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SENATE HANSARD 12 APRIL 2016 VOL 25 NO 49

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 12th May, 2016

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

CHANGES IN THEMATIC COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the Senate of changes in Thematic Committee membership.  Hon. Sen. Mapungwana will serve on the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS and the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. CHIPANGA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.  Hon. Minister, a few days ago, the media was awash with the issue of quail birds.  What is the Government’s position as regards the trade in quail birds?  Thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  Thank you Madam President.  I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Chipanga for this question.  In response, I would say indeed it is true that the media was awash with the issue on the quails and the Government had banned the sale or the breeding of quails.  I would want to say that I have not heard from the Minister or seen a statement from the Minister, Hon. Muchinguri, but I heard through rumours.  The Minister categorically denied saying that and I would want to believe that she may have been misquoted.  What she was saying was that, if there are people who were stealing eggs and quails from the national parks, that was unlawful.  The law in as far as the breeding of quails is concerned on farms and at homes, the current quail birds that are in Zimbabwe, Government is urging people to go ahead and breed these quails but that they should do it in a normal way.  Our branch of Veterinary Services would want to assist those that are into breeding of these quails so that they can breed healthy birds which lead to better health for the consumers.

          I would not want to believe that it has no food value.  If it did not have food value, those that are consuming it would have since forgotten about it. The ZIM ASSET cluster on food security encourages those that are breeding quails to do so.  Please, spread the word to your respective constituencies that Government’s intention is that, people should continue breeding the quails in a proper manner.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to ask the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education whether it is correct that rentals or charges for use of tertiary institution facilities by Christian churches are being accelerated at an affordable rate.  Also, whether it applies to all tertiary institutions or it only applies to other lower institutions of learning?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ( HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you Madam President.  I will try to respond to the Hon. Senator’s question but I feel that the question is a bit not specific because he seems to be trying to point out to a specific institution, he has generalised.  I would be glad if there is specific institution or I will just respond in general?

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  In general.

          HON.DR. GANDAWA: Thank you Madam President.  Not only churches, even individuals seek to hire facilities from colleges and universities and the agreement is between the institution and the church concerned.  The services that they want to host; it might be a wedding, a function or a church service – the agreement is between the institution and the person who wants to hire the services.  So, there is no standard price for all institutions that they agree on because it depends with the function – how many hours and days you want to use the facility for.  It is the agreement between the institution and the person who wants to hire the services.  Suffice to say that, we have auditors then who will follow up in these institutions to see if those funds; because the funds are meant to assist in repairs and maintenance of the institutions.  So, the auditors will then want to find out how much money is being paid or charged to an institution or to an individual then they audit the use, but the charges or fees vary depending on the function and the person who is hiring the facilities.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN.  MUMVURI:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.  Is it Government policy that the ZBC/TV tends to cover extensively, activities of certain few Committees of Parliament at the expense of others, even to the extent of going to produce a documentary?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU):  It is not Government policy to be selective when covering Committee meetings.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  I want to believe there is co-operation between our country and Egypt.  Currently, Egypt is advertising scholarships in the newspaper, but one of the conditions is that people have to go for HIV/AIDS testing.  I want to believe in my view that this could be segregatory.  What is your comment?

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order Hon Senator.  You do not ask for a comment but you want advice, which arises from the policies of his Ministry.

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Thank you Madam President.  What is Government policy on that?

          HON. DR. GANDAWA:  It is indeed true that Egypt requires HIV/AIDS tests done for individuals who intend to take courses in their country.  It is not only Egypt that does that but many countries do the same.  There have been problems that have been associated - it is not segregatory per-se but there have been problems with sending students with specific conditions, especially HIV/AIDS that the country has encountered.  So, they are trying to curb such incidences.  Even when we are travelling to China, there is a requirement that you are tested but they do not publish the results.  You go and have the tests on your own and you do not publish the results.  Should your results come out positive, you keep the results and withdraw from the course.  Also, the duration that the students stay in Egypt is almost four to five years depending on the programme that they are taking.  If they are taking a non- English taught programme, it will take the first year to learn the language that they will use for the instructions.  So, a period of five years, if your health is not alright, will compromise even your learning.  That is the reason why they are doing that.  There are times when we feel that these conditions for scholarships for those students in our country that can meet the criteria should benefit and those that cannot meet the criteria will then be assisted by other countries that do not have that kind of policy or regulation or they study locally.  Thank you.

          *HON. CHIEF DANDAWA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development.  When do you think you will be able to upgrade our road from Chief Mora’s area in Binga?  They are having problems because buses can no longer access that road.  When we go onto the map, it is shown that the road is tarred yet on the ground it is a gravel road.

