are guided by a certain conduct of relating to each other.  We noticed this in Australia where they have a very strong system that enables that interaction through a code of conduct which is linked to the Mines and Minerals Act.  Thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Hon. Chidhakwa.  Minister, I would want to find out how the small scale miners can be assisted through the small miners’ facility that you mentioned, especially those who are in rural areas.  How can they access this?

HON. CHIDHAKWA:  Thank you Hon. Senator for that.  Actually, all our miners are in the rural areas as we do not have any claims in the urban areas.  There will be a few around Harare for lithium and limestone and so on.  The facility is structured as follows; we know that a small scale miner cannot afford to put crushing, milling and gold recovery facilities.  We know that a lot of the small scale miners are still using picks and shovels for their mining.  What we have started off with is a programme that says, we will give two jackhammers to a small scale miner – one jackhammer to use underneath  and one which is suitable for roof activities. 

Secondly, we will sell to them a water pump.  We will give them a compressor and a generator and then we will give them a winch which enables them to bring the ore from underground to the top.  So, it will be like a tonner.  I think we have one tonners and two tonners.  So, where they were using buckets and filling buckets underground, bringing the material up, they will now use the winch and they will put the material, fill one tonne and then press a button , it comes up for them to offload into a truck.  When they offload into a truck, they take the material to a crushing milling facility where the crushing and milling will take place.

When you look at it, you have made it easy for the miner to dig because they have jackhammers, you have given them the ability to ferry the ore up from the ground and we provide trucks to the milling facility.  We will start off with 26 such centres and around them, there will be miners who will be given support.  What we have done is that we have identified areas where there is gold concentration, those are the areas where we will start from.  I want to emphasise this Madam President, that the beneficiaries will not be chosen by Minister Chidhakwa but the beneficiaries have chosen themselves over the last five to ten years.  What we will simply do is, we will go to the Fidelity list and say, who has been supplying and selling their gold to Fidelity continuously? Then we say number one and we look at the equipment and we say we need to support them. That list is what is going to guide us because we want to put our best foot forward first and support those that are selling gold to Fidelity.  I am hoping that by doing that, we will send a message to those who sell their gold elsewhere that it is not profitable to sell it elsewhere because you will never qualify for Government funded equipment. 

I want to say that I do not know which area or region you come from and I do not know whether in your area there will be such a facility but if there is going to be and there are people who have been selling gold to Fidelity who need to be empowered, I am sure that they will in that order benefit.  This is the beginning, because then we will recover the money when they sell gold to Fidelity and we will rotate the fund and give to the next group of people to the next one and so forth. Thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and mining Development. Minister, the media has been awash with complaints against your Permanent Secretary. Can you explain what is really happening in terms of office abuse, whether it is an allegation or not, can you explain to the House?

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senators, you should raise questions on policy in given ministries.

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Point of order Madam President. The question I am asking becomes a policy matter in that we are asking what is happening because these are public resources and we want to know the Government policy.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: But you were quoting what is being said in the media and so forth. Sorry Senator Chimhini, I am advised that question is in the report of the Committee in the National Assembly.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Hon. Gandawa. May I know what policy measures Government has taken towards facilitating the recruitment of people from provinces such as Mashonaland West and Matebeleland North whose provinces do not have teacher training colleges. What measures has Government put in place to make sure that people from those areas are also recruited in those teacher training collages?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you Madam President and I want to thank the Hon. Senator for the question. Teacher colleges, polytechnics and universities are national institutions and cater for nationals of Zimbabwe. We also enroll students from across the world should they want to come and enroll in the country. So, irrespective of the area where the student comes from, it is Government policy that they must be treated equally and afforded the same opportunity in all our institutions across the country.

Suffice to say that, we are aware that Matebeleland North and Mashonaland West do not have a teachers’ college and polytechnic, both of them. We are in the process now and at an advance stage of establishing sites to put up a polytechnic and teachers’ college in these two provinces which do not have a teachers’ college and polytechnic. We were still focused on establishing a university in each province which we have now completed. I am sure in the other half of the year, in Matebeleland North, we have engaged the Ministry of Mines who are willing to lease to us the Hwange Colliery Training Centre for the teachers’ college and a polytechnic for a start. In Mashonaland West, we are still in discussions to try and locate a place where we can put a teachers’ college and a polytechnic.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Hon. Dr. Gandawa. We want to find out how the STEM programme has been accepted in universities especially considering the girl students.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank the Hon. Senator for a pertinent question. The STEM programme is a programme that has been widely accepted by the people. The question is how have the girl students taken this. We have 10 568 students who have come in through STEM. Fifty-two percent of them are male students taking up STEM subjects but 48% represents the girls. We are encouraging them so that we reach a gender balance between the numbers but there are quite a number of girls who are taking up sciences. It is a challenge when you get to universities because the boy-child is getting more access into sciences at university level. So, we do have measures to raise awareness and encourage the girl-child to take up sciences. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MAKORE: My question is directed to the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development. Minister, gender equality is a good concept but often misconstrued in families particularly in rural and some urban areas, thereby causing divorces and misunderstandings among families as a result of misinterpretations. What programmes of awareness is the Ministry implementing to specifically outline areas of equality as to what it implies in families to understand the dimensions that are within this concept? Thank you very much.

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA): Thank you Madam President. The Hon. Member who has asked the question is right but let me not hasten to say we are moving with the times and women want their space in every sector. Let me refer you to the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Section 17 where we are talking about 50/50. We are moving there but in homes, it could be slightly different because we are also in a patriarchy society wehre fathers believe they run homes. When we do walk in there from a position of power and authority, our male counterparts get very threatened but let me assure you Hon. Member, it is just a question of time for you to understand and appreciate who we are in society – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I sincerely hope that as we move and work, you will learn to appreciate who we are, what we can contribute to society and not just in society but in our families and children so that as we move as counterparts in development, we all develop in that manner.  – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. SEN. MAKORE:  A follow-up question please, Madam President, infact Hon. Minister, we are aware of such development and everybody else is aware of that.  The question seeks to find out programmes that you are embarking on to impart knowledge for people to understand what it means.  This is calling for programmes that can be implemented in rural areas because it is a gross misconception to those who do not understand it.  Thank you very much.

