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SENATE HANSARD 12 February 2019 Vol 28 No 31

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday 12th February, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          First Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 2017

HON. SEN CHIDAWU: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Annual Report for the year ended December, 2017.

     HON SEN. CHIEF NYANGAZONKE: I second.

      HON. SEN CHIDAWU: Introduction

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is established in terms of Section 242 of the Constitution. Its functions include promoting awareness and respect for human rights and freedoms at all levels of society; promoting the protection, development and attainment of human rights and freedoms; monitoring, assessing and ensuring observance of human rights and freedoms; and receiving and considering complaints from the public and taking action with regard to the complaints it receives.

Pursuant to Section 8 (1) and (3) of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act, which provides that;

(1)  The Commission shall, no later than sixty days after the end of each financial year, submit to the Minister, an annual report on its operations and activities during the preceding financial year. (3) The Minister shall table before Parliament any report submitted to him or her by the Commission under subsections (1) and (2), no later than the thirtieth sitting day of whichever House of Parliament sits first after he or she has received such report.

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs tabled the annual report of the Commission in the National Assembly in November 2018 and the Speaker subsequently referred the report to the Thematic Committee on Human Rights. Therefore, the Committee on Human Rights resolved to consider the annual report in accordance with Section 245 (1) (c) which stipulates that Independent Commissions …. “are accountable to Parliament for the efficient performance of their functions”

2.0   Objectives of the consideration of the Annual Report

The broad objective of the consideration of the annual report was to enable Committee Members to fully examine the performance of the Commission’s mandate. In more specific terms, the Committee sought to;-

       i.            Understand the operations of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission with a view to assessing its effectiveness in the discharge of its functions; and

    ii.            Appreciate the challenges and achievements of the Commission and make recommendations to the Executive aimed at the protection, promotion and enforcement of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms.

3.0   Methodology

The Committee acquainted itself with the contents of the annual report of the Human Rights Commission to get an understanding of the mandate and operations of the Commission. The Committee analysed the report to assess compliance of the Commission with the legal and constitutional provisions in terms of reporting and efficiency.

4.0   Committee’s Findings

4.1   Compliance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe

The Committee noted that, in 2017, the Commission, through its Education Promotion and Research Unit, has derogated from Section 243 (1) (i) which states that; “The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has the following functions-…to recommend to Parliament effective measures to promote human Rights and freedoms;” Recommendations to Parliament are pursued as evidenced by the adoption of one recommendation made by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to Parliament relating to the resuscitation of the operations of the Special Board and the Mental Health Tribunal which make and review orders about the treatment and care of persons with mental illness.

4.2 Compliance with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act [Chapter 10:30]

The Committee has noted the Commission’s compliance with the dictates of the act that regulates its operations. The annual report outlined that the Commission acted within the confines of the Act. The Committee has also observed that the Commission complies with the following; its submissions of annual report and tabling in Parliament, it has not overstepped its jurisdiction when conducting investigations on human rights violations, it stuck to the general manner in which complaints to the Commissions were made and the manner of conducting investigations, and it had no cases of conflict of interest.

However, the Committee noted the Commission’s omission regarding the submission of special reports to the Minister for presentation to the President and laying before Parliament in accordance with Section 14 (4) which stipulates that;

If within a reasonable time after a report is made in terms of subsection (1), no action is taken which, in the opinion of the Commission, is adequate and appropriate, the Commission may, if it thinks fit after considering the comments, if any, made by or on behalf of any authority or person affected, submit a special report on the case to the Minister for the Minister to present to the President and lay before Parliament.

The Committee has learned that the Immigrations Department, Zimbabwe Prisons Services and the Ministry of Home Affairs did not comply with the Commission’s recommendations as provided in Section 14 (3) of the Act to give effect to its recommendations. However, there was no special report relating to the improvements in conditions of detention in compliance with national, regional and international standards to improve the financial resources so that the detention centers function above the optimal standards of operation.