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR GUMBO):  May I kindly advise the Hon. Senator Chief that once he has become specific, he has to put his question in writing so that we can consult our records and see when that road is due for maintenance.  However, it is Government policy that roads should be constructed though they may not be timeously constructed because of lack of funds.  Some roads are either funded by the Province or by the Department of Roads.  So, I would urge you to put your question in writing so that I will be able to inform you whether it is going receive attention this year or not.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. SINAMPANDE:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.   Hon. Minister, could you kindly assist Matebeleland North.  When are you going to put a teacher’s college in Matabeleland North?  I will keep on asking this question.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA):  I want to thank the Hon. Senator for repeatedly asking the same question.  Government policy on establishing a university per province was of priority to Government and we are close to completing that policy by finalising the establishment of the Gwanda State University and the Manicaland State University.  We are now moving forward to start to pursue establishing a polytechnic and a teachers’ college per province.  Suffice to say that, we have Matabeleland North and Mashonaland West, which are the two provinces that do not have a teachers’ colleges as well as polytechnics.  Coincidentally, my Minister, Professor Moyo comes from Matabeleland North and I come from Mashonaland West.  So, the Hon. Senator must be surely assured that it is an issue that is also on our hearts, to ensure that we have a polytechnic and a teachers’ college in these two provinces. 

          However, what happens is that polytechnics, teachers’ colleges and universities are national institutions.  They are not owned by a province but they house a national institution.  That is why we take people from Matabeleland North to enroll in Bulawayo, Manicaland etcetera.  We have since put in place – by last week, during the Trade Fair, we engaged Hwange Colliery. They have a training centre that they are not using, which we intend very soon to turn into a teachers’ college so that we have a teachers’ college in Matabeleland North.  We are also engaging with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to put a centre at Trelawney where we think we can also house a teacher’s college in Mashonaland West.  If we do that, we would have completed the Government policy in having a teacher’s college, a polytechnic and a university in every province.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SENATOR SHIRI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.  Minister, may you explain the measures the Ministry has in place to ensure that tourism is accessible to persons with disabilities.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. A. NDLOVU):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking this very crucial question which ensures that Government policy with regards to tourism is indeed inclusive.  Hon. Senator, I would like to state it clearly to you that it is Government policy that every member of society in Zimbabwe, including people living with disabilities, benefit from the tourism facilities in and around our country.  We have currently completed our tourism master plan which seeks to clarify, synchronise and consolidate issues around tourism development infrastructure.  So, we are working with the Hotel Association of Zimbabwe, including the Zimbabwe Council of Tourism, to make sure that existing facilities are easily accessible to people living with disabilities. They work with them and also new projects are taking that into consideration.

I would like to thank the Hon. Senator and go further to say that we are also inviting people living with disabilities to participate in the tourism sector in as far as economic empowerment is concerned.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SENATOR MARAVA:  My question goes to the Hon. Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, Dr. Gandawa.  Hon. Gandawa, the students who are from teacher’s colleges receive a small allowance from Government when they are on teaching practice.  This is not the same case with students from universities.  Actually, it is the opposite.  The students from the universities are made to pay a full fee while they are on teaching practice.  Why the discrimination?  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA):  Thank you very much Madam President and I want to thank the Senator for asking the question.  The students from the teacher’s colleges, when they are on teaching practice they will be in charge of a class while being assisted or mentored by an experienced teacher and they are paid by the Civil Service Commission as Government policy.

When students that are in university are supposed to go on attachment, we call it industrial attachment, where they are going to work in an organisation and it is the organisation that they are working for that is supposed to pay for their remuneration or allowance.  We do not have control over the organisations that attach these students.  The students have to look for attachments to a specific organisation and work there and get an allowance.  We encourage these organisations that take our students to assist them or pay them amounts that will allow them to continue to be able to come to work while they learn.  But it does not stop there, they are learning and the lecturers from the universities must always attend to them or assess them.  We understand though and it is a matter that we are seized with, that we are looking at to see how much it costs the university or the institution to attend because they continue to give them practical assessment. 

We want to see how we can assist the students so that they are not paying as much as you are saying - full fees.  Currently, the policy says they are students.  They must pay the full amount for a semester because they are going to be assessed during the semester.  It is a matter that we are looking at.  The students themselves have presented this matter to us when we were in consultations with them and we feel there is a case for us to look at.  There is merit in the case, to look at it and review. 

We are currently taking up a comprehensive review of all our policies in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development and I believe that issue that you have raised, Hon. Senator, is very pertinent and it will receive due attention.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SENATOR MLOTSHWA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.  Minister, on the ZIM ASSET, on domestic tourism development, you have strategies of raising awareness on civil servants visitor scheme and other strategies that you wrote down here.  I would like to know is that yielding any fruits seeing that the civil servants at times, they are not getting their pay on the correct dates?  So how are you going about it?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. A. NDLOVU): I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for raising this question which is critical in as far as our role as Government in improving employer-employee relations is concerned.  She is correct that Government introduced the scheme in the ZIM ASSET as stated, but as you know, the Public Service Commission is responsible for conditions of service for the whole civil service, so we are in the process of seeing how we can make this programme work, also recognising that this scheme requires civil servants to contribute on a monthly basis towards their vacation.  Noting, Madam President that a holiday is not something that we can impose on an individual, so we are still waiting for public service to agree on how exactly we will make the system work, but it is Government’s wish through this policy on domestic tourism that we are able to instill in our people, a holiday culture because a holiday, in our view, is very key.