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you once again Hon. Senator. We have so many programmes on the ground, not just by my Ministry but also by various womens’ organisations to try and disseminate information to those who may have not understood this properly or those who may feel that some women are threatening their bossy positions in the homes.

          We do programmes as a Ministry and have a Department for Gender Equality.  Gender equality does not mean female or male counterparts but it is talking about both men and women and their position in society.  When we talk about their positions in society, it therefore means that we are talking to both you and your wife to understand this equality concept.  The programme that you are talking about is on the ground, it may take a bit of time for you to understand because you are a father or a male.  It may be problematic for you to understand that we are now going to move in that manner.  However, the programmes are there on the ground.  The churches, schools, communities, the Law Society, even the chiefs and the villagers are on those programmes both from Government and NGOs.  I sincerely hope that it will go further than that but so far so good.  The programmes are on the ground.

          HON. SEN. MAKONE: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  Minister, can you tell us what programmes you have put in place to make sure that those people in our society who do not have birth certificates and national identification get them before the beginning of the voter registration exercise.

          In mind, I have got people who used to be called ‘aliens’ but were born in this country and who according to the new Constitution are Zimbabweans and those who were affected during the Gukurahundi era.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Madam President and thank you for your question Hon. Senator.  The Ministry of Home Affairs has presented the programme that we were expecting to rollout and start all over the country in two weeks time, especially targeting the remote areas like Binga and Chipinge where we want everyone to get the documents.

          However, we are very much aware that if you issue a birth certificate or national identification to somebody who is not a Zimbabwean national, it means you have converted full rights to that person and equal rights to Zimbabwean nationals.  We will be taking very cautious steps in rolling out that programme.  I have seen everything on the budget that went up to $17 million. That is why we did not embark on it last month.  Our intention was to start last month but we have returned it to the technocrats so that they can revise it and lower the expenses as most of the expenses were on the allowances of the new recruits. We decided to localise the people in those areas in order to cut down on the costs but we are going to start very soon.

          I personally went to assess the situation in Tsholotsho as it is one of the areas that we want to go and issue birth certificates and national identification documents.  We resolved to exempt some of the laws and regulations so that people can have their requisite documents because it is their right.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUGABE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.  Hon. Minister, there is concern over land degradation that is causing river siltation and establishment of contours through maybe wrong farming methods, mining or natural means.  What measures have been put in place to assess or remedy the damage caused?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Senator for your question.  However, as she puts it, it does not involve the Minister of Agriculture alone but involves various other ministries, hence I will respond on the part of the Ministry of Agriculture.

          The issue of contours has always been promoted by the ministry in terms of ensuring that water does not have long runways.  We encourage that there be contour ridges particularly to farmers whose fields are on slopes which are done and assisted by our extension officers to form those contours.  Degradation is not only caused by agriculture as in other areas, I might as well advise that there is a new way of countering that aspect of degradation using livestock. You will appreciate that degradation takes places where there is no grass.  When it rains and the top soil is very crusty and when it rains water is already flowing away particularly in areas like Matabeleland South.  From my agricultural point of view, we are promoting what we call ‘communal ranch and grazing and kraaling’ so that when the animals are gathered in one place where there is no grass growing because of the hooves; next year, because they would have broken the crust, you will find that grass is plentiful in those areas. That is one way or another from a Ministry’s point of view of what we are trying to do.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  I move that time for questions without notice be extended by 10 minutes.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  Hon. Minister, I want to know the Government policy because your department is the one that deals with apprehending the wrong doers to maintain law and order. How do they manage to apprehend the air polluters since we see your officers in the roadblocks urinating and defecating in the open and affecting people by the nature’s smell? How do they apprehend the public?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): Thank you Madam President and thank you for your question Hon. Senator. According to the Constitution, police are bringing peace, investigating crime, preventing crimes and they are also doing it on behalf of every Ministry that is in Zimbabwe. So, if there is an Act that is being provided by the Ministry who is heading the environment saying no one should urinate behind a tree, police will enforce that one. That is the duty and we do not enforce anything which is not lawful and where we do not have an Act to act upon it, we will act only when there is an Act that has been passed and is given to us to make the people act lawfully. Therefore, if urinating behind the tree is now illegal, the police will be informed by the Minister of Environment. I thank you very much.

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: There is the Environmental Management Act and I think it provides that all the waste be put in a toilet. So, if the police do not know that by now, we are in a danger because we are going to be infected.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Madam President. My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Madanha. The country is now poised for a bumper harvest especially in the rural areas where I come from. The cheaper mode of transport, the railways is dysfunctional and that leaves one mode of transport like vehicles and other modes that are available for the poor peasant vulnerable rural farmer that this time, he has got his bumper harvest. Can you inform the public or the nation if there are any steps your Ministry has taken to assist and protect this rural farmer to take his/her produce to the market before he is visited by bogus commercial buyers? That will not be good for the nation especially considering our gross domestic product.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MADANHA): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank the Hon. Member for posing such a very important and crucial question. It is true that without proper road infrastructure, it will be very difficult for us to move our farm produce to the market. We all know that the previous rain season brought with it joy but at the same time, it also brought some sorrowful incidence. We are all aware that for the past 50 or so many years, we had never experienced such a rainfall pattern.

As a result of these rains and the Cyclone Dineo, a lot of roads and bridges were destroyed. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, after the state of roads was declared a disaster, has been working with other Ministries like the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to raise funds so that we can actually invest in our road infrastructure. Three programmes were arranged and the first one being the programme of emergency works which started last month and is terminating this month.

This programme was mainly to restore movement of goods and services through filling of potholes and also carrying out some urgent repair works so that we can facilitate the movement of goods and services. So far this programme bore some fruits and as we can see, even right here in town, we see a lot of repair works taking place.  Next month we will be moving to a second stage which will be the stage to build up some security features on most of our structures. For example bridges that were destroyed, we need to put up things like protective works so that in the next rain season, we do not experience the same level of destruction.

