You are here:Home>Senate Hansard>SENATE HANSARD 13 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 28 NO 32

SENATE HANSARD 13 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 28 NO 32

Download attachments:

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 13th February, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

CHANGES TO THEMATIC COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to inform the Senate of the following changes to membership of Thematic Committees:

·       Hon. Sen. Dr. Sekeramayi will serve in the Thematic Committees on Peace and Security and HIV and AIDS;

·       Hon. Sen. O. Hungwe will serve in the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development;

·       Hon. Sen. Khupe will serve in the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development; and

·       Hon. Sen. S. Mpofu will serve in the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development.

PETITIONS RECEIVED

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the House that on the 12th of February, 2019, Parliament received a petition from Talent Maphosa, ICODZIM.  The petition has since been referred to the Thematic Committee on Human Rights.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. CHIDAWU: Thank you Madam President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo for moving the motion and the seconder.  I want to begin by congratulating you Madam President for being elected the President of the Senate as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Hon. Sen. Nyambuya.

          I want to thank the President Hon. Mnangagwa for the speech that he gave to Parliament. He gave us a good speech after winning the election resoundingly and up to today, he has been doing a great job.  I am not going to look at the background as to how he became the President, this has already been covered by earlier speakers but I want to look at his speech that he gave to Parliament during the official opening.  In his speech, he touched on the issue of good governance, the way we live and also legislation which enables us to live in peace with one another that will lead to the development of the nation.

          As someone who was bred in Zimbabwe and lived in Mbare, I witnessed Harare being built and developing until independence.  I was a member of local government, in the council until I got to Parliament.  The Harare that I am talking about is no longer the Harare that we grew up in.  I want to thank the powers that be for cleanliness that is now in the urban centres.  There was a lot of garbage in all places and as you moved around, you would ask yourself whether this city would be a sunshine city again.  People would live anywhere and you would come across dirty areas and that was not hygienic at all.  We want to thank the Government for taking the initiative to ensure that our city is clean.

          It has not yet reached the level of cleanliness that we want.  If you turn on a tap to get drinking water, you cannot drink the water because it is very dirty.  That is why we experienced cholera.  Cholera is A disease causeD by unhygienic conditions.  It is unfortunate THAT we ended up getting cholera cases in Zimbabwe.  We need to address the hygiene of Harare as a town. 

          The President mentioned the issue of devolution to enable people to run their own provinces for the development of those provinces.  I think it is a good initiative because it enables people to maximize their efforts to ensure that the areas they reside are developing.  I believe that in Harare, the population has grown.  There was a population of about 300 000 people.  In Chitungwiza, there was only St. Mary’s and Zengeza was not there but now the population has gone up to about three or four million if you look at Chitungwiza, Harare and Ruwa which is the greater Harare areas.  So for that reason I support the issue of devolution and what I hope to see is that we expedite legislation to enable devolution.  This will also curb diseases such as Cholera and also enable different areas to be able to access water.  Chitungwiza used to get water from Harare but because of the way that Harare has grown, water is not enough anymore.  So devolution is good because it will assist and meetings and consultations can be done with people and come up with measures to address and improve the lives of the people in those areas.

          Another issue is that in the current dispensation, the challenge we have is that for our economy to grow, we need to work very hard.  I am a builder and contractor.  It is not pleasant work but has to be done.  Mostly people want to work and see good things but forgetting that we need to work towards having the good things that we have.  We need to work hard.  The challenge that we have is that the civil service has too many people.  We need to investigate and account for what each and every person does.  Most of the employees are just seated throughout the day without any clear cut job descriptions.  The President spoke about the civil service reforms so that those who are there should maximize their efforts in working for the nation.  As parliamentarians, we should also ensure that the civil service renders its service to the public.

          We once went to China on a study visit.  I learnt one thing that everyone should know what he/she is going to do at work as an individual.  At the end of the day, they should do an introspection to see what he/she has achieved.  In Zimbabwe, when you get into a Government office you will find a lot of employees and the work that they are doing can be done by one person - sometimes they are 10 and they are doing nothing.  The way they are just too many affects our budget because it leaves very little money for development because 80 to 90% is channeled towards salaries and about 10% towards development and managing the country.  This is an issue that we need to address and we do not need to be told.

          The issue of performance of the civil service was also mentioned, especially in the foreign mission service.  In the past people wanted to be posted to foreign missions and they knew that they would make a lot of money and come back and invest in property.  Our missions should promote international trade and evaluate the international instruments that we ratify.  The missions that are active should ensure and evaluate these treaties so we need to reform this on our own.  Those who are posted to missions should be qualified personnel.  It should not be based on political appointments when we talk of international diplomacy but it should be trade. 