4.3 Overview of the Human Rights Situation

The Committee noted that 2017 was marred with rampant corruption in Government Ministries and departments, Parastatals, Public Entities as well as the Private Sector that crippled service delivery across the key sectors of the economy. It seriously compromised the protection and fulfillment of human rights especially of ordinary Zimbabweans. This was worsened by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) that completely violated the rights of the motoring public and tourists through extortion with impunity. The ZRP’s disposition towards corruption and arrogance towards the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission impacted negatively towards destination image management.

The Committee also noted negative impact of flooding in Tsholotsho District in 2017 as a result of climate change and variability. It is the Committee’s hopes that the Meteorological

Services Department, in collaboration with universities and development partners, develop state of the art science and technology based information dissemination, flood mapping and monitoring systems.

The Committee bemoaned the poor waste management practices and service delivery in urban local authorities. The Commission’s report outlined its effort to influence political and electoral reforms to ensure the levelling of the playing field for the delivery of free and fair elections. It also advocated for the extension of the Biometric Voter Registration exercise to prisoners and people in the diaspora.

4.4   Promotion of Human Rights

The Commission received a total of 514 complaint cases but only 178 cases were in the human rights category relating to civil and political rights, property rights, right to food and water, equality and non-discrimination, children’s rights, arbitrary evictions and labour rights. The small number of complaint cases is indicative of the lack of awareness of the existence and mandate of the Commission by the generality of Zimbabwean citizens.

The Committee noted a paltry 128 complaints lodged by women on human rights violation when they are more vulnerable and susceptible to abuse and violation than men. The Committee also noted the few complaints in the eight rural provinces of Zimbabwe. It welcomed the recommendation made by the Commission to decentralise to all provinces to ensure easier accessibility to its services by members of the public. The Committee noted that the Commission had 204 pending cases and that there is poor attendance to the mobile clinics conducted in 2017. The Commission reported that it had embarked on a process to install an automated case management system to improve the organisation’s turn-around time when dealing with cases.

The Commission reported the absence of a clear policy position on the fate of former farm workers once the farm has been allocated to new owners. The Commission observed that compensation to the affected families had not been prioritised in violation of numerous rights as stated in the Declaration of Rights. The Commission detected that the courts, when passing judgements, do not consider all the relevant circumstances that safeguard against arbitrary evictions leaving farm workers and their families at risk.

4.5   Monitoring of Human Rights

The Commission reported that the minimum human rights standards for the prisons were not met in terms of the state of the cells and infrastructure. It also reported that the prohibited immigrants are housed in prisons because there are no detention facilities for them. This means that they were subjected to prison conditions when they had not committed criminal offences.

The Commission observed that all children’s homes had a common challenge regarding the enjoyment of the right to identity and birth registration as provided for in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Committee reiterates that the then Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare did not present a Ministerial Statement in Parliament on proposed measures to regularise the procurement of birth certificates by children who had no known relatives.

The Commission reported that Older People’s Homes relied heavily on donor funding in order to operate. As a result, it became a challenge to meet the minimum standards as provided for in International Instruments such as the United Nations Principles for Older Persons Resolution 46/91 and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Therefore, adequate funding should be provided by the Government so that the nation strives towards attaining the minimum standards provided for in international instruments.

The Committee observed the hindrance in meeting the minimum human rights standard for the asylum seekers and refugees when it came to the issue of the right to work and the freedom of movement because of the encampment policy that Zimbabwe adopted. However,

it was submitted that the State is obliged to uphold obligations in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights which protect the freedom of movement, right to work, provision of social security and public relief to that group of people.

The Commission reported the distribution of food aid on political lines and the meddling of traditional leaders in political party activities as well as threats and intimidation of communities by political parties. The Commission also reported the system of recording of serial numbers on registration slips by some registrants. The Committee agreed with the Commission’s recommendation to ZEC to ensure that all BVR centres cater for people with disabilities in terms of convenience.