We need Madam President to also be able to measure national growth happiness and not just GDP.  So it is the wish of our Ministry that we are able to motivate the civil service through this scheme in a way of promoting domestic tourism.  I would also like to share with the august Senate that it is Government’s wish that Hon. Senators can help us in their constituencies by encouraging our people to visit tourism sites in all our constituencies because when we take a closer look, almost every constituency has something which is a tourism attraction.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SENATOR MANYERUKE:  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Agriculture.  How far are the preparations for the winter cropping of wheat?

THE DEPUTY MINITER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Madam President.  I thank the Hon. Senator for the question as regards the government programme for the growing of the winter wheat. I would want to say that this is not an annual event.  It is Government policy that winter wheat will grown every year through irrigation.  Those that can irrigate are urged to grow wheat.  It should not be the Government’s responsibility to fund winter cropping of wheat.  Government allowed contract farming so it has encouraged those that are into contract farming to go and encourage farmers to put their fields under winter wheat.  We do not want an ad hoc programme of winter cropping but a permanent arrangement where it is known that Government encourages the growing of winter wheat. 

The Government has set $500 per tonne as the price for wheat.  It is a good price which is exceptional to Zimbabwe.  This is to try and incentivise the farmers to grow wheat because if we grow a lot of wheat we cannot export it at $500. The same applies to the $390 per tonne for maize.  This is a subsidised price that the Government is using to incetivise farmers to grow maize as well as wheat but our farmers are failing to do that. The Government has put these incentives because of offering such a good price to farmers so that they can be encouraged to grow those crops.  It is a policy that is there and we urge those that are into contract farming to make arrangements with the farmers so that this wheat can be grown. I thank you.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President. I would like to ask, the Government is encouraging people to grow wheat but we are aware that there are plenty of dams but there is no irrigation equipment, how are they going to do it? How much is the Government getting involved in making the dams useful for winter ploughing?

HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Madam President. Thank you Hon. Senator for the supplementary question.  I think let me state that it is very unfortunate that everybody or every farmer is looking forward for everything to be done by the Government, which is very unfortunate.  It should not be like that. In actual fact, if you want to look from a policy point of view when the land allocation started, A2 farmers had to exhibit that they had the capacity to carry on the financing of the operations at their farms. That should be the case.  Even though that is the position, the Government has come out with various measures including the facilities, for example the Brazilian facility, to come out with irrigation equipment to assist those farmers.  From a Government point of view including as well, under the Cabinet Committee chaired by the Hon. Vice President, the Government has put in place to make sure that wherever there is water available that water must be used under the arrangement put by the Government. 

We would also want to encourage as I said that Government ultimately is not the final user of wheat and therefore I think the system of where the Government has admitted the system of PPPs and the system of contract farming, we would also encourage the users of the said product to come and also team up who have farmers with water so that they can produce wheat or maize.  A good example is the current arrangement between ARDA and TREK which is bearing fruit I think in Matebeleland in Maphisa, and in Kadoma.  That is how the Government is encouraging the involvement of the private sector into producing the necessary food for the country. I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Following from the original question, the question is does the Government know or have any figures as to how many hectors are ready for winter wheat? Not that we want know who but how many? Thank you.

HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Hon. Senator for the follow up question.  I think it is too early for the Government to have come out with a figure at the moment of hectors that have been committed to winter wheat because the growing period is from 1st May to the end of the month. That is what is encouraged by the Government in order to achieve the necessary yields.  Therefore, as of today, 12th May, is in middle and people are still planting, the aim of Government from a policy point of view is to grow enough for our country.  At the moment we cannot come out with a figure because farmers are still planting the wheat.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: May I humble remind Hon. Senators to please pose policy questions to the Ministers.  You want to know the policy on a certain topic which is of concern to you and your constituents.  If I ask the Minister of Transport when the Mubayira to Chegutu road is going to be completed, that is not a policy question.  When you pose questions, it is not just for you benefit.  It is also for other Hon. Senators’ benefit and mind you, this will come out in the Hansard, so eventually it will also benefit your constituencies.  Let us pose policy questions. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Media and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Sen. Mathuthu.  My question seeks to find out the policy as related to the coverage of political parties in the broadcasting services. Perhaps you can articulate the policy as it stands because we need to see the democratic approach into the coverage.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for such an important question.  The policy is we cover all events whether political or otherwise.  We have had instances when some parties chase the ZBC…

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, the objections are really not reasonable.

HON. SEN MATHUTHU: Thank you Madam President. I was saying they are some instances where some political parties do not want to be covered.  Thank you.

 THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to advise the House that we now also have the Minister of Information, Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services, Hon. Mandiwanzira as well as the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon. Mabuwa.    

HON. SEN. MAKORE: Supplementary, my question has not been answered.  I want to find out on a policy position, what is the policy position as regards covering of the political parties?

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Madama President and I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for the follow up question.  The Government position is that all events where ZBC and the print media are invited to cover, they covered unless if the Hon. Member has a specific instance when ZBC was invited and they never attended.  The policy is that every event, when we get invited, we cover the event.  Thank you. 