          The conflict that is between the United States of America and China is all about resources.  Once they produce their goods, where can they be sold?  That stimulates industries but we are mourning that there are no more industries, yet when the industries are in place, we will not know what to do because markets and international trade have to be fought for.  You need to fight for your space.  So we need the foreign missions to work for us in terms of trade that way, we can also gain foreign currency through the trade agreements and will not experience any foreign currency shortages.

          The President also alluded to the trade agreements that we sign here.  I believe that we interrogate them and see the anticipated benefits. When we evaluate them, we need to understand how our system follows through because we do not see the benefits that we anticipate.  We hope that as we proceed, we will address those issues in terms of economic development.  Once there is economic development, our challenges will be a thing of the past, but that can only be done by us enacting legislation that will enable this.

          I thank the President for these words.  I believe a lot was said by my fellow Hon. Senators.  In Harare, we need factories and not farms because we work in factories.  I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. M. R. DUBE:  Thank you Madam President, Hon. Chinomona.  Madam President, before conveying my congratulations, I  crave the indulgence of the Hon. Senate to read my Maiden Speech as provided in  Standing Order Number 80, which provides for an Hon. Senator to read his/her Maiden Speech?

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  May you just proceed?

          HON. SEN. M. R. DUBE:  Thank you, mine is on devolution.  I would like to congratulate you Madam President, Hon. M. M. Chinomona and our Deputy President Rtd. Gen. M. Nyambuya, our staff and Hon. Senators.  Allow me to zero in on my Maiden Speech, it focuses on devolution as the pathway to success and regional development.

          Madam President, the President in his speech in the august House mentioned devolution as the gateway to economic recovery and development in Zimbabwe and seven months down the line, devolution has not been implemented.  I call upon urgent action on the implementation of devolution because the President in the opening remarks of his Presidential speech said devolution, devolution, devolution.

Madam President, devolution is the answer to current under-development experienced across the country and provinces.  It is easier to control resources at local level or province.  For example, Bulawayo has been a hub for industry but most companies like Sugar Refinery, National Foods and Dunlop have moved to Harare mainly due to uneven development.  Now the industry is full of churches.

          If those companies relocate again in Bulawayo, our children will get employment.  There are no clinics in other suburbs but stands were allocated 11 years ago.  We ask the Government to do something especially in Nketa and Mganwini.

          Under devolution, even the power station will start working and the smoke that thunders will get enough electricity and kantutu ziyatunga will be back on the roots.  I am happy that the Budget was approved and the Government now has resources to sponsor our provinces.

Beitbridge is the mother of all border towns but it is pathetic when we look at facilities in Beitbridge.  For example hospitals and clinics are very poor, there is no water, the roads are poor and poverty is the order of the day. There is massive unemployment yet Beitbridge brings in a lot of foreign currency. It is only devolution that saves these towns from decay because of equal distribution of resources.

          Some towns are suffering from retrogression instead of progressing.  For example, during the Easter period last year, Victoria Falls received about 5 000 international tourists but the Chinotimba communities are becoming poorer and poorer.  Devolution will allow a large portion of the revenue to be channelled towards developmental issues in Victoria Falls.

          It is painful when you visit areas around Mberengwa which are backward places in Zimbabwe but is home to platinum mines like Mimosa.  Tax from these mines should be used to develop these areas.

          The Shurugwi community is suffering from the same disease and devolution is the only solution to this problem.  Revenue from Unki Mine and various gold mines around Shurugwi should be used to fund hospital and education needs for the surrounding communities.

          Our electricity comes from Kariba but our people in Binga do not have electricity.  It is easy for someone in Harare to access electricity than someone in Binga.  Kariba is seriously under developed but considering that dried fish (matemba) is from Kariba; fishing competitions are done in Kariba, electricity is generated in Kariba and it is also a border town, I call upon the Government to ensure that it plants back a certain percentage of the revenue from electricity towards developmental projects around Kariba.

          Madam President, are you aware of the Marange Diamond scandal?  The diamonds in Marange became a curse to the Marange people and not a blessing.  Many were forced to migrate and there is no meaningful development.  Such unfair use of resources should stop and this can be done through devolution.

          If devolution is implemented, communities like Chiredzi will benefit from local resources that are in Gonarezhou Game Park.  Revenues from Tongaat Hullett and the border fees will ensure that poor areas get developed.

          I call upon this Government to quicken the implementation of devolution.  Devolution is the only corridor for areas like Lupane that are rich in gas and timber to realise benefits from their God-given resources. The state of most roads is in shambles and this can only be addressed if devolution is implemented.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th February, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

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

Third Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Annual Report.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA:  Thank you very much Madam President.  The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is one of the commissions under Chapter 12 of our Constitution and as such, it is an independent commission put in terms of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe.  It is the only Commission that has been able to speak truth to power in this country.  As a result, it has come under serious attack from the Executive and other politicians.  For example, the former President Mr. Mugabe called the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission ‘a stupid woman’.  This is the attack that members of the Commission have come under.

