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SENATE HANSARD 12 JULY 2017 VOL 26 NO 67

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 12th July, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

MDC-T PARTY MEETING

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I wish to inform all Members of the MDC-T party that they are required to remain behind after the Senate has adjourned for a meeting with their Chief Whip.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Madam President, I rise on a matter of privilege regarding the motion on School Development Committees (SDCs) and School Development Associations (SDAs) and the response by the Minister, Hon. Dr. Lazarus D. K. Dokora, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.

          On the 15th of June 2017, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dr. Lazarus Dokora when responding to the debate on my motion on the need to realign the Education Act to the Constitution stated that and I quote him from the ‘Hansard’ of 15 June 2017, “As it stands debating as it is put here is really debating on a matter that has originated in the social media which has no legal force and is really wasting Hon. Senators time”.  The Minister made a fool out of me in bringing the motion to this House and brought this House into disrepute as he questioned my integrity as well as the integrity of my fellow Senators who debated on the motion.

          Hon. Dr. Dokora through his contributions deterred and unduly influenced members from debating the motion and indeed misdirected even our Chair, Madam President through his misrepresentation.

When Hon. Sen. Makone courteously asked for an assurance that no SDC funds have been transferred, Hon. Dr. Dokora responded by saying “…..we must debate the issue first.  I have no legal instrument to transfer the money …”, suggesting that there were no SDC funds that had been transferred to SSF.

          Madam President, there is sufficient evidence which proves that Government schools in Harare were given the directive to transfer the funds and indeed transferred SDC funds to the SSF account by the 31st March 2017.  All levies for term 2 were channeled to SSF account and not SDC account as per current law.  Schools have notices at their offices advising of these changes.

          For the avoidance of doubt, the House can verify with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Harare Provincial Education Director called Mr. Kateera whose contact details are 0774 455 559.  The House can also speak to the seven District Schools Inspectors in Harare who gave the directives whose contact phone numbers are as follows:-

1. Warren Park – Mabelreign District, Mr. Masaraure  -   0738255291

2.  Mbare – Hatfield District Inspector, Mr. Chinooona – 0772 109402

3. Highglen District Inspector, Dr. Mavhundutse

4. Glenview-Mufakose District Inspector, Mr. Nyambuya – 0712940663

5.  Chitungwiza District Inspector, Mrs. Ncube – 0772405 212

6. EP-Mafara District Inspector, Mrs. Mugumbate – 0772405212

7. Northern Central District Inspector, Mr. Mafukidze – 0772693220

          The SDCS of these schools listed and their phone numbers are available. They are ready to come and testify to this Senate that indeed they transferred the SDC Funds to SS Fund Account as per the directive from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education District Schools Inspectors in their districts.

          Further to that Madam President, the SDCs in Harare and Chitungwiza are also ready to testify that indeed they met and discussed with the Minister and his Permanent Secretary together with their line management early 2016 at Queen Elizabeth School in regard to the directive of transferring SDC funds to SSF.

          The effects of Dr. Dokora’s conduct in Parliament have the potential to impair and undermine the role and authority of Parliament in the discharge of its constitutional mandate.

          In view of the foregoing, it is my view that there is possible contravention of the provisions of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act (PIPPA), Chapter 2:08 and that the following offences of the Schedule (Appendix C) of the Privileges and Immunities and Powers Act were violated by Dr. Dokora:

i.            Presenting false information with the intention of misleading the House;

ii.            Standing Order Number 12 states that:

Publishing a defamatory statement concerning a Senator in respect of his or her conduct as a Senator as published in the Hansard about me when I spoke the truth.

          Accordingly, I ask the President of the Senate to make a ruling.  Thank you Madam President.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Khumalo.  I will study the matter and make a ruling in due course. 

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THE KUWAIT FUND FOR ARAB ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

          THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  I move the motion standing in name of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development;

THAT WHEREAS, Subsection (3) of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organizations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS, a Loan Agreement was entered into between Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development relating to Kuwaiti Dinars 6 million (approx. US$20 million) Line of Credit to support the Zhove Irrigation Project in Beitbridge District, Matebeleland South Province;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (3) of the Constitution, this House resolved that the aforementioned Agreement be and is hereby approved.

Madam President, I stand to represent the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa to make a presentation on the loan agreement for Zhove Irrigation project signed between the Government of Zimbabwe and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. 