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock).  As a matter of policy, the newly donated equipment to the co-operatives, are they supposed to be dumped there, no assistance in assembling them is given.  I have a specific issue in Chakari; former Morrison Range, Chiwirirano cooperative, they have enormous difficulties in assembling the equipment.  They are asking us to assist in hiring a crane.  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Musaka for the question and I do not think the equipment was donated.  Beneficiaries were identified on the basis of their capacity to use and ability to pay.  That equipment is supposed to be paid and it has to be paid back.  Therefore, it is in the interest of Government and the Ministry of Agriculture in particular, to make sure that the equipment is put to use and is productive; it is viable to afford those beneficiaries to pay back the equipment.  Since he has mentioned something in particular, it is not policy that the Government will go there and dump the equipment without assembling it and also making sure that it is tested and it is working.  To an extent again, even to where there is a deficiency in terms of those farmers ability to use that a personnel from the Department of Irrigation and Mechanisation is attached to that project to make sure that the project is working. 

          I will liaise with you Hon. Sen. Musaka and make sure that a follow up is made so that the equipment works.  I thank you.

          *HON. A. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock).  We were at the Trade Fair recently and I observed that there was no livestock.  Is Government failing to curtail foot and mouth in Zimbabwe?  That is the reason why beasts were not at the ZITF.      

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  Thank you Madam President, I have heard the question but if I can be allowed to respond in English.  Yes, admittedly there were no big numbers of livestock at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.  The animals which were there were already fattened cattle which were ready to go for slaughter after the exhibition. 

          The issue of foot and mouth, yes it is prevalent in most of the Matebeleland provinces.  What we actually have done and what we intend to do, is that we do not want to rely on vaccinating cattle as a way of controlling foot and mouth.  We also want to bring certain measures to make sure that we reduce the amount of vaccinations because vaccinations are not for free; they cost us money and we buy them from Botswana vaccine factory. 

          We also do not want to centralise the marketing of cattle, which will then make it possible for the spread of foot and mouth.  There is an element of outbreak of foot and mouth that we can deal with at a certain centre and then there is an element of spreading of foot and mouth, that is what we do not want to do.  As a result, what we are encouraging is the auctioning of cattle to take place including the establishment of feedlots at a place where the cattle are being produced, so, that the small scale farmers do not have to bear the cost of transporting cattle all the way to Bulawayo and if they are not sold, they transport them back again resulting in the spread of foot and mouth. 

          So, these are the new measures that we are putting in place to make sure that we restrict the amount of movement from one district to another and make sure that the auctioning and fattening of cattle is done there.  Even our negotiations with the International Animal Health at the moment, recognises that we have to make sure that we quarantine and fatten the cattle where they are.  If they are there for fourty-five days, they can even be certified to be exported because we would have widened and made sure that there is no diseases outbreak.

          So unfortunately yes, I have had various meetings in Bulawayo, to do with auctioning of cattle at the Bulawayo International Trade Fair.  We have since established that it is not for the benefit of the small scale farmers but it is for the benefit of those established auctioning companies.  They want cattle to come to them not them to go and look for cattle where they are.  Unfortunately, we are not going to do that.  We want to decentralise the marketing, auctioning and fattening of cattle to where the production is taking place.

          *HON. SEN. MOEKETSI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock). What is Government policy to ensure that the farmer does not suffer twice; firstly, by planting and rearing the crops and secondly, to realise payment for the crops that day?  Has that been put in place?  I thank you.   

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  I am not sure of what particular crops the Hon. Senator is talking about.  The Hon. Sen. has referred to the term ‘produce’ and she is not being specific. It could mean crops, animals, quails or livestock. What exactly are you making reference to?

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: She was specific.

          HON. ZHANDA:  Madam President, yes but there are certain crops that are grown like soya beans which obviously as a Ministry, we are not the buyer of the last resort. We are buyer of the last resort in terms of maize.  However, I can explain that the maize price which was set by the Government was a floor price but the commodity itself…

          *HON. SEN. MOEKETSI:  On a point of order Madam President.  I asked in Shona.

           *HON. ZHANDA: Thank you Madam President, my apologies to the Hon. Senator.  I was saying that crops such as soya beans are not bought by Government as buyer of last resort as is the case with maize. Government set the floor price for maize but if the farmer has not found a market because the Government has opened up the selling of maize, the parties can agree on a price.  If the farmer is not happy with the price, they can go to GMB where the Government has set a price.  At the moment, the Government is dealing with maize.  We are putting in place procedures to ensure that farmers are timely paid within the shortest possible time.  Those that received their payments late last year were eventually paid.  The Government is concerned about the late payment to farmers.  Once deliveries have been made, farmers should be paid immediately.  I believe we have put in place such measures and it is going to take a very short time.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.  Do you have a specific policy in place in your Ministry which allows you to parcel out projects that are intended for those youths who have got disabilities in the community?  If you have them, how many have you funded so far? Thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA):  Thank you Madam President.  I also want to thank the Hon. Senator for the very important question.  We have got what we call ‘vulnerable groups’ in the Ministry.  The vulnerable groups that we talk of are the youths, women and the disabled persons.  We are very much sensitive to the disabled group but we do not have projects; we just take projects and give them more priority if they come to the Ministry for funding.  However, we do not have specific projects for them.  They bring their projects and we give more priority to their issues.  In a nutshell, that is what I can say with regards to the funding of the disabled people.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. JUBA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture.  In Matabeleland North, we have a place that is dry and elephants are giving us havoc.  I do not know how you can help us in order to cope with those elephants so that we can have food.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Senator, whom did you direct your question to? 