This programme will also take two months and for the rest of the year, we are going to implement a programme of rehabilitation which will include resealing of roads and complete maintenance so that we actually guarantee that our crops are moved to markets. Madam President, I agree with the Hon. Senator that the cheapest mode of transport which is the national railways is to some extent dysfunctional. We are also not sitting down and watching. We have got various programmes that we are undertaking so that we can restore the viability of the NRZ. I think we all know the problems that we have like the vandalism that took place at the NRZ. We are also aware that our track at the NRZ really needs rehabilitation and we also know that our communication and lighting system is no longer functional.

To this extent, we are inviting potential investors who are willing to invest in the NRZ and Cabinet has approved the recapitalisation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) with conditions which we think are more conducive to attract investors to come and invest in NRZ.  Now, coming to the question of people living in the rural areas, we are all aware that we have got four entities in the country that are responsible for maintenance, construction and rehabilitation of our road infrastructure.  These four entities right now as I speak are working flat out to repair our damaged roads.  These entities are the Rural District Councils (RDCs), the District Development Fund (DDF), Urban Councils and the Department of Roads. 

Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA), which is an authority created by an Act of Parliament has got the responsibility to mobilise funds and distribute to all these four entities so that they can work on our roads and restore transit of goods and services in a safe and secure environment.  So, we are pretty sure that our farmers will have road condition which are acceptable to transporters so that any transport costs that are charged are not too high.  We are repairing our roads and we hope sooner or later, we will have our road network in good conditions so that our farmers can take their farm produce to the market.  I thank you.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

FUNDS FOR SHABANIE MINE WORKERS

          1.  HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain:-

a)    whether any money has been budgeted to cater for the Shabanie Mine workers who have not been paid for the past eight years, considering that the mine managers in charge of affairs are dismissing the workers;

b)   what criteria is being used to pay fifty dollars a month for some of the workers who are still at Shabanie Mine; and

c)    whether money paid by Midlands State University students who are renting the mine houses goes to Treasury and if so, why is it not being used to cater for the workers’ salaries.

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Madam President.  I thank Hon. Sen. Timveos for the question.  Madam President, when I asked for written responses from the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, I was only able to get responses to one question, which is number one.  I then noticed that there were actually 10 questions which need to be answered by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  I wish to request that questions numbers 2 to 10 be deferred until next time.

     As I was doing that, I got a written answer and I will read the answer for question number 1 Madam President.  Madam President, the question by Hon. Sen. Timveos should be addressed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  That is what the answer says.

     The only part that I need to clarify now as the Minister of Mines and Mining Development is the issue to do with the US$50.  I think the US$50 is just an amount to give people so that they have something to use.  It is not enough and it can never be enough.  I think that it is important, as you rightly said, to resuscitate the activities of Shabani Mashaba Mines (SMM) and the actions that I talked about, we will deal with those issues.

     The money is not going to Treasury because SMM is a limited liability company.  The money will go to the Judicial Manager who will then use it for the purpose of resuscitating the activities of SMM.  Basically, that is the answer to question number 1.  Thank you Madam President.

POLICY ON HIV/AIDS AT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING

          19. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to explain the Ministry’s position regarding the implementation of the policy on HIV/AIDS at institutions of higher learning in the country.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you Madam President.  HIV and AIDS is one of the most challenging and important health issues in the world today.  The Ministry found it necessary to incorporate HIV and AIDS education as part of the curriculum in Higher and Tertiary Education institutions.  A curriculum review was conducted in 2003 and this resulted in the launch of the HIV and AIDS Policy specifically designed for tertiary education institutions.  The aim of this policy is to provide colleges and institutions of higher learning with a standard framework and guidelines for the implementation programmes.

          The policy complements the National HIV and AIDS Policy of the Republic of Zimbabwe.  It expands, develops and adds new dimensions to the existing programmes currently being implemented by both the public and private sectors.  In doing so, this policy also strengthens the effectiveness of the National Policy by developing practical solutions to fight the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

          Madam President, as part of the multi-sectoral responses to addressing HIV and AIDS, the policy serves as the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development’s response to effectively address the epidemic.  The Ministry and community within institutions of higher learning agreed that there is need for a sectoral policy to deal with this epidemic.

1.    Policy Guidelines

The policy seeks to reduce the prevalence of HIV and AIDS and mitigate its impact amongst intended beneficiaries. 

The policy covers HIV and AIDS, STIs and opportunistic diseases linked to HIV and AIDS.

HIV and AIDS Programmes must be integrated into the main budget at ministerial level at the planning stage.  This budget should benefit the Ministry, its colleges and the communities they serve.

Initiatives come from all within the Ministry, colleges and communities they serve.

HIV and AIDS prevention care and support programmes should be fully integrated into the college curricula and other participatory activities at the colleges.

HIV and AIDS programmes require that both the Ministry and its institutions develop alliances with other ministries and institutions, including schools as well as those in the private sector and donor community.

2    Legal Framework

The legal framework of this policy takes into account the 1999 National HIV and AIDS Policy of the Republic of Zimbabwe and should be interpreted in conjunction with Statutory Instrument 1/2000, Statutory Instrument 202 of 1998, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Code of Practice on HIV and AIDS and the SADC Employment Code of Conduct on HIV and AIDS.