Madam President, the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development signed a loan agreement for Kuwait Dinars 6 million (approximately US$20 million) to co-finance Zhove Irrigation Project on 24th March, 2017.  The loan facility has a tenure of 25 years, inclusive of five year grace period and will attract an interest rate of 1.5% per annum, inclusive of 0.5% administration charges.

Madam President, this loan facility will support the production of citrus fruits in particular, as well as other cash and food crops such as maize, sugar beans, tomatoes, ground nuts and the construction of a conveyance system to supply adequate and sustainable water from Zhove Dam to irrigate about 2500 hectares of agricultural land.

Madam President, the project is expected to benefit more than 5000 households from the following communities and resettlement areas along the Mzingwane River in Beitbridge District, which include Ferguson Ranch, Bishopstone Ranch, Cawood Ranch, Matetengwe Communal lands, Mabidi communal lands and Malala communal lands. 

Madam President, the implementation of the project should lead to enhanced socio-economic development to the communities and resettled farmers in the project area and country at large in the following ways:

       i.             It will improve food security in the southern parts of the country;

    ii.            It will create employment and income generating opportunities for farmers and in particular youths and women;

 iii.            It will support the juice processing industries in Beitbridge;

 iv.            Generate foreign currency through exports of citrus products and vegetables;

    v.            It will benefit the livestock farmers in terms of crop residues that can be used to feed livestock and the broad range of livestock.

Madam President, the total cost of the project is $35.7 million of which the Government of Zimbabwe will contribute $7 million and the $20 million has been provided for by the Kuwait Fund.  The Government of Zimbabwe has since approached the Abu Dhabi for International Development to provide the remaining balance of US$8.7 million.  The negotiations are at an advanced stage and we expect to reach the final closure before the end of the year.

Madam President, the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development will be the executing agent responsible for the implementation of the project.  In order to ensure the smooth implementation of the project, a Project Management Unit (PMU) will be established under the said Ministry to oversee the day to day operations of the project.  The project is earmarked to commence before end of 2017 and will be implemented over a period of four years.

Madam President, I therefore commend the Kuwait Fund Loan Agreement for the Zhove Irrigation Project in the sum of Kuwait Dinars 6 million (approximately US$20 million) for approval of this august Senate.  I thank you. 

HON. SEN. NYAMBUYA:  Thank you very much Madam President.  I would like to say just a few words in support of what the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has brought before the House.  We are talking of real issues here.  We are talking of borrowing money and when we borrow money we are talking of debt creation.  In my view and I think it is accepted in the fields of economics and public administration, that borrowing must always be tempered with the need not to burden future generations.  Therefore when we borrow, it is wise and important that we borrow not for consumption but for infrastructure development. I have examined this particular loan.  In my view, it is a move which is going to enhance the capacity of the people of Beitbridge district and areas surrounding.  It is not only going to enhance and empower them but we are talking of actually creation of sound agricultural infrastructure which is going to last for quite a long time.        

          The second aspect I have examined is one of interest.  The interest in this particular loan is just 1% per annum, and it is very few places in this world where you get interest rates of 1% per annum.  So, I think it is a very wise decision which the Minister has taken, well calculated and it is going to help the development of this country.

 The third aspect which I have looked at is the issue of capacity to repay the loan.  Now, we can only talk of the capacity to repay the loan if the people who are going to be involved in the project know what they are supposed to be doing.  The must be trained and capacitated so that they can produce goods and services which are in demand inside Zimbabwe and beyond.  I have studied this particular loan details, the term sheet and I am very impressed in that this package actually includes training for the farmers.  There is a training package, consulting package and institutional support as well as project management. 

          Madam President, I believe this is a very wise move which is going to empower the people of Beitbridge and surrounding areas.  It is also going to add a building block in our infrastructure development which is a key facet of any nation which wants to develop sound infrastructure.  Above all, it is going to empower rural people so that they can produce goods and services which are actually in demand and will actually move towards eradicating poverty amongst our people in this country.   So, I fully support this Madam President and I think this is a move in the right direction.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Madam President.  I want to raise my voice in accepting the motion brought by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that we support the loan that would be in aid of infrastructural development in terms of irrigation.  This will help people close to 5000 and will lead to creation of employment of people to work on 2500 hectares.  Ever since the land reform, the citrus sector has had serious challenges because our people were not enlightened in that regard.  A lot of citrus trees were not being looked after well.  So, this programme can assist in the revival or revamping of citrus and it will improve the health of our people. 

 This loan is at a concessionary rate of 1.5% and as Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, as the implementers, they should empower the agricultural extension services so that the farmers can benefit from the expertise of that particular department.   They should ensure that they give the extension officers transport so that they can easily access the people.  With those few words, I put my seal of approval to the acceptance of this loan.