The Commission observed that Zimbabwe has only one of the six international instruments that the State is Party to, that is, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, had up to date State Party reports. The Commission alluded to the absence of a fulltime team responsible for compiling the State Party reports.

The Commission reported that it did not take part in submission of its complimentary reports to the treaty bodies citing constraints in financial and human resources. The Committee noted the granting of the Commission of an Affiliate Status by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in May 2017. The Committee looks forward to the Commission’s fulfilment of its reporting obligation every two years.

The Committee also noted the Commission’s accreditation with an “A” Status rating by the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI). Thus, the ZHRC can participate fully in international and regional meetings, holding office and exercising voting rights on all the agenda items of GANHRIs’ meetings.

4.6   Promotion of Human Rights

The Committee observed the low levels of participation by the public on the Commission’s Commemorations and public awareness outreaches. The Committee noted that the Commission did not include legislators through the relevant Thematic and Portfolio

Committees in its engagement meetings, to promote awareness and respect for human rights and freedoms. The Commission underestimates the influence of legislators in raising awareness and gaining public confidence and legitimacy.

The Committee noted the establishment of the eight Thematic Working Groups, in terms of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Act as read with paragraph 7 of the First Schedule to the Act, in order to take responsibility for specialised thematic issues they focus on. However, the Committee noted with concern, the lack of meaningful impact of the Thematic Working Groups that is tangible. The Commission attributes this failure to the absence of a fully functional secretariat, limited funding and lack of cooperation by some members.

5.0   Recommendations

Informed by these pertinent observations, the Committee noted and agreed with all the recommendations made by the Commission to the relevant Ministries. Nevertheless, the Committee recommends the following;

5.1   The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission must timeously recommend to Parliament effective measures to promote human Rights and freedoms.

5.2 The ZHRC should regularly submit to Parliament special reports on cases where no action was taken relating to the authority or person affected.

5.3 The State, when effecting evictions, must ensure the evictees possess a degree of security of tenure to guarantee legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats.

5.4 The ZHRC must include in its annual report any action pursued in any court of competent jurisdiction for the redress of any human rights violation.

5.5 The ZHRC’s recommendations to relevant institutions and persons should have a legal force to compel entities to act on them.

5.6 The State must, as a matter of urgency, reconsider its reservations to the UN Refugee Convention so that the refugees and asylum seekers in the country can enjoy increased rights.

5.7 The ZHRC should make systematic monitoring and observation of election processes to expose and weed out such malpractices.

7.0   Conclusion

With the above submissions, Madam President of the Senate, I now commend this report for consideration by this august House.

I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Madam President. Last year you referred to me as Chief but I see you have withdrawn that title.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: If you want to be a Chief then take a seat where the Chiefs are.

          *HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Madam President, tomorrow I will join the Chiefs.  I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about human rights in Zimbabwe.   I want to thank the Chairperson who wrote this very good report.  As Zimbabweans, we have a lot of challenges concerning the rights of our citizens.  Firstly, there are children who are being victimised or their rights are being violated in school because the parents have not paid fees.  We put in place a policy to say that children should not suffer because their parents have not paid fees because this is a violation of their rights.         

          Secondly, I appreciate the roles of wives in marriages but most women are not happy in their marriages because their rights are being violated.  If this could be reported, it will be good but they fear that they may be divorced later on.  When you see most men going to beer halls, it is not because they love going there but they are running away from their wives.  That is a violation of the men’s right because it is their right to be at home.  We need to interrogate both sides. 

          The other thing is that there are people who are being evicted from the farms.  In Government, we have a number of branches that look at disadvantaged people such as Social Welfare.  We have people in Bindura who were evicted from a farm and do not have anywhere to go.  I think the Government should look into the issue because that is a violation of one’s human rights.  There are children who were going to nearby schools and now they cannot go to school and do not have access to water. 