          HON. SEN. JUBA:  The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zhanda.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  Hon. Senator, I have heard your question pertaining to the issue of marauding elephants that are destroying your crops.  In our Ministry, we are disturbed that your crops are now being destroyed by elephants.  They fall under the purview of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate.  What I would want to point out is that the areas that border conservancies had fences that separated animals from the people.  However, the fences were removed as there is now conflict between the people and the animals.  This has also resulted in the loss of human lives and others like you are having their crops destroyed by elephants.  We urge the Ministry to maintain the border fences so that animals and people can live together harmoniously.  I thank you. 

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  How can the Ministry help the farmers who are near the conservancies to increase their yields?  That was also one of her questions. 

          *HON. ZHANDA:  Thank you Madam President for reminding me on the second part.  The Ministry has a department of Agritex, which has extension officers that are found in the communities, whose duty is to enlighten people on how to realise better yields.  With regards to animals, we have a department of Livestock Production.  They also teach people on how to farm livestock so that animals can reproduce annually.  We also have the Veterinary Services Department that deals with dip tanks and the treatment of animals so that we do not lose our cattle as a result of diseases.  They are also into dealing with foot and mouth diseases.

          However, if you are talking about a specific crop, I would urge you to use Government Extension Officers in your communities.  Government Extension Workers are your servants.  You should be served by them.  The problem that I find when I go for field days is that people are urged to come and attend field days so that information and knowledge on how to have better yields can be imparted, people shun to attend them.  I urge people to attend field days because they are good in educating people.  Our extension officers do not have transport to reach areas that are far from where they operate from. We are even looking at a situation where we could have motor cycles or bicycles to ensure that they cover a lot of distance.  I thank you.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PAYMENT PLAN ON CLEARANCE OF DEBTS FOR SERVICES RENDERED BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain the payment plan the Ministry has to clear its debts for services rendered by local authorities to Government ministries to enable them to improve service delivery and pay staff salaries.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  As at 31st March, 2016 Government owed local authorities US$36.8 million for rates and water services as per the attached Annexure ‘A’.

  1. The major creditors are:
  • City of Masvingo – US$16 671 786;
  • City of Harare – US$16 499 618;
  • City of Bulawayo – US$1 940 044.
  1. Government ministries’ debt to local authorities for the period 2013 to 2015 stood at US$17 – US$19 million as shown in the table below:-

 

                   Debt Evolution

 

Local Authorities

2013

2014

2015

$18 504 639

$17 420 281

$18 432 464

  1. Major debtor ministries and departments are as follows:
  • Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force of Zimbabwe;
  • Zimbabwe Republic Police;
  • Government health institutions; and
  • Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
  1. Arrears to local authorities are mainly on account of the mismatch between consumption and ability to pay, given our limited Budget capacity.

Year

Annual Billing

Budget Provision

Payments

2013

25 067 024

13 063 400

39 546 711

2014

22 750 260

11 763 000

35 843 519

2015

19 504 482

13 370 000

13 448 584

  1. The above Budget constraint notwithstanding, Treasury has and will continue to progressively reduce line ministries’ and departments’ arrears to local authorities by knocking off outstanding tax obligations against these arrears.
  2. Furthermore, Treasury is collaborating with both Government ministries and departments and local authorities on mechanisms of managing the consumption of water services, cognizant of structural infrastructural leakages and institutional wastage.
  3. Cognisant of the core mandate of local authorities in terms of service delivery to communities, Treasury will continue prioritising payments to local authorities within the available budget capacity.

 

 

 

Local Authority

Amount Owed

City of Masvingo

16 671 786

City of Harare

16 499 618

City of Bulawayo

1 940 044

City of Mutare

347 140

Bindura Municipality

247 605

Victoria Falls Town Council

226 136

Chitungwiza Municipality

189 521

Kwekwe City Council

146  696

Chegutu Municipality

137 322

Kariba Town Council

100 426

Annexure ‘A’: Local Authorities Outstanding Bills as at 31st March, 2016

Municipality of Redcliff

96 053

Hwange Local Board

62 321

Lupane Town Council

57 360

Rusape Town Council

49 099

Mvurwi Town Council

21 205

Total

36 792 333

 

ABANDONMENT OF CHINAKA BORDER POST IN HONDE VALLEY

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Finance and

Economic Development to:

          (a)     explain reasons for the abandonment of the Chinaka Border Post in Honde Valley which was constructed in 2002 and since then has been deteriorating;

          (b)     give the total cost of the infrastructure (the border post) and how Government intends to recoup the funds spent on the project.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  (a) Hon. Senators would be aware that the Chinaka Border Post was constructed in 2002 as an immigration crossing point that only facilitates movement of people.  In terms of the Ports of Entry and Route Order, it is not designated as a Customs Border Post and as such ZIMRA has never been present at the Chinaka Border Post.