          *HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President. Let me start by saying good afternoon.  When there is a good thing people would want to exaggerate it.  I am happy with what the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has brought and this is what the country is looking for.  I am in total support of his motion because we are talking about dams that need to be utilised.   He has come up with a way to ensure that the dams are fully utilised so that our local people can utilise the water supplies through irrigation and that they will become self sufficient thereby create jobs in their communal lands instead of us coming to the city or urban centres to look for jobs. 

You did this not for yourself but for the rest of us and we accept it.  This is a good loan and it has a concessionary rate.  As a country, let us not humiliate ourselves by failing to repay the loan.  Those that are going to benefit from the use of irrigation should be enlightened that the main purpose is to create employment and that the loan needs to be repaid so that they can work hard.  Once they work hard, their produce will be sold and Minister, you will have money to repay for this loan.  I am in agreement with the previous speaker that the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development should work hard.

 We once raised a motion concerning the non-mobility of agricultural extension officers and we now say that they should be near these dam infrastructure and houses built for them so that they can be easily accessible to the community. 

I am much happier by the fact that Matabeleland South is a dry and arid place which we once toured with our Committee; nothing can be grown in that area without irrigation.  You are going to be a shining example of a Minister because you have come up with the correct solution for this dry region.  Other provinces are not going to be jealous of that project because they know that this region need assistance through water.  We are also going to be proud that during our term as Senators, we approved this particular loan.  We thank you, please be happy and enjoy yourselves.  No-one will be displeased in this august Senate.  I thank you Madam President.

+HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President.  I also want to add my voice on the motion brought by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development together with the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.  We want to thank the two Ministers because this is one thing that will improve our economy especially to the people who are coming from Beitbridge and Matabeleland South.  Mostly, when people are doing their farming they engage extra farm services and this is another job creation opportunity.  We know that once they are employed it will assist them in buying their daily requirements.  Whatever they will be buying is due to the fact that they have adequate funding and it will also improve our cash flow challenges.

          When people engage in proper farming then they will be able to sell their produce and earn the much needed cash for them especially the parents when paying fees for their children.  It is difficult for a parent to send their children to school when they do not have finances.  The dams and infrastructure that are going to be created will cause a multiplier effect especially when seeking healthcare facilities for their families – it will also be of assistance on that note.  We also realised that it also improves the nutrition of the surrounding people as they will be able to produce different food stuff.  This will also curb the prevalence of diseases. 

My hope is that the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development will be able to educate people on ploughing different types of food stuffs that we can get.  It is important for the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to educate them on how to plough different farm products so that they can balance their nutrition.  It is equally important for them to be taught that as farmers they should also benefit and consume their farm produce.  I urge the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to also conduct outreach programmes to teach people how to plough and consume their farm produce. 

The project that you have brought Hon. Minister is a noble one but the point that I want to emphasize is, please try to educate people on balancing the nutrition.

+THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Khumalo for also adding on the nutrition.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  Thank you very much Madam President for affording me this opportunity to talk about this loan that we are about to entertain. 

          Madam President, I particularly welcome the idea of financing this project which is worthy but I do so with a lot of reservations because creditors must be happier than debtors.  In our case we always seem to be very happy when a certain somebody decides to lend us some money.  I do not know how much we now owe   the world and I do not know whether we will ever be able to repay those debts - [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - Whilst the loan is most welcome because we cannot do without it since we cannot finance our own projects, we must remember like has been alluded to by one Hon. Senator, that we must not do things that will burden the future generations.  That point is very important Madam President because - [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – This is the reason why they are charging us interest and that is why it is called a loan.  Debtors must learn to celebrate less than creditors because creditors have earned the interest through lending.  When they find a market to lend their money where it will gain them and generate income, everybody will do it.

          Madam President, we must do these things with utmost care.  I do not know how much in debt this country is but I believe we must be up to our noses now.  I would love it if the Hon. Minister could pass through it and inform us how much we now owe to the international community and also talk about the security.  How are we going to curb the corruption by our leaders in this country?  How we will be sure the money will be used for the intended beneficiaries? – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] – We do not come here to praise each other when we are actually sinking into debt.