          Fourthly, Madam President, there is also violation of rights of the workers; those in farms and industries are ill-treated especially those who work for the Chinese who are experiencing difficulties in their work places.   I do not think if we were to go to China as Zimbabweans you would want to experience such things.  So, I think the Government needs to interrogate why the Chinese treat our people in this manner when they come to Zimbabwe. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Member, the motion in question is a report by the Chairman of the Human Rights Thematic Committee on a report of the Human Rights Committee not the general human rights in Zimbabwe or human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

          *HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I understand Mr. President.  I thought I would assist and bring to book issues that are evident in terms of violation of human rights.  Thank you Mr. President.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order Hon. President Sir.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: What is your point of order?

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: I think the Hon. Senator is talking about the report in the sense that he is contributing to the same report that these abuses are happening and have been responded to by the report that came on the abuses that have been happening.  So those generalities have a relation to the report.  In our responses, we should not just stick to the report per se but to also bring in what is necessary to be seen as human rights, that the Human Rights Commission has to address.  So, I think it is in order for him to continue with this debate.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I overrule that.

          HON. SEN. CHIDAWU: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: Mr. President Sir, I move that Order of the Day, No. 3 be stood over until all the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. SHOKO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.   

MOTION

IMPORTANCE OF INTERCROPPING AND GROWING OF SMALL GRAINS

+HON. SEN. MKWEBU: Thank you Mr. President. This motion is very important to this House.  The Government is involved in helping the farmers with equipment of small grainS.  Most of our people are not aware that we have been given equipment to grow small grains.  This particular plant is big; one cannot carry it with a small vehicle.  However, the Government tried to help the farmers who are into small grain farming so that we get that planter.  Therefore, I am happy for what the Government has done – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – for the provision of the machine.

          In addition, people no longer want to consume small grains because of modernisation.  We no longer produce the small grains as we used to do.  Therefore, the mealie-meal from the small grains is no longer being processed properly because it will be mixed with sand.  Of late, we would thresh it on dwalas. Because of lack of proper processing, we no longer want to eat but we like it.  On that note, Mr. President, I request that we go back to our old ways of growing small grains, particularly in Region five in Matabeleland.  We are backward on maize farming, all those who have planted maize, it has wilted and one can just light a fire and the whole field will burn.  We have maize fields but they have been affected by drought.  The Government is encouraged that those in Division five should grow small grains. 

I personally have a maize field and I only have about 10 hectares that have not wilted.  I thank you Hon. Sen. Tongogara for encouraging us to grow small grains.  I remembered that I should have grown small grains so that I would have had a better harvest.  Our problem is that we cannot access small grains wherever they are being sold, they are not readily available from anywhere.  If you are lucky, you can get them in Bulawayo or in Harare but if you go to some places, you cannot get the seed for small grains.  With those few words, I thank you.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

SILTATION IN RIVERS AND DAMS

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the level of siltation which is threatening the existence of most rivers and dams.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. SINAMPANDE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.  May I read my contribution Mr. President?

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Is your contribution technical in nature?

HON. SINAMPANDE: Yes, Mr. President, it is technical.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: But this is not a technical subject.

HON. SINAMPANDE: No, Mr. President, the language that we are using in this House is a borrowed one and some of us are not fluent in that language.  All the three languages that you normally use in this House, I am not fluent in them.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Alright, you may read.

HON. SINAMPANDE: Maybe you want me to speak in my mother language.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I do not think we have interpreters for that.

HON. SINAMPANDE: But we should have them is it not it?

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order Hon. Senator.  We are not debating about the resources in Parliament.

HON. SINAMPANDE: Thank you Mr. President.  The motion under discussion is a very important one and it needs to be dealt with by the House.  The area where I come from, Binga, siltation is everywhere. Rivers and dams are now full of sand because people are either cultivating around streams and along river banks which leads to siltation.  Mr. President, if this is not harnessed; there is a likelihood that in ten years or more, the great Zambezi River will be full of sand due to siltation.