Our Committee came to the conclusion that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission by and large has been very effective as a Commission. For example, it has already investigated and made recommendations on the recent disturbances that happened on 14th January. There is no subject matter of the report that it has made.  I am making it just to show you how effective they are.  They have already investigated the complaints that they have got and they have already produced a report.  Therefore, it can only be treated as an extremely serious, effective and professional Commission.

          The findings of the Commission were ably articulated by the Chairperson of the Thematic Committee, Hon. Sen. Chidawu.  Therefore, I wish to zero in Madam President, on the recommendations that our Committee has made.  The first recommendation that our Committee has made is that...

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: If I can understand you - here I am reading that this is an annual report of the year ending December 2017.  So, I thought you were going to zero-in on that one. This one should also be brought in maybe on its own after you have investigated because I do not think already you have investigated or you are just bringing it as an ad hoc, I do not know. 

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Madam President, I am actually referring to the current report which is the report of 2017.  When I was talking about the effectiveness of the Human Rights Commission, I then just strayed and used the example of its investigation and completion for this year without going into the contents of that report.  I am simply talking about the effectiveness of the Commission.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Is it what we are talking about, the effectiveness of the Commission?  Are we talking about the effectiveness of the Commission or we are talking about the annual report?

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: I agree with you Madam President, we are talking about the annual report of the Commission.  So..

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: As the Commission or the Committee?

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: The Human Rights Commission made an annual report that the Committee looked into and has made its recommendations.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You can proceed Hon. Senator.         

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you very much Madam President.  The report that is before you Madam President, is the report of the Thematic Committee and you will see that the report of the Thematic Committee dwells much on the report of the Human Rights Commission..               

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Now, I do understand.

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: I was saying that we analyse the report of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and in our view, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has been very effective.  It has produced a report and just as an example of its effectiveness, it has even produced subsequent reports of issues that have happened already in the country.  I went on to say Madam President, that the findings that were made by the Committee, were well articulated by the Chairperson, Hon. Sen. Chidawu and I will now dwell on the recommendations that we as a Committee are making.

          The first recommendation is that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission must timeously recommend to Parliament effective measures to promote human rights freedoms.  What is important is that Zimbabwe has human rights enshrined in the Constitution and we must now promote those human rights. It is the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission that must recommend to us as the legislators ways to promote the human rights.  We must always be seen to be defending the human rights; we must all even be seen to be expanding the human rights. 

          The second recommendation comes from the fact that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and indeed other Commissions have been making recommendations to various bodies. For example, it made recommendations to the Ministry responsible for the distribution of food aid, that food aid must not be used as a political weapon.  It then recommended specific measures to stop that abuse of food aid.  We have seen that those recommendations were largely ignored in some instances and therefore, we recommend that the Human Rights Commission must act in terms of the Constitution. Where its recommendations have not been followed, it must produce a special report to the President and to the Parliament; reporting those people who are not heeding its recommendations.

          The other recommendations that we made Madam President, relate to the evictions of people.  We identified a number of eviction related issues. Firstly, eviction of former workers; secondly, eviction of people from the farms who are occupants of those farms and thirdly, eviction of people from their houses and fourthly, eviction of people under the so-called Murambatsvina.

          Mr. President, what we noticed is that the evictions were being done in a very sadistic and sometimes in violent manner.  We noticed that evictions were taking place from dwellings; they were taking place in the summer season and without our people being given alternative accommodation.  We therefore recommend that the State must ensure that the people who are being evicted are given alternative accommodation and that their security is guaranteed.  We also recommend that there are many instances where human rights violations are then made subject matter of court processes.  We noticed that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission in its reports, does not include the court cases and how they have been decided especially court cases dealing with human rights violations. 

          We therefore, recommend that the Commission incorporates in its reports, the cases brought before the courts in order for us to see how the courts are dealing with the human rights violations.  Mr. President Sir, there has been a problem where the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission have not been followed.  We propose and recommend that the recommendations to institutions and to persons must have legal effect.  If somebody ignores the recommendations of the Commission, do nothing about the recommendation of the Committee, there is no sanction.  So the recommendations of the independent Commissions must have the force of law so that those who do not heed them are accordingly punished.  There is a convention, the United Nations Refugee Convention regarding the issue of refugees and asylum seekers. 