          This money is going to be used on capital projects which are very much welcome because these are fixed assets that cannot be easily destroyed.  We must also remember that some intended beneficiaries of the Zambezi River Project have died and not seen the light of what has been promised.  – [HON. SENANTORS: Hear, hear.] – We must be very careful when we incur some debts.  I think that whilst mentioning the precedent of the Zambezi River Project, I want to say let this not be the same uniform.  Once something has been said by Government, our people out there take it as a serious issue and are waiting to see the results.  Now that this project is going to commence this year, including myself, we will be waiting to see because at times we have waited for things that never materialize. 

          In conclusion, I would like to say Hon. Minister, this is a most welcome project because it is food brought to the doorsteps of our community which is something we have always yearned for.  I do not yet know whether it is going to be real but we are happy that you are here and have tabled it.  I want to rest my case that way and say; please let us not sink too much into debt and if you could just inform the House as to how much we owe the international community now. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - Okay Madam President, I withdraw my last statement.  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  It is permissible since you were airing your personal views on the matter.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA:  Thank Hon. Madam President.  I want to thank the Hon. Minister for tabling this motion which is one of the motions that we really prioritise especially when it is being debated in this House.  I am also adding my voice in support of what the other Hon. Senator was saying that we should not always be happy about being debtors.  We also want to know how much we owe the international community and in addition, since it is a loan, how much we will be taking and interest to be paid.  We also want to know whether the outstanding loans have been settled or not.  Please, try to inform the House on those issues.

          Hon. Minister, I want to say what is in my heart.  My desire is - yes, this is a very good programme but it should not be like the Gwaai Shangani programme that towards elections there has to be a very good programme that should be ongoing.  We have been waiting for this project but to date it is still in its infant stages reflecting that nothing much has been done on that project.  Without even mentioning the Zambezi Water project that we were promised would be a green belt up to South Africa, my desire is that the Cabinet that administers over all the projects that are passed in this House, implements all the projects.  We also have the Nyamadhlovu project and in this world there is no other country that has such an aquifer that we have.  If only that dam is fully utilized and boreholes drilled, I know it is one thing...

          *HON. SEN. CHIPANGA:  On a point of order Madam President.  May I request that we confine ourselves to the issue of the loan?  Is it what we want or not?  If we do not want it then people should indicate that they do not want it.  The Gwaai-Shangani River – everyone wants water from it but we do not have money.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA:  I was trying to highlight to the Minister and make him aware.  It is not that I am not agreeing to the project that he wants to bring especially after mentioning the issues to do with livestock.  I am just trying to make him aware of the other commitments that were made previously.  All I am saying is that all the projects that we start should be completed before we start other projects.  We should not continue to start projects and leave them half way.  If we start a project in Binga, let us complete that one first before we move on to Muzarabani.  What I am against is starting in Binga, we do not finish then go to Tsholotsho, start another project and we do not finish again.  All these projects are under the same loan programme.  Loans might be good especially in this economy that we have.  It is alright but let us complete the projects.  I do not want to mislead or insult the House…

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Yes, we know you are right but I am just appealing to you to stick to the motion please.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA:  Hon. Minister, thank you for the project that you want to start in Beitbridge because it is a project that will also create job opportunities.  What we have since noticed is that three quarters of the time, the students that complete “O” level go to South Africa and improve that country.  Let us try and push this programme to completion. Hon. Minister, when we ask you about how far you will have progressed, do not feel insulted because we will just be making a follow up on the project that is being done.  Even the livestock programme should be pushed to completion for the benefit of everyone.  We want to thank even the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for bringing such a programme.  My desire is to see all the loans that were taken paid back so that we do not leave our children with a legacy of debt.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. NDHLOVU:  Madam President, I come from Matabeleland South and I am part of Beitbridge.  Thank you Minister.  Beitbridge has always had problems of water and even after such a good rainy season, the area is still dry.  If the Beitbridge dam is going to be constructed up to completion, my wish is for them to also look at other districts within the area so that we have enough water conserved.  If the Beitbridge dam is completed, I think job opportunities will also be created.  Even our children will refrain from migrating to South Africa, especially those in Matabeleland South.  When they go to South Africa, they work on farms.  So if they are kept here and are employed here, we will be happy as parents because in South Africa and other places that they migrate to, they are ill-treated.  With these few words, I want to thank the Minister for bringing water to Matabeleland South.

          *HON. SEN. GOTO:  I rise to add a few words to this motion.  Firstly, I would like to thank our Minister of Agriculture standing in for the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for bringing this motion.  I am grateful for the loan agreement that has come from Kuwait to assist the people of Zimbabwe in the Matabeleland South region.  The interest is said to be 1.5% per annum.  I am grateful that the loan has been targeted for Matabeleland South, a dry and arid region, this is a good move.  Let us support good moves when they are made.  We should be happy for people in Matebeleland South.  I am aware that they are suffering.  I hear that a lot of irrigable crops are to be grown such as beans and fruits and also rearing of livestock, so there is going to be that benefit.