Mr. President, this House is therefore urgently called to urge the responsible Ministry to see that the situation is quickly dealt with before disaster strikes.  Let this House unite in calling for action because not doing so, will lead to blame games when disaster occurs.  Let us do something now and let us stop cultivating in the wrong places.  I just thought I should add my voice.  Thank you Mr. President – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Sinampande, I thank you for your contribution but I would like to urge you and others to be honest to yourself and observe the rules which we have in this House.  If it is not your first contribution, you should refer to notes, there was nothing technical, I am sure you agree with me in that – [Laughter.] – in that short script which you read.  In some cases, you were actually failing to read it.  So, I urge you to debate as much as you can in a comfortable language.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you very much Mr. President.  As a Chief Whip, I want to explain.  Hon. Sinampande comes from the Tonga land, that is the language that I expect…

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I know Hon. Sen. Timveos.  I know him very well, he was in my Committee, there is no need for that.

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

HON. SEN. NHEMA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS BY THE ZIMBABWE CRICKET BOARD

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the allegations of corruption by the Zimbabwe Cricket Board.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

OUTBREAKS OF VELD FIRES

Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the recurrence of outbreaks of veld fires with devastating effects on the environment.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN CHIDAWU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

PROTECTION OF CATTLE AGAINST TICK-BORNE DISEASES

Eight Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the call to control tick borne diseases affecting livestock in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for bringing this item on the agenda of the House.  Mr. President, this issue that we are talking about, tick borne diseases, is worrisome.  It is worrisome in that it is not only affecting the owners of the animals, it affects the economy.

As you know, we have a quota that we are supposed to export to some countries.  I remember we had a quota that we were supposed to export to the EU and unfortunately we were not able to fulfill those quotas.  Where we are able to fulfill or where we are able to sell our animals and we get foreign currency, it is very important that these animals that we are talking about are looked after, they are dipped and all the medication is available.

Mr. President, when I debate this issue, I debate it with the knowledge that when we went to the liberation struggle, if you can remember well, Mr. President and I know you remember that the song that we used to sing or the song that was being sung by the freedom fighters was, we need to cripple the system in which Ian Smith was getting money.  He was getting money through dipped cattle, our own cattle and we used to close dipping tanks.  We were doing that although at that time I did not know why we were doing it because we were being told that look, he used to take money from us, but I now realise that the act of dipping cattle is very important; very important in that it brings in foreign currency for our country.  So if we do not dip them, it means to say we are not going to get foreign currency from that particular resource which I think to me, is not reasonable.  Men and women that are seated here, if we cannot push that we have such a utility, then it means to say we are not doing our job properly.

Mr. President, as I said, this thing brings foreign currency into our country because the exported beef from the cattle brings us forex.  We need clean beef too.  If we eat beef that has got diseases, it will affect our health.  I believe we have got doctors here.  They know what happens when you eat meat that has got tick borne diseases.  So, Mr. President, it is very important that we look at this matter seriously.  We urge the Ministry that is responsible for these things to do its right work.

Mr. President, Matabeleland is an area that has got cattle and also in some parts of Zimbabwe.  Now, because of the paucity of cattle that you get; you also get our beef going up.  It is going up because the demand is outstripping the supply. Why is the demand outstripping the supply?  It is outstripping the supply because of these things that we are talking about, the diseases that occur to these cattle and I am saying we are able to stop these diseases by simply dipping our own cattle.

This is a Government responsibility and my understanding is that the community also participates in getting either the chemicals so that the animals are dipped.  I think the community can only be invigorated by that particular Ministry.  If the particular Ministry is not active on the ground, then the community will have a problem.

At my home I have three cows – [Laughter.] - I can hear some laughter.  Yes, it is because I did not want to tell you how many cattle I have but I have three.  So I got a message from my home saying the cattle were dying from disease.  I asked what the disease was and they said that they went to the local veterinarian who said the animals had a disease that is caused by ticks.  Yes ticks, t-i-c-k-s so they told me to buy some chemical that they would use to treat the cattle.