          Mr. President, what is happening in this country is that before the refugees are processed, before the asylum seekers are processed they are lodged in prison, they are lodged in remand prison as if they are criminals. These are people who are escaping from persecutions in their own countries and they come to Zimbabwe thinking that Zimbabwe offers them refuge, Zimbabwe offers them protection. What we are doing under the current practice is that we are taking those men and women who are law-abiding by the way and we are putting them in the remand prison where they are being lodged with common criminals.  It takes a lot of time for their refugee status to be processed while they languish in prison.  There are a lot of rights that are not accorded to prisoners. For example, conjugal rights and the right to communication, they do not have.  The classical example is the example of Colonel Gaddafi’s son, who was being lodged in prison, I do not know whether he is out now.  However, he was seeking refuge in Zimbabwe but he is languishing in our prison.  We need to change that system.  The people who are running away from persecution must not be further persecuted by us here by putting them in prison – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] 

          Lastly, we recommend that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, which is a Commission we oversee as a Committee, must make systematic monitoring and observation of elections.  We noticed that most of the gross human rights violations are election related and there must be mechanisms to detect the occurrence of human rights violations early.  Normally, human rights violations start with hate language. It starts as language and the language gets stronger and stronger. It starts with one case of assault and ends up in murder.  The authorities then deal with murder.  What we are saying as a Committee is that we must be able to detect, tale-tale signs of impending human rights violations and take appropriate action on time. 

           Mr. President, let me just commend the manner in which our Committee has been handled.  The debates within the Committee are very cordial, there is robust debate, nobody is discriminated on the basis of political affiliation, it is a refreshing Committee.  Thank you very much – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          HON. SEN. SHOKO: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank the Members of the Committee who got this report from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.  When I looked at this report, I realised that the whole system in Zimbabwe is corrupt.  If you read paragraph three of the Committee report, it says; “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 private sector that crippled service delivery across the key sectors of the economy.” That is why I stood up and said, look, from this report here, everything is corrupt.  Fortunately, they did not put Parliament, if they had put Parliament, then it could have been our end. 

          The situation in this country presently, according to this Committee report is terrible, everything is corrupt.  Every department of Government is corrupt.  You go to a parastatal like NRZ, ZINWA or ZINARA, they are all corrupt.  You go to the public sector or to Hon. Shoko’s shop, it is corrupt.  Everything is corrupt.  This means, we have got problems and we need departments, the Government and the Executive to deal with these issues which are being pointed out in this Committee  report– [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – This is very important for our survival because what will simply happen now is that if you intend to take your child to a pre-school, primary or secondary school, you will have to pay a bribe.  I am talking about what is written here and not picking from thin air.  Only Parliament is not corrupt and if you are not corrupt, which means we must go and deal with this corruption.  We must supervise departments and the Government.  Others might not understand what is written here but what I know is that Hon. Senators understand what is happening here and at a given time, they have been confronted by this corruption being debated. 

          If this corruption is everywhere, you must have felt it as legislators who must supervise these ministries.  This is very important Mr. President that we must be seen to be doing something.  This is because the people who elected us into this House are looking at us so that we can deal with this corruption.  An example that I can give you is; if you want to obtain a birth certificate, when you get to the Registrar’s office, the queue will be so long and a friend tells you that you must pay $50 to obtain one and you will get it as fast as possible, that is corruption.  So, Mr. President, let us take the recommendations of the Committee seriously.  If we do not take the recommendations seriously, it means that we are also part of that corruption that is happening elsewhere – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – This is very important for us, our children and the future generation.  If we leave corruption for the future generation, when they see your grave after hearing that you were the senator, they will spit on your grave.  With those few words, let me sit down and give others a chance.  Thank you very much – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] 

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on the motion moved by Hon. Chidawu and the seconder.  I am going to say a few things about Article 4.26, which talks about the promotion of human rights.  The Committee gave a very good account of its views.  They observed that in the celebrations that are being carried out, the majority of the people are not going there because they are unaware. 

          They also found out that the problem with the Commission is that it is doing it alone without the involvement of Legislators who are in the locality where such gatherings will be taking place.  Such gatherings help in creating awareness for the public so that they appreciate more on the duties of the Human Rights Commission, that is where they are found lacking.  I would like to thank them for the good observation.  I want to believe that they came up with a very good report and we expect the Committee on Human Rights to call the Commission, sit down with it and assist the Commission in ensuring the success of public awareness and celebrations.  As Hon. Members, let us desist from the habit of putting words into the people’s mouth.  When a Committee is going to meet the Commission, it is not our duty as legislators to do that.  If we were to do that, we are not being constructive because they end up giving negative issues or issues that should not be part and parcel of their report because I would have influenced my people in my constituency on what to say.  We should not put words into our constituents’ mouths.

I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mwonzora who touched on the issue of clean ups commonly referred to as Murambatsvina.  I would like to believe that he is a lawyer and he is conversant with the law.  This might have disadvantaged some people but my personal observation was that this clean up exercise helped those people who were unable to construct houses as they are now able to build their own houses and they are living in such houses.  They are now landlords and landladies.  That was a positive step although the modalities may have been wrong, but the majority of the people are now landlords and landladies. We give them our kudos for that.