     Madam President, the key features of HIV and AIDS laws are;

·       Republic of Zimbabwe National Policy on HIV and AIDS;

·       SADC Employment Code of Conduct on HIV and AIDS; and

·       International Labour Organisation Policy;

·       Labour Relations Act, Statutory Instrument 202 of 1998 (HIV/AIDS) Regulations

Madam President, the main objectives of this policy are;

a)    To provide a standard framework and guidelines which colleges and institutions of higher learning can use in the implementation of their programmes;

b)   To prevent new infection and spread of HIV and AIDS by encouraging responsible behaviour;

c)    To provide care and support for the infected and affected by empowering them with skills to cope with their condition.  Ensure that both structures, a conducive and supportive environment exists in all colleges to empower and support those infected and affected;

d)   To train and equip students by offering continuous in-service training on HIV and AIDS, and provide accurate and up to date information on HIV and AIDS.

          e.  To produce peer educators, trainers and volunteers who are adequately equipped and empower them to confidently carry out outreach programmes in the communities they serve.

          f.  To mainstream gender issues into the college HIV and AIDS programmes; and

          g.  To form smart partnerships to enhance HIV and AIDS programme implementation.

          Madam President, the policy with the following components;  Risk reduction, reducing stigma and discrimination, care and support (including counseling), teaching skills, the rights of people living with HIV, gender and HIV and AIDS, and collaborating with other stakeholders like the National Aids Council.   In closing Madam President, I would present a copy of the policy that governs HIV/AIDS in our colleges to the Senate.  I thank you Madam President.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW CURRICULUM

          21.  HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to clarify whether in the implementation of the new curriculum there are any core subjects which are obligatory for all ‘O’ Level students and to further explain whether all subjects are now optional such that each student chooses his/her own combination.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Thank you Madam President. I thank the Hon. Sen. Mashavakure for his question. The secondary school curriculum and I make a very brief response because we took the opportunity to do a workshop on these matters, it is more elaborate in the documents that we then submitted to Hon. Senator but he chose to raise this question so I am obligated to respond.  So, the secondary should offer learners from Forms 1 to 4 a broad based curriculum from which they acquire the necessary competences from different learning areas. Hon. Senators will recall that we stopped calling them subjects but Learning Areas to cater for students’ diverse talents, interests, aptitudes and abilities.  The choice of Learning Areas at this level guides learners on progression to various career paths or further studies and is promoted by the Ministry’s emphasis on STEAM/STEM, Visual and Performing Arts, Humanities and languages, Design and Technology and Commercials.

          The short answer as to whether there are necessary inclusions, the short answer is yes.  Each learner shall participate in at least ten (10) learning areas, seven (7) of which will be cross cutting (compulsory) and three (3) to five (5) others will be necessary electives.  The necessary electives indicate a choice of pathway by the learner.

          In Forms 1 to 4, all learners engage in the following cross cutting learning areas.

·       Agriculture Forms 1-4

·       Physical Education, Sport and Mass Displays Forms 1-4

·       General Science Forms 1 – 4

·       Mathematics Forms 1-4

·       Indigenous Language Forms 1-4

·       English Language Forms 1-4

·       Heritage Studies and LOP Forms 1-4

The necessary electives shall be chosen from the Learning Areas in the following categories.

·       Sciences

·       Mathematics

·       Languages

·       Humanities

·       Commercials

·       Technical Vocational

·       Music and Arts

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: When the workshop was held I was out on the Reconciliation Bill, so some Members of Parliament did not attend and that includes me.  I thank you Mr. President. 

ACQUISITION OF A PRINTING PRESS BY ZIMSEC

22.  HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain the impact made by the acquisition of a printing press by ZIMSEC on the level or amount of fees paid by each student particularly those writing public examinations at end of year.     

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Mr. President.  I thank the Hon. Member and I take note of the explanation that he has provided but I am willing also to have bilateral engagement with the Hon. Senator so that if these responses are too brief we can be more extensive when you visit us at our offices.

ZIMSEC has not acquired the printing press as yet.  It is in the process of acquiring the printing press at a total cost of US$5 007 126, and has to date made an initial payment of US$1m out of the required advance payment of US$3.1m, towards the procurement of the printing press.  The balance US$2 100 000.00 is yet to be paid and due to the difficulties in acquiring foreign currency, it may take a further 2 months to pay off.  Delivery of the printing press is on receipt of the full advance payment of US$3.1m, after which it may take a further 3 months to mount it as it is custom made to suit ZIMSEC’s requirements.

b)  The impact of acquiring the printing press will not be felt immediately.  The main objective in getting the printing press is security and integrity of the examinations.  For the financial benefit to be realised, this may only be in the subsequent years after the printing press has been installed and is printing commercially to realise revenue.  We will need also to look at the commercial side of that printing press once installed at Norton. 

c)  A prerequisite of the success of the printing press is recruiting qualified staff. ZIMSEC is looking at three critical managers, an engineer, an ICT technician and printing manager.  The candidates will benefit from secured production of question papers which will eliminate the stresses caused by re-runs of examinations due to leakages. This has a stabilizing effect on the examination system.

d)  The introduction of the updated curriculum has also presented an opportunity for ZIMSEC to factor in implementation expenses into the existing examination budget. ZIMSEC has incorporated continuous assessment in the overall final assessment regime.  With this in mind, it would not be prudent to reduce the fees that are currently being paid by candidates as there are various aspects of the programme that need some substantial funding.

DEVELOPMENT OF A SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION POLICY

23. HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Primary

and Secondary Education whether the Ministry intends to develop Special Needs Education Policy and law in line with the recommendations of the Nziramasanga Commission Report.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  My Ministry has taken note of the developments between 1999 and now, in particular the adoption of the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe as well as Regional Global trends towards inclusivity.

Therefore, the Hon. Senator’s request is being addressed from several angles as part of the effort to achieve the goal of an inclusive education system in which the Special Education Needs are part and parcel of the Ministry’s service delivery to all learners in Zimbabwe.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has embraced inclusivity in the current constitutional alignment of the Education Act and relevant Statutory Instrument.  Inclusivity is among the principles underpinning the curriculum framework 2015-2022 and has been adopted as a cross cutting theme in all Ministry programmes.

In essence, the specific requirements of learners with Special Educational Needs are being addressed as an ongoing concern in line with the Ministry’s policy position on inclusive access to education and quality learning outcomes for all.