          So I bought some chemical in Bulawayo to take down to my rural home. When we got there, we had to use a brush to spread the chemical all over the animal and had to tie it down.  I am simply saying - and the example that I have given you is that, if the community itself is organized, pool some funds and we buy the chemicals, then it would be very good.  I am also saying that the Government must very much be involved in that when money comes in foreign currency we ensure that we get our essential drugs, spare parts and services from outside because of these cattle that we will have dipped.

          So it is very important that we urge the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, I believe they are the people who are responsible for dip tanks, to start doing the right things on the ground because if we do not do that then in five to 10 years time, there will be no cattle.  We will all be talking and now going to the zoo to see what a cow looked like – I do not think that is right.  It means to say from that area of cattle, we are no longer going to earn any foreign currency.

          Mr. President Sir, with the little contribution that I have made, I will still say to this House, those who have influence outside and inside of this House, please go and influence that particular ministry to do something about the dipping of cattle so that we get rid of the tick borne disease.  I thank you Mr. President for allowing me to stand up and speak on this important subject.

          *HON. SEN. FEMAI:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add a few words to the debate that is before this House.  I want to thank the mover of the motion and the seconder.  They have shown that they know what we are talking about when we refer to wealth.

          Our wealth as Africans is determined by the number of cattle or the different domestic animals that you may have.  In the past, cattle owners would always inspect their cattle to see if they were not affected by any disease – that is what they used to do.  When the dip tanks were first installed, we were happy to see that the ticks would fall off on their own.  We have kept the dip tanks since the Smith regime.  The cattle tax would be used to buy the chemicals for the dip tanks and those would be used to pay the person responsible for the dip tanks.

          Currently, cattle are not being taken to the dip but the employers are getting the money or not being paid – we do not know what is happening.  Is this as a result of corruption or what?  There is no wealth at all if cattle are not being dipped.  The clothes that I am wearing were washed and ironed by the wife who I married.  Who can have a home or family without having paid lobola? What are we going to use to pay the bride price if there are no cattle? 

          This is why I decided to stand up and say as I am speaking, I have a message from my herdboy in the rural areas.  I have cattle that I can count and will assist my sons in marrying their wives but I was informed that the cattle now have too many ticks and require tick grease.  I need nine tins of tick grease and each costs $20.00 but if I was to take my cattle to the dip tanks, I would have to pay two dollars ($2.00) per beast.  If I had been paying that cattle tax with the assurance that my cattle would be dipped, that would make me happy that I have leaders who are concerned about development in the country.  Right now, as it is, if I pick a number like 26 times the number of cattle that I have, I bought the number of tick grease tins that I spoke about.

          The herdboy went on to say that the cattle tax is now overdue but we informed me that the cattle are not being dipped.  This is the time for ticks because of the rainy season, the grass is growing and ticks are found in the grass.  I do not know what is happening because it is strange that in such a period cattle are not being dipped.  The tax is supposed to pay for the dip chemicals. 

          I concur with the previous speaker that if only we as Hon. Members who are here and  I believe that our chiefs will also be happy as it will bring them some relief that as Hon. Members, we should be visible and advocate for the operationalisation of dip tanks.  We need to buy this dip, every Member of Parliament should buy dipping chemicals that they will take to their different rural areas and donate to the person who is responsible for the dip tanks and it will benefit the whole community.  People will then understand and appreciate that as parliamentarians we are working and not just making noise.  Our chiefs will also take it upon themselves to inform the village heads that people should contribute in the rural areas and in communities.  I have witnessed that they work together on other things but when it comes to the dip tanks, they have not yet started working on it. 

          Hon. Members should spread the gospel on dip tanks and the village heads should come up with committees composed of people who will be responsible for collecting money for the dip.  Right now, we do not know where the cattle tax that we are paying is going to and we do not want to lose our cattle. We also need these cattle so that we can pay the bride price for our wives. With these few words Mr. President, I rest my case. 