I would like to thank the Chairperson and those who supported him and your observations that this particular Commission must carry out its work.  It should be well known by everyone.  The public should know about it, the Members of Parliament should also know about the Human Rights Commission.  This will enable the enlightened legislators to go and correctly inform their own constituents, whether it be the right to water, the right to shelter or the right to education.  So those are the basic human rights which one should have and we should impart the correct information because should you impart the wrong information, our children will get the wrong impression.

I will repeat that we should call them for oral evidence and then we give them advice so that we work very well.  I thank you Mr. President for giving me such an opportunity.

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

HON. SEN. CHIRONGAMA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 14th February, 2019.

MOTION

IMPORTANCE OF INTERCROPPING AND GROWING OF SMALL GRAINS

Fourth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the need to educate the nation on the importance of intercropping and growing small grains.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 14th 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. CHIEF CHUNDU:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. CHIKWAKA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 14th 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.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 14th 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. MATHUTHU:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to stand in support of a motion by Hon. Senator Gumpo on veld fires.  Mr. President, in destroying the environment, you increase the chances of an El Nino induced drought as veld fires are a catalyst to climate change.  The outbreak of veld fires causes deforestation and degradation as it leaves trees and grass destroyed.  Veld fires have no political or social boundaries, so it is the responsibility of every leader in a community to make sure the people we lead are educated on the effects or dangers caused by veld fires.

We must not leave this responsibility to our traditional leaders only as all of us in this august House are leaders.  It is our responsibility to make sure that our people out there understand the dangers posed by veld fires.  Therefore, I appeal to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and other Government departments responsible to assist us as community leaders to spearhead and have a massive education in the communities that we lead so that we eradicate veld fires.

          The animals, birds and even human beings are not secure when there are veld fires because you cannot rule out the possibility of the loss of lives.  It is a known fact that when vegetation is destroyed and it is raining, the movement of water is not controlled thereby causing a lot of soil erosion and even the yield from farmers is affected.

          Mr. President, I would like to commend the efforts of our traditional leaders in educating their subjects on the dangers associated with veld fires.  It is up to us as Hon. Senators to ensure that our people understand and respect the authority of traditional leaders.  The Government has done a lot but the country continues to suffer as the environment is being destroyed.  Therefore, as community leaders, let us come up with legislation that will make our people or would be offenders to fear whatever legislation would have been gazetted or enacted in this august House.

          In some areas that we come from, the plantations that were planted with funding from our partners were destroyed by veld fires.  So Mr. President and Hon. Senators, we need a lasting solution to this monster called veld fires.  Let us work together regardless of our political affiliations to make sure that we make our people understand the dangers associated with veld fires.

          Mr. President, even our tourism which brings in a substantial contribution to the fiscus is affected by veld fires.  So, with these few words, I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Sen. Gumbo for bringing this important subject to this House for debate by Hon. Members.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. FEMAI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the issue of veld fires.  Firstly, allow me Mr. President that as I debate, it is not that after I have debated, someone should start interrogating my speech.  It is not right and it no longer becomes an Hon. House.  The people who are outside should judge me with the speech that I would have given in this august House…

          *THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): Order, order, I think we are a bit lost.

          *HON. SEN. FEMAI:  I wanted to say that if an Hon. Member has contributed accordingly giving his/her opinion, it is not good for another Hon. Member to critique the debate presented by the other Hon. Member – that is not right and that is all I said before I proceed to debate the motion at hand.

          I think that is clear but the word, ‘debate’ itself means that each person is entitled to his/her own opinion.  Once we talk of debating it means you are giving various opinions

          *THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): Thank you but your contribution in trying to make this House honourable is good.  I support your suggestion.

          *HON. SEN. FEMAI:  Thank you, when it is a debate it is not right to quote what someone else would have said whilst debating. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Gumbo for the motion on veld fires that are everywhere. 

          Mr. President, from the time we were born in rural Chimanimani, no one was allowed to move around with a box of matches or to move in a forest with fire.  If a veld fire took place, it would be known whose child would have caused it.  The village heads and traditional leaders would convene a court session to pass judgment on would be veld fire offenders.  Nowadays, it is a thing of the past.

          I do not know if Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has now assumed the role of traditional leaders, if they have, then the role of the chief is therefore eroded as they are no longer in existence.  EMA is normally heard in the media, especially on radio where money is spent on paying for jingles for people not to cause veld fires.  A lot of forests that are being affected by veld fires are not those under the domain of the traditional leaders.  Those that are experiencing veld fires are the invaded farms. These farming areas are experiencing more veld fires than the areas under the jurisdiction of chiefs.

I think the people who are causing veld fires plan to cause them. I do not know, maybe they plan to ensure that the cattle do not have enough grass.  I think the Government should relook into this issue and return the farming areas to the traditional leaders and not for EMA to control the farming areas. 