 OPERATIONALISATION OF THE NEW CURRICULUM AT BOTH PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

24. HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain to the House whether the operationalization of the new curriculum at both primary and secondary schools takes into consideration capacities and alteration span of students involved, considering that some practitioners in the education sector claim that the time frame needed by each student would cover from 7 a.m. to 5 ‘o’ clock p.m.

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  On a point of order Mr. President. There is an error on the phrase ‘alteration span’.  Papers Office miscopied my question.  I had written ‘concentration span.’

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): I am grateful for the correction while I am on my feet.

The development of syllabuses for both primary and secondary was done by experts in the education system, experienced educationists and practicing teachers, among others which considered the normal attention span of learners at infant, junior and secondary school.  Infants aged 4-8 (ECD A – Grade 2) has attention span of between 8-20 minutes and they have a curriculum that emphasizes learning through play, especially at E.C.D and most of their lessons have very minimum time allocation of between 10 to 15 minutes.

The time allocated to their learning area should see them completing their day programme at or before twelve mid-day.  Junior and secondary school learners have attention span 16-40 minutes, which is relatively longer attention span and these can complete their day programme a little later as compared to Infant Level that is around 4-5 p.m.  The time allocated for each Learning Area is flexible and should allow the teacher to complete the concepts as planned.  Teacher creativity is expected to integrate concepts from different Learning Areas, for example; dance and music can be combined instead of teaching dance separately and music separately.

Please note that schools are now providing one hot meal once a day – about mid morning or shortly thereafter.

POLICY REGARDING THE USE OF SCHOOL BUSES BOUGHT BY SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATIONS

28. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  To ask the Minister of Primary and

Secondary Education -

a)    To explain the policy regarding the use of school buses bought by the School Development Association in view of the fact that in some schools buses are used for political party related functions where hiring fees are not paid to the schools concerned;

b)   To explain what action can be taken by School Heads and School Development Associations in the event that they are coerced to release their school buses without payment.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  As a Ministry, we have made it public that schools can purchase buses for their use.  The new school curriculum says that there are opportunities there for deploying those buses in pursuit of heritage studies or those that lead them to tourist destinations.  I am happy to let the Hon. Members know that a number of schools have purchased these buses which are used for related business.  Any hiring of school buses should be done in consultation with the School Development Committee (SDC) of the particular school.  It is not the function of the school head to act unilaterally.

There is no way in school where heads and the School Development Committees (SDCs) can be coerced to release school buses.  In fact, our heads and SDCs have an authority over school assets and the situation will remain the same until any changes are made.  I make this reference also in respect of use of school premises for church services and so on.  Access to those school premises is made through the administration of that school and the SDCs in consultation.  If there is indeed coercion, evidence would be visible in the form of tangible complaints, for example. letters, representations coming through our offices.  I thank you. 

RATIFICATION OF THE MARAKESH TREATY

29.  HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House when Government intends to ratify the Marakesh Treaty so that the blind and print disabled persons in the country can benefit from easy access to published works.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. President, I thank Hon. Sen. Mashavakure for the pertinent question.  However, may I kindly refer this question to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to respond and they deal with this issue more comprehensively.  I thank you.

REPAIRING OF A STORM DRAIN IN WATERFALLS

30.  HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to indicate when a badly constructed storm drain at House No. 254 Clee Drive, Prospect, Waterfalls, in Harare would be attended to in view of the fact that stagnant water in that place has become a breeding area for mosquitoes and despite that, this case was reported to both the City of Harare and the Civil Protection Department. 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO):  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimhini for the question.  May I inform the Hon. Member that No. 254 Clee Drive is situated on a low lying area.  Storm water is supposed to pass through Stand No. 254 Clee Drive into the next stand at the back.  However, the stand owner at the back has put a boundary wall with no weep holes to allow storm water to pass through naturally.  This has led to storm water ponding inside Stand No. 254 Clee Drive.  The City of Harare is going to ensure that weep holes are created on the boundary wall thereby allowing natural flow of water across stands.  I thank you.

PLANS TO TAME THE TRAFFIC JUNGLE CAUSED BY KOMBI DRIVERS AND ILLEGAL TAXI OPERATORS

31. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Home Affairs to state the Ministry’s plans to tame the traffic jungle caused by kombi drivers and illegal taxi operators in urban centres who flagrantly break traffic rules with impunity and no immediate corrective measures have been taken by both the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Municipal Police.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Madam President.  Thank you Hon. Sen. Chimhini for the question.  In answering the question from Hon. Sen. Chimhini, it is important to emphasise that the Zimbabwe Republic Police derives its mandate from Section 219 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  Among other duties charged to the Zimbabwe Republic Police is the duty to prevent crime and to maintain law and order. 

In the exercise of some of its functions, Sections 219 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act of 2013, allows the Zimbabwe Republic Police to cooperate with other bodies that may be established by law for the purpose of preventing particular classes of offences.  Indeed, as Hon. Sen. Chimhini rightly observes, classes of such offences that readily come to mind include violations of the Road Traffic Act and its sister motoring laws and the contravention of different by-laws under the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15].

As Government, we remain conscious of the traffic congestion in our urban areas, particularly, in Harare.  We are also keeping an eye on the rowdy behaviour mainly by touts, commuter omnibus and taxi operators including the notorious mushika-shika.  Mr. President, Hon. Senators will appreciate that our greatest challenge in taming the traffic jungle in municipal areas is chiefly two-fold.  Firstly, the non-availability of reliable and dependable urban public transport that has seen almost our cities being flooded by private operators and secondly, inadequate parking space and designated termini for our motoring public, greatly contribute to the traffic menace in our cities.

Compounding the situation is the issue of rapid urbanisation and population growth (both in terms of people and vehicles) in most areas in Zimbabwe.  This has inadvertently caused a lot of strain to existing infrastructure such as roads, parking space, holding bays, toilets for us by commuters among other necessary amenities.  I am however, confident that Hon. Senators are fully aware of the regular police and municipal deployments in and around the cities trying to bring sanity on our roads by reining in errant motorists and apprehending offenders.  The Zimbabwe Republic Police has deployed motorised, bike and foot patrols that continue to arrest unruly motorists almost on a daily basis.