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 139TH ASSEMBLY OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU)

Ninth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 139th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

UPGRADING OF TOURIST FACILITIES IN KARIBA

Tenth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the strategic role of tourism to the country’s economic development.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

NATIONAL POLICY ON PERSONS LIVING WITH DISABILITY

Eleventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on need to formulate a comprehensive National Disability Policy and review the Disabled Persons Act.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you Mr. President.  I rise to wind up the motion.  I will start by thanking everyone who debated this motion.  Quite a few Hon. Senators contributed to this motion and debate and I would want to thank them very much.  I also want to encourage the Minister concerned to actually come and also respond to this motion because it is very important.  The law needs to be looked at and changed.  I move that the motion be adopted.

Motion that,

COGNISANT that Zimbabwe enacted the Disabled Persons Act [Chapter 17:01] in 1992;

          ALSO COGNISANT that Zimbabwe ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and enacted Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act in 2013;

          CONCERNED that no efforts have been made to domesticate the United Nations      Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and also to align the Disabled Persons Act [Chapter 17:01] to the Constitution of Zimbabwe leading to a piece-meal approach to disability issues;

          ALSO CONCERNED by the absence of a comprehensive National Disability Policy in Zimbabwe, resulting in the continuous marginalisation of people with disability in national development issues;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government to urgently formulate a comprehensive National Disability Policy and review the Disabled Persons Act [Chapter 17:01] in line with provisions of the United Nations Convention        on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act, put and agreed to.

MOTION

DEVOLUTION OF POWER

Twelfth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the call for devolution.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

CASH SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY

Thirteenth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the call to solve the cash crisis in the country.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th February, 2019.

MOTION

NATIONAL DRUG POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

Fourteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on National Drug Policy and legislative framework to effectively regulate in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos for the motion that she tabled on the issue of drugs.  Drugs are coming into this country without any regulation.  There are adverts that you see on television with children taking what is called bronco.  They pour the bronco down their throats ensuring that it does not affect their teeth.  What it means is that...

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator you have already debated on this motion.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: No, Mr. President this is my first time.

          THE HON. DEPUT PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You can debate, it was a mistake.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President, I knew I had not contributed before.  I see a lot of children are taking bronco and when asked why they are taking it, they say that they want to be drunk the whole day.  When you see them walking in the streets you question yourself where that child’s life is going.  Bronco is a cough syrup that is being abused, others are taking CPZ that comes from Zambia and these are drugs taken by patients in the Psychiatric Unit to calm them down.  If you ask them why they are taking drugs they will tell you that it is good since they cannot find jobs. In this state, they will be at peace because if they are asleep they do not think about any problem.  These drugs have after-effects in their lives.

          Some of these drugs can even affect them psychologically.  If you go to Fourth Street rank bus terminus you will find tablets being sold there.  You question yourself where these drugs are coming from.  Those that we manufacture in Zimbabwe are not found in the streets but only in pharmacies.  I do not know what is happening, how these drugs are finding their way in Zimbabwe.  We need strong security at the borders to ensure that we do not have drugs coming into Zimbabwe.  If you go down-town, you will find that is where most of the drugs are being taken to and distributed. 

          You will find others just lying on the road, they do not know what they will be doing because they will have taken bronco or some of these dangerous alcoholic drinks.  This will eventually affect their health and it damages their lungs.  To them, it is good because when they take these drugs they do not think of the challenges that they are facing in life. Like I said, some say that they would rather be knocked out and be drunk because they do not have time to think about the economic challenges.   If industry is resuscitated, these children will have jobs and will not abuse drugs.  With these few words, Mr. President, I want to thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. President.  I just thought I would add my voice to this matter.  There is a case that I came across last week.  I do not drink or smoke and I do not know much about drugs.  Last week Mr. President, there is a nephew of mine who said that he would be off duty and will go to the rural areas.  He wanted transport and I promised him that we would travel together.  Later on, he said he would not be able to travel because of the Portuguese employer who stays in the avenues stays by herself.  She once had a coloured husband but she divorced as her husband was into drugs. The woman is 43 years old and is being supported by the ex-husband.