If this country loses a lot of forests due to veld fires, there will be no rain because we end up complaining that we are feeling hot but it will not rain.  Long back, if that happened, the elderly would sit down and deliberate on this and you would also get a lot of rain during that period but now the atmosphere is full of smoke from the veld fires hence there is no rainfall. 

We want to see what will happen if these farms are given back to the jurisdiction of traditional leaders.  If a traditional leader puts a law to say that people should not burn forests, we will find that there will be a reduction in veld fires.  EMA who are busy playing jingles on radio to stop veld fires are not doing much.  A child knows that there is a day that is set aside for people to rest known as chisi.  Even a child in school knows that we do not carry hoes or till the land on that particular day.  That day is set aside by the traditional leader but you find that veld fires occur on this day of rest known as chisi.    I do not know whether people are looking for mice and this is now causing veld fires.  If we continue causing veld fires, we are not going anywhere. 

I think the committee that deals with these matters, especially the one on environment should summon EMA to give oral evidence as to how they are using the money that they get from the budget.  What are they doing?  Long ago during the Smith regime, there were no veld fires in those areas.  You would see the police moving around the farms on horses but nowadays we only see the horses during parades.  This means that there were police who would check on the farms.  Nowadays police are moving around town putting road blocks. 

I am suggesting that the police should go on patrols and arrest those people causing veld fires.  If you were to ask who has caused the fire, they will end up revealing who will have caused the fire but that is no longer happening because police are not patrolling. 

Biodiversity - inhabitants that are in the forests or grass that we use to thatch our houses are needed to balance the environment but when there is a veld fire, all these are destroyed and the soil is left loose hence we lose good soil.  If you ask a person why they had to burn that particular area, they will tell you that there were snakes.  God created snakes. The snake is important in balancing the environment.  The snake is there to eat the rats which spread diseases. The rats affect the people but we want to kill the snake by causing veld fires.  This causes an imbalance in terms of biodiversity.

Those people who were given farms and those who were working on farms were relocated. They do not have anywhere to go and now we have veld fires everywhere causing biodiversity loss in grass and trees. Some of these trees are fifty or sixty years old and that contributes to the oxygen that we breathe since trees let out carbon dioxide. 

I recommend that chiefs should be given jurisdiction over the farming areas to ensure that they deal with veld fires and we leave out EMA.  I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 14th February, 2019.

MOTION

PROTECTION OF CATTLE AGAINST TICK-BORNE DISEASES

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

Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to contribute just a few words on Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi’s motion on tick borne diseases.  This motion is important in that domestic animals are now dying.  Actually us in Regions 4 and 5 experience drought most of the time. People rely on beef but because of diseases, we are now running out of cattle.  As representatives, we debate to remind each other so that people can be helped to dip their cattle.  What is the problem with the chemicals for dipping livestock?  We requested the responsible Ministry to provide dipping chemicals and if those chemicals are made available, it must be made sure that the chemicals are not abused because sometimes there are reports of abuse and livestock end up dying.

          We rely on beef for fees, now a lot of our children are no longer going to school because we have run out of livestock.  These days our males are dying early because they are stressed due to deaths of their livestock, only women are surviving.  When children bring livestock back into the kraals in the evening, the fathers will be watching and smiling but become stressed when the livestock die and they also die.  So it is important for the cattle to get the necessary dipping chemicals to protect them from tick borne diseases.  Cattle are assets for they are used as lobola payment.  Traditionally, when the Chief was in charge, no one was be allowed to talk if they did not own a beast, even at dances only those with beasts would be allowed to dance. So beasts are important and this motion is important because our livestock is diminishing. 

          As of now, they have been affected by drought and they are very thin. Most of our people are not happy and this stresses our elders.  Let us buy chemicals for our dip tanks and take them to the people so that they realise that they have representatives and this is leadership. This is why they chose us to be their representatives. 

I do not have much but this is a very important motion and I thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for that motion.  When there is drought people will slaughter their beasts in order to buy food but right now the beasts are in a poor state.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th 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: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th 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. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. I also add my voice to this motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Gumpo and his seconder.  I will dwell mostly in general about wildlife because what affects Kariba, if we are talking about wildlife also affects any other area within the country that has got wildlife. Our wildlife is in problems all over the country and the numbers are affected on a daily basis yet our wild life is our source of economy.  If ever we have these animals and not endangered as we see, we would find that on the tourism sector, everywhere where there is wildlife that would increase foreign currency within the country.  Mr. President, that is not the only thing that our wildlife does.  You will find that there are photos which are taken by tourists and trophies that we sell out of the country.  However, we do not have all those things today because of what is happening in the country. 