          Furthermore, the ZRP, together with other stakeholders such as the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe are continuously undertaking various strategies and putting to an end the lawlessness caused by unscrupulous road users. 

Some of the strategies include:

-         campaigns against irresponsible driving behavour, road rage and deliberate disregard for the law, rights and respect for others.

-         Arresting traffic offenders and processing them through dedicated courts;

-         Clamping all vehicles parked or loading and offloading at undesignated areas;

-         Controlling traffic at faulty intersections or during peak hours; and

-         Impounding unroadworthy vehicles and pirate taxis.

To this end, the Ministry of Home Affairs welcomes the recent upward review of traffic fines as this might serve as a deterrent to would-be traffic offenders.

Hon. President of the Senate, as a forward-looking Government, we have other long-term plans to ease congestion in urban areas which I am sure will be announced by relevant Cabinet Ministers at the appropriate time.  Suffice to say that as a Ministry responsible for the maintenance of law and order, we will never allow errant motorists to break traffic rules with impunity.  We however continue to sincerely appeal to all road users to exercise sobriety and restraint on all our traffic bad habits and use our roads with dignity at all times.  I thank you Madam President.

  CLASSIFICATION OF ZIMBABWE AS A PROBLEM COUNTRY DESPITE SIGNING OF THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING ACT

          32.  HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Home Affairs to-

          (a)  inform the House why Zimbabwe continues to be classified as a problem country despite the signing of the Human Trafficking Act?

          (b)  state Government Policy on the implementation of the provision of the Human Trafficking Act that was signed by the President.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Madam President.  The above questions were directed to the Minister of Home Affairs by Hon. Sen. Timveos.

          In response to the first question, it should be clarified that Zimbabwe was only classified as a problem country in terms of human trafficking in 2015 when the country’s legislation to curb human trafficking was still fairly new.  The country had ratified the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish human trafficking especially women and children in 2013 and the Act was enacted in 2014.  More so, by then, the country had not yet come up with its National Plan of Action (NAPLAC) which is the guiding blue print on curbing this crime of human trafficking.  The NAPLAC was only launched on the 29th of July in 2016.  Furthermore, since this was a new phenomenon in the country’s legislation; there was and there is still a lot that needs to be done so that the general public is informed about the dangers of human trafficking as well as educating the law enforcement agencies on the aspects of the crime of human trafficking.

          Pertaining to the second question which requires the Minister to state Government policy on the implementation of the provision of the Human Trafficking Act that was signed by the President; it should be highlighted that the Act makes provision for the establishment of the anti-trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee tasked with coming up with the National Plan of Action to curb human trafficking.  This Committee was established in 2015 by the President through Statutory Instrument 2 of 2015 and has since come up with a National Plan of Action (NAPLAC) against trafficking in persons as mandated by the Act which was launched on 29th of July, 2016.  The NAPLAC is centred upon four major goals, each with a specific objective.  The four major goals are prosecution, prevention, protection and partnership/coordination.

          Under prosecution, the aim is to establish an effective criminal justice and legal framework.  The objectives of this goal are; to detect, investigate and prosecute trafficking in persons cases, continuous review of legislation to keep it aligned with regional and international standards as well as eliminating corruption in trafficking in persons cases.  The NAPLAC notes that there is need for further capacity building of law enforcement, prosecution and the judiciary on identification, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of the crime as well as on victim support and witness protection.

          The prevention goal aims to make sure that trafficking in persons is prevented.  The objectives hereto are as follows:

-         To conduct research and documentation and facilitate information sharing on the crime;

-         To raise public awareness on trafficking of persons;

-         To build capacity of key stakeholders on the prevention of trafficking in persons;

-         To recommend to Government and non State actors to carryout poverty alleviation programmes involving potential vulnerable groups and targeted communities.

The gist of the protection goal is the establishment of identification, referral and assistance system for victims of trafficking with the following objectives:

-         To establish a functional identification and referral system for reported cases of trafficking in persons.

-         To facilitate the provision of appropriate shelter and psycho-social support services to identify the victims of trafficking;

-         To establish a sustainable national re-integration and rehabilitation programme for identified victims of trafficking;

-         To protect the privacy and identity of trafficked persons before, during and after criminal proceedings.

Under partnership and coordination, it is envisaged that coordination and cooperation at national, regional and international level is ensured.  This is to be done by ensuring enhanced participation and coordination in ensuring enhanced participation and coordination in international and regional cooperation; monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the overall national response to trafficking in persons as well as funding the implementation of the NAPLAC.

The Committee has already started implementing the NAPLAC and a provincial taskforce team that was recently established in the Bulawayo Province to assist in carrying out awareness campaigns at provincial level.  Plans are underway to cover all provinces such that the message cascades to the grass root level.  I think if an evaluation can be done now, it is no longer classified as a problem country in terms of human trafficking as it was in 2015.  I thank you Madam President.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PHYSICAL EDUCATION (P.E) IN SCHOOLS

25. HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to state whether it would be prudent  to discard Physical Education (P.E.) from the school time table since all students would be required to take part in the same form of sporting discipline at some point each week.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Any learning area that is cross cutting (compulsory) cannot be dropped. Physical Education, Sport and Mass Displays play an important role in the total development of the learner.  Through Physical Education, Sport and Mass Displays, learners acquire the knowledge, skills, right attitudes and values towards the pursuit of lifelong physically active and healthy lifestyles.  The curriculum further encourages the development of enterprising skills covered in the form 5 and 6 pathways.  The Physical Education, Sport and Mass Displays learning area provides a platform for the development of competencies that, in the subsequent levels, can be used for application in amateur and professional sport.  The framework provides a platform and opportunities to develop character, social and self-management skills.  The Learning Area provides a long term impact on reducing national health bills.  Most of the health problems we have today can be attributed to lack of physical wellness and fitness exercise.  Besides, a healthy nation is also potentially an economically productive and happy nation.  The underside side needs no further explanation.  It is therefore not prudent to discard Physical Education from the school time table because whatever learners will do in life, the benefit from this Learning Area will be felt for life.