So, he said he will not be able to travel with me to Masvingo because of drugs that his employer took.  After taking drugs she then took a razor blade and started cutting herself. She was taken to the hospital  and is at the Avenues Hospital right now. So, I wanted to share with my fellow Hon. Senators that drugs are not good because once you are intoxicated you cease to reason.  If there is a Committee - I do not know which Committee, maybe it is the Peace and Security Committee - it is important for them to take this matter up and interrogate.  I know it also comes under the Health Committee. The Committee should investigate this matter and give us a full report on the issue of drugs and its effects in Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Mr. President.  I am happy that this motion has been well debated. So, I want to move for the adoption of the motion but before I do so; I want to express my gratitude to those who debated the motion today.  From the time I moved the motion it has been well debated.  What I have realised is that Senators have noticed that drugs have destroyed this nation.  If you look at the accidents, the road carnages happening, it is because people will be under the influence of drugs.  Last week, I was reading from the press that the residents of Bulawayo are fighting the drug dealers who are selling drugs against the law. 

It was also mentioned during the debate that there was a woman who was making scones and putting drugs in those scones. The moment you take them you end up developing addiction to the scones because of the drugs because what she wants is money.  So I believe that the Minister of Health attended the workshop on drugs and now has full knowledge of what is happening.  I realise that the legal framework currently does not punish those who are selling drugs illegally.  That law needs to be amended to put stringent measures in order to punish the drug dealers.  Drugs are coming in easily into the country.  Those who bring in second hand clothes from Mozambique bring the drugs.  The bronco that has been referred to by the Senators is found in huge quantities in Zimbabwe.  I want to thank the Senators for the support that you displayed when I brought this motion.  I now move for the adoption of the motion that this House;

NOTING that a National Drug Policy is critical in ensuring that all drugs in the national drug distribution system are safe, efficacious, effective and of good quality whilst it also strengthens administrative, and regulatory controls of the same;

          CONCERNED that the existing legal framework, such as the Criminal Law (Codification & Reform),the Dangerous Drugs Act and the Medicines and Allied Substances Act are either outdated and do not sufficiently provide for procurement and use of drugs;

NOTING that these current laws criminalise drug and substance use resulting in drug users fearing to seek treatment for TB and HIV infections;

AWARE that decriminalisation of drug use and drug policy reform as adopted globally by other countries are vital strategies to addressing the drug problem;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government to come up with a national drug policy and legislative framework that is grounded in science, public health and human rights to effectively minimise the effects of drug use within Communities.

Motion put and agreed to.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators, I would like to encourage those who have motions which have been on the Order Paper for a very long time to wind up your debates.  This is because if your motions remain on the Order Paper for up to 21 days, they will be automatically removed, they will not appear anymore.  So, it is nice for you to wind up and have it adopted like what Hon. Sen. Timveos has done – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

MOTION

SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS OF VENDING

           Fifteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on finding solutions to challenges associated with vending.

           Question again proposed.

           +HON. SEN. CHIEF CHABUKA: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank all the Hon. Senators who contributed to this motion on vendors.  It is a painful motion because it touches on the livelihoods of people, especially in our economy where the industry is not functional.  I want to thank the Hon. Members who contributed.

           For our nation to develop, we need to continue working.  Mr. President, I now move for the adoption of the motion that this House;

NOTING that vending has since become the main source of livelihood due to high levels of unemployment in the country;

SADDENED by the heavy handedness on vendors by armed police which has not spared the general public going about their businesses especially in the central business district in urban areas;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government;

a)    To engage in dialogue with vendors and their associations in an effort to find a lasting solution to the problems of vending; and

b)   To construct proper vending stalls at easily accessible sites. 

              Motion put and agreed to.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA), the Senate adjourned at Five Minutes Past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 12 February 2019 Vol 28 No 31