          Mr. President, we have got challenges that we face in this department of wildlife.  We have got a lot of poachers who are a threat to our wildlife because some of them have got technical skills which are beyond the reach of many people.  These poachers can even kill people if you dare go nearer because they have got guns to kill with silencers.  Some of the poachers make use of snares.  If you visit our areas, you find out that snares will be all over and animals are being killed.

          Whenever some of our people see a wild animal moving, they do not see anything better than meat in it.  They do not even consider the monetary issue within the presence of those wild animals.  Some of these poachers poison our animals, especially the elephants with cyanide and they die and they take away the tusks to sell them privately.  Our wildlife is not safe in Zimbabwe. 

          I will look at the solutions that we have to consider;  Firstly, there should be stiff penalties on whosoever is found guilty.  If I was the one to judge these people, their sentences would start from 10 years and above. Anyone who engages themselves into poaching has to take a long period in prison or even die there because they are threatening our wildlife.  Nowadays, most of our children in other parts of the country have never seen a hare, they just know it at school where they are taught or on television but never alive.  We are leaving a very bad legacy for our children.

          In addition to the solutions, I think there is need for Parks and Wildlife Department to be capacitated.  This department does not have resources at all.  Even if you report an animal being killed, they do not have transport and even ammunition to scare the poachers who are killing those animals.  This becomes very difficult.  Our animals have to be protected in one way or the other because we need them.  There is need for massive education on wildlife so that we leave a legacy for the future generation.

          It is the duty of everyone to guard our wildlife jealously, not forgetting to engage our traditional leaders so that it becomes a duty of everyone to protect those few animals which still exist.  The trend continues and we will end up not having wildlife within our country.  With these few words Mr. President, I would like to thank you – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] 

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th February, 2019.

MOTION

DEVOLUTION OF POWER

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

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you Mr. President.  I wish to close the motion.  I wish to thank all Hon. Members who contributed to this very important motion.  Generally, the debates in this august House have been refreshingly robust, mature, peaceful and free of rancor and acrimony.  It is a complete opposite of what has been happening in the Lower House – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – where some Hon. Members have gone to an extent of threatening each other with death.  That personalised acrimony allowed to take precedence over robust debate is a disservice to the electorate – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]

          The debate on this motion showed that Zimbabweans across the political divide are agreed on the need for devolution.  Indeed, devolution is the clear answer to uneven development that comes as a result of the unhelpful and anachronistic practices of tribalism, regionalism and even racism.  By ensuring that communities take part in determining the development priorities of regions, devolution leads to inclusivity and democracy.  It will therefore lead to development, peace, love and harmony in our country.

          While thanking Hon. Members across the political divide, it is important to stress that Zimbabweans must never be enemies to each other.  We must jettison the politics of hate, intolerance and polarisation and replace with the politics of rational disputation and tolerance – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – We must teach our people across the political divide that they must now reason, thus my enemy is not Mujuru, Mangoma, Chamisa, Khupe or Mnangagwa.  My enemy is;

·       Poverty and misery;

·       Underdevelopment;

·       Unemployment;

·       Discrimination and deprivation;

·       Dictatorship and selective application of the law;

·       Use of food as a political weapon;

·       Vandalism of national and personal assets;

·       Disrespect of the rights of others;

·       Hate language and so on.

We must live in harmony.  In coming together, let us be bold, courageous and let us be strong as a people. Our common objective should be to make Zimbabwe a peaceful, democratic, green commercial and economic hub of the African continent and the world.  It is possible and it can be done.  Thank you Mr. President.

I therefore move for the adoption of the motion that this House –

RECALLING that during the historic constitution making process and the subsequent constitutional referendum in 2013, the people of Zimbabwe unequivocally endorsed the principle of devolution of power and the transformation of the Zimbabwean State from a two tier to a three tier state;

NOTING that our Constitution makes provision for the election of Provincial Councils as well as the specific manner of the elections of the Provincial Council leadership;

ACKNOWLEDGING that the current Government has stated at least on paper that it is committed to implementing devolution in the current dispensation;

RECOGINISNG the fundamental constitutional principle of the sovereignty of the people and the important fact that devolution is widely regarded by Zimbabweans as the answer to uneven regional development in the country;

ALSO RECOGNISISNG that the people of Zimbabwe elected their Members of the Provincial Councils on 30th July, 2018 which Members are yet to be sworn into office:

NOW THEREFORE, calls upon the Government to-

(a)             Urgently bring a Bill to provide for the Devolution, inter alia to provide for the key administrative and other processes in the Provincial Councils including the election for the heads of those Councils within two months.

(b)            Abolish the post of Minister of State for Provincial Affairs as they compromise the full implementation of devolution of power;

(c)             Swear into office all the members of the Provincial Councils immediately and define their conditions of service and other mechanisms to make them more functionally efficient;

(d)            Provide budgetary support to the Provincial Councils   

Motion put and agreed.