I heard others saying that we should not have such debts, nothing can move but the country can develop because of debt.  Personally, you need a loan to develop yourself and if you do not do that you will not develop.  All farmers are into agriculture because of loans.  I strongly support that we take this loan and work hard so that we will be able to repay the loan.  That is what we should encourage one another.  Our agricultural extension workers should be trained.

From time immemorial, this country has been borrowing, there is no one who does not borrow.  I thank you Hon. Minister for having brought this motion.  I support your motion.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity.  Where I grew up, no one died because of a debt, that is why the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is availing the Credit Reference Bureau so that those who are in good standing in terms of borrowing can always borrow and as a country we will be in that category.  Since last year we have been paying IMF loans and we are mending our ways.  We have four to five years grace period for this loan and we pay 11/2 % of US$20 million, which is US$300 000.  If we have the will, we will be able to repay.  This is because if you pay US$1million, you would have paid the interest plus the principal amount.

There are people who work in farms in some areas in Midlands, Masvingo and Chipinge who are into livestock and growing citrus fruits such as oranges.  We have experienced workforce and we are happy about it.  However, the Minister should clarify one or two things.  He said there is US$8 million that he is negotiating from Abu Dhabi.  Is the US$8 million also subject to our accessing the US$20 million?  Will those who want to give us US$8 million want to disburse it?  What is the relationship between the US20 million and the US$8 million? Is it that if we fail on the US$7/8 million, we will still receive the US$20 million?  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this very important motion before us.  I want to thank the Minister of Agriculture together with the Minister of Finance for bringing this ratification before us.  However, I want to sound a word of caution Madam President. 

In this country, we have so many irrigation projects that are idle and have broken down.  What we are now lacking is supervision to make sure that these projects achieve what they are supposed to do.  Where they are operating, the farmers are finding it difficult to find a market for their produce because they are competing with South African farmers for the same products.  South African farmers are getting licences to bring vegetables and all types of food that is produced locally into our supermarkets where our farmers cannot compete price-wise with South African farmers.  South African farmers produce cheaply. 

Would it not be a good idea Hon. Minister, if you are going to do something like this; demonstrate that you still have agricultural extension services?  When a project like this is put in place, products are produced at affordable prices and you restrict import permits to only those things that Zimbabwe cannot produce itself so that these things can actually be sold and farmers are able to pay back their loans.  Without that, all we could be doing here is accruing more and more debts which we will never be able to pay back because the farmers are not protected. 

There are so many horticultural projects in this country including my own, which are now redundant.  We are sitting on 11 brand new green houses, fully kitted but we cannot compete price-wise with the South African markets even though the product is of the same quality because the cost of inputs is very high.  So, we need the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to put us on an equal footing with South African producers so that our people who end up consuming what we produce can buy at those lower rates that we are currently afforded.  I am fully in support of this particular loan, but I want to just raise an alarm, that let it not be another one where we cannot pay because we have no markets.  Once we go into agriculture, it is incumbent upon you Hon. Minister to ensure that the farmers can actually sell their product within the country, let alone export.  Thank you Madam President.

+HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: Thank you Madam President.  I stood up to thank the two Ministers who have brought such a brilliant idea, the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Hon. Made and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa.  I support this motion that they have brought to this House for assisting at Zhove Dam.  It is one of the dams that people from Matebeleland benefit from especially after fishing, they get their meals there.  It is one dam where people get nutrition out of and is always spoken about by Hon. Sen. Khumalo. 

So Hon. Minister, I support your motion and if you work on this dam, especially during the rainy season where most of the times the dam overspills and if it is repaired, I know we are going to benefit much on irrigation.  We have had oral evidence in my Committee and when we asked them, they indicated that in Matebeleland they get plenty of maize especially that which is put under irrigation.  They expressed the fact that if only they could get another dam where they can do irrigation.  Yes, I know that it is going to be a loan, but we know that Matabeleland as a rainbow province is going to benefit a lot from it. I thank you Madam President.

          THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE) on behalf THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam President, I want to thank the Hon. Senators for supporting the project. There have been questions that have been raised. I will only comment on what is pertinent to the presentation that I made on behalf of the Minister of Finance. I want to say that this project is already supported on the basis that there are also commodities that are wanted in the country, region and also in the Middle East in terms of some of the commodities that I have mentioned, particularly fruit and vegetables.