(b)     You will also be aware that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works was responsible for mobilising the resources for the construction of the facility.  ZIMRA had no resource input towards the construction of the border post.  Any questions regarding the cost of construction of the border post should thus be directed to the relevant Ministry.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA):  Madam President, I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 1 to 8 be stood over until Orders of the Day, 9 and 10 have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

MANICALAND STATE UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES BILL [H. B. 8, 2015]

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences Bill [H B. 8, 2015].

          Question again proposed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA):   I move that the Bill be now read a second time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

MANICALAND STATE UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES BILL [H. B. 8, 2015]

          Senate in Committee.

          Clauses 1 to 34 put and agreed to.

          Schedule put and agreed to.

          Senate resumed.

THIRD READING

MANICALAND STATE UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES BILL [H.B.8, 2015]

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Mr. President, I move that the Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences Bill, [H.B.8, 2015] be read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

.                                                                      

SECOND READING

GWANDA STATE UNIVERSITY BILL [H.B.9, 2015]

        Tenth Order read:  Second Reading: Gwanda State University Bill

[H.B.9, 2015].

 

        THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY

EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

(HON. DR. GANDAWA):  Mr. President, the Ministry of Higher and

Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development seeks

approval for the establishment of the Gwanda State University through

an Act of Parliament and provides for matters connected therewith or

incidental thereto.  The establishment of the Gwanda State University is

in fulfillment of Government policy to have a State University in each

province of Zimbabwe. 

        Background

        There is no State University in Matabeleland South Province.  To

address this deficiency and pursuant to the stated Government policy in

2006, a Foundation Steering Committee to spearhead the establishment

 of a State University in Matabeleland South Province was appointed. 

        Findings of the Steering Committee

        The Foundation Steering Committee held several meetings between

2007 and 2009 and made the following recommendations:

  1. That the agreed university should be located in Gwanda, the town being the Provincial capital of Matabeleland South.
  2. The site is an 87 ha piece of land adjacent to J.M Nkomo Polytechnic, to the South and the Gwanda – Beitbridge road to the East. It is located on a hill that will require landscaping for the construction of buildings.  Adjacent to the university site is a farm that has been reserved for the university.  The site is easily serviceable with respect to water and electricity (Gwanda has so much water that it even supplies Bulawayo).
  3. The Incubation site will be the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and at the disused Epoch Mine which is under refurbishment by NUST. The university administration will initially be accommodated in Gwanda town at buildings offered by the Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing.

        Justification / Rationale for Establishing the University

  1. The Policy to establish a State University in every province is one of the ways to broaden access to university education in Zimbabwe. While this policy was mooted before the ZIM ASSET blue print, it resonates with ZIM ASSET objectives under the Social Services and Poverty Eradication Cluster.
  2. Matabeleland South agricultural and mineral economic activities need to be fully exploited. Human capital development and technology are key success factors for the socio-economic development of the province.  Therefore, a State university in the province would facilitate and enhance such development.
  3. A State university in Matebeleland South would also help reduce the current migration of high school graduates and youths to South Africa and Botswana for menial jobs. Such youths, presently, are the role models for children in Matabeleland South province because they come back seeming to be well-up and impress the young generation. Thus, Zimbabwe takes seriously the obligation to empower the youths with education and skills for the formal market and self-employment.  Therefore, this new institution will contribute in this respect, not only to the province but to the nation as a whole.
  4. Gwanda State university, like any other university, will run

community projects for the local people, create and expose knowledge about the rich heritage and resources in the province.

    Niche / Objectives of the University

        The key objectives of the university will be:

  1. Animal and veterinary sciences;
  2. Irrigation Engineering and Management;
  3. Mining Engineering; and
  4. Environmental Engineering and Ecosystem Restoration.

        The Animal and Veterinary Sciences and Mining Engineering are proposed to be the initial programmes of the university.  However, other programmes would subsequently be included since the aim is to create a comprehensive State University without compromising the niche areas.

Irrigation Engineering is important for attaining food security and self-sufficiency in the region.  Thus through irrigation, Matabeleland South can be transformed to a thriving, productive region and self-sufficient in food.

Mining Engineering is also a major activity in the province, hence the need to train experts in this field in areas of geometrics, surveying, metallurgy, environment engineering among other relevant disciplines.

Meteorology is one other relevant subject to the environment since the region is prone to incessant droughts.  Therefore, it is imperative to establish research and early warning systems to equip farmers for purposes of food security and poverty eradication planners. 

Zimbawe is rated as one of the leading nations in Africa, in education in general as well as higher education.  It is not only desirable, but more importantly imperative, for Zimbabwe to maintain this position.  The establishment of the Gwanda State University in Matabeleland South is one of the ways to ensure access to university education in Zimbabwe.

Mr. President, I move that the Gwanda State University Bill [H.B.9, 2015] be read a second time.