ADEQUACY OF MATHS AND SCIENCE TEXTBOOKS IN SCHOOLS

26. HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain  to the House whether Mathematics and Science textbooks in schools are adequate in their content and approach, including what the new curriculum aims to instill to the learners with regards to the STEM concept.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Mathematics and Science textbooks that speak to the updated curriculum are now available on the market.  However, I want Hon. Members to appreciate that teaching and learning is never locked in a textbook but rather by a syllabus.  Textbooks are reference resources.  In addition, the textbooks which were used for the old curriculum have some content that is still relevant and can therefore be used in the current Phase 2 as resource or reference materials, but not all.  It is encouraging to note that though we have Mathematics and Science books on the market, a lot more are coming through our indigenous publishing companies who have risen to the expectations of Phase 2.

MEASURES TO BRIDGE THE RESOURCE GAP BETWEEN RURAL, URBAN AND CHURCH RUN SCHOOLS

27.  HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to appraise the House on the measures that Government is taking to bridge the resource gap between rural , urban schools and those run by churches in terms of a balanced implementation without disadvantaging any learners throughout the country.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  The Ministry has adapted various mechanisms to mobilize resources.  The following are some of the measures the Ministry has undertaken to reduce the resource gap:

·       School improvement grant system targeting rural schools where schools are given a minimum of between $5 000 to use in improving their schools.

·       Joint Venture Partnerships in construction of schools.

·       Ministry of Energy and Power Development helps out rural schools through REA, introducing electricity and encouraging schools to take up solar energy in the rural set up.

·       On ICTs, all provincial offices are connected and above 90% of our districts are also connected.  Plans to connect all schools are at advanced stage.

·       In the long run, the updated curriculum will produce a self-sustaining mechanism, whereby schools will be able to carry out projects through the learning process and these processes should be able to support some of the needs of the schools.  For example the agriculture and enterprise projects.

·       All secondary schools were issued Advanced Zim-Science kits – the same church, Government and satellite schools.

These are the efforts that Government is doing to reduce gaps in terms of the balance implementation.  We will continue to call upon Honourable Members to assist in reducing this gap in their Constituency Development programmes especially through CDF.  Parents should contribute towards the development by giving the necessary support.

NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING AT TONGOGARA REFUGEE CAMP

          33. HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister for Home Affairs to state the number of people living at Tongogara Refugee Camp and to form the House whether their children are given primary documents. 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): The number of people living at Tongogara Refugee Camp can be confirmed with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare who are responsible for refugees. The Department of the Registrar General in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, however, carry out yearly statistic registrations and/or when need arises to give their children primary documents.

PROGRESS REPORT REGARDING THE ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION PAYMENT OF ROYALTIES TO ZIMBABWE MUSIC RIGHTS ASSOCIATION

          34. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services to give a progress report regarding the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation payment of royalties to Zimbabwe Music Rights Association for the period 2010 to 2017 amounting to US$593 089.00, considering that the non-payment of royalties adversely affects the livelihood of musicians who rely on such royalties.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) relies on music for most of its radio and some television programmes. The national broadcaster recognises the critical role played by musicians whose products drive programming. Without these products, the national broadcaster would not be able to run its programming which is centred on 75% local content.

          As a result, ZBC is committed to promoting Zimbabwe musicians through the airplay given and the payment of royalties for the music played. It is true that ZBC has a legacy debt with regard to the payment of royalties, which it is currently trying to settle. The national broadcaster has since engaged Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMRA) and agreed on a payment plan. In a meeting held in 2016 between ZBC and ZIMRA, it was agreed that the national broadcaster should pay off the legacy debt first and then a new agreement for the payment of royalties will be drawn up.

          It was also agreed that the royalties rate of 10% of revenue which was agreed upon during the Zimdollar era was too high, unrealistic under the US$ regime and not in tandem with regional trends. The agreed new royalties rate is 2, 25% of revenue and this will be implemented once the legacy debt has been run down. The new rate is in the range of what other regional broadcasters are paying. The national broadcaster is currently paying an average of $5 000 per month to run down the legacy debt which now stands at $478 080 as at 31 April, 2017. Please note that in some months, the national broadcaster pays up to $10 000 as it is committed to ending the debt.

COMPLETION OF THE ENVISAGED DIGITALISATION PROGRAMME

          35. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Media,

Information and Broadcasting Services to explain:

a)    when the envisaged digitalisation would be completed since

the current analogue system entails that programme logging be done manually.

b)   explain how the Ministry intends to deal with the following

challenges to assist artists;

(i)              the handling of some information which would be left out when manual logging is done;

(ii)           handwriting can be illegible, disadvantaging the artists;

(iii)        ensuring that log sheets submission to Zimbabwe Music Rights Association which may be too faint to read, do not further disadvantage the artists; and

(iv)         ensuring some programmes are not completely left out, particularly during night programmes by the Zimbabwe Television. 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): ZBC is currently in the process of digitalising the radio studios, replacing analogue equipment with digital equipment. It is work in progress whose completion can only be determined by the availability of funding to finish the project.

A meeting has since been done between ZBC and ZIMURA where it was agreed that quarterly meetings will be held to review the whole process. So far, a new form has been introduced which the two entities agree will ensure that all relevant information is captured.

ZBC and ZIMURA have since agreed that all handwritten forms should be in capital letters to ensure it can be read easily. ZBC shall ensure that the forms submitted are not faint.

Both television and radio are logging their programmes as a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). While some of our programmes are played at night, they are prepared during the day and management shall ensure that all programming is logged and accounted for. The music playlist is actually compiled by Music Committees to ensure accountability.

PROGRESS ON REGISTRATION AND OPERATIONS OF CHURCHES

 41.   HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Women Affairs and Gender Development to inform the House on the progress made in implementing the recommendations by the Thematic Committee on Gender Development that Government should regulate registration and operation of churches participation in the legislation to curb violence on women and girls in churches.