          So, very careful consideration was given to the fact that the farmers must be able to repay. The main beneficiaries are smallholder farmers. We will make special attention to make sure that the farmers are trained. I want to agree with the Hon. Senators who have put emphasis on the extension workers that if we can build for them to stay right into the project, we should do that. The value justifies that we do that. In actual fact, all our projects across the country are now going to have special dedicated extension people. 

          I want to clarify that when we talk of an extension worker, we must also remember that there are specific departments that will also have specialists like the Department of Irrigation. It has its own extension specialists, not the general extension workers. So, they will be working together and there will also be other teams from the mechanisation division.

I want to say that on the loan situation, whether the $20 million is precedent to what the Government of Zimbabwe should raise and the Abu Dhabi fund that we are negotiating, the two are separate. The Government contribution is already related to the administration costs and so on, that are already going into the project under the PSIP. So, that is already there. The balance that we are now negotiating without prejudicing the negotiations, we are confident that we will get that particular balance.

Let me say that the other comments related to the broader loan portfolio, I will be very happy to take the specific question in writing so that the Minister of Finance can give greater details to the other outstanding loans. Madam President, there is no question on that if it is put in writing, it will be responded to with the details that the Hon. Senators want.

          +I want to thank the Hon. Member who brought the issue of nutrition. We really try to encourage people to farm different products that will balance their diet. On the nutrition, the will do the fruit and vegetable especially on horticulture. We will try to make it to be comprehensive. We know that when you do your farming, your family will benefit from that and it is something that we will emphasise on. We must also give the animal protein to our children and to the adults as well. So, on that, we agree.

          I also want to agree with Hon. Sen. Makone. Indeed, I am very much aware of the investment that our farmers have made, not only in horticulture. We are intensifying horticulture infrastructure, irrigation infrastructure, the poultry sector for example, and we have a right under the rules to make sure that our farmers are also looked after in terms of the permits that she has referred to. What we must make sure is that as we have projects in the drier parts of the country, we give this horticulture production balance. What we can produce in the high rainfall areas, low rainfall areas by intervening with irrigation, it means the domestic supply will be consistent. That is why the Government has got a Committee in the Office of the President looking at removing the barriers of ease of doing business. So the comments that the Senator has made are very pertinent and I take note of it that we should look after ourselves. 

          When we introduced the special maize programme for import substitution, this was the purpose to be self sufficient so that we do not import. We save foreign currency for other important issues. We want to support domestic consumption with all the commodities including livestock. Madam President, without diverting and because I have mentioned livestock, and soon we will be launching the livestock command programme and it will have elements that are supported by irrigated pastures. We are also going to introduce that. I want us to remember that livestock is not cattle alone. It is dairy, wildlife farming and fisheries. I agree and take all caution by Senator Nyambuya that we must not leave debts for our children.

          I want to thank all the Hon. Senators for supporting a project of this nature without being deterred. Madam President, I now move that the motion be adopted.

Motion:

THAT WHEREAS, Subsection (3) of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

        AND WHEREAS, a Loan Agreement was entered into between

Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Kuwait Fund for

Arab Economic Development relating to Kuwait Dinars 6 million

(approx. US$20 million) Line of Credit to support the Zhove Irrigation

Project in Beitbridge District, Matebeleland South Province;

        NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (3) of the

Constitution, this House resolved that the aforementioned Agreement be

and is hereby approved.

        Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 40TH PLENARY SESSION OF THE SADC – PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 40th Plenary Session of the SADC – Parliamentary Forum held in Harare, Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 13th July, 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE NON-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUSTS

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the Circumstances Surrounding the Non-Establishment of Community Share Ownership Trusts in Mudzi and Mutoko districts.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MATIIRIRA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Tawengwa who raised this motion. I am a member of that Committee. On Mudzi-Mutoko Community Share Ownership Trust, we did not see anything tangible to show that the project is progressing well. Our expectation is that when such a project has been started in the district, development and employment will have come to the district and those families that are within the district benefit. We expect the people to benefit from the natural resources. Once such a project has been started in the districts, there should be follow-ups to see how well the projects are progressing. CSOTs should be followed and there should be monitoring mechanisms, and remedial action taken because a stitch in time saves nine.