MOTION

CASH SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY

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

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to add my voice onto this motion moved by Senator Shoko and his seconder.  I am not going to talk much because a lot has already been said.  Even up to today, people are facing the same problem of access to cash.  The cash crisis is still there and queues are still visible at the banks and cash is hard to come by.

I am going to deal with the paragraph that is concerned about ‘the introduction of the bond notes has failed to improve the cash crisis’.  That is where the crux of the matter is Mr. President.  If that is the position, cash is still hard to come by.  What solution do you have?  People are suffering?  Mr. President, I have reason to simply say that in the Eighth Parliament when the bond was introduced at the rate of 1:1 with the United States dollar,  Governor Mangudya was categorically told in Bulawayo that this introduction of 1:1 of the United States dollar to the bond was a none starter.  Some people supported it, others criticised it.  Governor Mangudya is on record saying that it will work.  If it does not work he will resign.  I rise here to ask Governor Dr. Mangudya to live up to his promise that he will resign because things have failed to work.  I thank you – [Laughter.]

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I have also laughed.  Is there any Member of Parliament or a Senator who has failed who wants to resign in this august House?  No one is interested in that.  Thank you for making some lighter moments of it.

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  Mr. President, I stand to wind up the motion.  Mr. President, this motion, I remember when we were debating it the situation was dire as it is presently.  You go to the banks, you do not get money and it looks like when we were debating, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development was with us here and we expected him to improve the situation but it looks like the situation has remained the same.

Mr. President, sometimes I get confused when we wind up these motions to say, do Ministers then look at them or we wind them up here and we forget about them.  If we are winding them up here and then forgetting about them, it means to say I will have to bring it back for the second time because the situation has not improved outside.  The issue that we are talking about has not improved outside.

When we talk about the bond and the United States dollar presently, if you go along, I think it is Five Avenue and Simon Muzenda Street, you get a lot of people standing there exchanging money.  To me that is not a healthy situation.  We should be getting the money from the banks.  It therefore means to say, Mr. President, the situation has not improved and those that are in the administrative arm of Government, in the Executive, can they not deal with this situation so that we find everything operating properly because presently, when you go into a shop, you are told if you have got bond notes, you pay 50 bond, if you have got United States dollar, you pay US$12, if you have got RTGs, you pay another amount, but Government is standing up and saying look, the currencies are equal.

I get confused because in our situation, what we must understand is when we do these things, we are not doing them for ourselves, we are doing for the population that voted for us.  So what is simply happening is we are singing different choruses.  The Government is singing another chorus and the people are singing another chorus; which confuses everyone.  So, Mr. President, when I am winding up this motion I will kindly ask that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development look at this matter.  I therefore move that the House to Adopt my motion.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Before I move for adoption, you mention something very important that what is the value in doing all these debates and spending all afternoon in this Chamber.  When we debate, the person who is supposed to address, appointed by the President to be a Minister, proudly being a Minister of a particular Ministry, should come at least and say something.

Now we are debating and closing and so what.  In the last Parliament before the elections in July, those who were Members of Parliament remember, we agreed at one time that we will not close any motion even if it is on the Order Paper for such a long period until the Minister comes to respond to issues that were raised.  Now we have entered another session of Parliament and Ministers are now also not responding.  Of course one stumbling block is the Standing Rules and Orders which says if a motion remains on the Order Paper for 21 sitting days, it then has lapsed.  I think we need to look at it.  This is no longer effective.  I think I will talk to Mr. Gandiwa.  I am also in the Standing Rules and Orders Committee, but I think we need to relook at this issue.  It really makes Parliament just as you call it, some nice place to be, talk and go to sleep.  I think this is the real problem and we need to change that attitude. I also want to comment on the issue that the Gorvenor should resign.

          Now when there is a motion and if you look at the motion, the one that we were just debating, the mover never said that the Governor should resign – that is the problem.  So before you make a recommendation, please read what the mover said at the end, he did not talk about resigning but merely said, ‘NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Executive to urgently find ways of improving the cash situation in the country.’  He did not add that the Governor should resign.

          Sorry I am just talking about the motion before I ask for its adoption.  We are adopting the section, ‘NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Executive to urgently find ways of improving the cash situation in the country.’ We are now adopting this motion and asking the Government to resolve the issue – that is what the mover of the motion wrote.  We shall remove this one and enlighten each other so that we become knowledgeable.  So I will now rise.

HON. SEN. SHOKO: Mr. President, I stand to move for the adoption of the motion that this House-

NOTING the debilitating liquidity crisis facing the country;

CONCERNED that the introduction of Bond Notes has failed to improve the cash crisis;

AWARE that the cash crisis has affected procurement of essential goods and commodities that drive our economy;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Executive to urgently find ways of improving the cash situation in the country.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE (HON. L. MAVIMA), the Senate adjourned at Twenty-one Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 13 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 28 NO 32