        HON. B SIBANDA:  First of all, I would like to thank the Minister and complain a bit that, if we are to do a second round of universities, can we start with Gwanda because we are not happy to be always the last.  Secondly, I believe that we must prepare fertile ground work in order to ensure that the engineering you have been talking about is realised in Matabeleland South.  The reason I am saying this is because I recently did a survey to establish the number of schools that have science facilities in one constituency and realised that there are only two schools out of about 15 schools that have adequate science facilities.  What this means is that we are establishing an Engineering Faculty in an area where science education is non-existent.  So I am urging you as the Minister of Secondary and Tertiary Education to ensure that we have secondary schools with science facilities.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Mr. President.  I wish to thank the Minister for at last bringing the Matabeleland South University Bill to the Senate.  I wish to share with this Senate that I remember that some meetings that I attended on the initial stages of the mooted idea of the university, the person who was Governor was Hon. Masuku.  With this university, she really was trying in every meeting to make sure that it is done and I think it is her university.

Mr. President, the Minister touched on the agricultural thrust that is going to be assisted by having graduates from this university and experts in the mining area.  He also touched on the issues of the youths going to neighbouring countries trying to get employment.  I think that at one time, during the presentations that were given by the veterinary services, he mentioned that the province had more donkeys and dogs than any other livestock that indicate the wealth of a province; livestock like cattle, goats and sheep. 

I do not think that it is the problem of our youths going to neighbouring countries because I feel that the youths go there because they have no hope in getting any means of livelihood in that province or in our country.  So we need to train them and create jobs so that after they are trained in veterinary services, they do not tend to rely on selling juice cards on the streets.  I really wish that the university would train and get the jobs for these people that we have trained; otherwise, they would still continue going to neighbouring countries like Botswana. Botswana is involved in so much agricultural activities that it would take our graduates if we do not create employment for them for they thrive on agriculture.  I wish to thank the Minister for bringing the Bill at last to the Senate.

HON. SENATOR KHUMALO:  Thank you Mr. President, for letting me debate on this Bill.  Thank you Minister, for coming with the idea of a university in Matabeleland South.  My major interest is that universities are created and we are coming up with programmes where our children are likely to be employed and not employers. 

We have mentioned that in Maphisa there is water and there is a dam.  That means food science can be taught to the children of this new university and that would mean these children can be independent and make different types of food themselves than being employed.  Textile science would mean they can create material and make clothing which we can wear like what you see - self made.  That was because I did textile science and food science.

During the time of hunger; remember when everyone was suffering in 2000 because of the economic meltdown, we who had our practicals lived better. We could still do certain things for ourselves and sell when money was not available.  We are always thinking, ‘so that they are employed, so that they are employed’.  Can they be self employed and live on their own?  That is my point.  Esigodhini has agriculture.  We can come up with what they can do for other people and not to think of what they are going to be doing for someone else so that they can earn a living.  Thank you, Mr. President.

HON. SENATOR MASUKU:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank the Minister for bringing this very important Bill to this Senate.  Mr. President, this Bill, I think it has been long overdue, realising what the Minister just said about the formation and appointment of the committee, around 2009 and before that, where a lot of ground work had been done.  I would like to thank the people of Matabeleland South for the commitment and the cooperation that they showed in actually spearheading the establishment of the Gwanda State University.

I would also like to thank Mwana Africa, a consortium that actually donated land to Government for Epoch Mine which really gave people of Matabeleland South confidence that it is not only the people of Matabeleland South who are concerned about the education of their children, but it is people from elsewhere.  This donation actually gave the people of Matabeleland South a lot of encouragement because, unlike in other areas where universities are housed in other provinces when they start, the Gwanda State University was housed though at NUST, but our operations were to be started at Epoch Mine which is in the Matabeleland South Province.  That really helped to encourage the people to work hard.

Having said that, Mr. President, I believe that the young people of Matabeleland are known for migrating to neighbouring countries and that is one of the things that was actually discouraging them that maybe, even if they qualify to get into universities, they could not get into those universities, not because they come from Matabeleland South, but because not everyone can get a vacancy whenever one applies.  So, as a university which is a national university because a state university is a national university, it will still encourage them that at least there is a university in the province.  I believe that the quota which has to come from the province has to be met. For that to happen I still encourage the people of Matebeleland South to work hard so that they do not only wait for the Government to upgrade the secondary schools that there be science laboratories.  It is part of the Zimbabweans to see that they develop the education of their children and I would urge the people of Matebeleland to work hard towards upgrading the schools.  They can contribute to that I do not doubt that because when we were campaigning for the Gwanda State University a lot of work was done in form of actually donating labour and all the other things.  I believe that of the schools that do not have science laboratories communities can actually chip in so that the Government can come in with the equipment. I am saying that from experience Mr. President because when I was a Member of Parliament in the 1990s people in Luveve actually set up the structure of a science laboratory,  they worked towards that and that brought the Government in and encouraged the Government to see that people had worked hard and came in to help.  I would like to urge the people of Matebeleland South to work towards that. 