My further plea Mr. President, is that we found it important that the chiefs are leading the CSOTs. It was because it had been observed that such districts had such natural resources. The Committees should work hand in glove with the chiefs. Natural resources need people to put their heads together. I come from a mining environment. Other people fail to harness the gold because of issues that require the attention of the chiefs. I urge people to have a good relationship between the Committee and the chiefs. I also urge the entire country in terms of resources that we travel around the ten provinces and observe what the CSOTs are doing in various areas because time is running out. We got a tip of the iceberg when we visited Mutoko and Mudzi Community Share Ownership Trust. Even if they come here and give us oral evidence, it is important to verify things through mission visits on the ground. I thank you.

+HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tawengwa who brought this report on the Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment that emphasised a lot on CSOTs. I second the report as it brought out because what it said is something that we were given by God especially in rural areas. I know almost all the areas in this country do a lot of mining. My question is whether the Minister who is responsible for mining is taking note that almost everyone is doing mining everywhere. There are illegal gold panners who are mining their gold causing a lot of soil erosion and at the end of the day, we realise that it is causing even danger to the lives of people and our animals.  Yes Mr. President, we want gold and whatever that is being mined but how is Zimbabwe going to look like at the end when those miners are mining and do not close all the holes that they create when they are doing their mining – whether it is a legal or an illegal miner, the holes that are being created – my question is, who is going to fill up those holes?  Yes, we want all the minerals that are being mined and with the few words that I have said Mr. President, I would like to urge the Minister to have a re-look especially at the holes that are created when we do our mining when we extract whatever mineral.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 13th July, 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ON SDG NO. 3

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on SDG No. 3.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane for the Report of the Thematic Committee on SDGs in relation to SDG No. 3 which says health is important to everyone from children to the elderly.  This is an important SDG and I would want to thank the Committee for having worked so hard.  They visited hospitals and also met with the Ministry and scrutinised SDG No. 3.  I also scrutinised their report and observed that there are a lot of things that are lacking in this country for us to fulfill SDG No. 3 and bring it to fruition as we are still far from getting the right things regarding SDG No. 3.

Mr. President, we should closely look at such issues of food and nutrition which Hon. Sen. Khumalo regularly talks about that it is important.  You would see that from the report by Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane’s Committee, it shows that our health situation is not right in this country.   The children and the elderly have a serious challenge in terms of their health; and in pregnant women, the majority of them are delivering children that are not healthy because of their own health. So as a country, we should make sure that we do a lot of good things about it.  I was looking at the figures; 37 000 pregnant women may suffer from malnutrition in this country. This figure is on the high side and the stunting growth is 27%, surely we need to look into this. 

When the Committee was carrying out its investigations, they discovered that in the majority of hospitals, the machinery which they actually have may need small amounts of money for them to be repaired but these hospitals are unable to have even such small funding for those machines to be repaired.  As a country, we should ensure that all our hospitals are operating at optimum levels so that our people can benefit.

The Committee also observed that Government owes NatPharm $27 million and this maybe the reason why some drugs now have to be imported because NatPharm was producing drugs locally.  The Committee urges the Government to pay outstanding debts that it would have incurred especially in the health sector.  In terms of non-communicable diseases, the Committee observed that such diseases are on the rise and in truth, this is the position. 

I am the Chairperson of the HIV/AIDS Thematic Committee and two or three works ago, we travelled.  We went to hospitals in Silobela to also observe how ART is being administered, especially in terms of cancer and diabetes – things are not well and they are not looking good.  A few days ago, I heard news from ZiFM Radio Station that in the surrounding SADC countries, Zimbabwe has the highest mortality rate of cervical cancer.  As the Upper House of Parliament, in Silobela we saw that there is a machine called a cryo gun being used in a case study that is being held in Silobela.  This cryo gun costs $600 and gas is used to operate it. They are testing it and it has helped a lot of women with cervical cancer.  Once cervical cancer is detected in its early stages, the woman can be treated.  It is my plea to this august House that we should assist one another and ensure that the cryo gun be available in all parts of the country, in all the district hospitals and clinics.  Let us urge the Ministry of Health and Child Care to give us funding so that women do not continue to die. 

I thank Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane and his Committee with many recommendations that they made such as the numbers of the village health workers that they should be increased and that Government should pay its debts.  Government should ensure that there are drugs in hospitals.  Doctors are merely issuing prescriptions without dispensing drugs.  You know that life is difficult.   Today, as a Senator, I did not even have $2 in my bag and Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa bought food for me because at the Members’ Dining, they were saying they were not using ecocash or swipe.  I was going to leave without eating until I was invited by Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa.  What if one is sick and has been given a prescription to go and buy some medication, where will you get the money when you are failing to raise money to buy sadza?  Our people are dying.  They cannot afford to pay the user fees for ARVs.  In Zvishavane, the user fee is $4 and I have found two or three people saying they have failed to raise the user fee despite the fact that they had gone to collect their ARVs. 