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIKWINYA): Mr. President, let me begin by acknowledging the concern raised by Hon. Sen. Timveos.  Let me highlight that as the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, we appreciate the work that has been done by the Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development through undertaking public hearings on ending child marriages.  It is through these hearings that issues raised are now being put forward for debate to make us all accountable and provide recourse where there is need.  I am glad to state that my Ministry undertook to mobilise women and communities to participate in these public hearings and they did so as it is amongst their responsibilities to mobilise communities, including churches, to participate in Government programmes.

          Mr. President, let me clarify that it is not within the mandate of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development to regulate the operations of churches in Zimbabwe.  However, we work together with churches and engage church bodies with the aim of mainstreaming gender issues through training and capacity building.  Let me share with you some of the work we have been doing with churches.  In 2016, the Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA) developed its Gender Policy which is meant to effectively empower UDACIZA and affiliated church leaders to transform religious communities and congregations to be active agents of change in the elimination of violence against women and girls.

          The policy seeks to discourage adverse religious beliefs and practices, thereby encouraging faith-based communities to be more gender-sensitive and responsive to gender equality and the GBV needs of their respective communities.

          The gender policy is also aimed at enhancing the capacity of the church to engage in GBV prevention activism, to speak out on positive faith-based norms and the unacceptability of the crime.

          The formulation of such policies as the UDACIZA Gender Policy is in line with Section 56 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which outlaws unfair treatment of any person on the grounds of sex, gender, culture, religious beliefs, marital status, age, disability, economic or social status among others.

My Ministry has also been working with the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) amongst others, in providing training to community based volunteers amongst their congregants.  The training that has been put in place will continue in providing  these community based volunteers, that is women, men and religious leaders with basic information on Gender Based Violence so that they develop skills that will enable them to control the menace of gender based violence within their communities.

This has led to congregants reporting any forms of abuse, be it sexual, physical or emotional.  If Hon. Senators visit courts to follow proceedings, quite a number of church members see their way to jail.

          As I humbly submit my response, let me once again highlight that my Ministry has no mandate to regulate the operations of churches in this country.  Our role is to raise awareness on the causes and effects of gender based violence, the provisions of the legislation in relation to gender based violence as well as ensure effective mainstreaming of gender in activities of these churches with the broad aim of empowering women and communities and bringing to an end the problem of gender based violence in Zimbabwe.  Thank you.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGANGWA): Madam President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 5 and 7 to 10 be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 11, 12 and 6 have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to announce that the Senate has received the Immovable Property Security Interest Bill [H.B7A, 2016] from the National Assembly. It will therefore be on Second Reading on Tuesday next week.

COMMITTEE STAGE

JUDICIAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL (EASE OF SETTLING COMMERCIAL AND OTHER DISPUTES) [H.B.4A, 2016]

          Eleventh Order read: Committee Stage: Judicial Laws Amendment Bill (Ease of Settling Commercial and Other Disputes) [H.B.4A, 2016].

          House in Committee.

          Clauses 1 to 12 put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendments

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

JUDICIAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL (EASE OF SETTLING COMMERCIAL AND OTHER DISPUTES) [H.B.4A, 2016].

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE ,LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.  E. D. MNANGAGWA): Madam President, I move that the Bill be read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

COMMITTEE STAGE

DEEDS REGISTRY BILL [H.B.3A, 2016]

          Twelfth Order read: Committee Stage: Deeds Registries Bill [H.B. 3A, 2016].

          House in Committee.

          Clauses 1 to 4 put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

DEEDS REGISTRY BILL [H.B.3A, 2016]

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA): I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on SADC Model law on eradicating Child Marriages.

          Question again proposed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DAMASANE): Madam President, I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi for raising the motion on the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriages and protecting children already in marriage, this is an indication that Hon. Members are committed in protecting our girls.

          As the Ministry responsible for women empowerment, gender equality and community development, we are glad that SADC has passed a model law that speaks on issues of child marriage.

          The law was developed by the South African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) and has the potential to shape how the region addresses child marriages.

          The passing of the SADC Model law on eradicating child marriages and protecting children already in marriage is a welcome development for Zimbabwe because currently the alignment of marriage laws to our Constitution, of making the marriageable age of both girls and boys to 18 years is still in progress. This presents an opportunity for Zimbabwe to align the laws on marriage to the SADC Model law.

          Madam President, the SADC Model law is in line with most of the International and Regional Instruments this country is party to, for example, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Article 12 states that “the betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect and all necessary action, including legislation shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage and to make the registration of marriages in an official registry compulsory”.

          Further, Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intended spouses”.

          Some of the provisions in the SADC Model law are also in our laws. It is important to adopt provisions that work for our country and protect our girl children. For example, the SADC Model law has provisions that gives emphasis on the protection of the rights of the child, for instance the right to health, education, registration of birth, protection from discrimination, protection from exploitation and abuse, amongst others which are also the same provision found in our children’s Act as well as our Constitution on Section 81. 

The Constitution of Zimbabwe on Section 26, states that the State must take appropriate measure to ensure that children are not pledged in marriage.  This is also a provision which is included in the SADC Model law.  Madam President, in the Commission on the Status of Women 61 recommendations;  the Commission strongly condemns violence against women and girls, including harmful cultural practices which include child marriages as these are a major impediment to achieve women empowerment.

Madam President, I concur with all of you on the domestication of provisions of the Model Law as part of our statutes so that we can put an end to this scourge.  Madam President, Let me just encourage Hon. Senators to read through the SADC Model law on eradicating child marriages and protecting children already in marriage so that when the law is brought to Parliament we will make informed contributions. I thank you.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Minister, I wish to thank you and your Ministry for being the first Ministry to respond to the motions tabled in this House, may you never tire of doing that. We thank you very much, it is appreciated. 

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, 16th May, 2017.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU) the Senate adjourned at Seven Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 16th May, 2017.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 16:38
Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 11 MAY 2017 VOL 26 NO 54