Mr. President, I have said Gwanda State University is a national university, not only for young people, even for old people.  When we grew up we heard old people saying, “ukufunda kakupheli” and I believe that a lot of old people will also be encouraged to get into this university.  Mr. President, I am happy that at the moment there is something that is going on at Hipock Mine.  I want to thank the Minister because the Government has done a lot to see that even before the ground breaking of the university there are studies that are going on in mining engineering and agriculture I should think so.  I want to thank the Ministry for that. 

Mr. President, finally, I would like to say if people of Zimbabwe work together to see that when it comes to development they are one, they can differ in other things but when it comes to development because development is not for a particular person.  Development is for the nation and for the good of our children and our great grand children or whoever, we have to work hard towards the development of education in our and thus we have to assist the Government to see that some of these programmes, we are part of them.  I thank you.

+HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU: I thank you Mr. President. I would like to also contribute but a little on this motion which has been moved by the Minister.  I thank the Minister for bringing this beautiful matter before this House.  I have observed that Gwanda State University also affects me as someone from Matebeleland South. I have people under me whom I lead in Matebeleland who I believe will be helped by attending this university. I am also encouraged because I have to tell them not to go to South Africa get educated so that tomorrow you can lead a better life through education.  At present the world needs people who are educated, it is easy to talk to these children now and encourage that let us be educated and register in these universities.  People used to ask that since we do not have a university here in Matebeleland south but now it will be easier for me to convince them to go into the university because this university has been made for them.

I thank the Government for having this idea.  I know people used to debate why we were not having a university and now it is good and better because it is not there. Children will not be going to South Africa; they will be helped by going into the university.  As a chief, I am encouraging them to be there at Gwanda State University which is now available.  We should use it.  It should not be discriminatory that people from other places are not allowed, it should be a national university which carters for everyone, old and young; all that will cartel some of the debates that we did not have a university.  It is now our university let us accept.  I thank the Government for that.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Sen.  Sibanda for his contribution and indeed it is true that we need to collaborate with the sister Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to make sure that we have facilities in our secondary schools.  We discovered this when we embarked on the STEM initiative that the Matebeleland North has the little number in terms of the number of science students, followed by Mashonaland west and the third is Mashonaland South. It is a concern that we now seized with and we are sure  if we work together we should be able to put up at least science laboratories to make sure that the students that we want to do the engineering courses be it engineering irrigation or mining, get to use those facilities.

I also want to appreciate and thank Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa for her contributions.  By establishing a university in an area, it will come up with the creation of employment and jobs.  You will find, like I studied in Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is a town that came out of Stellenbosch University.  You will also see even in Masvingo now the economic activity has improved because of the university that is there.  We also appreciate and think that once this university in Matebeleland South is functioning at least the local children are also able to be employed in areas that come up with the university.

I want to thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo also for her contribution. The emphasis on saying we need to create employers rather than creating employees.  If we train our people in practical work they are then able to create employment for our people whilst they also produce in the areas.  She mentioned the food science and textile science which are very critical in our economy.  We will take note of this and incorporate these programmes in the university.  I want to appreciate and thank Hon. Senator Masuku for the work that she already done.  I regret that it took so long for this Bill to come through but at least finally the Bill has come – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear]I want to also appreciate that Mwana Africa, as she mentioned gave us Epoch mine since the university has been operating from NUST.

 I want to inform this House that three weeks ago when I attended a conference at NUST, Dr. Mangena who is director in charge of this university came to me and said everything else has been refurbished at Epoch mine, we are only seeking for US$50 000 to be able to put up electricity and water.  Once we get that, we are ready to start operating from Epoch Mine.   I asked them to write direct to me for the US$50 000. I told them that I will give you the US$50 000, they did not believe it.   So they wrote and last week I received the request for the US$50 000.  I discussed with Minister Prof. J. Moyo and said I promised them and we must give them.  We then managed to give them US$262 000 – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] – To  make sure that at least they will work on the university and start to operate from there. 

It was a way of showing commitment to make sure that at least the university must start operating from there.  Hon. Sen. Masuku also mentioned that a quarter of the students should come from the local community.  This is a policy that we have so that a quarter of the local community must be from the province that houses the university while we appreciate that the institution is a national institution.  She mentioned something that is very pertinent also to say that the local community must assist in putting up infrastructure.  If we wait for Government, sometimes it takes time because there are a lot of things that happen in the system, so I also want to encourage and say in our communities, let us encourage the communities to take these institutions as their institutions and assist in developing the infrastructure. 

          I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Gampu for his contribution. We are happy that this university in Matabeleland South will help a lot of children not to go to South Africa.  The university caters for young and adults people, so that they learn how products are done and benefit.  All the people from that community should help so that the work at the university progresses well.  I thank you. 

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage:  With leave; forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

GWANDA STATE UNIVERSITY [H.B.9, 2015]

Senate in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 34 put and agreed to.

Schedules 2 to 31 put and agreed to. 

Senate resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

          Third Reading:  With leave; forthwith.

THIRD READING

GWANDA STATE UNIVERSITY BILL [H.B.9, 2015]

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA):  I move that the Bill be read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

          On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Twenty Seven Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 17th May, 2016.

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 12 APRIL 2016 VOL 25 NO 49