It is not all of us who can swipe.  At service stations, if you go for swipe, they will tell you that the machine is no longer working and ecocash is not functioning.  How are we going to survive?  Health service will only be for the privileged and the poor are dying everyday.  We are burying people everyday. 

As Hon. Members, you are told of death in the community and your whole salary will be gone.  It is my plea that this important report brought by Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane’s Committee needs our support.  What they found out is the truth and I hope the Minister is going to take this report seriously and implement its recommendations.  I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity.  I would want to briefly support the report brought by the Chairperson, Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane and his Committee.  It is an important report as others have already alluded to.  They touched on a lot of issues as regards the people’s health.  They went around hospitals such as Murehwa where there was an X-ray machine that was not operational.  It was not assisting patients.  We believe that since the Committee made such observations, you will be able to go back and assess why the machine is not operational because the Government has done its part. 

We want to thank you once again that you exposed this issue through your findings.  We want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane for thanking the village health workers for the important work that they are doing and that they are important in terms of attainment of health.

Your report also touched on the issue of rape cases and that it is important that the police and hospitals should work together.  This helps a lot because we know that in this country we do not like rape cases because it spreads diseases.  If the police and hospitals work together, the child can be easily treated once it has been observed by the doctor that the child has been raped. 

There was also mention of the debt.  We are aware that we are experiencing hard times and that Government is burdened but we should try by all means to repay the debt so that our pharmaceutical companies can continue with their operations.  We should not be dependent on donors but let us be self-sustaining and self-reliant.  I am not saying that donors are bad but we should be self reliant because there will come a time when they will say that they have given Zimbabwe sufficient support and need to look at other countries needing  the same support.  We should always be ready to ensure that once donors leave, we will remain viable and self-sustaining. 

We urge you to go round all the hospitals to assess challenges that these hospitals are facing.  It makes their work easier because you will be carrying out your oversight role and your views will not be armchair ones but practical.  I thank you for the good work that you have done and I also want to thank you Mr. President for the opportunity that you have afforded me.

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

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 13th July, 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON HIV AND AIDS IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING IN ZIMBABWE

Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on HIV and AIDS in institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MABUGU:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate on the motion of HIV and AIDS in institutions of higher learning.  It is a pathetic motion as I hear from the Committee.  The mover of the motion and the seconder Hon. Timveos.  I thank them for going round the country to find out the state of affairs in the various institutions in the country. 

All I can say is that as women, we should not say that our girls are misbehaving because of failure to have sufficient food.  We have children at home.  From primary education, our child will be satisfied with the way of living that they will be having.  They have never stolen someone’s packed lunch because of poverty.  You condone such behaviour and teach them when they are young.  It is our duty as mothers.  We know that there are those that misbehave and are bound to misbehave and indulge in such activities.  Once you have schooled your child on the right manner in which to behave, there are those that that disregard that but they will get their just rewards in the end.  You are the parents.  Your fathers are the fathers of these daughters or granddaughters. Why are you doing this to them?  Would you want the same done to your daughter by your friend or an old man whom you know?  It will hurt you. 

So, please father, learn to respect other people’s daughters because they are also your daughters.  If we do that, we will reduce these diseases.  I heard that there are others that will then talk about different styles. Yes, they will be looking for such things but I would say to genuine school children, we are their leaders; we should treat them just like our own children.  

Members of this august House should be well behaved.  If you observe in most colleges, you meet some Hon. Members at these institutions of higher learning misbehaving.  We should desist from this habit.  Let us feel pity for our children.  Children should be given lessons and contraceptives so that they can prevent HIV and AIDS.  With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th July, 2017.

MOTION

ADOPTION OF A DRAFT PROTOCOL ON THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS ON THE RIGHT TO NATIONALITY AND THE ERADICATION OF STATELESSNESS IN AFRICA

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on resolving situations of statelessness in our country.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th July, 2017.

 

 

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF THE EDUCATION ACT TO THE CONSTITUTION

Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on funds controlled by School Development Committees (SDCs) and School Development Associations (SDAs).

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th July, 2017.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE), the Senate adjourned at Sixteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 12 JULY 2017 VOL 26 NO 67